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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


James V. Kimsey

Founding Chairman,
America Online

His name was Captain Rod, Ronald Rod -- R, O, D -- and before he died, he had talked in one of his letters about these little kids running around without parents. I'm sure most of the orphans we created. And, when he was killed, Time magazine did a story on him and he was made a martyr. The people in New Orleans then started raising money to build an orphanage to commemorate him. They were going to build it in a big city, and at the time I was in sort of a no-man's land in this particular team that had had many casualties over time. And, it probably was somewhat self-serving, as I raised hell and said, "No, the orphanage should be built here, in this place called Duc Pho." And everybody disagreed with that, but I raised such a stink about it they finally turned to me and said, "Fine, Captain Kimsey. You think it ought to be built there, you build it."
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James V. Kimsey

Founding Chairman,
America Online

You feel like you're under siege, you're under fire. You're at a point where, if you fail to put this Rube Goldberg, very complex set of ingredients together -- that it's gone, that it craters, it's bankrupt, sort of the worst of all possible outcomes, that everything goes away -- you know, you've got the embarrassment and shame of being involved in a company and letting it fail. And this harks back to the "No excuse, Sir." I think if there's one quality that I had to point to that contributes to success, it's the same quality the little nuns had that have kept that orphanage alive for the last 32 years. It's perseverance. And, most people don't know that America Online is over 15 years old because they only see the last few years that the Internet has come in to sort of public cognition.
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James V. Kimsey

Founding Chairman,
America Online

During these last 15 years there were many, many times that people would look at me and say, you know, "Why are you fooling around with this thing? Why do you think this is ever going to amount to anything?" In the early days, when I was forming the company, Prodigy had already been started by IBM and Sears. And, they would look at me and say, "My God, how are you ever going to compete with IBM and Sears?" And more recently they've said, "How are you going to compete with Microsoft?" A big company that has a sort of monolithic hegemony in this area that will stop you.
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B.B. King

King of the Blues

So, while working for Mr. Flake Cottledge, I was what they call in the country a "house boy." A house boy was a guy that, excuse me, that did whatever was around to be done. And my wages, I made $15 a month, which I thought was a lot of money, fifteen dollars a month. That's how I got my first guitar. People talk about people gave it to me and this and that. I didn't. Mr. Flake Cottledge bought it for me. He took half of my salary one month and took the other half the next month, so it cost me $15, a whole month's salary to get it. When I would finish my chores -- I used to milk 20 cows a day -- 10 in the morning, 10 at night. And when I would finish, they would let me go to school and that's how I got my schooling. And I would walk five miles to school, and I managed to make it through the tenth grade and that was it, but if I had tightened up I could have did better. Of course, I could have done better, but without any supervision -- they didn't make me go to school. There was no agencies around there that would take me away from where I was. Today, if you live in the city it's possible that some of the agencies will get you and place you here or place you, not then, not there. But, now there were people in the area, in the community, it was sort of like a village that would have tightened you up if you got out of line. Any of them could and would. So, I learned at an early age to try to stay in line. You do what society expects you to do, and that's how I grew up.
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Coretta Scott King

Pioneer of Civil Rights

I started doing concerts when I was a college student, and after we moved to Montgomery -- my husband was called to a church there -- I continued to perform. I performed concerts the first year, got pregnant, had to stop, performed between babies -- I have four children -- and I was doing standard concerts when I had my fourth child. I realized I could not continue to do that that way. And, I developed the "Freedom Concert" concept, where I narrated the story of the civil rights movement that we were involved in, and sang freedom songs in between the narrations that told the story of our struggle from Montgomery to Washington at that time. In 1964, I did my debut with my Freedom Concert at Town Hall, raised money for the cause, and the rest of the time I raised money for my husband's organization doing Freedom Concerts across the country and so forth.
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Coretta Scott King

Pioneer of Civil Rights

After we were successful in desegregating the buses in Montgomery, the nonviolent revolution we launched in Montgomery spread like a prairie fire across the Southern states. My husband led nonviolent protest campaigns against racism and segregation in cities across the South as well as in Chicago, Cleveland, and other cities in the North. During this time, I had three more children and participated in movement activities as much as possible. People asked me how was I able to do this and raise four children at the same time. I can only reply that when God calls you to a great task, he provides you with the strength to accomplish what he has called you to do. Faith and prayer, family and friends were always available when I needed them, and of course Martin and I always were there for each other. I learned that when you are willing to make sacrifices for a great cause, you will never be alone, because you will have divine companionship and the support of good people. This same faith and cosmic companionship sustained me after my husband was assassinated, and gave me the strength to make my contribution to carrying forward his unfinished work.
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Coretta Scott King

Pioneer of Civil Rights

Coretta Scott King: Well, it was the belief that we were doing the right thing. Because it had never happened before it was like, you know, the Supreme Court decision had been rendered in 1954 and this was in 1955 and we were all motivated by that and knowing that this meant the beginning of breaking down the system of segregation. We recognized that if the schools could desegregate this means that other things can desegregate as well so with Montgomery happening it was like an intervention there that God had planted Rosa Parks and also Martin Luther King, Jr. And so you had the sense that something very, very significant was happening and that it had -- it would have impact beyond -- around the world that we were not only struggling to free the people of the south but oppressed people around the world. And we had no idea where it was leading but we had a sense that it was leading to something much more significant than what we were involved in at the time. And each time there was things -- for instance, the stabbing incident when Martin was stabbed in Harlem. I mean, it's like it made no sense except that God was preparing us for something even bigger. And then when the Nobel Peace Prize came along, which we were rewarded in a sense for our struggles, it was like but this is still not it, because we have not achieved the peace that he was awarded -- the award represented, but we still have a long way to go. So it was always not knowing what the future held, but we knew that we were on the right path and you had a sense of, as Martin used to say, "cosmic companionship," and that kept you going.
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Coretta Scott King

Pioneer of Civil Rights

Coretta Scott King: When I say I was married to the cause, I was married to my husband whom I loved -- I learned to love, it wasn't love at first sight -- but I also became married to the cause. It was my cause, and that's the way I felt about it. So when my husband was no longer there, then I could continue in that cause, and I prayed that God would give me the direction for my life, to give me the strength to do what it was, and the ability to do what it was that he had called me to do. And I was trying to seek, 'What is it that I'm supposed to do, now that Martin is no longer here?" And I finally determined that it was to develop an institution. I was already involved in building the institution, but I wasn't sure that that was it. I thought maybe it might have been with women, but then, of course, I didn't get that feeling in particular, but always, because I felt there was a need to have more women involved, in organizing them as a support group to my husband, and I encouraged them to do that. And he didn't do that in particular, and I thought, well maybe then, that might be what I'm supposed to do. But then I finally determined that it was the King Center, because Martin's message and his meaning were so powerful, and his spirit I felt needed to be continued. I know that people's spirits live on, but I think in a very positive, meaningful way, that young people would know that that influence was being continued. So I felt that my role, then, was to develop an institution, to institutionalize his philosophy, his principles of nonviolence and his methodology of social change, and that's what I have spent my years doing.
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