Saturday, January 02, 2016

Famous People Born In 1916 - Three Still Alive

I'm going to do this one a little differently this year.  Rather than wait until it is all 'done' I thought I'd build it slowly and let you see it grow to completion.  I think I have everyone up.  There are other sites that list people born in 1916.  For instance this biography website.  Some seem like they have everyone born that year.  Other sites have fewer.  I used several loose criteria:
  • Had I heard of them?
  • Were they significant in the world or their culture when they lived?
  • Did they make an important contribution to humanity?  
  • What were my feelings about them and did I have any kind of connection to them?

Most I've heard of.  Most had some significant role to play.  Adriana Caselotti was the voice of Snow White in the Disney movie and Ruth Handler had a significant role in creating Barbie - for better or worse, a major influence in 20th Century United States.  Iva Tigori was better known as Tokyo Rose.   I figure the Nobel Prize winners, though unknown to most of us, made an important contribution.  And I've read Herbert Simon and C. Wright Mills' work.    I've stopped worrying about whether I cover everyone I should.  It's my blog, so it's my choice.

 My goal is to get people's information up at least by their birthdays.  So I've put up Maxene Andrews - one of the Andrews Sisters - up today because her birthday is January 3, making her the oldest of this year's cohorts.

I'm also trying out grouping them by their professions.  I may or may not have a lot about any individual.  With Maxene Andrews, I've just got a link to her obituary and a video that probably tells essentials for people who don't know her.

The only other people I've got done are Ruth Handler and  John Burnside.  I didn't know who they were and so when I looked them up, I took some notes, and it seemed the best place to keep the notes was in the post.

Still Alive
There are three on the list who are still alive: Actors Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas, and author Beverly Cleary.   Beverly turns 100 on April 12, Olivia on July 1, 2016, and Kirk has almost a year left until December 9, 2016

Two people on the list - Betty Grable and Harry James - were married to each other for a time.

So, enjoy, learn some history, and watch this post evolve in the next few months.


Harry James March 15, 1916 -July 5, 1983 67
Dinah Shore Feb 29, 1916 - Feb 24, 1994 78
A popular singer of the mid 20th century, a bit
too sweet for me. Pearl Bailey helps with this rendition
of Mack the Knife.

Yehudi Menuhin April 22 - March 12, 1999 82
Maxene Andrews
Jan 3, 1916 - Oct 21, 1995 79

MS Subbulakshmi Sept. 16 - Dec 11, 2004 88

from Wikipedia


Francis Crick June 8 - July 28, 2004 88 Nobel Prize

Herbert Simon June 15 - Feb 9, 2001 84 Nobel Prize
Alexander Prokhorov July 11, - Jan 8 2002 85 Nobel Prize
Edward C. Banfield Nov 19 - Sept. 30, 1999 82
C. Wright Mills August 28, 1916 – March 20, 1962
Shelby Foote Nov 17 - June 27 2005 88 Historian

Aldo Moro Sept. 23 - May 9, 1978 61
Edward Heath July 9 - July 17 2005 89
François Mitterrand Oct 26-Jan 8 1996 79
Gough Whitlam July 11 - Oct. 21, 2014 98
Harold Wilson March 11- May 23, 1995 79
Eugene McCarthy March 29 - Dec 10, 2006

Gregory Peck April 5, 1916 - June 12, 2003 87

Jackie Gleason Feb 28, 1916 - June 24, 1987 71
"His penchant for fine food, generously poured scotch and beautiful women; his ability to dominate a room, a stage or the screen; his taste for custom-made suits, monogrammed shirts and the ubiquitous red carnation; his appetite for the biggest, the best and just a dollar more than the other guy made, all became a part of the Gleason legend which began on Brooklyn’s Herkimer Street in 1916."(from his website.)

 Glenn Ford May 1- Aug 30, 2006 90
Dorothy McGuire June 14 - Sept 14, 2001 85
Betty Grable - Dec, 18, 1916 - July 2, 1973  56
Olivia deHaviland July 1, 1916 (born in Tokyo) Still Alive at  99
Sterling Hayden March 26 - May 23 1996 80
Kirk Douglas   Dec. 9, 1916 - Still Alive at 99
Adriana Caselotti May 6 - Jan 19, 1997 80


Ferruccio Lamborghini April 28, 1916- Feb 20, 1993 76

Ruth Handler Nov 4, 1916 - April 27, 2002 85
Image from Mascjecashwell

From Barbiemedia:
"Ruth and Elliot Handler founded Mattel Creations in 1945, and 14 years later, Ruth Handler gave the world the Barbie doll.  When asked her relationship to Barbie, Ruth simply replied, "I'm Barbie's mom." The inspiration for Barbie came as Ruth watched her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls.  Barbara and her friends used them to play adult or teenage make-believe, imagining roles as college students, cheerleaders and adults with careers.  Ruth immediately recognized that experimenting with the future from a safe distance through pretend play was an important part of growing up.  She also noticed a product void and was determined to fill that niche with a three-dimensional fashion doll.
Several years and many designs later, Mattel introduced Barbie, the Teen-Age Fashion Model, to skeptical toy buyers at the annual Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959.  Never before had they seen a doll so completely unlike the baby and toddler dolls popular at the time."
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the influence of Barbie on girls.

Walter Cronkite Nov. 4, 1916 - July 17, 2009 92
Daniel Schorr Aug 31 - July 23, 2010 93


Irving Wallace March 19 0 June 20 1980 74
Harold Robbins May 21 - October 14, 1997 81

Roald Dahl Sept 13, 1916- Nov 23, 1990 74

Beverly Cleary April 12, 1916 - Still Alive at 99

Iva Toguri July 4, 1916 - Sept 26, 2006 90


From LA Times:
John Burnside November 2, 1916 – September 14, 2008

From LA Times:
"A onetime staff scientist at Lockheed, Burnside had an interest in optical engineering that led to his inventing the teleidoscope, a variation on the kaleidoscope that works without the use of colored glass chips and instead uses a lens to transform whatever is in front of it into a colorful design. In 1958, he launched California Kalidoscopes, which became a successful Los Angeles design and manufacturing plant. In the 1970s, Burnside created the Symetricon, a large mechanical kaleidoscopic device that projects colorful patterns; it was used in a number of movies, including the 1976 science fiction film 'Logan's Run.'"

From The Wild Hunt:
"After meeting in the mid-sixties, Burnside and Hay blazed a trail for the still nascent Gay rights movement. They were protesting the exclusion of Gays from the military back in 1966, and appeared on television together two years before the Stonewall riots. Unlike some Gay rights advocates, Burnside was not an assimilationist, preferring that Gays develop their own unique culture and spirituality. This impulse lead to the creation of the Radical Faerie movement in 1979."

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