United States of America in History (Part 22)

Historical Events


Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 2101 - 2,200 of 9,840

  • 1918-02-03 Helen Stephens, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m & 4x100m relay 1936), born in Fulton, Missouri (d. 1994)
  • 1918-02-04 Ida Lupino, Anglo-American actress (Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) and director (The Hitch-Hiker), born in London, England (d. 1995)
  • 1918-02-08 Fred Blassie, American professional wrestler (d. 2003)
  • 1918-02-11 Margaret Heldt, American hairdresser who created the Beehive, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1918-02-16 Patty Andrews, American vocalist (Andrews Sisters), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2013)
  • 1918-02-18 Jane Loevinger, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1918-02-20 Leonore Annenberg American Billionaire
  • 1918-02-22 Charles "Charlie O" Finley, American sports entrepreneur (MLB's Kansas City/Oakland A's: NHL's California Golden Seals), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1996)
  • 1918-02-23 Richard G. Butler, American fascist (d. 2004)
  • 1918-02-25 Barney Ewell, American athlete (d. 1996)
  • 1918-03-01 Gladys Noon Spellman, American politician (d. 1988)
  • 1918-03-05 James Tobin, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2002)
  • 1918-03-12 Elaine de Kooning, American artist (d. 1989)
  • 1918-03-18 Bob Broeg, American sports writer (d. 2005)
  • 1918-04-08 Glendon Swarthout, American author (d. 1992)

Person of interestWilliam Holden

1918-04-17 William Holden [Beedle], American actor (The Blue Knight, Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Bridge on the River Kwai), born in O'Fallon, Illinois (d. 1981)

  • 1918-04-18 Cliff Hillegass, American publisher (Cliffsnotes), born in Rising City, Nebraska (d. 2001)
  • 1918-04-23 Gordon Hirabayshi, American civil rights activist and WWII internment opponent (Hirabayshi v. United States), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2012)

Person of interestJack Paar

1918-05-01 Jack Paar, American comedian and TV host of the Jack Paar Show and The Tonight Show (1957-62), born in Canton, Ohio (d. 2004)

Comedian and TV Host Jack Paar
Comedian and TV Host
Jack Paar
  • 1918-05-10 George Welch, American World War II flying ace (Medal of Honor nominee) and test pilot, born in Wawaset Park, Delaware (d. 1954)
  • 1918-05-19 Abraham Pais, Dutch-born American physicist (d. 2000)
  • 1918-05-20 Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1918-05-24 Coleman Young, 1st African American Mayor of Detroit, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (d. 1997)
  • 1918-05-30 Bob Evans, American restaurateur (d. 2007)
  • 1918-06-02 Ruth Atkinson, American cartoonist (d. 1997)
  • 1918-06-03 Lili St. Cyr, American ecdysiast (d. 1999)
  • 1918-06-08 John D. Roberts, American chemist, received American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal (2013), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2016)
  • 1918-06-12 Samuel Z. Arkoff, American film producer and co-founder of American International Pictures, born in Fort Dodge, Iowa (d. 2001)
  • 1918-06-20 George Lynch, American auto racer, born in Miles City, Montana (d. 1997)
  • 1918-07-04 Johnnie Parsons, American race car driver (won the Indianapolis 500 in 1950) (d. 1984)
  • 1918-07-20 Cindy Walker, American songwriter ("Dream Baby"; "You Don't Know Me") and country singer, born in Mart, Texas (d. 2006)
  • 1918-07-25 Jane Frank, American artist, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1986)
  • 1918-07-26 Marjorie Lord [Wollenberg], American actress (Make Room for Daddy, Sherlock Holmes in Washington), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2015)
  • 1918-07-31 Paul D. Boyer, American biochemist and Nobel Prize Laureate for research on the "enzymatic mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)" (1997), born in Provo, Utah (d. 2018)
  • 1918-07-31 Hank Jones, American jazz pianist and composer, born in Vicksburg, Mississippi (d. 2010)
  • 1918-08-03 Sidney Gottlieb, American CIA official, born in The Bronx, New York (d. 1999)
  • 1918-08-03 Larry Haines [Hecht], American actor (The Odd Couple, Search for Tomorrow), born in Mount Vernon, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1918-08-04 Iceberg Slim (a.k.a. Robert Beck), African-American author, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1992)
  • 1918-08-05 Tom Drake [Alfred Sinclair Alderdice], American actor (Meet Me in St. Louis, Warlock), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1982)
  • 1918-08-06 Norman Granz, American record producer (Jazz at the Philharmonic; Verve Records), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2001)
  • 1918-08-15 Florian Zabach, American musician and TV personality (Hot Canary, Club Embassy), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1918-08-22 Mary McGrory, American journalist and columnist, born in Roslindale, Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2004)
  • 1918-09-11 Donald Blakeslee, American aviator who led 4th Fighter Group during World War II, born in Fairport Harbor, Ohio (d. 2008)
  • 1918-09-15 Nipsey Russell, American comedian (Car 54, Where Are You?), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2005)
  • 1918-09-25 Phil Rizzuto, American sportscaster and MLB shortstop (NY Yankees-MVP 1950), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2007)
  • 1918-10-29 Bernard Gordon, American writer and producer (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), born in New Britain, Connecticut (d. 2007)
  • 1918-10-31 Ian Stevenson, Canadian-American parapsychologist and reincarnation expert, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2007)
  • 1918-11-03 Elizabeth P. Hoisington, American Brigadier General (one of the first two women to attain the rank of brigadier general), born in Newton, Kansas (d. 2007)
  • 1918-12-09 Jerome Beatty Jr., American author of children's literature (Matthew and Maria Looney books), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 2002)
  • 1918-12-12 Joe Williams [Joseph Goreed], American jazz singer (Everyday I have the Blues), born in Cordele, Georgia (d. 1999)
  • 1918-12-14 James T. Aubrey, American television executive (President of the CBS television network 1959-65), born in LaSalle, Illinois (d. 1994)
  • 1918-12-15 Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], American actor (Broken Arrow), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1961)
  • 1918-12-23 Kumar Pallana, Indian character actor and vaudevillian (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore), born in Indore, India (d. 2013)
  • 1918-12-27 John Celardo, American comic strip artist
  • 1919-01-04 Al "Jazbo" Collins, American DJ (Tonight! America After Dark), born in NYC, New York
  • 1919-02-04 Janet Waldo, American radio and actress (Judy Jetson, Shazzan, Penelope Pitstop), born in Yakima, Washington (d. 2016)
  • 1919-03-04 Buck Baker, American racecar driver (d. 2002)
  • 1919-03-10 Marion Hutton, American actress and singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 1987)
  • 1919-03-24 Lawrence Ferlinghetti, American beat poet (Coney Island of the Mind), born in Bronxville, New York (d. 2021) [1]
  • 1919-03-24 Robert Heilbroner, American economist (d. 2005

