There are over one hundred and fifty people listed as being famous and having been born in Long Beach, California. It is not easy to decide who qualifies as the most famous amongst them; here is a list of Long Beach’s famous five for a variety of reasons.
Nicholas Kim Coppola was born on the 7th of January 1964 and most of his childhood was spent in Long Beach, the place of his birth. On choosing to become an actor he decided not to keep the famous family name of Coppola fearing the bias towards him due to having a famous director uncle, Francis Ford. He changed his name to Nicholas Cage and won his first acting role in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ he has since gone on to feature in over 60 movies and earning two academy award nominations, winning one of these for ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’
Tiger Woods was born on the penultimate day of 1975 in Long Beach, becoming the only child to Earl and Kulida Woods. He cut short his education to take up the sport of golf on a professional level while still a junior at Stanford University.
He had already by then won the US Junior Amateur title three years in succession followed by the US Amateur crown for the same period. On becoming a professional golfer he was sponsored by ‘Nike’ for $60million, in his first tournament as a professional in August 1996 he finished down in 60th place. He continued to win two and be placed five times in the top ten of his first eight tournaments. The following year, aged just 21 he became the youngest player to win the US Masters, by June of that year he had reached the level of being ranked the world’s No.1 golfer. By the year 2000 he had won all four of golf’s major titles, at the age of 24 the youngest to have achieved this feat.
Another native of California’s Long Beach to find fame through sport was former tennis player Billie Jean King born in the city on the 22nd of November 1943. During her tennis career she won twelve Grand Slam titles as a single player with another 16 in the women’s doubles game, mixed doubles brought her an additional 11 Grand Slam titles. She won a one off tournament dubbed ‘The Battle of the Sexes’ in 1973, defeating former Wimbledon men’s singles champion Bobby Riggs to claim the $100,000 prize. She won 696 matches or more than 81% of the matches she played during her career with her Grand Slam record being slightly higher than this at 82% or 190 wins.
Actress Bo Derek was born on the 20th of November 1956 as Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California. She featured in many movies and married the actor and director John Derek in 1976. Four years after the marriage she appeared for the first time in the magazine, Playboy. She was an avid supporter of George Bush during his election campaigns in both 2000 and 2004 as well as being an activist for animal rights.
Daniel James White was born in Long Beach, California on the 2nd of September 1946 and later became famous for the assassination of San Francisco’s Mayor and the city Supervisor. Dan White had been working in San Francisco as a supervisor when on the 27th of November 1978 he killed the city’s mayor George Moscone and a fellow supervisor Harvey Milk at City Hall. After the trial White was given a controversial verdict of manslaughter and not murder for his part in the double shooting. He served less than two years of a five year sentence and committed suicide on the 21st of October 1985 while in the city of San Francisco. White was at one time dubbed as being the most hated man in San Francisco.
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