FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 22, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 41
Notable fi gures in Black History who lived in Queens
BY MADELINE NELSON
email@example.com / @QNS
Th e nation marks Black History Month
in February, and what better way is there
to celebrate than acknowledge the internationally
iconic African-Americans who
called, and in some cases still call, Queens
Here are just some of the notable
African-Americans from our borough
who’ve made a profound impact on our
nation and world.
Al Roker, raised in St. Albans, is a
13-time Emmy-winning “Today Show”
host and weatherman. Born in 1954, Al
Roker went to the State University of New
York at Oswego and studied communications.
He worked for WNBC-TV in 1983
doing high-profi le reports until joining
“Th e Today Show” as an anchor in 1996.
Roker has also hosted a morning show for
Th e Weather Channel, founded a company
and authored best-selling books.
Gwen Ifi ll was the “PBS Newshour”
co-anchor and managing editor and the
“Washington Week” editor and moderator.
She is one of the most successful
African-American journalists of all time,
receiving a Peabody award for her work.
She worked for Th e Washington Post and
Th e New York Times before switching to
broadcast news for NBC News and later
PBS. She passed away from cancer complications
Marie M. Daly,
born and raised
in Jamaica, is
for being the
A m e r i c a n
receive a Ph.D.
in chemistry in
the United States.
In 1955, Daly worked closely with Dr.
Quentin B. Deming on the causes of
heart attacks. Th eir groundbreaking work
found a link between diet and the health
of the heart and the circulatory system.
Daly died in 2003.
Reverend Run, birth name Joseph
Simmons, is Russell Simmons’ brother.
Simmons formed the pioneering rap
group Run-DMC with Darryl “DMC”
McDaniels and Jam Master Jay. In 1983,
the group was one of the fi rst to bring
hip-hop onto mainstream radio and
into mainstream culture. Th eir 1986
platinum-selling album “Raising Hell”
changed hip-hop forever. Th e album featured
the highly touted single, “Walk Th is
Way,” a rap version of Aerosmith’s 1975
iconic hit of the same name. Th e song
soared up the charts, and the band quickly
became a household name.
Superstar rapper Nicki Minaj, birth
name Onika Tanya Maraj, is the fi rst
and only female solo artist to have seven
singles simultaneously on the Billboard
100 chart. She skyrocketed to fame with
tracks like “Super Bass” in 2010 and
“Anaconda” in 2014. Born in Trinidad
and Tobago, she moved to South Jamaica
as a toddler. She overcame a diffi cult
childhood to become one of the most
known as Nasir
Jones, made a
huge impact in
the early 1990s
as one of the
greatest, if not the
greatest, rap albums of all time. He has
sold 25 million records and has received
worldwide praise for his many projects.
He still hangs out in Queens and can
be spotted on the St. John’s University
Queens Campus from time to time.
Curtis Jackson, known as 50 Cent, is
a producer, director and former rapper
from South Jamaica. His grandmother
who raised him still resides in Hollis. 50
Cent rose to fame because of his street
credibility as a musician and businessman.
He became famous for his ragsto
riches life story. Aft er an early life of
crime, he turned to rap, rising to stardom
with his 2003 album “Get Rich or
Louis Armstrong was born in 1901
in New Orleans but lived in Queens for
almost three decades. He came to prominence
in the 1920s, infl uencing countless
musicians with both his daring
trumpet style and unique vocals.
Armstrong and his wife Lucille
moved to a home in Corona for
retirement. Armstrong’s stage
presence impressed not only the
jazz world but the global music
industry. He recorded several
songs throughout his career,
including “What a Wonderful
World.” Armstrong died at his
home in 1971.
* * *
Th ree particularly notable individuals
in American history resided in Addisleigh
Park. Originally built by white developers
and having race-based housing restrictions,
African-Americans who wanted to
live in Addisleigh Park sued the developers.
Th rough litigation, they were able
to buy homes in the
A m o n g
f a m o u s
r e s i d e n t s
who was born in
Queens. In 1958,
Fitzgerald made history
as the fi rst African-American woman
to win a Grammy Award. Th e singer
would go on to win 13 Grammys and sell
more than 40 million albums. Fitzgerald
recorded more than 200 albums and
2,000 songs in her lifetime. Her total
record sales exceeded 40 million, which
would be worth hundreds of million
today. She also won the Presidential
Medal of Freedom. Fitzgerald passed
away from a stroke and diabetes complications
who also resided
M a j o r
L e a g u e
B a s e b a l l
when he took
the field for
Dodgers in 1947.
Th roughout his decade-long career,
Robinson distinguished himself as one
of the game’s most talented and exciting
players. He was also a vocal civil rights
activist. He died in Connecticut in 1972
from heart problems and diabetes complications.
scholar and activist
resided in the
out of Harlem
end of the
H a r l e m
D u B o i s
c o - f o u n d -
ed the National
the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP)
in 1909, the central organization
responsible for the Civil Rights
Movement. Before moving to New
York, DuBois lived in Massachusetts
where he received his secondary education
before attending Fisk and Harvard
black history month