Emma Raducanu is the tennis player who, at age 18, dashed out of semi-obscurity to win the 2021 U.S. Open. Emma Raducanu was born in Toronto as the only child …..
Most people know comedian Norm Macdonald because of his five years on Saturday Night Live, which included three seasons as the anchor of the segment “Weekend Update.” Macdonald started out …..
Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panthers in 1966 with Huey P. Newton, in Oakland, California. Seale was originally from Texas, but had been living in Oakland since he was a …..
Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won an Emmy in 2020 for his role as Cal Abar in the mini-series Watchmen (starring Regina King). On the big screen, Abdul-Mateen is best known …..
Filmmaker James Gunn had big success with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), then hopped over to the DC Comics universe to …..
Gilbert Patten appears on lists of top selling authors because of his dime novels of the early 20th century — he wrote one each week for 17 years, under the …..
Hermes Trismegistus — Hermes the Thrice Great — is the attributed source of the Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of revelatory texts foundational to the study of the occult, astrology, alchemy …..
J.D. Vance wrote the memoir Hillbilly Elegy, a 2016 bestseller that made him a political celebrity and launched his career as an expert on the troubles of poor, white Americans. …..
Science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon wrote hundreds of short stories and a handful of novels, but he’s recognized more for his influence on the development of modern science fiction than …..
Kevin Feige is the president of Marvel Studios and the Chief Creative Officer for Marvel Comics, Marvel Television and Marvel Animation. Born in Boston and raised in New Jersey, he …..
Nick Cannon is a comedian, rapper, actor and TV executive, known as the host of Wild N’ Out (2005-present), America’s Got Talent (2009-16) and The Masked Singer (2019-21). Cannon is …..
Ned Beatty was known for the role that was his first part in the movies — a southern city slicker who gets brutally raped in the backwoods in 1970’s Deliverance. …..
American actor Yaphet Kotto was best known for his TV role as Idi Amin in Raid on Entebbe and his movie role as Parker in Alien. From Harlem, Kotto started …..
Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single, “Drivers License” hit the top of the Billboard charts in January of 2021 and stayed there for eight weeks. Before that, Rodrigo was just another of …..
Writer, director, producer and comic actor Charles Grodin was known to most film audiences as the annoying accountant in 1988’s Midnight Run and the angry dad in the kids’ movie …..
Mary Leakey was one of the most famous names in archaeology in the 20th century. In 1978 she discovered fossilized footprints in volcanic ash that proved humans were walking on …..
Public television’s Bob Ross made his educational painting show, The Joy of Painting, at station WIPB in Muncie, Indiana from 1983 to 1994. After his death in 1995, Bob Ross, …..
Veteran actor Paul Raci earned sudden recognition in 2020 with his role in the drama The Sound of Metal. The film was nominated for an Oscar as the year’s best …..
Leslie Odom, Jr. won a Tony award and became a star after portraying Aaron Burr, the villain of the musical Hamilton. That restarted his screen career, and in 2021 he …..
Lee Isaac Chung’s 2020 film Minari was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. Chung himself earned nominations for best director and best original screenplay. Chung’s Minari is the story …..
Andra Day is the stage name of singer and songwriter Cassandra Monique Batie, a Grammy nominated performer who won an Oscar nomination for portraying Billie Holiday on film in 2020. …..
After fifty years of screen performances, Youn Yuh-jung’s movie star fame spread internationally with an Oscar win for her supporting role in for Lee Isaac Chung‘s Minari. Raised in Seoul, …..
Actor Lakeith Stanfield played informant Bill O’Neal in the film Judas and the Black Messiah and was nominated for an Oscar when he was just 29 years old. Stanfield had …..
English actor Riz Ahmed’s performance in 2020’s Sound of Metal earned an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role. After several roles in TV productions and feature films, …..
Merle Oberon was an Oscar-nominated movie star in both England and the U.S., most famous for her role as Cathy in the 1939 movie Wuthering Heights. Since her death, Oberon …..
Actor Steven Yeun was best known as the upbeat, resourceful Glenn of the TV series The Walking Dead before he was nominated for an Oscar for his lead performance in …..
Winona LaDuke is one of the most famous Native Americans in progressive politics, having twice been a candidate for the office of U.S. vice president as a member of the …..
Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was nationally popular during the 1920s and 1930s for her knowing and expertly crafted love poems. Raised in poverty in Maine, when she was 19 …..
Maggie Lena Walker was a community leader and entrepreneur in Richmond, Virginia in the first part of the 20th century. She’s famous as the first black American woman to start …..
