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"Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939–April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter and musician. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit "Sexual Healing" and the Midnight Love album. Since his death in 1984, Gaye has been posthumously honored by many institutions, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Marvin was born in Washington, D.C., to minister Marvin Gay, Sr., and domestic worker Alberta Gay Cooper. He first grew up in a house located at 1617 First Street SW, only a few blocks from the Anacostia River. The First Street neighborhood was nicknamed "Simple City" owing to its being "half-city, half country." When Marvin was in his teens, the family relocated to the Deanwood section of north eastern D.C. Marvin was the second eldest of Marvin Gay, Sr.'s children and the third overall of six. He had two sisters: Jeanne and Zeola, and three brothers: Michael Cooper, Frankie Gaye and Antwaun Gay. Michael Cooper was from his mother's previous relationship while Antwaun was born as a result of his father's extramarital affairs. Marvin began singing in church at age four and was accompanied by his father on piano. Marvin and his family were part of a Pentecostal church sect known as the House of God. The House of God took its teachings from Hebrew Pentecostalism, advocated strict conduct, and adhered to both the Old and New Testaments. Gaye developed a love of singing at an early age and was encouraged to pursue a professional music career after a performance at a school play. His home life consisted of "brutal whippings" at the hands of his father, who struck him for any shortcoming. The younger Marvin described living under his father's house as similar to "living with a king, a very peculiar, changeable, cruel and all powerful king." He further stated that had his mother not encouraged his singing, he would have been a child suicide case. His sister later explained that Marvin was beaten often, from age seven well into his teenage years. Gaye encompassed a three-octave vocal range. At around 11:38 am on April 1, 1984, as Marvin was seated on his bed talking to his mother, Gaye's father shot at Marvin twice. The first shot, which entered the right side of Gaye's chest, was fatal, having perforated his vital organs. Gaye was taken to the emergency room of the California Hospital Medical Center and was pronounced dead on arrival at 1:01 pm. Gaye died a day before turning 45. The gun with which Marvin Gaye, Sr. shot his son was given to him by Marvin as a Christmas present. Following his funeral, Marvin was cremated with part of his ashes spread near the Pacific Ocean. Gaye did not leave behind a will or an insurance policy at the time of his death. Marvin's fans have held vigils for the singer at the final residence to celebrate the day of his birth. Marvin was the father of three children, Marvin III, Nona and Frankie, and the grandfather of three boys, Marvin IV, Nolan and Dylan. At the time of his death, he was survived by his three children, parents and five siblings. "
"Anita Denise Baker (born January 26, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late-1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker eventually released her first solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single "Sweet Love." To date, Baker has won eight Grammy Awards and has four platinum albums and two gold albums to her credit. Baker has an alto vocal style. Anita Baker was born on January 26, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio. When she was two, her mother abandoned her and Baker was raised by a foster family in Detroit, Michigan. When Baker was twelve, her foster parents died and her foster sister raised her afterwards. By the time Baker was sixteen, she began singing R&B at Detroit nightclubs. After one performance, she was discovered by bandleader David Washington, who gave her a card to audition for the funk band, Chapter 8. Baker married Walter Bridgeforth, Jr. on December 24, 1988. The couple separated in 2005 and finalized their divorce two years later. They have two sons, Walter Baker Bridgforth and Edward Carlton Bridgeforth. Baker currently lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Both children attended The Grosse Pointe Academy. Walter Bridgforth is now attending Berklee College of Music in Boston MA as a drumming principal."
"Bobbi Kristina Brown (March 4, 1993-July 26, 2015) is an American reality television and media personality, singer, and heiress. She is the daughter of singers Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. Following her mother's death on February 11, 2012, Brown was named as the sole beneficiary of her mother's estate. Bobbi Kristina Brown was born on March 4, 1993, in Livingston, New Jersey. Brown's family includes maternal grandmother Cissy Houston of The Drinkard Singers. Her mother's cousins are Dee Dee Warwick; Dionne Warwick, mother of Damon Elliott; and Leontyne Price. Her uncle is Gary Garland, her mother's half-brother. Through her father, Brown has four half-siblings: Landon, LaPrincia, Robert Jr., and Cassius. Her godmother is CeCe Winans. In June 2015, Bobby Brown arranged to have his daughter flown to Chicago to be seen by specialists, only to be told that nothing could be done. Bobbi Kristina was flown back to Atlanta, and moved to Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, on June 24. Her aunt Pat Houston said, "Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown's condition has continued to deteriorate." Brown died in hospice care on July 26, 2015, at the age of 22. A statement released by the family thanked "everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months." On January 31, 2015, Gordon and a friend found Brown face down in a bathtub in her Georgia home. Gordon began CPR until emergency medical services personnel arrived. According to a police spokeswoman, Brown was alive and breathing after being transported to North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Georgia. She further stated they found no evidence to indicate the incident was caused by drugs or alcohol. Doctors placed Brown in a medically induced coma after determining her brain function was "significantly diminished" and her family was told any meaningful recovery would be "a miracle." In April 2014, Marion Houston—Whitney's sister-in-law—was granted a one-year restraining order against Gordon after claiming he had sent threatening photographs and messages."
"Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1864–December 15, 1934) was an African American teacher and businesswoman. Walker was the first female bank president of any race to charter a bank in the United States. As a leader, she achieved successes with the vision to make tangible improvements in the way of life for African Americans and women. Disabled by paralysis and limited to a wheelchair later in life, Walker also became an example for people with disabilities. Walker's restored and furnished home in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia has been designated a National Historic Site, operated by the National Park Service. According to biographical material she supplied, Walker was born as Maggie Lena Mitchell in Richmond, Virginia, to Eccles Cuthbert and Elizabeth Draper Mitchell two years and two months after the end of the American Civil War. Census information, as well as a diary passage saying that she was four years old on her mother's wedding in May 1868, with William Mitchell, set the date back to 1864 or 1865. Her mother was a former slave and an assistant cook in the Church Hill mansion of Elizabeth Van Lew, who had been a spy in the Confederate capital city of Richmond for the Union during the War, and was later postmistress for Richmond. Her father was a butler and writer. The Mitchell family moved to their own home on College Alley off of Broad Street nearby Miss Van Lew's home where Maggie and her brother Johnnie were raised. The house was near the First African Baptist Church which, like many black churches at the time, was an economic, political, and social center for the local black community. After the untimely death of William Mitchell, Maggie's mother supported her family by working as a laundress. Young Maggie attended the newly formed Richmond Public Schools and helped her mother by delivering the clean clothes. She taught grade school for three years until 1886, when she married Armstead Walker Jr., a brick contractor. Her husband earned a good living, and she was able to leave teaching to take care of her family and her work with the Independent Order of St. Luke. Maggie and Armstead Walker Jr. had sons, Russell and Melvin, and purchased a home in 1904. In 1902, she published a newspaper for the organization, "The St. Luke Herald." Shortly after, she chartered the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. Mrs. Walker served as the bank's first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first black woman to charter a bank in the United States. Later she agreed to serve as chairman of the board of directors when the bank merged with two other Richmond banks to become The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, which grew to serve generations of Richmonders as an African American owned institution. Tragedy struck in 1915 when her husband was accidentally killed, leaving Mrs. Walker to manage a large household. Her work and investments kept the family comfortably situated. When her sons married they brought their wives to 110 1/2 East Leigh Street, her home in Richmond's Jackson Ward district, the center of Richmond's African-American business and social life around the start of the 20th century. Walker received an honorary master's degree from Virginia Union University in 1923, and was inducted into the Junior Achievement U. S. Business Hall of Fame in 2002. In Maggie's honor Richmond Public Schools built a large brick high school adjacent to Virginia Union University. Maggie L. Walker High School was one of two schools in the area for black students, during the period of racial segregation in schools. The other was Armstrong High School. After generations of students spent their high-school years there, it was totally refurbished in the late 20th century to become the regional Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies. The National Park Service operates the Maggie L. Walker Historical Site at the former Jackson Ward home. In 1978 the house was designated a National Historic Site and was opened as a museum in 1985. The site states that it "commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. She achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first black woman in the United States to charter and serve as president of a bank, despite the many adversities. The site includes a visitor center detailing her life and the Jackson Ward community in which she lived and worked and her residence of thirty years. The house is restored to its 1930's appearance with original Walker family pieces."
"Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956–December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer, producer, and humorist. She was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Fisher was known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series. Her other film roles included Shampoo, The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, The 'Burbs, and When Harry Met Sally. Fisher was also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show. She additionally served as a script doctor, working on other writers' screenplays. In later years, she earned praise for speaking publicly about her experiences with bipolar disorder and drug addiction. Fisher died at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016, four days after going into cardiac arrest near the end of a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles. The following day, Fisher's mother died in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 84; she had been assisting in the preparations for Fisher's funeral. Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Her mother was raised a Nazarene, and is of English and Scots-Irish ancestry. When Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Reynolds for her mother's close friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of her father's best friend Mike Todd. The following year, her mother married Harry Karl, owner of a shoe-store chain, who secretly spent Reynolds' life savings. At the time of her death, Fisher was survived by her daughter, her mother Debbie Reynolds, her brother Todd Fisher and their half-sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher along with her beloved dog Gary. Reynolds died the following day after being rushed to the hospital from her son's house, where they were meeting to plan Fisher's funeral. Todd Fisher told ABC News, "The only good thing about this is that my mom wanted to be with my sister."
"Katherine Marie Helmond (July 5, 1929-February 23, 2019) was an American film, theater and television actress and director. In her five decades of television acting, she is known for playing Emily Dickinson on Meeting of Minds, but is best known for her starring role as the ditzy matriarch, Jessica Tate, on the ABC prime time soap opera sitcom, Soap, her co-starring role as feisty mother, Mona Robinson on Who's the Boss?, opposite Tony Danza's character. She also played more mothers, Doris Sherman on Coach, and Lois Whelan on Everybody Loves Raymond. She has also appeared as a guest on several talk and variety shows. After her stage debut in As You Like It, she began working in New York in 1955. She later ran a summer theatre in the Catskills for three seasons and taught acting in university theatre programs. She made her television debut in 1962, but would not achieve fame until the 1970s. She also acted on stage, earning a Tony nomination for her performance on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown. Other Broadway productions include Private Lives, Don Juan and Mixed Emotions. After her stage debut in As You Like It, she began working in New York in 1955. She later ran a summer theatre in the Catskills for three seasons and taught acting in university theatre programs. She made her television debut in 1962, but would not achieve fame until the 1970s. She also acted on stage, earning a Tony nomination for her performance on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown. Other Broadway productions include Private Lives, Don Juan and Mixed Emotions. Helmond appeared in such feature films as Family Plot and Brazil, playing the mother of Jonathan Pryce's character. In 1983, she studied at the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop, and went on to direct four episodes of the television series Benson, as well as one episode of Who's the Boss? She picked up Emmy nominations for her role as Mona Robinson in Who's the Boss, and as Lois Whelan in Everybody Loves Raymond. She has continued working, receiving acclaim for her stage performance in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. Helmond was born on July 5, 1929 in Galveston, Texas, the only child of Joseph P. and Thelma Malone Helmond. She was raised by her mother and grandmother, both devout Roman Catholics. She attended a Catholic primary school and appeared in numerous school plays. In 1957, Helmond married George N. Martin. After their divorce she married her second husband, David Christian and the couple have been together since 1962. She has no children. They have owned homes in Los Angeles, New York City, Long Island and London. She and her husband have a history as students of Zen. Helmond died on February 23, 2019 from complications of Alzheimer's disease at her home in Los Angeles, aged 89. Her death was announced a week later."
"Jayne Kennedy Overton (born October 27, 1951) is an American television personality, actress, model, corporate spokeswoman, producer, writer, public speaker, philanthropist, beauty pageant titleholder and sports broadcaster. Kennedy won a 1982 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for her performance as Julie Winters in the 1981 film Body and Soul co-starring alongside her then–husband Leon Isaac Kennedy. Kennedy won the NAACP Theater Award for Best Producer along with her current husband Bill Overton for their production of the highly acclaimed stage musical, The Journey of the African American. Kennedy is also an Emmy Award winner for her coverage of the Rose Parade and was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the news feature on soldiers on the DMZ in South Korea for NBC’s Speak Up America in 1980. Ebony Magazine announced ["Kennedy"] as "One of the 20 Greatest Sex Symbols of the 20th Century," and in the 1980s, Coca Cola USA named Jayne Kennedy "The Most Admired Black Woman in America." Born Jayne Harrison in Washington, D. C., to machinist Herbert Harrison and his wife, Virginia, Kennedy attended Wickliffe High School in Wickliffe, Ohio. She represented Wickliffe High School at the American Legion’s Girls State mock-government program and was elected as a senator to the American Legion’s Girls Nation program in Washington D. C. where she won the office of Vice President of the United States and was sworn into office by then VP Spiro T. Agnew. While still in high school, Kennedy was crowned Miss Ohio USA in 1970, she was the first African American woman to win the title and was one of the 12 semi–finalists in the 1970 Miss Universe pageant. It was rare for an African American woman at that time to be in the contest. A year after high school, she met Leon Isaac Kennedy, who was a DJ and a struggling actor/writer. They married in 1970. Motown singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson served as best man at their wedding, they later divorced in 1982. In 1985, Kennedy married actor Bill Overton. They have four children, his daughter Cheyenne and their three daughters Savannah Re, Kopper Joi and Zaire Ollyea."
