Sunday, June 19, 2011

Influential People

A few years ago on the occasion of their 50th anniversary American Heritage did a piece on the fifty most influential people of the past fifty years.

James Dean
Andy Warhol
Raymond Chandler
Pauline Kael (film critic)
Buddy Holly
Miles Davis
Frank Sinatra
Ernie Kovacs
Norman Mailer
Franic Ford Coppola
Malcolm X

In response to the American Heritage list I assembled my own list, though frankly I am not sure what I think about a few of these today. I no doubt have Quincy Jones and Walter Cronkite on the list because I had just read their biographies. Brando, Nicholson and Newman were actor rebuttals to James Dean being on the list. I do find it interesting to that the American Heritage list included two people whose lives were cut short in their twenties. The influence of their shadow or symbolic aspect as pop icons is what really lived on, much like Che in the political underground.

Anyways, here was my rebuttal list, though now I would discard the first line. The last two probably fall outside the criteria American Heritage used to making their selections. Oh well. And I think I put Lewis and Huxley on the same line because they both died on the same day, the day President Kennedy was shot in Dallas.

Brando Nicholson Newman
C S Lewis ~ Aldus Huxley
Bob Dylan
Dr. Martin Luther King
Quincy Jones
Billy Graham
Walter Cronkite
John F Kennedy
Steve Jobs

Who would you say were the ten most influential people from post-WW2? What men and women would make your list?

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