Fifty years ago, Jim Henson created the Muppets, the world's most famous puppets, for the children's educational television show, Sesame Street. He won two Emmy Awards for his work, and sold his company to Walt Disney for $150 million. The beloved show has produced more than 4500 episodes.
Cass Elliot was “Mama Cass”, the close-to-300 pound contralto lead singer of The Mamas and Papas, a dominant folk rock vocal group in the late 1960s. They sold more than 40 million records, with six of their albums making it to the Billboard top ten.
In 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps discovered Otzi the Iceman, a man who was preserved in ice after his murder about 5,300 years ago. He was killed by a hard hit on his head and an arrow through his shoulder when he was about 46 years old. He is now entombed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy with a life-size statue of him as he may have looked standing nearby.
Babe Ruth was arguably the greatest baseball player who ever lived. When he retired from baseball in 1935, he held the record for most home runs (714), had a batting average of .342, batted in 2,213 runs, had a slugging percentage of 690, got on base 47.4 % of the time he batted, scored 2,174 runs, hit for 5,793 total bases, and was walked 2,062 times. Forget about what goes on today. Ruth did all this without taking anabolic steroids.
Roger Bannister was the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes, even though his training was totally inadequate for world-class competition because he was a full time medical student who trained on a single 30-minute workout per day, compared to today's runners who train twice a day for as much as three hours.
We lost one of the greatest comics and actors of our time when Robin Williams took his own life at his home in California on August 11, 2014. When his brain was examined, he was found to have suffered from Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), which has no known cause and no effective treatment.
Twenty years ago, Korey Stringer died of heat stroke at age 27. He was 6' 4" tall, weighed 335 pounds and was an All American tackle at Ohio State University. He became an All Pro lineman for the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
Hammerin' Hank Aaron was regarded as one of the greatest baseball players ever. He hit 755 home runs to break Babe Ruth’s record, hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and in 1982, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for holding the Major League Baseball records for the most career runs batted in (2,297), most extra base hits (1,477), and most total bases (6,856).
Elvis Presley sold more records than anyone else in the history of recorded music. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, and has been inducted into virtually every music hall of fame. He died at the tragically young age of 42. In the last years of his life, he suffered from obesity, drug addiction, depression, chronic insomnia, glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic constipation and an enlarged colon.
Every physician eventually is asked to treat patients who fake illness, usually to get attention or for personal gain. In 1951, British physician Dr. Robert Asher described three patients who went from doctor to doctor with multiple fictional symptoms, many unexplained hospitalizations, and multiple scars from surgeries that never should have been performed in the first place. Their stories sounded so real that they convinced honest doctors to operate on them for no good reason.
From the 1860s through 1922, there were no laws to limit the use of cocaine and it was a common ingredient of patent medicines, including the original Coca-Cola, which was developed by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton. Two famous doctors of that time used cocaine regularly and experimented with its medicinal uses. and a third doctor described its use by his beloved fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Harry Houdini was probably the most famous escape artist, magician, and stunt performer of all time. He usually appeared in a long coat and tie, and was one of the cockiest performers ever to appear on stage. He died at age 52 from a ruptured appendix, reportedly caused by being punched in the stomach.
On February 5, 2020, Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, filed a court brief asking to be released from his 150-year prison sentence because his doctors said that he had less than a year and a half to live due to end-stage kidney disease. His request was denied, and on April 14, 2021, he died in prison, apparently from heart failure brought on by his chronic kidney failure and a previous heart attack.
DMX (birth name Earl Simmons) was a very famous and successful American rapper, songwriter, actor and television star whose childhood was so brutal that it caused him to spend his entire lif.e breaking the rules of society and going in and out of prison. Childhood trauma can cause self-destructive behavior in adulthood
A blood calcium test is one of the routine blood tests done on normal physical exams. If your doctor ever tells you that your blood calcium is high, make sure that you find a cause. The most common cause of high blood calcium is a parathyroid tumor, which usually can be removed and you are cured. Otherwise it can harm and even kill you.
