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Jon Stewart (Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz), who became a household name through his work on The Daily Show, was born in New York City on this date in 1962. Stewart hosted, wrote for, and executive-produced the comedy show from 1999 until 2015, turning it into a major source of news, information and progressive political perspectives for the cable TV generations. He was supportive of the Writers Guild of America during its 2007-2008 strike; writers for The Daily Show had been the first at the Comedy Central channel to join the Guild. In 2013, Stewart was the object of Twitter trolling by Donald Trump, who apparently sought to “out” the comedian as Jewish, referring to him as “Leibowitz.” Stewart responded by “revealing” Trump’s birth name, “F**kface Von Clownstick.” Stewart’s books include Naked Pictures of Famous People (1998), a bestseller, America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction (2004), and Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race (2010). He has won 22 Emmy Awards, a Grammy (for Best Comedy Album), and also shared with his team two Peabody Awards for their coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Asteroid 116939 Jonstewart, discovered on April 15, 2004, is named in his honor.
“Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” —Jon Stewart
Watch Jon Stewart’s Salute to the Jewish People, a compilation of clips from The Daily Show