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Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897). He was the winner of the popular vote for President three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was the only Democrat elected to the Presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1860 to 1912. Cleveland's admirers praise him for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats, he opposed imperialism, taxes, subsidies and inflationary policies, but as a reformer he also worked against corruption, patronage, and bossism.
Some of Cleveland's actions caused controversy even within his own party. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 in order to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions, and his support of the gold standard and opposition to free silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democrats. Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term.
Morris "Moe" Berg (March 2, 1902, New York, New York – May 29, 1972, Belleville, New Jersey) was an American professional baseball player who later served as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Although he spent 15 seasons in Major League Baseball, Berg was never more than an average player, and was better known for being "the brainiest guy in baseball" than for anything he accomplished in the game. The Bergs were never religiously observant, although being Jewish did contribute to Moe's sense of being an outsider in mid-twentieth century America. Casey Stengel once described Berg as "the strangest man ever to play baseball." A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg spoke several languages and regularly read 10 newspapers a day. His reputation was fueled by his successful appearances as a contestant on the radio quiz show Information, Please!. Berg answered questions about the derivation of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (//; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and intimates) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement. He became President of the United States at the age of 42. He served in many roles including Governor of New York, historian, naturalist, explorer, author, and soldier. He is most famous for his personality: his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" persona. As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt prepared for and advocated war with Spain in 1898. He organized and helped command the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the Rough Riders, during the Spanish-American War. Returning to New York as a war hero, he was elected governor. He was a professional historian, a lawyer, a naturalist and explorer of the Amazon Basin; his 35 books include works on outdoor life, natural history, the American frontier, political history, naval history, and his autobiography.
Sanford Koufax // (born Sanford Braun, on December 30, 1935) is an American left-handed former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1955 to 1966. Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding seasons from 1961 to 1966, before arthritis ended his career at age 30. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963, and won the 1963, 1965, and 1966 Cy Young Awards by unanimous votes; in all three seasons, he won the pitcher's triple crown by leading the league (indeed, both major leagues) in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. A notoriously difficult pitcher for batters to face, he was the first major leaguer to pitch more than three no-hitters (including the first perfect game by a left-hander since 1880), to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched in his career (6.79; batters hit .205 against him), and to strike out more than nine batters (9.28) per nine innings pitched in his career. He also became the 2nd pitcher in baseball history to have two games with 18 or more strikeouts, and the first to have eight games with 15 or more strikeouts.
Gregory R. Ball (born September 16, 1977) is an American business executive, former active duty Air Force officer and member of the New York State Assembly. Ball has risen to prominence for his views on illegal immigration, and has been named a Chairman of Lawmakers for Legal Immigration, an immigration reform group. He is a resident of Carmel, New York. Assemblyman Ball serves as the ranking member on the Veteran's Affairs committee; and is also a member of the Election Law; Energy; Housing; and Social Services Committees. He represents New York's 99th assembly district which comprises the towns Patterson, Mahopac, Carmel, Southeast, Putnam Lake and Brewster, in Putnam County; Yorktown, Mohegan Lake, Somers, and North Salem in Westchester County; and Pawling in Duchess County.
Ralph Bakshi (born October 29, 1938) is an American director of animated and occasionally live-action films. As the American animation industry fell into decline during the 1960s and 1970s, Bakshi tried to bring change to the industry as a pioneer of adult animation. Bakshi started his career as a cel polisher at the Terrytoons studio, working his way up from cel painter to inker, then animator, and eventually began to direct animated television shows for the studio. Bakshi moved to Famous Studios in 1967, before starting his own studio in 1968. Through developing a work relationship with producer Steve Krantz, Bakshi made his debut feature film, Fritz the Cat in 1972, the first animated film to receive an X rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. The film was followed by Heavy Traffic and Coonskin. All three films were extremely controversial for their content and approach to animation. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bakshi became a spokesperson for a new direction in animation with American Pop and the fantasy films Wizards; Fire and Ice, with fantasy painter Frank Frazetta; and the first film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a film that laid the groundwork for future adaptations of the book.
