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Dear Matt:

Now that we baby boomers are rapidly turning gray and seeing the other side of 50, I got to wondering. Who are the first and last of the boomer generation to have been born, what are their names, and where were they born?

-- RHW, Mission Hills

Naturally the journal of American boomerdom, Money magazine, took a big interest in this question too. They published a profile of the person who started the spending spree that became the baby boom generation: Kathleen Wilkins (nee: Casey) of New Jersey, born one second after midnight, January 1, 1946, in Philadelphia-- the Cradle of Liberty and Boomerosity. She was at one time a "prosperous suburban housewife" with a surgeon husband, two kids, a big Tudor-style house, get-aways at the Jersey shore and Florida, and a Mercedes. Fifteen years ago she acquired the final prize, the obligatory boomer divorce. As a pioneer, a blazer of trails, she did her generation proud, don't you think?

Though I have no comparable life details, I can tell you her counterpart in San Diego County is Larry Allen Ward, born 20 seconds after midnight. The local paper printed a picture of a snoozing, 8-pound, 5-ounce Larry cocooned in blankets, cuddled by adoring mom, Mrs. Charles Ward. You just want to pinch Larry's fat baby cheeks.

The last boomer? Born close to midnight, December 31, 1964? Two problems. First, nobody's interested in the guy who comes in last. That's a given. And second, new privacy laws make it impossible to browse through birth records, which aren't organized by year anyway. The boomer charged with turning out the lights and closing the generational door will have to step forward voluntarily.

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