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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


Alberto Gonzales

Former Attorney General of the United States

My father had a terrible drinking problem. He was an alcoholic, and there were many nights when I remember him coming home and, you know, severe arguments with my mother and throwing the pillow over my head and just trying to not listen to all of that. I mean, unfortunately, those happened way too often. But one story I do like to tell about my father is, no matter how much he drank on a particular night, if it was a work day the next morning, he was always up and he was always gone to provide for his family, so I learned that lesson very early on. But, you know, in that respect, I mean there were some difficult times in my family.
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Alberto Gonzales

Former Attorney General of the United States

The (Air Force) Academy was tough for me because there's such a concentration on engineering and physics and chemistry, and my strengths lie in English and history and political science and law and government. And so I did well in terms of being on the dean's list every semester, but I struggled. It was hard. I had to work very, very hard. I was the freshman class council president, and so I assumed responsibility early while I was at the Academy. Because I did as well as I did, I was able to participate in a gliding program during one summer, so I learned how to fly gliders. I mean it was a great experience.
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Jane Goodall

The Great Conservationist

My mother was amazing, and she kept camp. I think she played two really important roles. One, she boosted my morale, because in those early days the chimpanzees ran away as soon as they saw me. They'd never seen a white ape before. They're very conservative. They would vanish. And she would say, in the evening when I was a bit despondent, "But think what you are learning. What they're feeding on. The kind of sized groups they travel in. How they make beds at night, bending down the branches " all the things I'd seen through my binoculars. And so she boosted my morale. And then, secondly, she started a little clinic. She wasn't a doctor or a nurse, but my whole family was very medical. Her brother had given her masses of simple aspirins and bandages and things like that. So she would treat the fishermen who had camped along the lake shore. And because she would spend hours with them, doing a saline drip on the tropical ulcer, she became known as a white witch doctor. And she established, for me and all my students, this great relationship with all the local people.
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Jane Goodall

The Great Conservationist

My mother flew out to join me and we drove from Nairobi all the way to Kigoma in a short wheel base Land Rover, horribly overloaded, driven by the botanist from the museum in Nairobi. It was an amazing kind of a journey. It took three days. And when we arrived in Kigoma, it was to find that the Congo had erupted and all the refugees were coming over the lake from what was then the Belgian Congo. Then it became Zaire. Now it's the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC. But anyway, they were coming over Lake Tanganyika and everything was in chaos. I wasn't allowed to go straight off to the Gombe National Park. Instead, we were stuck in Kigoma helping to feed refugees, and finally we got the permission to go.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

Then, once they get into the presidency and he (FDR) becomes paralyzed by polio, she (Eleanor) becomes in many ways his eyes and his ears. Without her, his presidency never would have been as rich as it was. She traveled the country on his behalf, bringing him back a deep sense of what was happening in the land. She was much more active on civil rights, on poverty, on coal miners than he was, and really made his presidency more socially just than it would have been. He would be the first to admit that she made him stronger. And then she admitted, at the end of his life, that without him she would not have had the platform to be Eleanor Roosevelt. So just knowing how you can go through very difficult times in your own married life and still form this extraordinary partnership, I think, is what I took away from that book.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

I found an usher's diary at the Roosevelt Library that recorded what Franklin and Eleanor did every day. "Awakened at 6:30; had breakfast with Henry Stimson; had lunch with Joe Lash," or whatever. I could then go to the diaries of the people they had lunch or breakfast with to record what they said at breakfast or lunch. Eleanor wrote 25 letters a day to her friends. I got every single one of those letters and figured out what her mood was like on that day. Made a huge chronology, before I even started the book, of 1940 to '45, the years that I was covering, so that I could recreate every day, in a certain sense, in their lives.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

As much research as you think you're doing, you're going to mess up, without a question. There are some times -- I mean, I got the date of Roosevelt's birthday wrong! I can't believe it! I knew what his birthday was, and somehow I'd typed it wrong into the typewriter, and in the first edition of the book I had it the wrong day. Then immediately one reader called me up. Luckily now, the great thing about books is they print new and newer editions every few weeks, so you can correct your mistakes. And then, the next edition that comes out had the right date in it. There will be more serious things like that, that you might get wrong. Somebody will come up to you afterwards and say, "You know, you just didn't interpret this right. I was there," and maybe you didn't interview that person. What I think I've learned is that you're never going to get it all right, and you can't obsess about having a fact wrong or a date wrong or something like that, as long as you tried as best you could. And you know some of them you will be able to change with the new editions of the book or the paperback. But even if it's still wrong, if it is not meant, if you've done the kind of research that you're sure is pretty good, then you just have to have confidence in it, so that nothing is perfect in life. I think that is what the criticism has helped me to understand.
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