Who2 was founded in 1998 with a simple goal: build a fast route to basic facts about famous people.
Who2 presents the quick facts you're most likely looking for: birth and death dates, famous roles or creations, thumbnail bios, and notorious trivia. Classic authors, movie stars, famous frauds, kings and queens, mythical gods, cartoon dogs: anyone famous is fair game for Who2.
We do our own research and double-check all our data. You can count on the facts you find on Who2.
Who2 is independent. We do not accept money to include links, nor do we have any financial interest or creative control in the sites linked. External links are chosen by our editors on a case-by-case basis.
All the content on our site is original -- researched, written and copyrighted by Who2 and its staff. It may not be reused or reprinted without the express consent of Who2, LLC.
We offer a special salute to our partners who license Who2 content for presentation on their own sites:
Who We Are:
RYAN 'FRITZ' HOLZNAGEL (Editor In Chief) is an Emmy-winning writer, Jeopardy Tournamet of Champions winner, and longtime fact freak. He won the Emmy in 1992 for scripting the CBS TV special A Claymation Easter Celebration. The next year he returned to his first love, reference. His work in CD-ROMs included writing nearly 200 short biographies for the 1993 disc Great Literature and editing Mindscape's 20th Century Video Almanac (1994). He also wrote clues for the popular quiz game Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen SanDiego? (Broderbund, 1995).
Ryan became editor in chief of the Internet review site Point in 1995, where he edited the book The World Wide Web Top 1000 (New Riders-MacMillan, 1996). Point was purchased by Lycos and Ryan joined that web portal in 1998, embracing the nickname "Fritz" upon his move to the East Coast. In 1999 he conceived and created the popular feature The Lycos 50 -- a weekly ranking of the web's most-searched terms. He also spent five years (2004-09) on the writing team at Google.
In a TV-age sidelight, Ryan was a four-time winner on the game show Jeopardy! in 1994. He returned for the show's 1995 Tournament of Champions, where he defeated 14 other champs to win the tourney and claim the grand prize of $100,000. He also represented the U.S. in the 1996 Jeopardy! International Tournament, and participated in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
PAUL HEHN (Managing Editor) holds undergraduate degrees in English and History from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon (1982), and a graduate degree in History from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts (1985). After a decade in the microbrewery industry, he began writing for the web in 1995. He was one of the original writers for Point Communications' "Top 5%" web review service, and for two years wrote the weekly television column Tuned Out for Lycos. His reviews of websites have appeared in Yahoo! Internet Life magazine and he contributed several entries to the third edition of Scribner's A Dictionary of American History (2002).
Paul is also a comic artist whose caricatures are featured in many Who2 biographies. His work has appeared in Top Shelf and Plazm magazines and online at The Lycos 50. Paul grew up in Oregon, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia and California, and now lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two daughters.
MICHAEL DUFFY (Tech Guru) is a software technology expert based in Sebastopol, California, where he advises companies such as The Learning Company and Philips Corporation. From January through August of 1999, Mike was co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Z-Cash, an Internet startup based in Sausalito, CA. Previously, Mike spent 10 years with Mindscape (formerly The Software Toolworks), rising to the position of executive vice-president and general manager of its game division. Mike joined the company in December, 1986 as one of the creators of the best-selling Chessmaster program. He also participated in the design and development of other Mindscape products, including Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing!, The San Diego Zoo Presents...The Animals!, Newsweek Interactive, and The 20th Century Video Almanac. He was directly involved with the sale of The Software Toolworks to Pearson plc for $462 million in April, 1994.
Mike graduated A.B. cum laude from Harvard College in 1978, concentrating in Engineering and Applied Science. Mike also founded Software By Design (1981-86), a programming and training company. Among his other important accomplishments, Mike attended high school with Kevin Costner and college with Bill Gates. Please visit Mike's very lively blog.
ADAM DUVANDER (Tech Guru II) proudly represents the younger generation of Who2, working from home in a faded hoodie sweatshirt and programming with ease in all kinds of complicated languages. Adam, too, has deeply personal point of view. Sometimes he wears a moustache. He's the creator of the wireless journal WifiPDX, and the author of the very impressive 2010 book Map Scripting 101.
HANS HOLZNAGEL (Writer) is an Oregon native and an honors graduate in communications (1980) from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He was a reporter for the Hillsboro Argus before moving to New York City and earning a M.A. degree in religious studies (1986) from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. He worked for more than 25 years at the national offices of the United Church of Christ as a writer, public relations officer, mission education specialist, fundraiser and administrator -- first in New York and then in Cleveland, where he has lived with his family since 1990. In September 2011 he will become chief operating officer of Cleveland's Near West Theatre, an urban community arts organization. He is a contributor to the Abingdon Worship Annual (Abingdon Press). At Who2 he specializes in profiles of religious and spiritual figures.
Our handsome site redesign is the work of SearchViz and its principals, Thomas "Freddie" O'Connell and Helen Stevens. Please visit them at SearchViz.com.
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