Best known for his dramatic photographs of the American West, Ansel Adams achieved a popularity that few other photographers have known. Dedicated to wilderness preservation, he succeeded in changing the way Americans perceived their natural environment.
Milton Berle (Berlinger), who became known as “Mr. Television” for his role in popularizing the new medium, had a career that was one of the longest and most varied in show business, spanning silent film, vaudeville, radio, motion pictures, and television.
Berle was born in New York City on July 12, 1908, to Moses and Sarah (Glantz) Berlinger. His father worked at a succession of jobs; his mother was a store detective who encouraged her young son in showbusiness. At age five, he won first place in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976. Apple leads the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook Mac computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications.
To many, Willie Mays is the greatest all-around baseball player in history, excelling in hitting for average, hitting for power, fielding, throwing and base running. During twenty-two seasons of major league play, the “Say Hey Kid” hit 660 home runs, putting him in fourth place for the all-time home run record.
Robert Mondavi, a global symbol of American wine and food, introduced technical improvements and marketing strategies that brought worldwide recognition to the wines of California’s Napa Valley.
Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won all four of the most prestigious showbusiness awards: the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony.
Born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Moreno moved with her mother to New York when she was five years old. The following year she began dancing lessons, and at age thirteen made her Broadway debut in Skydrift.
Spotted by a talent scout, she was signed to a contract with MGM in 1949. From that point on, her career advanced steadily.
Jackie Robinson will always be remembered as the civil rights pioneer who broke baseball’s color barrier. When he stepped up to the plate for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he became the first black player to play modern-day Major League Baseball.
Jonas Salk became an international hero when he developed the first successful vaccine against polio, which once crippled or killed thousands every year. Thanks to his work and that of others in the field, the disease has been nearly eradicated today.
John Steinbeck’s writing, deeply rooted in the Salinas Valley of his youth, earned him worldwide recognition. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for “his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.”
Elizabeth Taylor enchanted audiences for over sixty years.
Born in England of American parents, Taylor relocated with her family to Los Angeles during World War II. Stunningly beautiful even as a child, she soon caught Hollywood’s attention, and in 1944 National Velvet catapulted her to stardom. She went on to star in over fifty more films. Nominated five times, she won Best Actress Academy Awards for Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
One of the most influential Supreme Court Chief Justices in U.S. history, Earl Warren created fundamental and lasting changes in American society.
Born March 19, 1891, in Los Angeles, California, Warren was the son of immigrant parents. As a youth in Bakersfield, he worked summers for Southern Pacific Railroad. He later said that his progressive political and legal attitudes were the result of seeing first-hand the lives and struggles of working people.
Appearing in more than 175 films during a career that spanned a half-century, John Wayne became the personification of the Western hero and an American icon. Nearly thirty years after his death, he still consistently ranks among the most popular movie stars of all time.
Born and raised in Southern California, Woods dreamed of being the world’s best golfer from the time he was a child. Encouraged by his father, also a golfer, he revealed his talents early, swinging his way onto television with Bob Hope at age two, and making it into Golf Digest magazine at age five.