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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


Gertrude Elion

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Gertrude Elion: I was very close to (my grandfather) because he came over from Europe when I was about three years old, and lived very close to us, and used to take me to the park and tell me stories. And when my brother was born, about two years later, he spent more time with me while my mother was busy with the baby, and so we got to be very close. And also, I watched him die, essentially, in the hospital. And that made a terrific impression on me. I decided that nobody should suffer that much.
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Gertrude Elion

Nobel Prize in Medicine

I think that my social life really took a hiatus in about 1941 -- actually before I went to Burroughs Wellcome -- because of the death of someone I loved very much. And after that, I really sort of put myself into my work in a way perhaps that I wouldn't have otherwise. I might have gotten married, and it just didn't happen, because the person I was engaged to died of a disease that could have been cured by penicillin, but there was no penicillin. That was another lesson I learned. How important some discoveries could be in life-saving. And years later, you know, thinking back on it, and saying, "If only there had been penicillin." And it was a good lesson.
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Larry Ellison

Founder & CEO, Oracle Corporation

Larry Ellison: I decided to go into the computer business in college. I started working part-time programming. I found that in a very short period of time, I could make more money writing programs than a tenured professor at the University of Chicago was making, and I was a teenager. I said, "Well, this is kind of cool." It was also fun, it was like a big game, it was like working on puzzles. So I enjoyed it. It paid extremely well, I could work at home, I could work my own hours. I closely associated with computers, because they were absolutely a slave to reason, they knew nothing about fashion. They were completely logical. I enjoyed spending time with them. I liked what I was doing, it was very profitable, and it was very creative.
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Larry Ellison

Founder & CEO, Oracle Corporation

I could start writing a program, and within several hours, I could have a result. Freud defines maturity as the ability to defer gratification. The great thing about programming is you don't have to be mature at all. You don't have to defer gratification for more than a few hours. You get wonderful, tight feedback. It's a lot of fun. That's characteristic of games and sports. The reason why games and sports are so popular is because you win or lose very quickly. You get immediate feedback. It's a very tight loop, you don't wait hours or days or years before you find out if you're winning or losing. You find out a second and a half after you release that basketball. You know whether it's going in or not.
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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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