French composer, ERIK SATIE, born (d: 1925); Any way you look at it, Satie was a character, a bona-fide eccentric. Dissatisfied with the compositions of his youth, which were overshadowed by the music of Debussy, he went back to school to study music formally at the age of forty, the resulting compositions all but completely overshadowed by the music of the young Stravinsky. Together with Cocteau and Picasso, he created the ballet Parade, for Diaghelev.

He is thought to have been gay because of the company he kept, but his private life was so hidden from his contemporaries that no one really knows whether he was straight, gay, bi or nothing at all. He was known to enter a room and sit down without ever removing his hat, coat, or gloves, and he was rarely seen in public without a brand new umbrella, which would never leave his hands no matter where he was. He lived in a tiny Parisian room that no one was ever permitted to enter. After he died, great curiosity centered on the contents of that room. In it were found hundreds of umbrellas, many of them still in wrapping paper, and little else.