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32 Famous Americans Born on the Fourth of July

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Yankee Doodle Dandies

While Fourth of July is most famous for being the date on which 13 colonies declared their independence from England and eventually formed the United States, this legendary party day also happens to be the birthday for a long list of celebrities, singers, athletes, and otherwise historic figures. Here’s a look at some of the well-known people, past and present, who have an extra reason to celebrate this federal holiday.

Calvin Coolidge
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Calvin Coolidge

It seems somehow appropriate to start first by recognizing a president who was born on the nation’s birthday. In fact, the only president to be born on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the nation’s 30th president, was born in 1872 in a tiny hamlet in Vermont. As a side note, though only one of our nation’s presidents was born on the holiday, three of the first five presidents died on July 4. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all passed away on Independence Day. In fact, Jefferson and Adams died the very same year — 1826. Monroe died in 1831.

Related: First Tastes: Favorite Foods of 21 U.S. Presidents

Eva Marie Saint
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Eva Marie Saint

A legendary actress for her era, Eva Marie Saint starred on Broadway and television and in movies. She was born in 1924 in Newark, New Jersey. Some of her most famous roles included starring in “On the Waterfront” (for which she won an Academy Award) and also in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.”

George Steinbrenner
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George Steinbrenner

Longtime owner of the New York Yankees, George Michael Steinbrenner was born in 1930 near Cleveland, Ohio. Part of a wealthy shipping family, Steinbrenner eventually joined the business himself, growing it so much that he was able to create an investment division, which purchased the Yankees for $10 million.

Geraldo Rivera
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Geraldo Rivera

Journalist turned sensationalist TV talk show host and who is also an attorney, Geraldo Rivera was born on July 4, in 1943. He was born in Brooklyn as Gerald Michael Riviera, though his parents’ surname was Rivera. In an autobiography titled “Exposing Myself,” the journalist said his mother, who was of Russian-Jewish ancestry, was trying to shield him and her other children from future discrimination by misspelling their surname on the birth certificates, as they were products of a mixed marriage.

Bill Withers
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Bill Withers

An American singer, songwriter and musician Bill Withers was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia in 1938. His musical hits include such well-known songs as “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Just the Two of Us.” He was the subject of the 2009 documentary film “Still Bill.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Nathaniel Hawthorne

A literary giant from the past, Nathanial Hathorne was born on July 4 in 1804. Most famous for penning “The Scarlet Letter,” the author is also a descendant of one of the leading figures in the Salem witch trials. His great-great-grandfather John Hathorne was a judge during the infamous trials who was known for hastily convicting detainees and refusing to reconsider verdicts even after major witnesses had recanted testimony. He was so ashamed of his ancestor’s role in the trials that he decided to add a “w” to his last name to distance himself from the family history.

Ann Landers
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Ann Landers

Though younger generations may not remember her, Landers, who was born Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1918, was famous for her advice column back when newspapers were still a major force in the United States. Her column, “Ask Ann Landers,” was syndicated in more than 1,000 newspapers over 50 years.

Pauline  Phillips
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Pauline Phillips

Here’s a fun fact. Ann Landers had a twin sister, Pauline Esther Phillips, who was also born on the Fourth of July. Not only were they twins, but Phillips, like her sister, also penned a legendary advice column known as Dear Abby. The sisters also attended the same college and held a joint marriage ceremony. All of which was followed by their not speaking for years because they were rivals in the advice business.

Malia Obama
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Malia Obama

Daughter of President Barack Obama, Malia is one of the modern-day Fourth of July babies, born in 1998. Now 20 years old and a student at Harvard, the former president’s eldest daughter is fond of celebrating her big day in chic Hamptons hot spots.

Ron Kovic
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Ron Kovic

Those who have seen Tom Cruise’s 1989 movie “Born on the Fourth of July” may recognize this name. Ron Kovic is the man Cruise portrayed. Kovic is a Vietnam veteran and anti-war activist. He was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, on July 4, 1946, and later went on to join the Marines. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1965 and during his second tour of duty, in 1968, he was struck by enemy fire and left paralyzed from the chest down. Kovic’s autobiography was adapted into Oliver Stone’s film, which won two Academy Awards.

