Portal:Connecticut/Selected biography

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Articles in rotation[edit]

James Morris III ((1752-01-19)January 19, 1752 – April 20, 1820(1820-04-20)) was a Continental Army officer from Connecticut during the American Revolutionary War and founder of the Morris Academy, a pioneer in coeducation. Born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, James Morris spent his early life hoping and training to be minister. However, after graduating from Yale College, Morris accepted a commission of First Lieutenant from the Continental Army and joined the fight for American Independence. Morris was captured during the Battle of Germantown and spent most of the remaining war in captivity. Upon his release, Morris was promoted to the rank of Captain and supported Alexander Hamilton in the Siege of Yorktown. When he returned from the war, Morris began and ran an academy which trained both boys and girls together, a rarity at the time. James Morris died in 1820. In 1859 Morris's hometown (South Farms, Connecticut) was renamed Morris is his honor.

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George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000 before being sworn in as President on January 20, 2001. Bush is the eldest son of the 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush. After graduating from Yale University in 1968, and Harvard Business School in 1975, Bush worked in his family's oil businesses. He married Laura Welch in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards to become Governor of Texas in 1994. In a close and controversial election, Bush was elected president in 2000 as the Republican candidate, receiving a majority of the electoral votes, but losing the popular vote to then Vice President Al Gore.

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Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher, Jr. (born 1966) is an African-American philanthropist who had previously been a successful money manager. Fletcher first became notable when employed by Kidder, Peabody & Co. During this time, he had an agreement entitling him to 25% of the profits he earned for the firm. However, when he generated $25 million one year, the firm did not uphold its agreement, and Fletcher sued for racial discrimination and US$3 million in back pay. He eventually won an arbitration award of $1.3 million. Fletcher had worked at Bear Stearns before working for Kidder and founded his own firm, Fletcher Asset Management, after the dispute with Kidder Peabody. Having donated tens of millions of dollars to various charitable causes, Fletcher has become a major philanthropist. He has established several lasting legacies with his charitable efforts; two such efforts include the establishment of the Fletcher Foundation and the endowment of a University Professorship at Harvard University.

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Simeon Eben Baldwin (February 5, 1840 – January 30, 1927), jurist, law professor and governor of Connecticut, was the son of jurist, Connecticut governor and U.S. Senator Roger Sherman Baldwin and Emily Pitkin Perkins. He was born in New Haven, which continued to be his home throughout his long life; in spite of his participation in activities of national and international importance, he was associated in a peculiar and intimate way with the political, legal, and intellectual life of his native town and state for more than half a century. On 19 October, 1865 he married Susan Mears Winchester, daughter of Edmund Winchester and Harriet Mears. Simeon and Susan had three children: Florence, Roger and Helen. As a boy he attended the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut. Ties of loyalty and interest bound him to this school for the rest of his life. Active in all its alumni work, he was, more specifically, for many years president of its board of trustees; in 1910, on the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the school, he delivered a discourse on its history.

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Oliver Ellsworth (April 29, 1745 – November 26, 1807), an American lawyer and politician, was a revolutionary against British rule, a drafter of the United States Constitution, and third Chief Justice of the United States. On June 20, 1787, while at the Federal Convention, Ellsworth moved to strike the word National from the May 30, 1787 motion made by Edmund Randolph of Virginia, that called for the government to be called a National Government of United States. Ellsworth moved that the government continue to be called the United States Government. Oliver Ellsworth was born in Windsor, Connecticut, to Capt. David and Jemima Leavitt Ellsworth. He entered Yale in 1762, but transferred to the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) at the end of his second year. He continued to study theology and received his A.B. degree after 2 years. Soon afterward, however, Ellsworth turned to the law. After four years of study, he was admitted to the bar in 1771 and later became a successful lawyer.

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Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Widely considered America's first spy, he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was captured by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he reportedly said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country." Hale has long been considered an American hero and, in 1985, he was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut. A statue of Nathan Hale is located at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Captain Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut in 1755. In 1768, when he was thirteen years old, he was sent with his brother Enoch to Yale College. Nathan was a classmate of fellow patriot spy Benjamin Tallmadge.

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Josiah Willard Gibbs (February 11, 1839 – April 28, 1903) was an American theoretical physicist, chemist, and mathematician. One of the greatest American scientists of all time, he devised much of the theoretical foundation for chemical thermodynamics as well as physical chemistry. As a mathematician, he invented vector analysis (independently of Oliver Heaviside). It is in good part thanks to Gibbs that much of physical and chemical theory has since been exposited using vector analysis. Yale University awarded Gibbs the first American Ph.D. in engineering in 1863, and he spent his entire career at Yale. His thesis was entitled: On the Form of the Teeth of Wheels in Spur Gearing. In 1901, Gibbs was awarded the highest possible honor granted by the international scientific community of his day, granted to only one scientist each year: the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London, for his greatest contribution, that being "the first to apply the second law of thermodynamics to the exhaustive discussion of the relation between chemical, electrical, and thermal energy and capacity for external work."

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Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut. First elected to the Senate in 1988, Lieberman was elected to a fourth term on November 7, 2006. In the 2000 United States presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. The Gore–Lieberman ticket won the popular vote but ultimately failed to gain the electoral votes needed to win the controversial election. Lieberman ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate while he was also Gore's running mate, and he was re-elected by the voters of Connecticut. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2004 presidential election. Lieberman has been officially listed in Senate records for the 110th and 111th Congresses as an "Independent Democrat".

