The Who2 Blog

The Ramsey Case

We’ve added two profiles in the sad and increasingly strange case of JonBenet Ramsey: one of the victim herself, and one of her alleged killer, John Mark Karr. His arrest in Thailand, and his apparent confession that he was “with JonBenet when she died,” have added a bizarre note to what was already a very confusing story. Our JonBenet profile has links to some of the most detailed historical sites about the case, while the Karr profile focuses on news outlets in Colorado and elsewhere that are providing steady updates.

Fidel vs. Flintstone

Cuban leader Fidel Castro is still in the hospital but expected to recover, according to his sister. He handed the reins of power temporarily to his brother Raul before surgery this week.Fidel Castro has been in power for 47 years, since 1959. How long is that?

Who2 — the Album!

It looks as if we finally have a date for the release of The Who’s new album, titled (remarkably) Who2. Pete Townshend says in this interview that October 23 is the magic day.

John Ford’s Extra Year

A recent letter from a reader in Maine questioned our birth date for director John Ford. We had 1895, but after some detailed review we now think the reader was right: Ford was born in 1894.Ford himself, it seems, liked to claim 1895 as his date of birth. That being the case, it’s no surprise that many sources online and off list his birth date as 1895. But the case for 1894 has been pretty well settled in the last two decades by some thoughtful biographers.

Superman and Grayson

A new Superman film opens this week in U.S. theaters: Superman Returns, starring newcomer Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel.However, Who2 tech guru Mike Duffy points out a superhero movie that never got made and still looks great: Grayson. It’s one fan’s heroic take on Batman’s “faithful ward,” Dick Grayson.

50 Cent Turns Thirty-One (?)

Our friends at asked us to look into the real age of Curtis Jackson, AKA 50 Cent. We have his birth year as 1975, while many other sources say 1976.

‘Brangelina’ and ‘Frelanor’

Now that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had their baby, let’s put an end to the tabloid naming of celebrity couples — in this case, Brangelina.The absurd trend started with Bennifer for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, and reached its artistic peak with TomKat for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Brangelina is just grasping at straws.

Shakira’s Birthday

We’ve had some trouble pinning down the birth date of Latina superstar Shakira. Many good sources list her as February 9, 1977, but other sources, just as good, have her as February 2, 1977.

Who2’s New Look

Who2 adopted a brand new look on April 2nd. We hope you like it.This is our first redesign in over two years, and it accomplishes several important tasks for us. We finally have one standard template for all of our profiles, loops, and related pages. This will help readers understand and use Who2 more easily.We’ve chosen new colors and a new, more readable typeface. Headlines are now in a more attractive (we might even say stylish) sans-serif typeface.

Is the ‘Death’ Field Ghoulish?

A Who2 user writes:”I was looking at a profile of an actor… the name is irrelevant. In the “vital statistics” category you list birthday, birthplace, and DEATH. The actor is very much alive, as the death section did not have a date under it.

Susan Lucci, Class of 1964

An alert reader recently suggested that we had Susan Lucci’s birth year wrong.Lucci, who has played Erica Kane on TV’s All My Children for the last three decades, once said in an interview in Cigar Aficionado that she enjoys being mysterious about how old she is, so we knew we’d have our work cut out for us.

What Was Stevie Wonder’s Birth Name?

Who do you believe: Stevie Wonder or his mother?A few weeks back we profiled Stevie Wonder, the old-school musical giant whose latest album, A Time To Love, won six Grammy nominations. There was one sticking point: his name. The Stevie Wonder stage name is no mystery — he got it when he signed with Motown as a child whiz kid and began performing as Little Stevie Wonder. (A few years later he dropped the “Little,” but the Wonder stuck.)

Dick Clark and Anne Frank

New Year’s Eve naturally makes one think of Dick Clark, host since 1972 of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. (How long ago was 1972? A recent Associated Press story by David Bauder said Clark’s show was created “as a hipper alternative to Guy Lombardo.”) Clark missed the 2004 broadcast after having a stroke, but is returning for the 2005 show in a reduced capacity, co-hosting with heir apparent Ryan Seacrest.

Farewells of Aught-Five

Johnny Carson, Rosa Parks, Terri Schiavo and Gilligan… just a few of the celebrities who passed away in 2005. Here’s our complete list.


To honor the advent of the latest Harry Potter movie — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — we’ve profiled a raft of Harry Potter teens.

Linking Dowd

Who2’s longstanding editorial policy is to avoid linking pay-per-view sites or those that require paid subscriptions. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, often has meaty content, but what good is it to the average Who2 user if they have to pay a $99 annual fee to read one article?

December 6th — Barren?

Reader Lenore Schuller writes in: “Why have you skipped December 6th?” She refers to the Who2 birthday index, in which every day of the year has at least one celebrity birthday… except for December 6th. Out of our 2500+ profiles, no famous person was born on that day.We’ve resisted (so far) the urge to hunt down one famous person born on that day and profile them. December 6th will just have to make it into the database on its own merits.

Chief Justice Tenures

A side note to the confirmation of John Roberts, Jr. as Chief Justice of the United States: rather interesting how few Chief Justices there have been in American history, considering that the post has existed since John Jay first took it in 1789.Roberts is only the 17th man to hold the post (if you toss out William Cushing, who either took the job for a few days and then resigned, or turned it down altogether, in 1796). Wikipedia has a good clear list.

The Pope’s Last Words

According to BBC News today, the Vatican has reported that the last words of Pope John Paul II were: “Let me go to the house of the Father.”The revelation is part of a chronicle of the last months of the pope’s life. The chronicle begins with an entry from 31 January 2005.His final words were uttered on the evening of the day he died, 2 April 2005.

Was Alexander Hamilton Born in 1757 or 1755?

We’ve been taking a closer look at the birthdate of Alexander Hamilton, founding father and duelling victim. Some sources say he was born in 1757, but others insist on 1755.[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2225:]]