betty white

Over 100 years ago on Jan. 17, 1922, Betty White was born in Oak Park. White led an incredible life. She was the first woman to produce a national TV show, the first woman to star in a sitcom, the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination and the first woman to ever appear on television.

She received the honorary title of the Mayor of Hollywood in 1955 and has been formally inducted into the academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. In 2013, the Guinness World Records awarded White for having the longest television career for a female entertainer.

White was notorious for her love of animals, even passing up a role in the Oscar-winning movie “As Good As It Gets” because of a scene where the anti-hero pitches a small dog down a trash chute.

To honor her and her love of animals, the Betty White challenge began – taking place on her birthday and encouraging people to donate to their local animal shelter.  White is quoted saying, “Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.”

White is remembered for her light heartedness and genius comedic timing. Happy birthday to Illinois’ own!