"Demi Gene Guynes (born November 11, 1962) professionally known as Demi Moore, is an American actress, former songwriter, and model. Moore dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue an acting career and appeared in the men's magazine Oui in 1981. After making her film debut later that year, she appeared on the soap opera General Hospital and subsequently gained recognition for her work in Blame It on Rio and St. Elmo's Fire. Her first film to become both a critical and commercial hit was About Last Night, which established her as a Hollywood star. In 1990, Moore starred in Ghost, the highest-grossing film of that year, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. She had a string of additional box-office successes in the early 1990s, including A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal and Disclosure. In 1996, Moore became the highest paid actress in film history when she was paid a then unprecedented fee of $12.5 million to star in Striptease, a film that was a high-profile disappointment. Her next major role, G. I. Jane, for which she famously shaved her head, was followed by a lengthy break and significant downturn in Moore's career, although she has remained a subject of substantial media interest during the years since. Moore was born on November 11, 1962, in Roswell, New Mexico. Her biological father, Air Force airman Charles Harmon, Sr., left her mother, Virginia King after a two-month marriage, before Moore was born. When Moore was three months old, her mother married Dan Guynes, a newspaper advertising salesman who frequently changed jobs; as a result, the family moved many times. Moore said in 1991, "My dad was Dan Guynes. He raised me. There is a man who would be considered my biological father who I don't really have a relationship with." Moore learned of him at age 13, when she found her mother and stepfather's marriage certificate and inquired about the circumstances since "I saw my parents were married in February 1963. I was born in '62." Dan Guynes committed suicide in October 1980 at age 37, two years after he separated from Moore's mother. Charles Harmon appeared on Inside Edition in 1995, making an appeal to see his grandchildren. Virginia Guynes had a long record of arrests for crimes, including drunk driving and arson. Moore broke off contact with her in 1990, when Guynes walked away from a rehab stay Moore had paid for at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota. Guynes posed nude for the magazine High Society in 1993, where she spoofed Moore's Vanity Fair pregnancy and bodypaint covers and parodied her love scene from the film Ghost. Moore and Guynes briefly reconciled shortly before Guynes died of cancer in July 1998 at age 54. Moore was cross-eyed as a child. This was ultimately corrected by two operations. She also suffered from kidney dysfunction. At age 15, Moore moved to West Hollywood, California, where her mother worked for a magazine-distribution company. Moore attended Fairfax High School there, and recalled, "I moved out of my family's house when I was 16 and left high school in my junior year." She signed with the Elite Modeling Agency and went to Europe to work as a pin-up girl, then enrolled in drama classes after being inspired by her next-door neighbor, 17-year-old German actress Nastassja Kinski. In August 1979, three months before her 17th birthday, Moore met musician Freddy Moore who was married and at the time leader of the band Boy, at the Los Angeles nightclub The Troubadour. They lived in an apartment in West Hollywood. Moore famously shaved her head to play a Navy SEAL recruit in Ridley Scott's G. I. Jane. The film was a moderate box-office success, but its domestic gross was only slightly more than it cost to make. During the film's production, it was reported that Moore had ordered studio chiefs to charter two planes for her entourage and her, which reinforced her negative reputation for being a diva—she had previously turned down the Sandra Bullock role in While You Were Sleeping because the studio refused to meet her salary demands, and was dubbed "Gimme Moore" by the media. Moore was an investor in the Planet Hollywood chain of theme restaurants, along with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former husband Bruce Willis. She was an executive producer of all three films in the Austin Powers franchise, as well as the interview series The Conversation for the Lifetime network. On February 8, 1980, at the age of 17, she married singer Freddy Moore, 12 years her senior and recently divorced from his first wife, Lucy. During their marriage, Demi began using Freddy's surname as her stage name. She filed for divorce in September 1984; it was finalized on August 7, 1985. Next, Moore was engaged to actor Emilio Estevez. The pair planned to marry in December 1986, but called off the engagement. On November 21, 1987, Moore married her second husband, actor Bruce Willis. She and Willis have three daughters together, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. They announced their separation on June 24, 1998, and filed for divorce on October 18, 2000. Moore had a longstanding relationship with martial arts instructor Oliver Whitcomb, whom she dated from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, Moore began dating actor Ashton Kutcher, who is 16 years younger. They married on September 24, 2005. The wedding was attended by about 150 close friends and family of the couple, including Willis. In November 2011, after months of media speculation about the state of the couple's marriage, Moore announced her decision to end her marriage to Kutcher. After over a year of separation, Kutcher filed for divorce from Moore on December 21, 2012, in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. Moore filed her response papers in March 2013, requesting spousal support and payment of legal fees from Kutcher. On November 27, 2013, their divorce was finalized."
"Arthur Gordon Linkletter (born Arthur Gordon Kelly, or Gordon Arthur Kelley (sources differ), July 17, 1912–May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio and TV for 19 years. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1942. One of Linkletter's lasting legacies are the many light hearted interview segments with children which appeared regularly on his daytime House Party program entitled Kids Say the Darndest Things. A best selling series of books soon followed which contained the humorous comments made on-air by these children. Linkletter was born Arthur Gordon Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In his autobiography, "Confessions of a Happy Man," he revealed that he had no contact with his natural parents or his sister or two brothers since he was abandoned when only a few weeks old. He was adopted by Mary Metzler and Fulton John Linkletter, an evangelical preacher. When he was five, his family moved to San Diego, California, where he graduated from San Diego High School at age 16. During the early years of the Great Depression, he rode trains around the country doing odd jobs and meeting a wide variety of people. In 1934, he earned a bachelor's degree in teaching from San Diego State Teachers College where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. While attending San Diego State, he played for the basketball team and was a member of the swimming team. He had previously planned to attend Springfield College, but did not, for financial reasons. In 1935 he met Lois Foerster. They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego, November 28, 1935. Their marriage lasted until Linkletter's death, 74 1/2 years later. A registered Republican who campaigned for his old friend Ronald Reagan for President of the United States, Linkletter became a political organizer and a spokesman for the United Seniors Association, now known as USA Next, an alternative to the AARP. As part of this role, Linkletter was active in campaigning for more stringent restrictions on elderly motorists. He was also a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation which ended in November 2008. In 1978, he wrote the foreword to the bestselling self-help book Release Your Brakes! by James W. Newman, in which he wrote, "I believe none of us should ever stop growing, learning, changing, and being curious about what's going to happen next. None of us is perfect, so we should be eager to learn more and try to be more effective persons in every part of our lives." In 2005, at the age of 93, he opened the Happiest Homecoming on Earth celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Half a century earlier, he had been the commentator on the opening day celebrations in 1955. For this, he was named a Disney Legend. Linkletter invested wisely, enabling his considerable philanthropy. A member of Pepperdine University's Board of Regents, Linkletter was also a long-term trustee at Springfield College, where he donated funds to build the swimming center named in his honor, the Art Linkletter Natatorium. Linkletter received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy award in 2003. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame. He also received honorary degrees from several universities, including his alma mater, San Diego State University; Pepperdine University; and the University of Prince Edward Island. For his contribution to television, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on 1560 Vine Street. Linkletter had one of the longest marriages of any well-known person in America, at nearly 75 years. He married Lois Foerster on November 25, 1935, and they had five children: Arthur Jack, Dawn, Robert, Sharon and Diane. Lois Foerster Linkletter died at the age of 95 on October 11, 2011. Art and Lois Linkletter outlived three of their five children. On October 4, 1969, 20-year-old Diane died after jumping out of her sixth-floor kitchen window. Linkletter claimed that her death was drug related because she was on, or having a flashback from, an LSD trip (toxicology tests later determined there were no drugs in Diane's system at the time of her death). After Diane's death, Linkletter spoke out against drugs to prevent children from straying into a drug habit. His record, "We Love You, Call Collect," recorded before her death, featured a discussion about permissiveness in modern society, along with a rebuttal by Diane, titled "Dear Mom and Dad." The record won a 1970 Grammy Award for the "Best Spoken Word Recording." Art and Lois' son Robert Linkletter died in an automobile accident on September 12, 1980. Another son, Arthur, died from lymphoma in 2007. In early 2008, Linkletter suffered a mild stroke. He died on May 26, 2010 at age 97 at his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. After his death, Phyllis Diller stated, "In a couple of months Art Linkletter would have been 98 years old, a full life of fun and goodness, an orphan who made it to the top. What a guy." He was survived by his wife, Lois and daughters Dawn Griffin and Sharon Linkletter as well as seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren."
