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  • 24 Inconceivable Facts about Jeff Bezos

    Jeffery Preston Bezos, commonly known as Jeff Bezos, is the founder, president, and CEO of Amazon, the world’s leading and most progressive ecommerce company. Bezos always had high aspirations for himself and the world from a very early age. He graduated from Preston University in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science, and then moved onto a career on Wall Street. In 1994, he founded Amazon and Blue Origin in 2000, an aerospace manufacturing and sub-orbital space flight company. While his biography is impressive, it is also mostly common knowledge. However, here are some interesting facts about Jeff Bezos you may not know. 

    1. Jeff Bezos was considered a genius since childhood 

    It may come as no surprise that Bezos was a bright child but early demonstrations of his innovation and intelligence are truly impressive. When he was only three years old, he disassembled his own crib with a screwdriver! The toddler is claimed to have done so because he wanted to sleep in a “real” bed. (Geek Wire) 

    2. His father had no idea of his son’s success

    One of the most unbelievable facts about Jeff Bezos is that Jeff’s biological father had no idea of his son’s accomplishments until 2013. Jeff’s bio- father was an absent figure in his life from the tender age of only three years old. He apparently had no idea that Jeff is one of the richest and most accomplished persons of the modern world until journalist and author Brad Stone reportedly informed him of his son’s success in an interview. (The Atlantic) 

    3. He is no longer the richest person in the world.

    As of January 2021, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, surpassed Bezos as the richest person on earth. Due to an increase in Tesla shares, Musk reported net worth is currently $185 billion. Jeff is a close second runner up with a current net worth of $184 billion. (BBC) 

    4. Jeff is richer than the British Monarchy 

    This is probably one of the most astonishing facts about Jeff Bezos’ wealth. The mega successful entrepreneur is richer than the British royal family, which has a reported collective net worth of $88 billion according to Forbes. This makes Jeff Bezos nearly $100 billion richer than the entire British royal family combined! (MSN) 

    5. He owns the Washington Post

    In addition to being the CEO of Amazon, Jeff also owns daily newspaper The Washington Post. He reportedly bought the popular newspaper for $250 million in 2013. Since acquiring the newspaper, Jeff has improved the reading experience through enhancing digital accessibility. (The Washington Post) 

    6. Jeff Bezos was adopted by an immigrant dad  

    One of the most heartwarming facts about Jeff Bezos is that he was lovingly adopted by his stepfather. Jeff was born January 12, 1964 to a teenage mother. His biological father left the family when Jeff was only three years old. His mother later remarried Mike Bezos, an immigrant from Cuba, who adopted Jeff. Mike arrived in the U.S. in 1962, wearing a hand-stitched jacket from his mother, and couldn’t speak English. Reflecting about his father, Bezos tweeted in 2019:

    “When he came here from Cuba at 16, not only was he all alone, but he only spoke Spanish. His grit, determination, and optimism are inspiring,” (NPR)  

    7. Makes more in one second than most Americans make in a week

    Jeff Bezos makes $2,489 per second. The average United States worker making a median wage will earn roughly $875 per week. Meaning Jeff is raking in more than double a weeks’ worth of wages for the average American in just one second! (Business Insider) 

    8. Amazon was initially an online bookstore

    Amazon, named after the longest river on earth, came from humble beginnings. When Bezos founded the company in 1995, it was simply an online bookstore. In the early days of Amazon as Brad Stone depicts in his book, a bell would ring every time a book was sold, and the team would even gather around to see if anyone knew the customer. It was not long before the bell was shut off due to an exceptional number of sales. (LA Times) 

    facts about Jeff Bezos
    Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Source: Creative Commons

    9. Reads and replies to customer emails

    One of the more humbling facts about Jeff Bezos is that even though he is the Founder and CEO of one of the world’s largest, wealthiest companies, he still takes the time to read customer emails. The Amazon CEO takes emails directly from customers. If there is a problem that is particularly pressing, Bezos forwards the email to the appropriate amazon department, with a question mark as its title, meaning the issue must be resolved immediately!

    “I still have an email address customers can write to. I see most of those emails. I see them and I forward them to the executives in charge of the area with a question mark. It’s shorthand [for], ‘Can you look into this?’ ‘Why is this happening?’” Bezos explained during an interview at the George Bush Presidential Center. (Bush Center) 

    10. He had a different name at birth

    The billionaire well-known to the world as Jeff Bezos was actually given a different name at birth. He was born Jeffery Preston Jorgenson in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1964. His mother, Jackie, later married Mike Bezos who adopted Jeff and gave him his current name. (CNBC) 

    11. Amazon was Bezos’ third choice 

    One of the most entertaining facts about Jeff Bezos is his journey to naming his company. Initially, Jeff had chosen the name “Cadabra” but after advice from his lawyer stating it sounded very similar to “Cadaver”, he reconsidered the decision. Jeff’s was also fond of the name “Relentless” for his company but eventually settled on Amazon. This was revealed in the book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. (The Everything Store)  

    12. He is a father of four 

    The Amazon CEO is also a family man. Bezos and his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott have three sons and an adopted daughter from China. Despite his prevalent influence in the world, with technology and space in particular, his eldest son was the last in his class to receive a smartphone. Bezos is a busy businessman and a dedicated father as well. (The Daily Mail) 

    13. His family is one of the largest landowners in Texas

    His mother’s family owns several thousand acres of land in Texas, including a 25,000 acre ranch in Cotulla, Texas. Bezos spent his summers with his grandfather on this very ranch as a child. (Wall Street Journal) 

    14. Worked at McDonalds in Florida 

    It is impossible to speak about Bezos’ success without a reference to his beginnings. One of the most jaw-dropping facts about Jeff Bezos is he worked as a fry cook at renowned American fast-food chain, McDonalds, at one of their Miami locations. He was only a teenager at the time but was still the innovator the world has come to know today, having created an alarm system that would tell him the exact right time to scramble the eggs, flip burgers, etc. (Business Insider) 

    15.He takes home a modest salary

    One of the most impressive facts about Jeff Bezos is his not so impressive salary. Despite his net worth of $184 billion he takes home a moderate salary from the mega company he founded. Jeff takes home an annual salary of just under $82,000. This may seem like a substantial income to most, but to put it in perspective, most doctors and US representatives receive annual salaries that are nearly double the amount. (CNN) 

    16. After a 25% loss, still one of the richest men in the world

    In 2019 Jeff Bezos and then wife Mackenzie divorced. Mackenzie received 25% of Amazon’s stocks, making her the fifth richest woman on earth and Jeff, still, the richest person on earth at the time. (Forbes) 

    17. Richer than some countries 

    One of the most impressive facts about Jeff Bezos is the actual extent of unimaginable wealth. At a net worth of $184 billion, Jeff Bezos is richer than some entire countries, including Ukraine, whose Gross Domestic Product equates to roughly $130 billion. (NPR) 

