Famed science fiction and fantasy writer Phillip Jose Farmer died in his sleep Wednesday. He was 91.
Best known for his Riverworld series, Farmer was one of the most influential voices in the genre. He won both the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Society.
Farmer was the first in the genre to write about sexual themes. And I think I speak for most of the world when I question whether sex + science fiction was a good idea. There’s no telling the impact this had on the twittering and awkward masses that largely make up science fiction’s readership.
Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam from 1934-1975, died on February 25, 1975. Don’t let the funny hat distract you. He was bald.
Nikita Khrushchev harshly criticized the late Josef Stalin in a speech before a Communist party congress in Moscow on February 25, 1956. With his doughy features and bald head the former Soviet leader resembled a big baby in a suit.
Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange, was born February 25, 1917. The only thing as difficult to look at as some of the scenes in the movie based on his book is Burgess’ appalling combover.
Actor Jim Backus, who played Thurston J. Howell III on Gilligan’s Island, was born February 25, 1913. But Backus was more than just a bit player on Gilligan’s Island. He was also the voice of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo, and played the role of James Dean’s father in Rebel Without a Cause. And he also made some comedy albums.
On February 25, 1964, Muhammad Ali (not bald), shocked the world but by defeating Sonny Liston (also not bald) in 7 rounds to win the heavyweight title. A great moment in sports, but does anyone credit the instruction of Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee (bald)? Why does the bald guy always get forgotten? That’s bull$#!&
Born on February 24, 1970, NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia doesn’t let baldness hold him back. Undersized for a quarterback, Garcia originally took his game to the Canadian Football League, winning a Gray Cup. He entered the National Football League in 1999 and has bounced around ever since.
The four-time Pro Bowler is currently languishing in free agency after being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That means he’s just hanging out around the house with his wife, who happens to be Carmella DeCesare, Playboy Magazine’s 2004 Playmate of the Year.
American Actor Abe Vigoda, who appeared in The Godfather, born February 24. 1921.
Italian-American actor Dominic Chianese, who appeared in The Sopranos, born February 23. 1931.
Unabashedly bald American actor Billy Zane (and Kelly Brock’s ex-boyfriend) was born February 23, 1966.
American painter Winslow Homer, born February 23. 1836.
On February 23, 1905, Chicago attorney Paul Harris met with other local businessmen to form the first Rotary Club. His bald head was immortalized on the medal for the organization’s Paul Harris Fellow award.
Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist Party in Italy on February 23, 1919. This leads to some unfortunate events.
February 23, 1954, Dr. Jonas E. Salk developed a vaccine for polio.
Sociologist W.E.B. DuBois, an African American civil rights activist who co-founded the NAACP, was born February 23. 1868.
On February 23, 2000, Carlos Santana received eight Grammy Awards for his album Supernatural.
On February 23, 1848, President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), died at the age of 80.
Egyptian pharaoh Ramses the Great was born February 22, 1290BC. Despite his mummy’s seemingly unattractive appearance, Ramses was a prolific breeder, as well as a builder of many temples.
Influential German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the father of philosophical pessimism, was born February 22. 1788.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. – Arthur Schopenhauer.
Click here for more Shopenhauer quotes.
Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, was born. February 22, 1857. Maybe it would be best to gloss over Baden-Powell’s allegedly unhealthy interest in the athletic achievements of young boys.
Chicago mafia boss Joseph “Mourning Doves” Aiuppa, a.k.a “Ha Ha” died in prison on February 22, 1997. He was 89. The former body guard of Al Capone received his nickname after being arrested for illegally transporting mourning doves across state lines.
On February 22, 1987, the world bid goodbye to the wig of Andy Warhol. Best remembered for covering the bald head of the famed American pop artist, the wig was an icon itself.
It takes a special man to turn a few prints of soup cans into an incredibly lucrative art career. In fact, it’s absurd. Why did anyone care about prints of soup cans or Marylin Monroe? Perhaps it wasn’t the artist. Perhaps it was his magic wig?
On February 20, 2005, author and Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson decided he’d had enough of his earthly existence and chose to “buy the ticket and take the ride.”
That’s a metaphor for putting a loaded shotgun in your mouth and pulling the trigger.
Thompson, who dealt with the early onset of hairloss (and everything else) with some extremely illegal coping techniques:
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. – Hunter S. Thompson
He used journalism like a battering ram, punishing his enemies with his vicious writing. He stalked Richard Nixon, inspired a generation of political journalists, became a bald icon, had way too much fun, and finally had enough and ended it all on his terms.
Rest in peace Dr. Thompson… actually, he probably too high to rest.