25 Facts About Pearl Bailey

1.

Pearl Mae Bailey was an American actress, singer, and author.

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2.

Pearl Bailey was born in Newport News, Virginia to the Reverend Joseph James and Ella Mae Ricks Pearl Bailey.

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3.

Pearl Bailey's was raised in the Bloodfields neighborhood of Newport News and graduated from Booker T Washington High School in nearby Norfolk, the first city in the region to offer higher education for black students.

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4.

Pearl Bailey later moved to Philadelphia with her mother and siblings.

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5.

Pearl Bailey won and was offered $35 a week to perform there for two weeks.

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6.

Pearl Bailey's later won a similar competition at Harlem's famous Apollo Theater and decided to pursue a career in entertainment.

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7.

Pearl Bailey's was known to have performed in the church choir at St Peter Claver Catholic Church in Brooklyn, at the behest of Msgr Bernard J Quinn.

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8.

Pearl Bailey began by singing and dancing in Philadelphia's black nightclubs in the 1930s, and soon started performing in other parts of the East Coast.

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9.

In 1941, during World War II, Pearl Bailey toured the country with the USO, performing for American troops.

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10.

Pearl Bailey continued to tour and record albums along with her stage and screen performances.

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11.

Early in the television medium, Pearl Bailey guest starred on CBS's Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town.

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12.

Pearl Bailey was given a special Tony Award for her role, and RCA Victor released a second original-cast album, the only recording of the score to have an overture written especially for the recording.

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13.

Passionate fan of the New York Mets, Pearl Bailey sang the national anthem at Shea Stadium prior to Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, and appears in the World Series highlight film showing her support for the team.

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14.

Pearl Bailey's sang the national anthem prior to Game 1 of the 1981 World Series between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium.

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15.

Bailey hosted her own variety series on ABC, The Pearl Bailey Show, which featured many notable guests, including Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong .

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16.

Pearl Bailey's earned a degree in theology from Georgetown University in Washington, D C in 1985 at age 67.

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17.

In 1988, Pearl Bailey received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan.

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18.

Pearl Bailey went through a number of failed marriages in her earlier adult years.

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19.

Pearl Bailey's married John Randolph Pinkett, either her third or fourth husband, when she was 30 years old, and divorced him four years later, accusing him of physical abuse.

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20.

Pearl Bailey's attended several meetings of the United Nations and later appeared in a campaign ad for President Gerald Ford in the 1976 election.

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21.

Pearl Bailey's was awarded the Bronze Medallion in 1968, the highest award conferred upon civilians by New York City.

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22.

In 1969, Crawford and Pearl Bailey joined fellow friend Gypsy Rose Lee in accepting a USO award.

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23.

Pearl Bailey had suffered from heart problems for over thirty years.

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24.

Pearl Bailey is buried at Rolling Green Memorial Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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25.

Dress owned by Pearl Bailey is at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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