    18. Wrote his business plan for Amazon in the car

    In 1994 Bezos traveled from Texas to Seattle, Washington, to set up his office for Amazon in the Emerald City. His then wife Mackenzie Bezos drove their 1988 Chevy Blazer as Jeff wrote his business plan for Amazon on his laptop. (Reference For Business) 

    Jeff Bezos facts
    Bezos at the launch of the Amazon Fire Phone. Source: Creative Commons

    19. Supports same sex marriage in Washington state

    One of the most interesting facts about Jeff Bezos is the strong public stance he took on the social issue of same sex marriage in Washington State. In 2012, an employee confronted the Bezos asking for a $100,000 donation towards the same sex marriage cause in Washington State. The couple in turn donated $2.5 million making them one of the largest supporters of same sex marriages in the state. (The Guardian) 

    20. Has a strange workplace policy 

    Even though, on most days, Bezos is the richest man in the world, he is not above hard work, and sets a great example for CEOs everywhere with this unique policy. The CEO requires every Amazon employee to spend two days at the customer service desk every two years. No one is an exception including Jeff Bezos himself! (Business Insider) 

    21. The magnitude of his wealth is inconceivable

    Earlier, it was mentioned that Jeff Bezos makes $2,489 per second. To put this into perspective, when he spends $1.2 million, it is equivalent to the average American spending $1. Also, in comparison to the 10th richest man in the world, Larry Page of Google, Jeff Bezos is twice richer. 

    If you thought these facts about Jeff Bezos wealth are insane, wait till you hear the next one. In the United States, the average monthly rent is $1,405 as of 2018. Given that Jeff Bezos makes $2,489 per second, he could actually pay his monthly rent in less than a second if he lived by the average American standards. 

    To better understand just how rich Jeff Bezos is, he will need just 7.69 minutes to buy ten Teslas, which cost $115,000 each. He could also buy one of the most expensive electric cars, the 2020 Aston Martin Rapid E, which costs $255,000, in roughly two minutes of his earnings. (Business Insider) 

    22. He has a $70 million property in Medina

    Jeff owns a 29,000-square-foot-estate in Medina, Washington. The property is believed to be worth $70 million, and he pays approximately $234,000 in property taxes every year. (Cheat Sheet) 

    23. Bill Gates is his neighbor

    Medina is home to some of the richest people on the planet, with names like Bill Gates, Nordstrom and Jeff Bezos all residing there. The city has around 3,000 people, and can be accessed via the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the world’s longest floating bridge. (Business Insider) 

    24. Had a cameo role in Star Trek Beyond

    Bezos actually appeared in the 2016 movie dressed up as an alien. He is a self-confessed Star Trek fan and wishes to travel to space someday. (Hollywood Reporter) 

    From innovator, to entrepreneur, to activist, Jeff Bezos is truly a man who will be remembered not only for his astonishing wealth. His innovation, vision, and humanitarian efforts are unsurpassed and uniquely authentic. Jeff, along with his ex-wife, Mackenzie, have supported many noble social justice and environmental causes. Jeff continues to be a pioneer not only in business, but in creative climate preservation efforts to include space inhabitation! Jeff Bezos is a remarkable human who continuously creates and inspires many to do the same.

    SOURCES:

    1. Geek Wire: https://www.geekwire.com/2011/jeff-bezos-mom-i-knew-early-wired-bit-differently/
    2. The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/jeff-bezos-biological-father-had-no-idea-who-his-son-was/310099/
    3. BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55578403
    4. MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/jeff-bezos-has-gotten-70-billion-richer-in-the-past-12-months-here-are-11-mind-blowing-facts-that-show-just-how-wealthy-the-amazon-ceo-really-is/ss-BB194gAv?ocid=msedgntp#:~:text=dipped%20back%20down.-,Bezos%20is%20about%20more%20than%20twice%20as%20rich%20as%20the,richest%20woman%20in%20the%20world.
    5. The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/jeff-bezos-and-the-washington-post/5005e8e0-fe1c-11e2-bd97-676ec24f1f3f_topic.html
    6. NPR: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/16/how-jeff-bezos-dad-who-came-from-cuba-alone-at-16-inspires-him.html
    7. Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-rich-is-jeff-bezos-mind-blowing-facts-net-worth-2019-4
    8. LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-history-20170618-htmlstory.html
    9. Bush Center: https://www.bushcenter.org/takeover/sessions/forum-leadership/bezos-closing-conversation.html
    10.  CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/04/amazon-founder-jeff-bezos-from-son-of-teen-mom-to-the-worlds-richest.html
    11.  The Everything Store: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Store-Jeff-Bezos-Amazon-ebook/dp/B00BWQW73E
    12.  The Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6924651/Jeff-Bezos-takes-kids-New-York-finalizing-divorce-mother-Mackenzie.html
    13.  The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-many-places-amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-calls-home-1507204462
    14.  Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/amazons-jeff-bezos-worked-at-mcdonalds-2018-4
    15.  CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/tech/jeff-bezos-pay/index.html
    16.  Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/profile/mackenzie-scott/?sh=ec9f8a6243d0
    17.  NPR: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/10/944620768/theres-rich-and-theres-jeff-bezos-rich-meet-the-members-of-the-100-billion-club
    18.  Reference For Business: https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/businesses/A-F/Amazon-com.html
    19.  The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/us-news-blog/2012/jul/27/amazon-bezos-gay-marriage-washington
    20.  Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-amazon-customer-service-2018-4
    21. Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-makes-every-day-hour-minute-2018-10
    22. Cheat Sheet: https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/check-jeff-bezos-monstrous-mansions-properties.html/
    23. Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/where-billionaires-bill-gates-jeff-bezos-live-photos-of-medina-washington-2017-12#medina-is-located-on-a-peninsula-just-across-lake-washington-from-seattle-and-it-has-long-been-a-haven-for-tech-bigwigs-in-the-area-1
    24. Hollywood Reporter: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-trek-beyond-jeff-bezos-913039
  • 9 Surprising Facts About Henry VIII’s Life

    Henry VIII was a king of England and Ireland who ruled the country from 1509 until his death in 1547. He was born in 1491 in Greenwich, and he died in 1547 in London at the age of 55. He died due to health issues he suffered for over ten years. Henry VIII was obese, and he couldn’t move without the help of mechanical inventions. His body was covered with painful, pus-filled boils, and there’s a possibility he suffered from gout. All of these conditions can be traced back to a jousting accident he had in 1936. (1) (2)

    Henry VIII is best known for the separation of the Church of England from the Vatican. The reason for disagreements between him and Pope Clement VII was the annulment of Henry’s first marriage with Catherine of Aragon. The two of them had one female child, and Henry was worried about his failure to produce a male heir to the throne.

