Muhammad Ali, athlete
Jan. 17, 1942-
I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali by Maryum Ali, illustrated by Patrick Johnson (Beyond Words Publishing, 2004)
Three-time winner of the World Heavyweight boxing championship, an Olympic gold medal and numerous other awards, Ali was born Cassius Clay, Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky. One of his most famous quotes is “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”
The Official Site of the U.S. Olympic Team highlights the many accomplishments of Ali, an African-American super athlete.
Ben Franklin, founding father
Jan. 17, 1706-Apr. 17, 1706
The Life of Ben Franklin: An American Original by Yona Zeldis McDongough, illustrated by Malcah Zeldis (Holt, 2006)
Author, politician, and inventor were just a few of Franklin’s occupations. The story of his life and achievements are detailed in this biography.
Time Magazine’s Online Edition has a Special Report on Franklin, titled “Citizen Ben’s Great Virtues.”
Mack Sennett, film pioneer
Jan. 17, 1880-Nov. 5, 1960
Mack Made Movies by Don Brown (Roaring Brook Press, 2003)
“In 1900, twenty-year-old Mack Sennett was a horse’s rear end.” Who can resist an opening line like that? Read more about the silent moviemaker of the slapstick Keystone Kops and Charlie Chaplin.
A mini-biography and a listing of Sennett's is available on a movie database site.