October 14, 2009
by Ellen Brandt, Ph.D.
51. Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and current candidate for Governor of California, is a Boomer. She’s 53, born August,1956, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Whitman’s last corporate job before joining eBay was overseeing the Playskool and Mister Potato Head brands for toymaker Hasbro. When she joined eBay as CEO in 1998, it had only 30 employees. It now has over 15,000.
52. Jim McNerney, CEO of the Boeing Company, is a Boomer. He’s 60, born August, 1949, in Rhode Island. Biographical Tidbit: Raised in suburban Chicago, McNerney honed his leadership skills as president of his high school’s boys’ service club, called Tri-Ship. One of the club’s coups was getting Jerry Lee Lewis to perform at their annual dance.
53. Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, is a Boomer. He’s 54, born April, 1955, in Washington, D.C. Biographical Tidbit: A Ph.D. and accomplished hands-on engineer, while at UC-Berkeley, Schmidt designed and implemented a network linking the campus computer center to the computer sciences and engineering departments. He’s also been a professor at Stanford.
54. Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, is a Boomer. He’s 55, born September, 1954, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Blankfein comes from a modest family background. Son of a postal worker and a housewife, he was born in the Bronx and raised in a publically-subsidized apartment complex in Brooklyn, New York. Valedictorian of his high school class, he won a scholarship to Harvard, where one of his housemates was Ben Bernanke.
55. Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, is a Boomer. He’s 53, born March, 1956, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Dimon was fortunate to have been born into the money business. His grandfather, an immigrant of Greek origin born in Turkey, became a stockbroker in New York and passed the business on to Dimon’s father, Theodore. Dimon worked summer vacations alongside his Dad and Granddad.
56. Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of Alcoa Inc. and former CEO of Siemens AG, is a Boomer. He’s 52, born November, 1957, in Bremen, Germany. Biographical Tidbit: A former marketing man, Kleinfeld is said to be more energetic than anyone has a right to be. He has finished the New York Marathon several times, once running in the race the morning after a transatlantic flight. He courted his wife, Birgit, after losing to her in a high-school election.
57. Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam, the Russell Simmons Music Group, and clothing line Phat Farm, is a Boomer. He just turned 52, born October, 1957, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Simmons’s two daughters, Ming, 9, and Aoki, 7, are frequent models for his Baby Phat Kids clothing collection. Enthusiastic about Transcendental Meditation, he helps fund a foundation that provides financial assistance for any child in the US who wants to learn the technique.
58. Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of A T & T, is a Boomer. He’s 49, born April, 1960, in Oklahoma. Biographical Tidbit: Even top executives can be victims of malicious Script Kiddies. A couple of months ago, a fake press release popped up all over the Web, saying that Stephenson had succumbed to a drug overdose in his “multimillion dollar beachfront mansion” after a night cavorting with male strippers. The attack was said to have been revenge for A T & T’s decision to deny access to a controversial website that hosts raucous discussions about Japanese anime and manga comic books.
59. Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel Corporation, is a Boomer. He turns 59 in a few days, born October, 1950, in California. Biographical Tidbit: Otellini’s brother, Steven, has had success in a far different field. He’s a Monsignor in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park.
60. Ellen Kullman, President and CEO of DuPont, is a Boomer. She’s 53, born January, 1956, in Delaware. Biographical Tidbit: Kullman was center and captain of her high school basketball team and has encouraged her own three kids to participate in athletics. She told an interviewer that team sports is excellent preparation for corporate life, where you can’t choose whom you work with, but you can choose how you interact with them.
Music, Sports, Miscellaneous
61. Madonna, singer and trendsetter, is a Boomer. She’s 51, born August, 1958, in Michigan. Biographical Tidbit: Call it foolhardy or very brave, but Madonna came to New York as a 19-year-old college dropout with only $35 in her pocket. She immediately got a job at Dunkin Donuts and started trying for jobs with dance troupes. She later became part of two bands, Breakfast Club and Emmy, before starting to make it as a solo performer.
62. Stevie Wonder, singer and composer, is a Boomer. He’s 59, born May, 1950, also in Michigan. Biographical Tidbit: It sounds like a fairytale, but Wonder was quite literally discovered singing on a street corner at age eleven by a relative of Ronnie White, a founding member of Motown stars The Miracles. The man introduced him to White, who in turn brought Wonder to see Motown boss Berry Gordy, Jr. By age 13, Wonder had the number one hit in the nation, “Fingertips.”
63. Amy Grant, singer and composer, is a Boomer. She is 48, born November, 1960, in Georgia. Biographical Tidbit: In 1990, Grant sued Marvel Comics to stop the use of her likeness on the cover of a comic book she claimed featured “occult subject matter.” She charged a photograph from her 1986 album, Amy Grant-The Collection, was copied for the cover of Marvel’s “Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme.” The case was settled out of court.
