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International Summit Audio Recording
View Summit Highlights:

The following audio recordings are a small sample of the Academy's vast archive. You can see and hear hundreds of Academy of Achievement audio and video podcasts free of charge at iTunes U.


iTunes U

The Co-Founder and CEO of Apple Computers and the Pixar animation studio, Steve Jobs (1955 -2011) ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. At age 20, Jobs founded Apple in his parents garage with $1,300 he raised by selling his old Volkswagen and his parents' calculator. Today, Apple leads the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, and with leading consumer and professional software applications. Apple led the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store. It galvanized the smart phone sector with the innovative iPhone and dominates the tablet computer market with its wildly popular iPad. Jobs's animation venture, Pixar, has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. In 2006, Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in a $7.4 billion deal that made Steve Jobs the largest individual shareholder in Disney. He retired as CEO of Apple in 2011, shortly before his untimely death at age 56. Steve Jobs was still a mischievous 26-year old iconoclast when he addressed the Academy of Achievement in 1982.


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Steven P. Jobs

Steven P. Jobs
CEO, Apple Computer
New Orleans, Louisiana, 1982

Hear President Clinton and Bono in a question-and-answer session with 200 students from around the world, moderated by Sam Donaldson.

William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to be elected to two full terms in office. During the Clinton administration the United States moved from record deficits to record surpluses and enjoyed the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. In foreign affairs, he fostered the historic peace accord between Israel and Jordan, and helped promote the peace process in Northern Ireland. President Clinton dispatched American military forces to enforce the peace agreement in Bosnia and to avert impending genocide in Kosovo. On his orders American force was also used to disrupt terrorist activities in Sudan and Afghanistan. Prior to his election as president, he served five terms as Governor of Arkansas, a position to which he was first elected at the age of 32.

Born and raised in Dublin, Paul "Bono" Hewson was still in his teens when he answered an ad posted on a school bulletin board to join a fledgling rock band. It became one of the most original, best-loved rock groups of all time: U2. For many, U2's success came to symbolize a new prominence for Ireland in Europe and the world. Bono and U2 lent their support to African famine relief, to Amnesty International and the campaign against apartheid. U2 still fills arenas all over the world and Bono has continued to speak out for Third World debt forgiveness and to raise global awareness of the AIDS epidemic ravaging Africa. Unlike some artists who lend their celebrity to public causes, he has maintained his credibility by being scrupulously well-informed and articulate, and by keeping his sense of humor.


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Bill Clinton

The Honorable
William J. Clinton

42nd President of
the United States
Dublin, Ireland, 2002



Bono

Bono
Award-Winning Musician
and Humanitarian
Dublin, Ireland, 2002


One of the most admired men in American history, Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) enjoyed a successful career as a motion picture actor, appearing in 53 feature films, before serving two terms as Governor of California. His landslide election to the presidency in 1980 revived the Republican Party and brought a conservative philosophy of limited government to a dominant position in American politics. As President, he won the admiration of supporters and adversaries alike for his courage and resilience in recovering from an attempted assassination. When he ran for re-election, President Reagan carried 49 of the 50 states. His resolute opposition to the Soviet Union is widely credited with weakening the communist regime and bringing about the liberation of Central Europe. In this 1990 address to the Academy of Achievement, President Reagan discusses his early life and engages in an uninhibited discussion of current events with the Academy's student delegates.


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The Honorable Ronald W. Reagan

The Honorable
Ronald W. Reagan

40th President of
the United States
Chicago, Illinois, 1990


The most successful motion picture director of all time, Steven Spielberg first made his name as a master showman of adventure and fantasy, with blockbusters like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET: The Extraterrestrial. He entered a new phase in his career with The Color Purple, turning to literary and historic subjects, including some of the darkest chapters in human history. His wrenching drama of the Holocaust, Schindler's List, has become a landmark of world cinema. His research on the film led him to found the Shoah Foundation. To date, the Foundation has preserved the recollections of more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors whose testimony might otherwise have been lost to history. Steven Spielberg has continued to produce films at a prodigious pace, including his staggering recreation of D-Day, Saving Private Ryan. Extravaganzas like Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds proved he has not lost his touch with fantasy and science fiction, while his 2006 film, Munich, explores the challenge terrorism poses to civilization. His latest works find Spielberg in full command of his artistic powers, informed by a moral vision and human insight that grow deeper with the years. Here he tells the Academy of Achievement how he first fell in love with the power of the moving image.


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Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
Master Filmmaker
Los Angeles, California, 2006


Hear three renowned conservationists -- Dr. Sylvia Earle, Richard Leakey and John Morgridge -- in an impassioned discussion of "Global Warming and the Environment," recorded in Washington, D.C in 2007. The discussion is moderated by U.S. Congressman Edward J. Markey.

Sylvia Earle is the best-known woman marine scientist on the planet. Among other accomplishments, she has walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other human being. When she first began her career, many funding organizations refused to support a woman traveling with men on long scientific expeditions, so she organized and led an all-female crew at the Tektite II undersea research station. Her remarkable accomplishments have since won her a position in the oceanographic community that transcends boundaries. Botanist, biologist, conservationist, author and entrepreneur, Sylvia Earle has followed whales in the open sea, fought with sharks, and lived for weeks at a time on the floor of the sea. She has founded and led companies to produce undersea exploration technology, served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society.

