Robert Allen Zimmerman–later resurrected as Bob Dylan in the form a rambling bard–was born on this day in 1941. The world was at war, while the sleeping giant continued a slumber to which it would receive a rude awakening. Fast forward to 1961 and you’ll see this re-branded youngster sleeping on couches, chain-smoking and half starving–driven to the brink by solitary obsession on unrelenting passion. Bowie called his “a voice like sand and glue,” one which his critics have always hated, and one which his faithful has always recognized as the voice of unremitting truth. He has been labeled a folk musician, the father of folk-rock,and even Judas. He has defied nearly all classifications. The one classification he can’t outrun is “genius.” Bob once said, “All I can do is be me, whoever that is,” and if this is all we learn from Bob, then we may be wise men. So happy birthday to you, Bob, whoever you are, whatever you are. You are a genius, a poet, an icon.