Derek Hough is an American Latin and ballroom dancer and choreographer. After winning the dance competition TV series, Dancing with the Stars, for a record six times, Hough used his popularity to launch his acting and singing career. Also a writer, his book Taking the Lead was featured in The New York Times Best Seller list.
A stint at U.S. Marine Corps and a variety of jobs later, Wilford Brimley finally entered the world of acting, albeit as an extra. He established himself as a character actor and bagged his first leading role at the age of fifty. His notable work include Cocoon, The Natural and Our House. He is known for Quaker Oats commercials too.
Elizabeth Smart is a child safety activist who gained national attention when she was kidnapped from her home at the age of 14. She was held captive for nine months before she was rescued by the cops. Smart went on to become an activist and works against human trafficking and abduction. In 2011, she became the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
Loretta Young began as a child actor. She later won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Katrin "Katy" Holstrum in The Farmer's Daughter and earned an Academy Award nomination for her role in Come to the Stable. Fans also loved her in the Emmy-winning series The Loretta Young Show.
Tony Finau is an American professional golfer who has won two PGA Tours and one Korn Ferry Tour so far in his career. In September 2021, Tony Finau participated in the 2021 Ryder Cup in Kohler, Wisconsin, where he represented the U.S. team. Although he lost his match against English golfer Ian Poulter, the U.S. team went on to win.
Former wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson, who now coaches the wrestling team of Penn State University, has also coached Iowa State. Born to BYU wrestler Steve Sanderson, he grew up with his three brothers, who are also wrestlers. He became the second wrestler to win four NCAA championships.
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.
Model/actor Jaime Bergman was featured as the Playboy Playmate of the Month in the magazine’s 45th anniversary issue. She also gained fame for her performance as BJ Cummings in the Baywatch spoof series Son of the Beach. She also co-owns a nail polish line with her husband, actor David Boreanaz.
Craig Venter biotechnologist and businessman best known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genome. He is the founder of Celera Genomics and the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the co-founder of Human Longevity Inc. He received the Dan David Prize for his contribution to genome research and is a member of the American Philosophical Society.
Known as the Berlin Candy Bomber, Gail Halvorsen was a US Air Force officer and command pilot. He developed the idea of dropping candies, chocolate, and other treats for West German children, using parachutes, during the Berlin Airlift, in retaliation to the Soviet’s Berlin Blockade. He later received the Congressional Gold Medal.
Known for his popular book The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen was an academic and consultant. His 6’8” frame helped him be an important part of the Oxford basketball team. A Harvard MBA, he later taught at his alma. He topped the Thinkers 50 list twice.
Russell M. Nelson is an American religious leader and the current president of the Mormon Church. A former surgeon, Nelson is credited with co-developing the heart-lung machine, which was used in the first-ever open-heart surgery. He became a respected heart surgeon and went on to serve as the president of the Utah Medical Association before becoming a religious leader.
Religious leader Gordon B. Hinckley was the oldest President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). He built countless temples and also reconstructed the Nauvoo Illinois Temple. The Presidential Medal of Freedom winner was the son of LDS leader and religious speaker Bryant S. Hinckley.
Paul Alan Cox is an American ethnobotanist best known for his scientific research which aims at discovering new medicines by simply studying patterns of illness and wellness among indigenous peoples. He is credited with founding the environmental nonprofit charitable organization, Seacology. Paul Alan Cox was honored with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 1997.