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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


John Sexton

Education & Law

John Sexton: I grew up at the beach in Brooklyn. So this is an unadorned carefully honed Brooklyn accent. And notwithstanding the fact that my dad was a professional, and my mother had gone to college and graduate school -- she came from a very odd family background. There were six children. My grandparents -- my maternal grandparents ran a grocery store, and there were three girls and then three boys. And the three girls, for a reason that has never been explained to me, all went to college and graduate school and the three boys didn't. They stopped their education at or before high school graduation.
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John Sexton

Education & Law

I would hope that the American Dream, increasingly, will become not a dream that is self-serving, but is a dream that can lose the adjective "American." Okay? Because what is the dream? And there will be an embrace of the other. I think -- my great teacher said to me this great maxim -- another musical metaphor -- play another octave of the piano. I think Americans, especially, have to become more acutely aware of the need to be humble, the need to listen, the need to embrace the other. And I think that there will be a transformation, gradually, if things work out as I hope they will, to different kinds of satisfactions that aren't so tied up with the material satisfactions. This connects to the life of a teacher, again. And, you know, when we get to a world where people can understand that it's a more fulfilling life to be a teacher than to be an investment banker, then maybe we'll be closer to a world where we can understand better that the American Dream should be a dream that raises the standard of living in Delhi, and that there's nothing wrong with that.
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Neil Sheehan

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

It was like going to war. I mean, the strain, the tensions on you were tremendous. First of all, we were in the Hilton Hotel working on this thing for two months before we published, and the strains, they were horrendous. It was a huge amount of material. You had to boil it down, decide what was the most important stuff. Then you had to hand that out to four reporters, each of whom wrote three pieces approximately. And then you were up against the situation where, as soon as the executive editor got the go from the publisher, he was going to go. And then we got into this legal battle, and you had all the tension of that. I remember the day the Supreme Court decided in our favor, that night I went down to the press room to see the presses roll -- and then the presses were in The New York Times building on West 43rd Street -- and what a wonderful thing it was to see these giant presses start to roll and the paper come off! It reaffirmed your faith in America and in the freedoms we ought to enjoy, and it reaffirmed your faith in the worth of American journalism, of free journalism in a free country.
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Neil Sheehan

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

I got a scholarship to a boys' school called Mount Hermon then, now called Northfield Mount Hermon. If you were young and male at that time, you could advance in that world, because the wealthy people in New England -- who were referred to as the "Yankees" by the Irish -- were real social democrats. They believed in social democracy. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to this boys' school for my last two years of high school, and then I got into Harvard and got a scholarship to Harvard because I came out very high in my class. I had to. It was the gate out of the pasture. You either made it or you were stuck.
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Neil Sheehan

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

My mother came from Ireland when she was 17 years old in 1924. She worked as a housekeeper for ten years before she married my father, and she did not want her children to be farmers. She wanted them to be educated, and she encouraged me to apply. So I went to the public library, and I got the catalogue of private schools, and I applied to a whole bunch of them. I went down to Andover, and I took the exam and flunked the algebra, and they told me I could come. I'd have to take algebra, but no scholarship. Well, that meant I couldn't go. Then I went to Mount Hermon, and they didn't have any mathematics on their entrance exam. My mother drove me up for the exam. I remember she said the rosary all the way up and all the way back. I did well on the entrance exam, and they offered me a full scholarship. Well, not full. I had to come up with $250, which I earned in a hayfield. So I spent junior and senior year at Mount Hermon, which is now Northfield Mount Hermon.
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Donna Shirley

Mars Exploration Program

The feminist movement, the women's movement in this country, has been very powerful for people like me. The whole language, the whole environment, has changed so much in the last 35 years while I've been doing this stuff. I mean, when I first came to JPL it was de rigeur for everybody to smoke cigars. And, we literally had our meetings in cigar smoke-filled rooms, and that was a very macho thing. You know, you lit up your cigar and all this sort of stuff. And, there was just a lot of macho around the Cold War. The Cold Warriors were very macho. And now, you know, Vietnam and the '70s and the women's movement and everything, there's just a whole different climate about the opportunities for women. Aerospace is still one of the weaker places in opportunities for women, but Silicon Valley I mean, they are so desperate for talent that they don't care what sex you are. You just go in and do it.
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