Person of interestStrother Martin

1919-03-26 Strother Martin, American actor (Cool Hand Luke, Slapshot), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 1980)

  • 1919-04-01 Joseph Murray, American surgeon, Nobel laureate, (d. 2012)
  • 1919-04-06 Paula Kelly, Grove City, Pennsylvania, American big band singer
  • 1919-04-13 Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American atheist who opposed prayer in school and was murdered in 1995, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1995)
  • 1919-04-13 Phil Tonken, American radio and television announcer, born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2000)
  • 1919-04-21 Don Cornell [Luigi Varlaro], American singer (Sammy Kaye Orch, Hold My Hand), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2004)
  • 1919-05-03 John Cullen Murphy, American comic strip artist, born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • 1919-05-14 John Hope, American meteorologist (d. 2002)

Person of interestLiberace

1919-05-16 Liberace [Wladziu Valentino], American pianist (Liberace Show, Evil Chandell-Batman), born in West Allis, Wisconsin (d. 1987)

Pianist Liberace
Pianist
Liberace
  • 1919-05-17 Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • 1919-06-02 Nat Mayer Shapiro, American painter (d. 2005)
  • 1919-06-14 Gene Barry [Eugene Klass], American actor (The Atomic City, Bat Masterson), born in NYC, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1919-06-18 Melville "Mel" Brandt, American actor and NBC staff announcer (Faraway Hill), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1919-06-21 Paolo Soleri, Italian-American architect, born in Turin, Italy (d. 2013)
  • 1919-06-29 Lloyd Richards, Canadian-American theaterical director (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2006)
  • 1919-06-30 Ed Yost, American inventor of the modern hot air balloon and known as "Father of the Modern Day Hot-Air Balloon.", born in Bristow, Iowa (d. 2007)
  • 1919-07-02 Jean Craighead George, American writer (Julie of the Wolves), born in Washington, D.C. (2012)
  • 1919-07-26 Virginia Gilmore, American actress (Jennie, Western Union), born in El Monte, California (d. 1986)
  • 1919-08-30 Maurice R. Hilleman, American microbiologist who developed over 36 vaccines including measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia, born in Miles City, Montana (d. 2005)
  • 1919-09-06 Wilson Greatbatch, American engineer and pioneering inventor, born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2011)
  • 1919-09-13 Mary Midgley, British-American philosopher (Animals and Why They Matter), born in London
  • 1919-09-15 Nelson Gidding, American screenwriter (d. 2004)
  • 1919-09-27 James H. Wilkinson, American mathematician (d. 1986)
  • 1919-09-30 Patricia Neway, American soprano (Consul, Maria Golovia), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1919-10-11 Jean Vander Pyl, American voice, radio and film actress (The Flintstones, The Jetsons), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1999)
  • 1919-10-15 Malcolm Ross, American balloonist and atmospheric physicist, born in Momence, Illinois (d. 1985)
  • 1919-10-16 Kathleen Winsor, American writer (d. 2003)
  • 1919-10-20 Tracy Hall, American inventor (d. 2008)
  • 1919-10-22 Kathleen Ankers, American scenic designer (d. 2001)
  • 1919-10-24 Frank Piasecki, American aeronautical engineer and helicopter aviation pioneer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2008)