Neil Simon
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Neil Simon

One of the most successful playwrights in American history, Neil Simon was born in 1927 in the Bronx, New York. The long list of Broadway productions written by Simon (many of which were made into movies) famously includes Tony-award-winning “The Odd Couple,” as well as “The Star-Spangled Girl,” “Plaza Suite,” and “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” Simon also wrote a trilogy of autobiographical plays that included “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Biloxi Blues,” and “Broadway Bound.” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues” were both made into movies.

Rube Goldberg
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Rube Goldberg

A legendary, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Rube Goldberg was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1883. He was perhaps most famous for the cartoon character Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts, who was known to come up with overly complicated contraptions to complete very simple jobs. Perhaps even more interestingly, Goldberg is one of the few people whose name became an adjective. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Rube Goldberg” as “doing something simple in a very complicated way that is not necessary.”

Andrew Zimmern
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Andrew Zimmern

A well-known name in the world of celebrity chefs, Andrew Zimmern was born in New York in 1961. Zimmern is a food writer who has hosted such well-known shows as “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and also “Bizarre Foods America.” In 2010, Zimmern won his first James Beard Award.

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
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Henrietta Swan Leavitt

While few people may know her name, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, born in 1868 in Lancaster, Massachusetts, was a successful astronomer in her day. She graduated from Radcliffe and worked at the Harvard College Observatory examining photographic plates to measure and catalog the brightness of stars. Leavitt made a discovery that allowed astronomers to measure the distance between Earth and faraway galaxies.

Mike Sorrentino
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Mike Sorrentino

Not exactly an A-lister but rather a reality TV star, Mike Sorrentino aka “The Situation” from MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” was born in 1981. This July 4 baby went on to amass quite a fortune for himself. In 2010, he raked in $5 million from endorsements and reality TV work. He also racked up federal charges and pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. He’s currently serving time in a federal prison and is due out in September.

Leona Helmsley
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Leona Helmsley

A billionaire who earned herself a very bad name for being so mean, Leona Helmsley was born in 1920 and went on to become a hotel operator and real estate investor in New York City. The daughter of a Brooklyn hatmaker, she married real estate developer Harry Helmsley in 1982. Later, she would cast herself in ad campaigns for Helmsley Palace Hotel as the nitpicking monarch.

Stephen Foster
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Stephen Foster

Today he may not be a household name, but Stephen Foster was not only born on the nation’s birthday, he’s also seen as the “father of American music.” Not familiar with his tunes? Foster, born in 1826, wrote more than 200 songs including “Oh! Susanna” and “Camptown Races.” Though his life seemed so promising given all of his success with music, Foster died in the charity ward of New York’s Bellevue Hospital at just 37 years old. His publishers, as it turns out, pocketed most of the money from Foster’s work.

John Leonetti
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John Leonetti

Cinematographer John Leonetti’s work includes such films as “The Conjuring,” “The Mask,” and also “Insidious: Chapter 2.” He was born in 1956 in California. Leonetti got his start in showbiz working for his family’s motion picture business, which was started by his father, Frank Leonetti. Frank’s own credits include gaffing for such legendary films such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Meyer Lansky
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Meyer Lansky

Though early childhood records indicate Meyer Lansky was born on Aug. 28, 1902, Meyer Lansky’s family always celebrated his birthday on July 4 and recognized his birthday as July 4, 1902. Lansky was famous for being “the Mob’s accountant,” and ran with a legendary pack of gangsters that included Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, and more. Lansky was considered to be one of the most important figures in the development of organized crime in New York, nationwide and worldwide in the 20th century. His family immigrated to this country from Russia in 1911.

Josh McCown
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Josh McCown

An NFL quarterback who arrived on the scene playing for the Arizona Cardinals in 2002, Josh McCown was born July 4, 1979, in Jacksonville, Texas. His career has included playing for the Chicago Bears and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He comes from a football family. He is the older brother of fellow NFL quarterback Luke McCown.

