• Whitney Bourne

    1914 - 1988

    Whitney Bourne (1914 - 1988)

    Actress. Born to George Galt and Helen Whitney Bourne in New York. Known as Whitney Bourne and born into the lifestyle of a socialite, her parents divorced while she was still young. Whitney would make her Broadway debut in Firebird in 1932. Having a five year career, Whitney had a contract with MacArhur and Hecht, […]

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  • Whitney Houston

    1963 - 2012

    Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

    Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston was one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. She released six […]

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  • Whittaker Chambers

    1901 - 1961

    Whittaker Chambers (1901 - 1961)

    Journalist, Author, Soviet Agent. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied at Columbia University, and gained a modest reputation as a writer. Translated several works, notably “Bambi”, into English. He was an active American Communist (1925 to 1929, 1931 to 1938), writing for the Daily Worker and editing the New Masses. Along the way he became […]

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  • Wilbert Vere Awdry

    1911 - 1997

    Wilbert Vere Awdry (1911 - 1997)

    Author. He was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine,  a popular character in children’s fiction.  Awdry originally invented the stories as a way of entertaining his young son Christopher as he recovered from scarlet fever. The first book of the series,  “The Three Railway Engines”, was published in 1945. (bio by: John Byrne)

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  • Wilbur “W J” Cash

    1900 - 1941

    Wilbur “W J” Cash (1900 - 1941)

    Author. Wrote the book “The Mind of the South.” (bio by: pruittr)  Note: Author of “The Mind of the South”

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  • Wilbur Hardee

    1918 - 2008

    Wilbur Hardee (1918 - 2008)

    Wilbur Hardee Wilber Hardee, a farm boy turned grill cook who went on to open the first Hardee’s hamburger stand in 1960, starting a chain that now has nearly 2,000 restaurants in the United States and overseas, died Friday at his home in Greenville, N.C. He was 89.   Born in Martin County, N.C., on […]

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  • Wilbur Olin Atwater

    1844 - 1907

    Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844 - 1907)

    Atwater was born in Johnsburg, New York and grew up in the New England area. He opted not to fight in the American Civil War and instead to pursue an undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In 1868, Atwater’s interest in civil engineering and agricultural chemistry led him to enroll in Yale University’s Sheffield […]

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  • Wilfred Bowman

    1970 - 1970

    Wilfred Bowman (1970 - 1970)

    British actor. Starred as “Spiros Nivanos” in the 1992 film “Year of the Comet.” Amongst his work is “The Troubleshooters”, “Z Cars” , “Colditz” and “The Venturers”. One of his most well-loved roles came as one of the German guests in the classic “The Germans” episode of the hit comedy “Fawlty Towers”. (bio by: Kieran […]

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  • Wilfred Gordon Bigelow

    1913 - 2005

    Wilfred Gordon Bigelow (1913 - 2005)

    Wilfred Gordon “Bill” Bigelow, OC FRSC (June 18, 1913 – March 27, 2005) was a Canadian heart surgeon known for his role in developing the artificial pacemaker and the use of hypothermia in open heart surgery.  Born in Brandon, Manitoba, the son of Dr. Wilfred Abram Bigelow, founder of the first private medical clinic in […]

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  • Wilfred Jackson

    1906 - 1988

    Wilfred Jackson (1906 - 1988)

    Motion Picture Animator, Director. He was a key associate of Walt Disney for over 30 years. Wilfred Emmons Jackson was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. Cartoons fascinated him from childhood. While studying at the Otis College of Art and Design in 1928, he approached Disney and offered to pay him “tuition” for […]

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  • Wilfred Jackson

    1906 - 1988

    Wilfred Jackson (1906 - 1988)

    Motion Picture Animator, Director. He was a key associate of Walt Disney for over 30 years. Wilfred Emmons Jackson was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. Cartoons fascinated him from childhood. While studying at the Otis College of Art and Design in 1928, he approached Disney and offered to pay him “tuition” for […]

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  • Wilfred Johnson

    1935 - 1988

    Wilfred Johnson (1935 - 1988)

    Organized Crime Figure. He was an associate in the Gambino Organized Crime Family and close friend of mobster John Gotti. He was also a “Top Echelon” informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigations from 1966 until 1985. He provided the FBI information on John Gotti and other Gambino Family members (his code name was “Wahoo” […]

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  • Wilfred Pickles

    1904 - 1978

    Wilfred Pickles (1904 - 1978)

    Wilfred Pickles (13 October 1904 in Halifax – 27 March 1978 in Brighton) was an English actor and radio presenter. Born in Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire, he moved to Southport, Lancashire, with his family in 1929 and worked with his father as a builder. He joined an amateur dramatic society and in a […]

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  • Wilfrid Brambell

    1912 - 1985

    Wilfrid Brambell (1912 - 1985)

    Wilfrid Brambell’s television career began during the 1950s, when he was cast in small roles in three Nigel Kneale/Rudolph Cartier productions for BBC Television: as a drunk in The Quatermass Experiment (1953), as both an old man in a pub and later a prisoner in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) and as a tramp in Quatermass II […]

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  • Wilhelm Beuth

    1781 - 1853

    Wilhelm Beuth (1781 - 1853)

    ‘The Father of Prussian Industry’. Founded the Technical Trade School in 1821, ancestor of the Berlin Technical University. (bio by: David Conway)

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  • Wilhelm Busch

    1832 - 1908

    Wilhelm Busch (1832 - 1908)

