Today's Famous Person
January 24 - Dean Young - Cartoonist Today's Famous Person (born July 2, 1938) is the head writer of the popular comic strip Blondie, which he inherited from his father, who died in 1973. Since then, he has collaborated on Blondie with several artists Jim Raymond (1973–81), Mike Gersher (1981–84), Stan Drake (1984–97) and Denis Lebrun (1997–2005). Currently, Blondie is drawn by John Marshall, who works with his assistant Frank Cummings. He and his wife Charlotte enjoy spending time in Florida in activities such as sponsoring powerboat teams, spearfishing and golf. He has been a ten-time Florida Spearfishing Champion. In 1986, today's Famous Person talked about his gag situations, his approach to the characters of Blondie and Dagwood and satisfying his readers. He also explained how he could be in Vermont or Florida and collaborate with his artists at their studios using Exxon's Qwip fax machine. Brad Anderson
Brian Crane
Mort Walker
Dean Young












Today's Famous Person
January 25 - Anna Bissell - Vacuum Ckeaners Anna Bissell













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January 28 - Francisco Coronado - Explorer Francisco Coronado













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January 29 - Jojo Starbuck - Ice Skater Jojo Starbuck













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January 30 - Rondo Hatton - Actor Rondo Hatton













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January 31 - Beatrice Potter - Author Beatrice Potter













Today's Famous Person
February 1 - Clyde Tombaugh - Astronomer Today's Famous Person (February 4, 1906 – January 17, 1997) was an American astronomer. He discovered Pluto in 1930, the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt. At the time of discovery, Pluto was considered a planet but was later reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. He also discovered many asteroids. He also called for the serious scientific research of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.

He was born in Streator, Illinois, son of a farmer, and his wife. After his family moved to Burdett, Kansas in 1922, his plans for attending college were frustrated when a hailstorm ruined his family's farm crops. Starting in 1926, he built several telescopes with lenses and mirrors by himself. To better test his telescope mirrors, with just a pick and shovel, he dug a pit 24 feet long, 8 feet deep, and 7 feet wide. This provided a constant air temperature, free of air currents, and was also used by the family as a root cellar and emergency shelter. He sent drawings of Jupiter and Mars to the Lowell Observatory, at Flagstaff, Arizona which offered him a job. He worked there from 1929 to 1945.

Following his discovery of Pluto, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in astronomy from the University of Kansas in 1936 and 1938. During World War II he taught naval personnel navigation at Northern Arizona University. He worked at White Sands Missile Range in the early 1950s, and taught astronomy at New Mexico State University from 1955 until his retirement in 1973.

The asteroid 1604, discovered in 1931, is named after him. He discovered hundreds of asteroids, beginning with 2839 Annette in 1929, mostly as a by-product of his search for Pluto and his searches for other celestial objects. He named some of them after his wife, children and grandchildren.

Direct visual observation became rare in astronomy. By 1965 Robert S. Richardson called him one of two great living experienced visual observers as talented as Percival Lowell or Giovanni Schiaparelli. In 1980, he wrote a book Out of the Darkness: The Planet Pluto with Patrick Moore. In August 1992, JPL scientist Robert Staehle called him, requesting permission to visit his planet. "I told him he was welcome to it," he later remembered, "though he's got to go one long, cold trip." The call eventually led to the launch of the New Horizons space probe to Pluto in 2006. Following the passage on July 14, 2015 of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft the "Cold Heart of Pluto" was named [deleted] Regio.

Today's Famous Person died on January 17, 1997, when he was in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the age of 90. James W. Christy
David C. Jewitt
Phil Nicholson
Clyde Tombaugh












Today's Famous Person
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Today's Famous Person
February 5 - Edward R. Murrow - Newscaster Born on April 25, 1908, in Polecat Creek (near Greensboro), North Carolina, today's Famous Person grew up in Washington state, and went on to become one of the most highly respected television and radio journalists of the 20th century. He spent some of his summer breaks working on a surveying crew in the region.

At Washington State University, he studied political science, speech and international relations. There, he also changed his first name. After graduating from the university in 1930, he headed up the National Student Federation for two years. He changed jobs in 1930, going to work for the International Institute of Education. As an assistant director, he set up seminars and lectures here and abroad. The organization also helped bring Jewish academics from Germany to the United States.

In 1935, he was hired by CBS to serve as its director of talks. He moved to London, England, two years later to become the head of its operations in Europe. Nearly by accident, he began his career in journalism. Germany invaded Austria in 1938, and he charted a plane to Vienna, Austria, where he covered the event for CBS. He soon developed a network of correspondents to help him report on the growing conflict in Europe.

He became a fixture on American radio during World War II. During late 1939 to early 1940, he risked life and limb to report on the bombing of London. He transmitted his reports from a rooftop instead of an underground shelter and was able to make the blitz real for listeners across the pond. He also was the first to incorporate ambient sound into his broadcasts, allowing listeners to hear the news happening.

His coverage of the war made him an American media hero. After the war, however, he struggled to find his footing. He served as a vice president of CBS, running its public affairs office for a time. Joining forces with Fred Friendly, in the late 1940s, he began a series of recordings called Hear It Now, which would be later be adapted for an emerging medium called television.

His documentary news series, See It Now, debuted in 1951. The most famous installments of the show aired a few years later, and it best remembered for helping to stop the anticommunist persecutions led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1953, He told the story of a soldier who was removed from the military for being a security risk. He was deemed a risk because his father and his sister had leftist political leanings. After the story appeared on See It Now, the soldier was reinstated.

