Happy 86th birthday to John Williams, the Academy Award-winning composer of some of the finest film scores in history, including Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Home Alone and Harry Potter… This year he earned his 51st Oscar nomination (for The Last Jedi), which makes him the second most-nominated individual in history, though he is gaining on Walt Disney who earned 59 nods, with 3 big scores coming up. WATCH a tribute. (1932)

John_Williams_Hollywood_Bowl-2009-CC Alec McNayrIn a six decade career, the New York composer, conductor, and pianist has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and 22 Grammys.

The American Film Institute selected his 1977 Star Wars music as the greatest American film score of all time. Other notable works by Williams include theme music for four Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, the television series Lost in Space, and many films from his long collaboration with Steven Spielberg. This year’s Best Picture-nominated The Post was also a Williams score.

Symphony orchestras regularly play John’s music in concerts that have drawn a multitude of youth to see live orchestras they would not normally experience.

(Watch a medley of film scenes, below – See an Interview here) —Photo by Alec McNayr, CC

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • 325 years ago today, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia was granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II (1693)
  • The government first approved the arrival of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii (1885)
  • The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated (1910)
  • The Government of Sindh (in a province in Pakistan) abolished its Jagirdari feudal system. One million acres (4000 km²) of land acquired in the process was to be distributed among the landless peasants (1955)
  • The first star plaques made of brass were installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 15 blocks of sidewalks at Hollywood and Vine that now contain 2,500 star studded terrazzo slabs visited by 10 million people annually (1960)
  • Senate deliberations were broadcast on radio for the first time (1978)
  • First female ice hockey game in Olympic history (1998)