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Bernie Mac Dies at 50

Legendary American comedian Bernie Mac died from complications of pneumonia on August 9, 2008 at the age of 50.

Bernie Mac was born Bernard Jeffery McCullough on October 5, 1957 in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. As a young man, he established his own variety show at the Regal Theater in his hometown before landing regular gigs at comedy clubs in 1977 where he gained popularity as a stand-up comedian. Mac counted The Three Stooges and Richard Pryor as his major comedic influences.

The same year, Bernie Mac wed his high school sweetheart Rhonda, with whom he had a daughter named Ja’Niece. The 1990s for Bernie marked breakout film roles in the comedies Mo Money (1992) and Friday (1995), as well as increased popularity as a comedian due to frequent performances on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.

From 2001 to 2006, Bernie Mac starred in his own television sitcom The Bernie Mac Show. In it, he played a father-figure role to his sister’s three children after she enters rehab. The show received much critical acclaim, garnering an Emmy for Outstanding Writing, a Peabody Award, and a Humanitas Prize among other accolades.

In 2001, Bernie Mac brought to life one of his most famous roles as Frank Catton in Steven Soderberg’s Ocean’s Eleven alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt. In the next few years, Bernie Mac would continue to act in major motion pictures such as Head of State (2001), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Bad Santa (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Guess Who? (2005), as well as the Ocean’s Eleven sequels in 2004 and 2007, respectively.

In addition to acting, Bernie Mac also wrote two autobiographical books; I Ain’t Scared of You: Bernie Mac on How Life Is in 2001, and Maybe You Never Cry Again in 2003.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Jane Addams Dies at 74

Born Laura Jane Addams on September 6, 1860 in Illinois, Jane Addams became one of the most important of the social reformers, Pacifists, and Feminists, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Jane Addams was a co-founder of one of the first settlements in America, the Hull House in Chicago, Illinois. The Hull House provided aid to immigrants and the poor who were residing in Chicago, and offered services like childcare, education, arts and culture, and food.

In 1931, Jane Addams was the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with Nicholas Murray Butler, and was the first American woman to have won. Addams was also the first female president of the National Conference of Social Work, the president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the founder of the National Federation of Settlements. Jane Addams, peace activist and social reformer, died on May 21, 1935 at the age of 74.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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