“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”
Lily Tomlin is 73 today.
Seiji Ozawa is 77 and Leonard Slatkin is 68.
Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees is 66.
Barry, Maurice [d. 2003] and Robin Gibb [d. 2012] — better known as the Bee Gees — are among the most successful vocal groups in rock and roll history. They rank sixth on the all-time top-sellers list, having sold 64 million albums to date. Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees. The trio’s contributions to 1977’s Saturday Night Fever pushed that soundtrack album past the 40 million mark. It reigned as the top-selling album in history until Michael Jackson’s Thriller — an album that Jackson has acknowledged was inspired by Saturday Night Fever — surpassed it in the Eighties. Saturday Night Fever and 1979’s Spirits Having Flown combined to yield six #1 hits, making the Bee Gees the only group in pop history to write, produce and record that many consecutive chart-topping singles.
Dr. Phil is 62.
Gloria Estefan is 55.
The only undefeated heavyweight champion (1952-1956), Rocky Marciano was born on September 1st in 1923. He died in a small plane crash the day before he turned 46 in 1969. Marciano was the Seabiscuit of boxing.
For a heavyweight, he was considered too short (5-10 1/4) and too light (183-189 pounds) for most of his fights. His reach of only 68 inches was a distinct disadvantage (no heavyweight champ ever had such a short reach).
But how do you measure a person’s heart? In that area, Marciano possibly had the largest in the sport. He refused to stay down, and he refused to lose. He might be bloodied, but he wouldn’t be beaten.
Estee Lauder was born on the first day of September in 1908. She died in 2004.
The great labor leader Walter Reuther was born on the first day of September in 1907. Reuther died in a small plane crash in 1970.
President Nixon called Mr. Reuther’s death “a deep loss not only for organized labor but also for the cause of collective bargaining and the entire American process.” Mr. Nixon added:
“He was a man who was devoted to his cause, spoke for it with eloquence and worked for it tirelessly. While he was outspoken and controversial, even those who disagreed with him had great respect for his ability, integrity and persistence.”
Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago on the first day of September in 1875.
He had read Darwin’s book Descent of Man, and he was fascinated by the idea that human beings were related to apes. He began to wonder what might happen if a child from an excessively noble, well-bred family were somehow left in the jungle to be raised by apes. The result was his story “Tarzan of the Apes,” which filled an entire issue of All-Story magazine in October of 1912. It was one of the most popular issues the magazine had ever published, and within six-months, Edgar Rice Burroughs was a full-time writer producing about 400,000 words of short stories every year.
The Writer’s Almanac (2007)
Blind and deaf, Helen Keller graduated from Radcliffe on the first day of September in 1904.
On the first day of September in 1773, Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was published in London.
Wheatley’s collection was the first volume of poetry by an African-American poet to be published. Regarded as a prodigy by her contemporaries, Wheatley was approximately twenty at the time of the book’s publication.
Born in the Senegambia region of West Africa, she was sold into slavery and transported to Boston at age seven or eight. Purchased off the slave ship by prosperous merchant John Wheatley and his wife Susanna in 1761, the young Phillis was soon copying the English alphabet on a wall in chalk.
Rather than fearing her precociousness, the Wheatleys encouraged it, allowing their daughter Mary to tutor Phillis in reading and writing. She also studied English literature, Latin, and the Bible—a strong education for any eighteenth-century woman. Wheatley’s first published poem, “On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin,” was published in Rhode Island’s Newport Mercury newspaper on December 21, 1767.
On the first day of September in 1939 Germany invaded Poland and ignited World War II.
The Sweeties grandmother was born on the first day of September. Happy Birthday, Grammy.