Source: Wikipedia.org, Saturday, April 21, 2018, 11:00AM
"John Arthur Johnson (March 31, 1878–June 10, 1946), nicknamed the Galveston Giant, was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. Among the period's most dominant champions, Johnson remains a boxing legend, with his 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries dubbed the "fight of the century." According to filmmaker Ken Burns, "for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African American on Earth." Transcending boxing, he became part of the culture and the history of racism in America. In 1912, Johnson opened a successful and luxurious "black and tan" restaurant and nightclub, which in part was run by his wife, a white woman. Major newspapers of the time soon claimed that Johnson was attacked by the government only after he became famous as a black man married to a white woman, and was linked to other white women. Johnson was arrested on charges of violating the Mann Act forbidding one to transport a woman across state lines for "immoral purposes," a racially motivated charge that embroiled him in controversy for his relationships, including marriages, with white women. There were also allegations of domestic violence. Sentenced to a year in prison, Johnson fled the country and fought boxing matches abroad for seven years until 1920 when he served his sentence at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump in May 2018, 105 years after his conviction. Johnson continued taking paying fights for many years, and operated several other businesses, including lucrative endorsement deals. Johnson died in a car crash on June 10, 1946, at the age of 68. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. Johnson was born the third child of nine, and the first son, of Henry and Tina Johnson, two former slaves who worked blue collar jobs as a janitor and a dishwasher. His father Henry served as a civilian teamster of the Union's 38th Colored Infantry. Jack once said his father was the "most perfect physical specimen that he had ever seen," although his father was only 5 ft 5 in and left with an atrophied right leg from his service in the war. Growing up in Galveston, Texas, Johnson attended five years of school. Like all of his siblings, Jack was expected to work. Although Johnson grew up in the South, he said that segregation was not an issue in the somewhat secluded city of Galveston, as everyone living in Galveston's 12th Ward was poor and went through the same struggles. Johnson remembers growing up with a "gang" of white boys, in which he never felt victimized or excluded. Remembering his childhood, Johnson said: "As I grew up, the white boys were my friends and my pals. I ate with them, played with them and slept at their homes. Their mothers gave me cookies, and I ate at their tables. No one ever taught me that white men were superior to me." Johnson was a frail young boy. After Johnson quit school, he began a job working at the local docks. He made several other attempts at working other jobs around town until one day he made his way to Dallas, finding work at the race track exercising horses. Jack stuck with this job until he found a new apprenticeship for a carriage painter by the name of Walter Lewis. Lewis enjoyed watching friends spar, and Johnson began to learn how to box. Johnson later claimed that it was thanks to Lewis that he became a boxer. Johnson engaged in various relationships including three documented marriages. All of his wives were white. At the height of his career, Johnson was excoriated by the press for his flashy lifestyle and for having married white women. According to Johnson's 1927 autobiography, he married Mary Austin, a black woman from Galveston, Texas. No record exists of this marriage. During a three-month tour of Australia in 1907, Johnson had a brief affair with Alma "Lola" Toy, a white woman from Sydney. Johnson confirmed to an American journalist that he intended to marry Toy. When The Referee printed Johnson's plans to marry Toy, it caused controversy in Sydney. Toy demanded a retraction and later won a libel lawsuit from the newspaper. After returning from Australia, Johnson said that "the heartaches which Mary Austin and Clara Kerr caused me led me to forswear colored women and to determine that my lot henceforth would be cast only with white women." Johnson met Etta Terry Duryea, a Brooklyn socialite and former wife of Clarence Duryea, at a car race in 1909. In 1910, Johnson hired a private investigator to follow Duryea after suspecting she was having an affair with his chauffeur. On Christmas day, Johnson confronted Duryea and beat her so badly she was hospitalized. They reconciled and were married in January 1911. Prone to depression, her condition worsened because of Johnson's abuse and infidelity. She committed suicide in September 1912, shooting herself. On December 4, 1912, Johnson married Lucille Cameron. Cameron divorced him in 1924 because of infidelity. There have been recurring proposals to grant Johnson a posthumous presidential pardon. A bill requesting President George W. Bush to pardon Johnson in 2008 passed the House, but failed to pass in the Senate. In April 2009, Senator John McCain, along with Representative Peter King, filmmaker Ken Burns and Johnson's great-niece, Linda Haywood, requested a presidential pardon for Johnson from President Barack Obama. In July of that year, Congress passed a resolution calling on President Obama to issue a pardon. In 2016, another petition for Johnson's pardon was issued by McCain, King, Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Gregory Meeks to President Obama, marking the 70th anniversary since the boxer's death. This time citing a provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed by the president in December 2015, in which Congress expressed that this boxing great should receive a posthumous pardon, and a vote by the United States Commission on Civil Rights passed unanimously a week earlier in June 2016 to "right this century-old wrong." Mike Tyson, Harry Reid and John McCain lent their support to the campaign, starting a Change.org petition asking President Obama to posthumously pardon the world's first African-American boxing champion of his racially motivated 1913 felony conviction. In April 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was considering a full pardon of Johnson after speaking with actor Sylvester Stallone. Trump pardoned Johnson on May 24 of that year. On June 10, 1946, Johnson died in a car crash on U. S. Highway 1 near Franklinton, North Carolina a small town near Raleigh, after racing angrily from a diner that refused to serve him. He was taken to the closest black hospital, Saint Agnes Hospital in Raleigh. He was 68 years old at the time of his death. He was buried next to Etta Duryea Johnson at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. His grave was initially unmarked, but a stone that bears only the name "Johnson" now stands above the plots of Jack, Etta, and Irene Pineau."