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American boxer. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion and remains the youngest man ever to win a world heavyweight title. He was well-known for his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring. Nicknamed "Iron Mike," and The Baddest Man on the Planet, Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, twelve in the first round. He unified the belts in the splintered heavyweight division in the late 1980s. Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion for over two years, before losing to 42-1 outsider Buster Douglas in 1990. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty pageant contestant, for which he served three years in prison. After being released from prison in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. He regained a portion of the heavyweight title, before losing it to Evander Holyfield in 1996 by an 11th round TKO. Their 1997 rematch ended in disqualification for Tyson after he bit off a portion of Holyfield's ear. He fought for a championship again at 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis in 2002. Tyson retired from competitive boxing in 2005 after consecutive losses to journeymen.
Johnston Livingston de Peyster (June 14, 1846 – May 27, 1903) was a soldier in the Union Army during the American Civil War and later a member of the New York State Assembly from Dutchess County, New York. The son of a wealthy old Dutchess County family, de Peyster joined the Union Army at the age of eighteen. He saw service in the eastern theater, and is best remembered for raising the first Union flag over the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia after its fall in 1865. After the war, de Peyster served overseas as a dignitary. When he returned to the United States, he ran for office and was elected to the State Assembly. His father disagreed with many of his political positions, and they eventually stopped speaking to each other. In 1900, the family feud culminated in a race for the office of Mayor of their native town, father running against son. After defeating his father, who owned the town hall, he was forced to move the Mayor's office to a new building. He died in 1903, survived by his three daughters.
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). Both albums achieved multi-platinum success, selling over twenty-one million records worldwide. Born in South Jamaica, Queens, 50 Cent began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s' crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot nine times in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, 50 Cent was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre—who produced his first major commercial successes—he became one of the highest selling rappers in the world. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
George Westinghouse, Jr (October 6, 1846 – March 12, 1914) was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railroad air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system. Westinghouse' system using alternating current ultimately prevailed over Edison's insistence on direct current. In 1911, he received the AIEE's Edison Medal 'For meritorious achievement in connection with the development of the alternating current system light.
Westinghouse was the son of a machine shop owner and was talented at machinery and business. He was only 19 years old when he created his first invention, the rotary steam engine. At age 21 he invented a "car replacer", a device to guide derailed railroad cars back onto the tracks, and a reversible frog, a device used with a railroad switch to guide trains onto one of two tracks. At about this time he witnessed a train wreck where two engineers saw one another but could not stop their trains in time using the brakes then available. Brakemen ran from car to car, often on top of the cars, and apply the brakes manually on each car.
Willis “Will” Stephens Jr. (born 1955) was a politician that represented the 99th District in the New York State Assembly. After serving in the Assembly for twelve years, Stephens was defeated in the September 2006 Primary by Assemblyman Greg Ball and lost the Republican nomination. He was one of only three Republicans in the Assembly to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
Assemblyman Stephens represented the 99th District of New York which encompasses the municipalities of Patterson, Mahopac, Carmel, Southeast, Putnam Lake and Brewster, in Putnam County; Yorktown, Lake Mohegan, Somers, and North Salem in Westchester County; and Pawling in Duchess County. His family held the seat nearly continuously for eighty years: his grandfather, D. Mallory Stephens, held this seat from 1926 to 1952; his father, Willis Stephens Sr., held the seat from 1952 to 1982; and Stephens himself served from 1994 to 2006. Stephens is a member of the law firm of Stephens and Charbonneau, in Brewster, New York. He was awarded a Juris Doctor degree from St. John's University school of Law in 1980 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1977.
