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.
Imprisoned for 27 years, Nelson Mandela became a symbol in the fight against the oppression of the black majority by South Africa's apartheid government. The first in his family to attend school, Mandela was given the English name Nelson by his teacher on his first day. As Mandela moved up the educational ladder, he became more and more involved in social justice. When he became a lawyer, he joined the African National Congress (ANC), an organization whose purpose was to increase the rights of black South Africans. In 1961, Mandela helped found a military branch of the ANC that used guerrilla attacks against the government. His imprisonment became a rallying point for black South Africansand eventually the world. International pressure against the government helped bring about the end of apartheid and Mandela's release in 1990. Mandela was elected president, serving from 1994 to 1999, and remains a figure revered and loved by his grateful nation.
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.
Before they spearheaded the musical phenomenon called the British Invasion, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were just four kids from Liverpool. Throughout the 1960s, however, they embodied, as the Beatles, the musical, artistic, social, and spiritual promise of an entire generation. After their stormy breakup in 1970, the Fab Four became four solo artists, at times even appearing on each others recordings. In addition to the millions of records each band member has sold on his own since their breakup, more than 40 Beatles compilation albums have been released and continue to sell millions of copies. To this day, more than one billion Beatles recordings have sold, and thousands of books, academic papers, blogs, and websites are dedicated to the group. Despite being the Beatles for only a decade, John, Paul, George, and Ringo together formed the most successfuland arguably the most influentialmusical group in history.
Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist and an intellectual giant of the twentieth century. This fascinating biography reveals Einsteins life story, and how his theories changed the way we looked at the universe. Born in Germany in 1879, Einstein focused his studies on science and mathematics. He won a Nobel Prize in Physics and was instrumental in persuading U.S. President Roosevelt to pursue the development of the atomic bomb in World War II. Einstein published hundreds of research papers, articles, and books and lectured at universities in Europe and the United States until his death in 1955. Einsteins name is synonymous with genius, and, not surprisingly, his brain has been preserved for study.
Steve Jobs was a pioneer of the personal computer age. This compelling biography describes his life and career as a visionary entrepreneur who helped usher the world into the digital agein style and comfort. Born in 1955, Jobs grew up tinkering with electronics in the garage with his father. Although he dropped out of college, he would follow his passion for electronics and become well known for founding the computer company Apple. Equally well known for his uncompromising product philosophy, he continued to innovate in the fields of animation, personal electronics, and marketing. Both Jobs and Apple had their share of ups and downs. After an amazing comeback in the 2000s, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at the early age of 56 in 2011.
Born in Romania in 1928, Eliezer (Elie) Wiesel had a childhood steeped in the traditions of his Orthodox Jewish family. From the moment of his familys deportation to the death camp at Auschwitz and the horrors that awaited there, the teenaged Elie focused all his energies on staying alive. Elie has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peaceful, humanitarian goals as a writer and activist. He is a Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate and the author of 57 books, including the Night trilogy, based on his experiences as a prisoner. In 1986 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and called, a messenger to mankind.
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.
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.
From the impoverished inner-city streets of Milwaukee to her own nationally syndicated talk show in Chicago, Oprah has persevered to become one of the most recognized personalities in the world. Readers will learn how her courage, kindness, and perseverance have led her to found Oprah's Angel Network, a charity whose mission is to help the underprivileged of the world.
Readers will be introduced to Robert L. Johnson. They'll find out how his charisma, determination, and sharp business skills helped him earn a Master's degree from Princeton University, found one of the biggest television networks in the world, and become driving forces of the entertainment industry.
Roberto Clemente was the first Hispanic American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Readers will learn how he used his courage and determination during the off-season to help those living in poverty in Latin America.
Tiger Woods persistence, winning attitude, and passion for golf have helped make him one of the top golfers of all time. Readers will learn how Tiger uses his fame and fortune to help young people reach their full potential.
Yo-Yo Ma is a world-class cellist who has won numerous Grammy awards and is beloved by audiences worldwide. Readers will discover how hard work and talent helped Ma rise to the top and how he uses his gifts to promote unity by bringing together musicians from around the world in his Silk Road Project.
Readers will be introduced to Andrew Carnegie and his rise from impoverished immigrant to one of the world's wealthiest industrialists. Learn how this self-made master of the American steel industry put his leadership, determination, and wealth to good use by building libraries, schools, and universities that continue to benefit people today.
Discover how entrepreneur Bill Gates created Microsoft and amassed a fortune as a leader in the computer industry and then partnered with his wife Melinda Gates to found the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Readers will learn about their lives and their mission is to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty around the world.
Bono and the band U2 have delighted audiences worldwide for more than 20 years. Readers will learn about Bono's rise to pop stardom and how he continues to use his talent and charisma to help third world countries fight diseases such as AIDS and Malaria.
Ellen Ochoa's has a passion for engineering, space, and science. Readers will find out how Ochoa used this passion to earn a doctorate from Stanford and become the first Hispanic American female in space. Learn how she uses this passion to inspire students of all ages to work hard in school and follow their dreams.
Discover how Larry Page and Sergey Brin started out as two ordinary computer science graduate students at Stanford University, but together, created Google, the world's most powerful information search engine on the Internet. Readers will learn about the power of innovation, creativity and tech smarts.
Madam C. J. Walker's business skills, motivation, and determination helped her to develop a hair product and become the first African American woman millionaire. Readers will learn how those same skills also helped her reach out and help people living in poverty and speak out against injustice.
Abraham Lincoln. Robert E. Lee. Ulysses S. Grant. William Tecumseh Sherman. Jefferson Davis. Stonewall Jackson. These larger than life figures tower in history and their decisions and actions influenced the progress and outcome of the Civil War. This volume gives background on the politicians, generals, naval and militia commanders, and other prominent people who were involved in the Civil War, including African American leaders and women.
Born into a wealthy, plantation-owning family, George Washington grew up in privilege. He quickly rose in the ranks of the Continental Army until, ultimately, he became its commander-in-chief. Committed to the ideals of republicanism, he led the army to victory in the American Revolutionary War, and the United States of America was born. This revealing title examines the life of George Washington, "father of his country," with a focus on his military leadership during the Revolutionary War and his role and legacy as first President of the United States.