Person of interestEdward W. Brooke

1919-10-26 Edward W. Brooke, 1st African American senator in over 80 yrs (Sen-R-Mass), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2015)

US Senator Edward W. Brooke
US Senator
Edward W. Brooke
  • 1919-10-31 Magnus Wenninger, American mathematician and author of Polyhedron models, born in Park Falls, Wisconsin (d. 2017)
  • 1919-11-10 George Fenneman, American radio and TV announcer (You Bet Your Life), born in Peking China (d. 1997)
  • 1919-11-18 Jocelyn Brando, American actress (The Big Heat, Ugly American, China Venture), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2005)
  • 1919-11-29 Pearl Primus, Trinidad-born American dancer (popularized African dance), born in Port of Spain (d. 1994)
  • 1919-12-08 Peter Tali Coleman, Governor of American Samoa (1956-61, 78-85, 89-93), born in Pago Pago, American Samoa (d. 1997)
  • 1919-12-09 William Lipscomb, American chemist working in nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry (Nobel 1976), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2011)
  • 1919-12-10 Alexander Courage, American composer of original Star Trek theme, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2008)
  • 1919-12-11 Marie Windsor [Emily Marie Bertelson], American actress (The Bounty Hunter, Double Deal), born in Marysvale, Utah (d. 2000)
  • 1919-12-12 Dan DeCarlo, American cartoonist (Archie Comics), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 2001)

Famous Weddings


Famous Divorces


Famous Deaths

Deaths 2101 - 2,200 of 4,947

  • 1998-12-14 Annette Strauss, American philanthropist, dies at 74
  • 1998-12-14 Norman Fell, American actor (Three's Company, The End, Graduate), dies of bone marrow cancer at 74
  • 1998-12-14 Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr., American civil rights activist & author, dies at 70
  • 1998-12-16 William Gaddis, American writer (b. 1922)
  • 1998-12-19 Mel Fisher, American treasure hunter (b. 1922)
  • 1998-12-20 Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 1998-12-22 Michelle Thomas, American actress (b. 1969)

Person of interestRaemer Schreiber

1998-12-24 Raemer Schreiber, American Physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, dies at 88

Physicist Raemer Schreiber
Physicist
Raemer Schreiber
  • 1998-12-25 Bryan MacLean, American singer, musician and songwriter (Love) (b. 1946)
  • 1998-12-30 Johnny Moore, American singer (The Drifters) (b. 1934)
  • 1999-01-04 Iron Eyes Cody [Espera Oscar de Corti], Italian-American actor (Keep America Beautiful, Black Gold, Ernest Goes to Camp), dies at 91
  • 1999-01-12 Betty Lou Gerson, American voice actress (101 Dalmatians, Cinderella), dies of a stroke at 84
  • 1999-01-17 Robert Eads, American transsexual (b. 1945)
  • 1999-01-21 Charles Brown, American blues singer and pianist (Merry Christmas Baby), dies at 76
  • 1999-01-21 Susan Strasberg, American actress (b. 1938)
  • 1999-01-23 Jay Pritzker, American businessman (b. 1922)
  • 1999-01-25 Sarah Louise "Sadie" Delany, American author and teacher, dies at 109
  • 1999-01-25 Ted Mallie, American radio and television announcer (b. 1924)
  • 1999-01-25 Robert Shaw, American chorale conductor (Robert Shaw Chorale), dies of a stroke at 82
  • 1999-01-29 Lili St. Cyr, American dancer (b. 1918)
  • 1999-01-30 Henry "Huntz" Hall, American actor (Cyclone, Gas Pump Girls, The Rating Game), dies from congestive heart failure at 76
  • 1999-01-30 Ed Herlihy, American broadcaster (b. 1909)
  • 1999-02-01 Paul Mellon, American philanthropist (Washington National Gallery of Art), dies at 91
  • 1999-02-03 Gwen Guthrie, American singer ("Ain't Nothin' Goin' on but the Rent"), dies of cancer at 48
  • 1999-02-07 Robert "Bobby" Troup, American jazz pianist and actor (Emergency, Acapulco), dies of a heart attack at 80
  • 1999-02-14 John Ehrlichman, American presidential advisor (b. 1925)
  • 1999-02-14 Buddy Knox, American singer and songwriter (Party Doll, Lovey Dovey), dies at 65
  • 1999-02-15 Big L [Lamont Coleman], American rapper (Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous), murdered at 24 after being shot 9 times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting
  • 1999-02-15 Henry Way Kendall, American physicist (Nobel 1990-pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics), dies at 72
  • 1999-02-18 Noam Pitlik, American actor and director (Sanford & Son, Bob Newhart), dies at 66
  • 1999-02-20 Gene Siskel, American film critic (b. 1946)