Source: Wikipedia.org | Sunday, June 10, 2018, 6:15PM CDT
"Peter Whitney (born Peter King Engle May 24, 1916–March 30, 1972) was an American actor in film and television. Whitney was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. Tall and heavy set, he played brutish villains in many Hollywood films in the 1940s and 1950s. Whitney was often a supporting character actor credited at least in the top ten actors appearing in several Hollywood classic feature films, such as Destination Tokyo, Action in the North Atlantic, Mr. Skeffington, Murder, He Says, The Big Heat, In the Heat of the Night, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, and others before becoming well known for his work in television. From the late 1950s, Whitney played character roles in many television series, including nine appearances on ABC's The Rifleman. One of his roles in The Rifleman was "Mail Order Groom" an episode in which he portrays John Jupiter, a man of great physical strength who must exert patience while he is harassed by two townsmen, played by John Anderson and Sandy Kenyon, who had quarreled with Whitney's intended spinster bride, Isabel Dent, played by Alice Backes. In 1960, in "The Longest Rope," the season premiere episode of the ABC/WB western series Cheyenne, Whitney was cast as the cruel, corrupt and entrenched Sheriff Hugo Parma of the community of High Point, where series protagonist Cheyenne Bodie (Clint Walker) had lived for a time in his early teens. In that episode's storyline, Bodie returns for a sentimental visit to High Point, only to find himself a successful but reluctant write-in candidate for sheriff against Parma. Donald May and Merry Anders also guest-starred in the episode as young adults from Bodie's past in High Point. Whitney made three guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason. In 1961 he performed as the character Roger Gates in "The Case of the Pathetic Patient," in 1962, as prison escapee Stefan "Big Steve" Jahn chek in "The Case of the Stand-in Sister," and in 1965, as Captain Otto Varnum in "The Case of the Wrongful Writ." Peter Whitney's final role on television was that of a grave robber in writer Rod Serling's series Night Gallery, in a 1972 episode segment titled "Deliveries in the Rear." Whitney died of a heart attack at the age of 55 in Santa Barbara, California. He was buried at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California."
Source: Wikipedia.org | The Riflema's episode entitled "Heller" | Original air date February 23, 1960, replayed on Friday, October 5, 2018, MeTV 2:30PM-3:00PM CDT
"Marvin Pentz Gay Sr. (October 1, 1914–October 10, 1998) was an American minister of the House of God. He was the father of American recording artist Marvin Gaye and became famous after shooting and killing him on April 1, 1984 following an argument at their Los Angeles home. Marvin Gay Sr. was born the first of 15 children to George and Mamie Gay on October 1, 1914 on a farm along Catnip Hill Pike in Jessamine County, Kentucky and was raised in Lexington. He had a troubled childhood, where his physically abusive father would often beat his mother and five siblings. According to Gay's wife, Alberta, Gay's family life consisted of constant violence involving domestic abuse and shootings. "Gays against Gays", she told author David Ritz. When Gay Sr. was still a child, he and his mother joined the Pentecostal church sect, the House of God. Gay moved to Washington, D.C. in his late teens to pursue a career as a minister of a House of God church there. While in Washington, Gay Sr. met his future wife, Alberta Cooper, whom he would marry on July 2, 1935. The couple bought a small house in southern Washington at 1617 First Street, which was only a few blocks away from the Anacostia River. The street would be nicknamed "Simple City" for its being "half-city, half-country." Alberta already had a son named Michael, but believing he couldn't raise another man's son, Gay Sr. sent Michael to live with his sister-in-law Pearl, one of Alberta's sisters. Two years after marrying, they had their first child, a daughter they named Jeanne. On April 2, 1939, their first son, Marvin Jr. was born. Son Frances and daughter Zeola followed shortly afterwards. In 1970, Gay would later father a son named Antwaun Carey with another woman as a result of one of his extramarital affairs. In October 1983, after months in D.C., Gaye returned to the West Adams home located at Gramercy Place. Gay Sr. often told his daughter Jeanne that if Marvin ever touched him, he'd "kill him." On Christmas Day 1983, Marvin, for reasons not entirely clear, gave his father an unregistered .38 Smith & Wesson caliber pistol to protect him from intruders and murderers, after Marvin, heavily addicted to cocaine, felt someone was seriously plotting to kill him. Gaye also had the guns because he felt "protected." On March 31, 1984, Gay Sr. was angry because he could not locate a missing insurance policy document and he accused Alberta of misplacing the letter. Marvin awoke from his drug-induced stupor and commanded Gay Sr. to leave Alberta alone; however, neither father nor son physically attacked each other that night. Around 12:30 pm PST on April 1, 1984, Gay Sr. began arguing with Alberta again over the missing insurance letter. After Gay Sr. was heard yelling from downstairs, his son, dressed in his maroon robe, shouted downstairs if he wanted to talk to his mother to do it in person. When Gay Sr. initially refused, Marvin threatened him to not enter his room, according to interviews from Alberta Gay, the only other witness to the shooting. When Gay Sr. did enter, his son, angry, despondent, and high on drugs, shoved his father into the hallway, then hit him. The fight continued in Gaye's bedroom where Marvin reportedly struck his father and kicked and punched him severely. Alberta successfully separated the men and convinced Marvin to leave the room. At approximately 12:38 p.m., minutes after returning to his bedroom, Gay Sr. came back to the bedroom with the .38 pistol and shot his son. The bullet penetrated Marvin's vital organs, including his heart. Gay Sr. then walked forward and shot him a second time in the shoulder at point-blank range. According to his daughter-in-law, Irene, Gay Sr. hid the gun in his bedroom pillow, and she later retrieved it for the police. Gay then went outside and sat on the front porch and awaited his arrest, which came after discovering Marvin's body and confirmation that Gay had shot his son. Marvin Gaye Jr.'s body was later taken to California Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:01 pm PST. During his first police interview, Gay Sr. stated that he didn't mean to kill his son, but that he had been scared that he would be hurt and only shot him in self-defense. When the police asked him if he loved his son, Gay Sr. softly told them, "let's say I didn't dislike him." When the police later told Gay Sr. that his son had died from his shots, he reportedly sobbed and wept uncontrollably before he was taken to prison and was promptly charged with first-degree murder for his son's death. Following this, Gay Sr. was given a six-year suspended sentence and five years' probation for the shooting. During this time, Alberta Gay had filed for divorce after 49 years of marriage. Gay Sr. eventually returned briefly to the Gramercy Place residence, but health issues forced him to move to a nursing home, first in Inglewood around 1986, and in the final years of his life, to a nursing home in Culver City, California, where he died of pneumonia on October 10, 1998, nine days after his 84th birthday."
"Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963–February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston was one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know," influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a woman at the time of its release. Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard. The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You," became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at The Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and featured prominently in American and international media. Whitney Houston was born in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, the second child of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Cissy Houston. She had two older brothers, Gary Garland, who was also a singer, and Michael Houston. She was of African American, Native American, and Dutch descent. Her mother, along with cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, godmother Darlene Love and honorary aunt Aretha Franklin were all notable figures in the gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, and soul genres. She met her honorary aunt at age 8, or 9, when her mother took her to a recording studio. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four. At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah."
