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Errors contained in Who's Who in America

The following is a sampling of errors contained in various editions of Who's Who in America, or Who's Who of American Women. Both of these reference books are published by Marquis Who's Who. 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 mistakenly claim he was born in "Waukegan, Ill."
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, N.Y."
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. Additional biographical data can be found in our profile of Barbara Bush.

W.C. Fields (comedian) - Some editions erroneously report "Feb. 10, 1879" as his date of birth.
Correction: He was born January 29th, 1880, at Arlington House on the corner of Main and Mill Streets, Darby, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For many years, most reference books erroneously reported his date of birth. 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.

Senator Barry Goldwater (U.S. Senator) - Some editions erroneously report "Jan. 1" as 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 Goldwater.

Richard Harris (actor/singer) - Some editions mistakenly claim 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 editions erroneously report "Nov. 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.

Al Jolson - (actor/singer) - Some early editions of Who's Who in America erroneously report Jolson was born in "Washington, D.C."
Correction: Jolson was born in Serednik (now Seredzius), Lithuania, and later raised in Washington, D.C. For additional in-depth biographical data, visit our biography of Al Jolson.

Dorothy Lamour (actress/singer) - Some editions erroneously state her last name at birth was "Kaumeyer."
Correction: Dorothy Lamour was actually born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton. Additional biographical data can be found in our profile of Dorothy Lamour.

Ethel Merman (actress/singer) - Some editions erroneously report "1909" as her year of birth.
Correction: She was actually born January 16th, 1908, at 359 4th Avenue, in Astoria, Queens, New York. For additional in-depth biographical data, visit our biography of Ethel Merman.

Lew Wasserman (Motion Picture Executive/Movie Mogul) - Some editions erroneously report "Mar. 15, 1913" as his date of birth.
Correction: Lew Wasserman (Louis Robert Wasserman) was actually born March 22, 1913, at 6:42 a.m., on Woodland Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. The majority of reference books and most of his obituaries, erroneously report "March 15, 1913" as his date of birth. This is one instance where sloppy data entry, or poor research is not to blame. Lew Wasserman himself reported the 15th as his birthday, but this simply is not true. During his high school days, Wasserman puzzled classmates by changing the spelling of his first name from Louis to Lewis, and changed his date of birth from the actual date of March 22nd, to the fabricated date of "March 15" which he continued to give for the rest of his life. Some of his classmates have speculated that the 15th carried more historical mystique for him. Visit our profile of Lew Wasserman for additional information.

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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