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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


Norman Borlaug

Ending World Hunger

Norman Borlaug: Well, Dr. Stakman -- the kind of person he was -- he was old school. He may have been a plant pathologist, but he was a biologist in the broadest sense, and he wove into his lectures the story of going back to the first -- to the Bible -- to the rust epidemics. And so when I was asked to delay my arrival to the Idaho National to the first of June rather than the first of January, I said, "What am I going to do here?" And so I talked to Margaret also, and she said, "You were so impressed by Dr. Stakman, why don't you go and see him and see if you can register for graduate training for these six months?" And so I went to see him, told him my background, and he asked a lot of questions. I told him, "Well, this is kind of just to fill up six months." He said, "That's a pretty poor reason to go to graduate school." But he kept asking questions. And finally he said, "Okay, I'll accept you." And so, that's when everything started to change. At the end of that period, he got me an assistantship which paid a small amount so that the University job and the coffee shop had long since disappeared. But there were these other programs that Eleanor Roosevelt and the CCC (came up with) and so I worked on many of these things and was able to put together enough to live on.
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J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

J. Carter Brown: Oh, I was hopeless. I was very unathletic, and when I was in school I was two years younger than everybody in my class, so I got beaten up all the time, and I got laughed at for being interested in studying and doing stupid things like that. And, it's been so rewarding. I'm going to my 50th anniversary of my high school, and so rewarding that now they feel I'm the guy that sort of "made it" in the class, having been the Class Joke. Never completely "joke," because I was president of the Dramatic Society, and I did manage to graduate first in my class, but that wasn't the value system of that particular group of boys. They had an undefeated football season. They were really good at athletics, and the atmosphere at school was pretty anti-intellectual in those days.
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J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

Talking of ocean racing, one of the best lessons I learned was the concept of the rhumb line, R-H-U-M-B. You lay down a course from Newport to Bermuda, and that's your rhumb line. And then for some reason, you get blown off course. And, a lot of people make the mistake of saying, "Oh, we've got to get back to the rhumb line." There's a new rhumb line. It's from where you are to where you're going. And, it's so important to be able to pick up and forget all that and say, "Okay, play it where it lays." This is the new situation.
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J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

I've gone on, stayed on under my other hat as Chairman of the Fine Arts Commission. And boy, did we get it at the time of the Vietnam Memorial! I mean, I had Ross Perot in my office pounding the table! I knew that he'd sent in operatives to Iran. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. He wanted it his way. And, there was great brouhaha about that. Now, we have brouhaha about the World War II memorial. And, as of just a couple of days ago, that's all been ripped open again, and we've got to go to through more of these hearings where a small dissident group has ginned up a lot of complaint. And basically, it's a resistance to change. There's a nostalgia about the way things were, everybody thinks they were always that way. They forget that the Mall is a 20th century concept, and the Jefferson Memorial also had people lying down in front of bulldozers. But, it was built in 1941, and we have added and changed the Mall continuously, and this is only going to enhance the great design of the vista between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. And yet people just want to keep everything the way it is. And fine, sometimes it's better the way it is. But, we feel that this little Fine Arts Commission -- which are chosen to have some kind of credentials in the visual world -- has a lot of experience in visualizing what something's going to be. And, we think it's going to be okay.
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Willie Brown

Former Mayor of San Francisco

The thing that I marvel about in my situation is that by all rights I should really hate white people for the kind of treatment that I received. But there, at this stage of my life, and probably for the last 40 years, I can't even conjure up how horrible it really was. So there's no way for me really to describe it. And I carry no residual displeasures towards any race of people. I think the experience that I had there made me a more tolerant person than I ordinarily would have been.
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Willie Brown

Former Mayor of San Francisco

It got so bad that I wouldn't read the Sunday paper, because there was always a front page story about Willie Brown, with a box showing how he voted 30 years ago, etc., etc., etc. And some of that stuff should stick to you, but I had determined at the outset of my campaign that I was going to shake the hands of every voter in San Francisco. That I was going to look every voter in the eye in San Francisco. And that I was going to market Willie Brown directly to the voter, thereby shielding any definition that anyone else would attempt to impose upon me. And I did that, it stood me in great stead. And I still don't read the Sunday paper.
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