Danny Kaye Corbett was born on August 11, 1948 in Newport News, Virginia to Erva Lee Sutton and Jesse William (J.W.) Corbett. He grew up in Mathews, Virginia and had one sibling, his sister Janie Dolores Corbett. Danny attended Mathews High School until he completed all the math courses available in the school by his tenth grade year. Then he transferred to Staunton Military Academy where he graduated with a number of academic and athletic honors.
Baseball was a large part of his childhood. He was a member of several high school championship teams as well as a member of his college baseball team. His favorite position was short stop. He loved coaching softball and baseball teams on which his children participated and excelled. Danny would catch the first flight out in the morning and a return flight in the afternoon to ensure he could coach their practices.
Danny attended college in Atlanta, Georgia at Georgia Institute of Technology where he received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 1970, a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1971, and a Master of Science in Information and Computer Science in 1972. During his years at Georgia Tech, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity where he made life-long friends.
Danny began his professional career with Burroughs Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, where he worked for five years as a manager of Material Systems. He then relocated back to Atlanta to join Touche Ross and became a Management Consulting Partner. He later was named National Director of the Telecommunications Consulting Practice. Touche Ross merged in 1990 with Deliotte, Hoskins and Sells to become Deliotte and Touche.
In 1971, Danny and Linda met on a volleyball court while searching for someone’s lost engagement ring. They married in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973 and were blessed with two wonderful children, Julie Danner in 1976 and Michael Sutton in 1978.
Danny was diagnosed in 1988 with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. After learning of the diagnosis, he commented that this was appropriate because of his love of the game of baseball. He continued to work and travel for many years bearing the horrible secret of his fight with the disease. When he lost control of his left hand, he taught himself to write with his right hand and continued to work. The debilitating effects of the disease forced him to retire in 1992.
Danny approached his illness as he did with everything else in his life, with focus, intelligence, and determination. He strove to learn as much as he could about the disease, the possible causes, the experimental treatments, and the best way to deal with the effects. His doctor informed him about the effects of alcohol on muscles so he drank the night he was diagnosed and never touched a drink again. He was determined to watch his children grow and refused to pass until he knew they would be ok without him.
As he began to lose his ability to speak, he designed a board in which to communicate with others and a system to spell out the words and sentences using the blinking of his eyes. This board made it possible for Danny to continue to “speak” with the rest of the world and to write this cookbook.
Danny definitely needed a project to occupy his time at home so he asked his caregivers and family to collect newspapers and cookbooks. He would read the recipes and select those he thought looked interesting. The recipes were then cooked and those that passed the taste test were compiled on the computer and gradually The Ultimate Cookbook emerged.
This process kept everyone very busy, whether on the computer, in the grocery store, or in the kitchen. Danny even planned the menu for the annual neighborhood Holiday dinner and created a Broken Jaw Cookbook for a friend. The menus were always a great success and enjoyed by all. Even if the recipes needed to be pureed.
Unfortunately, Danny’s health deteriorated quickly and he was not able to finish his cookbook. He passed away in 2001.