Richard Leakey won fame as a paleoanthropologist while still in his early twenties, with sensational discoveries of the fossil remains of our most ancient ancestors. His subsequent career as an author, conservationist, government official and political activist of unyielding courage has been even more extraordinary. As Director of the National Wildlife Service of Kenya he curtailed an epidemic of elephant poaching that threatened the species with extinction. In 1993, a plane crash in mountainous country cost him both his legs. An expert pilot, Leakey had reason to suspect sabotage by vengeful poachers. Appalled with the corruption of his country's one-party government he founded an opposition movement. He was subjected to beatings, death threats and constant surveillance, but won a seat in Kenya's parliament, where he forced reform of the constitution and succeeded in enacting laws to protect the disabled. Now retired from politics, he remains a passionate and effective crusader for conservation, for the rights of the disabled, and for the cause of democracy in his beloved Kenya.

When John Morgridge joined Cisco Systems as President and CEO in 1988, the company was a four-year-old start-up with only 34 employees. Morgridge led the company through a period of spectacular growth, making Cisco the undisputed world leader in networking for the Internet. In over a decade as Chairman, Morgridge made Cisco hardware and software the essential components in the computer networks of business, government, education and industry. By the time he retired in 2006, the company employed more than 50,000 men and women in 77 countries. Morgridge created a unique company culture of innovation, empowerment and corporate citizenship, fostering the community involvement of Cisco employees. Morgridge has also championed innovative e-philanthropy programs, such as Netaid.org, a global partnership with the United Nations Development Program, designed to fight extreme poverty. Since retiring from Cisco Systems, John Morgridge has continued to focus on charitable efforts in education, conservation and human services. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Nature Conservancy, an international organization working to preserve the diversity of life on Earth.


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Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle, Ph.D.
Undersea Explorer
Washington, D.C., 2007






Richard Leakey

Richard Leakey
Paleoanthropologist and Environmentalist
Washington, D.C., 2007









John Morgridge

John Morgridge
Pioneer of Silicon Valley
Washington, D.C., 2007


Andre Agassi was prepared, literally from the cradle, to be a tennis champion. By age five, Andre was practicing with pros; at 16, he was a pro himself. In both 1995 and 1999, he was the top-rated player in the world. Over the course of his extraordinary career in professional tennis, Andre Agassi played on three Davis Cup-winning U.S. teams, won all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Tennis Masters Cup, in addition to an Olympic Gold Medal. Other tennis players have won some combinations of these honors, but in the history of the sport, Andre Agassi is the only champion to have won all of them. Time and again, he overwhelmed the competition with his inexhaustible endurance, exceptional timing and uncanny hand-eye coordination. He also earned a reputation as the most socially engaged player in professional tennis. In 1994 he founded the Andre Agassi Charitable Association in his home town of Las Vegas. His charitable projects have included a tuition-free K-12 college preparatory school for at-risk youth, a special residence for the developmentally disabled, and the area's only residential facility for abused and neglected children.


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Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi
Sportsman and Philanthropist
Washington, D.C., 2007


Jim Henson (1936-1990) created his first puppets as a teenager in Washington, D.C., and was soon building puppets for a local television station. By college, he was performing a live five-minute broadcast every night. He called his felt-covered foam rubber creations the Muppets and he endowed them with lifelike human expressions unprecedented in the ancient art of puppetry. In the 1960s Henson's Muppets, led by Kermit the Frog, won a national audience through their appearances on television variety shows. The Muppets made their most lasting impact on the children's educational program Sesame Street. The show has become an integral part of childhood in the United States and around the world, and Henson's characters -- Miss Piggy, Big Bird, the Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, and Oscar the Grouch -- are household names. In addition to their appearances on Sesame Street, the Muppets starred in their own prime time television program and a successful series of feature films. Still at the peak of his powers when he died suddenly at age 53, he remains the most famous and influential puppeteer in history.


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Jim Henson

Jim Henson
Creator of the Muppets
Scottsdale, Arizona, 1987


Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) grew up on the border of Montana and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, and his writing was deeply shaped by the life and landscape of the mountain West. His first novel, Remembering Laughter, was published in 1937 when he was 28, and he continued writing steadily for more than 50 years, while teaching writing at a succession if American universities, including Harvard and Stanford, where he founded the graduate writing fellowship that bears his name. At Stanford, he served as a mentor to a generation of American writers. His students included Tillie Olsen, Ken Kesey, Thomas McGuane, Larry McMurtry, Edward Abbey and Ernest Gaines. A noted environmentalist, he served in the Department of Interior in the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In 1972, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Angle of Repose. Over the course of his long career, he wrote more than a dozen novels, several volumes of short stories and 15 volumes of non-fiction, dealing with history, literature and nature.


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Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
New York City, 1991


Herman Wouk left a successful career as a radio comedy writer to enlist in the United States Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served as an officer throughout the war in the Pacific. While serving in the reserves after the war, he wrote his celebrated novel, The Caine Mutiny. The book ruled the best seller lists for a year and won him the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Wouk adapted it successfully for the stage as The Caine Mutiny Court Martial in 1954 and a successful film version appeared the same year. To date, he has written over a dozen novels, along with plays and non-fiction works on Judaism and Jewish history. Wouk spent nearly 16 years writing two monumental novels following a pair of fictional families through the actual events of World War II and the Holocaust -- The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Exhaustively researched, the books were praised by historians and loved by readers. When they were brought to the home screen in mini-series format, they were the most elaborate films ever made for television.


