Five People Born on March 2

lou-reedToday is March 2, 2010 and the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 303 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1025 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1953, the Academy Awards were first broadcast on NBC.  Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

 

number1Dr. Seuss (1904-1991)
Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, in Springfield, Massachusetts, he was a writer and illustrator.  His middle name, Seuss, came from his mother’s maiden name.  Geisel studied at Dartmouth College and did doctoral work at the University of Oxford. He began working in 1927 as a freelance cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. Under his pseudonym, Dr. Seuss, Geisel began creating immensely popular children’s books peopled with outlandish invented creatures and brimming with nonsense words. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), his first Dr. Seuss book, was followed by such huge successes as Horton Hatches the Egg (1940), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), Yertle the Turtle (1958), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). Such perennial best-sellers, and his posthumous Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1993), made him the best-selling children’s author in the world.  What is often forgotten about Geisel is that during World War Two, he was a political cartoonist and illustrator who made war posters and was a favorite of Franklin D. Roosevelt for his anti-Republican jabs and strikes at isolationists, such as Charles Lindbergh.   After the war, he turned to children’s books after reading an article in Life Magazine on illiteracy among children.  According to William Spaulding, a text editor with Houghton Mifflin, he challenged Geisel with a list of 348 words that were important to first graders.  Geisel shortened the list to 250 words and in nine months, wrote The Cat in the Hat, using only 236 of the words on the list.  Even though he is renowned as a children’s writer, Geisel never had any children.  When asked, he would reply “You have ‘em, I’ll entertain them!”   He died in 1991 at the age of 81 after being ill for several years.

 

number2Desi Arnaz (1917-1986)
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz III was a singer and actor born in Santiago, Cuba.  His family fled to the United States when Cuba was going through its revolution in 1933, settling in Miami.  Arnaz was a talented musician who played with the likes of Xavier Cugat.  He started his own group in Miami and introduced the Conga Line to mainstream U.S. dancehalls.  It was such a hit, both locally and nationally, that Arnaz was offered a role in the 1939 Broadway musical Too Many Girls and later starred in Hollywood’s film version. It was there that he met his future wife, Lucille Ball. They were married in 1940.  Arnaz made three more films before being inducted into the Army during WWII. During his two years in the service, he was responsible for entertaining the troops. After being discharged, he formed a new orchestra, recording several hits during the late 1940s, and served as orchestra leader on Bob Hope’s radio show from 1946 to 1947.  In 1949, Arnaz turned his efforts to developing the hit television series I Love Lucy, which ran for six years on CBS and became the most successful television program in history.  Desi’s marriage to Lucille Ball ended in 1960. He retired from show business and eventually moved to Baja California with his second wife, Edith. He died in 1986 at the age of 69. 

 

number3Daniel Craig (Born 1968)
Actor, born in Chester, England, Craig started his acting career at the age of 16 when he joined the National Youth Theater in London.  He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before appearing in such Hollywood films as  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Road to Perdition (2002), Sylvia (2003) and Munich (2005).  Despite these early credits, Craig is best known as the sixth actor selected to portray James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan.  Craig has signed on to make three films as 007, making his debut as the secret agent in 2006’s Casino Royale.

 

number4Jon Bon Jovi (Born 1962)
One of New Jersey’s pride, this musician and actor was born John Francis Bongiovi Jr.  Idolizing local rising stars such as Bruce Springsteen and the Asbury Jukes, Jon was playing in clubs by the time he was 16. He met keyboardist David Bryan in high school, and the two formed a ten-piece rhythm and blues band called Atlantic City Expressway. Jon also performed with bands called The Rest, The Lechers and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.  In 1980, Jon recorded his first single, Runaway, at his cousin’s studio, with back-up by studio musicians. A local radio station included the song on a compilation tape, and it began to get frequent airplay. The success of Runaway got Jon noticed, and he realized that he’d need more than session players if he wanted to capitalize on his success.  Jon gave David a call, who in turn tapped Alec John Such, Tico Torres and guitarist Richie Samborra. During a show in New York in 1983, the band caught the attention of record executive Derek Shulman, who signed them to PolyGram. It was Shulman who anglicized John Bongiovi’s name to Bon Jovi.    Tours opening for the Scorpions, Kiss and Judas Priest helped Bon Jovi build up a considerable fan base that appreciated the group’s rugged, soulful collection of songs about how tough it was to be a teenager.  The band went into temporary retirement in 1989. Jon concentrated on his solo career, married karate champion Dorothea Hurley and appeared in his first movie, Young Guns II, for which he won he won a Golden Globe for Best Song, Blaze of Glory.  In the ’90s, Jon stretched his talents by nurturing an acting career with starring roles in Moonlight and Valentino and The Leading Man. He also appeared in a handful of independent films, incluidng Pay It Forward and U-571. On television, he was a regular guest star on Ally McBeal until the series finale in 2002. Bon Jovi also made headlines in 2004 when he and Sambora became co-founders and owners of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul. The following year, he and the band donated $1,000,000 to Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. 

 

number5Lou Reed (Born 1942)
Lewis Alan Reed is a US rock singer and songwriter who led the immensely influential, New York based band, the Velvet Underground.  He emerged as an unconventional rock star in his own right, basing his songs on the tales of miscreants and misfits in America’s underground.  Many of his songs embrace his own struggles with alcohol and drug abuse – mainly heroin.  Extremely quirky in his music, Reed often makes use of sado-masochism in his songs, such as Venus in Furs and Berlin.  At the onset of the 1980s, Reed recruited a couple of Velvet Underground band members, including guitarist Robert Quine and bassist Fernando Saunders, and re-immersed himself in raw guitar rock on The Blue Mask (1982), which addressed his fears, ghosts, and joys with riveting frankness. No longer under the influence of his addictions, Reed adopted a more serious, if less daring, tone on his recordings, peaking with three releases that were less concept albums than song cycles: New York (1989), about the spiritual death of his hometown; Songs for Drella (1990), an elegy for his 1960s mentor, Pop art conceptualist Andy Warhol; and Magic and Loss (1991), inspired by the deaths of two friends.  In 2000–01 Reed collaborated with director Robert Wilson to bring to the stage POEtry, a deconstruction of the work of Edgar Allen Poe.  It was followed by Animal Serenade (2004), an excellent live recording that echoed Reed’s landmark 1974 concert album Rock’n’ Roll Animal. In 2006 Reed celebrated New York City in a book, Lou Reed’s New York, which collected his photography. 

 

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