Gay Byrne

Few people outside of the world of politics did as much to reshape their country during the 20th century as Gay Byrne. He was an unlikely revolutionary: soft-spoken, politically conservative and unremarkable of appearance. But in his 37 years as producer and presenter of The Late Late Show he brought issues like abortion, gay rights, racism […]

Walter Mercado

Walter Mercado got his break as a tap-dancer in his native Puerto Rico, before a staff shortage at a local TV station gave him a role in the world of astrology.  His camp, Liberace-but-embalmed demeanour and appearance made him an instant sensation, and his popularity soon exploded out of Puerto Rico and across the rest […]

Rudy Boesch

Rudy Boesch dropped out of high school in 1945 to join the US Navy. World War II finished before his training was complete, but he went on to serve in China, Vietnam and Cuba for 45-years, becoming a SEAL and the longest-serving member of the Navy still on active duty. He reached a greater degree […]

John Conyers

John Conyers was the sixth longest-serving member member of the U.S. Congress in history, and the longest-serving African American. He even started off his political career as aide to the man who went on to become the longest-serving Congressman in history, 2019 DDP graduate John Dingell. Conyers represented Michigan and was one of the more […]

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

Despite what comedy leader of the free world Donald Trump may have said, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi probably didn’t die cowering from a cute dog like some gritty reboot of Air Bud. But he is dead, and he probably won’t be missed by too many of us. Iraq-born (his nom de guerre literally means “The One from Baghdad”), […]

Marieke Vervoort

Marieke Vervoort was diagnosed with a dystrophy of the spine when she was just 14, a condition that left her in a wheelchair and in agony for most of her adult life. However, she let her h8rs be her motiv8rs and started playing a number of paralympic sports, including basketball, triathlon and swimming. However, it […]

Julie Gibson

Referred to by some sources as “the oldest living celebrity” (an argument we’re not going to get into here) Julie Gibson no longer has a claim to the third of those words. She began her career in pre-war radio as a singer, before graduating on to the world of radio dramas and, subsequently, lower-budget movies. […]

Bill Macy

Born Wolf Garber and raised in a working-class Jewish family, Bill Macy didn’t get anything close to a break in the acting world until he was well into his late 30s. He bagged a role as Walter Matthau’s understudy in Once More, With Feeling on Broadway, and spent another 15 years as a character actor […]

Alicia Alonso Martinez

Cuban born, Alicia Alonso Martinez moved to New York at the age of 16 to marry her lover and attempt to break into the ballet market Stateside. Her career was nearly brought to a premature end when she nearly ruined her eyesight by dancing while recovering from a retinal operation, despite being told to rest […]

Elijah Cummings

Somewhat belatedly, Donald Trump has come around to the Bill Clinton school of dealing with people who could get you impeached… Elijah Cummings was born to sharecropper parents in South Baltimore. He had a political streak from a young age, being involved in the desegregation of a local swimming pool when he was just 11. […]