Person of interestGertrude B. Elion

1999-02-21 Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and drug researcher who developed groundbreaking leukemia and herpes drug treatments (Nobel 1988), dies at 81

Biochemist and Drug Researcher Gertrude B. Elion
Biochemist and Drug Researcher
Gertrude B. Elion
  • 1999-02-24 Andre Dubus, American writer (b. 1936)
  • 1999-02-25 Glenn T. Seaborg, American chemist (AEC, Plutonium, Nobel 1951), dies at 86
  • 1999-03-02 David Ackles, American singer-songwriter (American Gothic), dies of lung cancer at 62
  • 1999-03-04 Del Close, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 1999-03-05 Richard Kiley, American actor and singer (Kismet; Man of La Mancha; Endless Love), dies at 76
  • 1999-03-07 Sidney Gottlieb, American CIA official, dies at 80

Person of interestStanley Kubrick

1999-03-07 Stanley Kubrick, American film director (2001 A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange) dies at 70

Film Director Stanley Kubrick
Film Director
Stanley Kubrick
  • 1999-03-08 Mary Margaret "Peggy" Cass, American actress, comedian, game show panelist and announcer (To Tell The Truth), dies at 74
  • 1999-03-12 Yehudi Menuhin, American-British violinist, conductor and teacher (Bartok's Sonata), dies at 82
  • 1999-03-13 Lee Falk, American comic strip writer (The Phantom), dies at 87
  • 1999-03-13 Garson Kanin, American writer and director (b. 1912)
  • 1999-03-14 Kirk Alyn [John Feggo Jr], American actor (Superman), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 88
  • 1999-03-18 Elizabeth Huckaby, American educator, dies at 93
  • 1999-03-22 David Strickland, American actor (b. 1969)
  • 1999-03-25 Cal Ripken Sr, American MLB manager (Baltimore Orioles), dies of lung cancer at 63
  • 1999-03-28 Freaky Tah, American rapper (Lost Boyz) (b. 1971)
  • 1999-03-29 Joe Williams [Goreed], American jazz singer (Everyday I Have The Blues), dies of natural causes at 80
  • 1999-03-30 Gary Morton, American film and television producer (b. 1924)
  • 1999-04-01 Jesse Stone, American record producer (b. 1901)
  • 1999-04-04 Faith Domergue, American actress and early "scream queen" (Vendetta, House of 7 Corpses), dies at 74
  • 1999-04-06 Red Norvo, American jazz vibraphonist known as "Mr. Swing" (Congo Blues; Knockin' on Wood), dies at 91
  • 1999-04-10 Jean Vander Pyl, American voice, radio and film actress (The Flintstones, The Jetsons), dies of lung cancer at 79
  • 1999-04-12 Boxcar Willie [Travis Martin], American soldier (USAF) and singer ("King Of The Road"), dies of leukemia at 67
  • 1999-04-14 Ellen Corby [Hansen], American actress (The Waltons, Vertigo, Caged), dies of natural causes at 87
  • 1999-04-20 "Ravishing" Rick Rude, American professional wrestler, dies at 40
  • 1999-04-21 Charles "Buddy" Rogers, American musician actor (An Innocent Affair, Wings), dies at 94
  • 1999-04-27 Al Hirt, American trumpeter (Greatest Horn in the World), dies of liver failure at 76
  • 1999-04-28 Rory Calhoun [Francis Timothy McCown], American actor (Blue & Gray, How to Marry a Millionaire), dies of emphysema at 76

