Five People Born on January 16
Today is January 16, 2010 and the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 349 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1070 days till the end of the current cycle. On this date in 1909, Ernest Shackleton’s party found the magnetic South Pole. Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:
Dian Fossey (1932-1985)
Dian was a naturalist born in San Francisco. She enriched our understanding of gorillas through her intense study of these animals from the 1960s to 1980s. She was interested in animals from childhood, but changed college courses from pre-veterinary studies to occupational therapy. In 1963, Fossey met paleontologists Mary and Louis Leakey, who encouraged her dream to live and work with mountain gorillas. By 1966, she moved to the People’s Republic of Congo and lived among the mountain gorillas until civil war forced her to escape to Rwanda. In 1983, her book, Gorillas in the Mist, was published and became a best seller. A film with the same name was also released in 1988 starring Sigourney Weaver as Fossey. Considered the world's leading authority on the physiology and behavior of mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey fought hard to protect these "gentle giants" from environmental and human hazards. She saw these animals as dignified, highly social creatures with individual personalities and strong family relationships. Her active conservationist stand to save these animals from game wardens, zoo poachers, and government officials who wanted to convert gorilla habitats to farmland caused her to fight for the gorillas not only via the media, but also by destroying poachers' dogs and traps. On December 26, 1985, Fossey was found hacked to death, presumably by poachers, in her Rwandan forest camp. No assailant has ever been found or prosecuted in her murder.
Dizzy Dean (1911-1974)
U.S. baseball pitcher born Jay Hanna Dean, he joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932, and in five seasons with them led the National League four times in complete games and four times in strikeouts. In 1937 he teamed with his brother Paul (nicknamed “Daffy”) to pitch the Cardinals to a World Series victory; he won 30 games and lost 7 that year and remains the last 30-game winner in the National League. He developed arm trouble the same year and never fully regained his form. He ended his career with the Chicago Cubs after being traded for the 1938 season. He was known for his colourful personality, which, after his retirement at age 30, served him well as a broadcaster.
Ethel Merman (1908-1984)
Actress and singer, born in Astoria, New York, USA. A gutsy, powerful musical comedy performer, she is remembered for her show stopping performances in Annie Get Your Gun (1946) and Call Me Madam (1950). Her song, There’s No Business Like Show Business was a trademark of her career.
Ronnie Milsap (Born 1944)
Country singer. Born in the Appalachian town of Robbinsville, North Carolina. Blind since birth, Milsap spent his early childhood in an impoverished farming community. He chose to pursue a professional career in music. And in 1964, at the age of 20, Milsap released his first single, "Total Disaster." The following year, he relocated to Memphis, where he fronted his own rhythm and blues band. In 1970, they recorded the pop single "Loving You is a Natural Thing." The following year, Milsap released his eponymous debut album for the Warner Bros. record label. Milsap moved to the country music epicenter of Nashville, Tennessee and was signed with RCA Victor. In 1990, Milsap published an autobiography, Almost Like a Song, which chronicled his ascent from poverty-stricken beginnings to country music superstar. He collaborated with country rock veterans Alabama to record the 1997 holiday album Christmas in Dixie. Most recently, Milsap released the album Wish You Were Here (2000). To date, Milsap boasts 40 No.1 country hits, six Grammy Awards, and eight Country Music Association Awards.
William Kennedy (Born 1928)
U.S. novelist and journalist. He worked as a journalist in New York and Puerto Rico before returning in 1963 to his native Albany, N.Y., which he considered the source of his literary inspiration. His novels, which are set in Albany and contain elements of local history and the supernatural, include The Ink Truck (1969), Legs (1975), Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1978), and Ironweed (1983, Pulitzer Prize; film, 1987).