Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist and is cited by Graham Thompson as the first painter of African descent to become an international art star. He started as a graffiti artist in New York City, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American novelist who wrote works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973). He was known for his humanist beliefs as well as being honorary president of the American Humanist Association. He is widely considered one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century.
Tennessee Williams (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) born Thomas Lanier Williams, was an American playwright who received many of the top theatrical awards for his works of drama. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee", the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955.
Thomas Midgley, Jr. (May 18, 1889 – November 2, 1944), was an American mechanical engineer turned chemist. He developed both the tetra-ethyl lead (TEL) additive to gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and held over a hundred patents. While lauded at the time for his discoveries, today his legacy is seen as far more mixed considering the serious negative environmental impacts of these innovations.
Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known as the "father of American music," was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century. His songs, such as "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer", remain popular over 150 years after their composition.
Captain Matthew Webb (19 January 1848–24 July 1883) was the first person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids. On 25 August 1875 he swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours.
Sam Patch (1807 – November 13, 1829), known as "The Yankee Leaper", became the first famous American daredevil after successfully jumping from a raised platform into the Niagara River near the base of Niagara Falls in 1829.
Francis Russell O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Barbara Guest and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of the New York School of poetry.
Marcel Dadi (20 August 1951 – 17 July 1996) was a Tunisia-born Jewish French guitarist known for his finger-picking style which faithfully recreated the instrumental styles of American guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. He became a personal friend of country star Chet Atkins. Born in Sousse, Dadi released several LPs and some instructional videos before his early death.
Calvert Vaux (December 20, 1824 – November 19, 1895), was an architect and landscape designer. He is best remembered as the co-designer, of New York's Central Park. Little is known about Vaux's childhood and upbringing. He was born in London in 1824, and his father was a doctor. Due to this social standing, his father was able to provide a comfortable income for his family. Vaux (rhymes with hawks) attended a private primary school until the age of nine.
Anita Bitri-Prapaniku (c. 1968 - October 19, 2004) was a pop singer and violinist from Albania. She was found dead in her Staten Island home along with her 8-year-old daughter Sibora Nini and 66-year-old mother Azbije. The three died due to an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning after boiler vents in the basement were stuffed with plastic bags to keep out concrete from construction work. Her husband, Luan Prapaniku, had recently died from cancer.
Eddie August Henry Schneider (October 20, 1911 – December 23, 1940) set three transcontinental airspeed records for pilots under the age of twenty-one in 1930. His plane was a Cessna Model AW with a Warner-Scarab engine, one of only 48 built, that he called "The Kangaroo". He set the east-to-west, then the west-to-east, and the combined round trip record. He was the youngest certificated pilot in the United States, and the youngest certified airplane mechanic.
Susan Biddle Ross was a fictional character on the situation comedy Seinfeld and was played by actress Heidi Swedberg. Ross, who was engaged to character George Costanza, died after licking toxins while sealing cheap wedding invitation envelopes chosen by Costanza.
Patrick Moses Dorismond (1974-2000) was a security guard and father of two children who was killed by an undercover New York Police Department officer during the early morning of March 16, 2000. The undercover police officer approached Dorismond and his friend as they were standing outside the "Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge" and asked him where he and his partners could purchase marijuana. One of the officers, Anthony Vasquez, shot Patrick Dorismond in the chest during a scuffle.
Ada Clare (July 1834 in Charleston, South Carolina – March 4, 1874), born Jane McElhenney, was an American actress, writer, and feminist. She grew up under the care of her maternal grandfather as part of an aristocratic Southern family, but started her career as a writer around age 18, writing under the pseudonyms Clare and later Ada Clare.
Raeburn van Buren (January 12, 1891-December 29, 1987) was an American magazine and comic strip illustrator best known for his work on the syndicated Abbie an' Slats. Born in Pueblo, Colorado, van Buren, a distant relative of US President Martin van Buren, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. At the Kansas City Star, he learned cartooning from comic strip artist Harry Wood. In 1913, van Buren moved to New York, where he illustrated for Puck, Life and The Saturday Evening Post.
Cory Fulton Lidle (March 22, 1972 – October 11, 2006) was an American right-handed baseball pitcher who spent nine seasons in the major leagues with seven different teams. He has a twin brother, Kevin Lidle, who was a catcher for several minor league teams. He is a descendant of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, as reflected in his middle name. Lidle was killed when the small aircraft he owned crashed into a residential building in New York City.
Robert "Bobby" Harron (April 12, 1893 – September 5, 1920) was an American motion picture actor of the early silent film era. Although he acted in scores of films, he is possibly best remembered for his roles in the D.W. Griffith directed films Intolerance and The Birth of a Nation. He was also the older brother of film actor John Harron and actress Mary Harron.
Maurice Paprin was a New York City real estate developer and social activist. Born in 1920, Paprin graduated from Townsend Harris High School in 1936 and City College in 1941. He gained an MA in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and taught briefly at New York University, but pressures arising from McCarthyism eased him out of academia. He began to work for his father's restaurant business and became acquainted with Democratic party officials in Queens.
Michael Findlay, along with his wife Roberta Findlay, directed and produced numerous sexploitation movies. They have been described as "the most notorious filmmakers in the annals of sexploitation". In the mid-to-late 1960s, Findlay was prominent among a small group of underground New York filmmakers (including Joseph W. Sarno, Henri Pachard, Joseph P. Mawra, and Lou Campa) that produced exploitation "roughies" (a mix of sex and sadism) for the grindhouse theater market.