Michael Franzese's story of being an influential member of the Colombo crime family to becoming a motivational speaker and writer inspired several works of art, including Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas where he was played by actor Joseph Bono. In 1986, he was named in Fortune magazine's list of Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses.
Mike Farrell is an American actor known for playing, Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, in the popular war comedy-drama TV series, M*A*S*H. Farrell's journey from being born into a working-class family to becoming a famous Hollywood actor is quite inspiring. Also a political and social activist, Farrell has worked on several activist campaigns. In 2001, he was honored with PETA's Humanitarian Award.
Daniel Eugene Ruettiger, better known as Rudy Ruettiger, remains an icon of the football team of the University of Notre Dame. One of his parents’ 14 children, he suffered from dyslexia, before finding his calling in football. His life later inspired the film Rudy, with actor Sean Astin playing his role.
First a convicted hacker and then a computer security consultant, Kevin Mitnick’s life is all about how ingenuity can be used negatively and positively. Currently a security consultant for top-notch companies and the FBI, the American also teaches government agencies on social engineering. His sentencing for wire fraud is controversial and often considered excessive by some quarters.
The author of New York Times bestsellers such as Untamed and Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton was once described as the patron saint of female empowerment by People magazine. She is also an avid philanthropist, who heads the all-woman non-profit Together Rising, which caters to women and children.
Dave Ramsey is an American radio show host, personal finance advisor, businessman, and author. He is best known for hosting The Dave Ramsey Show. He is also famous for authoring many books, including The Total Money Makeover, which featured on the New York Times bestseller list. He is also credited with founding a financial counseling service called the Lampo Group.
Kim Peek was a savant who suffered from the rare genetic syndrome, FG syndrome. Often called a “megasavant,” he had an exceptional memory and appeared in many documentaries. He was the inspiration for the character of Raymond Babbitt in the film Rain Man. He was born with macrocephaly and damage to the cerebellum and experienced considerable social difficulties.
American politician Rudy Giuliani, who served as the Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, received major attention and praise for his handling of crisis in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in his city. He was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in December 2001 for his efforts. However, there have also been allegations of corruption against him.
Robert Greene is best known for his international bestsellers such as The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, and The Art of Seduction. Some of his books have been banned in American prisons and have been described as manipulative, while some have been mentioned in popular songs.
Born without fibular bones, Aimee Mullins had to have her legs amputated below the knee as an infant. Undeterred, she grew up to be a Paralympic record-breaker, competing as a track and field athlete with prosthetic legs. She has walked the ramp for Alexander McQueen and has starred in films, too.
Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American alternative-medicine advocate and author. After emigrating to the United States in 1970, Chopra went on to become an important figure in the New Age movement. Credited with co-founding the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Chopra is one of the wealthiest personalities in alternative medicine. He has also drawn criticisms, thanks to his tall and ridiculous claims.
Born to Iraqi immigrants to Canada, Anita Sarkeesian later moved to the U.S. and soared to fame as a feminist media critic and YouTuber. Her site Feminist Frequency explores the treatment of women in socio-cultural scenarios. Her Tropes vs Women project invited serious sexist and racist attacks online.