César Estrada Chávez, Senator Robert F. Kennedy noted, was “one of the heroic figures of our time.”
A true American hero, Chávez was a civil rights, Latino, farm worker, and labor leader; a religious and spiritual figure; a community servant and social entrepreneur; a crusader for nonviolent social change; and an environmentalist and consumer advocate.
A second-generation American, Chávez was born on March 31, 1927, near his family’s farm in Yuma, Arizona. At age 10, his family became migrant farm workers after losing their farm in the Great Depression.
During a 43-year Hollywood career, which spanned the development of the motion picture medium as a modern American art, Walter Elias Disney, a modern Aesop, established himself and his product as a genuine part of Americana.
When 10-year-old Amelia Mary Earhart saw her first plane at a state fair, she was not impressed. “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting,” she said. It wasn’t until Earhart attended a stunt-flying exhibition, almost a decade later, that she became seriously interested in aviation. A pilot spotted Earhart and her friend, who were watching from an isolated clearing, and dove at them. “I am sure he said to himself, ‘Watch me make them scamper,’” she said. Earhart, who felt a mixture of fear and pleasure, stood her ground.
Clint Eastwood is the consummate filmmaker. His career spans four decades and has touched generations of moviegoers. He is one of the most prolific, versatile artists in the history of the medium, involving himself first as an actor, then as a director and producer. Eastwood’s remarkable achievements have been fueled by his enormous box-office appeal and likewise reflected in the recognition he has received. His respect within the film industry is matched only by his appreciation from the public at large. His ongoing body of work is without peer.
Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. Mr. Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Mr. Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned four decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. In an article published in The New York Times in November, 1989, noted architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote that Mr.
William Randolph Hearst, the man behind Hearst Castle, is an important figure from the twentieth century whose influence extended to publishing, politics, Hollywood, the art world and everyday American life. His power and vision allowed him to pursue one of the most ambitious architectural endeavors in American history, the result of which can be seen in magnificent grounds and structures of Hearst Castle.
Mr. Hearst was born on April 29, 1863, in San Francisco, California, as the only child of George and Phoebe Hearst.
David D. Ho, M.D. is the founding Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, a world-renowned biomedical research institute. He is also the Irene Diamond Professor at The Rockefeller University.
Dr. Ho received his degrees from California Institute of Technology (1974) and Harvard Medical School (1978).
As one of the 20th century’s most respected women, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social change and equality. King created new inroads for women in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today.
John Muir – farmer, inventor, sheepherder, naturalist, explorer, writer, and conservationist – was born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland. Until the age of eleven he attended the local schools of that small coastal town. In 1849, the Muir family emigrated to the United States, settling first at Fountain Lake and then moving to Hickory Hill Farm near Portage, Wisconsin.
Muir’s father was a harsh disciplinarian and worked his family from dawn to dusk.
In 1939, Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett founded Hewlett Packard, one of the century’s most admired companies. The famous “HP Way” was based on the idea that people gain satisfaction and motivation from working in an environment where they can accomplish something worthwhile and receive recognition for it.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, the son of Nelle Wilson Reagan and John Reagan. He was educated in Illinois public schools and graduated from Eureka College in 1932, with a degree in economics and sociology.
Following a brief career as a sports broadcaster and editor, President Reagan moved to California to work in motion pictures. His film career, interrupted by three years of service in the Army Air Corps during World War II, encompassed 53 feature-length motion pictures.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Sally Ride is the first American woman to fly in outer space. An accomplished astronaut, physicist, professor and author, she has cumulatively spent more then 343 hours in space.
A nationally ranked tennis player, Ride joined NASA in 1978 as part of the first astronaut class to accept women. As part of her training she was the Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights (STS-2 and STS-3) and helped develop the Space Shuttle’s robot arm.
Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her third novel, The Color Purple, which was made into an internationally popular film and is now a Broadway musical. Her other best-selling novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages, include By the Light of My Father’s Smile, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and The Temple of My Familiar. Her most recent fiction work, Now is the Time to Open Your Heart was published in 2004.