"According to the biblical account, Samson was given supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as killing a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass, and destroying a pagan temple. Samson had two vulnerabilities, however: his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him. Samson is believed by Jews and Christians to have been buried in Tel Tzora in Israel overlooking the Sorek valley. There reside two large gravestones of Samson and his father Manoah. Nearby stands Manoah’s altar. It is located between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson's activity takes place during a time when God was punishing the Israelites, by giving them "into the hand of the Philistines. "The Angel of the Lord appears to Manoah, an Israelite from the tribe of Dan, in the city of Zorah, and to his wife, who had been unable to conceive. The Angel of the Lord proclaims that the couple will soon have a son who will begin to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. The wife believed the Angel of the Lord, but her husband wasn't present, at first, and wanted the heavenly messenger to return, asking that he himself could also receive instruction about the child who was going to be born. When he becomes a young adult, Samson leaves the hills of his people to see the cities of the Philistines. While there, Samson falls in love with a Philistine woman from Timnah whom he decides to marry, overcoming the objections of his parents who do not know that "it is of the Lord." The intended marriage is actually part of God's plan to strike at the Philistines. On the way to ask for the woman's hand in marriage, Samson is attacked by an Asiatic Lion and simply grabs it and rips it apart, as the spirit of God moves upon him, divinely empowering him. This so profoundly affects Samson that he just keeps it to himself as a secret. Later, Samson goes to Gaza, where he stays at a harlot's house. His enemies wait at the gate of the city to ambush him, but he rips the gate up and carries it to "the hill that is in front of Hebron." He then falls in love with a woman, Delilah, at the Brook of Sorek. The Philistines approach Delilah and induce her (with 1100 silver coins each) to try to find the secret of Samson's strength. Samson, not wanting to reveal the secret, teases her, telling her that he will lose his strength should he be bound with fresh bowstrings. She does so while he sleeps, but when he wakes up he snaps the strings. She persists, and he tells her he can be bound with new ropes. She ties him up with new ropes while he sleeps, and he snaps them, too. She asks again, and he says he can be bound if his locks are woven together. She weaves them together, but he undoes them when he wakes. Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks. Since that breaks the Nazirite oath, God leaves him, and Samson is captured by the Philistines, who blind him. After being blinded, Samson is brought to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain?"
Source: Wikipedia.org | Saturday, August 27, 2016, 2:00PM
"Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. (March 4, 1877–July 27, 1963) was an American inventor and community leader. He worked on the development of a chemical for hair-straightening. He was the subject of a newspaper expose in Cleveland, Ohio, for a heroic rescue in 1916 of workers trapped within a water intake tunnel, 50 ft beneath Lake Erie. He performed his rescue using a hood fashioned to protect his eyes from smoke and featuring a series of air tubes that hung near the ground to draw clean air beneath the rising smoke. By using this simple principle of heat, it allowed Morgan to lengthen his ability to endure the inhospitable conditions of a smoke-filled room. Morgan is also credited as the first African American in Cleveland to own an automobile. Morgan was born in Claysville, an African American community outside of Paris, Kentucky, to Sydney Morgan, a son and former slave of Confederate Colonel John H. Morgan and Eliza Reed, also a former slave who was half Native American and daughter of Reverend Garrett Reed. He had at least one sibling, a brother Frank, who assisted in the 1916 Lake Erie tunnel rescue. Possessing only a seventh grade education, Morgan moved at the age of 16 to Cincinnati, Ohio, in search of employment. Most of his teenage years were spent working as a handyman for a Cincinnati landowner. Like many American children growing up in the turn of the century, Morgan had to quit school at a young age in order to work full-time. Morgan was privileged enough to hire a tutor and continue his studies while working in Cincinnati. In 1895, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he began repairing sewing machines for a clothing manufacturer. Much like fellow inventor Henry Ford who became curious about cars after working as a young man in a factory that built engines, this experience with repairing sewing machines was the impetus for Morgan's interest in how things work. His first invention, developed during this period, was a belt fastener for sewing machines. Throughout this period of time, before his first patent in 1912, he was slowly building his reputation in Cleveland for his skill at fixing things. In 1907 Morgan, who had nearly a decade of experience with sewing machines, finally opened up his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop. It was the first of several businesses he would own. In 1908, Morgan became more conscious of his heritage and helped found the Cleveland Association of Colored Men. In 1909, he and his wife Mary Anne expanded their business ventures by opening a shop called Morgan's Cut Rate Ladies Clothing Store. The shop had 32 employees, and made coats, suits, dresses, and other clothing. Morgan experimented with a liquid that gave sewing machine needles a high polish that prevented the needle from scorching fabric as it sewed. In 1905, Morgan accidentally discovered that the liquid could also straighten hair. He made the liquid into a cream and launched the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company to market it. He also made a black hair oil dye and invented a curved-tooth comb for hair straightening in 1910. Garrett Morgan invented a safety hood smoke protection device after seeing firefighters struggling from the smoke they encountered in the line of duty. His device used a wet sponge to filter out smoke and cool the air. It also took advantage of the way smoke and fumes tend to rise to higher positions while leaving a layer of more breathable air below, by using an air intake tube that dangled near the floor. The safety hood used a series of tubes to draw clean air off the lowest level the tubes could extend to. Smoke, being hotter than the air around it, rises, and by drawing air from the ground, the Safety Hood provided the user with a way to perform emergency respiration. He filed for a patent on the device in 1912, and founded a company called the National Safety Device Company in 1914 to market it. He was able to sell his invention around the country, sometimes using the tactic of having a hired white actor take credit rather than revealing himself as its inventor. His safety hood device was simple and effective, whereas the other devices in use at the time were generally difficult to put on, excessively complex, unreliable, or ineffective. It was patented and awarded a gold medal two years later by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Morgan's safety hood was used to save many lives during the period of its use. By World War I, his breathing device was refined to carry its own air supply, making it a gas mask which, by 1917, was standard equipment in the United States Army. In the Cleveland, Ohio area, the Garrett A. Morgan Cleveland School of Science and the Garret A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant have been named in his honor. An elementary school in Chicago was also named after him. An elementary school bearing his name is scheduled to open fall of 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. In Prince George's County, Maryland, there is a street named Garrett A. Morgan Boulevard [bearing] his name. Morgan was included in the 2002 book 100 Greatest African Americans by Molefi Kete Asante."
"Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930–December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement." Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she influenced many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Time magazine included her recording of "Take This Hammer" on its list of the 100 Greatest Popular Songs, stating that "Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music." Odetta was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 31, 1930. Growing up during the Great Depression, she moved from the Deep South to live with her stepfather Zadock Felious. She grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended Belmont High School. She then studied music at Los Angeles City College while employed as a domestic worker. She had operatic training from the age of 13. Her mother hoped she would follow Marian Anderson, but Odetta doubted a large black girl would ever perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Her first professional experience was in musical theater in 1944, as an ensemble member for four years with the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre, working alongside Elsa Lanchester. In 1949, she joined the national touring company of the musical Finian's Rainbow. In November 2008, Odetta's health began to decline and she began receiving treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She had hoped to perform at Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, but she died of heart disease on December 2, 2008, in New York City. On March 23, 2020, an article of Odetta was published on the Ukrainian Wikipedia, becoming the site's millionth article."