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Herman Wouk

Herman Wouk
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Washington, D.C., 1986


Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898-1988) was born in Rymanow, Poland, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and immigrated with his family to the United States in the first year of his life. After earning a Ph.D. in physics at Columbia University, he went to Europe, where the twin revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics were transforming our understanding of the universe. In Europe, he studied and worked alongside Erwin Schroödinger, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and the other titans of modern physics. Returning to the United States, he took up a professorship at Columbia, where he was to remain for most of his career, training successive generations of scientists. In 1944 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his application of the resonance method to the measurement of the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. His discoveries were fundamental to the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for internal medicine and to the creation of the laser and atomic clock. During World War II, he directed the Radiation Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, refining radar technology. As a visiting consultant with the Manhattan Project, he witnessed the detonation of the first atom bomb. After the war, he served as science advisor to President Truman, and was one of the founders of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and of the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN). As Chairman of the Columbia Physics Department, he oversaw the work of distinguished physicists such as Charles Townes and Leon Lederman. A beloved figure in the world of science, he received numerous awards for his commitment to the peaceful uses of atomic energy.


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I.I. Rabi

Isidor Isaac Rabi, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Nobel Prize in Physics
Washington, D.C., 1986


Today, computer video games are multi-billion dollar industry, a major part of the entertainment landscape, and an indispensable diversion for countless children and adults. It's easy to forget that virtually nothing of the kind existed in 1972 when Nolan Bushnell, an electrical engineering graduate and former amusement park worker, founded Atari Inc. with $500 of his own money. Atari hit the big time with Pong, the first mass-market computer game, and soon had over 35 games on the market. In the process of creating its pioneering gaming system, Atari developed much of the technology essential to the creation of the personal computer. Only four years after starting Atari, Bushnell sold the company to Warner Communications for roughly $30 million. He had already started a chain of combination pizza parlor-video arcades as an outlet for his games, and populated the restaurants with talking, singing, robot cartoon characters. Within a few years, his Pizza Time Theatre chain had taken the name of its most famous character, Chuck E. Cheese, and had become the favorite birthday party destination of America's children. Through his Catalyst Technologies Venture Capital Group, Bushnell has incubated a brace of technology and gaming companies, and developed the technology behind the popular MapQuest and Google Maps online navigation systems. Nolan Bushnell's ingenuity has transformed the way we live, work and play.


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Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell
Computer Game Pioneer
New Orleans, Louisiana, 1982


The most exciting and acclaimed playwright in American drama today, Suzan-Lori Parks is the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Audiences across the country relish her rich blend of fantasy, humor, history and legend, bursting with the music and wordplay of African American vernacular speech. The powerful theatricality of her work forces audiences to re-examine their thinking about race, sex, family, society and life itself. Her plays, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom and Venus, both won Off-Broadway's Obie Awards for Best Play. Topdog/Underdog opened on Broadway in 2002, bringing the playwright a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" and the Pulitzer Prize. Another writer might have choked on the expectations raised by her success; Parks responded by writing one short play every day for a year. The resulting work, 365 Plays/365 Days, has been produced by 700 theaters around the world, in venues ranging from street corners to opera houses. It is the largest grassroots collaboration in theater history.


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Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Washington, D.C., 2007


As a 27-year-old domestic policy aide to President Jimmy Carter, David Rubenstein earned a reputation for tireless dedication to his work. After leaving the White House, he brought the same inexhaustible energy to building the global private equity powerhouse known as the Carlyle Group. Over the years, former secretaries of state and defense, a former British prime minister -- even a President of the United States -- have served the group as directors or advisers. Although Carlyle earned an early reputation for expertise in defense and aerospace, its interests run the gamut: automotive and transportation, consumer and retail, energy and power, health care, telecom and media. David Rubenstein's matchless network of Washington contacts has given the Carlyle Group a powerful public image of authority and influence, but the most numerous beneficiaries of the group's investments are the millions of ordinary men and women whose pensions are invested in Carlyle funds.


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David M. Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein
Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
Washington, D.C., 2007


When Desmond Tutu became General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, he used his pulpit to decry the apartheid system of racial segregation. The South African government revoked his passport to prevent him from traveling, but Bishop Tutu refuse to be silenced. International condemnation forced the government to rescind their decision. He had succeeded in drawing the world's attention to the injustice of the apartheid system. In 1984, his contribution to the cause of racial equality in South Africa was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. As Archbishop of Cape Town, spiritual leader of all Anglican Christians in South Africa, his spiritual authority dealt a death blow to white supremacy in South Africa. As Chairman of the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he helped his country to bind up its wounds, and choose forgiveness over revenge. Now retired from his episcopate, he continues to raise his voice for peace and justice all over the world.


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Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Nobel Prize for Peace
Washington, D.C., 2007


In her 20 years at The Washington Post, national security correspondent Dana Priest has covered U.S. military missions around the world. In 2006, she received the Pulitzer Prize "for her persistent, painstaking reports" on CIA "black site" prisons, and other controversial features of the government's counterterrorism campaign, including the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and the "water boarding" of suspected terrorists. The following year, she brought to light the shocking conditions in outpatient facilities of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Within weeks of her exposé, the Secretary of the Army and the Commander of Walter Reed had been fired, and the Army's Surgeon General had resigned. Here, she discusses her journalistic career with the Academy's international student delegates at the U.S. State Department.


