Today, July 26, is the birthday of George Bernard Shaw, British playwright, famous for his wit and social commentary in plays like Pygmalion, later made into the hugely successful My Fair Lady. Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1856 to a mother who was a professional singer and an alcoholic father who was a failed merchant. He moved to London in his twenties and tried unsuccessfully to write novels. Under the auspices of the socially progressive Independent Theatre, Shaw had several of his plays performed but he was given the most artistic freedom and support by Harley Granville Barker, manager at the Court Theatre. Shaw was also very active in the Fabian Society, a group that advocated the rise of socialist ideology and policy in Britain.
Among the many oft quoted lines of Shaw's is this one: "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children."