Five People Born on April 10

Today is April 10, 2010 and the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 265 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 986 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1858, Big Ben, the symbol of England was placed in the Palace at Winchester.  Here are five people born on this day.

Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911)
Have you ever heard of Newspaper people wanting to win the Pulitzer Prize?  If so, you can thank Hungarian-born U.S. newspaper editor and publisher. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1864 to serve in the American Civil War. After the war he became a reporter and then proprietor at German-language newspapers in St. Louis and entered Missouri politics. In 1878 he merged the St. Louis Dispatch (founded 1864) and the Post (founded 1875) into the Post-Dispatch, which soon became the city’s dominant evening newspaper. Shifting his interests to New York City, he purchased the World (1883) and founded the Evening World (1887). He helped establish the pattern of the modern newspaper by combining exposés of political corruption and crusading investigative reporting with publicity stunts, self-advertising, and sensationalism. In his will he endowed the Columbia University School of Journalism and established the Pulitzer Prizes.

Max von Sydow (Born 1929)
This Swedish stage and screen actor perhaps best known for his dour, brooding characterizations in films of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, was born Carl Adolf von Sydow in Lund, Sweden.  Interested in the theatre from childhood, Sydow studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre School in Stockholm (1948–51). He established his reputation as one of Sweden’s most promising young actors at the Norrköping-Linköping Municipal Theatre (1951–53). He then gained popularity at the Municipal Theatre in Helsingborg (1953–55), the Municipal Theatre of Malmö (1955–60), and the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm (1960–62), where he appeared in productions as varied as William Shakespeare’s King John and Arthur Miller’s After the Fall.Sydow made his film debut in a minor part in 1949. His first Bergman film was the allegory Det sjunde inseglet (1957; The Seventh Seal), in which he portrays a gaunt knight who plays a game of chess with Death. Sydow’s aloof presence and the spiritual complexity of the characters he portrays contribute significantly to the gloomy atmosphere and ambiguity characteristic of Bergman’s films. He also appeared in other Bergman films, including Ansiktet (1958; British title, The Face; American title, The Magician), Jungfrukällan (1960; The Virgin Spring), Sasom i en spegel (1961; Through a Glass Darkly), Nattvardsgästerna (1963; Winter Light), Skammen (1968; Shame), and En passion (1969; The Passion of Anna).During the height of his career in Sweden, Sydow also appeared in a number of American films, portraying Christ in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and a fanatical missionary in Hawaii (1966). His later English-language films include The Exorcist (1973), Voyage of the Damned (1976), and Three Days of the Condor (1976). In 1982 he appeared in the Swedish film Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd (The Flight of the Eagle).Von Sydow’s career took a downturn in the 1980s when he appeared mostly in insignificant character roles. He had memorable moments in films such as Never Say Never Again (1983), Dreamscape (1984), and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), but not until 1988 did he revive his career with an Oscar-nominated performance in Pelle erovraren (Pelle the Conqueror). After that he turned in fine performances in numerous international films, including the American productions Awakenings (1990), A Kiss Before Dying (1991), What Dreams May Come (1998), and Snow Falling on Cedars (1999).

Steven Seagal (Born 1951)
In the 1980s and 90s, this actor, writer, musician, producer, and martial artist seemed to have it all.  A mysterious past, a booming movie career, and married to a supermodel. Born in Lansing, Michigan, he is the son of a nurse and a teacher.  Seagal attended Orange Coast College and Fullerton College in California. He traveled to Japan at the age of 17 where he taught English, studied Zen and perfected his martial arts, eventually earning black belts in aikido, karate, judo, and kendo.  Seagal spent 15 years in Asia, studying Eastern philosophy and occasionally choreographing martial arts fight scenes in movies. When he returned to the U.S., he opened a martial arts academy and became a bodyguard for such celebrities as Kelly LeBrock and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. The former eventually became Seagal’s wife and the latter helped him make films for Warner Bros.  His first film, 1988’s Above the Law was well received among action buffs, leading to 1989’s Hard to Kill and 1992’s Under Siege, his most popular film to date. In 1994, his directorial debut, On Deadly Ground, had disappointing results. He followed with two more action vehicles, 1996’s Executive Decision and 1998’s The Patriot.  Seagal’s mysterious past has recently come under media scrutiny. Though he remains guarded, he has occasionally hinted about involvement with the CIA. Further speculation has surrounded the work he did on behalf of Tibetan freedom fighters, and it was not until 1997 that he mentioned the large amounts of money he claimed to have donated to various religious organizations. Seagal has presented himself as a serious student of Buddhism who spends many hours meditating, studying, and practicing to become a healer.

John Madden (Born 1936)
This guy is one of my favorite football announcers of all time.  He was also a football coach and analyst of the game – especially if you are Brett Farve, whom Madden seems to admire.  This former NFL Raiders coach and Fox broadcaster began his career in football as a player for California Polytechnic College at San Luis Obispo in 1957. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the 1958 NFL draft, but when a knee injury in his rookie season ended his career, he stayed at Cal Poly to earn both a bachelor’s in 1959 and a master’s in 1961.  Upon graduation, Madden coached at Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, California, for four years. In 1964, he became defensive coordinator at San Diego State, which eventually lead to his memorable career with the Oakland Raiders. First joining Oakland in 1967 as a linebacker coach, he was promoted to head coach in 1969 at age 33, the youngest head coach in the American Football League. Before retiring in 1979, Madden had lead the team to seven AFC Western Division titles and a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.  In 1980, Madden started his broadcasting career at CBS. His ability to explain football’s finer points combined with an affable sense of humor eventually made him a legend in the field, particularly for his work on broadcasts of National Football League games. He has won 13 Emmy awards for outstanding sports personality/analyst and the American Sportscasters Association named him Sports Personality of the Year in 1985 and 1992. In 1994, he signed a four-year, $32 million deal with Fox (a richer contract than any NFL player at the time) and in 2002 joined Al Michaels for ABC’s Monday Night Football.  Madden is the author of several best-selling books, including Hey Wait a Minute, I Wrote a Book, All Madden and the cookbook John Madden’s Ultimate Tailgating. He lives in Pleasanton, California, with his wife, Virginia, and their two sons.

Omar Sharif (Born 1932)
Film actor, born in Alexandria, N Egypt was originally named, Michael Shalhouz. He made his Egyptian film debut in 1953, becoming a top male star in the country, before attracting international attention for his role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Later films include Doctor Zhivago (1965, Golden Globe), Funny Girl (1968), The Tamarind Seed (1974), Return to Eden (1982), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), and One Night With the King (2005). He also appeared in the 1996 television production of Gulliver’s Travels. He has published an autobiography, The Eternal Male (1977), and is also renowned as a bridge player. In 2003, he received the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award for his achievement in film.