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Dana Priest

Dana Priest
Pulitzer Prize for Journalism
Washington, D.C., 2007

Hear four distinguished thinkers -- Benjamin Carson, Francis Collins, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett -- in a provocative discussion of "Science and Faith," recorded in Beverly Hills, California in 2006. The discussion is moderated by journalist Kathleen Matthews.

At age 32, Benjamin Carson became Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer in his field. In his operation on the Binder Siamese twins in 1987, he succeeded where all predecessors had failed, in separating twins joined at the head. Through his books and lectures, Dr. Carson eagerly shares the story of his success with young people. In his own words: "You do have the possibility of controlling your own destiny if you are willing to put in the appropriate amount of time and effort." Or, as he tells young people everywhere, "Think Big."

After completing a doctorate in chemistry, Francis Collins enrolled in medical school, determined to learn if the new discoveries in molecular biology could uncover the causes of hereditary illnesses. Dr. Collins developed techniques to map and identify genes that cause human diseases including cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease. For 15 years, he served as Director of the National Center for Human Genome Research, one of the largest undertakings in the history of science. Under his leadership, this effort charted the entire human genome, and is on its way to unlocking all of the mysteries of human heredity.

One the most influential scientists of our times, Richard Dawkins has been called "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his outspoken defense of evolutionary theory. His 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, brought about a revolutionary change of perspective, in which the gene itself is seen as the object of natural selection. He also introduced the term "meme," analogous to the gene, to explain how natural selection might account for the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena, giving rise to the theory of memetics. He has aired his critical view of religious belief and the role of religion in history in a television documentary, The Root of All Evil?, and in his 2006 book, The God Delusion.

From his original dissertation, Content and Consciousness, to his magnum opus, Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett has confronted the philosophical problem of individual awareness, synthesizing advanced research in neurology, psychology, linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence to construct a persuasive model for the neurological basis of consciousness. Since 1971, he has taught at Tufts University, where he is Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies. He continues to explore the implications of his groundbreaking ideas in Freedom Evolves and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.


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Benjamin S. Carson

Benjamin S. Carson M.D.
Pediatric Neurosurgeon
Beverly Hills, California, 2006

Francis S. Collins

Francis S. Collins, M.D.
Director
Human Genome Project
Beverly Hills, California, 2006

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, Ph.D.
Evolutionary Biologist
Beverly Hills, California, 2006

Daniel Dennett

Daniel C. Dennett, Ph.D.
Philosopher of Consciousness
Beverly Hills, California, 2006


As an international film star, Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) personified chic, cosmopolitan elegance, but she spent the last decades of her life traveling to the corners of the earth most afflicted by poverty, hunger and disease. Born in Belgium to a Dutch mother and a British father, she grew up in the Netherlands during the German occupation, and her memory of the hunger and deprivation of those years motivated her later efforts as a champion of the world's children. She received the Best Actress Oscar for her first appearance in an American film, Roman Holiday. After a dazzling career as the star of films such as Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady, she traveled the world as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund. In 1991, she addressed the Academy of Achievement at the United Nations, where she shared her views on the responsibility of service to the world's children.


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Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
Actress and Humanitarian
New York City, 1991


The legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys football team, Tom Landry (1924-2000) led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories. A native Texan, he was an All-Regional fullback in high school. During World War II, he flew 30 B-17 missions over Germany. After the war, he returned to Texas, and co-captained the University of Texas football team, earning All-Southwest Conference honors. He was an All-Pro with the New York Giants before becoming the team's defensive coach. He became the first head coach of the newly formed Dallas Cowboys in 1960, surviving one disastrous winless season before leading the team through 12 consecutive winning seasons. Over 29 seasons with the Cowboys, he earned the awe of his peers for his intricately calibrated strategy on the gridiron, revolutionizing the game in the years when football ascended to its peak of national popularity. Tom Landry was at the height of his success when he spoke to the Academy of Achievement, discussing his early career and the role of religious faith in his life.


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Tom Landry

Tom Landry
Football Hall of Fame
New Orleans, Louisiana, 1982


A pioneer of cable broadcasting, Robert Edward "Ted" Turner revolutionized the news media with the 1980 launch of CNN, the world's first live, 24-hour, all-news television network. An enthusiastic sportsman, Ted Turner won the America's Cup yacht race in 1977. Turner Broadcasting also owns major sport franchises, including the Atlanta Braves baseball team. When the Olympics were disrupted by politically motivated boycotts in the 1980s, Ted Turner created the Goodwill Games to provide a forum for international athletic competition beyond the reach of Cold War politics. He discusses many of these aspects of his career in this free-wheeling 1984 exchange with the Academy's honor students. After the 1996 merger of Turner Broadcasting with Time Warner, Turner headed the conglomerate's cable network division. In 1997, he made the historic pledge of $1 billion to the United Nations Foundation. Today he supports an array of international philanthropic and environmental activities as Chairman of the Turner Foundation Inc.


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Ted Turner

Ted Turner
Founder, Turner Broadcasting System
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1984


Francis H.C. Crick (1916-2004) was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962, along with James D. Watson for their discovery of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule, the building block of life. Acclaimed as their discovery was at the time, it has only grown in significance with the further development of molecular biology, and is now regarded as one of the most fundamental discoveries in the history of science. Crick was born in Northampton, England and graduated from the University of London, where he studied physics and mathematics. He served as a research scientist with the British Admiralty during World War II, and first took up the study of biology after the war. From 1947 until 1976, he worked for the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England. He conducted his doctoral research at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University, where James Watson and he made their historic discovery in 1953. From 1976 until his death, Dr. Crick carried on his research at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California and was a professor at the University of California, San Diego. After pioneering the fundamentals of molecular biology, his interests turned to neuroscience; his last years were devoted to exploring the biological basis of consciousness.


