Happy Birthday - Alvin Ailey was born On this date January 5th in the year 1931 Alvin Ailey Jr. was born in Rogers,Texas..Ailey was an African-American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance. His company gained the nickname "Cultural Ambassador to the World" because of its extensive international touring. Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations is believed to be the best known and most often seen modern dance performance. In 1977, Ailey was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1988, just one year before his death. Pictured Ailey, Alvin Ailey Program/Advertisement and Anthony Burrell former Alvin Ailey alumni.