    In 1931, the Pope sent a letter to Henry which stated that if Henry went on to remarry, the Church of England will be excommunicated. Henry VIII ignored the warning and married Anne Boleyn, the mother of the future Queen Elizabeth I. This act alone has fundamentally changed the course of European and Christian history.

    Even though the Church of England was very similar to Roman Catholicism at first, these moves made Henry and his successors absolute rulers who didn’t answer to the pope anymore. England joined a number of German states in rejecting Catholicism, which will later cause numerous religious, political, and military conflict. (3)

    Henry’s acts have, undoubtedly, changed the history and relationship between the European countries. Even though Henry is known for the separation of the Church of England, his decadent lifestyle, and numerous marriages, there are still many more facts about Henry VIII you probably never heard about.

    That’s why we prepared a list of some of the most intriguing ones just for you! Without any further, let’s find out more about Henry VIII.

    I. He was married six times

    Six marriages are probably among the most popular facts about Henry VIII, but we can’t skip this one! Even today, marrying six times is a rare thing to come across, especially for a monarch. Just imagine how odd and controversial this was in the 16th century. However, Henry VIII didn’t marry six times only out of the lavish lifestyle and decadency. He was desperate to produce his successor, a male heir to the throne.

    His six wives were Catherine of Aragon (the mother of Queen Mary I – the Bloody Mary), Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), Jane Seymour (the mother of King Edward VI), Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr. (2)

    Henry’s first marriage with Catherine of Aragon was annulled. (2) His second wife, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded because of treason. (4) Jane Seymour, his third wife, died 9 days after giving birth to Edward VI. (5) Anne of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife, died of natural causes, too. (6) Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife, was beheaded because of adultery (7), and his last wife, Katherine Parr stayed by his side until he died in 1547. (8)

    II. All 3 of his children took their turn as England’s monarch

    When Henry VIII died, the first heir to the throne was Edward VI who was only 9 years old at the time. During his reign, a regency council governed the state until Edward VI reached his maturity. However, Edward prematurely died in 1553 at the age of 15.

    He was succeeded by Mary I, who was also known under the nickname Bloody Mary. She was a child of Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She ruled the country until 1558 when she died.

    Queen Mary I’s successor was Queen Elizabeth I, the child of Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth I was the longest reigning and the last monarch from the House of Tudors. (9)

    III. Henry VIII wasn’t supposed to be the king

    One of the most surprising facts about Henry VIII is that he wasn’t the first heir to the throne. Even though Henry VIII is probably the most famous monarch in the history of England, he was never supposed to become the king.

    He was the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. His older brother, Arthur, was first in line to become the ruler. The two brothers didn’t grow up together. Arthur’s childhood was dedicated to learning how to be a king, and Henry spent most of his early life with his mother and sisters. When Arthur was only 15 years old, he died from the so-called, sweating sickness.

    Henry was only 10 years old at the time, and he had several years to prepare for his new role. Right after his brother’s death, Henry went on to receive the necessary education. His father died when he was 19 years old from tuberculosis, and that’s when he became the king. (10) (11)

    IV. Henry VIII married his brother’s widow

    When Arthur was a toddler, he was engaged to Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. This engagement was supposed to create an alliance between England and Spain. The two of them married in 1501 when they were 15 and 16 years old and lived together for several months until Arthur died in 1502.

    After Arthur’s death, Catherine claimed that the two of them never consummated the marriage. Because of that, the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine was eventually approved. The two of them had one child together, Mary I. (12)

    V. Henry VIII was extremely obese

    In 1536, Henry had a jousting accident in which he suffered a leg wound. From this point onward, Henry’s physical and mental health was only getting worse. He had a chronic leg wound which prevented him from maintaining the level of physical activity he enjoyed before the injury.

    In the years to come, Henry showed extreme mood swings, which had a dramatic effect on his temperament. His obesity and health issues hastened his death, and he died in 1547, 11 years after his accident.

    Over the centuries, there have been several theories on what he actually suffered from. It’s most likely that he suffered from gout, but there have been some theories that suggest it was syphilis or a brain wound he suffered from during the jousting accident. The syphilis theory has usually been dismissed by historians. (13)

    VI. He was a hypochondriac

    Even though Henry suffered from many things later in life, he was very athletic and healthy during the first few decades of his life. Having in mind the times he lived in and the untimely death of his older brother, he was very paranoid about getting sick and dying. At the time, there were plenty of illnesses he could worry about, but his two main concerns were the plague, and the sweating sickness, which his brother died from.

    During the outbreaks of these illnesses, he would isolate for months and try to stay away from those who might’ve been exposed to the disease. In 1517-18, when an epidemic of the sweating sickness hit London, he left the city for almost a year and even refused to see ambassadors.

    When his second wife, Anne Boleyn, got sick in 1528, he refused to see her for weeks. (14)

    VII. He was also known as “The father of the Royal Navy”

    After the separation from the Catholic Church, Henry VIII didn’t answer to the Pope anymore, and he became the absolute ruler. During his reign, he invested a lot into the navy. He increased the size of the navy from just a few to more than 50 ships. Henry also established the Navy Board. (15)

    VIII. Henry VIII had many interests and hobbies

    Another one of the interesting facts about Henry VIII is that he had many other interests. He was a polyglot, who spoke English, Latin, French, Ancient Greek, and Spanish. Next to being good with languages, he also loved music and sports. Henry played a lute, organ, and sang. He also loved to spend time outside and do sports, including tennis and jousting. (1) (16)

    IX. Before the separation from the Catholic Church, the Pope declared him the “Defender of the Faith”

    Long before separating from the Catholic Church, Henry VIII was an advocate against Protestantism. At one point, he wrote a 30,000-word response to Martin Luther’s protestant Ninety-five Theses, which made him a published author. After the publication, the Pope declared him the “Defender of the Faith”, which he would later revoke. (17)

    There you have it  – those were some of the most intriguing facts about the former King of England, Henry VIII. Having in mind his six marriages, the separation from the Catholic Church, and the way he lived his life, it’s easy to see how unique of a monarch Henry was, even under today’s norms.

    Which one of these facts about Henry VIII surprised you the most? Do you know some other cool things about him we haven’t mentioned in this article? Leave a comment below!