England’s Emerald Fennell is a writer and actress whose directorial debut, Promising Young Woman, brought her three Oscar nominations in 2021, and a win for best original screenplay. Fennell was …..
Megan Thee Stallion is the rapper whose brassy personality, provocative raps and Instagram-ready exploits made her a breakout star in 2020 and beyond. She was named the best new artist …..
Indie-rock singer Phoebe Bridgers emerged from the Los Angeles music scene with 2017’s Stranger in the Alps, and by 2021 had earned four Grammy nominations for her 2020 album, Punisher. …..
Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, a post she held from 1985 until 1995. Mankiller was born on Cherokee land in …..
Journalist and TV personality Dorothy Kilgallen was nearly forgotten for decades, until resurrected by the curious to play a minor role in the story John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Kilgallen was …..
Actress and comedian Aubrey Plaza polished her deadpan delivery skills as a cast member of the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009-15). Along the way, Plaza also became an adventurous …..
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a San Francisco writer, bookseller and publisher who was central to the literary movement known as The Beat Generation. When he settled in San Francisco in 1951, …..
Wilt Chamberlain was a professional basketball star and one of the most dominant centers to ever play the game. He famously scored 100 points in a game by himself in …..
Maria P. Williams is said to be the first black woman to write and produce a movie, 1923’s The Flames of Wrath. Little is known about Maria Priscilla Williams, other …..
Fred Hampton was a black Chicago activist who was murdered by law enforcement officers in 1969 because of his leadership role in the Black Panther Party. From a Chicago suburb, …..
Cicely Tyson was a star of stage and screen from the 1950s until her death in 2021 at the age of 96. Tyson was nominated for an Oscar in 1973 …..
Antony ‘Tony’ Blinken is the American diplomat who became the U.S. Secretary of State under President Joseph Biden in 2021. Antony Blinken was born into a family with diplomatic traditions: …..
General Lloyd J. Austin III was sworn in as the United States Secretary of Defense on January 22, 2021, three days before President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Austin was confirmed …..
Amanda Gorman was in the national spotlight on January 20, 2021, when she gave a reading of her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Gorman …..
Swimmer Eleanor Holm was an Olympic gold medalist who famously got kicked off the 1936 American team for drinking champagne and ignoring her curfew. A “Brooklyn girl,” Holm she was …..
David Thompson was an 18th century explorer who mapped more than 1.5 million square miles of Western Canada. Born into poverty, he was educated at a charity school and recruited …..
Walter Isaacson is a journalist and historian who spent much of his career at TIME magazine, and was briefly the chairman and CEO of CNN. He’s famous for his biographies …..
Tina Louise played Ginger Grant, a sexy movie star marooned on a tropical isle with six goofy people, in the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. Tina Louise grew up and attended …..
Art Tatum was one of the greatest American piano players of the 20th century, rising to fame in the 1930s on the strength of his virtuoso jazz performances. Tatum was …..
Pierre Cardin became one of the world’s top fashion designers in the 1960s, then went on to become the head of a global brand that included perfume, household items, luggage …..
Danish screen actress and singer Anna Karina was known mostly for her French films, especially those directed by Jean-Luc Godard during their marriage (1961-65). Raised in Copenhagen, Karina went to …..
Sophia Lillis got her break on the big screen in the popular horror film It (2017), and then starred in the Netflix series I Am Not Okay With This (2020). …..
Filmmaker François Truffaut was one of the founders of the French New Wave in cinema in the 1950s, and the director of The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Day …..
First president of the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-67 A fervid nationalist with a gift for public speaking, Sukarno became the first president of the newly independent Republic of Indonesia in …..
Douglas Emhoff became the “second gentleman” of the United States when his wife, Kamala Harris, took office as U.S. vice president on January 20, 2021. Douglas Emhoff was born in …..
The spotlight fell on young actress Anya Taylor-Joy in 2020, when she carried the television series The Queen’s Gambit as Beth Harmon, a chess playing orphan. First scouted as a …..
Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax was the inventor of the saxophone, earning his patent for it in 1846. A Belgian whose father, Charles Joseph Sax, was a well-known Brussels instrument maker, Adolphe …..
Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator produced a flat world map in 1569 that came to dominate our view of the world until only recently. From humble beginnings in what is now …..
Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed in October of 2017 as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Three years later she was confirmed as …..
Don McLean is the songwriter and singer of the pop classic “American Pie,” a hit that launched him to stardom in 1971. McLean is secondarily famous for complaining about how …..
German Martin Heidegger made his mark on western philosophy with the 1927 publication of Being and Time. Within that tradition, he’s sometimes said to be the most influential philosopher of …..