The following year, he made history by taking on McCarthy directly. He did what many had been afraid to do. McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee had created an environment of fear. Those who were considered to be communists often ended up being blacklisted and unable to find work. Much to the chagrin of his network, he showed McCarthy for the bully that he was using McCarthy's own words.

Around this time, the hard-hitting journalist showed a softer side with his interview show Person to Person. He met with such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe and talked with them in their homes. As the years progressed, he found himself more and more at odds with his bosses at CBS. After See It Now was canceled in 1958, he launched a short-lived news discussion show Small World. He then continued to make a few documentaries for the network's CBS Reports program.

In 1961, he left CBS to join the administration of President John F. Kennedy, where he served as director of the U.S. Information Agency until 1964. He was forced to resign because of ill health. A heavy smoker for much of his life, he discovered that he had lung cancer.

Today's Famous Person died a short time later in Pawling, a town in Dutchess County, New York, on April 27, 1965. Charles Kuralt
Roger Mudd
Edward R. Murrow
Eric Sevareid













Today's Famous Person
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Today's Famous Person
February 7 - Joseph McCarthy - Politician Today's Famous Person was born on November 14, 1908, near Appleton, Wisconsin. Excelling academically, he attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he was elected president of his law school class. A few years after earning his law degree in 1935, he ran for the judgeship in Wisconsin’s Tenth Judicial Circuit, a race he worked at relentlessly and won, becoming Wisconsin’s youngest circuit judge ever elected at the age of 30.

He took a leave of absence in July 1942 and entered WWII as a first lieutenant in the Marines. (He would later lie about being wounded in combat.) He was still on active duty when he embarked upon his next political campaign: for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. He was defeated but soon began planning for the 1946 Senate race.

In 1946, he won his race in an upset against Senator Robert M. La Follette Jr. and entered the U.S. Congress as the youngest member of the Senate. He leaned toward conservatism and generally flew under the radar, working on such issues as housing legislation and sugar rationing. All that would change in 1950, when it became suspected that communists had infiltrated the U.S. government in the wake of high-profile espionage trials.

Burdened by an uneventful political career and having an eye towards reelection, he claimed that 205 communists had infiltrated the U.S. State Department and soon after claimed to have the names of 57 State Department communists, despite having little knowledge of international espionage. As he released his charges, he called for a wide-reaching investigation that would lead to what was termed the Red Scare.

He was reelected in 1952 and became chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Government Operations, where he occupied the spotlight for two years with his anti-communist investigations and questioning of suspected officials. His charges led to testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, but he was unable to substantiate any of his claims against a single member of any government department.

Despite this setback, his popularity nevertheless continued to rise, as his claims had struck a nerve with an American public tired of the Korean War and concerned with communist activity in China and Eastern Europe. Undaunted by his testimonial shortcomings, he ratcheted up the rhetoric, going on a colorful anticommunist “crusade” through which he cast himself as an unrelenting patriot and protector of the American ideal. On the other side of the argument, his detractors claimed he was on a witch hunt and used his power to trample civil liberties and greatly damage the careers of leftists, intellectuals and artists. His aggressive tactics, in the end, lead to the persecution and loss of livelihood of countless innocent people.

Around the same time as he implemented his charges around communist infiltration, the senator would also turn his sights to the gay and lesbian communities, alleging that LGBT governmental employees could be blackmailed by enemy agents over their sexuality and thereby betray national secrets. In 1950, a special report drawn up by the senator's Republican allies, the Senate minority at the time, cited gay and lesbian workers as a potential moral threat to the workings of the government.

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower would sign Executive Order 10450, which sanctioned the administrative policy of tracking down gay-lesbian governmental employees and having them fired due to the labeling of "sexual perversion" as an undesirable trait for employment. Scores of employees were thus fired or resigned out of fear of persecution, with various surveillance measures instituted to try and track down citizens' intimate habits. Frank Kameny, PhD, a gay mapping official and astronomer who was fired from his job, would challenge the order, issue a groundbreaking 1961 legal brief to the Supreme Court (which would deny his petition) and years later organize a protest in front of the White House. Decades passed before the governmental agency ban on LGBT employees was officially lifted by President Bill Clinton.

Our Famous Person's charges of communism and anti-American activity affected more and more powerful people, including President Eisenhower, until 1954 when a nationally televised, 36-day hearing illustrated clearly to the nation that he was overstepping his authority and any ideas of common sense. (The hearings also famously prompted special counsel for the Army Joseph Nye Welch to ask him, “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”) Before the hearings, public opinion had also turned against him due to a discrediting feature on Edward R. Murrow's program See It Now.

He was eventually stripped of his chairmanship and condemned on the Senate floor (December 2, 1954) for conduct “contrary to Senate traditions.” That turned out to be the final nail in the coffin of the era, and he fell from the public eye though he continued to serve in Congress. A deeply troubling movement helmed by a demagogue inspired the 1953 Arthur Miller play The Crucible, which looked at the Salem Witch Hunt Trials of the 17th century to draw parallels to his actions.

Today's Famous Person was historically a heavy drinker and became mired in alcoholism after his fall from public power. He would eventually suffer from liver failure and on May 2, 1957, died of acute hepatitis at the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside Washington, DC. Joseph P. Kennedy
Joseph Lieberman
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Sestak













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February 11 - Francis Houdina - Inventor Francis Houdina













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February 13 - Charles Goulden - Mustard Charles Goulden













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February 15 - J. M. Barrie - Author J. M. Barrie













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February 19 - Giacomo Casanova - Adventurer Giacomo Casanova













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February 21 - Thomas Ince - Producer Thomas Ince













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February 25 - Joseph Kekuku - Inventor Joseph Kekuku













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February 27 - Simon Rodia - Artist Simon Rodia













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