There are plenty of noteworthy athletes, royals, authors, etc. who were born in 1961. Mostly living, they have made their mark in our lives and how we define success.
Some of the more prolific tend to be athletes, while others may not immediately come to mind when we think of notable inbetweeners. Here are some worth taking note of born in 1961:
Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC (/ˈɡrɛtski/; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed “The Great One“, he has been called “the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and more assists than any other player. He scored more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. As of 2014, he still holds 60 NHL records.
Daniel Constantine “Dan” Marino, Jr. (born September 15, 1961) is an American former football player who was a quarterback for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). The last quarterback of theQuarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino held or currently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history. Best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm,Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961) is a retired American professional basketball player, who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in theNational Basketball Association (NBA). He was nicknamed “The Worm” and was known for his fierce defensiveand rebounding abilities.
Rodman experienced an unhappy childhood and was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as a “bad boy” and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He repeatedly dyed his hair in artificial colors, had many piercings and tattoos, and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be.
Nadia Elena Comăneci (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈnadi.a koməˈnet͡ʃʲ] ( listen); born November 12, 1961) is a former Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She also won two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. She is one of the best-known gymnasts in the world. In 2000 Comăneci was named as one of the Athletes of the Century by the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Comăneci began gymnastics in kindergarten with a local team called Flacăra (“The Flame”), with coaches Duncan and Munteanu. At age 6 she was chosen to attend Béla Károlyi‘s experimental gymnastics school after Károlyi spotted her and a friend turning cartwheels in a schoolyard. Károlyi was looking for gymnasts he could train from a young age and saw the two girls during recess. When recess ended the girls ran inside. Károlyi went around the classrooms trying to find the girls, eventually spotting Nadia in a classroom.
Stephanopoulos was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, the son of Nickolitsa “Nikki” Gloria (née Chafos) and Robert George Stephanopoulos. His father always wanted his son to become a lawyer, if not a priest. Promising him he would attend law school eventually.
Stephanopoulos rose to early prominence as a communications director for the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, subsequently becoming White House Communications Director, then Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy before departing in December 1996. Today he is chief anchor and chief political correspondent for ABC News, co-anchor of ABC News’ Good Morning America, and host of ABC’s Sunday morning This Week.
Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances;[fn 1] née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was the first wife ofCharles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II.
Diana was born into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry as The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer. She was the fourth child and third daughter of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and The Honourable Frances Shand Kydd. Following her parents’ divorce, Diana grew up in Park House, which is situated on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, and was educated in England and Switzerland. In 1975, she became Lady Diana Spencer, after her father inherited the title ofEarl Spencer.
As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions overseas. She was celebrated for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She was involved with dozens of charities, including London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, of which she was president from 1989.
Diana remained the object of worldwide media scrutiny during and after her marriage, which ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. Media attention and public mourning were extensive after her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997 and subsequent televised funeral.
So there you have it. Some of this year’s notable 54 year olds. An exercise in discovery for me. Low hanging fruit to be sure. Those that are easier to find because of notoriety.
I will keep digging to find more inbetweeners who have never graced the cover of People Magazine or The National Enquirer. They’re out there. Keep the faith, I’ll find them for both of us.
IMAGE SOURCES: Google