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Francis Crick

Francis H.C. Crick, Ph.D.
Nobel Prize in Medicine
Scottsdale, Arizona, 1987


The pre-eminent playwright of his era, August Wilson (1945-2005) was the author of a monumental cycle of ten dramas, chronicling African American life in the 20th century, with each play set in a different decade. Born in Pittsburgh to a German immigrant father and an African American mother, Wilson grew up in the impoverished Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He dropped out of school after ninth grade and educated himself in the public library, supporting himself as short-order cook while struggling to find his voice as a writer. The first of his plays to win national attention was Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. An enormous success on Broadway in 1984, it was followed by Fences and The Piano Lesson, both of which received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. August Wilson died shortly after completing Radio Golf, the last play in the series. It took more than 20 years for Wilson to complete his cycle of plays; they stand as an achievement without parallel in American drama.


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August Wilson

August Wilson
Two Pulitzer Prizes
for Drama
Nashville, Tennessee, 1988


Beginning as a young trainee at a funeral home, Steven J. Ross (1927-1992) effected an ingenious series of deals and mergers, building a publicly traded company that expanded into publishing and entertainment, acquiring businesses including DC Comics and Mad magazine, before taking over the ailing Warner-Seven Arts motion picture studio in 1969. Under Ross's leadership, the studio became Warner Communication Inc., a leader not only in motion pictures, but in the recording industry and cable television, creating a host of profitable subsidiaries, including MTV, Showtime and the Movie Channel. In this 1988 address to the Academy of Achievement, Ross describes the first steps in his extraordinary career. Only months after addressing the Academy, he engineered the most daring coup of all, merging Warner Communication with Time Inc. to create the largest media conglomerate in the world.


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Steven J. Ross

Steven J. Ross
Chairman and CEO
Time Warner
Nashville, Tennessee, 1988


When Turkish-born Ahmet Ertegun (1923-2006) came to the United States as a boy with his diplomat father, he fell in love with American music. Rather than returning with his family to Turkey a few years later, he remained and started a record label to record the jazz and blues music he loved. Starting in a one-room office in 1947, the upstart label, Atlantic Records, became the premier outlet for the new sounds of rhythm and blues. Atlantic also enjoyed a reputation for treating artists fairly in an era when musicians, especially African American ones, were routinely exploited and cheated of their earnings. Atlantic Records made stars of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, and its roster later expanded to include British rock acts such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. For his irreplaceable contributions to modern music, Ahmet Ertegun was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The company he founded remains one of the most vital forces in the music industry. In this 1988 address to the Academy of Achievement. Ahmet Ertegun discusses his early life, and the origins of the record label that changed American music.


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Ahmet Ertegun

Ahmet M. Ertegun
Founder and Chairman
Atlantic Records
Nashville, Tennessee, 1988


Philip H. Knight was an accounting student and middle-distance runner at the University of Oregon when he was seized with the idea of importing high-tech running shoes from Japan. It was not easy to persuade others that this was a promising business opportunity, but Knight took the idea to his track coach, Bill Bowerman. The two of them shook hands and agreed to start a small import business. At first, Knight sold the shoes out of the trunk of his car at high school track meets. From importing shoes, Knight soon gravitated to the idea of designing and manufacturing them with a company of his own, and Nike Inc. was born. Knight and his team created the revolutionary "waffle sole" by pouring rubber into a kitchen waffle iron, and introduced the new product at the 1972 U.S. Olympic trials. Knight built the company brilliantly through constant innovation, astute advertising and well-chosen endorsements. In only ten years, he built a billion-dollar business. Today the Nike "swoosh" is the most recognizable of trademarks, and Nike is the largest sports and fitness company in the world.


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Philip H. Knight

Philip H. Knight
Founder and Chairman
Nike Inc.
San Francisco, California 1989


The Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University, David Herbert Donald (1920-2009) also taught at Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Oxford and Columbia. He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, in 1961 for Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War, and again in 1988 for Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe, a study of the great American novelist of the 1930s. Professor Donald is best known for his works dealing with the era of the Civil War, especially the monumental Lincoln (1996), the first biography of Lincoln to draw on the complete collection of Lincoln's personal, presidential and legal papers. The enthralling biography remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for 14 weeks. He continued his examination of Lincoln's life and character with We Are Lincoln Men, a study of the 16th President as seen through the eyes of his closest friends. Speaking at the International Achievement Summit on the eve of the 2000 United States presidential election, Professor Donald discussed the qualities he believed voters should look for in a presidential candidate.


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David Herbert Donald, Ph.D.

David Herbert Donald, Ph.D.
Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography
London, England, 2000


When Katie Couric joined The Today Show in 1991, the oldest of America's morning news programs was floundering in the ratings, but her cheerful personality and unpretentious charm quickly made it the most popular morning show in America. As Co-Anchor of Today, her in-depth interviews with U.S. Presidents and other world leaders became news events in their own right. When her husband died of colon cancer in 1998, the whole nation grieved with her. This heartfelt connection with the American public made her an invaluable spokesman for cancer research and detection. Her multi-part documentary report, "Confronting Colon Cancer," was recognized with a Peabody Award, the most coveted honor in television news. After 15 years with The Today Show, she was selected to serve as anchor of the CBS Evening News. She is the first woman to serve as sole anchor of a prime time network television broadcast in the United States. Katie Couric is the highest-paid journalist in the world, but beyond the recognition of the industry and the respect of her peers, she has won the affection of a nation.