    References:

    1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-VIII-king-of-England
    2. https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/henry-viii
    3. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-clement-vii-forbids-king-henry-viii-from-remarrying
    4. https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/anne-boleyn-death-execution-where-buried-how-die/
    5. https://www.biography.com/royalty/jane-seymour
    6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_of_Cleves
    7. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Catherine-Howard
    8. https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/history-and-stories/katherine-parr/
    9. https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/history-and-stories/henry-viiis-children/
    10. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a27258498/prince-arthur-tudor-death/
    11. https://www.historyhit.com/when-was-henry-viii-born-when-did-he-become-king-and-how-long-was-his-reign/
    12. https://www.biography.com/royalty/catherine-of-aragon
    13. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/jousting-accident-turned-henry-viii-tyrant-1670421.html
    14. https://www.history.com/news/the-mysterious-epidemic-that-terrified-henry-viii  
    15. http://www.nmrn-portsmouth.org.uk/sites/default/files/styles/homepage_collections_slidshows/public/modules/image/A%20brief%20history%20of%20the%20RN.pdf
    16. https://www.classical-music.com/features/articles/musical-life-king-henry-viii/
    17. https://www.britannica.com/topic/defender-of-the-faith
  • 10 Surprising Facts About Frank Sinatra You Probably Didn’t Know About!

    Image by Welcome to all and thank you for your visit! ツ from Pixabay

    Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, motion-picture actor, and producer. Frank was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1915, and he died in Los Angeles in 1998 from a heart attack at the age of 83. He was married four times and had three kids.

    Frank was one of the most influential and popular music artists of the 20th century, and one of the best-selling artists of all time. His records have been sold over 150 million times worldwide. His personal life was very public, and he quickly became one of the most sought-after performers in the entertainment industry. (1)

    In this article, we’ll cover some of the most fascinating facts about Frank Sinatra’s life and work you probably haven’t heard about before. Without any further ado, let’s dive right in!

    1. Frank was the son of Italian immigrants

    Even though Frank was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, he comes from an Italian family. His mother, Natalina Garaventa, was a daughter of a lithographer from Genova. She worked as a midwife, and according to some reports, she also operated an illegal abortion service for Italian Catholics. Dolly was also a very influential figure in Hoboken’s local Democratic party circles. (2)

    Frank’s father was Antonio Martino “Marty” Sinatra, who was a bantamweight boxer. Once he stopped boxing, he became a firefighter, which he did for 24 years. (3)

    2. Frank Sinatra was one of America’s first teen idols

    While today it’s quite common to have a new set of teen idols each year, something like this was quite unusual when Frank was starting his career in the 1940s. He was one of the first singers in America to have such a large following among teenagers, and to induce the first known instance of the so-called “teenage culture”. His performances were soon followed by large groups of screaming teenage girls, which is something we see often today for many different artists.

    In one instance, Frank said “The sound that greeted me was deafening. I was scared stiff. I couldn’t move a muscle.” (4)

    3. Some of his screaming fans were paid to be there

    Another one of the unusual facts about Sinatra is that some of his screaming fans were paid to create excitement. As Sinatra’s popularity was raving through America, his publicist, George Evans, noticed some patterns in what makes his popularity grow. Most of his fans were teenage girls, and they were recognizable by the Catholic school-style bobby socks that they used to wear rolled down to their ankles.

    George auditioned girls to find the ones who can scream the loudest and strategically placed them in the audience to help whip up excitement before and during the show. The teenage girls were paid $5 per performance. (5) (6)

    4. The FBI kept a file on him

    As Sinatra’s popularity grew, so did the mass hysteria for his appearances and performances. One day, a radio listener who was concerned about this, wrote to the FBI. His letter read “The other day I turned on a Frank Sinatra program, and I thought how easy it would be for certain-minded manufacturers to create another Hitler here in America through the influence of mass hysteria.”

    At that moment, J. Edgar Hoover decided to start a file on Sinatra. He was also investigated because of a suspicion that he paid doctors $40,000 to declare him unfit to serve in the armed services.

    In addition to all of this, the FBI kept a close eye on him because of alleged ties to the mafia. The Bureau followed him for almost 5 decades and had a 2,000 document file on the singer. Sinatra denied any wrongdoing for his entire life, but his image never changed. (7)

    5. Sinatra was a close friend of President John F. Kennedy

    Sinatra and JFK were friends for years, and Frank even helped with Kennedy’s presidential run campaign. An alternated version of Sinatra’s song “High Hopes” was used as a campaign song.

    Due to Sinatra’s alleged connections with the mafia, their relationship suffered a falling out. When Sinatra heard of JFK’s assassination, he spent several days crying in his bedroom. (8)

    6. He attempted suicide several times

    In the early 1950s, Sinatra started to become overwhelmed by his fame, and his troubled marriage with Ava Gardner. One day, he was walking through Times Square, when he saw a crowd of girls waiting to get into a concert by a new singing sensation, Eddie Fisher. He left the scene feeling washed up, went to his apartment, put his head on the stove, and turned on the gas.

    However, his manager found him, lying on the floor and sobbing, before anything bad happened. In the years to come, Sinatra will try killing himself three more times. All of them after fights with his second wife, the actress Ava Gardner. (9)

    7. Sinatra was married 4 times and had 3 children

    The four marriages are among the most popular facts about Frank Sinatra. During his 83 years lifetime, Frank was married to 4 different women. His first marriage was to Nancy Barbato, with who he had three children – Nancy, Tina, and Frank Jr.

    His second marriage with the actress, Ava Gardner, was probably the most turbulent one. They had no kids, but a recent book by Tom Santopietro claims that Ava had two abortions without letting Frank know about them. She claimed that a sane lifestyle necessary for raising children just wasn’t possible with him. The couple soon got divorced after a couple of turbulent years. (10)

    Frank’s third wife was Mia Farrow, with whom he was married for only two years. The marriage was very controversial because Mia was only 21 at the time, and Frank was 50 years old. Initially, Frank asked Mia to give up her acting career for him, which she did agree to.

    She went on to follow Frank on the shootings of several movies, but she soon got tired of doing nothing and signed to star in Rosemary’s baby. In the meantime, Sinatra cast her for a role in his movie, The Detective. The problem occurred when the filming of Rosemary’s Baby ran over its schedule, and Frank cast another actress for Mia’s role. While she was still shooting the movie, she received the divorce papers from his lawyers. The two got divorced in 1968 but remained friends for the rest of Frank’s life. (11)

    Sinatra’s fourth wife was Barbara Sinatra, an American model, with who he was married for over 20 years until his death. (12)

    8. Frank Sinatra threatened to have Woody Allen’s legs broken

    After Sinatra got divorced from the actress Mia Farrow, the two of them remained close friends for the rest of Frank’s life. Later in life, Mia Farrow was in a relationship with Woody Allen for 12 years. Their relationship ended with a scandal that was revealed in 1992. It turns out that Allen had an intimate relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, Mia’s adopted daughter, who was 21 years old at the time.

    In her biography, What Falls Away, Farrow revealed that when Sinatra heard of the affair, he offered her to have the filmmaker’s legs broken. (13)

    9. Frank Sinatra hated some of his most popular hits

    One of the most surprising facts about Frank Sinatra is that he hated two of his very popular hits. Frank’s fourth wife, Barabara, revealed that he hated some of his most loved songs. He would claim that “My Way” did absolutely nothing for him, and that “Stranger in the Night” was a “piece of sh*t” and “the worst f*cking song I’ve ever heard.”