Source: Wikipedia.org | Saturday, April 18, 2020 | 11:30 PM CDT
"Mary Frances Reynolds (April 1, 1932–December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian. She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, and her breakout role was her first leading role, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain. Other successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, Susan Slept Here, Bundle of Joy, The Catered Affair, and Tammy and the Bachelor, in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the Billboard music charts. In 1959, she released her first pop music album, titled Debbie. Mary Frances Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, to Maxene Harman and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. She was of Scottish-Irish and English ancestry and was raised in a strict Nazarene church. She had a brother two years her senior. Reynolds was a Girl Scout, once saying that she wanted to die as the world's oldest living Girl Scout. Her father was a ditch digger and her mother took in laundry for income, while they lived in a shack on Magnolia Street, in El Paso. "We may have been poor," she said, "but we always had something to eat, even if Dad had to go out on the desert and shoot jackrabbits." One of the advantages of having been poor is that you learn to appreciate good fortune and the value of a dollar, and poverty holds no fear for you because you know you've gone through it and you can do it again...But we were always a happy family and a religious one. And I'm trying to inculcate in my children the same sense of values, the same tone that my mother gave to me. Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939. While a sixteen-year old high school student, she won the Miss Burbank beauty contest in 1948. Soon after, she had a contract with Warner Bros and acquired the nickname "Debbie" via Jack L. Warner. Reynolds was married three times. Her first marriage was to singer Eddie Fisher in 1955. They became the parents of Carrie and Todd Fisher. The couple divorced in 1959 when Fisher had an affair with Elizabeth Taylor shortly after the death of Taylor's husband Mike Todd; Taylor and Reynolds were good friends at the time. The Eddie Fisher–Elizabeth Taylor affair caused a serious public scandal, which led to the cancellation of Eddie Fisher's television show. In 2011, Reynolds was on The Oprah Winfrey Show just weeks before Elizabeth Taylor's death. She explained that she and Taylor happened to be traveling at the same time on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s when they reconciled. Reynolds sent a note to Taylor's room, and Taylor sent a note in reply asking to have dinner with Reynolds and end their feud. As Reynolds described it, "we had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs." On December 23, 2016, Reynolds's daughter, actress and writer Carrie Fisher, suffered a medical emergency on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles, and died on December 27 at the age of 60. The following day Reynolds was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after suffering a "severe stroke", according to son Todd Fisher. On December 28, 2016, Reynolds was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following a medical emergency, which her son Todd Fisher later described as a "severe stroke."She died that afternoon, one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher."
"Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971–March 31, 1995) known by the mononym Selena, was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the "top Latin artist of the '90s," the "best selling Latin artist of the decade." She is often called the "Mexican American equivalent" of Madonna for her clothing choices, by media outlets. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all-time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into mainstream. The youngest child of the Quintanilla family, she debuted on the music scene in 1980 as a member of the band Selena y Los Dinos, which also included her elder siblings A. B. Quintanilla and Suzette Quintanilla. Selena began recording professionally in 1982. In the 1980s, she was often criticized and was refused bookings at venues across Texas for performing Tejano music—a male-dominated music genre. However, her popularity grew after she won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1986, which she won nine consecutive times. Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. She had Cherokee ancestry and was the youngest child of Marcella Ofelia Quintanilla and Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., a former Mexican American musician. Selena was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. Quintanilla, Jr. noticed her musical abilities when she was six years old. He told People magazine, "Her timing, her pitch were perfect, I could see it from day one." In 1980 in Lake Jackson, Quintanilla, Jr. opened his first Tex-Mex restaurant, where Selena and her siblings Abraham III and Suzette Quintanilla would often perform. The following year, the restaurant was forced to close after a recession caused by the 1980s oil glut. The family declared bankruptcy and were evicted from their home. They settled in Corpus Christi, Texas; Quintanilla, Jr. became manager of the newly formed band Selena y Los Dinos and began promoting it. They needed money and played on street corners, at weddings, at quinceañeras, and at fairs. As her popularity as a singer grew, the demands of Selena's performance and travel schedule began to interfere with her education. Her father took her out of school when she was in the eighth grade. Her teacher Marilyn Greer disapproved of Selena's musical career. She threatened to report Quintanilla, Jr. to the Texas Board of Education, believing the conditions to which Selena was exposed were inappropriate for a girl her age. Quintanilla, Jr. told Greer to "mind her business." Other teachers expressed their concerns when they noticed how tired Selena appeared when she arrived at school. At seventeen, Selena earned a high school diploma from the American School of Correspondence in Chicago, and was also accepted at Louisiana State University. She enrolled at Pacific Western University, taking up business administration as her major subject."
"Jessica Rose James Decker a/k/a Jessie James Decker (born April 12, 1988) is an American country pop singer-songwriter and reality television personality. At age 15, after auditioning for and being rejected by most of the country labels in Nashville, Tennessee, James began working on refining her craft with Carla Wallace of Big Yellow Dog Music. One of her songs attracted the attention of Mercury Records which offered her a recording contract. She released her debut album, Jessie James, in 2009. A few years later in 2013, she starred with her husband Eric Decker, a wide receiver in the National Football League, in the E! reality show Eric & Jessie: Game On, which stopped airing in April 2014, but returned in September 2017. On April 18, 2014, James released an EP through iTunes with 19 Recordings entitled Comin' Home. On her new label Epic she released a 5-track EP Gold on February 17, 2017 & released a surprise live EP on June 9, 2017 titled Blackbird Sessions. On October 13, 2017 she released her second full-length album and first for Epic Records, Southern Girl City Lights. James was born "Jessica Rose James" on April 12, 1988, in Vicenza, Italy. She is from a military family, as her father served in the U. S. Air Force. As a result, she lived in many areas: Germany, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, and Louisiana. James has two younger siblings, Sydney Rae Bass and John James. She began singing at the age of two and won her first talent contest in Baker, Louisiana, at the age of nine singing "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." By then, she had already been writing songs on a plastic guitar and had performed at Sea World and in Warner Robins in 2000. At age fifteen, she made weekly trips to Nashville to hone her songwriting skills. At seventeen, James was introduced to Carla Wallace of independent label Big Yellow Dog Music, who helped her with her songwriting and singing. One of her songs, "Gypsy Girl," written with two writers from Yellow Dog had been pitched to American Idol contestant and winner, Carrie Underwood. Underwood put it on hold for her record, but nonetheless the song made it into the hands of record executive David Massey, who brought her to the attention of L. A. Reid. She auditioned for Reid singing her song "My Cowboy," produced by John Rich. James soon inked a contract with Mercury Records. Even though she originally thought that she would be producing a country record, James was later told to record a pop album by record executives. She described herself in an interview as "a country girl at heart," having grown up listening to the genre and preferring it to pop. James co-wrote the majority of the songs on her debut album. The album is of a country pop fusion genre, revealing her taste for not only country music, but pop and soul music as well. The beat for "Blue Jeans" was a recording of James stepping, this talent stems from her time on the step team at her school. Initially, she faced opposition for her soul music-inspired vocal runs when trying to get signed in Nashville. She has listed Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Bobbie Gentry, Janis Joplin, Shelby Lynne, and Shania Twain as her musical influences. Initially, she also stated that she wanted a career similar to those of Gentry and Twain, who were signed to pop labels but found crossover success in both country and pop music. James was romantically linked to former NFL running back Reggie Bush in 2010. On June 22, 2013, Jessie married Eric Decker, an NFL wide receiver who at the time played for the Denver Broncos. In September 2013, it was announced that the couple was expecting their first child together. She gave birth to their daughter Vivianne Rose on March 18, 2014 in Colorado. On September 3, 2015, James gave birth to their second child, Eric Thomas Decker II. James announced on October 9, 2017 that they are expecting a third child, another boy, due in late in March 2018."