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Katie Couric

Katie Couric
Co-Anchor
"The Today Show"
New York City, 2005


An exceptional journalist may be honored with one Pulitzer Prize in a long career. Thomas Friedman has already received three: two for International Reporting and a third for Commentary. Over the years, he has covered a coup in Turkey, the Iran-Iraq War, the civil war in Lebanon, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and terror attacks in Israel and America. He joined The New York Times in 1981 as a business reporter. Since then he has served as Bureau Chief in Lebanon and Israel, Chief White House Correspondent and Chief Economics Correspondent. He is now the paper's Foreign Affairs Columnist. Television audiences know him from his frequent appearances on current affairs programs, including the PBS News Hour, Face the Nation and Charlie Rose. His book on the turbulent Middle East, Beirut to Jerusalem, won the National Book Award in 1989. His international bestseller, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, has been called "the best book ever written on globalization." Here, he discusses his 2005 book, The World is Flat.


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Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman
Pulitzer Prizes for International Reporting
and Commentary
New York City, 2005


In novels such as the modern classic, Beloved, Toni Morrison has fused history and legend, realism and fantasy, to craft an epic saga of African American life. Although her work is steeped in local history and folklore, the fundamental human values of her art have captured the hearts of readers around the world. She completed her first novel, The Bluest Eye, while raising two children on her own and working full time as an editor at Random House in New York. She received the National Book Critics Award for her second novel, Sula. Her third, Song of Solomon, attracted an international audience and received the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, Morrison was honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is the first African American to receive this honor, and the first black woman of any country. Now a Professor in the Council of Humanities at Princeton University, her novel, Love, appeared in 2003. Her opera, Margaret Garner, had its world premiere in 2005.


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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison
Nobel Prize for Literature
New York City, 2005


For two months in 1994, Paul Rusesabagina held insanity at bay as he watched his country fall into the grips of genocide. A Hutu manager of a luxury hotel in Rwanda, he sheltered over 1,200 people, including his own Tutsi wife and children, saving their lives at a time when extremists massacred more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi tribe, along with more moderate Hutus, in just 100 days. While militants threatened and surrounded the hotel, he spent hours on the phone, pleading with influential leaders, his international connections his only defense against attack. He bartered luxury items-such as money, gold, cigars, and aged bottles of wine he had hoarded in the hotel-for the lives of strangers seeking refuge in the chaos. Miraculously, no one housed in the hotel died. His wrenching story was chronicled in the critically acclaimed film, Hotel Rwanda, a riveting account of a man finding courage within himself to save others in the midst of his country's darkest moment.


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Paul Rusesabagina

Paul Rusesabagina
Hero of "Hotel Rwanda"
New York City, 2005


At age 44, George Tenet became the youngest man ever to lead the CIA. He studied at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Columbia's School of International Affairs and took a job on the staff of Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz. Two years later, he became staff director of the Senate Intelligence committee where he helped create the independent audit unit which oversees the CIA's secret accounts. He left the Senate Intelligence committee to work on President Clinton's national security transition team. After the inauguration, he was the principal adviser on intelligence in the National Security Council. In 1995, President Clinton named him deputy director of central intelligence. Two years later, he was nominated for the top job at the CIA. The U.S. Senate approved his nomination without a single dissenting vote. As Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet enjoyed the trust and respect of both political parties. Though it has become customary for incoming Presidents to replace the sitting CIA director, George Tenet was considered so essential that President George W. Bush gladly retained him in office. When he returned to private life in 2004, Director Tenet was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here, we hear George Tenet in conversation with the host of MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews.


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The Honorable George Tenet

The Honorable George Tenet
Presidential Medal of Freedom
New York City, 2005


One of the most beloved performers in the world, Julie Andrews starred in the original Broadway productions of My Fair Lady and Camelot, and won the Oscar for Best Actress in her first film, Mary Poppins. Perhaps the greatest triumph of her career came with the leading role in The Sound of Music, one of the most popular motion pictures of all time. Her crystalline singing voice, wholesome appeal, natural elegance and sly humor made her a top box office draw around the world. She has enjoyed continued success on the screen in films such as The Princess Diaries. Over 30 years ago, she embarked on a second career as an author of children's books. She was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for her extraordinary career, and for her service to charities such as UNIFEM, Save the Children and Operation USA.


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Dame Julie Andrews

Dame Julie Andrews
Legend of Stage and Screen
Chicago, Illinois, 2004


Kenneth E. Behring is the modern incarnation of a great tradition, the self-made man who applies his fortune for the good of all society. He began his career selling cars at age 17, and opened his own dealership at age 24. His enormous success as a developer of planned communities in Florida and California allowed him to become active in philanthropic causes. He established the Museum of Art, Science and Culture in partnership with the University of California. His $100 million gift to the Smithsonian Institution was the largest such donation in history. Here he discusses his latest project, Wheelchairs for the World, addressing the desperate need of more than 100 million disabled people around the globe.


