Bobby Sands

1 9 5 4 - 1 9 8 1 Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sands came of age at the height of ''the Troubles'' in the early 1970s. Intimidation by loyalists and the introduction of internment in 1971 radicalised his politics and by 1972 he was an active service member of the Provisional IRA. Imprisoned(...)


The white anklets known as bobby sox (socks) rocked the conservative world when teenagers began wearing the socks with saddle shoes as a form of adolescent rebellion in the late 40s. During the war years, rationing of silk and nylon prohibited women from wearing their stockings. Improvising, the British made a short ankle sock to(...)

Boris Yeltsin

In 1985 Boris Yeltsin was appointed head of the Moscow City Party Committee. He alienated party conservatives via his attempts to eradicate corruption, and was dismissed in 1987. He was elected to the Russian Federal Supreme Soviet and in March 1990 became its chairman. From this he went on in June 1991 to be the first(...)

Boston Strangler

Albert DeSalvo was a former military policeman and middleweight boxing champion. He was arrested in 1964 and voluntarily confessed to having killed 13 people.

Brat Pack

When young actors like Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick and Rob Lowe moved out of obscurity and into films like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and St Elmo's Fire they seemed like just the usual starlets. Critics pasted them and adults ignored them. But the teen audience loved them. Under the patronage of their mentor, writer and director John(...)

Brian Epstein

Brian Epstein

Brian Epstein was born on 19 September 1934, in Rodney Street, Liverpool - an exclusive area well known for its concentration of doctors. The grandson of a Polish immigrant, Brian was the first of two children born to Queenie and Harry Epstein. When the war broke out Liverpool became a prime bombing target because of(...)

Carlos the Jackal

"Carlos the Jackal" was, in fact, Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. He was nicknamed 'The Jackal' after the character in Frederick Forsyth's novel Day of The Jackal. He had converted to Islam, joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1970, and committed himself to bringing down Western democracies. After attending terrorist training camp in(...)

Charles de Gaulle

1 8 9 0 - 1 9 7 0 Born in Lille, Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1911 and was severely wounded and captured by the Germans in 1916. In June 1940 he refused to accept the new prime minister Pétain's truce with the Germans and on 18 June made(...)

Charles Manson

Charles Milles Manson was born in November 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Kathleen Maddox, an unmarried 16-year-old girl, and an unnamed father. He would rapidly fall foul of the law, and by age 32 had spent more than half his life in prisons and juvenile facilities. As a petty criminal, Charles Manson had(...)

Che Guevara

1 9 2 8 - 1 9 6 7 Che Ernesto Guevara was born in Resario, Argentina, and trained there as a doctor, but left his homeland in 1953 because of his opposition to the right-wing president Juan Perón. In effecting the Cuban revolution of 1959 against the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, he was second(...)

Christine Keeler

Englishwoman Christine Keeler became notorious in 1963 after revelations of affairs with both a Soviet attaché and the war minister John Profumo, who resigned after admitting lying to the House of Commons about their relationship. Her patron, the osteopath Stephen Ward, was convicted of living on immoral earnings and committed suicide. Keeler was subsequently imprisoned for(...)

CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament)

Since its foundation in 1958, CND (a non party-political British organisation advocating the abolition of nuclear weapons) has sought unilateral British initiatives to help start - and subsequently to accelerate - the multilateral process and end the arms race. The movement was launched by the philosopher Bertrand Russell and Canon John Collins and grew out(...)

Dan Quayle

On 15 June 1992, US vice president Dan Quayle instructed a student to spell 'potato' by adding an 'e' to the end during a spelling bee arranged as a photo opportunity. Quayle becomes notorious for his foot-in-mouth quotes such as; "If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure" and "a low voter turnout(...)

Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega Saavedra left law studies at the Central American University in Managua at the age of 18 to join the Marxist Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN) and soon became head of the underground urban resistance activities against the Somoza regime. He was imprisoned and tortured several times and was temporarily exiled to Cuba in 1974. He(...)

David Ben-Gurion

1 8 8 6 - 1 9 7 3 Israeli statesman and socialist politician. He was one of the founders of the state of Israel and the country's first prime minister (1948–53) - and again from 1955 to 1963. He retired from politics in 1970 but remained a lasting symbol of the Israeli state. He was(...)

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