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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


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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Alan Simpson

Statesman and Advocate

There were 2.9 million human beings who were brought out of the dark, who were living in an illegal society -- they were living illegally in a legal society, and nobody knew they were illegal. They were working in jobs. Some of them were businessmen. So when we put together the Simpson-Rodino, Simpson-Mazzoli bill, we said, "Anyone here before the date -- we set the date -- January 1st, 1982, is hereby given amnesty, and can remain in the United States. Come forward, get temporary papers. Then temporary resident, then permanent resident." And about once a month one of those 2.9 million people from somewhere come up to me in a cab and they say, "Hey, I'm here. Here I am. And you did that. " And I saw at Harvard the other day, beautiful couple, boy and a girl, different race, and this young man said, "My two parents were legalized under your bill." And she said, "My two parents were legalized under your bill, and we're just here to thank you." And they're both Harvard students. I said, "God, I've taken a lot of crap in life, but every time I get one of those, you know, that's it." So that is truly the most gratifying. And it happens quite often. Cab drivers jump out to say, "Hey Simpson, is that you?" I say, "Yeah." "Well, I was living the life of Reilly, except I wasn't legal, and now, since then " and then they tell you what they're doing.
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Alan Simpson

Statesman and Advocate

The American Dream is still there, and don't let them equate it with greed. Because if you stop to think about it, I always say, "Don't forget what makes American great." They say, "What?" I say, "Greed." Now stop a minute and think what happened in the toughest times. Robber barons, child labor. Carnegies, Mellons, Rockefellers, but what did they do? When they got it, they realized, "Wait a minute. There is a social obligation here." Carnegie put a library in every country in America, a Carnegie library. Mellon took his money and put it into America, and the Rockefellers put their money into America. But in the early generations it was guilt about their accumulation that made them do that. Now you've got the new guys, and Gates is feeling the heat. Like, "What are you going to do with all that money? Why don't you get off your fanny?" So Turner set the tone for that. Turner's put up a billion bucks. For what? The U.N. or something. This is great. This is the new guys who have scored it up and now they're getting heat. These kids ask these guys, "Well, now you all made a ton of money, what are you doing with it?" "We're plowing it back in the business." I know, and what's that for? "That's for jobs." They hear that, but they want to see them do a little something charitably and socially, and they are. So the wheel goes around, and it's still the American Dream, and it's still about capitalism and freedom, and doing crazy things, and building goofy things and whatever. But you've got to be about half goofy, and it's fun to do that.
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