Dec. 15, 1921 Windber Somerset County Pennsylvania, USA
Jan. 20, 1965 Palm Springs Riverside County California, USA
Radio Disc Jockey. He is known as “The Father of Rock and Roll” for his efforts to promote that music style. In March 1952, as an emcee of a television program on rhythm and blues records for TV station WXEL in Cleveland, Ohio, he referred to the new music sound as "rock and roll," thus being the first to coin the term. He played himself in five films, in cameo roles and bit parts; all of the films were made between 1956 and 1958 with teenagers as the targeted audience, and the films made Rock and Roll popular. His films included "Rock Around the Clock" (1956), "Rock, Rock, Rock" (1957), "Mister Rock and Roll" (1957), and his last film was "Go, Johnny, Go!" (1958). His compositions were used in the film "Electra Glide in Blue" (1973). He was caught up in the 1959 payola scandal, when it was revealed that he had accepted payments from record companies to play their records on the air. He referred to the payments as consultation fees, denying they were bribes, but it cost him his job. After that, he had trouble finding work or keeping it after being hired, which in turn, led to his heavy drinking. He died of uremia, a severe disease of the kidneys in which they cease functioning (related to his chronic cirrhosis of the liver), in Palm Springs, California. In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1991, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After his death he was cremated and his ashes were originally interred in Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale New York. On March 21, 2002 his ashes were re-interred in an undisclosed wall in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The marble marker from his vault at Ferncliff Cemetery was also shipped to Cleveland, where it now hangs in a lobby of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.