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Ethan Allen (January 21, 1738 [O.S. January 10, 1737] – February 12, 1789) was a farmer, businessman, land speculator, philosopher, writer, and American Revolutionary War patriot, hero, and politician. He was an early American revolutionary and guerrilla leader who, before the war, fought against the Province of New York's attempts to take control of the New Hampshire Grants. He is probably most widely known for his participation in the May 10, 1775 capture of Fort Ticonderoga, and for later political and military activities leading first to the formation of the Republic of Vermont and then to Vermont's statehood. Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the first-born child of Joseph and Mary Baker Allen. The family moved to Cornwall shortly after his birth. Seven siblings, all of whom survived to adulthood, joined the family between Allen's birth and 1751.

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Craig Andrew Breslow (born August 8, 1980, in New Haven, Connecticut) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. He throws left-handed, and is considered a lefty specialist. Through 2008, he held major league batters to a .163 batting average with runners in scoring position (and .116 with two outs and runners in scoring position), and lefties hit only .188 against him, with a .256 slugging percentage. Breslow was given the nickname "smartest man in baseball" by Minneapolis Star Tribune Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal. Breslow attended Trumbull High School in Trumbull, Connecticut, graduating in 1998, and was a standout in soccer and baseball. When Breslow was 12 years old, his sister Lesley—two years older—was diagnosed with pediatric thyroid cancer. This experience led Breslow to take an interest in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Later in life, Breslow formed a non-profit foundation to help children with cancer.

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Christopher John "Chris" Dodd (born May 27, 1944) is an American lawyer and Democratic politician currently serving as the senior U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Dodd served as a U.S. Representative from Connecticut from 1975 until 1981, when he became a Senator. He served as general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997. He is now the state's senior Senator. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Currently Dodd is the longest-serving Senator in Connecticut's history, the 10th most senior of current Senators and one of three from the 1980 freshman class who are still serving (the others are Arlen Specter and Chuck Grassley). Dodd was born in Willimantic, Connecticut. His parents were Grace Mary Dodd (née Murphy) and U.S. Senator Thomas Joseph Dodd; all eight of his great-grandparents were born in Ireland.

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Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American modernist composer. He is widely regarded as one of the first American composers of international significance. Ives' music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, Ives came to be regarded as an "American Original"; Ives combined the American popular and church-music traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones, thus foreshadowing virtually every major musical innovation of the 20th century. Charles Ives was born in Danbury, Connecticut, the son of George Ives, a U.S. Army bandleader in the American Civil War, and his wife Mary Parmelee.

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Bradley David "Brad" Ausmus (born April 14, 1969, in New Haven, Connecticut) is an American catcher in Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Entering the 2009 season, he ranked 9th in major league history in career games as a catcher (1,887), second in putouts (12,473) and total chances (13,489), and third in fielding percentage (.994). He is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2001-02, 2006). Through 2008, he also ranked second all-time among all Jewish major leaguers in career games played, fifth in hits (1,537), and eighth in home runs (79; just ahead of Gabe Kapler and Ryan Braun) and runs batted in (596), trailing only Hank Greenberg and Shawn Green in all three categories. He also won the January 2007 Darryl Kile Award "for integrity and courage," presented annually by local chapters of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) to players on the Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.

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David Wooster (March 13, 1711 [O.S. March 2, 1710] – May 2, 1777) was an American general who served in the French and Indian War and in the American Revolutionary War. He died of wounds sustained during the Battle of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Cities, schools, and public places are named after him. He has been called "a largely forgotten hero of the Revolution." David Wooster was born in Stratford, Connecticut. He entered Yale College in 1735, and graduated in 1738. In 1739, following the outbreak of war between Britain and Spain, he joined the provincial militia as a lieutenant, but apparently saw no action. In 1741 he was named lieutenant of a ship of the provincial guarda-costa, or coast guard, which the colony had established to protect against potential Spanish attack. On March 6, 1745, Wooster married Marie Clapp, the daughter of Yale's president, Thomas Clapp

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Dana White (born July 28, 1969 in Manchester, Connecticut) is the current President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts organization based in the United States. Born in Manchester, Connecticut, White grew up in Las Vegas, Boston and Levant, Maine. White is a fierce Boston Red Sox fan. During his youth, he bounced back and forth between Las Vegas and Maine. He attended college in Boston for two years but did not finish; however, while there he did launch a boxing program for inner-city children. In 1992, White established Dana White Enterprises in Las Vegas. He conducted aerobics classes at three gyms in the Las Vegas area and began managing MMA fighters Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. White and his wife Anne have two sons and a daughter.

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Linda McMahon (born October 4, 1948) is an American businesswoman and a current Republican candidate in the 2010 Connecticut Senate race. She is married to Vince McMahon, with whom she operated World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from its establishment in 1980. Linda worked as CEO of the WWE, but also took on several stints at on-screen involvement in 1999-2001. In September 2009, Linda McMahon began a self-financed campaign for Senator of Connecticut. She immediately made news after she revealed she would spend up to $50 million of her own money on the campaign. On May 21, she became the presumptive nominee of the Connecticut Republican Party, running on promises of fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, and job creation.

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