Zappa, Frank (1940–1993) Zappa was a prolific contemporary composer-performer more or less in the rock idiom, creating some 60 albums in his 30-year career. His original group, the Mothers of Invention, was founded in the 1960s, and personnel varied over the years. His music was innovative, often satiric, usually subversive of the complacent values of middle-class America, and, by the 1980s, frankly embodied political protest. Zappa took rock and roll traditions—the prevailing American popular music since the mid 1950s—and expanded them to challenging social and aesthetic dimensions.
Zenger, John Peter (1697–1746) Zenger, publisher of a colonial newspaper called the New York Weekly Journal, was arrested in October 1734 on charge of “seditious libel” for printing criticism of the colony’s royal governor, William Cosby. Lawyer Andrew Hamilton defended Zenger at trial in 1735, securing his acquittal on the grounds that the truth can never be deemed libelous. The decision was an American milestone in the principle of freedom of the press and figured as a precedent for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Ziegfeld, Florenz (1869–1932) Ziegfeld started in show business in 1893 as the manager of Sandow, a strong man, and went on to produce extravagant Broadway revues that became known as the Ziegfeld Follies. Sanitized versions of the Parisian Folies-Bergère, the Ziegfeld shows began in 1907 and were repeated in various versions through 1957. Ziegfeld’s chorus lines were intended to “glorify the American Girl,” and his extravaganzas also produced a galaxy of solo stars, including Will Rogers, Bert Williams, Fanny Brice, and Eddie Cantor.
Zworykin, Vladimir (1889–1982) Born and educated in Russia, Zworykin immigrated to the United States in 1919 and became a citizen in 1924. While working for Westinghouse, he patented in 1923 the iconoscope—the television transmission tube—and the following year the kinescope, the television receiver. Together, these were the basis for an all-electronic (as opposed to electromechanical) television system and made possible modern television technology.