American poet Louise Glück has won several literary prizes for her work since the 1960s, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2020. From 2003 to 2004, she …..
Eddie Van Halen was a guitarist who bolted to the top ranks of rock with the band that bore his name, Van Halen, starting with their 1978 debut album. The …..
Alan Watts was a writer and lecturer in comparative religions, known best for his many books on Buddhism, including the 1957 classic The Way of Zen. A rebellious product of …..
Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by officers of the Louisville (Kentucky) Metropolitan Police Department on March 13, 2020, after they burst into her apartment to execute a search warrant around …..
Dan Levy is the creator and star of the TV comedy Schitt’s Creek (2015-20), which also starred his father, Canadian comedy legend Eugene Levy. Born and raised in Toronto, Dan …..
Eugene Levy is a comedy veteran and now Canadian TV royalty, thanks to dozens of screen appearances, from the comedy hit American Pie (1999) to the Emmy-winning TV series Schitt’s …..
Comic actor Fred Willard appeared hundreds of times in TV sitcoms and feature films, usually playing harmless and inept side characters in films such as Waiting for Guffman and Best …..
Peter Straub has been writing thrilling bestselling novels since the 1970s, a line of horror and mystery novels that includes Ghost Story (1979) and, written with Stephen King, The Talisman …..
Linda Manz was an American screen actress from New York known for her roles in the films Days of Heaven and Out of the Blue. She grew up taking drama, …..
Priyanka Chopra was named Miss World in 2000 and became one of India’s most popular screen stars and highest paid performers. Chopra made her film debut in 2003’s The Hero: …..
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s best known films internationally include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), Talk to Her (2002), Volver (2006) and Pain and Glory (2019). He …..
British filmmaker Alan Parker made most of his movies with American studios and actors, including Midnight Express (1977) and Mississippi is Burning (1988), both of which brought him Oscar nominations …..
Gayl Jones is known for capturing the oral tradition of Black women in the form of modern literature, as in her novels Corregidora (1975) and Eva’s Man (1976). Her 1998 …..
Tiffany Haddish had been working in television and stand-up comedy for more than a decade when she suddenly made waves in 2017 for outshining her big-name co-stars in the bawdy …..
John Lewis was beaten nearly to death in Selma, Alabama while marching for voting rights in 1965, and went on to become one of America’s most prominent civil rights leaders …..
Clarence Birdseye developed a way to flash-freeze food in the 1920s and changed the way the world eats. Raised in Brooklyn, Birdseye was a determined young man with an interest …..
Filmmaker Gaspar Noé is known for films that are sight and sound experiences exploring the darker sides of sex, violence and drugs. Born in Argentina, Noé moved to France with …..
Burly, bearded, and cowboy-hatted, Charlie Daniels was a popular Southern rocker and country music artist who reached his greatest fame with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” in 1979.The Country …..
Patrick Mahomes is the NFL quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to a victory in the 2020 Super Bowl, becoming the youngest player ever named Super Bowl MVP. Born …..
Italian composer Ennio Morricone was known for his film scores, especially the 1960s westerns of Sergio Leone that starred Clint Eastwood. Morricone was nominated for an Oscar six times, winning …..
Madame Lillian Evanti was the performing name of Lillian Evans Tibbs, the first Black American coloratura soprano to sing for an organized opera company. Born in Washington, D.C., her father …..
Aaron Douglas was an artist who rose to national prominence as part of the Harlem Renaissance, known especially for his murals of the 1930s that depict African American life in …..
Cate Shortland is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who was little known outside of Australia until she was chosen to direct the Marvel Comics movie Black Widow (2020, starring Scarlett Johansson). …..
Joel Schumacher went from costume designer to writer to one of Hollywood’s busiest and most reliable directors of the 1980s and 1990s. Never a smash-hit superstar, he turned out a …..
Writer and activist Angela Davis first came to national prominence in the late 1960s, and for two months in 1970 she was on the F.B.I.’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. …..
Gymnast Kurt Thomas was the first American to win a gold medal at the world championship, in 1978. The next year he won a record six championship medals (a feat …..
Pauli Murray was a feminist and pioneering civil rights lawyer and, later in life, the first African-American woman ordained as priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church. Orphaned at a young …..
Author Beverly Jenkins writes bestselling romance novels, most of them historical fiction, whose central characters are African Americans. In 2017 she was given the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award for …..
Hattie McDaniel was a radio and film star of the 1930s and ’40s and the first black actor to win an Academy Award. She won for her supporting role in …..
Author Sally Rooney made a splash in publishing with her first two novels, Conversations with Friends and Normal People. Normal People (2018) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and …..
