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b. 356 B.C. in Pella, Macedonia - d.323 B.C.
Of all those who have set out to conquer the world, ALEXANDER THE GREAT came closest to finishing the job. The son of King Phillip II of Macedon, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle and first led troops at age 18. After his father's death he set out to conquer much the world, leading his ferocious troops from Egypt (where he became Pharoah) to Persia (where he defeated 250,000 troops with innovative battle tactics) to the high Himalayas in his quest for glory. Even his favorite horse Bucephalus has become one of history's most famous steeds.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT was 32 when he died in Babylon after an illness of a several days. The historian Plutarch says that Alexander was attacked by fever after a day of drinking with friends, and that before dying he lingered long enough for his soldiers to file by him for a final farewell. Rumors that Alexander was poisoned have carried down through the ages, perhaps because no firm cause of death was ever reported. Alexander's body was placed in a gold casket and (according to legend) preserved in honey for the long trip home. In fact, his body went not to Macedonia but to Egypt under the guidance of Alexander's old compatriot Ptolemy. Eventually the body ended up in a tomb in Alexandria, the city Alexander himself founded, where it was visited by Julius Caesar and others. Today, modern scientists have gotten into the act; in 1998 a University of Maryland disease expert, David Oldach, speculated that Alexander died of typhoid fever.


b. Jul. 1, 1961 in Norfolk, England - d. Aug. 31, 1997
LADY DIANA FRANCES SPENCER was 20 when she married Prince Charles, heir to the throne of Britain, on July 29, 1981. Diana's youth, beauty, and charm made her a favorite of the public and the paparazzi, and her personal life was frequent fodder for tabloids. She and Charles had two sons, William (b. 1982) and Harry (b. 1984), but the marriage was doomed almost from the start. Diana and Charles were divorced in 1996 and Diana devoted her life to her two sons and to worldwide charities. In fact, Diana's nicknames included Lady Di, the “People's Princess”, and the “Queen of People's Hearts.” She and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, were killed in 1997 in a high-speed car crash in Paris, France, most likely caused by motorcycle-riding paparazzi.

According to the web site of the Royal Family, "The Princess was the first Englishwoman to marry an heir to the throne for 300 years when Lady Anne Hyde (to whom Diana was descended) married the future James II."


b. Jan. 24, 1949 in Chicago, IL - d. March 5, 1982
Pudgy and manic, and loved by all, wild man John Belushi was hugely popular in the late 1970’s when he starred on Saturday Night Live and began his film career playing the crass Bluto Blutarski in the campus comedy Animal House (1978). Belushi won an Emmy Award for SNL where his characters included crazed samurai and comical killer bees. His longtime creative partnership with his friend Dan Ackroyd included the 1980 smash hit The Blues Brothers and Steven Spielberg's 1979 war comedy 1941. Long rumored to have a vicious drug problem, Belushi was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel bungalow from an overdose of heroin and cocaine in March of 1982.

FYI! Following in Belushi’s footsteps was John Candy (b. Octber 31, 1950 in Toronto, Canada and d. March 4, 1994), a big fan of the SNL star. Candy, also a classic big-guy comedian, usually played an exasperating but lovable lug. Like Belushi, a product of the famed Second City comedy troupe, he was part of the ensemble cast for the hit comedy TV series SCTV and appeared in dozens of movies. He died of a heart attack suffered in Durango, Mexico on location for his last film, Wagons East.


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