Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky. Early in his life, his skills developed from those he needed to stand up to a playground bully into the championship form that earned him a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics. As a professional fighter, Ali became known not just for the speed and agility with which he won three world heavyweight championships, but also for his charm, wit, and showmanship. Outside the ring, the courage of his stand against the military draft made him both a revered cultural hero and a lightning rod for the issues that divided Americans during the Vietnam War. In the decades following his boxing career, Ali has become regarded as one of the most recognized people on the planet. He has lent his name, influence, and generosity to a host of humanitarian causes. Today, having earned the affection of billions of people worldwide, the peoples champ is, as ever, The Greatest.
Politician Al Gore has lent both his voice and his political influence in the fight against global warming. His work and creative energy have earned him numerous forms of public recognition, most notably the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
David Suzuki is a prominent environmental activist. Throughout his adult life, he has been the creative force behind numerous television shows on science and the environment. He has used his voice to advocate for the environment and to take to task political leaders whose action and inaction have been part of the problem behind the global warming crisis.
Ed Begley, Jr. is a Hollywood actor, who inspires, entertains, and motivates a new generation of environmental activists, fans, and consumers with his all-encompassing green lifestyle. Whether he is promoting his own line of green products, lending his voice to further environmental awareness and action, or walking the walk of the life he touts in his own solar-powered home the star of Living with Ed is constantly on the lookout for ways to live more green - and get others onboard in the process.
Rachel Carson was a marine writer, biologist, and ecologist whose work inspired millions to take seriously the danger that human activity poses to the environment. She both revealed the wonders of the natural world and exposed the sinister threat to that world posed by DDT and other pesticides.
By the time Roberta Bondar became Canada's first woman in space in 1992, she already had careers as a doctor, a scientist, and a professional photographer. Born in 1945 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a town on the border between Canada and the United States, Roberta has had an active career in both countries. Today she is well known for her continuing work on behalf of the planet, writing and appearing on TV and in documentaries, covering Space Shuttle launches at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and shedding new light on the needs of the natural world.
At a time when much of the United States was still racially segregated, Jackie Robinson smashed the color barrier to become the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. Born in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers, Robinson excelled in sports throughout his school years. After serving briefly in the army during WWII, he briefly played ball in the Negro Leagues. At about the same time, a handful of all-white Major League teams paid lip service to trying out black players. But it was when Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 that he became a part of what would be called "The Noble Experiment." Outspoken in the past when it came to racial injustice, Robinson endured racist jeers from fans and players, and even death threats, with dignity and composure. His historic feat of crossing baseball's "color line" became a symbol in the American civil rights movement in the decades that followed.