    Even though he hated these songs, they were some of the most popular ones. The song “My Way” has been covered by more than 60 artists, including Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, and Sid Vicious. (14) (15)

    10. Several people died after they performed “My Way” in The Phillippines

    One of the most intriguing facts about Frank Sinatra is that one of his songs caused a series of murders. A strange phenomenon, called the “My Way Killings” has occurred in the early 2000s in the Philippines. At least 6 people have died after performing the song in karaoke bars.  These killings drew attention in 2007 when a 29-year-old man was shot by a security guard at a bar in San Mateo. While the man was singing, the guard complained that the singing was off-key, but the singer refused to stop singing. This triggered the guard to pull out his pistol and shoot the singer.

    Over the years, several different theories have emerged, from the song being sung among bars where violence and heavy drinking is common to aggressive lyrics of the song.

    Many Filipinos refuse to sing the song in public, to avoid troubles and out of superstitious fear. As of 2007, many bars have removed the song from their playlists. (16) (17)

    There you have it – those were some of the facts about Frank Sinatra you probably didn’t know about. Now tell us – did we miss anything? What are your favorite facts about America’s first teen idol?

    While you’re here – don’t forget to check out our collection of Frank Sinatra’s quotes!

    Sources:

    1. https://www.biography.com/musician/frank-sinatra
    2. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/12/09/frank-sinatras-mother/
    3. https://www.italyonthisday.com/2017/05/anthony-martin-sinatra-father-of-frank.html
    4. https://www.liveabout.com/profile-of-frank-sinatra-2522128
    5. https://musicoholics.com/backstage-stories/the-life-and-times-of-frank-sinatra-how-a-legend-became-his-own-worst-enemy/14.html
    6. https://people.howstuffworks.com/bobby-soxer1.htm
    7. https://www.history.com/news/frank-sinatra-mob-ties-fbi-file
    8. https://www.biography.com/news/john-f-kennedy-frank-sinatra-friendship
    9. https://zeenews.india.com/home/frank-sinatras-suicide-attempts-revealed-in-tell-all-book_483678.html
    10. https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/1369581/Frank-Sinatra-children-how-many-children-Frank-Sinatra-married-evg
    11. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2013/11/mia-farrow-frank-sinatra-ronan-farrow
    12. https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/luck-be-a-lady-barbara-sinatras-life-with-frank
    13. https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/frank-sinatra-reportedly-told-mia-farrow-he-would-have-woody-allens-legs-broken.html/
    14. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124389543795174079
    15. https://pagesix.com/2015/12/21/frank-sinatra-hated-his-signature-tunes/
    16. https://www.esquiremag.ph/culture/music/how-frank-sinatra-s-song-my-way-triggered-filipino-karaoke-killings-a00304-20191017-lfrm
    17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Way_killings
  • 20 Exceptional Facts About Theodore Roosevelt

    President Theodore Roosevelt. Source: Creative Commons

    Theodore Roosevelt, also known as Teddy Roosevelt or TR, was the 26th president of the United States, a writer, soldier, and naturalist. Prior to serving as the president, he was also the 33rd governor of New York and the 25th vice president of the United States. This article focuses on little-known facts about Theodore Roosevelt, including his life before and after politics. 

    1. His wife and mother died on the same day

    One of the saddest facts about Theodore Roosevelt was the death of his mother and wife, which occurred on Valentine’s Day in 1984. His mother died from typhoid and 12 hours later, in the same house, he lost his first wife due to Bright’s disease. His wife had just given birth to the couple’s first child just two days earlier. Mourning the double tragedy, Roosevelt wrote in his diary, “The light has gone out of my life.” (History) 

    2. He is a Nobel Peace Prize winner

    Between 1904 and 1905, Russia and Japan were at war. The two nations asked Roosevelt to intervene as a mediator during a peace conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Following successful negotiations, with T.R. at the middle of it, the war ended, consequently granting Roosevelt a Nobel Peace Prize for his role. He was not only the first American, but also the first president to win the prize. (The Nobel Prize) 

    3. He witnessed the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln

    As the funeral procession of President Abraham Lincoln made its way through New York City in April 1865, a young Roosevelt watched the historic moment, perched in one of the front windows at his grandfather’s mansion. President Lincoln had been assassinated by famous actor and Confederate spy John Wilkes Booth. (The New York Times)

    4. He was a prolific author and poet

    By the time of his death, Theodore Roosevelt had written at least 18 books, including his autobiography. He was also a multiniche author, having written about wars, the ecosystem, foreign policies, races and so much more.  (An Autobiography – Theodore Roosevelt)

    5. He was partially blind in one eye 

    T.R. was so much into boxing that he used to practice with his aide Dan Tyler Moore, who was also a cousin of the first lady, Edith Roosevelt. During one of their practice sessions at the White House, Moore punched the President in the eye, consequently damaging his retina. T.R. would eventually lose sight of that eye, albeit partially.  

    6. He was born a wimp

    Teddy is always remembered for his bravery, a character he wasn’t born with. During his childhood, he was prone to sickness, which made him weak most of the time. He also had battles with asthma. When he was around 14, he started training judo and boxing, which helped him develop physical and mental strength. He would then become obsessed with fitness for the remainder of his life, with boxing being one of this favorite sports. (NAMI South Bay) 

    7. He went on some historic rides and tours 

    One of the most intriguing facts about Theodore Roosevelt is that he was the first president in the history of the United States to ride an airplane. He was also the first president to ride a submarine. 

    In the summer of 1902, he also became the first president to ride in an automobile while in office. He was greeted by hundreds of cheering supports on his tour of New England as he drove through Connecticut. (Hail To The Chief: Boy’s Life) 

    8. First president to travel outside the contiguous United States

    Prior to his presidency, no other president had travelled outside the 48 adjoining U.S. states. On November 6, 1906, he made a 17-day tour of the Panama and Puerto Rico, making him the first president to make a diplomatic tour beyond the 48 states. During his trip to Puerto Rico, he encouraged Puerto Ricans to become citizens of the United States. A decade later, under the then President Woodrow Wilson, Puerto Ricans were granted the option to become U.S. citizens through the Jones Act, which also preserved the island’s sovereignty. (History) 

    9. He campaigned for a third term

    The U.S. constitution allows presidents to run for not more than two terms in office. However, in 1908, as Teddy neared the end of his tenure as president, he officially expressed his intention to run for a third nonconsecutive term. He went on a campaign trail, making him the first president of the United States to fully campaign for a third term in office. He, however, lost to President Woodrow Wilson, who was running on a Democratic ticket. 

