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Bing Crosby
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Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby was, without a doubt, the most popular and influential media star of the first half of the 20th century. The undisputed best-selling artist until well into the rock era (with over half a billion records in circulation), the most popular radio star of all time, and the biggest box-office draw of the 1940s, Crosby dominated the entertainment world from the Depression until the mid-50s, and proved just as influential as he was popular. Unlike the many vocal artists before him, Crosby grew up with radio, and his intimate bedside manner was a style perfectly suited to emphasize the strengths of a medium transmitted directly into the home. He was also helped by the emerging microphone technology: scientists had… Read More
Valerie Corral
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Valerie Corral
Following an auto accident in 1973 that caused a brain trauma and resulted in my becoming epileptic, I began using marijuana as an adjunct medicine. This treatment replaced a rigorous pharmaceutical regimen. With deliberate application and mindful monitoring, marijuana was to eventually become the medicine that has continued to control my seizure activity. In 1992 I was arrested with my husband, Mike, for the cultivation of five marijuana plants. Spurred by this arrest I became involved in the campaign to legalize medical marijuana. As the first patient in the state of California to challenge existing law and based on a defense of necessity I was ushered into the legal, political and social foreground of this health issue. The spring of… Read More
Merle Haggard
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Merle Haggard
When Merle Haggard released "Okie from Muskogee" 30 years ago, the song made him a right-wing hero. Issued at the height of the Vietnam War protests, it won him praise from conservatives for the line "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don't take our trips on LSD." Haggard always said the hoopla was overplayed, claiming he intended the song as a kind of jest. And, today, this country legend cum rugged individualist says that conservatives—especially the anti-marijuana forces—have gone too far. "America has sure gone to some sort of a police state in the last 10 years," says Haggard, who is at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vt., tomorrow and Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Sunday. He hasn't played in New… Read More
Margaret Mead
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Margaret Mead
When Margaret Mead died in 1978, she was the most famous anthropologist in the world. Indeed, it was through her work that many people learned about anthropology and its holistic vision of the human species. Mead taught at a number of institutions, authored some twenty books and co-authored an equal number. She was much honored in her lifetime, serving as president of major scientific associations, including the American Anthropological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and she received 28 honorary doctorates. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom following her death in 1978. Mead testified before Congress in favor of the legalization of marijuana on October 27, 1969, and she told Newsweek in 1970 that… Read More
Larry Hagman
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Larry Hagman
Legal liquor nearly killed him but illegal LSD "took the fear of death from me." Pot and peyote buttons were therapeutic high points, too. Now he's surviving on a mandatory daily diet of 29 prescription pills. Meet Larry Hagman—all over again. The man who played J.R. Ewing has a revelatory new autobiography out titled "Hello Darlin': Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life." It duly talks about "Dallas" and "I Dream of Jeannie." Those are the easy parts. A life story is more than actors and their roles, though. He had a challenging relationship with his father, attorney Ben Hagman, described as a "two-fisted, drinking, good old Texas boy." And he loathed his stepfather, Richard Halliday, whom Hagman blames… Read More
Michael R. Bloomberg
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Michael R. Bloomberg
Michael R. Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He was born on February 14, 1942 to middle class parents in Medford, Massachusetts, where his father was the bookkeeper at a local dairy. Mayor Bloomberg's thirst for information and fascination with technology was evident at an early age, and led him to John Hopkins University, where he parked cars and took out loans to finance his education. After his college graduation, he gained an MBA from Harvard and in the summer of 1966, he was hired by Solomon Brothers to work on Wall Street. He quickly advanced through the ranks, and became a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon's stock trading… Read More
Bob Marley
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Bob Marley
Bob Marley was reggae's foremost practitioner and emissary, embodying its spirit and spreading its gospel to all corners of the globe. His extraordinary body of work embraces the stylistic spectrum of modern Jamaican music—from ska to rock steady to reggae—while carrying the music to another level as a social force with universal appeal. Marley cannot claim to have had even one hit single in America, but few others changed the musical and cultural landscape as profoundly as he. As Robert Palmer wrote in a tribute to Marley upon his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "No one in rock and roll has left a musical legacy that matters more or one that matters in such fundamental ways."… Read More
George Harrison
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George Harrison
He was the diffident Beatle, a quiet and unassuming figure beside the towering egos of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But, after his innate creativity was allowed to flourish, George Harrison made his own mark as a great songwriter, with works such as Here Comes The Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps holding their own beside those of his colleagues. And Something was hailed by Frank Sinatra as "the greatest love song ever written." The son of a bus driver, George Harrison was born in the Hunts Cross area of Liverpool on 25 February 1943. As A Teenager With John & Paul Although his childhood home was a back-to-back-terrace house with an outside toilet, a scholarship to the Liverpool Institute,… Read More
Ken Kesey
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Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey, the psychedelic pioneer who wrote the 1960s novels, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion," and who became famous as a counterculture figure leading his LSD-fueled Merry Pranksters on a cross-country bus ride, died Saturday following liver cancer surgery. Kesey died at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon, two weeks after surgery to remove 40 percent of his liver. Kesey, who was 66, "passed away peacefully in his sleep" with his family at his side, according to a nursing supervisor. His liver cancer had been complicated by diabetes and a minor stroke he suffered four years ago. "He's gone too soon and he will leave a big gap. Always the leader, now he… Read More
Elvy Musikka
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Elvy Musikka
Elvy Musikka is a woman in her mid-forties who lives in Hollywood, Florida. This is her story: I am Elvy Musikka. I was born with congenital cataracts, so as a child I had several eye surgeries. Perhaps for this reason I developed glaucoma in my thirties. Within a year a doctor recommended medical marijuana. For over 25 years it has been the most efficient, reliable, and the safest part of my treatment. Unfortunately, fear of the law caused me to make irrational personal decisions, such as having too many surgeries in my right eye. The result? Permanent blindness in that eye. By this time, I was more determined than ever to maintain the limited but stable vision in my left… Read More
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