Happy Birthday to producer, playwright, filmmaker, director, and actor Tyler Perry who turns 50 years-old today. The man known for playing Madea, a tough and sassy elderly black woman, was named by Forbes magazine as the highest paid man in entertainment eight years ago.
Perry has written and produced many stage plays and developed several series for television—most notably Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, which ran for eight seasons on TBS. More recently he portrayed Colin Powell in the Oscar-nominated film Vice. He lives and works in Atlanta where he operates the Tyler Perry film and TV studios. Last Christmas, Perry became a Secret Santa at two Walmarts, paying off $430,000 in layaway purchases for every customer who owed money. He has also been using his plane this week to bring supplies and health care to hurricane victims in the Bahamas. (1969)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, The Star-Spangled Banner, while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry and negotiating the release of US prisoners during the War of 1812 aboard a British ship (1814)
- The Federal Communications Act in the USA was amended to outlaw payola– the practice of cash payments or gifts given in exchange for airplay of records (1960)
- Nintendo released its smash-hit video game Super Mario Bros. (1985)
- The largest anti-Apartheid march in South Africa was led by Desmond Tutu (1989)
- The Israel leader Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shook hands at the White House after signing of the Oslo peace accords—the first handshake in public between the two former arch enemies (1993)
- The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (2007)
Renown for such children’s classics as Matilda, his popular stories, including The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, have each been made into feature films. Beyond his more than 30 books, Dahl played a pivotal role in several medical advancements by finding solutions that he developed after health issues arose in his family.
And on this day in 1857, Milton S. Hershey was born, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company and the company town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Born on a farm and with no schooling after 4th grade, the boy was sent by his mother to learn the trade of candy making as an apprentice. His first product, a bag of caramels made with fresh milk, were a great success. He and his wife had no children, so they gave all their money to charity, built a school for orphans (still operating today), and supported and nurtured their workers.