    10.  He was shot in the chest but kept on talking  

    While campaigning for a third term in office in 1912, T.R. was shot in the chest shortly before giving a two-hour speech. However, one of the most jaw-dropping facts about Theodore Roosevelt was that he proceeded with his speech despite being shot. He reportedly coughed three times and upon realizing that there was no blood in his cough, he decided to go on with the speech. He assumed that he would be fine given that the bullet had not reached his lungs. Even more shocking was the fact that he opened his speech by addressing the would-be assassin. He said: “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” (History) 

    11. He was the first president from New York city  

    As stated earlier, T.R. was the 33rd governor of the state of New York prior to becoming the 26th President of the United States. He was also the first president born in the city of New York. Donald J. Trump is the only other president to have been born in New York city. 

    12.  He issued over 1000 presidential orders

    During his eight-year term in office, President Roosevelt issued over 1,000 executive orders. To put this fact into perspective, his predecessor, William McKinley, had issued not more than 100 executive orders. This is one of the most mind-blowing facts about Theodore Roosevelt unknown to many Americans. Even though he faced a lot of criticism for his orders, he defended himself in his autobiography. He wrote:

    “There was a great clamor that I was usurping legislative power… I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.” (Smithsonian Magazine) 

    13.  He won the Medal of Honor

    Roosevelt was part of the American forces that served in the 1898 Spanish-American War. The purpose of the war was to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule. Prior to the war, Roosevelt had served as National Guard in New York, and the assistant secretary of the Navy. When the war started, he urged the secretary of war for an Army commission. He was included and named lieutenant colonel of the ‘Rough Riders’, the famous 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. 

    On July 1, 1898, Teddy rallied his troops against the Spanish army at Kettle Hill. He reportedly rode up and down the hill on horseback, making him one of the most important targets of the enemy. One of the most surprising facts about Theodore Roosevelt is that he was not hit by any bullet even as he continued to pace up and down the mountain, directing his troops. 

    Theodore Roosevelt Facts
    Teddy on horseback. Source: Creative Commons

    Even more surprising was the fact that he was the first to reach enemy trenches, where he killed an enemy soldier with his pistol. This specific act of valor would then turn the course of the war to America’s favor. He was elected President of the United States three years later, thanks to the fame that came after his heroic actions. 

    However, despite his bravery and sacrifice, his candidacy for the Medal of Honor was heavily debated. But on January 16, 2001, more than a century later, he was finally awarded the prestigious medal, making him the first American president to bag such an achievement. (U.S. Department of Defense) 

    14.  He was the first president to use the West Wing

    The West Wing of the White house is where the offices of the President of the U.S. are located. It features the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Cabinet Room, and the Roosevelt Room. 

    The Roosevelt Room was named after Theodore Roosevelt (26th president of the U.S.) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd president of the U.S.), who were both related. On November 6, 1902, Theodore became the first U.S. president to use the West Wing. A day later, he held his first cabinet meeting at the office. (White House History) 

    15. His rise to the presidency was historic

    One of the little-known facts about Theodore Roosevelt is his rise to the presidency. After his heroic actions during the Spanish-American war, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in 1898. Following the death of vice president Garret Hobart a year later, the then president William McKinley appointed Roosevelt as his new running mate ahead of the 1900 election. The duo won the election in 1901, and Teddy later became president in September of the same year following the assassination of President McKinley.

    Facts About Theodore Roosevelt
    President Roosevelt inaugural speech. Source: Creative Commons

     In 1904, he won the presidential election and became the first U.S. president to assume presidency after the death of a predecessor, and later become president in his own right. (Theodore Roosevelt: A Life) 

    16.  He was the youngest president in U.S. history

    One of the most notable facts about Theodore Roosevelt is that he was the youngest person to assume the presidency of the United States. When he succeeded President William McKinley, Teddy was 42 years and 322 days old. However, it is important to note that John F. Kennedy was the youngest person to become president of the U.S. by an election. He was 43 years 236 days at his inauguration. (Theodore Roosevelt: A Life)

    17.  He was obsessed with conservation

    The obsession with conservation, one of the facts about Theodore Roosevelt that made him a darling of many Americans, was evident when he signed over 1000 executive orders. It is understood that almost half of those orders were directed towards environmental conservation. By the time of his death, Teddy had created at least five national parks, 18 national monuments and 51 wildlife refuges. The five parks included the Crater Lake in Oregon, Wind Cave in South Dakota, Sullys Hill in North Dakota, Platt in Oklahoma and Mesa Verde in Colorado. (National Park Service) 

    18.  He is celebrated at five units of the NPS

    Thanks to his role in conservation, the National Park Service celebrates President Roosevelt in at least five of their units. They include the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (New York), the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historical Site (New York), Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (New York), Theodore Roosevelt Island (Washington DC) and Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota). (National Park Service) 

    19.  He had more animals than the White House had ever seen

    Along with six children, President Teddy had at least 40 pets in the White House. No other president in the history of the United States has had more pets since then. The family had a small bear, a lizard, guinea pigs, a one-legged rooster, a hyena, barn owl, a rabbit, raccoon, dogs, rats, cats, and snakes. In fact, Roosevelt’s daughter Alice reportedly liked to wear a snake around her neck to scare people. The snake’s name was Emily Spinach. (National Park Service)

    20. The ‘Teddy Bear’ was named after him

    The story of the ‘Teddy Bear’ concludes our 20 facts about Theodore Roosevelt. In 1902, President Roosevelt embarked on a hunting trip to Mississippi. He spent a few days hunting but did find any luck. Upon realizing that the President was not successful in his hunting trip, the then governor of Mississippi had a black bear captured and tied to a tree for the President to shoot. Roosevelt was, of course, angered by the governor’s actions and ordered the bear to be set free. 

    The news of his reaction and decision to set the bear free made national headlines. At the same time, a candy shop owner from New York made a few stuffed bears and labeled them ‘Teddy Bears.’ They became an instant hit as hundreds of buyers flocked the shop to purchase the stuffed bears in support of the president’s compassion for animals. That is how the name ‘Teddy Bear’ was formed. (National Park Service) 

    Judging from these facts about Theodore Roosevelt, there is no doubt that he was a statesman, patriot, hero, and conservationist. He was so popular with the masses that he even attempted to run for a third term. To put his popularity into perspective, he is one of the four American Presidents whose faces appear at Mount Rushmore. The others include President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. 

