USA Famous People of New York

New York Biographies

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George Abbott stage producer, Forestville George Francis Abbott (June 25, 1887 – January 31, 1995) was an American theater producer and director, playwright, screenwriter, and film director and producer whose career spanned more than seven decades. In 1965, the 54th Street Theatre was rechristened the George Abbott Theater in his honor. The building was demolished in 1970. New York's George Abbott Way, the section of West 45th Street northwest of Times Square, is also named after him. He received New York City's Handel Medallion in 1976, honorary doctorates from the Universities of Rochester and Miami, and the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award in 1982. He was also inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. • George Abbott Books
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar basketball player, NYC Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis 'Lew' Alcindor on April 16, 1947) is an American retired basketball player. During his 20-year professional career in the NBA, from 1969 to 1989, he scored the highest points total of any player in league history (38,387), in addition to winning a record six Most Valuable Player Awards and six NBA championships. He was known for his "skyhook" shot, which was famously difficult to block because it put his 7'2" body between the basket and the ball. Abdul-Jabbar's success began well before his professional career; in college at UCLA, he played on three championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. In his NBA career, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks for six seasons and then with the Los Angeles Lakers for fourteen seasons. • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Books
Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906) One of the leaders in the fight for women’s right to vote; lived in Rochester.Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States and Europe, and gave 75 to 100 speeches every year on women's rights for 45 years. In 1869, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA), an organization dedicated to gaining women's suffrage. Anthony was vice-president-at-large of the NWSA from the date of its organization until 1892, when she became president.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (sitting) with AnthonyIn the early years of the NWSA, Anthony made many attempts to unite women in the labor movement with the suffragist cause, but with little success. She and Stanton were delegates at the 1868 convention of the National Labor Union. However, Anthony inadvertently alienated the labor movement not only because suffrage was seen as a concern for middle-class rather than working-class women, but because she openly encouraged women to achieve economic independence by entering the printing trades, • Susan B. Anthony Books

George Babcock inventor, Unadilla Forks • George Babcock Books
Lucille Ball actress, Jamestown Lucille Désirée Ball (6 August 1911 – 26 April 1989) was an American comedienne, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive, and star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. One of the most popular and influential stars in America during her lifetime, with one of Hollywood's longest careers, especially on television, Ball was a movie star from the 1930s who could still be seen making films in the 1960s and 1970s; she was a radio regular in the 1940s.

Ball received thirteen Emmy Award nominations and four wins. She was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986 and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.

In 1929, Ball landed work as a model and later began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name "Diane Belmont". She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures. Ball was labeled as the "Queen of the Bs" (referring to her many roles in B-films). In 1951, Ball was pivotal in the creation of the television series I Love Lucy. The show co-starred her then husband, Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo and Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel and Fred Mertz, the Ricardos' loveable landlords. After the show ended in 1957, Ball went on to star in two more successful television series: The Lucy Show, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1968, and Here's Lucy from 1968 to 1974. Her last attempt at a television series was a 1986 show called Life with Lucy. • Lucille Ball Books • Lucille Ball Films

Bonnie Blair (1964 - ) The only American woman to Win a U.S.-record five individual gold medals over three Olympic Games; born in Cornwall. • Bonnie Blair Books
Humphrey Bogart actor, NYC Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American actor.

After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936), and this led to a period of typecasting as a gangster in B-movies. His breakthrough came in 1941, with High Sierra (1941) and The Maltese Falcon (1941). The next year, his performance as Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1942) raised him to the peak of his profession and at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. Other successes followed, including To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), with his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award; Sabrina (1954), and The Caine Mutiny (1954). During a film career of almost thirty years, he appeared in 75 feature films.

At the time of his death from cancer in 1957, Bogart was one of the most respected figures in American cinema. Since his death, his personal and film performances have been considered as having a lasting impact and have led to him being described as a cultural icon. In 1997, Entertainment Weekly magazine named him the number one movie legend of all time. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him the Greatest Male Star of All Time. • Humphrey Bogart Books • Humphrey Bogart Movies

James Cagney actor, NYC James Francis Cagney, Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American film actor. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of roles, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys." In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time.

For his first performing role, he danced dressed as a woman in the chorus line of the 1919 revue Every Sailor. After several years in vaudeville, Cagney continued as a hoofer and comedian until his first major acting role in 1925. He secured several other roles, receiving good reviews before landing the lead role the 1929 play Penny Arcade. After rave reviews for his acting, Warners signed him on an initial $500 a week, three week contract to reprise his role, which was quickly extended to a seven year contract.

Cagney's seventh film, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for its famous grapefruit scene, the film thrust Cagney into the spotlight, making him one of Warners' and Hollywood's biggest stars. In 1938 he received his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for Angels with Dirty Faces, before winning in 1942 for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was nominated a third time in 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me. Cagney retired for 20 years in 1961, spending time on his farm before returning for a part in Ragtime mainly to aid his recovery from a stroke. • James Cagney Books • James Cagney Movies

Maria Callas soprano, NYC (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the twentieth century. She combined an impressive bel canto technique with great dramatic gifts. An extremely versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, the music dramas of Wagner. Her remarkable musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

Born in New York City and raised by an overbearing mother, she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Forced to deal with the exigencies of wartime poverty and with myopia that left her nearly blind on stage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career. She turned herself from a heavy woman into a svelte and glamorous one after a mid-career weight loss, which might have contributed to her vocal decline and the premature end of her career. The press exulted in publicizing Callas's allegedly temperamental behavior, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and her love affair with Aristotle Onassis. Her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press.  • Maria Callas Books • Maria Callas Discography

Benjamin N. Cardozo jurist, NYC • Benjamin N. Cardozo Books
Mariah Carey - from Huntington born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.

Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001. She signed to Virgin Records but was dropped from the label and bought out of her contract the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of pop music in 2005.

Carey has sold more than 175 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female artist and sixteenth overall recording artist with shipments of over 62.5 million albums in the US. • Mariah Carey Books • Mariah Carey Films

Willis Haviland Carrier inventor, Angola • Willis Haviland Carrier Books
Neil Patrick Cavuto (born September 22, 1958) is an American television anchor and commentator on the Fox Business Network and host of three television programs, Your World with Neil Cavuto and Cavuto on Business, both on the Fox News Channel and Cavuto on sister channel Fox Business Network.

Cavuto also tapes a nightly wrap up of business news which airs on local FOX affiliates during the late news and has a syndicated radio business news segment that airs on weekday afternoons. He is the senior vice president and managing editor of business news for the Fox Business Network, and oversees content and business coverage.

Cavuto is the author of two books: More Than Money and Your Money or Your Life .  

Paddy Chayefsky playwright, NYC • Paddy Chayefsky Books
Shirley Chisholm (1924 - ) The first black woman to be elected to Congress and the first African American to run for President on the Democratic ticket; born in Brooklyn. • Shirley Chisholm Books
Ann Hart Coulter (born December 8, 1961) is an American social and political commentator, best-selling author, and syndicated columnist. She frequently appears on television, radio, and as a speaker at public and private events. Well-known for her conservative political opinions and the controversial ways in which she defends them, Coulter has described herself as a polemicist who likes to "stir up the pot" and, unlike "broadcasters," does not "pretend to be impartial or balanced." Ann Hart Coulter was born on December 8, 1961, to John Vincent Coulter (Albany, New York) and Nell Husbands Martin (Paducah, Kentucky).

Coulter is the author of seven books, several of which have appeared on New York Times Best Seller list, with a combined 3 million copies sold, as of May 2009. Coulter's first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, was published 1998. The book details Coulter's case for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Her second book, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, published in 2002, became number one on The New York Times non-fiction best seller list, her third book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, Her most recent book was released January 6, 2009, entitled Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America •  Books by Ann Coulter

Bruce Cooper Clark general, Adams • Bruce Cooper Clark Books
Sean Combs Puff Daddy music, NYC (born Harlem, NY November 4, 1969), known by his stage name Diddy, is an American record producer, rapper, actor, men's fashion designer, entrepreneur and dancer. He won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and his clothing line earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award.

He was originally known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy (Puff and Puffy being often used as a nickname, but never as recording names). In August 2005, he changed his stage name to "Diddy". He continues to use the name P. Diddy in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the latter after a legal battle with another artist, Richard "Diddy" Dearlove. In June 2008 Combs' representative denied rumors of another name change.

His business interests under the umbrella of Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide include Bad Boy Records; the clothing lines Sean John; Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company; and two restaurants. He has taken the roles of recording executive, performer, producer of MTV's Making the Band, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and Broadway actor. Combs is one of the richest hip-hop performers, having a net worth estimated at US $346 million in 2006. He was portrayed by Derek Luke in the biopic of The Notorious B.I.G. called Notorious. • Puff Daddy Books • Puff Daddy Discography

Peter Cooper industrialist, philanthropist, NYC • Peter Cooper Books
Aaron Copland composer, Brooklyn (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American nationalist composer of concert and film music, as well as an accomplished pianist. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he was widely known as "the dean of American composers".Copland's music achieved a balance between modern music and American folk styles. The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are said to evoke the vast American landscape. He also incorporated percussive orchestration, changing meter, polyrhythms, polychords, and tone rows in a broad range of works for concert hall, theater, ballet, and films. Aside from composing, Copland was a teacher, lecturer, critic, writer, and conductor (generally, but not always, of his own works).

Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States, North America, of Lithuanian Jewish descent, the last of five children. Before emigrating from Scotland to the United States, Copland's father, Harris Morris Copland, Anglicized his surname "Kaplan" to "Copland" Throughout his childhood, Copland and his family lived above his parents' Brooklyn shop (a neighborhood "Macy's"), on the corner of Dean Street and Washington Avenue[4] and all the children helped out in the store. His father was a staunch Democrat.  • Aaron Copland Books • Aaron Copland Discography

Tom Cruise  born in Syracuse Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (pronounced /ˈtɒməs ˈkruːz ˈmeɪpɒθər/; born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name of Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 film Risky Business, which has been described as "A Generation X classic, and a career-maker" for the actor. After playing the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and financially successful 1986 film Top Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission: Impossible action films in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to these heroic roles, he played other parts such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999) and a cool and calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller film Collateral (2004).

In 2005, the Hollywood journalist, Edward Jay Epstein argued that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Since 2005, Cruise and Paula Wagner have been in charge of the United Artists film studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as the chief executive. Cruise is also known for his controversial support of and adherence to the Church of Scientology. • Tom Cruise Books • Tom Cruise Movies

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