Sanmao (sometimes San Mao) was the pen name of Chen Mao-ping, a Chinese writer who became internationally recognized for her descriptions of life in the Western Sahara in the 1970s. …..
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran was one of the most accomplished and famous aviators of the 20th century. Cochran was raised in a foster home and began her working life before she …..
John McEnroe became one of the world’s top tennis players in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and his tendency to argue with umpires was a cause celébré that made …..
Noah Jupe is an English screen actor, best known for his roles as a young boy, in The Quiet Place, Ford v Ferrari and Honey Boy. His family is in …..
Writer Jacques Derrida was an Algerian-born French thinker whose “deconstructionist” arguments and radical positions made him a celebrity-philosopher in the 1960s and ’70s. Derrida grew up outside of Algiers, where …..
Honor Blackman starred as judo expert Cathy Gale on the TV series The Avengers, and then more famously as icy and strong-willed pilot Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger. Blonde, …..
Singer and songwriter John Prine won Grammys and praise from every corner for his simple, honest way of expressing complex emotions, from his debut album in 1971 until his death …..
Bill Withers had a brief recording career in the 1970s and ’80s that produced songs that continued to be popular for decades, including “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” …..
Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s 19th century embrace of subjectivity and his understanding of the angst of human life made a strong impression on 20th century philosophy, and he is sometimes …..
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, sometimes referred to as Seneca the Younger, was a Stoic philosopher and writer in imperial Rome during the first century AD. Born in Cordoba, Spain into nobility, …..
Germaine Greer is the author of 1970’s The Female Eunuch, a pioneering and influential work in the history of feminist literature. A scholar, journalist, social critic, media personality and provocateur, …..
Phyllis Schlafly was a Roman Catholic political activist who spent half a century being a thorn in the side of American feminists. Her grassroots efforts in the 1970s were successful …..
Kenny Rogers was a silver-haired star of both country and pop music from the 1970s into the 21st century, with hits including “The Gambler,” “Islands In the Stream,” and “Lady.” …..
William Jennings Bryan was the United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, but it was his politicking against big business that made his reputation and keeps him in …..
Mary Elizabeth Lease became nationally famous in the late 19th century for her political agitations in the cause of workers’ rights, women’s suffrage and temperance (alcohol prohibition). She left her …..
McCoy Tyner was a pianist from Philadelphia who started off his career as a member of The John Coltrane Quartet, playing on some of the greatest jazz recordings of the …..
Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist of the late 19th century, famous for her campaign against lynching, particularly in the South. Her parents were politically active and her father …..
Hazel Scott was a pianist and singer of the 1930s and ’40s and one of the most popular black entertainers of her time. At one time she was also the …..
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was a flamboyant Harlem minister, civil rights activist and U.S. congressman from the 1940s up until 1970, when he lost his 12th bid for re-election. Powell …..
Ernest Dickerson is a filmmaker and cinematographer known best for his work in early Spike Lee films, including Do The Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991) and Malcolm X (1992). …..
A.E. Hotchner wrote hundreds of books and magazine articles, but is better known for his friendships with author Ernest Hemingway, actor Paul Newman, and other luminaries of the 20th century. …..
Bong Joon Ho is the South Korean director who was the winner of four 2020 Oscars for his film Parasite: best original screenplay, best director, best international feature, and best …..
Todd Phillips is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker who wrote and directed 2019’s Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Before Joker set box office records and earned 11 Oscar nominations, Phillips was known as …..
Cynthia Erivo is the actress who was Oscar-nominated in 2020 for her leading role in the 2019 film Harriet. Cynthia Erivo was born in London and began college at the …..
Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce has made a long career out of playing smooth-talking characters who are complex, nefarious, or just a little nervous. Jonathan Pryce studied at the Royal Academy …..
J Dilla was a record producer from Detroit whose influence on hip-hop wasn’t widely recognized until after his 2006 death from a blood disorder. He was 32 and died three …..
Activist Tarana Burke is credited with starting the Me Too movement, a decade before it became a worldwide social movement that expresses the magnitude of sexual assault as well as …..
Pop Singer Billie Eilish took the music charts by storm in 2019, breaking through after three steady years of building a fan base on social media and perfecting her brand …..
Lena Waithe is a television writer and producer who is also known for her acting role in the TV series Master of None. Waithe also produced and wrote the 2019 …..
Civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin was a brilliant organizer whose influence in the 1950s and ’60s has been overshadowed by celebrations for Martin Luther King, Jr. By the time he …..
