May 13 Birthday: Joe Louis

Joe Louis, boxer

May 13, 1914-April 12, 1981

A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Dial, 2011)

An iconic fight between American heavyweight boxer Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling on the eve of WWII drew Americans together and came to symbolize the war. This is a stirring story of hope.

The Official Web Site of Joe Louis gives visitors photos, quotes, fast facts and a biography.

May 13 Birthday: Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens, musician
May 13, 1941-February 3, 1959


Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

Valens was the California music sensation and singer of Donna and La Bamba. He was the first Mexican-American rock and roll star. Unfortunately he died in a small plane crash along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.

Go to the Ritchie Valens Official Web Site for information on his life, his music and his family.