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Thomas, Gerry

Lived in Paradise Valley

Died in Phoenix

(c. 1922-2005.07.18)  Inventor of the TV Dinner.

Nebraska born Gerry Thomas was a marketing executive for CA Swanson and Sons of Omaha, Nebraska in the early 1950's when his company faced a turkey problem.  Gerry's employer, then a leading wholesaler of poultry, had a 270 ton surplus of post-Thanksgiving turkey sitting in 10 refrigerated railway box cars. 

Tillman, Pat

Graduated from ASU; Sun Devils linebacker

Arizona Cardinals safety

(1976.11.06-2004.04.22)  NFL football player;  U.S. Army Ranger.

On May 22, 2002 the Cardinal's record holder for tackles let the team know that he would not be signing a three-year $3.6 million contract as a safety.  Instead the team's Number 40, Pat Tillman, would be signing a three-year enlistment contract with the U.S. Army with starting pay of less than $15,000 a year. 

Tombaugh, Clyde

Lived in Flagstaff

Clyde with his telescope, c. 1930.

(1906.02.04-1997.01.17)  Astronomer, discoverer of Pluto.

As a 22 year old amateur astronomer, Clyde submitted drawings of planets which he had done using his home made telescope to the Lowell Observatory for comment.  The observatory's director was so impressed that he offered the young astronomer a job at Lowell.

Clyde's job would be to man a camera searching for an elusive planet X.  Years earlier, the observatory's founder Percival Lowell (1855-1916) had compared the observed and calculated positions of Uranus.  Lowell came to believe that the discrepancy pointed to an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune.

On February 18, 1930, Clyde found a speck of light on photographic plates he was examining.  The speck moved in successive plates exactly as a planet beyond Neptune should.  In March, 1930, the Lowell Observatory announced the discovery of the planet which would eventually be named Pluto.


Named after Arizona landmark

Jay Silverheels
Jay Silverheels (1912-1980) was TV's Tonto to Clayton Moore's (1914-1999)  Lone Ranger from 1947 to 1957. He was born in Canada and has no known connection to Arizona.  The picture was taken in the 1970's.

(1933.02.25-    )  Fictional sidekick of The Lone Ranger

According to an NPR story on The Lone Ranger, the name for the ranger's sidekick was inspired by the Tonto Basin, an area in Gila County, near the geographic center of Arizona. 

Tonto did not appear on the first Lone Ranger radio shows.  It soon became apparent that the ranger needed someone to whom to talk since he was by definition, alone.  It was radio after all, and without dialog there would be little to broadcast. 

Fran Striker, writer of The Lone Ranger radio program, decided to introduce a sidekick.  To come up with a name, he opened up the Atlas and found a place called the Tonto Basin in Arizona.  He said, "Gee, I like that first name, Tonto. It's hard, it's fast, it's quick, it's easy to remember."  Unfortunately, it's also Spanish for "idiot."

On February 25, 1933, the Lone Ranger's faithful sidekick Tonto made his first appearance on the radio show.

Trimble, Marshall

Born in Kyrene (Tempe)

Lived in Lehi, Ashfork, Phoenix; lives in Scottsdale

Attended West Phoenix High School & Phoenix College

(1939-    )  Singer, historian, author, teacher.

One doesn't have to be born in Arizona to write books and sing ballads about Arizona, but it probably helps.  When Marshall was born his family was living on a small livestock ranch south of Tempe.  In 1955 the Trimbles moved to outside of Ash Fork where Marshall, his two brothers and his parents lived in a two room trailer without running water.  Commenting on the cramped quarters he says that he never slept alone--until he got married. 

Tucker, Tanya

Lived in Wilcox and Phoenix

Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker, 2005. Photo by My Boy Dodger .

(1958.10.10-    )  Singer, author.

Tanya Tucker was born in Seminole, Texas, but grew up in Wilcox.  Her family moved to Phoenix in 1967.  When she was just 14--after the family had moved to Las Vegas via St. George, Utah--she hit the big time with the song "Delta Dawn" (1972).

She sang adult songs ("You Ain't Woman Enough") with an adult voice when she was barely a teen.  When she was 21, she had a much publicized affair with singer Glen Campbell who was then over twice her age.

She published her autobiography, Nickel Dreams, in 1997.

Tyson, Mike

Lives in Paradise Valley

(1966.06.30-    )  Heavyweight champion.

Boxer Mike Tyson lives near Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, within 2 miles of Muhammad Ali's home, and trains at Central Boxing near the state capitol.  A few highlights in Mike's career:

November 22, 1986 - wins his first WBC title shot defeating Trevor Berbick and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever.

January 27, 1992 - found guilty of the February 10, 1991 rape of Miss Black America Contest contestant Desiree Washington, and begins 3 year imprisonment.

March, 1996 - wins the WBC title from Frank Bruno in three rounds.

September, 1996 - wins back the WBA championship from Bruce Seldon.

November 9, 1996 - suffers an eleven round TKO making Evander Holyfield a three-time world champion.

June 28, 1997 - is disqualified in the third round of a rematch for the WBA title when he bites off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear.  Tyson lost his temper after a head-butt from Holyfield.

June 8, 2001 - knocked out in the eighth round by Britain's Lennox Lewis in Memphis, TN.

April 7, 2002 - involved in an alleged assault of an exotic dancer and her boyfriend in the early morning hours at the Hi-Liter Gentlemen's Club, a strip club at 4716 N. 12th Street in Phoenix.  Months later Phoenix police announced that there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

August, 2003 - files bankruptcy.

July 30, 2004 - fourth round loss to England's Danny Williams in Louisville, Ky.  Tyson was able to keep only $2 million of his $8 million purse. Creditors took the rest to reduce a $38.4 million debt.

August 2, 2004 - underwent arthroscopic surgery in Scottsdale on left knee to repair a ligament torn in his Friday night loss in Louisville, Ky.

December 2004 - arrested in Scottsdale outside the Pussycat Lounge for causing about $1,500 to 22 year-old Asaf Alikadic's 1989 Toyota Solara when he jumped on the hood. Charges were dropped when the lounge's owners agreed to pay for damages to the vehicle.  (The mug shot above is from this arrest.)

June 11, 2005 - fails to come out of his corner for round 7 of his comeback fight with Kevin McBride.  McBride later told the press that Tyson bit his nipple.  McBride who stands 6'6" remarked about the 5'11" Tyson, "He could not get up high enough to bite my ears--good job he wasn't a midget, otherwise he would have bitten something else."

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