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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


Harold Prince

Broadway Producer and Director

The next time around, they had broken up. Tim was working on Chess, and Andrew wanted to do Phantom of the Opera. I was sitting in a restaurant, and he was sitting at the next table with Sarah Brightman, to whom he was then married, and he said, "Come over and have coffee," and he said, "I am thinking of Phantom of the Opera as a musical. What do you think?," and I said, "It is the perfect time for a romantic musical. Perfect. There hasn't been a romantic musical in years, and that's what I would like to see." That's often a criterion. I very often do what I wish I could see when I went to the theater. So it is sort of make your own theater really, and I signed on immediately, and we spent the next two years working on it. I spent a lot of flights back and forth to London. The scenery itself took nine flights there, and about three for (designer) Maria Bjornson. It needed to take an audience where an audience probably could not remember being, but it needed to take them back to being me, seeing Orson Welles at the age of eight in Julius Caesar. You needed to go in there and say, "I've just lost all my problems," all the years of patina that have developed, and crust, and just be in this other world, and insofar as it does that, it seems to have succeeded in its objective.
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Dan Rather

Broadcast Journalist

I was always interested in newspapers. I can't remember a time when I wasn't. I believe that comes from the fact that my father -- who worked with his back and his hands, as well as his heart, but he was basically a laborer, and who had not finished high school -- considered newspapers as the poor man's university, and he was an avid reader of newspapers, along with my Uncle John, who is now deceased, but my father's younger brother. And they would read the newspapers and then argue, debate, discuss way into the night such things as the rise of Nazism, Hitler's Mein Kampf, the book that Hitler wrote. They discussed world affairs, national affairs. They had almost a knock-down, drag-out fight over whether Franklin Roosevelt should run for a third term. I remember that very well. So I was interested in newspapers because my father, I think, was interested in newspapers. And my mother read as well, but my father really devoured newspapers.
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Dan Rather

Broadcast Journalist

One summer -- I can't remember my age but I couldn't have been more than seven or eight -- at the local park -- we called her "the lady in the park." Looking back on it, she was a social worker hired by the city, and she was just "the lady at the park." She came around and talked to you and tried to find out what you were interested in. The lady in the park talked to me one day about books. She read me something out of a children's book and then asked me if I'd like to go to the library. Now at that age, and that time, at that place, she may as well have been talking about Xanadu. I don't think I'd heard of a library, although my parents had books somehow or another, but I said, "Well yes. I'd like to go to the library." And she organized a little trip for two or three of us to the Heights Library on Heights Boulevard, which was indeed a magic place, and that was lucky for me. I loved it. It was obvious to the lady in the park that I loved it and she took me back there a number of times that summer, and near the end of the summer asked me if I would like to go to the main library downtown. And we took the 8th Street shuttle bus up Heights Boulevard to Washington Avenue and then transferred to the big bus and went to the main library. Such a place I had never seen. It seemed a kind of combination castle out of King Arthur's time and about as close as a child could imagine heaven to be. I remember we checked out Paul Bunyan. I had a library card by this time from the Houston Heights Library and I was allowed to check out one book from the main library and I checked out Paul Bunyan. Looking back on it, it was a decisive time for me, because it really turned me on to books and a lifetime of reading.
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Dan Rather

Broadcast Journalist

There was a kind of recession on and I had a very hard time finding a job. In answer to your question, you know, when did I know broadcasting was going to be the way, I interviewed for a lot of jobs when I came out of the Marines and got none, and I was beginning to get desperate. You know, I was working odd jobs to keep my head above water. I got what -- looking back on it -- amounted to a tryout with the Houston Chronicle. This was the big thing. The Chronicle was the biggest newspaper. And here I was within spitting distance of the dream at the Chronicle, but the Chronicle owned a radio station, a big 50,000 watt radio station. Looking back on it, they quickly figured out -- I think partly because I was such a poor speller -- that I wasn't going to be a newsroom star at the Houston Chronicle. But I had worked at the radio station in Huntsville for three years so I went to work, if you will, at the Chronicle's radio station. And when I got to the radio station -- this was not my dream job, it was just -- it was a full-time job, full-time work. A guy named Bob Hart was the news director there, and he gave me a break. He put me on and I loved it from the second I got into it. I mean, this was a real reporting job! I covered city hall, police beat, local courts. It was real reporting. Real beat reporting.
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George Rathmann

Founding Chairman, Amgen

I can remember at the ages of 8, 9 and 10, my brother going into science. He was quite a bit older than I was. My brother-in-law being in medical research at Lilly, things like that. But I was actually, about that time, I was also reading medical books and the popular type of books, Paul de Kruif and Microbe Hunters and things like that, Pasteur and Ehrlich, and that was a huge stimulus to think about medical research. I never stopped thinking about it. I got myself into more physics and chemistry along the way. Some of the excitement there was learning how to create explosive reactions whenever you wanted to, in a way that you were pretty sure wasn't going to hurt you. Fortunately I never was even close to being injured. In high school and those days, those adventures sometimes were rather painful, when people got semi-disabled with fingers and other things. So it's not a very good role model for people. But getting your hands on early chemicals and physical experiments is a really stimulating part, experiencing it yourself. So there's a whole combination of things that involve role models, and people would give you stimulus by their objections. My brother-in-law, in my case, would set up little experiments so he could build some kind of a projector with a few little objects, and all of a sudden you were really creating something. That's very exciting, and if you happen to be susceptible to this, as I was, it leaves an imprint that never goes away. So I was probably fascinated from maybe an 8-year-old age right on up.
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George Rathmann

Founding Chairman, Amgen

When you get to a large company -- even though you started as a tiny company -- when you get to a large company, you know full well they can get along without you. And that's great. That's the way it has to be. But when you look at a small new one, you get the feeling that it could go under, or it could fail to see anywhere near its full potential. So you can make a huge difference. And it may be arrogance. There's certainly an element of pride there. But I think it's a fun thing to think about all the things you might be able to do -- and you find out. Of course, you get this impression anyway when you start dealing with people and they say, "Oh my gosh, you've done that already, and you've done that already. Ah, if you'd just tell me about how to do this." I spent two-and-a-half hours this morning -- that's why I missed the morning session -- because somebody heard I was going to be in Phoenix, and they just wanted to talk to me about their new company. We talked for a couple hours on a company that has five employees, but they've got a long way to go. And they can make it. I mean, they can make it. They just need to get encouragement, and I don't want to join that board. I've got plenty to do. But at least once in a while, when you see that the person needs more than advice; he needs maybe some leadership and some direct involvement by somebody, then you feel like, "I think I'd like to do it." But it's hard to make a difference when you're just going to be an advisor. I may make a difference in that company this morning. May happen again and again, because a lot of people come by. But I always have the fear that a little bit of advice could be very dangerous. Whereas, you put yourself into it, it's your life. Then what you do is probably going to be more productive. So you get the feeling -- I still have the feeling that this new company -- there's a lot of things I can do there. I've been there now 120 days. I probably have ten years of work ahead of me to make sure that it realizes its full potential, but that's very exciting. I think that's what is exciting.
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