David Alexander Paterson (born May 20, 1954) is an American politician and the current Governor of New York. He is the first legally blind and the first black governor of New York. After graduating from law school, Paterson worked in the District Attorney's office of Queens County, New York, and on the staff of Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. In 1985, he was elected to the New York State Senate to a seat that was once held by his father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson. In 2003, he rose to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Paterson was selected as running mate by then New York Attorney General and Democratic Party nominee Eliot Spitzer in the 2006 New York gubernatorial election. They were elected in November 2006 with 69 percent of the vote, and Paterson took office as Lieutenant Governor on January 1, 2007. After Spitzer resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal, Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York on March 17, 2008.
Eliot Laurence Spitzer (born June 10, 1959) is an American lawyer and former politician of the Democratic Party. He served as Governor of New York from January 2007 until his resignation on March 17, 2008. Prior to being elected governor, Spitzer served as New York State Attorney General.
Spitzer was born and raised in the Bronx borough of New York City to real estate tycoon Bernard Spitzer and Anne Spitzer, an English literature professor. He attended Princeton University for his undergraduate studies and Harvard University for law school. It was there that he met his future wife, Silda Wall. She later founded Children for Children, a non-profit organization. After earning his Juris Doctor degree, Spitzer joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Two years later, he joined the Manhattan district attorney's office, headed by Robert M. Morgenthau, to pursue organized crime. He launched the investigation that brought down the Gambino family's control over Manhattan's garment and trucking industries. In 1992, Spitzer left to work at the law firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and, later, Constantine and Partners.
Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an influential American painter and a major force in the abstract expressionist movement. He was married to noted abstract painter Lee Krasner. Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912, the youngest of five sons. His father was a farmer and later a land surveyor for the government. He grew up in Arizona and Chico, California, studying at Los Angeles' Manual Arts High School. During his early life, he experienced Native American culture while on surveying trips with his father. In 1929, following his brother Charles, he moved to New York City, where they both studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Benton's rural American subject matter shaped Pollock's work only fleetingly, but his rhythmic use of paint and his fierce independence were more lasting influences. From 1938 to 1942, he worked for the Federal Art Project. In October 1945, Pollock married another important American painter, Lee Krasner, and in November they moved to what is now known as the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio in Springs on Long Island, New York. Peggy Guggenheim loaned them the down payment for the wood-frame house with a nearby barn that Pollock made into a studio. It was there that he perfected the technique of working spontaneously with liquid paint.
William King Gregory (19 May 1876 – 29 December 1970) was an American zoologist, renowned as a primatologist, paleontologist, and functional and comparative morphologist. He was an expert on mammalian dentition, and a leading contributor to theories of evolution. In addition he was active in presenting his ideas to students and the general public through books and museum exhibits. He was born in Greenwich Village, New York on 19 May 1876 to George Gregory and Jane King Gregory. He attended Trinity School and then moved onto Columbia University in 1895, initially at the School of Mines but then transferring to Columbia College. He majored in zoology and vertebrate paleontology under Henry Fairfield Osborn. While still an undergraduate he became Osborn's research assistant and soon after married Laura Grace Foote. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia in 1900, followed by a masters in 1905, and a doctorate in 1910.
Sidney "Sid" Gordon (August 13, 1917, Brooklyn, New York - June 17, 1975), known as "Sid," was a stocky, powerfully built American right-handed Major League Baseball outfielder, third baseman, and first baseman. He had a 13-year career in MLB for the New York Giants (1941-43, 1946-49, and 1955), Boston Braves (1950-52), Milwaukee Braves (1953), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1954-55). Gordon was one of the Giants' most popular players. He played 13 years in the majors, batting .283, hitting 202 home runs, and batting in 805 runs. In 3 different years he homered at least once in every park in which he played. A slugger, he also had a great eye – he drew 731 walks, against only 356 strikeouts. He was a 2-time All-Star. Harold Ribalow in his book The Jew in American Sports referred to Gordon as the "Solid Man." Gordon was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, and was Jewish. His parents were Morris and Rose (nee Meyerson) Gordon. Morris emigrated from Russia, and became a plumber and a coal dealer in the United States. Eventually the family moved to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.