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Monday, May 3, 2021

Famous and 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 3 - Akioo Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Company

How do you get to be head of one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world? In Toyoda’s case, you’re born into it. He is the great-grandson of the founder of Toyoda Automatic Loomworks, and grandson of the founder of Toyota Motor Corporation in a family that has a history of promoting upper management from within its ranks. 

However, Toyoda is no slouch. After getting an undergraduate degree in his native Japan, he crossed the Atlantic to earn a Master’s in Finance at Babson College in Massachusetts. He also worked his way up the company ladder starting in 1984, succeeding at a variety of positions before earning a spot on the board in 2000. Toyoda had to handle the company’s quality control crisis only months into his tenure as president, testifying before Congress and saving Toyota’s reputation after a massive recall of 8.5 million cars.

In his time outside of the c-suite, Toyoda indulges in a passion that mixes business and pleasure. A dedicated fan of car racing and a driver himself, Toyoda has used the company’s Lexus line in races such as 24 Hours Nürburgring, where he competed under the pseudonym Morizo Kinoshita.  He managed to finish fourth in his class in 2009, piloting an LF-A Prototype No. 14.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 12 - Homer Simpson, star of cartoon hit The Simpsons

“A dog trapped in a man’s body” is one description of the iconic fictional cartoon character who has been entertaining Americans since 1987. Creator Matt Groening dreamed up the bumbling father while he was waiting in the lobby to pitch shorts based on his cartoon series Life In Hell, but decided to create a novel group of characters. 

In the series, Homer is married to Marge, and they have three children: rebellious Bart, brilliant Lisa, and youngest Maggie.  Although Homer is usually depicted as a safety inspector at the local nuclear plant, he worked 188 different jobs in the first 400 episodes of the show. His age has varied, but in the fourth season his drivers license appears with a May 12, 1956 birthday. Homer was named for Groening’s own father, who had none of his namesake’s attributes apart from a love of doughnuts. Partly to show that the name is inconsequential, Groening later named his own son “Homer.” 

The show has won a slew of awards over the years, and Homer is considered by many to be the best cartoon character of all time. While he is unthinking and impulsive, he is never vicious, and he is prone to selfless acts of kindness. Perhaps the reason Americans love him so much is for his good heart, which sometimes shines through his flaws.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 17 - Sugar Ray Leonard, boxer

Born Ray Charles Leonard (named after his mother’s favorite crooner), Leonard was a shy, quiet child who never gave his parents any trouble. His brother started up a boxing club at the local rec center and showed off his trophies to his younger sibling, enticing him into the sport in 1969 at age 13. Leonard was fighting at the National AAU Tournament when as assistant Olympics coach remarked, “That kid you got is sweet as sugar.” Inevitably, he was nicknamed “Sugar” Ray, echoing the moniker of who some believe to be boxing’s greatest fighter ever, Sugar Ray Robinson.

Leonard made the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 1976, along with Leon and Michael Spinks, Howard Davis Jr., Leo Randolph, Charles Mooney, and John Tate. Leonard won his weight class with a 5-0 decision and earned an Olympic Gold Medal. His amateur record stood at 165-5 and 75 knock-outs. In an interview after the bout, he announced, "I'm finished...I've fought my last fight. My journey has ended, my dream is fulfilled. Now I want to go to school." But fate had other plans.

His high school sweetheart, Juanita Wilkinson, had become pregnant three years earlier, and had their son in 1974.   Leonard had a picture of taped to his sock during his Olympic bout, but the two had decided not to marry until after the Games. However, Wilkinson had applied for welfare shortly before the Olympics without telling Leonard. Afterward, the press found out and broke the story of him failing to support his son, and hoped-for commercial endorsements went out the window. Then his father landed in the hospital with meningitis and Leonard’s mother suffered a heart attack. He had no choice; he would continue fighting to support both families.

An astounding number of fights, retirements, and re-emergences in the ring over two decades followed. From 1977 to 1997, Leonard earned a record of 36-3-1 with 25 KOs, beating greats such as DurÃ¥n, Lalonde and Norris to cement his place in boxing history. But he didn’t stop there. The handsome guy with the big smile has gone on to appear in TV and films and start his own business ventures. He and his present wife founded the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation to support juvenile diabetes research and accessible housing, healthcare services and job training in communities across the U.S.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 19- Steven Ford, actor & son of President Gerald Ford

Steven Ford grew up in Michigan, then studied forestry with his brother Jack at Utah State University and equine studies at Cal Poly, Pomona. In 1981, he became a regular on The Young and the Restless soap opera playing private investigator Andy Richards. He continues in the role until 1987, briefly reprising it for a year in 2002. Ford has also appeared in minor parts for a variety of TV shows and films, including When Harry Met Sally

A self-described moderate Republican and fiscal conservative, Ford spends the bulk of his time raising money for philanthropic organizations. He also gives speeches to student groups on alcoholism, a malady he fell victim to in the late 1980s but has since overcome. 


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