On this day in 1927, Harry Belafonte was born

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Actor/singer/activist Harry Belafonte, left, the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, addresses the audience as Sidney Poitier looks on during the 2014 Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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Actor, recording star, and humanitarian Harry Belafonte was born on this day, March 1, 1927 in Harlem, New York.

As a singer, Belafonte was dubbed “The King of Calypso.” His music career began in the late 1940s, and he quickly rose to fame with hits such as “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell.” He also acted in several films, including “Carmen Jones” and “Island in the Sun,” and was the first Black man to win an Emmy award in 1960 for his performance in the CBS variety special “The Revlon Revue: Tonight With Belafonte.”

As a social activist, Belafonte is celebrated for his support of the civil rights movement, during which he served as a close advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, and for his support of HIV/AIDS awareness programs in Africa. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.


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