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MILESTONES: March 22, birthdays for Reese Witherspoon, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Lloyd Webber

March 22, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle

NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include singer and guitarist George Benson, who was born in 1943; sportscaster Bob Costas, who was born in 1952; U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was born in 1934; actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who was born in 1971; composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who was born in 1948; actor Matthew Modine, who was born in 1959; author James Patterson, who was born in 1947; TV evangelist Pat Robertson, who was born in 1930; actor William Shatner, who was born in 1931; Tony Award–winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who was born in 1930; former figure skater Elvis Stojko, who was born in 1972; actor M. Emmet Walsh, who was born in 1935; and Oscar Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, who was born in 1976.

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CHICO MARX WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1887. Known for his sly wisecracks and put-on Italian accent, he was the oldest of the five Marx brothers. The brothers, in various combinations, performed first as a singing group and later as a comedy act featuring music. After honing their act on the vaudeville circuit, they mounted three successful shows on Broadway, two of which were made into movies, The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers. After the team disbanded in 1941, Chico led his own big band before settling into semiretirement until his death at age 74 in 1961.

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LOUIS L’AMOUR WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1908. The popular author began writing stories in the 1930s, initially selling them to pulp magazines. Despite an interruption by military service during WWII, L’Amour was a successful writer of adventure stories, Westerns and scripts for TV and film. He eventually authored 116 Western novels that sold 20 million copies in 20 different languages. He was the first novelist to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom and was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. L’Amour died in 1988 in California.

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THE LASER WAS PATENTED ON THIS DAY IN 1960. The first patent for a laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) was granted to Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes of Bell Labs.

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AL NEUHARTH WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1924. The flamboyant, innovative media executive transformed the American media landscape first as chief executive of the Gannett Company and then as the founder of USA Today. Neuharth grew Gannett from a regional news group into the nation’s largest newspaper chain. USA Today is the only major daily established in the U.S. after WWII. It brought color, lifestyle coverage, shorter articles and other innovations to media and was embraced by the public. Neuharth died in Florida in 2013.

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Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.

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“Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.” — writer Louis L’Amour, who was born on this day in 1908

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