Buck Henry was known mostly as a writer — he was the co-creator of TV’s Get Smart (1965-70) and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Graduate (1967). After graduating from Dartmouth …..
Sam Mendes was a star director or the British stage when he won an Oscar for directing his first film, 1999’s American Beauty. The film won four other Oscars, including …..
Ram Dass was an author and lecturer whose book, Be Here Now, helped popularize Eastern religion as part of the self-help movement of the 1970s. He graduated from Tufts (1952), …..
Greta Thunberg is the Swedish teen whose persistent and plainspoken activism made her the face of the youthful climate change protest movement in 2018. She was named Time magazine’s Person …..
Baby Yoda is the hugely popular character from the Disney TV series The Mandalorian, which premiered in 2019. His fate is a driving force of the series as he is …..
Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana was a script writer and story editor for the original television series Star Trek (1966-69) whose long career behind the scenes shaped the franchise from the beginning. …..
Tim Allen is a Detroit comedian who made it big in the 1990s with his own sitcom, Home Improvement. In the movies, he’s best known for playing Santa in The …..
Born Andrew Albert Christian Edward at Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew is the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II. His place as younger brother to Prince Charles, heir …..
Adam Schiff is a United States Congressman from California, a Democrat who became a familiar face during the televised impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump‘s alleged abuse of office. A …..
Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel was a key figure in the 20th century art and intellectual movement of surrealism, and, years later, the Oscar-nominated maker of The Discreet Charm of the …..
Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019, after the resignation of Theresa May. A leader of the Conservative Party, Johnson’s political popularity soared …..
Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller was a sensation in the 1970s – especially in the United States — thanks to a string of movies, including 1974’s Swept Away and 1975’s Seven …..
David Douglas was a botanist from Scotland who collected hundreds of plant specimens as he explored the Pacific Coast of North America between 1824 and 1834. In 1823 he was …..
American actor Robert Forster was a nearly-forgotten veteran of TV and movies when he was picked for the role of a compassionate bail bondsman in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie …..
Emma Goldman was a social and political activist and the founder of the anarchist publication Mother Earth in the early 20th century. A Jewish immigrant by way of Russia and …..
Ric Ocasek’s pop tunes helped to make The Cars a quick success in 1978 with their eponymous debut album. The band went on to sell millions of albums over the …..
Edward Mahoney dropped out of the police academy in New York to focus on his rock’n’roll career as Eddie Money, and his first record scored big with the hits “Baby, …..
Singer-songwriter and would-be cartoonist Daniel Johnston was a local music act in Austin, Texas when Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain made him nationally famous in 1992 by wearing Johnston’s t-shirt at the …..
Lizzo is the performing name of Melissa Viviane Jefferson, a Los Angeles-based rapper/singer who got a jumpstart on her career in 2014 by recording with Prince on the song “Boy …..
Scientist Barbara McClintock was given the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1983, in recognition of her decades-long work on the genetics of maize. Educated at Cornell University, where …..
Celebrity baker Paul Hollywood has been a familiar face on British television since the early 2000s, but now he’s equally famous in the U.S. for his job as judge and …..
Filmmaker Ari Aster won several critics’ awards for his debut feature, the horror-soaked family melodrama Hereditary (2018). Originally from New York, Aster spent his teen years in New Mexico and …..
Florence Pugh is an English actress and star of Ari Aster‘s film, Midsommar (2019). Right out of high school, Pugh’s career took off after being cast in the TV series …..
D.A. Pennebaker was a filmmaker who helped pioneer the cinema verité style of documentary filming during the 1950s and ’60s. He was given an Oscar in 2013 for his lifetime …..
Geoffrey of Monmouth was a 12th century ecclesiastic who chronicled Britain’s early history in Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of British Kings). A narrative with a little bit of fact …..
Lillian Gilbreth was an engineer, psychologist and inventor who helped revolutionize the workplace and the home kitchen. She was most notably an “efficiency expert” whose life with her family was …..
Actor Rutger Hauer was probably the most famous screen star from The Netherlands, known to movie fans as Roy Batty, the rogue chased by Harrison Ford in Blade Runner. Hauer …..
João Gilberto was a Brazilian guitarist who popularized the bossa nova sound in the 1960s and did “The Girl From Ipanema,” from the 1964 album Getz/Gilberto with Stan Getz). From …..
Actor Rip Torn was best known for the roles he played later in life, on television’s The Larry Sanders Show and on the big screen in Men in Black. …..
Jeffrey Epstein was the wealthy American financier who was arrested, convicted, freed and then arrested again on charges of sexually abusing young women. While in jail awaiting trial, Epstein killed …..