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Kenneth Behring

Kenneth E. Behring
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Chicago, Illinois, 2004


Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Maureen Dowd has made a national reputation as a sharp-eyed -- and sharp-tongued -- observer of the capital scene. The daughter of a city policeman, she graduated from Washington's Catholic University in 1973, and went to work for the town's oldest paper, the venerable Evening Star. Since 1995, she has written a regular column for The New York Times. One of the most admired and imitated of the younger columnists, she is noted for her acerbic style and for her even-handed toughness with all players in the political game. Every President since Ronald Reagan has felt the sting of her criticism. She was awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for her commentary on the impeachment of President Clinton. "A pathological truth-teller," Maureen Dowd has called herself. Her journalistic motto: "No one is safe."


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Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd
Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
Chicago, Illinois, 2004


Burt Rutan has been called the most influential aircraft designer in America. A former project engineer at the Air Force Flight Test Center, he founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory to develop light aircraft. His unorthodox designs were adopted by a small army of homebuilders who revered him as a populist of aeronautics, bringing aviation to the masses. He made history with the Voyager, the first plane to circle the globe without refueling. His latest cause is the most dramatic of all, a new space program, completely independent of government funding. In view of the long decline of public sector support for space travel, Rutan argues that private individuals must step forward to fulfill mankind's historic mission of exploration. Within days of his address to the Academy, Rutan made good on his plan and launched SpaceShip One, the first privately funded space flight.


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Burt L. Rutan

Burt L. Rutan
Aeronautical Engineer
Chicago, Illinois, 2004


Antonin Scalia was the first American of Italian heritage to be appointed to the Supreme Court. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, he has taught at the University of Virginia and at Stanford. When President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1986, the Senate approved the nomination unanimously. His forceful personality, sharp wit and manifest love of legal debate have made him an unusually vivid presence in the traditionally somber atmosphere of the United States Supreme Court. He is frequently characterized as the most conservative justice, but he has always placed adherence to the letter of the law above political ideology.

Justice Scalia is heard here in discussion with 200 students from around the world, moderated by Chris Matthews, newspaper columnist and host of the MSNBC program Hardball.


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Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia
Associate Justice
U.S. Supreme Court
Washington, D.C., 2003


Hamid Karzai has won the support of the world community for rebuilding a stable, peaceful Afghanistan. He was born to a prominent position in his society, but he won his present role by fearless dedication to the cause of Afghanistan as a free and united modern nation. In October 2001, Karzai raised an armed revolt against the Taliban. He had a single satellite phone for communication, his troops lacked basic supplies, and he had no certainty of outside support. He narrowly escaped capture by the Taliban, and was himself wounded by a stray American bomb, but by December the Taliban were beaten. Rival factions set aside their differences and in June 2002, the traditional Afghan Grand Council -- the Loya Jirga -- overwhelmingly ratified the choice of Hamid Karzai as Head of State.


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His Excellency Hamid Karzai

His Excellency Hamid Karzai
President of Afghanistan
Dublin, Ireland, 2002


Within a year of earning his doctorate, Donald Johanson made news around the world with a discovery that dramatically altered our understanding of human evolution. The fossilized bones of a creature Johanson called Lucy constitute the oldest, most complete specimen of an extinct species which was not human, but from which the human race may be descended. Johanson has become one of the dominant figures in the world of paleoanthropology, and his books and television appearances have given a mass audience a tantalizing glimpse of the mysterious origin of our species. Today, Donald Johanson is Director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.


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Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D.

Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D.
Discoverer of "Lucy"
Dublin, Ireland, 2002


Olivia De Havilland is one of the greatest stars in motion picture history. Born into an illustrious English family, she was brought to San Francisco at the age of two. While still in her teens, she created a sensation in a local production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and won a long-term contract with Warner Brothers studios. She became an immediate success in motion pictures, starring in a well-loved series of romantic adventure films: Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Santa Fe Trail and They Died With Their Boots On. Over the course of "a dazzling cinematic career that spans four decades," she earned five Academy Award nominations, including one for her unforgettable role as Melanie in Gone With the Wind, and received two Best Actress Oscars for her performances in The Heiress and To Each His Own.


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Olivia De Havilland

Olivia De Havilland
Two Oscars for Best Actress
Washington, DC, 2001


Frank McCourt (1931-2009) taught in the public schools of New York City for 27 years before publishing his first book at age 66. That book, Angela's Ashes, a memoir of his impoverished boyhood in Limerick, Ireland, shot to the top of the best-seller lists and remained there for over a year. It also won McCourt the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for biography. Angela's Ashes has sold over 4 million copies, has been published in 27 countries and translated into 17 languages. His subsequent books, 'Tis and Teacher Man, continued the story of his life and shot to the top of the best-seller lists as soon as they were published.


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Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt
Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Washington, DC, 1999


America's leading designer in the classic tradition, Ralph Lauren grew up in the Bronx, son of a Russian immigrant mural painter. He showed a flair for fashion while still in his teens and earned his first commission at age 15, designing warm-up jackets for his baseball team. He dropped out of college at 22 and became a tie salesman. In 1967 he broke with the prevailing fashion for dark, narrow ties and launched his own line, Polo, introducing unprecedented color and variety to men' s fashion. He quickly progressed to a complete line of Polo menswear, and moved on to womenswear, boyswear, girlswear, fragrances and home furnishings, all part of a unified vision, exemplified by his flagship store, a sumptuously restored mansion on New York's Madison Avenue. He has built hundreds of Polo stores around the world, and continues to defy trends and fads to remain true to his own vision of freedom, comfort and timeless elegance.