    SOURCES:

    History: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/theodore-roosevelts-wife-and-mother-die

    The Nobel Prize: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1906/roosevelt/facts/   

    The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/upshot/when-tr-saw-lincoln.html

    An Autobiography: https://books.google.com/books?id=VZi1sGSjFfEC

    NAMI South Bay: https://namisouthbay.com/2013/12/09/theodore-roosevelt-as-strong-as-a-bull-moose/

    Hail To The Chief – Boys Life: https://namisouthbay.com/2013/12/09/theodore-roosevelt-as-strong-as-a-bull-moose/

    History: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/teddy-roosevelt-travels-to-panama

    Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-theodore-roosevelts-executive-orders-reshaped-countryand-presidency-180962908/

    U.S. Department of Defense: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/story/Article/1756807/medal-of-honor-monday-army-lt-col-teddy-roosevelt/

    White House History: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/the-west-wing-1900-1924

    Theodore Roosevelt: A Life: https://archive.org/details/theodoreroosevel00mill

    National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/trandthenpsystem.htm#:~:text=As%20President%20from%201901%20to,of%20Chickasaw%20National%20Recreation%20Area).

    History: https://www.history.com/news/shot-in-the-chest-100-years-ago-teddy-roosevelt-kept-on-talking

    National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/storyofteddybear.htm

  • 15 Facts About Dwayne Johnson You Need to Know

    Dwayne Johnson. Source: Creative Commons

    Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is one of the most recognizable and successful actors on the planet. On the outside, he is well-known for his huge muscles, charismatic character, and bright smile. But deep inside, there are some interesting facts about Dwayne Johnson that many of his fans are not aware of. Prior to his long stint in Hollywood, he was a pro wrestler nicknamed ‘The Rock’, a nickname he retains to date. He started his movie career in 2001 when he featured in ‘The Mummy Returns’. Since then, his life has taken an upward trajectory, having featured in over 40 movies. The 48-year-old American actor has both Canadian and Polynesian ancestry, which he proudly celebrates. 

    Here are some interesting facts about Dwayne Johnson that you need to know.

    1.       He once played professional football

    During his years at Miami University, Dwayne played American football and even had high hopes of turning pro. A 6’5″ 290-pound defensive tackle, his former teammates claim he had a great sense of determination and desire to win, a character he is well-known for today. Although he was not drafted into the NFL, he played in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders in 1995. (Bleacher Report) 

    2.       He had a rough start to his wrestling career

    When Dwayne Johnson made his debut in the WWE, he was remarkably different from his current personality. His baby faced ‘Rocky Maivia’ persona wasn’t that much of a hit with most fans. After a seemingly disastrous debut, he switched to a more masculine look, improved his relationship with fans, including on-screen chemistry with his competitors, and maximized on his natural charisma. His remarkable reinvention as ‘The Rock’, led to a wildly successful WWE career that laid the foundation for his eventual Hollywood career. 

    The rock facts
    ‘The Rock’ at the peak of his WWE career. Source: Creative Commons

    While at WWE, he was popular for his signature cockiness and catchphrase “Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?’’. His matchups against legends of the WWE, especially Steve ‘Stone Cold’ Austin, The Undertaker and Vince McMahon cemented his legacy in world wrestling. He is widely regarded as one of the most popular performers to date, and his cameo appearances continue to draw in thousands of viewers, decades after leaving the sport. (Essentially Sports)

    3.       He has wrestling genes flowing through his veins

    Years before ‘The Rock’ set the WWE stage ablaze with his performances, his grandfather represented the family at the biggest wrestling stage. A cult hero in the Pacific, Dwayne’s grandfather Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia, stage name Peter Maivia, was a pro wrestler in the 70s. Avid fans of wrestling may have noticed that the character in ‘Moana’, played by Dwayne as Maui, bears remarkable resemblance to Dwayne’s grandfather and a certified wrestling legend. As part of his family’s wrestling royalty credentials, his grandmother, Ofelia “Lia” Maivia, was one of the first female wrestling promoters. Dwayne’s father Rocky Johnson was the first black man to be Georgia’s Heavyweight Champion, and it was only a matter of time before Dwayne became a sensation himself.  He had the honor of inducting his grandfather into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2008.  (Mashable) 

    4.       He was broke before his wrestling debut

    Dwayne’s production company, Seven Bucks Productions, which has been responsible for Box Office successes such as ‘Jumanji’ and ‘Rampage’, is named after a particularly low moment of his life. When he left the Canadian Football League in 1995, he only had seven dollars in his possession after being abruptly omitted from the team.

    After a devastating ‘not good enough’ verdict from his team, he moved in with his parents in Florida.  Until his big break in the WWE, he got paid $40 to participate in underground wrestling clubs. With a current net worth over $200 million, he paid homage to that rough spell in his life when he co-founded his production company with his ex-wife in 2012. (Republic World)

    5.       He saved his mother’s life as a teen

    While growing up, Dwayne’s parents moved a lot because of his father’s wrestling career. He also had a difficult childhood due to his parent’s marital issues. After a heated verbal exchange one day, Dwayne’s mother, Ata, who was reportedly stressed, alighted from the family car, and attempted to walk into oncoming traffic. Dwayne, 15 at the time, held his mother back and saved her from the suicide attempt. The family had been evicted from their apartment, and they barely had any money. 

    Dwayne has recounted the scene several times in past interviews and has been an influential mental health advocate in Hollywood. He continues to uplift others via inspirational videos on social media by encouraging his fans to follow his footsteps. (Huffington Post)

    6.       He almost became a CIA agent. 

    One of the little-known facts about Dwayne Johnson is that his dream was to become a CIA agent back in his days in college. While he has featured as a cop in numerous movies, his law enforcement ambitions are limited to on-screen roles. He once narrated that while in high school, aged 15 and standing at 6 foot 4 inches tall, weighing 225lbs and sporting a moustache, his fellow classmates even suspected that he was an undercover cop. 

    His then college advisor explained to him that he would need exceptional grades to become a CIA agent. With poor grades at the time, Dwayne swiftly abandoned his CIA ambitions.   (Business Standard)

    7.       He once held a selfie record

    Part of being a modern-day celebrity involves taking numerous photos with fans, especially selfies. Perhaps one of the most fascinating facts about Dwayne Johnson is that he once held a Guinness World Record of the most selfies taken in three minutes. Although the record has since been broken, he took 105 selfies in three minutes in London in 2015, while promoting ‘San Andreas’, a movie he starred in. Representatives from the Guinness World Records certified that all pictures were clear, captured the face and neck, and were focused. (Guinness World Records)

    8.       He gave his name to a life-saving spider

    When scientists were struggling to name a huge, heroic spider, there was only one name they could come up with. ‘Dwayne, The Rock Johnson’ is an Australian funnel-shaped spider that scientists have extracted venom from. The process, used to create antivenom, is a literal lifesaver. 

