On February fourteenth,1882, a male baby first saw the light of day and was given the name John Barrymore. He was destined to become one of the most famous people of his time…because of his acting talent, his looks (he was called the Great Profile), and his alcoholism. A member of a distinguished acting family, John had an older brother Lionel, and a sister Ethel. All three made their mark on the American stage, and the one Barrymore still acting today is Drew Barrymore.
Eighteen ninety-four saw the birth of one Benjamin Kubelsky, in Waukegan, Illinois, who would go on to become Jack Benny, the pseudo violinist and comedian. He had a very successful career as a skinflint in his comedy sketches, but apparently he was a very generous man in real life. He married Mary Livingstone and featured her on his shows.
James Pike was born on February fourteenth, 1913, and he would go on to become the fifth Episcopal Bishop of California. A seeker, he was liberal in his Christianity, calling for ‘more belief and fewer beliefs’.Married several times, he and his last wife Diane Kennedy made a trip to the Holy Land to explore the origins of Christianity. Somewhere between Jerusalem and Masada they became lost. Mrs. Pike walked miles to safety but James Pike apparently went another way and fell to his death.
A James of a different color was born on February fourteenth in the same year as Bishop Pike. Jimmy Hoffa was involved in organized crime and on July 30,1975, he was waiting at a restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, for a meeting with some crime bosses. He has not been seen since, and it is the opinion of many that he was disposed of that day, possibly because of something he had done as President of the Teamsters Union that displeased certain people. Valentine’s Day was not a lucky day on which to be born for Jimmy Hoffa.
Other personalities born on Valentine’s Day were TV host Hugh Downs in 1921 ;New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1942; Bernie Geoffrion, star player for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League from 1950 to 1964 was born in 1931; actress Florence Henderson arrived in 1934; opera star Renee Fleming was born in 1959; wry actress Thelma Ritter, beloved star of movies and TV came along in 1905; Phyllis McGuire, of the famed McGuire Sisters singing trio was born in 1931 (and was rumored to have had a long-time romantic alliance with Sam ‘Momo’ Giancano, a mobster), and last but not least, Lois Maxwell, Miss Moneypenny of the James Bond movie series, was born in 1927.