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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 5  Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist 

Neil deGrasse Tyson may be America’s most recognized scientist. He has authored several books aimed at everyday people, written a slew of essays, and appeared on many popular television and radio shows including “The Big Bang Theory”, “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “Real Time with Bill Maher”. After gathering degrees from Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University, Tyson rose to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium and oversaw its $210 million reconstruction in New York City.  

Tyson’s interest in astronomy was born when he was nine and went to the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium, when, he says, “the universe called me.” He took classes there during high school, when director and instructor Mark Chartrand III mixed humor with enthusiasm in his classes, a pattern Tyson admired and has tried to replicate. 

An avid learner, Tyson studied astronomy intently as a teen and met luminaries in science such as Neil Armstrong and Isaac Asimov. Princeton University and the American Museum of Natural History featured him on staff early in his career. President George W. Bush appointed him to the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry in 2001, and three years later to the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, known as the “Moon, Mars and Beyond” commission.

Tyson said that science is a spiritual experience when he stated: “For me, when I say spiritual, I'm referring to a feeling you would have that connects you to the universe in a way that it may defy simple vocabulary. We think about the universe as an intellectual playground, which it surely is, but the moment you learn something that touches an emotion rather than just something intellectual, I would call that a spiritual encounter with the universe.”

An ardent advocate for increasing funding for NASA, Tyson believes in the power of the organization to advance American might. In March 2012, he said, “Right now, NASA's annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th century birthright to dream of tomorrow.”

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 10  Tanya Tucker, singer-songwriter

Tanya Tucker burst onto the music scene in 1972 at the age of 13 with the hit song “Delta Dawn.” The artist had the rare ability to maintain her audience for decades after, scoring a Grammy Award for Best Country Album with 2019’s “While I’m Livin’”. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame just this year. 

Tucker began her career even before the release of her first song. She auditioned for a role in the movie “Jeremiah Johnson” before she turned 10. While she lost the bigger role, both Tucker and her horse got bit parts in the film. Her father drove her to the Arizona State Fair at around this time, hoping his daughter could back up country singer Judy Lynn. After Tanya sang for fair organizers, she was signed up to sing on her own at the fair. Tucker had already sung with Mel Tillis by the time she signed on with Columbia Records, her first label.

After a string of hits in the country genre, Tucker took a big risk in 1978 when she switched to rock and released her album “TNT“. It went gold, and in a twist of irony “Texas (When I Die)” climbed to number five on the country charts. But lonely nights on the road and a breakup with fellow musician Glen Campbell took their toll. Tucker turned to alcohol, and by 1988 her family persuaded her to go to rehab. 

After getting sober, the artist veered into country-pop and rebounded with several hits. Tucker has continued to perform and release new material, including her 2022 album “The Return of Tanya Tucker”.

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 17  Thomas Hearns, boxer

Thomas “the Hitman” Hearns earned a place in history as the first man to win world titles in five different weight divisions: welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight. He was named Fighter of the Year in 1980 and 1984 by both The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. 

Hearns is revered as one of the most damaging punchers in boxing history, knocking out his first 17 opponents. In 1981, with a 32-0 record that included 30 knockouts, Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard faced off in a bout that earned the boxers a combined $17 million. Hearns was defeated in the 14th round. 

In another historic fight, Hearns faced Marvin Hagler in 1985 for the super-welterweight championship. Hearns nearly knocked out his opponent early on and nearly won the bout, but then broke his right hand and continued fighting as best he could, eventually succumbing in the third round. 

Although a devastating opponent in the ring, Hearns proved that his heart was as mighty as his punches. In his next bout, in 1986, Hearns took out up-and-coming boxer James “Black Gold” Shuler with a knockout in the first round to win the NABF championship belt. When Shuler was killed only a week later in a motorcycle accident, Hearns delivered the belt to Shuler’s family, telling them they deserved to keep it since Shuler had held the title longer than he had.


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