On this day back in 1842, composer Arthur Sullivan—one half of Gilbert & Sullivan—was born. One of the fathers of cubism, Georges Braque was born in 1882. Composer Ken Darby was born in 1909. Boxer Joe Louis was born in 1914. Bea Arthur was born in 1922. Director Herbert Ross was born in 1927. Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones was born in 1931. Science fiction writer Roger Zelazny was born in 1937. Ritchie Valens was born in 1941. And Motown great Mary Wells was born in 1943.
But how could I not give the day to a man you have probably never heard of? He’s a man who is really important—especially to women, which is to say to everyone. On this day back in 1883, Georgios Papanikolaou was born. He was a Greek scientist who did really important work on the early detection of cancer. In particular, he invented the Pap smear. So if you are a woman and you are still alive, or a man who was born by a woman who had not died of cervical cancer, then you can likely thank Dr. Papanikolaou. He’s one of the many great people we never hear about who have had profound positive effects on our lives.
Happy birthday Georgios Papanikolaou!
And this one goes out to Dr. Papanikolaou: