"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
– Steve Jobs

About Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the American computer pioneer who cofounded Apple, was known for his intensity, his brashness, and his focus on elegant design. He was born in 1955 in San Francisco. At age 21, he and Steve Wozniac built the first Apple computer in his garage. Its successor, the Macintosh, introduced the mouse. After Jobs was ousted from Apple, he bought Pixar Animation, creator of Toy Story and Finding Nemo. On his return to Apple, he introduced the iMac and iPod, restoring the company's luster, then went on to introduce the widely successful iPhone and iPad product lines. He died in 2011 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
– Andy Warhol

About Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, the American pop artist, is probably best known for his silk screens of Campbell Soup and Marilyn Monroe. He was born as Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh in 1928. His style borrowed from comic books and advertising; he wanted to remove the separation between commercial and fine art. His studio, the Factory, became a hub for the New York art scene. He was also a prolific filmmaker. He was shot three times in the chest in 1968 and narrowly escaped death. He died in 1987.
"Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing."
– George Sheehan

About George Sheehan
American doctor George Sheehan changed course midway through his life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1918 to a cardiologist father and grew up to follow in his footsteps. At age 45, bored with his life, he began reading philosophy and took up running. Within five years he ran a 4:47 mile, the fastest ever clocked by a 50 year old. He started a weekly column and became medical editor for Runner's World. He wrote eight books. Bill Clinton dubbed him the philosopher-king of running. He died in 1993.
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
– Robin Williams

About Robin Williams
In 2005, Robin Williams, the Oscar-winning American actor known for his wild improvisations and amazing mimicry, was voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders as one of the top 50 comedy acts ever. He was born in 1951 in Chicago, and he first garnered attention as a stand-up comic in San Francisco. A guest role as the alien Mork on the TV series Happy Days was so popular it led to his own show, Mork and Mindy. He has starred in many successful films, including Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting. He has three children.
"No great deed, private or public, has ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty."
– Leon Wieseltier

About Leon Wieseltier
Leon Wieseltier, the sharp-tongued literary editor of The New Republic, has used his role to deliver brilliant, scathing put-downs of intellectual fads and pretense. He was born in Brooklyn in 1952. He studied Jewish history and philosophy at Columbia, Oxford, and Harvard's Society of Fellows. He won the National Jewish Book Award for the memoir Kaddish, about his year of mourning after his father's death.
"The Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does."
– Warren Buffett

About Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, the legendary American financier known as the Oracle of Omaha, is the world's richest man. He was born in Nebraska in 1930. As a youngster, he sold six-packs of Coke for a profit and first invested in the stock market at age 11. His first limited partnership reaped dividends up to 30 percent. He follows the simple but powerful principle that you should learn about the intrinsic value of a company before you invest. He is now the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company.
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

– Anna Quindlen
About Anna Quindlen
Anna Quindlen was only the third woman to become an Op-Ed writer for the New York Times. She was born in 1952 near Philadelphia. As a columnist, she blended the personal with the political, drawing parallels between the two. She left the Times to write fiction. Her novel, One True Thing, became a film starring Meryl Streep. She is the first writer with books on the fiction, nonfiction, and self-help New York Times bestseller lists. She lives with her husband and children in New York.
"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
– Henry Van Dyke

About Henry Van Dyke
Henry Van Dyke, the American clergyman and author, is best known for the Christmas story, "The Other Wise Man." He was born in Pennsylvania in 1852. He was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York, taught literature at Princeton, and was U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. His love of nature influenced his spirituality, and he fought to preserve Yellowstone Park. He wrote poetry and essays as well as fiction. Helen Keller called him an architect of happiness. He died in 1933.
"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."
– Leo Tolstoy

About Leo Tolstoy
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, known as Leo Tolstoy, is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time; he wrote 25 books, including War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He was born on his family's estate in Russia. Although he fought in the Crimean War, he became a pacifist and political radical after a severe midlife crisis. His beliefs greatly influenced Mahatma Gandhi, who became a friend. He died in 1910.
"I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: Try to please everybody all the time."
– Herbert Bayard Swope

About Herbert Bayard Swope
Herbert Bayard Swope, the colorful, hard-driving American journalist who became famous as a war correspondent and editor of The New York World, was the first writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for reporting. He was born in St. Louis in 1882. He coined the phrase "cold war" as a speechwriter for statesman Bernard Baruch. In his leisure time, he was a brilliant gambler at the track, at cards, and at stocks, and threw lavish parties. He died in 1958.
"Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by."
– Carl Sandburg

About Carl Sandburg
American poet, songwriter, and journalist Carl Sandburg played an essential role in the Chicago renaissance of the early twentieth century. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for poetry and one as a historian. He was born in Illinois in 1878. When he was 19, he hopped a westbound train and lived as a hobo. His poetry is filled with slang and the language of ordinary Americans. His publications include Chicago Poems, Cornhuskers, and the children's series, Rootabaga Stories. He died in 1967.

"All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail."
– Dorothea Brande


About Dorothea Brande

Dorothea Brande wrote the quintessential how-to-write book, Becoming a Writer, which was among the first to address every writer's core problem: How to sit down and let the words flow. Her book, published in 1934, remains in print today. She was born in 1893 in Chicago. She worked as an editor on the Chicago Tribune and The American Review and married the latter journal's owner. She also wrote Wake Up and Live, which was adapted into a movie in 1937. She died in 1948.

"A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it's an undo-it-yourself project."
– Abigail Van Buren


About Abigail Van Buren

Pauline Phillips, better known as Abigail Van Buren, wrote the syndicated "Dear Abby" column for 46 years. She was born in 1918 in Iowa. She had never written professionally when she contacted the San Francisco Chronicle's editor and said she could do better than their current advice maven. Her version was an instant success. Her twin sister, Esther Lederer, became an advice columnist under the name Ann Landers. Phillips retired in 2002; her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took over her column.

"I have always believed that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."
– Hermann Hesse


About Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse, the Pulitzer Prize–winning German writer, became extremely popular in the 1960's and 1970's for his deeply spiritual novels spiked with Eastern philosophy. He is best known for the novels Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game, and Steppenwolf. He was born in 1877 in Germany and immigrated to Switzerland in 1912. Hesse was exposed to Eastern thought from childhood: His grandfather taught Indian studies, and his mother had been born in India. He won the Noble Prize in Literature in 1946. He died in 1962.
"Just don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
– Ella Fitzgerald


About Ella Fitzgerald

With her three-octave range, a purity of tone, and a wonderfully expressive voice, singer Ella Fitzgerald has been called the voice of American jazz. She was born in 1917 in Virginia and began singing professionally at age 16. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" launched her stardom. Her best known recordings include the Cole Porter and George Gershwin songbooks; she also toured with Duke Ellington's band. She died in 1996.
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