Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet. Ginsberg is best known for the poem "Howl" (1956), in which he celebrates fellow members of the Beat Generation and critiques what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in the United States.
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include awards-winning plays such as All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible.
Alan Jay Lerner (August 31, 1918 – June 14, 1986) was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film. He won three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, among other honors.
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an American film actor and star, noted for his athletic physique, distinct smile (which he called "The Grin") and, later, his willingness to play roles that went against his initial "tough guy" image. Initially dismissed as "Mr Muscles and Teeth", in the late 1950s Lancaster abandoned his "all-American" image and gradually came to be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation.
Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (born February 5, 1948), better known as Christopher Guest, is a British-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor and comedian. He is most widely known in Hollywood for having written, directed and starred in several "mockumentary" films that feature a repertory-like ensemble cast.
Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of that circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting.
Donald Allen Wollheim (1 October 1914 – 2 November 1990) was an American science fiction writer, editor, publisher and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell. A founding member of the Futurians, he was one of the leading influences on the development of science fiction and science fiction fandom in the 20th century United States.
Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire, Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement.
Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American entertainment writer and television host of Irish origin, best known as the presenter of a TV variety show called The Ed Sullivan Show that was broadcast from 1948 until 1971. Its 23-year run made The Ed Sullivan Show one of the longest-running variety shows in U.S. broadcast history.
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of which he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game shows You Bet Your Life and Tell it to Groucho.
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Naval officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and she developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works, including more than a dozen Broadway shows, in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin.
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet, whose work is often classified as part of the genre of dark romanticism. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and novella Billy Budd, the latter of which was published posthumously.
Henry Benjamin "Hank" Greenberg (January 1, 1911–September 4, 1986), nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank," was an American professional baseball player in the 1930s and 1940s. A first baseman primarily for the Detroit Tigers, Greenberg was one of the premier power hitters of his generation. He hit 58 home runs in 1938, equalling Jimmie Foxx's 1932 mark for the most home runs in one season by any player between 1927 (when Babe Ruth set a record of 60) and 1961 (when Roger Maris surpassed it).
Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American actor. He has been called a cultural icon. After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film.
Ira Gershwin (December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", and the opera Porgy and Bess.
Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. Alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is considered a pioneer of the Beat Generation, and a literary iconoclast. Kerouac is held as an important writer both for his spontaneous style and for his content which consistently dealt with such topics as jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. His writings have inspired several prominent writers, including Hunter S.
James Francis Cagney, Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American film actor. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of roles, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys. " In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time. For his first performing role, he danced dressed as a woman in the chorus line of the 1919 revue Every Sailor.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first African American Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to openly play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated African-Americans to the Negro leagues for six decades.
James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990), was one of the most widely known puppeteers in American history and was the creator of The Muppets. He was the leading source behind their long run in the television series Sesame Street and The Muppet Show and films such as The Muppet Movie (1979) and creator of advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.
John Michael Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 – July 6, 2002) was an American filmmaker. He is known for making The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Birdman of Alcatraz (also 1962), The Train, (1964), Seven Days in May (also 1964) and Ronin (1998).
John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779 and, from 1789 to 1795, the first Chief Justice of the United States. During and after the American Revolution, he was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion United States foreign policy and to secure favorable peace terms from the British and French.
Kurtis Walker, better known by his stage name Kurtis Blow, is an American rapper and music producer. He is one of the first commercially successful rappers and the first to sign with a major record label. "The Breaks", a single from his 1980 debut album, is the first certified gold rap song.