64. Jon Bon Jovi, singer, composer, and actor, is a Boomer. He’s 47, born March, 1962, in New Jersey. Biographical Tidbit: Bon Jovi inherits his good looks from his Mom, nee Carol Sharkey, who was a teenaged model and one of the first Playboy bunnies. She then joined the US Marines, where she met and married fellow Marine John Francis Bongiovi, Sr.
65. Chris Evert, former tennis champion and sportscaster, is a Boomer. She is 54, born December, 1954, in Florida. Biographical Tidbit: Early in her tennis career, Evert was signed to endorse a line of sportswear for Puritan Fashions Corporation, which did very well for the company. Puritan’s sports-loving owner Carl Rosen had purchased a promising thoroughbred filly and decided to name it “Chris Evert” in her honor. Chris Evert, the Horse, won the 1974 US Filly Triple Crown and a coveted Eclipse Award, before eventually being inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame.
66. Dorothy Hamill, ice skater, coach, and author, is a Boomer. She is 53, born July, 1956, in Illinois. Biographical Tidbit: In 1993, a study by a major marketing group named Hamill the Most Popular Athlete in America, tied with fellow Olympian Mary Lou Retton, but beating out such male superstars as Michael Jordan, Troy Aikman, Wayne Gretzky, and 800 others.
67. Glenn “Doc” Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics, is a Boomer. He turns 48 in a few days, born October, 1961, in Illinois. Biographical Tidbit: To say Rivers comes from an athletic family is an understatement. He’s the nephew of former NBA star Jim Brewer and cousin of ex-NBA guard Byron Irvin and ex-MLB star – and current sportscaster – Ken Singleton. Rivers’s oldest son Jeremiah played basketball for Georgetown and Indiana; daughter Callie plays varsity volleyball at the University of Florida; and son Austin, also at Florida, is considered a top future NBA prospect.
68. Jamie Moyer, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, is a Boomer. He’s 46, born November, 1962, in Pennsylvania. Biographical Tidbit: The oldest active player in Major League Baseball, Moyer is also a noted philanthropist. He and his wife Karen, daughter of former Notre Dame basketball coach and current sportscaster Digger Phelps, are devout Catholics and have seven children, the youngest adopted from Guatemala. Their Moyer Foundation supports over 170 separate charities for children, including Camp Erin, a nationwide network of bereavement camps for children and teens.
69. Cindy Sherman, photographic artist and film director, is a Boomer. She’s 55, born January, 1954, in New Jersey. Biographical Tidbit: In response to the controversy over the National Endowment for the Arts funding works by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano which some thought prurient, Sherman produced her “Sex” series in 1989. The photographs feature pieced-together medical dummies in risque poses.
70. Judy Pfaff, doyenne of installation art and MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantee, is a Boomer. She’s 63, born May, 1946, in London, UK. Biographical Tidbit: Pfaff’s former studio, in Kingston, New York, was located in a converted tugboat factory, with access to a canal leading into the Hudson River. In many of her works, the flow of water represents the flow of life.
71. Ken Burns, king of PBS documentaries, is a Boomer. He’s 56, born July, 1953, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Burns is sometimes chided for the pure massiveness of his projects. In a recent episode of the cartoon series Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Jimmy’s class has to sit through a “97-hour documentary on Egypt” by Burns.
72. Isaac Mizrahi, fashion designer and TV host, is a Boomer. He’s about to turn 48, born October, 1961, in New York. Biographical Tidbit: Although more sedate lately, Mizrahi didn’t fare too well in a one-time stint as red carpet interviewer for the Golden Globe awards in 2006. Reviewers said he ogled Teri Hatcher’s chest, groped Scarlett Johansson, and asked some celebrities whether they were wearing underwear.
73. Rick Bayless, master chef, is a Boomer. He’s 55, born November, 1953, in Oklahoma. Biographical Tidbit: Bayless was widely criticized for appearing in a 2003 commercial for Burger King’s low-fat chicken baguette sandwiches. But he’s been praised for his Frontera Farmer Foundation, which offers capital improvement grants to struggling family farms.
74. Elizabeth Strout, the most recent Pulitzer prize winner for fiction, is a Boomer. She’s 53, born January, 1956, in Maine. Biographical Tidbit: Strout is an eighth-generation daughter of Maine, and most of her novels and stories take place in the small towns and cities of that state, although she currently lives in New York. She recently told an interviewer that her Mom helped spark her life as a writer as early as age 4, giving her a series of notebooks and encouraging her to jot down her impressions of places she went and people she met, a practice she kept up throughout childhood.
75. Sara Paretsky, creator of the V.I. Warshawski mystery novels, is a Boomer. She is 62, born June, 1947, in Iowa. Biographical Tidbit: A dog lover, Paretsky takes her golden retriever, Callie, with her nearly everywhere, even to public appearances. She recently told an interviewer that Woman and Dog start their days together in their back garden and frequently go swimming together in Lake Michigan.
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Filed in Series, Social Issues, Trivia
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