Born On The Fourth Of July

posted on 7/2/13

Nitpickers and Naysayers will point out July 2nd is actually the birthday of America’s independence from England, but July 4th is indisputably the day we let our national pride shine. To be born on the Fourth of July is loaded concept in our country, (they even named a movie starring Tom Cruise playing real life Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic based on his life and epiphanies regarding the American experience), Well, we dug around and we found ten more Americans Born on the Fourth of July and with this list one can witness the range of colorful personalities this nation offers, we submit to you Top 10 Americans Born on the Fourth of July!


Stephen Collins Foster (Born July 4th, 1826)

The so-called “Father of American Music” wrote over 200 arrangements in the genres of minstrel and parlour. “Camptown Races”, “Oh! Susanna”, and “My Old Kentucky Home” among others are still performed to this day by school children and lovers of old timey music. Foster often wrote songs about the South but he never actually lived there and only visited it once, on his river-boat honeymoon. Despite his contributions to music, he attempted to be a songwriter in a time when this profession did not exist, as such there were few laws to protect him and his works were often reprinted and sold multiple times without him receiving any profits. He received only $100 for Oh! Susanna and would later die penniless in a hotel on the bowery in New York City.


James Anthony Bailey (Born July 4th, 1847)

The Bailey of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, James Anthony was born with the family name McGuinness and orphaned at young age. He was working as a bellhop when approached by the nephew of a Hachaliah Bailey, a circus pioneer. James traveled with the family for many years and adopted their name and by the age of 25 became instrumental within their circus. It was in this capacity J.A. Bailey would join with P.T. Barnum and form the groundwork for “The Greatest Show on Earth” and Bailey himself was key in bring the famous elephant Jumbo to the limelight.


Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (Born July 4, 1883)

A satirist, cartoonist and general lampooner, best known for his overtly complex machines which perform banal and unnecessary tasks (The Self Operating Napkin) his name is still an adjective defined by Merriam Webster as accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply.


Meyer Lansky (Born July 4th, 1902)

A key figure in prohibition and early gangster crime, friends with such noteable gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Bugsy Sigel, Lanksy ran gambling operations from Cuba to New Orleans to Las Vegas and provided business advice and consulting to some of the biggest names in crime at the time. Perhaps not as well know was Lansky’s involvement in Operation Underworld, a government project which involved cooperation with organized crime networks against Axis spies and saboteurs.


Esther Pauline Lederer / Ann Landers (Born July 4th, 1918)

Dear Ann Landers, the great advice column was originally written by Ruth Crowley, a nurse who made up the moniker Ann Landers to prevent confusion from her child-care column and upon her death in 1955, Esther Lederer won the contest to become the new Ann Landers, over her career as Ann, she voiced unpopular opinions, stirred controversies and set up all the campy tropes we associate with advice columns (she advised her readers to not throw rice at weddings, because when birds eat rice they explode.)


Pauline Ester Phillips / Dear Abby (Born July 4th, 1918)

In an advice columnist two for one, Pauline Ester Phillips was the twin sister of Ester Pauline Phillips, the second Ann Landers. Months after Pauline’s sister began her duties as the new Ann Landers, Pauline Ester Phillips began her own advice column, Dear Abby. More prolific than her sister in some ways, hosting a Dear Abby radio show, and Diane Sawyer calls her the “pioneering queen of salty advice” The creation of Dear Abby lead to a fight between the twins that lasted for years.


This had to be confusing for readers, twin sisters both writing advice columns under different but similar fake names? Wait What??


George Steinbrenner (Born July 4th, 1930)

The American businessman made famous for his role as much reviled owner of New York Yankees, caricatures and jokes have been made of his domineering behavior and kneejerk tendency of constantly firing (and in Billy Martin’s case, re-hiring) have been made again and again at this man’s expensive. He was a running joke in Seinfeld as George Costanza’s boss who won’t stop talking and constantly threatening misery.


Geraldo Rivera (Born July 4th, 1943)

Journalist, Talk Show Host, Lawyer, and Author. Geraldo is best know for his daredevil reporting and his ’87 to ’98 talk show “Geraldo”, a masterpiece of daytime “Trash TV” Geraldo’s nose was broken during a racial motivated brawl on the set of his show in 1988. Since his show fading, among other media projects including hosting a radio show and writing books and generally feuding with other media personalities, Geraldo has worked for Fox has a wartime correspondence in Iraq for Fox Network until 2012.


Koko (Born July 4th, 1971)

Born at the San Francisco Zoo, Koko might possibly be the world’s most famous Gorilla. Knowing around the range of 2000 words of spoken English and sign language. Countless documentaries, tv specials and endless limelight shined upon this special creature. Although there are naysayers who say Koko’s vocabulary is the product of operant conditioning, but Koko has broken these misconceptions again and again by using the sign vocabulary taught to her to express her fears, joys and emotions in a manner no animal has done so clearly and related to context of her life (losing a pet, meeting a new friend) there is little doubt this gorilla is just doing parlor tricks.


The Situation (Born July 4th 1981)

The abs behind the Jersey Shore, Michael Sorrentino was an assistant manager at a fitness center turned underwear model from Staten Island before achieving breakout success as “The Situation” on the hit MTV reality show Jersey Shore. Since Jersey Shore, Sorrentino has gained lucrative endorsements, been on roasts, modeled and did PETA ads. That’s our top ten Amerians Born on the Fourth of July! Enjoy your Independence as the march of Great Americans born on the Fourth of July goes on!

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