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Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren
King of American Sportswear
San Francisco, 1989


Owner of Chez Panisse, "the nation's most widely-acclaimed restaurant," Alice Waters has transformed modern cooking. She first became inspired by great food and the culture surrounding it on a trip to France at age 19. After earning a degree in French Cultural Studies at the University of California, she traveled throughout France, then returned to Berkeley, California. At first, she intended to be a teacher, but she soon found she preferred cooking to teaching, and decided to open a neighborhood bistro like those she had loved in the south of France. It was eight years before Chez Panisse showed a profit, but in time, food lovers sought it out, and restaurant chefs in other cities began to imitate her approach. Her interest in serving the finest produce in season taught her that foods grown organically, in environmentally sound conditions would produce the best flavors. Today, she encourages American families to eat together and take an interest in what they eat, how it is grown and prepared.


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Alice Waters

Alice Waters
A Culinary Revolution
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1998


Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Color of Money, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino. A list of films directed by Martin Scorsese is a roll call of some of the most exciting, powerful, personal motion pictures ever made. By his own account, Martin Scorsese was a "sickly kid" with asthma who watched the world unfold from the window of his parents' small apartment in New York's Little Italy. His parents hoped he would become a priest, but he left the seminary for film school. Today, he is acclaimed as the most talented director in America. He received a long-awaited Best Director Oscar for his 2006 film The Departed.


Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese
Master Filmmaker
New York, New York, 1991


The oldest son of a Marine Corps fighter pilot, Pat Conroy recalled his father's strict discipline in his novel, The Great Santini. His education at the South Carolina military academy, the Citadel, inspired another novel, The Lords of Discipline. Both books were made into outstanding motion pictures. Conroy's struggles to teach poor black children on an isolated island community while fighting the indifference of an unsympathetic local school board is recalled in a memoir, The Water is Wide, which became the film Conrack. A recent novel, The Prince of Tides became both a best-selling book and a major motion picture. Again and again, Pat Conroy has transformed the rich experiences of his own life into stories that have captured the imagination of the American public.


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Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy
Award-Winning Author
Glacier Park, Montana, 1993


Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman ever to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Yet when she first graduated with honors from Stanford University Law School, third in her class, the only job she was offered by a law firm was to work as a legal secretary. She found work as a deputy county attorney in California, before moving to Arizona, where she opened her own law firm. She was elected to the Arizona legislature and became majority leader of the Arizona Senate. She served as Attorney General of the State of Arizona and was elected Superior Court Judge in Phoenix. In 1981, President Reagan appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2006, she retired from the Court after 25 years of distinguished service.


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Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Scottsdale, Arizona, 1987


From 1961 to 2003, William K. Coors served as Chairman of the Adolph Coors Company of Golden, Colorado. The grandson of brewery founder Adolph Coors, he joined the family firm in 1939, where he pioneered the development of the recyclable aluminum can. He assumed the chairmanship and presidency of the Coors Company in 1961, shortly after his older brother, Adolph Coors III, was murdered in a bungled kidnapping attempt. Rising above this senseless tragedy, William Coors led the company through an unprecedented period of expansion, one that ultimately transformed a little known local brewery into the nation's third largest, a massive, vertically integrated business that included Coors Transportation, Coors Container (the largest single can plant in the world) and the Coors Food Products Company. He led the way in making the Coors Company energy self-sufficient, and expanded the company's program of aluminum recycling, at one point recovering and recycling as much as 85 percent of its cans, while handling a third of the nation's recycled aluminum. Even after retiring from the Board of Directors in 2003, he remained active in the company, working well into his 90s as a senior technical adviser.


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William K. Coors

William K. Coors
Chairman, Adolph Coors Co.
Dallas, Texas, 1981


Barbara Walters made history in 1975 when she became the first woman ever to anchor a network new broadcast. She had already earned the respect of the television public as co-host of the Today Show, where her professionalism as an interviewer broke new ground for women in broadcasting. She has won international fame for her exclusive interviews with world leaders and is today widely regarded as "the most influential woman in television."


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Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters
Broadcast Journalist
New York, New York, 1991


For 25 years, Larry King was the host of Larry King Live on the CNN cable television network. From an early age, he dreamed of becoming a broadcaster, but found no opportunities in his native New York. At age 23, he took a bus to Miami and found a job sweeping floors at a radio station. His first break came when a disc jockey suddenly quit, and he was asked to replace him. King eventually attracted the attention of larger radio stations, and in 1978 began hosting The Larry King Show, a live nationwide phone-in program. His unique and often controversial style quickly attracted a faithful following of millions. In 1985, he agreed to a similar program for CNN, the first live worldwide phone-in television talk show. Larry King Live became a favorite venue for celebrities and political leaders from around the world and Larry King became one of the most respected and honored personalities in broadcasting.


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Larry King

Larry King
Broadcasters' Hall of Fame
Sun Valley, Idaho, 1996


Charles Krulak commanded a platoon and two rifle companies in Vietnam, was Commanding Officer of the Counter -Guerrilla Warfare School in Okinawa and Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. He was serving as Deputy Director of the White House Military Office when he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1988. He served as Commander of Marine Forces in the Pacific until 1995, when he was promoted to full general and became the 31st man to serve as Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1999, he enjoyed a second career as Chairman and CEO of MBNA Europe Bank Ltd.


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General Charles C. Krulak (USMC, Ret.)

General Charles C. Krulak (USMC, Ret.)
31st Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Sun Valley, Idaho, 1996