An African-American leader of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X was a vocal spokesman of the Nation of Islam and called upon the blacks to protect themselves from the white, even if it meant adopting violence. His radical views and preaching later evolved and he accepted the possibility of peaceful resolution of racial issues in America.
Frederick Banting was a Canadian medical scientist and physician. In 1923, Banting and Scottish biochemist John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of insulin and its therapeutic potential. Aged 32 at that time, Banting remains the youngest Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine. He was knighted by King George V in 1934.
Eric Liddell was a Scottish athlete who won a gold medal in 400 meters race at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. In his later years, he became a Christian missionary. Though he was of Scottish origin, he was born in China, where he spent most of his life and died eventually.
Abdul Qadir Gilani was a Sunni Muslim ascetic, mystic, preacher, theologian, and jurist. He is best remembered for founding the Qadiriyya tariqa of Sufism, which is named after him. Abdul Qadir Gilani was famous for his preaching and is credited with converting numerous Christians and Jews.
Margot Fonteyn was an English ballerina who spent her entire dancing career at the Royal Ballet. She was eventually appointed prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet by Queen Elizabeth II. Margot Fonteyn achieved international fame after a tour of the US in 1949. She also helped popularize ballet in the US by appearing on TV before and after WWII.
Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.
Better known as former U.S. president Donald Trump’s uncle, John G. Trump was an MIT physicist and engineer. Though he had initially aspired to be an architect and join his brother Fred’s real-estate business, John later concentrated on his research that led to the invention of high-voltage generators.
The eldest child of The Staple Singers patriarch, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, Cleotha Staples was part of her family gospel group’s eight US top 40 hits. After facing racism, while they toured around performing, Cleotha and her group ventured into Black protest music. Respect Yourself was one of their Billboard-charting tracks.
A pioneer of modern British agriculture, Jethro Tull made many inventions, such as a horse-drawn mechanism for sowing seeds. Though he was trained to be a lawyer, he chose to work on his father’s farm instead. His studies on agriculture were later released as The New Horse Houghing Husbandry.
Nobel Prize-winning Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz is remembered as a pioneer of ethology. The son of a surgeon father and a physician mother, Lorenz was a qualified physician himself. A university degree awarded to him was rescinded posthumously due to his association with the Nazi party
Paul Farmer was a medical anthropologist and physician, who was a co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization. He was a proponent of liberation theology and wrote extensively on health and human rights.
Howard Florey was an Australian pathologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for his role in the formation of penicillin, for which he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain in the year 1945. Florey is credited with carrying out the first clinical trial of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941.
Best known for inventing an automatic refrigeration system used in long-haul trucks, Frederick McKinley Jones was orphaned at age 7. He quit school as a child and took up menial jobs. After briefly serving the army, he focused on inventing machine parts and ended up with over 60 patents.
Augusto César Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary. From 1927 to 1933, Sandino led a rebellion against the United States occupation of Nicaragua, due to which he was lauded as a hero throughout Latin America. Although the US government labeled him a bandit, Sandino went on to become a symbol of resistance and is revered as a national hero in Nicaragua.
The daughter of Jewish immigrants in New York, Gertrude B. Elion excelled in chemistry at Hunter College, where she studied for free, but was initially unable to find a job due to gender bias. The renowned biochemist and pharmacologist later won a Nobel and became a pioneer in medical research.
Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann is remembered for her groundbreaking discovery of the Earth’s solid inner core and molten outer core, using seismic waves. While she initially studied math, she later deviated to seismology, with a focus on ascertaining earthquake epicenters. The William Bowie Medal-winning scientist died at age 104.
French princess Claude of France, who was the daughter of King Henry II of France, later became the duchess consort of Lorraine by her marriage to Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. She is known to have suffered from a club foot and a hunchback, traits she inherited from her mother, Catherine de' Medici.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes is best remembered for his discovery of superconductivity and his research on low-temperature physics, which eventually led to the liquefaction of helium. He is also said to have coined the term enthalpy. The Kamerlingh Onnes Award, named after him, honors achievements in low-temperature science.
Kurt Eisner was a German politician, theatre critic, journalist, and revolutionary. He is credited with organizing the Socialist Revolution, which played an important role in overthrowing Bavaria's Wittelsbach monarchy in 1918. His role in the Socialist Revolution made him a symbol of the Bavarian revolution.
Dwayne Glenn McDuffie was an American writer best remembered for writing and producing popular animated series like Ben 10, Justice League Unlimited, and Static Shock. He is credited with co-founding Milestone Media, which is renowned for creating Milestone Comics. Over the course of his illustrious career, Dwayne Glenn McDuffie won many prestigious awards like the Humanitas Prize and Inkpot Award.
Khama III was the Kgosi (king) of the Bangwato people. He was also referred to by missionaries as Khama the Good and Khama the Great. As a young man, he had considerable wealth and was well-traveled. He also spoke fluent Dutch. He was baptized into the Lutheran church in 1860 and is remembered as the founder of a Christian state.
A descendant of a Hungarian noble family, Sándor Márai grew up to become a celebrated journalist. He was the first to review the works of Franz Kafka. He neither liked the Nazis nor the Communists. His best-known works include the novel Embers, which was later made into a stage play.
Pope Julius II served as the ruler of the Papal States and head of the Catholic Church from 1503 until his death in 1513. One of the most influential and powerful popes, Julius II left a significant political and cultural legacy. He commissioned a series of architecture and art projects, which beautified and improved the city to a great extent.
Initially a teacher and a journalist, Ibrahim Datuk Tan Malaka later joined the Communist movement in Indonesia and became Sukarno’s rival for the control of the country’s nationalist movement. Widely regarded as the Father of the Republic of Indonesia, he was captured and executed by Sukarno’s supporters.
Guillermo Cabrera Infante was a Cuban novelist, essayist, translator, and screenwriter. He initially planned to become a doctor but ditched his plans to become a writer instead. He had a successful career and eventually became the editor of the magazine Carteles and director of the Instituto del Cine. He received the Premio Cervantes in 1997.