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Born Simon Maximilian Südfeld, he was a Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic. He was a… [More] cofounder of the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl, and president or vice president of several Zionist congresses. He was also a social critic who wrote numerous books, of which Degeneration (1892) is probably the most famous. [Less]
1905: Stanley Kunitz
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Russian-Jewish parents, Kunitz was an American poet. He was appointed Poet… [More] Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress twice, first in 1974 and then again in 2000. He is also a National Book Award recipient. His father committed suicide after going bankrupt six weeks before Kunitz was born — an incident that had a powerful influence on him for the rest of his life. One of his famous books is “The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden,” a reflection his near-death experience. [Less]
1914: Irwin Corey
Corey is considered one of America’s all-time greatest comic, film actors and activists. His… [More] famed character is “the professor.” He introduced his unscripted, improvisational style of stand-up comedy at the well-known San Francisco club, the hungry i. He was born in Brooklyn to a poverty-stricken family (who were forced to put him and his five siblings in an orphanage.) He was blacklisted in the 1950s for being supportive of Communism. Interesting fact: One notable fan of Corey’s comedy, despite their starkly different politics, was Ayn Rand. [Less]