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Nora Ephron

Humorist, Novelist, Screenwriter and Director

My first memory of my mother, which of course came up very easily when I was in therapy, was of her teaching me to read. Your first memory of each of your parents is a kind of key to many things about your life, and mine is: I am sitting next to my mother, and she is teaching me to read and I can read, and she is so happy. So imagine what that is to a child. I mean, all you want to do is read because you know it will make your mother happy, and of course, reading is so great. So I was an avid reader, just constantly reading, reading, reading, reading. Television really didn't come into our lives until I was about nine or ten, by which time I had already read hundreds and hundreds of books. I was already hooked on the Oz books and the Betsy-Tacy books. You name it, I had read it. Mary Poppins and all of Nancy Drew. Junky books, great books, I read everything. Beverly Hills Public Library was a very short bike ride away, and I would go over there and take three books out and go back two days later and take three more books out.
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Nora Ephron

Humorist, Novelist, Screenwriter and Director

He dictated a set of facts that went something like, "The principal of Beverly Hills High School announced today that the faculty of the high school will travel to Sacramento, Thursday, for a colloquium in new teaching methods. Speaking there will be Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, and two other people." So we all sat down at our typewriters, and we all kind of inverted that and wrote, "Margaret Mead and X and Y will address the faculty in Sacramento, Thursday, at a colloquium on new teaching methods, the principal announced today." Something like that. We were very proud of ourselves, and we gave it to Mr. Simms, and he just riffled through them and tore them into tiny bits and threw them in the trash, and he said, "The lead to this story is: There will be no school Thursday!" and it was this great epiphany moment for me. It was this, "Oh my God, it is about the point! It is about figuring out what the point is." And I just fell in love with journalism at that moment.
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Julius Erving

The Great and Wondrous Dr. J

I grabbed 19 rebounds in my first professional game, and somehow found a way to score 20 points. I felt real good about it. I felt that this was the beginning of something good. It was something that I had dreamed about as a kid, something that I didn't think was promised me, and I was never sure that it would happen. Yet it was happening, yet I was here, and yet it was reality, and now it was time to see what I was made of, and what I was about. It became a real good experience. All the things that followed after, in 16 years of playing: the play-offs, and the excitement of championship play, and the frustration of getting knocked out, and the frustration of injuries, and pain, and becoming close to teammates and then they get traded. The transition from playing with three different teams during 16 years, all those things. I don't think any of those things excited me as much as the first game. Because, once again, I kind of programmed myself: "This is a business."
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Paul Farmer

Founder, Partners in Health

Paul Farmer: The most satisfying things that I've done -- I'd like to use first person plural -- that we've done, have been in service of other people. It shouldn't be a secret. A lot of people say things like that. You can do all kinds of different things. Think of other people you've interviewed, or will be interviewing. Clearly, their areas of achievement are from all over the map. But whether you're involved in basic science, or public health, or justice, it's really, focusing on other people is a very satisfying thing to do. I mean that's something that I would encourage anybody's children or grandchildren is, get involved in work that is of utility to other people. And it doesn't have to be your whole life, know what I mean? Say for example, you're running a successful business somewhere. I'm not saying, give up your successful business and go be a social worker in -- name the -- you know, Los Angeles or Lisutu or whatever. What I'm saying is, some part of everybody's life ought to be focused on this kind of work, 'cause it's satisfying. That's just, I think, good advice.
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