#12 1959

John Royce "Johnny'" Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas on September 30, 1935. Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He was a high jumper and hurdler, and played on the basketball team, earning four athletic letters. In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State University on a scholarship, intending to become an English and physical education teacher. In 1956 he decided to keep an appointment in New York instead of going to the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. In 1982 he published a cookbook, Cooking for You Alone. Mathis has undergone rehab for both alcohol and prescription drug addictions. Mathis continues to perform but from 2000 onwards has limited his concert engagements to fifty to sixty appearances per year.
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