    Painter and Poet. The first of seven children to the marriage of Henriette Kleine and Friedrich Wilhelm Busch. His six siblings followed shortly after: Fanny (1834), Gustav (1836), Adolf (1838), Otto (1841), Anna (1843) and Hermann (1845); all survived childhood. In 1859, after study at academies in Düsseldorf, Antwerp, and Munich, Busch began to contribute […]

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  • Wilhelm Hensel

    1794 - 1861

    Wilhelm Hensel (1794 - 1861)

    Court painter, husband of Fanny Hensel (qv). (bio by: David Conway)  Family links:  Spouse:  Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 – 1847)*  Children:  Felix Ludwig Sebastian Hensel (1830 – 1898)* *Calculated relationship

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  • Wilhelm Röntgen

    1845 - 1923

    Wilhelm Röntgen (1845 - 1923)

    In 1874 Wilhelm Röntgen became a lecturer at the University of Strassburg. In 1875, he became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg. He returned to Strassburg as a professor of physics in 1876, and in 1879, he was appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Giessen. In 1888, […]

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  • Wilkie Collins

    1824 - 1889

    Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889)

    Author. He was born to a creative family. His father became an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1814 and a full member in 1820 painting more than 200 works and was one of the most famous artists of his day with both wealthy and aristocratic patrons. His maternal aunt Margaret Carpenter was also […]

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  • Will Barnet

    1911 - 2012

    Will Barnet (1911 - 2012)

    Painter. A somewhat difficult artist to classify, he used oil, watercolors, and drawing to create images of attractive ladies and the Maine coast. Raised in the Boston suburbs, he began his art career by sketching Colonial era grave stones in the local cemetery and as a child was able to observe the great portraitist John […]

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  • Will Cuppy

    1884 - 1949

    Will Cuppy (1884 - 1949)

    Will Cuppy supported himself in New York by writing advertising copy while he tried unsuccessfully to write a play. He served briefly stateside in World War I as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps. Later he began contributing book reviews to the New York Tribune, where his college friend Burton Rascoe […]

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  • Will Geer

    1902 - 1978

    Will Geer (1902 - 1978)

    Actor. He is best remembered for his role of ‘Zebulon “Grandpa” Walton’ on the television series, “The Waltons” (1972 to 1981; his death was written into the drama in a special two hour episode, “The Empty Nest”). Born William Auge Ghere in Frankfort, Indiana, he studied botany, obtaining a BS degree at the University of […]

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  • Will Hay

    1888 - 1949

    Will Hay (1888 - 1949)

    Actor. He achieved renown and acclaim as comic actor, appearing in many British comic motion picture, most notably the Gainsborough Studio comedies, and was popular in British film from 1934 to 1943. His film credits include “Where There’s a Will” (1936), “Oh, Mr Porter!” (1937), “The Ghost of St. Michaels” (1941) and “My Learned Friend” […]

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  • Will Hudson

    1908 - 1981

    Will Hudson (1908 - 1981)

    Will Hudson (né Arthur Murray Hainer; 8 March 1908 Grimsby, Ontario – 16 July 1981 Isle of Palms, South Carolina) was a Canadian-born American composer, arranger, and big band leader who flourished from the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s. He co-wrote his two biggest hits “Moonglow” and “Organ Grinder’s Swing” in 1934 and 1936, respectively. Hudson’s […]

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  • Will Keith Kellogg

    1860 - 1951

    Will Keith Kellogg (1860 - 1951)

    Business Entrepreneur.  Inventor of corn flakes, he founded the Kellogg Cereal Company and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, he was the younger son of John Preston Kellogg and Ann Janette Stanley Kellogg.  Just before he was born in 1860, the family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where his father, John […]

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  • Willa Cather

    1873 - 1947

    Willa Cather (1873 - 1947)

    Author. Born in Virginia, she moved with her family to Webster County, Nebraska at the age of nine. There she lived among the immigrant families that became the inspiration for the frontier settlers in her writings. She graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1890, and then enrolled in the University of Nebraska. While attending […]

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  • Willa Pearl Curtis

    1896 - 1970

    Willa Pearl Curtis (1896 - 1970)

    Actress. Appeared in motion pictures from 1938 to 1955. She played ‘Buckwheat’s’ mother in the “Our Gang” series. (bio by: Graving Queen of the OC)

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  • Willard A. Downes

    1908 - 2000

    Willard A. Downes (1908 - 2000)

    Artist. Born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he went to New York City, New York at age 17 to pursue a career as an artist. Having become noticed as a painter and commercial illustrator, he was commissioned by the major motion picture studios in the 1930s to do publicity sketches of the “big name” stars […]

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  • Willard Bowsky

    1907 - 1944

    Willard Bowsky (1907 - 1944)

    Willard Bowsky was born in New Jersey in 1907 into an Italian-German Jewish immigrant family, the second son of Herman Bowsky and Emma L. Bowsky (née Cimiotti), both born in New York City. Herman Bowsky’s parents emigrated from Germany; while Emma’s father was born in Austria of Italian descent and emigrated from there as a […]

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  • Willem Johan Kolff

    1911 - 2009

    Willem Johan Kolff (1911 - 2009)

    Born in Leiden, Netherlands, Kolff was the eldest of a family of 5 boys. Kolff studied medicine in his hometown at Leiden University, and continued as a resident in internal medicine at Groningen University. One of his first patients there was a 22-year old man who was slowly dying of renal failure. This prompted Kolff […]

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