    The hot and humid conditions experienced during the change in weather in Australia creates the perfect breeding ground for venomous spiders. The increasing number of spiders that would have potentially caused life-threatening bites, to both human and animals, will be reduced, thanks to Dwayne (the spider). (BBC) 

    9.       His stunt double is his actual cousin

    A true testimony of his family’s athletic prowess, Dwayne recruited his cousin, Tanoai Reed, as his stunt double. They have been on-screen partners for almost twenty years, a work relationship that dates back to ‘The Scorpion King’. The duo exchange diet and fitness programs, with their family bond contributing to their on-screen chemistry. Together, they have produced some of the most action-packed movies in the recent past, especially in the Fast & Furious franchise. They have been together through broken shins, ribcages, weight loss programs, and condensed shooting schedules. Described as a generous, kind individual, Dwayne regularly gifts his people; he bought his cousin a custom-built Ford truck in 2018 in appreciation for his professionalism and sacrifice. (GQ)

    10.     He loves to fish 

    Dwayne has a man-made lake at his home in Florida which he constructed for fishing purposes. The 48-year-old uses the time spent fishing to recharge and get rid of stress. He has hired several specialists to ensure that the lake is in optimal condition for the schools of fish to thrive. Some species of fish available in the lake include sunfish, bullhead catfish, carp, and largemouth bass. His Instagram account is littered with photos and videos of catches that he makes on his shooting locations, holiday destinations and at his personal lake. (Fishing Loft)

    11.     He is a country music fan 

    A frequent attendee of country music festivals when the opportunity arises, Dwayne is a self-confessed western swing fan. One of his favorite artistes is country music star Sturgill Simpson, who made headlines in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated album ‘Metamodern Sounds’. (Tennessean)

    12.     He had actual beef with Vin Diesel

    This is probably one of the most unbelievable facts about Dwayne Johnson. While a lot of on-screen drama is scripted, some of his issues with Vin Diesel were not. The two co-stars in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise had a public feud that derived from the set of their movie. Dwayne, a stickler for time, had been thrown off by his co-stars’ alleged lateness to their shooting locations. 

    When filming the Fast & Furious 8, Dwayne took to Instagram to express his zero-tolerance for what he described as ‘Candy A**es.

    He posted:

    “Some [male co-stars] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy a**es.”

    “When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling—you’re right,”

    TMZ later reported that a private meeting was held to squash the beef between the two stars. Two days later, Dwayne posted the following message on his Instagram:

    “Family is gonna have differences of opinion and fundamental core beliefs,” the actor wrote. “To me, conflict can be a good thing, when it’s followed by great resolution. I was raised on healthy conflict and welcome it. And like any family, we get better from it.”

    The two actors have since squashed the beef, and now enjoy a great friendship. (The Independent) 

    13.     A word he popularized is in the dictionary

    The popular WWE term, ‘The Smackdown’ was added to the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2007. Used extensively by Dwayne during his time at the WWE, the term refers to a physical confrontation or a defeat by an opponent. Although he did not have any financial gain from it, the addition of the term signified the cultural relevance that Dwayne holds in modern culture. (Bleacher Report)

    14.     He can sing and play musical instruments 

    His multipotentiality, one of the many facts about Dwayne Johnson, proves just how talented he is. The guitar aside, Dwayne can also play the ukulele. Besides, his voice sounds so good for a former pro wrestler.  For example, in the movie Be Cool, he performed ‘You ain’t woman enough’ by Loretta Lynn, and in the movie ‘Game Plan’, he sang ‘Are you lonely tonight?’ by Elvis Presley. (Making Music Mag) 

    15.     His iconic tattoos have a deeper meaning 

    It is impossible to name facts about Dwayne Johnson without mentioning his trademark tattoos, which symbolize his ancestry, personality, and spirituality. The tattoo on the left side of his chest, his most conspicuous one, represents his warrior spirit as a tribute to his Polynesian heritage. 

    His most famous tattoo is the brahma bull on his right upper arm, a symbol of his fearlessness and fighting spirit. His partnership with sportswear brand Under Armour featured a merchandise range with the bull symbol. 

    Dwayne’s shoulder tattoo, however, is the most detailed, and has the most meaning. Here’s what the symbols mean: 

    • Coconut leaves – They represent Samoan chieftaincy
    • The sun – It is a symbol of good fortune 
    • The three characters – They represent his image and that of his ex-wife and daughter. 
    • Descending swirls – An embodiment of yesterday, today, and tomorrow
    • Set of eyes – They symbolize ancestors watching over him
    • Shark teeth – A symbol of his struggle
    • Priest – An embodiment of his spirituality
    • Stones – The importance of a solid foundation
    • Tortoise shell – Warding off evil spirits
    Dwayne Johnson facts
    Dwayne with his daughter Tiana Gia Johnson. Source: Creative Commons

    The Brahma Bull tattoo, which sums up our list of facts about Dwayne Johnson you probably didn’t know about, took a total of 22 hours to complete. The bull also represents his western zodiac sign. (Cheat Sheet)

    From these facts about Dwayne Johnson, it is easy to understand why he is a lovable and influential person. The story of his struggles from childhood and the rise to international fame is inspiring to say the least. He is the ultimate warrior, both on and off the ring, and a role model to millions of fans across the globe. 

    SOURCES: 

    Bleacher Report: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2210989-throwback-thursday-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-gives-the-cfl-a-shot

    Essentially Sports: https://www.essentiallysports.com/wwe-news-it-was-awful-the-undertaker-opens-up-about-wwe-debut-of-the-rock/

    Mashable: https://mashable.com/2017/10/03/moana-maui-dwayne-johnson-grandfather-inspiration/

    Republic World: https://www.republicworld.com/entertainment-news/hollywood-news/dwayne-johnsons-seven-bucks-production-house.html

    Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dwayne-johnson-says-his-mother-survived-a-suicide-attempt_n_5a731881e4b0146e5944be39

    Business Standard: https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/dwayne-johnson-s-high-school-classmates-believed-he-was-undercover-cop-119022500072_1.html

    Insider: https://www.insider.com/dwayne-johnson-the-rock-almost-became-a-cia-agent-2018-6

    Guinness World Records: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2015/5/dwayne-the-rock-johnson-sets-selfie-record-with-fans-at-san-andreas-premiere-in

    BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51402578

    GQ: https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-tanoai-reed-dwayne-johnson-stunt-double

    GQ: https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-tanoai-reed-dwayne-johnson-stunt-double

    Tennessean: https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/07/09/dwayne-the-rock-johnson-shares-his-love-outlaw-country-sturgill-simpson-chris-stapleton-childers/1677113001/

    The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/fast-8-beef-what-actually-happened-between-rock-and-vin-diesel-a7196986.html

    Bleacher Report: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1253013-wwe-the-impact-of-smackdown-being-placed-in-the-dictionary

    Making Music Mag: https://makingmusicmag.com/dwayne-johnson-rock-ing-the-ukulele/

    Fishing Loft: https://www.fishingloft.com/dwayne-johnson-fishing.html

    Cheat Sheet: https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/what-do-dwayne-the-rock-johnsons-tattoos-mean.html/

Turtles Quotes….

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