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World Almanac and Book of Facts - Errors

The following is a sampling of errors contained in various editions of the World Almanac and Book of Facts. Additional information on each error correction can be found by clicking on the link at the beginning and/or end of each entry below.


Eddie Albert (actor) - Some editions mistakenly report he was born in "1908."
Correction: Because he was born out of wedlock, his mother altered his birth certificate to read "1908." His son, Edward Albert (also an actor), confirmed this, and the fact that Eddie Albert was actually born in 1906 in Rock Island, Illinois. Consult Eddie Albert's profile for more information.


Jack Benny (comedian) - Some editions erroneously report he was born in "Waukegan, Illinois."
Correction: He was born February 14th, 1894, at 4:04 a.m., at Mercy Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois. Visit our profile of Jack Benny for additional information.


Barbara Bush (Former First Lady) - Some editions erroneously state she was born in "Rye, New York."
Correction: She was born at Booth Memorial Hospital, in New York City, New York, not Rye, New York, where she was raised. Mrs. Bush specifically addresses this issue in her autobiography and confirms her New York City birth. Visit our biography of Barbara Bush for additional in-depth information.


Joseph Cotten (actor) - Some editions misspell his name "Cotton."
Correction: It's actually spelled Cotten. Joseph Cotten himself, confirms this fact throughout his 1987 autobiography, Joseph Cotten: Vanity Will Get You Somewhere.


W.C. Fields (comedian) - Some editions erroneously report "1879" as his year of birth.
Correction: W.C. Fields was born January 29th, 1880, at Arlington House on the corner of Main and Mill Streets, Darby, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fields lied about his date of birth (giving "April 9, 1879" as his d.o.b.) in order to get married while still underage. For many years, most reference books reported this erroneous date. Most reference works have now corrected their information. The above birth date has been verified by members of his family on several occasions, and confirmed by various government records. Consult W.C. Fields' profile for more information.


Judy Garland (actress/singer) - Some editions mistakenly state she was born in "1923."
Correction: She was born June 10th, 1922, at Itasca Hospital, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.


Senator Barry Goldwater (U.S. Senator) - Some editions mistakenly report his date of birth.
Correction: This is one error that is perfectly understandable. Not only did nearly every reference source on the planet report the same erroneous date of birth, but Barry Goldwater himself reported January 1st as his date of birth in his various autobiographies and other books because he truly believed that it was his actual date of birth. Late in life, Senator Goldwater learned he was actually born at 3 a.m., on January 2nd, 1909. Additional biographical data can be found in our profile of Senator Barry Goldwater.


Richard Harris (actor/singer) - Some editions erroneously state he was born in "1933."
Correction: He was born October 1st, 1930, at 11:20 a.m. GDT (10:20 GMT), in Limerick, Ireland. This is the date and time of birth Richard himself reported as his precise time of birth, and has subsequently been verified by many researchers. For additional biographical data, visit our profile of Richard Harris.


Katharine Hepburn (actress) - Some older editions erroneously report "November 8, 1909," as her date of birth.
Correction: Ms. Hepburn was born May 12th, 1907, at 5:47 p.m., at 22 Hudson Street, in Hartford, Connecticut. Visit our biography of Katharine Hepburn for additional in-depth information.


Dorothy Lamour (actress/singer) - Older editions of the World Almanac and Book of Facts erroneously report her name at birth was "Mary Kaumeyer." Newer editions correctly report Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton as her real name. Additional biographical data can be found in our profile of Dorothy Lamour.


Vivien Leigh (actress) - Some older editions erroneously spell her real name "Vivien" Hartley, but recent editions have the correct spelling of Vivian Hartley. Consult Vivien Leigh's profile for more information.


Lotte Lenya (actress/singer) - Some editions mistakenly list the year of her birth as "1900."
Correction: She was actually born October 18th, 1898, in Vienna, Austria.


Walter Matthau (actor) - Some editions erroneously report his real name was "Walter Matuschanskayasky."
Correction: His family has repeatedly verified that Walter John Matthow was his actual name at birth. For additional information, visit our profile of Walter Matthau.


Steve McQueen (actor) - Some editions erroneously report his birthplace as "Indianapolis, Ind."
Correction: He was born in Beech Grove, Indiana.


Ethel Merman (actress/singer) - Some older editions erroneously report her year of birth as "1909." Thankfully, recent editions correctly report 1908. For additional in-depth biographical data, visit our biography of Ethel Merman.


Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh/husband of Queen Elizabeth II) - Some editions mistakenly list "June 1" as his date of birth. Thankfully, recent editions correctly report June 10th, 1921.


Vivian Vance (actress) - Some editions erroneously report her year of birth as "1912."
Correction: She was born July 26th, 1909, at 311 East 5th Street, in Cherryvale, Kansas. Visit our profile of Vivian Vance for additional information.


Andy Warhol (artist) - Older editions erroneously list "Cleveland, Oh." as his birthplace, and "1931" as his year of birth. This was later changed to "8/6/27" in some editions.
Correction: Warhol was actually born August 6th, 1928, at 6:30 a.m., at 73 Orr Street, Soho, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


It is
not our intent to denigrate this fine publication, but merely to point out the above inaccuracies to prevent further dissemination of the erroneous data.

Visit our list of errors contained in other reference books.

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