Aaron Brody Food technologist

Born in Boston, Mass., Brody started at MIT at age 17. While still studying for a degree in Food Technology, he worked on the side at General Foods’ Birdseye Fisheries Lab, working on a team that was the first to successfully create frozen fish sticks. He stayed on at MIT through his Ph.D, and still … Read more

From This is True for 1 August 2021

Jerry Granelli Jazz drummer

Born in San Francisco, Calif., Granelli’s father and uncle were both jazz drummers, but he didn’t decide to become a drummer himself until he got to spend a day with the famous jazz drummer Gene Krupa; Granelli was 8 years old. He learned to play by sneaking out at night to San Francisco nightclubs. “I’d … Read more

From This is True for 25 July 2021

Harry Rosenfeld Editor

Born in Berlin, Germany, Rosenfeld’s family fled the Nazis and settled in New York City when he was 10, and young Harry learned to speak English without an accent, and excelled in his new language. After college and a stint in the U.S. Army, he was hired as a newspaper editor in New York. When … Read more

From This is True for 18 July 2021

Richard Donner Director

Born Richard Donald Schwartzberg in New York, where his grandfather owned a movie theater, Donner served a stint in the U.S. Navy as an aerial photographer, and then moved to California to pursue an acting career, changing his name to Richard Donner — after the Donner Party. He did get a number of roles on various … Read more

From This is True for 11 July 2021

Greg Noll Surfing legend

Born in California, Noll’s mother moved them to Manhattan Beach when he was 6. By 10, he had started surfing, and learned “board shaping” — surfboard construction — from Dale Velzy, the world’s first commercial shaper, who had a shop in Manhattan Beach. At 17, Noll moved to O’ahu, Hawaii, to live and surf in … Read more

From This is True for 5 July 2021

Peter Zinovieff Musician

Born in London to two Russian aristocrats who escaped the Russian Revolution, Zinovieff was interested in both electronic engineering and music. He was one of the first to put the two together, buying a PDP-8 computer for his home in the early 1960s. “Mine was certainly the first in a private house, anywhere,” he claimed. … Read more

From This is True for 28 June 2021

Richard Stolley Magazine editor

Born in Illinois, after serving in the U.S. Navy, Stolley studied journalism at Northwestern University, earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He quickly got a job at Life magazine, then a highly prestigious weekly, and was quickly recognized as “one of the magazine’s best young editorial managers,” and quickly rose to be an editor. In 1963, while … Read more

From This is True for 20 June 2021

Richard Robinson Children’s publisher

Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., Robinson’s father, Maurice, had started a small publishing company for schoolkids before he was born. The company published a magazine covering high school sports; on its debut in 1920, the magazine was four pages. Within two years it had expanded to a bi-weekly 24 pages. In 1948, when Richard was 11, … Read more

From This is True for 13 June 2021

Clarence Williams III Actor

Born in New York City, Williams decided to go into acting when he accidentally walked onto a New York stage, and made his debut on Broadway (in The Long Dream, 1960). He had numerous roles there, and was nominated for a Tony award for his role in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. He was spotted in that show … Read more

From This is True for 6 June 2021

Harvey Schlossberg Police psychologist

Born in Manhattan, Schlossberg received his college degree in chemistry and did something unusual to help fund his graduate studies: he joined the New York Police Dept. as an officer, which paid $4,000 a year. By going to classes after his shifts he earned his master’s in psychology from Long Island University, and in 1971 … Read more

From This is True for 30 May 2021