Albert Finney was an English actor known for his contribution across all the three major acting mediums: films, television and theatre. A recipient of Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, Albert Finney also received nominations for prestigious awards, such as the Academy Award and Tony Award.
Known as Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele was the chief doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp and was responsible for killing thousands of Jews as well as torturing the prisoners mercilessly and conducting inhuman experiments on them. These included injecting them with chemicals and stitching twin children together. Despite his horrible crimes, the infamous Nazi doctor could never be captured.
Veteran actor, Orson Bean, was once considered a mainstay of Los Angeles’ small theater scene. Born in the late 1920s, he served in the army for a few years before beginning his career in entertainment. He appeared in numerous TV shows, plays, and films, making a name for himself as one of the finest actors of his generation.
King Hussein of Jordan reigned as the king of Jordan from 1952 to 1999. As a royal member of the House of Hashim, Hussein was a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad. At the time of Hussein's accession, Jordan was a young nation with few natural resources. However, by the end of his reign, Jordan had become a stable, modern state.
Though born bi-racial, Viola Desmond became a Black icon for her business acumen. After not being allowed to train as a beautician in Halifax, she moved to Montreal. Her beauty products, salon, and training institute, all catering specifically to Black women, filled a major void in the beauty industry.
The inventor of the saxophone, Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, was born to instrument-maker parents who had themselves re-designed the French horn. As a child, he was known as "the ghost" for his frequent brushes with death. He made many other instruments, which were included in the French army bands.
Dieter Dengler was a German-born American aviator who served the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He was caught and tortured by the enemies for over six months, after which Dengler escaped from captivity, becoming only the second U.S. airman to escape captivity during the war. The experience was documented by Dieter Dengler in his book, Escape From Laos.
Big Pun was an American songwriter and rapper. Well-known for his heavy use of alliteration and exceptional breath control, Pun was also widely regarded as one of the best MCs ever. He struggled with weight issues and obesity throughout his life, which eventually led to his death caused by respiratory failure and a heart attack at the age of 28.
Chinese ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was one of the first to identify the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. In late 2019, he alerted his colleagues of an illness that resembled SARS but didn’t respond to usual treatment. He was reprimanded and later died of COVID-19. He is since regarded as a medical hero.
After killing warlord Ding Yuan, Chinese army general Lü Bu ran away to work for another warlord, Dong Zhuo, whom he also killed. After assisting Yuan Shao, he fought against Cao Cao. He eventually lost to Cao Cao and Liu Bei in the Battle of Xiapi and was executed.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was an American aviator and writer. She is best remembered for her exploratory flights along with her husband and pioneer aviator, Charles Lindbergh. Anne was the first woman to earn a US glider pilot license in 1930. In 1996, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
David Unaipon was an Aboriginal Australian preacher, author, and inventor. He is best remembered for his significant contribution to Australian society, which helped break several stereotypes about Aboriginal Australians. Apart from establishing a couple of awards in his honor, the Australian government has also featured Unaipon on the Australian fifty-dollar note.
Architect Minoru Yamasaki was known for his signature style that was far removed from austerity of modern architecture. He is best remembered for designing New York’s famed World Trade Center, or the Twin Towers, destroyed later in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He had previously worked as a draftsman and an engineer.
Renowned meteorologist and aeronaut James Glaisher was a pioneer of balloon flights and had penned the iconic book Travels in the Air. He had also contributed to the formation of the Meteorological Society and the Aeronautical Society of Britain. The 2019 movie The Aeronauts depicts his exploits as a balloonist.
Maria Altmann was an Austrian-American Jewish refugee who fled her home country fearing the Nazis. She is remembered for her successful legal campaign to reclaim Gustav Klimt's family-owned paintings from the Government of Austria, which were stolen during the Second World War by the Nazis. Her life and career inspired documentary films, novels, and feature films, including Woman in Gold.
Although he studied math at the University of Warsaw, Witold Lutoslawski also earned diplomas in composition and piano. He grew up to be one of the finest Polish composers and was often compared to Chopin. Known for combining neoclassical and folk elements in his music, he later won a Grammy.
Billy Casper was an American golfer who won three majors, including two U.S. Open Championships, in an illustrious professional career that spanned more than two decades. One of the best performers on the PGA Tour of his generation, Casper won 51 PGA Tour events. In 1978, Billy Casper was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
A Swedish physician, academic, and public speaker, Hans Rosling was the co-founder of Gapminder Foundation, that is known for the development the Trendalyzer software system. He gave several talks/lectures, presented television documentaries like Don’t Panic: The Truth about Population and also co-authored a bestselling book titled Factfulness. Additionally, he was a professor of international health at Karolinska Institute too.
Tzvetan Todorov was a Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, literary critic, and sociologist. He completed his doctorat ès lettres at the University of Paris and had a brilliant academic career. He helped to found the journal Poétique and served as one of its managing editors. He authored many books, including Conquest of America: The Question of the Other.
Better known as Bruce Lee’s father, Cantonese opera performer Lee Hoi-chuen married half-Chinese and half-German Grace Ho after moving to Hong Kong. Bruce Lee was born to them while they were touring U.S. for an opera. His death, just days after the birth of his grandson Brandon Lee, shocked many.
Ivan Bilibin was a Russian stage designer and illustrator. Inspired by the culture and art of Ruthenia, Bilibin established himself as an important illustrator. He is remembered for his contribution to Slavic folklore and Russian folk tales. As a stage designer, he contributed to the Ballets Russes. Ivan Bilibin is also credited with co-founding the Union of Russian Artists.
Pope Pius IX served as the longest-tenured pope. His reign also witnessed the first Vatican Council and was thus the last pope who had control over the Papal States. He also issued the Syllabus of Errors and inspired books such as The Pope Who Would Be King by David Kertzer.
Jose Garcia Villa was a Filipino poet, short story writer, literary critic, and painter. Nicknamed the Comma Poet, Villa is credited with introducing and popularizing the extensive usage of punctuation marks, especially commas, in poems. Over the course of his career, José García Villa received several honors and awards, including the Order of National Artists of the Philippines.
Fourth-century Japanese emperor Nintoku, who ruled during the Kofun period, was one of the sons of Emperor Ōjin. Nihon Shoki, or The Chronicles of Japan, records many of his achievements, such as building a thorn field bank to prevent a flood. His tomb is one of the world’s three largest tombs.
D. F. Malan was a South African politician. He served as the prime minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. He became involved in National Party politics shortly after its formation. The party enforced racial segregation laws and implemented the system of apartheid. As the prime minister, he took steps to firmly lay down the foundations of apartheid.