Bing Crosby (3 May 1903 – 14 Oct 1977)

Bing Crosby was one of the most famous singers of the twentieth century, as well as being a beloved movie, radio and television star. Born Harry Lillis Crosby in Tacoma and raised in Spokane, Washington, Crosby acquired his nickname, “Bing”, from a popular cartoon character of the day. Singing in a trio called “The Rhythm Boys” in the early twenties, Bing Crosby soon enough broke out on his own with that trademark bass-baritone to become one of the best-selling recording artists of his time. In addition, he contributed valuable financial backing toward innovations in the recording field, achieving landmark technical advances. His movie roles were hugely successful, and he won the 1944 Academy Award for Best Actor as Father O’Malley in Going My Way. Thousands flocked to enjoy his and Bob Hope’s famous Road series of movies. Bing Crosby was equally successful in the formats of radio and television well after many men would have retired. He was an avid sportsman as well, particularly with regard to golf and to thoroughbred horse racing. Bing Crosby’s first marriage to the actress Dixie Lee produced four sons (one of whom wrote a not-very-flattering book about him); his second marriage to the much younger actress, Kathryn Grant, gave him two more sons and a daughter. Bing Crosby died of a massive heart attack on a Spanish golf course, after having played 18 holes of golf. That somehow seems appropriate.

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