This week, the Bank of England unveiled its new 50-pound note that features the brilliant World War II codebreaker Alan Turing. The 50-pound note is the highest denomination in circulation and its new design honoring Turing completes the change from paper to polymer currencies that include Winston Churchill on the five-pound note, author Jane Austen on the 10-pound note and artist J. M. W. Turner on the 20-pound note. Turing was selected by more than 250,000 public votes, an effort to atone for the unbelievable cruelty and prejudice against gay people that led Turing to suicide.
James Levine was among America’s most acclaimed and successful orchestra conductors. He was the music director of the Metropolitan Opera, conducting 2,552 performances from 1976 to 2016, when he was felled by the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. He also directed the Munich Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and was the winner of eight Grammy Awards and the 1997 National Medal of Arts.
Marvin Hagler was the undisputed middleweight boxing champion of the world from 1980 to 1987, knocked out 78 percent of his opponents and was knocked down only one time during his entire professional career. In 1982, he changed his legal name to “Marvelous Marvin” because network announcers at his fights often did not refer to him by his preferred nickname.
Merle Haggard was a legendary country music singer and guitar player with 38 songs that reached number one on the country charts, and 71 in the top ten. We have lost another great musical talent to the ravages of lung cancer and pneumonia, brought on by this generation's horrible treatment of their lungs.
In 1791, arguably the world’s most gifted composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, died at the very young age of 35. Today, no serious researchers believe that Mozart was poisoned because his medical history and his symptoms match those of a classic disease that can now be cured.
Rush Limbaugh earned more than $84 million per year as the host of his famous talk radio show, with more than 15 million listeners each week. He was widely known for leading the conservative movement in the United States and was rewarded with induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame and National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Larry Flynt was a publisher, businessman and promoter who was one of the most notorious producers of pornography, rising to fame and great wealth from his raunchy Hustler magazine. He built a $100 million business empire based on magazines, private clubs, casinos, sex-toy stores, videos, and three pornographic television channels.
Christopher Plummer was a Canadian actor in film, theater and television, who was most famous for his 1965 performance as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Over his incredibly active career, he won an Academy Award, two prime-time Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award, and was nominated for many other honors.
Most runners today still think that Emil Zatopek was the greatest runner who ever lived. At the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, he won three gold medals in the 5,000 meters, the 10,000 meters and marathon, all in Olympic and world record times, a feat that will probably never be equaled.
As his doctor and friend, I knew Larry King as the hardest working person I have ever met. He hosted a nightly national Mutual Broadcasting System talk show on 500 radio stations from 1978 to 1994, which were rebroadcast until 2010.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was named the best female athlete of the 20th century. In the 1932 Olympics, she became the only track and field athlete, male or female, ever to win individual Olympic medals in a running, throwing and jumping event. She set four world records: • She won the 80-meter hurdles in a world-record 11.7 seconds and breaking her previous world-record she set in a preliminary heat.
Tommy Heinsohn was inducted into the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame twice, first as a player and then again as a coach. He spent 60 years with the Boston Celtics, as a player from 1956 to 1965, their coach from 1969 to 1978, and more than 30 years as a broadcaster of their games.
Phyllis McGuire, lead singer of the “McGuire Sisters” who were famous in the 1950s and 1960s, died on December 29, 2020 at age 89 in Las Vegas. In 1968, she left her singing career for a multi-year affair with equally famous Sam Giancana, who a notorious gangster and leader of the Chicago mob.
Today my favorite song is “The Rivers Of Babylon”, the second highest-selling single of all time in the UK. I heard the song for the first time a few weeks ago on YouTube. It was recorded in 1978 by “Boney M,” whose original members were with the band from 1976 until 1986. They all came from the Caribbean: Bobby Farrell came from Aruba, Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett were from Jamaica and Maizie Williams was from Montserrat, an island in the Lesser Antilles.
Linus Pauling died at age 93 of prostate cancer, a disease that affects nearly 100 percent of North American men over age 90. He was one of the most influential chemists of all time, and also a peace activist, author, and educator. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against nuclear weapons testing.