Here's what Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson and Al Capone have in common: they were all born in the Year of the Dog

Here's what Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson and Al Capone have in common: they were all born in the Year of the Dog

You can find many famous, or infamous, people who were born in a Chinese zodiac year of the dog. Here’s a look at some of them


"Yay for dogs!" (Not actual quote...duh.)
Photo: AFP

In English, when we’re not having a good time, we use the saying “It’s a dog’s life”. Chinese people say they work like dogs. Needless to say, there are some very famous, or infamous, dogs, so we picked our top 9 (get it?) goodest or baddest dogs of all time:

9 Winston Churchill (born 1874)

One of the world’s greatest speakers, Churchill battled with a speech problem. He had a lisp (pronouncing “s” and “z” sounds like “th”; for example, saying “thing” instead of “sing”) that made it hard for reporters to understand him. Eventually he wore a pair of false teeth to help overcome the problem.

He also wasn’t great at school. He hated boarding school and was bottom of his class at Harrow. He tried to get in to the Royal Military College and failed the entrance exam twice.

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8 Mother Teresa (born 1910)

Mother Teresa chose to leave a comfortable life and live among the poor.
Photo: AFP

An Albanian nun, Mother Teresa’s real name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She is famous for working with street children in Kolkata, India. She took her vows in 1931 and began teaching at St Mary’s school in Kolkata. Her students were very wealthy but she could not ignore the poverty around her.

She chose to live among the poor and that was not easy. She had to take a nursing course, get special permission to do what she wanted, and move from a life of safety and comfort in the convent to a hovel in the slums, with no income. She started by teaching the children in the slums about basic hygiene, and touched many lives along the way. She died in 1997, and the Catholic Church made her a saint in 2016.

7 Michael Jackson (born 1958)

The King of Pop's Thriller is the bestselling album of all time.
Photo: Reuters

The most awarded artist of all time, Michael Jackson couldn’t keep anything a secret. But let’s just remember what a great dog he was. His album Thriller is the bestselling album of all time, and its video was on the Billboard 200 for 122 weeks.

Did you know that he invented special shoes for his famous, gravity-defying lean in the 1987 video for Smooth Criminal? He pulled it off using wires, magnets, and special effects.

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6 Socrates (born circa 470 BC)

While Confucius is seen as the father of Chinese thought, the father of Western thought is Socrates. Here’s the dirt on Socrates, literally. He wasn’t much into bathing, or wearing shoes, or changing his clothes. He was also really ugly, at a time when “good looks” were considered very important. But that was OK with him because he firmly believed that brains beat beauty every time. He didn’t believe in gods and the local authorities saw him as a troublemaker. So they sentenced him to death. His friends offered to help him escape, but he chose to die, just to show others that he wasn’t afraid of death.

5 Al Capone (born 1899)

Al Capone was also known as Scarface.
Photo: AP

Known as “Scarface”, Alphonse Capone was one of America’s most famous gangsters. He was part of a gang known as the “Chicago Outfit” during the time when alcohol was banned. Unlike most gangsters, Al Capone came from a respectable family of Italian immigrants. They lived in a poor area of New York City, though, and he went to a Catholic school. He was 14 when he was expelled for hitting a teacher.

After that, he met Johnny Torrio, a gangster, who taught him how to get rich by doing illegal things. Al Capone got his nickname because his face was slashed with a knife during a fight. By the time he died, Al Capone’s empire was worth US$1.3 billion in today’s money.

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4 Elvis Presley (born 1935)

Elvis Presley's You ain't nothing but a hound dog seems especially appropriate this year.
Photo: AP

He ain’t nothing but a hound dog ... crying all the time. (Sorry, but we had to). You probably already know that the king of rock ’n’ roll caused mass outrage across the US with his sexy dance. This was before Facebook and Instagram, so you know it had to be that shocking in those days. Few people know that Elvis was really quite shy. In fact, he was an accidental star. For his 11th birthday his mum wanted to buy him a bicycle. He wanted a rifle. They compromised and she bought a guitar instead. He wasn’t thrilled. The following year he was offered a chance to perform on radio. But he didn’t, because he was too shy. When he was 18, he made his very first record ... for his mum, dawww.

3 Victor Hugo (born 1802)

The author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a human rights activist as well.
Photo: Archive Photos

French writer Victor Hugo is one of the world’s greatest authors. His famous works include The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. A severe critic of the French government and a human rights activist, Hugo fled France and settled in Britain.

He had a very interesting way to get over writer’s block. He would take off all his clothes and lock himself in a room with just a pen and paper. Young Post doesn’t recommend trying this during an exam.

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2 Steven Spielberg (born 1946)

Steven Spielberg's movies have made more money than any other director ever.
Photo: Reuters

Always eager to try new things, Spielberg has earned more money than any other movie director in history. And no wonder. He brought us box-office hits such as Jaws, ET, and Indiana Jones. Do you know who appeared the most in Spielberg’s movies? It was his dog, Elmer, a cocker spaniel that was cast in Jaws, Close Encounters, 1941, and Sugarland Express.

You may not think someone this successful ever struggled, but Spielberg was bullied when he was young, because he couldn’t read very well. He has dyslexia, which he has struggled with during his entire life.

1 Confucius (born 551 BC)

The founder of Confucianism lay the moral foundation for an entire country.
Photo: AFP

Teacher, editor, politician and, of course, philosopher, Confucius gave China its moral base. He was a family man; he believed family was the basis for an ideal government. He wanted families to be loyal to their relatives, children to respect their elders, and wives to respect their husbands.

A humanist, he wanted people to understand that they were more important than goods. He also gave us the “Golden Rule”: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The good, the bad, and the ugly


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