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5 Minute Biographies

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong” – Bertrand Russell Bertrand Russell Biography Bertrand Russell was one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. He was born into a life within the British aristocracy on 18 May 1872. His father was John Russell, Viscount Amberley who was a British Politician and eldest son of ...

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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein Albert Einstein Biography Albert Einstein was born into a non-observant Ashkenazi Jewish family on 14 March 1879 in Ulm a city on the River Danube in what was then the Kingdom of Württemberg, in the German Empire. It is now in the German state of ...

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Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams

“So long, and thanks for all the fish.” – Douglas Adams Douglas Adams Biography Douglas Noel Adams was born on 11 March 1952 in Cambridge, England, but was brought up in East London as he and his parents, Janet and Christopher moved there when Douglas was only a few months old. Three years after Douglas was born, his mother gave ...

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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching” – Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Biography Born on 13 April 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia in what would later become the United States of America, few people could imagine all that would be accomplished by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had no true ties to nobility although he was ...

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Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin

“I only make movies to finance my fishing.” – Lee Marvin Lee Marvin was born on 19 February 1924 in New York City, USA to parents Lamont Waltman Marvin who was an advertising executive and Courtenay Washington who was a beauty consultant and fashion writer. One of his earliest ancestors was Matthew Marvin Sr who had emigrated to America from ...

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Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes

A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.” – Guy Fawkes Guy Fawkes Biography Guy Fawkes was born on 13 April 1570 in Stonegate, which is in York, in the North of England. His parents were a proctor called Edward Fawkes and Edith, a recusant Catholic. His great-grandfather on his father’s side of the family was Lord Mayor of York in ...

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Ulysses S Grant

Ulysses S Grant

“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.” – Ulysses S Grant Ulysses S. Grant Biography Born on 27 April 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio, Hiram Ulysses Grant was a United States general and commander during the American Civil War for the Union armies and later became the 18th president of the United States. His father was ...

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Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh

“Flying a good airplane doesn’t require near as much attention as a motor car” – Charles Lindbergh Charles Lindbergh Biography Charles Lindbergh was born on 4 February 1902 in Detroit, Michigan, USA but grew up in the Little Falls area of Minnesota and in Washington D.C. His father was Charles August Lindbergh, a Swedish immigrant who had arrived in the ...

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Judy Garland

Judy Garland

“If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?” – Judy Garland Judy Garland Biography Frances Ethel Gumm, better known to the rest of the World as Judy Garland, was born on 10 June 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA. She was born into the entertainment industry as her parents, Francis Avent Gumm, known as Frank, and Ethel ...

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Bugsy Siegel

Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel

“Las Vegas turns women into men and men into idiots.” – Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel Biography Benjamin Siegel, known to the world as Bugsy, was born on 28 February 1906 in the neighbourhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York City, USA. His parents were poor Jewish immigrants from the town of Letychiv in what is now Western Ukraine, ...

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Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner

“What’s the point? My face, shall we say, looks lived in.” – Ava Gardner. Ava Gardner Biography When Ava Lavinia Gardner was born on 24 December 1922, her family were cotton and tobacco farmers in Smithfield, North Carolina. Mary Elizabeth, who everyone knew as Mollie and Jonas Bailey Gardner had seven children with, two boys, and five girls, with Ava ...

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Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself” – Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin Biography Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, known to the world as Charlie, was born on 16 April 1889 to music hall entertainers Charles Chaplin Sr, a singer and son of a butcher and Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill, who had a brief career under the ...

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Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen

“I’m not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing.” – Steve McQueen. Steve McQueen Biography The King of Cool as he became known, was born Terence Steven McQueen on 24 March 1930, in a suburb of Indianapolis called Beech Grove. He grew up on his uncle Claude’s farm during the great depression with his grandparents. ...

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Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Biography Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria was born on 20 November, 1875 in Graz, Austria. It is his assassination that is credited with triggering World War I, though this was really just the tipping point in a complex geo-political web that led to the greatest loss of life in human history. Franz Ferdinand ...

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Catherine de Medici

Catherine de Medici

Catherine de Medici Biography Catherine de Medici was a formidable woman. She was the daughter of nobility, the mother of kings, and the wife of King Henry II of France. The times through which she lived demanded not a subservient queen but a powerful right hand to those in charge and although there is contention about the way in which ...

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Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr.

“What have I got? No looks, no money, no education. Just talent.” – Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr. Biography Samuel George Davis Junior, who will forever be known as Sammy, was born in Harlem, New York City, New York, USA on 8 December 1925. As his name suggests, he is the son of Sammy Davis Senior, who was also ...

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