Person of interestArthur Leonard Schawlow

1999-04-28 Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist who shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work with lasers, dies of leukemia at 77

  • 1999-05-08 Ed Gilbert, American actor (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries), dies at 67
  • 1999-05-08 Dana Plato, American actress (Kimberly-Diff'rent Strokes), dies at 34
  • 1999-05-10 Shel Silverstein, American writer and cartoonist (Now Here's My Plan: A Book of Futilities; The Giving Tree) and songwriter (A Boy Named Sue; The Cover Of The Rolling Stone), dies at 68
  • 1999-05-12 Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist and illustrator (The New Yorker), dies at 84
  • 1999-05-13 Gene Sarazen, American golfer (7 major titles including major slam), dies of pneumonia at 97
  • 1999-05-18 Betty Robinson, American runner, dies at 87
  • 1999-05-19 Jonathan "Candy" Candido, American actor and radio performer (Peter Pan; The Great Mouse Detective), dies at 85
  • 1999-05-21 Karnail "Bugz" Pitts, American rapper (D12) (b. 1979)
  • 1999-05-26 Waldo Semon, American inventor (b. 1898)
  • 1999-06-05 Mel Tormé, American singer (The Velvet Fog) and composer (The Christmas Song), dies at 73
  • 1999-06-11 DeForest Kelley, American actor (Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy-Star Trek), dies of stomach cancer at 79
  • 1999-06-20 Clifton Fadiman, American author (b. 1902)
  • 1999-07-01 Guy Mitchell [Albert George Cernik], American singer and actor (Red Garters, 3 Redheads from Seattle), dies at 72
  • 1999-07-01 Forrest Mars Sr., American candy magnate (Mars, Inc.) dies at 95
  • 1999-07-01 Sylvia Sidney, American actress (b. 1910)

Person of interestMario Puzo

1999-07-02 Mario Puzo, American author, dies at 78

Novelist Mario Puzo
Novelist
Mario Puzo
  • 1999-07-03 Mark Sandman, Mark Sandman, American singer-songwriter and musician (Morphine; Treat Her Right) dies of a heart attack at 46
  • 1999-07-04 Leo Garel, American artist and cartoonist (b.1917)
  • 1999-07-06 Carl Gunter Jr, American politician (b. 1938)
  • 1999-07-06 Barry Winchell, American soldier (b. 1977)
  • 1999-07-08 Pete Conrad, American astronaut (b. 1930)
  • 1999-07-11 Helen Forrest, American singer of traditional pop and swing music, dies at 82
  • 1999-07-14 Gar Samuelson, American drummer (Megadeth) dies of liver failure at 41

Person of interestJohn F. Kennedy Jr.

1999-07-16 John F. Kennedy Jr, American magazine publisher (George), lawyer and son of JFK, dies in a plane crash at 38

Publisher and Lawyer John F. Kennedy Jr.
Publisher and Lawyer
John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • 1999-07-20 Sandra Gould, American actress (b. 1916)
  • 1999-08-04 Victor Mature, American actor (I Wake Up Screaming, Samson and Delilah), dies from leukaemia at 86
  • 1999-08-07 Brion James, American actor (b. 1945)
  • 1999-08-23 Norman Wexler, American screenwriter (b.1926)
  • 1999-09-05 Allen Funt, American TV host and creator (Candid Camera), dies at 84
  • 1999-09-07 Jim Keith, American conspiracy theorist (b. 1949)
  • 1999-09-08 Moondog [Louis Thomas Hardin], American composer, musician and poet, dies at 83
  • 1999-09-09 Ruth Roman, American actress (Strangers on a Train, Knots Landing, Dallas), dies at 76
  • 1999-09-09 Chan Parker, American author; wife of Charlie Parker and Phil Woods (b. 1925)
  • 1999-09-13 Benjamin Bloom, American educational theorist (b. 1913)

Person of interestGeorge C. Scott

1999-09-22 George C. Scott, American actor (Dr. Strangelove), dies of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm at 71

  • 1999-09-25 Marion Zimmer Bradley, American writer, dies at 69
  • 1999-09-26 Oseola McCarty, American philanthropist (b. 1908)
  • 1999-10-06 Gorilla Monsoon, American pro wrestler (Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame) and commentator (WWF), dies from heart failure at 62
  • 1999-10-07 Rev. Bruce Ritter, American Catholic priest and controversial founder of charity New York City based Covenant House, dies of cancer at 72