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Errors found in miscellaneous books

The following is a small sampling of errors contained in various non-fiction books.

It is not our intent to denigrate any of these fine publications, but merely to point out the following inaccuracies to prevent further dissemination of the erroneous data.

The Cambridge Factfinder Edited by David Crystal (1993 edition)

Chester Carlson (inventor/physicist) - They have his name spelled correctly in several parts of the book, but on page 526 (Science and technology) they erroneously report his name was "Charles Carson."
Correction: His last name is spelled Carlson.


Wallace Carothers (inventor) - They misspell his last name "Carrothers" in the science and technology section on page 526.
Correction: His last name is spelled Carothers.


W.C. Fields (comedian) - They erroneously report Fields was born William Claude "Dunkenfield."
Correction: The correct spelling of his last name is Dukenfield. Consult W.C. Fields' profile for more information.


Margot Fonteyn (dancer) - They misspell her last name "Hokham."
Correction: Throughout her 1976 autobiography, Margot Fonteyn, she confirms that "Hookham" is the proper spelling of her maiden name.


Martha Graham (dancer/choreographer) - They erroneously report "1849" as her year of birth.
Correction: Martha Graham was actually born in 1894.


Freddie Mercury (singer) - They erroneously report he died in "1992."
Correction: He died of pneumonia and AIDS, at 7:00 p.m., on November 24th, 1991, at 1 Logan Place, in Kensington, London, England.


The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider (1994 edition)

Charlie Barnet (bandleader/musician) - It erroneously spells his name "Charlie Barnett."
Correction: His last name is actually spelled Barnet.


Raymond Burr (actor) - It erroneously spells his hit TV series "Ironsides."
Correction: It was, of course, Ironside.


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


Rudolf Firkusny (pianist) - It mistakenly spells his name "Rudolph Firkusny" in the index.
Correction: It's actually spelled Rudolf.


Graham Greene (writer) - The index has his name spelled "Graham Green."
Correction: His last name is actually spelled Greene.


Eva Le Gallienne (actress) - It erroneously spells her name "Le Galliene."
Correction: Eva Le Gallienne is the proper spelling.


Max Planck (Nobel Prize-winning physicist) - It inaccurately spells his name "Max Plank."
Correction: It's actually spelled Max Planck.


U.S. President James Knox Polk - It misspells his name "James J. Polk."
Correction: "K" (for Knox) is the middle initial of the 11th U.S. President.


Sydney Pollack (director) - It misspells his name "Sidney Pollack."
Correction: Sydney Pollack is the proper spelling.


Knute Rockne - It erroneously lists "Knute Rockney" as his name.
Correction: His last name is actually spelled Rockne.


Telly Savalas (actor) - They misspell his name "Telly Savalis."
Correction: His name is actually spelled Telly Savalas.


Margaret Sullavan (actress) - It incorrectly lists "Margaret Sullivan" as her name.
Correction: It's actually spelled Margaret Sullavan.


A couple of non-spelling errors contained in The Secret Language of Birthdays:

Jane Pauley - It erroneously reports she was the TV host/journalist on Good Morning America.
Correction: It was, of course, NBC's Today show.


Oscar Wilde (writer) - Erroneously reports "October 15" as his date of birth.
Correction: He was born October 16th, 1854, at 2:38 a.m., at 21 Westland Row, Dublin, Ireland. For additional biographical data, visit our profile of Oscar Wilde.


The People's Almanac Presents The Book of Lists - The '90s Edition (1993)

Frank Serpico (crime fighter) - In a list of "First Names of 13 Fictional Sleuths Better Known by Their Last Names" this book erroneously includes real-life detective Frank Serpico. Serpico was most assuredly not "fictional," though there are probably a few corrupt individuals who wish he was. Frank Serpico was an honest New York City police officer who, in the late 1960s and early '70s, exposed widespread corruption, and bribery of cops within the NYPD. His story was told in the acclaimed 1973 Sidney Lumet film Serpico, starring Al Pacino.


John Willis Screen World (various editions)

Eddie Albert (actor) - Some editions mistakenly claim 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 Eddie was actually born in 1906 in Rock Island, Illinois. For additional biographical data, visit our profile of Eddie Albert.

Katharine Hepburn (actress) - Some editions erroneously report her date of birth as "Nov. 8, 1907."
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.


Walter Matthau (actor) - Some editions erroneously report "Walter Matuschanskayasky" as his real name at birth.
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.


Earl Blackwell's Entertainment Celebrity Register (1991)

Eddie Albert (actor) - Erroneously reports 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 Eddie was actually born in 1906 in Rock Island, Illinois. Consult Eddie Albert's profile for more information.


Edward Albert (actor) - Mistakenly claims he "made his debut in the film Butterflies Are Free."
Correction: He actually made his movie debut in the 1965 drama, The Fool Killer. Visit our biography of Edward Albert for additional information.


Audrey Hepburn (actress) - Some editions erroneously list "Audrey Hepburn-Ruston" as her name at birth.
Correction: Members of her family have addressed, at length, the erroneous birth name attributed to her and have confirmed that Audrey Kathleen Ruston is the name on her birth certificate. Consult Audrey Hepburn's profile for more information.


Katharine Hepburn (actress) - Erroneously reports her date of birth as "8 November 1909."
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.



Visit our list of errors contained in other reference books.

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