P is for Petty: George, William and Tom

P is for Petty: ‘of little importance; trivial’. Sometimes people are petty. Some rules are petty. Wasting my time on them? Petty.

Let’s talk about famous people named Petty instead.

George Petty

George Petty IV (April 27, 1894 – July 21, 1975) was an American pin-up artist famous for his creation of the ‘Petty Girl’. His pin-up art appeared primarily in Esquire magazine and others, and also on calendars. His work popularised the ‘gatefold poster’ concept. 

The Ballerina

File:Memphis Belle movie logo..jpgHis work was widely reproduced on the nose of war planes by military artists, with the most famous reproduction being the Memphis Belle.

The picture on the right, ‘The Ballerina’, was a painting for the 1965 Ice Capades. Petty’s work for Ice Capades, appearing as program covers and posters, began in 1942 and continued throughout the decade.

A Petty Girl was used on the cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

William Petty

Sir William Petty FRS (26 May 1623 – 16 December 1687) was an English economist, scientist, philosopher and inventor, and a founding member of The Royal Society. He was a friend of Samuel Pepys and was knighted by Charles II in 1661, despite having served under Cromwell. He is best known for his methods of statistical analysis, but he was from a family of clothiers and spent his early life in the Navy and studying medicine.

Tom Petty

Thomas Earl “Tom” Petty (born October 20, 1950) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer and actor, best known as lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was also a member of the Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch.

Today he has sold over 80 million records and won numerous awards, but he worked for a time as a groundsman at the University of Florida. An Ogechee Lime Tree that he planted is now known as the Tom Petty tree. His signature grey top hat was lost when an arsonist set fire to his home in 1987, but luckily his basement studio was saved by fire-fighters.

Tom still performs with the Heartbreakers; in August they will headline at the Outside Lands Music Festival at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and a new album Hypnotic Eye, is due for release in the summer.

File:Tom Petty Live in Horsens.jpg

I can only apologise for the fact that all three of my famous Petty people are men. A quick skim of the internet didn’t reveal any famous Petty females, but if you know of one, do share! I will happily stand humbly corrected (try saying that when you’re drunk).


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