Source: Wikipedia.org | Monday, March 5, 2018 | Decker's Official Website on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
"Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942–14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Hawking was a fellow of the Royal Society, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "ALS" that gradually paralyzed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. He died on 14 March 2018 at the age of 76. Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford to Frank and Isobel Eileen Hawking Walker. Hawking's mother was born into a family of doctors in Glasgow, Scotland. His wealthy paternal great-grandfather, from Yorkshire, had over-extended himself buying farm land and then gone bankrupt in the great agricultural depression during the early 20th century. His paternal great-grandmother saved the family from financial ruin by opening a school in their home. Despite their families' financial constraints, both parents attended the University of Oxford, where Frank read medicine and Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Isobel worked as a secretary for a medical research institute, and Frank was a medical researcher. Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward Frank David. In 1950, when Hawking's father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research, the family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire. In St Albans, the family was considered highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric; meals were often spent with each person silently reading a book. They lived a frugal existence in a large, cluttered, and poorly maintained house and traveled in a converted London taxicab. During one of Hawking's father's frequent absences working in Africa, the rest of the family spent four months in Majorca visiting his mother's friend Beryl and her husband, the poet Robert Graves. Hawking began his schooling at the Byron House School in Highgate, London. He later blamed its "progressive methods" for his failure to learn to read while at the school. In St Albans, the eight-year-old Hawking attended St Albans High School for Girls for a few months. At that time, younger boys could attend one of the houses. Although known at school as "Einstein," Hawking was not initially successful academically. With time, he began to show considerable aptitude for scientific subjects and, inspired by Tahta, decided to read mathematics at university. Hawking's father advised him to study medicine, concerned that there were few jobs for mathematics graduates. He also wanted his son to attend University College, Oxford, his own alma mater. As it was not possible to read mathematics there at the time, Hawking decided to study physics and chemistry. Despite his headmaster's advice to wait until the next year, Hawking was awarded a scholarship after taking the examinations in March 1959. When Hawking was a graduate student at Cambridge, his relationship with Jane Wilde, a friend of his sister whom he had met shortly before his late 1963 diagnosis with motor neurone disease, continued to develop. The couple became engaged in October 1964. Hawking later said that the engagement gave him "something to live for" and the two were married on 14 July 1965. During their first years of marriage, Jane lived in London during the week as she completed her degree, and they travelled to the United States several times for conferences and physics-related visits. The couple had difficulty finding housing that was within Hawking's walking distance to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Jane began a PhD programme, and a son, Robert, was born in May 1967. A daughter, Lucy, was born in 1970. A third child, Timothy, was born in April 1979. Hawking rarely discussed his illness and physical challenges, even–in a precedent set during their courtship–with Jane. His disabilities meant that the responsibilities of home and family rested firmly on his wife's increasingly overwhelmed shoulders, leaving him more time to think about physics. Upon his appointment in 1974 to a year-long position at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, Jane proposed that a graduate or post-doctoral student live with them and help with his care. Hawking accepted, and Bernard Carr travelled with them as the first of many students who fulfilled this role. The family spent a generally happy and stimulating year in Pasadena. Hawking returned to Cambridge in 1975 to a new home and a new job, as reader. Don Page, with whom Hawking had begun a close friendship at Caltech, arrived to work as the live-in graduate student assistant. With Page's help and that of a secretary, Jane's responsibilities were reduced so she could return to her thesis and her new interest in singing. By December 1977, Jane had met organist Jonathan Hellyer Jones when singing in a church choir. Hellyer Jones became close to the Hawking family, and by the mid-1980s, he and Jane had developed romantic feelings for each other. According to Jane, her husband was accepting of the situation, stating "he would not object so long as I continued to love him." Jane and Hellyer Jones determined not to break up the family, and their relationship remained platonic for a long period. By the 1980s, Hawking's marriage had been strained for many years. Jane felt overwhelmed by the intrusion into their family life of the required nurses and assistants. The impact of his celebrity was challenging for colleagues and family members, while the prospect of living up to a worldwide fairytale image was daunting for the couple. Hawking's views of religion also contrasted with her strong Christian faith and resulted in tension. In the late 1980s, Hawking had grown close to one of his nurses, Elaine Mason, to the dismay of some colleagues, caregivers, and family members, who were disturbed by her strength of personality and protectiveness. Hawking told Jane that he was leaving her for Mason, and departed the family home in February 1990. After his divorce from Jane in 1995, Hawking married Mason in September, declaring, "It's wonderful, I have married the woman I love." In 2006, Hawking and Mason quietly divorced, and Hawking resumed closer relationships with Jane, his children, and his grandchildren. Reflecting this happier period, a revised version of Jane's book called Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen appeared in 2007, and was made into a film, The Theory of Everything, in 2014. Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "ALS" that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Hawking had experienced increasing clumsiness during his final year at Oxford, including a fall on some stairs and difficulties when rowing. The problems worsened, and his speech became slightly slurred and his family noticed the changes when he returned home for Christmas, and medical investigations were begun. The diagnosis of motor neurone disease came when Hawking was 21, in 1963. At the time, doctors gave him a life expectancy of two years. Hawking died in his home in Cambridge, England, early in the morning of 14 March 2018, at the age of 76. His family stated that he "died peacefully." He was eulogised by figures in science, entertainment, politics, and other areas. The Gonville and Caius College flag flew at half-mast and a book of condolences was signed by students and visitors. A tribute was made to Hawking in the closing speech by IPC President Andrew Parsons at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Hawking's final broadcast interview, about the detection of gravitational waves resulting from the collision of two neutron stars, occurred in October 2017. His final words to the world appear posthumously, in April 2018, in the form of a Smithsonian TV Channel documentary entitled, Leaving Earth: Or How to Colonize a Planet. Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death and died on the 139th anniversary of Einstein's birth. His private funeral took place at 2 pm on the afternoon of 31 March 2018, at Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge. Guests at the funeral included Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Following his cremation, his ashes will be interred in Westminster Abbey on 15 June 2018 during a Thanksgiving service. His ashes will be interred in the Abbey's nave, next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton and near that of Charles Darwin. He directed at least fifteen years before his death that the Bekenstein–Hawking entropy equation be his epitaph. Hawking was an atheist and believed that "the universe is governed by the laws of science." He stated: "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works." In 2008, Hawking stated, "The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws." In an interview published in The Guardian, Hawking regarded "the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail" and the concept of an afterlife as a "fairy story for people afraid of the dark.""
Source: Wikipedia.org | Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 12:00AM
"Thurgood Marshall, born Thoroughgood Marshall (July 2, 1908–January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice. Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908. He was the great-grandson of a slave who was born in the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo; his grandfather was also a slave. His original name was Thoroughgood, but he shortened it to Thurgood in second grade because he disliked spelling it. His father, William Marshall, who was a railroad porter, and his mother Norma, a teacher, instilled in him an appreciation for the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law. Marshall was married twice. He married Vivian "Buster" Burey in 1929. After her death in February 1955, Marshall married Cecilia Suyat in December of that year. They were married until he died in 1993, having two sons together."
Source: Wikipedia.org | Updated Thursday, October 1, 2020, 5:27 PM CDT
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