Ellen DeGeneres is Born
January 26, 1958
Ellen Degeneres was born at Ochsner hospital to Betty (Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer)
and Elliott DeGeneres on January 26, 1958. Her grandfather, Betty's father, was prominent New Orleans insurance man W. Dick
Pfeffer -- the vice-president and secretary of Pan-American Life Insurance Company and president of the Carrollton-Claiborne
Civic Association. Elliott's father, Everett, was a local car salesman. Elliot followed his father-in-law into the insurance
business and had been the First Reader of the Congregation of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Betty worked mostly in real
estate but also spent time at Brennan's restaurant in an executive position.
Ellen attended La Salle Elementary school, uptown on Perrier Street, in the University section near Audubon
Park. She is pictured here, front and center, in her 1970 sixth-grade class photo. She went on to attend Grace
King high school in Metairie. Betty and Elliott separated in 1973. Betty remarried and moved to Texas where Ellen
attended Atlanta High School. But Ellen moved back home after graduation. She took a job at the J.C. Penney store
in the Lakeside Mall.
Ellen's name appeared often in the local newspaper beginning in the 1980s when she was performing
at local comedy clubs. When her face also appeared in this 1981 article the 23 year-old Metairie
native had been on stage for less than a year. Joan Kent wrote, “Her routines are exaggerations
of real life situations...she comes off fresh with no four letter words”. The same can be said today.
Before this article was written, Ellen had
worked “79 odd jobs” including as a singer and song writer. Her comedy writing was honed from observances
of everyday people – at Walgreen’s and Woolworths and on city buses. “You can
find humor in anything”, she said. Degeneres reported that when
performing she would choose a particular audience member... “The other night there was
a woman in here just looking at me like I was the most funny person in the world. I realized maybe I could be”.
Ellen Degeneres told the reporter that
her ambition was to go to California and make a career of comedy. That she certainly did –
and so much more.
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The Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots in the twentieth anniversary Superbowl in New Orleans on January
BASS, Mary Elizabeth, physician, educator. Born, Carley, Miss., April 5, 1876; daughter of Isaac Esau
and Mary Eliza Wilkes Bass; sister of Charles C. Bass (q.v.). Education: Columbia (Miss.) High School, 1893; normal schools
in Texas and Mississippi, and taught in both states; Woman's College of Pennsylvania, M.D., 1904. Began practice of medicine
in New Orleans with her sister Cora Bass in 1904. Helped found the New Orleans Teaching Dispensary for Women and Children.
Many firsts as a woman physician in New Orleans and Louisiana. Teaching appointments at Tulane Medical School from December
11, 1911, to August 31, 1941. Concentrated on pathology and clinical medicine. Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology,
and Fellow, American College of Physicians. Encouraged students and exerted leadership to emphasize proper roles for women
in medicine. Published several scientific papers. Active in numerous professional organizations. President, American
Medical Women's Association, 1921-1922; founder of a historical column in their journal; and recipient of their Elizabeth
Blackwell Centennial Medal in 1953. Founded the Elizabeth Bass Collection on Women in Medicine at the Rudolph Matas Medical
Library of Tulane University. Died, January 26, 1956. J.P.M. Sources: The Mary Elizabeth Bass papers,
and the Women in Medicine Collection, the Rudolph Matas Medical Library, Tulane University Medical Center. From http://lahistory.org/site19.php
Huey "Piano" Smith (born January 26, 1934, New Orleans, is an American
rhythm and blues pianist whose sound was influential in the development of rock and roll. His piano playing incorporated the
boogie styles of Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons; the jazz style of Jelly Roll Morton and the piano playing of
Fats Domino. Allmusic journalist, Steve Huey, also noted "At the peak of his game, Smith epitomized New Orleans R&B
at its most infectious and rollicking, as showcased on his classic signature tune, "Don't You Just Know It."
BEHRMAN, Martin, politician, mayor of New Orleans. Born, New York City, October 14,
1864; son of Henry and Frederica Behrman. Family removed to New Orleans, 1865; parents died while Martin still a teenager.
Married Julia Collins, 1887. Wholesale grocery salesman until 1888; deputy city assessor, 1888-1892; clerk of New Orleans
city council, 1892-1896; member, board of education, 1892-1906; state senator, 1904. Mayor of New Orleans, 1904-1920, 1925-1926.
Behrman was a colorful turn-of-the-century urban "boss", more attuned to patronage than to progress. A capable
if conventional machine politician, Behrman lived a scandal-free private life and was enduringly popular as shown by the
length of his service as mayor. Died, New Orleans, January 26, 1926. M.T.C. Sources: M. G. Holli and
Peter d'A. Jones, eds., Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820-1980 (1981); John R. Kemp., ed., Martin Behrman
of New Orleans: An Illustrated History (1981); George M. Reynolds, Machine Politics in New Orleans, 1897-1926 (1936).
Benjamin Franklin Flanders (January 26, 1816 – March 13, 1896) was appointed the
21st Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction and was Mayor
of New Orleans.