Pam Shriver
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Pam Shriver

Calling all tennis fans. Here’s one for you. Pam Shriver was born in Baltimore on July 4, 1962. She went on to be a five-time Wimbledon doubles champion and a 1988 Olympic gold medalist, no small feat. Shriver and Martina Navratilova won 79 double titles, including 20 Grand Slams. Altogether, Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles titles.

Al Davis
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Al Davis

Another well-known sports industry figure, Al Davis, born in 1929 in Brockton, Massachusetts, owned the Oakland Raiders from 1966 until 2011. Davis also served as a commissioner of the American Football League (AFL) and was instrumental in the AFL’s merger with the National Football League.

Gloria Stuart
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Gloria Stuart

Actress Gloria Stuart was born on a dining room table in Santa Monica, California, in 1910. After this unique beginning she went on to act in plays that she produced in her home as a young girl. Stuart was also the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. She also starred in several Hollywood movies during the course of her life, and won a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar nomination for her performance as Old Rose in “Titanic.”

Carrie Keagan
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Carrie Keagan

Born in Los Angeles in 1980 as Carrie Nile, this July 4 baby is most famous for such shows as “Bravo After Hours with Carrie Keagan,” “Big Morning Buzz Live,” and she also appeared on “The Apprentice” in 2004. Keagan is also well known for conducting funny, naughty interviews with Hollywood’s elite, which have earned more than 2 billion views online and resulted in her nickname “Barbara Walters on Acid.”

  Michael Sweet
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Michael Sweet

Fans of Christian rock bands will likely recognize this name. Michael Harrison Sweet, born in 1963 in Whittier, California, is a singer who was co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and front man for Stryper. His additional claim to fame is serving as co-lead vocalist and guitarist for Boston from 2007 to 2011.

Lee Reherman
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Lee Reherman

An actor and producer who was well known for his roles in “Star Trek Into Darkness” and also “Last Action Hero,” Lee Reherman was born in Kentucky in 1966. Reherman, who attended Cornell University, also earned an MBA from UCLA and a Ph.D. in economics. Before becoming an actor he tried out for the Miami Dolphins, but did not make the team. Reherman died in 2016.

Mo McRae
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Mo McRae

An up-and-coming actor and producer, Mo McRae was born in Los Angeles on July 4 in 1982. His credits to date include Wild (2014), as well as Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” (2013) and also the 2018 film “The First Purge.” McRae is also known for his recurring role as Tyler in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy.”

Mark Allen Slaughter
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Mark Allen Slaughter

Remember the band Slaughter? Okay, maybe you don’t. But for those who do, this name will be familiar. Mark Allen Slaughter was one of the founders of the rock band. His professional work also includes serving as a voice actor (including as the voice of “Freakazoid” on the 1990s cartoon “Animaniacs”) and as a composer. And while not his biggest claim to fame, he too was born on July 4.

Becki Newton
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Becki Newton

Remember the hit TV show “Ugly Betty”? Well, Becki Newton, who was born in 1978 in New Haven, Connecticut, played Amanda Tanen on the show. She also had a role in another hit, “How I Met Your Mother,” in which she played Quinn Garvey. Newton also appeared in a slew of national commercials and had guest roles on such shows as “Cold Case” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Post Malone
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Post Malone

An American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer, Post Malone was born Austin Richard Post in Syracuse, New York, in 1995. In 2015, he released his single “White Iverson,” a song that peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 and later certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Fredo Santana
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Fredo Santana

Born in 1990 in Chicago, rapper Fredo Santana was seen as one of the pioneers of Chicago’s drill rap movement alongside his cousin and fellow rapper Chief Keef. Santana was most famous for work on such albums as “Fredo Mafia.” Santana died in 2018 of cardiovascular disease in Los Angeles.

Safaree Samuels
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Safaree Samuels

Born in Brooklyn in 1981, Safaree Samuels is a rapper, songwriter, actor and TV personality. He is perhaps best known as one of the members of the VH1 reality show “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.” He has also served as hype man for rapper and artist Nicki Minaj and worked on some of her albums as co-executive producer.