January 26th Special Edition

January 26th

01-26-1958 Ellen DeGeneres – Born in Metairie, Louisiana. She is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and television producer. She was the star in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and has hosted her syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003. Her stand up ellen-degeneres-1career started in the early 1980s, culminating in a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, who likened her to Bob Newhart, and invited her for an onscreen chat after her set. She was the first comedienne invited by Johnny Carson to join him, a national, and the most influential endorsement available at the time for comics. She won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, for the voice of Dory in the animated film Finding Nemo. This was the first time an actress won a Saturn award for a voice performance. During the forth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out publicly as lesbian and in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2008, ellen-degeneres-4she married her long-time girlfriend Portia de Rossi. DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored three books, and started her own record company, Eleveneleven. She has won 13 Emmys, 14 People’s Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. When Ellen came out as a lesbian in 1997, the media coverage stunted her professional career and left her “mired in depression.” In her book Love, Ellen, her mother, Betty DeGeneres, describes ellen-degeneres-5being initially shocked, but has become one of her strongest supporters; she is also an active member of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project. Both Ellen and Portia are vegans and are “big animal lovers.” In 2009, PETA named her their “Woman of the Year.” In November 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named her a Special envoy for Global AIDS Awareness. On December 3, 2011, Ellen opened the show at the David Lynch Foundation’s 3rd annual “Change Begins Within” gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to raise funds to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-ellen-degeneres-3risk populations suffering from epidemic levels of chronic street and stress-related disorders. She says: “TM is the only time I have that stillness…it gives me a peaceful feeling, and I love it so much. I can’t say enough good things about it. All the benefits that you can achieve from sitting still and going within – it really is a beautiful experience.” In 2014, she was named the 46th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. On November 23, 2016, Ellen received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

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