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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


Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

Courage is merely a matter of being committed and being prepared to pay the price, whatever it is, for what you want to have happen. And when you're really committed and when you love what you do, you will pay that price. I always want to say that for my company, I would probably stand in front of a truck and start shooting at it to stop it because I wanted to defend the company. I viewed it as my responsibility to the people and the mission and the goals. And if my personal price was too high, I was prepared to pay it nevertheless, on behalf of the whole concept about what I was about.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Frank McCourt: I think I was always attracted to writing. I always wanted to write because for me it was magic to get a piece of paper and put words on it. As I'm always saying, to put together words that were never before put together by anybody. To take two words that were never joined together like a "scintillating turnip." I would put words together like that just to keep the language fresh. When I was nine or ten I was trying to write a detective novel, an English detective novel, set in London, which I had never seen. All I knew about London was what I read in English detective novels. So I was always up to something like that, and writing little playlets that I'd make my brothers act in.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

It would have been easier to do what my three brothers did, go into the bar business. Go up there and meet glamorous men and beautiful women on the East Side and stay out all night drinking and have brunch with some long-legged creature from Boston. No. I thought of that but then I thought of the kids in the classroom, and there was something more appealing about that. And besides I wanted to get through. I wanted to get through to them and I wanted things to click, and sometimes in the -- there's something that happens in a classroom that I know actors experience and artists, in general. There's some time when you make a breakthrough, and some light goes on. One day in McKee I made a breakthrough of some kind, and for me there was kind of a white blazing light in the room and I went, "Jesus, this is absolutely orgasmic in an intellectual and emotional sense."
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David McCullough

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

I think what we must do in education, for example, is to bring the lab techniques used in science to the teaching of the humanities, to the teaching of history, and English, and journalism, and the arts. That's the great thing about the arts. You don't learn to paint, except by painting. You don't learn to play the piano, except by playing the piano. By the same token, I think you become an historian, I think you become a scholar by being required to do original scholarly work, original detective work of a kind that's involved with doing scholarly research. And once you do that, once you get on that track, you catch the bug, and you find out that this is really exciting.
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David McCullough

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

Time and place. You, all of us, each of us, is limited to how much time we have on Earth by the biological clock. Now do we want, therefore, to have the experience of being alive constrained to that time only? No. It would be like saying, "You live there. You must stay in that one spot where you are in space all of your life." So you are no more required to stay in one spot in time than you are in space and that time travel you can do is in history. It's in the past, which is the larger experience of humankind on Earth. And the past isn't just history in the usual literal sense. It's music, art, history. It's culture, language, culture, and you can experience all of that, the more you know, because you can go back as far as you want, out as far as you want, and suddenly you're infinitely more alive, and that's what history is about. History is about life, about people.
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David McCullough

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

I try to do the research, up to maybe the point where I think 60-some percent of it is done, and then I begin writing. And it's in the writing that you begin to find out what you need to know, and what you don't know, and it's perhaps circumstantial, but I don't think so. I try to write four good pages a day. That's double space, typewritten pages. I still work on a typewriter, a manual typewriter, because I love the feeling of making something with my hands. Maybe it's because I started out as a painter and a sculptor. I like the feeling of working physically with my hands, and I also like the idea that if there is a power failure, or if something happens, that I won't be unplugged. I can keep working. I am the power source, not that plug in the wall. And, I love it when you swing the bar, and that little bell rings. It's like an old trolley car. And I also am superstitious about many things concerned with the craft, and I think I find most writers are -- many much more so than I am. And, I've written all my books on that typewriter, and it probably has 250,000 miles on it now.
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