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January 15 Notable Births and Deaths, with Quotes

Published by: Carolyn Brooks Fleming on Jan 14, 2022.

Let’s take a moment to remember five notable people with birth or death anniversaries on January 15.

Martin Luther King Jr., minister and activist (January 15, 1929–April 4, 1968)

“I'm thinking of love in action and not something where you say, ‘Love your enemies,’ and just leave it at that, but you love your enemies to the point that you're willing to sit-in at a lunch counter in order to help them find themselves. You're willing to go to jail.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
Franke-Ruta. “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Amazing 1964 Interview With Robert Penn Warren.” The Atlantic, August 26, 2013, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/martin-luther-king-jrs-amazing-1964-interview-with-robert-penn-warren/279014/.

“Wherever schools can be integrated through the busing method, and where it won't be just a terrible inconvenience, I think it ought to be done because I think the inconveniences of a segregated education are much greater than the inconveniences of busing students so that they can get an integrated quality education.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
Franke-Ruta. “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Amazing 1964 Interview With Robert Penn Warren.” The Atlantic, August 26, 2013, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/martin-luther-king-jrs-amazing-1964-interview-with-robert-penn-warren/279014/.

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
“‘I Have A Dream’ Speech, In Its Entirety.” NPR, January 18, 2010, https://www.npr.org/2010/01/18/122701268/i-have-a-dream-speech-in-its-entirety.

Drew Brees, football player (January 15, 1979–present)

“You know, life is full of defining moments, and life is full of, kind of, next chapters. I think that whenever you leave one chapter and go on to the next one, I think you hope to have left the legacy behind where you left it better than when you found it.” —Drew Brees
Farrar, Doug. “Drew Brees reflects on his past, reveals his future plans in ‘TODAY Show’ interview.” Touchdownwire, March 15, 2021, https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2021/03/15/drew-brees-retirement-today-show-nbc/.

“There’s so many philanthropic endeavors that we are involved with, especially here in the city of New Orleans.” —Drew Brees
Farrar, Doug. “Drew Brees reflects on his past, reveals his future plans in ‘TODAY Show’ interview.” Touchdownwire, March 15, 2021, https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2021/03/15/drew-brees-retirement-today-show-nbc/.

“Listen, I love the game and I miss the game. I try to get my fill from broadcasting, doing in-studio work, coaching my kids and playing ball with them. It’s hard to replace game day; it’s hard to replace the locker room.” —Drew Brees
Rosvoglou, Chris. “1-On-1 With Drew Brees: Life After Football, Saints’ 2021 Season Outlook, Favorite Team To Beat, Partnership With Quaker.” The Spun, October 20, 2021, https://thespun.com/nfl/nfc-south/new-orleans-saints/drew-brees-talks-life-after-football-saints-2021-season-partnership-with-quaker.

Andrea Martin, comedian and actor (January 15, 1947–present)

"I'm not the girl who gets to make out with Ryan Gosling in a scene. I'm the housekeeper who comes in on Ryan Gosling and then I do a spit take and then trip over his underwear and knock my head as I walk out on all fours." —Andrea Martin
NPR Staff. “Comedian Andrea Martin: ‘I Don’t Think Age Has Anything To Do With It.’” NPR, December 27, 2014, https://www.npr.org/2014/12/27/372514324/comedian-andrea-martin-i-dont-think-age-has-anything-to-do-with-it.

“Back then, you know, Second City was kind of the only improv group that was happening. Now there's The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade and ImprovOlympic which is a great breeding ground for young comedians and then they go on to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ But then, in the '70s, there wasn't that kind of place.” —Andrea Martin
NPR Staff. “Comedian Andrea Martin: ‘I Don’t Think Age Has Anything To Do With It.’” NPR, December 27, 2014, https://www.npr.org/2014/12/27/372514324/comedian-andrea-martin-i-dont-think-age-has-anything-to-do-with-it.

“Expand your mind. Read about history. Go to a museum. Go to the opera. Go to the ballet. Go to therapy. Understand why you tick.” —Andrea Martin
Sternbergh, Adam. “At 70, Andrea Martin Is Getting Her Big Break.” Vulture, April 21, 2017, https://www.vulture.com/2017/04/with-great-news-andrea-martin-is-getting-her-big-break.html.

Ruth Warrick, actor (June 29, 1916–January 15, 2005)

“I learned a tremendous amount from Orson Welles. You couldn’t help it. The man is so brilliant. And so right on the nose.” —Ruth Warrick
“Actress Ruth Warrick Passes at 88: From Citizen Kane to All My Children.” Emmys.com, January 19, 2005, https://www.emmys.com/news/actress-ruth-warrick-passes-88-citizen-kane-all-my-children.

“Acting is just being with every cell in your body, with a certain thought in mind.” —Ruth Warrick
“Actress Ruth Warrick Passes at 88: From Citizen Kane to All My Children.” Emmys.com, January 19, 2005, https://www.emmys.com/news/actress-ruth-warrick-passes-88-citizen-kane-all-my-children.

“I love family. That is really the core of your being. If you neglect that, or let it pass through your fingers, you're missing the point of your life.” —Ruth Warrick
Wellons, Nancy Imperiale. “The Mother of ‘All My Children’ from Phoebe to Politics to Family Life, It’s Full-Steam Ahead for the Inimitable Ruth Warrick.” Orlando Sentinel, January 21, 2000, https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2000-01-21-0001200348-story.html.

Harry Nilsson, musician (June 15, 1941–January 15, 1994)

“I turned down the fan clubs and didn’t do interviews and things. I sort of played with my career rather than take it very seriously. You know, that was a mistake.” —Harry Nilsson
Fornatale, Pete. “HARRY NILSSON Interviewed by DJ Pete Fornatale in 1992 (Condensed Version).” YouTube, June 27, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPWoPPFosbw.

“I had this beat-up little radio that I used to listen to late at night. I listened to a guy named Dick Hugg, ‘Huggy Boy.’ It was an all-black station. He played the Olympics, the Coasters, Ray Charles. He played Ray Charles's ‘I’ve Got A Woman!’ When I used to go to sleep, if that song came on the radio, no matter how low the volume, I would hear it, wake up and listen to it and go, ‘Yeah!’” —Harry Nilsson
“One Last Touch of Nilsson.” NilssonSchmilsson.com, https://nilssonschmilsson.com/one-last-touch-of-nilsson.html.

“I remember one magical day, I wrote three songs in one night: ‘Without Her,’ ‘1941,’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me’ in one night. And I realized then that I would never write another bad song.” —Harry Nilsson
“One Last Touch of Nilsson.” NilssonSchmilsson.com, https://nilssonschmilsson.com/one-last-touch-of-nilsson.html.