Five People Born On February 16

kim-jong-ilToday is February 16, 2010 and the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 318 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1039 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1923, Howard Carter opens up King Tut’s tomb.   Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:




number1John McEnroe (Born 1959)
German-born tennis star  and commercial actor, McEnroe was one of the highest winning and prolific tennis athletes in the history of the sport.  Throughout his career, McEnroe won 17 Grand Slam titles, 77 career single titles, and 77 doubles titles.  He has had many strong rivalries with tennis pros such as: Bjȍrn Borg, Jimmy Connors, and Ivan Lendl.  In addition to the titles that he earned, McEnroe was known for his on-court temperamental behavior and yelling at the line referees, which often landed him in trouble.  His catchphrase was “You can not be serious!” which he yelled at a judge in the 1981 Wimbledon Championship.  He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.  Today, McEnroe can be seen in television commercials, such as Enterprise Rent-a-Car.



number2Edgar Bergen (1903-1978)
U.S. comedian and ventriloquist. As a boy he developed the skill in ventriloquism that he later used to earn his tuition at Northwestern University. After stints in vaudeville and nightclubs, he took his act to radio, where the Edgar Bergen–Charlie McCarthy Show (with his caustic and irrepressible dummy Charlie McCarthy) was one of the most popular programs for 20 years (1937–57). His daughter, Candice (b. 1946), was a successful screen and television actress. 



number3Sonny Bono (1935-1998)
Musician, politician who was born in Los Angeles, California.  Bono began his music career as a songwriter and singer for Johnny Otis’s Dig Records label in the early 1960s. In 1964, he recorded his first song with then-girlfriend Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian), which was soon followed by a number of hits including, “I Got You Babe.” Sonny and Cher performed in nightclubs and their act, which combined singing with comedy and featured Sonny as the straight man to Cher’s light-hearted jibes, was picked up by CBS in 1971, where it remained a top-rated show until it’s run ended in1974. Bono’s career then waned, but he stepped back into the public eye when he became mayor of Palm Springs, California in 1988. In 1994, Bono was elected to Congress as a Representative from California’s 44thCongressional District. When he died in a skiing accident in 1998, his congressional seat was filled by his widow, Mary Whitaker Bono.



number4LeVar Burton (Born 1957)
Born Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. in Landstuhl, West Germany.  Two years into his education at U of C, Burton auditioned for a role in writer Alex Haley’s television show, Roots, which told the story of seven generations of Haley’s family. Burton’s life was forever changed when he was chosen for the lead role as slave Kunta Kinte. When Roots hit the TV airwaves in 1977, it broke all viewing records, and Burton became a poster boy for the discussion of race relations.  In addition to his performance in Roots, Burton appeared in several TV movies, including the Emmy-nominated Dummy (1979) and Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980). But his big reinvention as an actor would come in 1983, when he became the host of the Public Broadcasting System’s Reading Rainbow, a show aimed at teaching young children to read. The series won five Emmys in its more than 20 years on the air, and Burton—who eventually became a contributing producer to the show in 1987—earned high marks from critics for his warm delivery. In 2005, he earned an N.A.A.C.P. award for his contributions to the show.  Already a household name to thousands of grade-school children, Burton became a household name for science fiction fans in 1987 as a co-star on Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The Next Generation. Playing the blind chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander Geordi LeForge. In 1993, he got his chance to direct an episode of the show, in which he cast Dr. Mae Jemison, the first real-life African-American female astronaut, as a guest star.  Since the cancelation of Star Trek in 1994, Burton has been directing film and television projects



number5Kim Jong Il (Born 1941)
Born February 16, 1941, though official accounts place birth a year later. Some mystery surrounds when and where Kim Jong Il was born. Official North Korean biographies state that his birth occurred on February 16, 1942, in a secret camp on Mount Paekdu along the Chinese border, in Samjiyon County, Ryanggang Province, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Other reports indicate he was born a year later in Vyatskoye in the former Soviet Union.  He succeeded his father, Kim Il-sung, as head of North Korea in 1994 and commands the fourth largest standing army in the world.  North Koreans officially refer to him as ”Dear Leader” or “Great Leader” .  Although, officially part of a triumvirate,  Jong Il is the military strength behind North Korea and actually controls all power in the country.  While he does not have to run for political office in the country, he is unanimously elected to the People’s Supreme Assembly every five years.  While his country has signed treaties to dismantle all nuclear testing facilities, they have claimed to have tested nuclear weapons in 2002, prompting President George W. Bush to consider North Korea one of the “Axis of Evil”.   Kim Jong-Il has suffered from health problems recently and North Korea has kept his exact condition secret.