Don Newcombe

In a Major League Baseball career panning 11 seasons, Don Newcombe broke a string of records for pitchers. No stranger to landmark moments (he played for the first modern racially integrated baseball team, the New England League’s Nashua Dodgers), Newcombe was named Rookie of the Year in 1950 and the following season led the league […]

Karl Lagerfeld

A friend and apprentice of both Pierre Balmain and Yves Saint Laurent (and lover of the latter), Karl Lagerfeld was always destined for the top of the fashion industry. And when he took over and revitalised the near-dead House of Chanel in 1982, he became the epitome and ultimate fashion designer stereotype – a gaunt, […]

Paul Flynn

Well, it was a week when independently minded Labour MPs decided to leave the party… Paul Flynn worked as a chemist in the steel industry before he finally won a parliamentary seat, being elected for Newport West in the 1987 General Election. He remained in the seat until his death, a 32-year period that took […]

John Stalker

Starting his career as a cadet on Moss Side, John Stalker’s promotion up the police’s ranks came quickly. He first came to wider attention during the investigation into the Moors Murders, where he was one of the officers charged with examining Brady and Hindley’s taped confessions. Promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 1984, he was […]

Gene Littler

Renowned for having one of the greatest swings in golf history, Gene “The Machine” Littler was a legend in both the amateur and professional sides of the game. He won the US Amateur in 1953 and claimed his only major victory, the US Open, in 1961, where he finished two strokes ahead of a young […]

Bruno Ganz

It was a credit to Bruno Ganz’s range that in his two most famous roles he played an angel and Hitler, respectively. Born during World War II in Switzerland, he originally found a home on the stage: indeed, little of his filmed CV comes before his 35th birthday, and he was awarded the Iffland-Ring in […]

Andrea Levy

Andrea Levy worked as a costume assistant until the death of her father in her mid-30s forced her to confront her racial heritage. Her debut novel, Every Light in the House Burnin’, was published when she was 38. As with much of her work, it was a semi-autobiographical novel about the children of the Windrush […]

Leonard Casley

Everyone loves a micronation, and after the prince of Sealand Paddy Roy Bates graduated from the DDP in 2012, attentions turned to Prince Leonard Casley of Hutt River. Casley was a wheat farmer who “seceded” from Australia in an argument about grain quotas. The “nation”, which encompassed Casley’s 75-square-km farm, was actually bigger than five […]

Dick Churchill

Operation Escape 200, later immortalised on-screen as The Great Escape was a plot by Allied prisoners of war to escape from the Stalag Luft III camp in 1944. A trio of tunnels – Tom, Dick and Harry – were dug, in the belief that Germany guards wouldn’t spot all three of them. Upon the completion of Harry, […]

Lyndon LaRouche

As many online have noticed, Lyndon LaRouche managed to travel from the far-left to the far-right of politics, all without the help of Twitter. Born into a Quaker family, LaRouche was a conscientious objector during World War II and later became involved in the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party. He first achieved a sizeable following during […]