This Day in Halloween: Pioneering actor and star of "Night of the Living Dead" Duane Jones is born in New York City in 1937. / Illustration by Leah Provo
Duane Jones is born in New York City in 1937. Though he only appeared in a handful of films, he made cinematic history as the first African-American star of a horror movie in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. A role that also made no acknowledgment of the lead character’s race. He later became a respected teacher and director, running New York’s Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art and creating English-language training programs for the Peace Corps. He died in 1988.