People Who Kick Buts: Muhammad Ali
Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy shit… what a ride!”
- Born on May 12, 1937 in Manhattan and passed away on June 22, 2008.
- An American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, actor and writer/author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.
- Carlin was noted for his black humor as well as his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Carlin and his “Seven Dirty Words” comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 5–4 decision by the justices affirmed the government’s power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.
- In 2004, Carlin placed second on the Comedy Central list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time, ahead of Lenny Bruce and behind Richard Pryor.
- the second son of Mary (Beary), a secretary, and Patrick Carlin, a national advertising manager for the New York Sun. Carlin was of Irish descent and was raised a Roman Catholic.
- He grew up on West 121st Street, in a neighborhood of Manhattan which he later said, in a stand-up routine, he and his friends called “White Harlem”, because that sounded a lot tougher than its real name of Morningside Heights. He was raised by his mother, who left his father when Carlin was two months old.
- Carlin had a difficult relationship with his mother and often ran away from home. He later joined the United States Air Force and was trained as a radar technician.
- In 1959, Carlin and Jack Burns began as a comedy team when both were working for radio station KXOL in Fort Worth, Texas.
- In 1961, Carlin married Brenda Hosbrook (August 5, 1936 – May 11, 1997), whom he had met while touring the previous year. The couple’s only child, a daughter named Kelly, was born on June 15, 1963.
In 1971, George and Brenda renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas. Brenda died of liver cancer a day before Carlin’s 60th birthday, in 1997.
- Carlin had a history of cardiac problems spanning several decades, including three heart attacks (in 1978 at age 41, 1982 and 1991), an arrhythmia requiring an ablation procedure in 2003, and a significant episode of heart failure in late 2005. He twice underwent angioplasty to reopen narrowed arteries. In early 2005 he entered a drug rehabilitation facility for treatment of addictions to alcohol and Vicodin.