It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and not just because of the holiday season! Several of our St. Louis Walk of Fame inductees celebrate birthdays this month.
So save room for birthday cake and get to know this fascinating, diverse group of people!
Carl Ferdinand Cori, Dec. 5
Cori and his wife, Gerty, won the Nobel Prize in 1947 for their discovery of the blood glucose regulation mechanism while at the Washington University School of Medicine. He died in 1984.
Agnes Moorehead, Dec. 6
Moorehead moved to St. Louis as a child and became a radio singer on KMOX in 1923. She is known for her work on the radio, stage, film and television — especially for her role as Endora on TV’s “Beweitched.” Moorehead died in 1974. Moorehead also has a Walk of Fame suite at the Moonrise Hotel.
Redd Foxx, Dec. 9
The wisecracking star of the 1970s comedy series “Sanford and Son” was born in St. Louis in 1922. In addition to his television stardom, Foxx’s comedy recordings have sold more than 20 million copies. He died in 1991. We honor Red Foxx with a Walk of Fame suite.
Henry Armstrong, Dec. 12
A longtime St. Louisan, Armstrong was the only boxer to hold world titles in three weight classes simultaneously. He is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. Armstrong died in 1988.
Bob Pettit, Dec. 12
This Basketball Hall of Famer came to St. Louis with the Hawks in 1955 and led the team to four NBA Finals appearances in five years and its only championship, in 1958. Pettit was the first NBA player to score 20,000 points. He is 82.
Archie Moore, Dec. 13
Raised in St. Louis, Moore won the light heavyweight boxing title in 1952, which he held for nine years. “The Old Mongoose” racked up 131 knockouts over a 27-year career. Moore would’ve turned 101 this year.
Clark Terry, Dec. 14
Born in St. Louis, this trumpeter became a world-renowned jazz artist during his work with Count Basie and Duke Ellington in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Terry pioneered the flugelhorn in jazz and influenced countless other artists, including Miles Davis. He is 94.
Betty Grable, Dec. 18
She starred in more than 40 films, but to U.S. servicemen in World War II, Grable’s swimsuit “pin-up”poster may have been more memorable; one out of every five serviceman owned it. Born on Lafayette Avenue in St. Louis, Grable would’ve been 98 this year. Grable also has a Walk of Fame suite you can book.
Branch Rickey, Dec. 20
Rickey was an innovative baseball executive who turned the St. Louis Cardinals into a powerhouse in 1917 and broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He died in 1965.
Dick Weber, Dec. 23
Weber, one of the greatest professional bowlers off all time, became a St. Louisan in 1955 when he joined the Budweiser bowling team. He won four All-Star titles, 11 All-American Team honors, 26 Professional Bowlers Association tournaments and six senior titles over five decades. Weber died in 2005.
Ozzie Smith, Dec. 26
Smith helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to three World Series appearances and a 1982 championship. Known as “The Wizard,” the Baseball Hall of Famer earned 13 consecutive Gold Gloves, hit 1,257 runs and stole 580 bases during his 19-year career. He turns 60 this year.
William Howell Masters, Dec. 27
Masters joined the Washington University School of Medicine faculty in 1954. There, along with Virginia Johnson, he began a comprehensive study of human sexuality — research that greatly affected American society.
John Hartford, Dec. 30
The Grammy Award-winning American folk, country and bluegrass composer and musician grew up in University City and attended John Burroughs School. Hartford made more than 30 albums during his lifetime. He died in 2001.
Learn more about these and other St. Louis stars in “St. Louis Walk of Fame book: 140 Great St. Louisans.” This full-color coffee table book features biographies and photos of all inductees and makes the perfect holiday gift for family or friends! It’s available for purchase online, at the Moonrise Hotel lobby gift shop, Blueberry Hill Restaurant & Music Club on the Loop, the Missouri History Museum gift shop and bookstores throughout the St. Louis area.
Visit the St. Louis Walk of Fame site to see a full list of locations.