Luis Alvarez (1911-1988) - A brilliant and diverse scientist, Alvarez was a member of the Manhatten Project, won the Nobel Prize in 1968 for his work on high energy physics and late in life, became an archeologist. The combination of his expertise in physics and interest in paleontology led to the theory that dinosaus were annihilated by a collision between the Earth and some astral body.
Niels Bohr (1885 - 1962) - A Danish physicist, Bohr won the Nobel Prize for his studied of the structure of the Atom. It was he that warned the United States in 1939 that Germany was working to split the atom. After Denmark fell to Nazi aggression, Bohr and his family fled, ultimately to America where he worked on the Manhatten Project. After the war, he advocated sharing nuclear technology with the Soviet Union and became an activist in the cause of responsible nuclear technology.
Louise A. Boyd (1887 - 1972) - Born to wealth and privilege, Boyd inherited her family fortune in 1920. She became a socialite tarveling throughout Europe and in 1924, took a cruise through the Arctic regions aboard a Norwegian luxury liner. The trip sparked her in interest in the remote regions. She conducted several explorations and studied of the Arctic over the next several years, photographing the flora and fauna. In 1941, the U.S. government commisioned Boyd to conduct a study of polar magnetic forces and radio communication. When the U.S. entered the war, she became a military advisor for Arctic military strategy after Nazi Germany occupied Norway. In 1955, she commissioned an airplane and became the first woman to fly an airplane across the North Pole. She died in 1972 at the age of 85.
Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981) - A 5-Star general, Omar Bradley was the leader of 12th division of the U.S. Army following the landing at Normandy. His forces drove straight through the heart of France, liberating Paris and making the first major strikes into Nazi Germany. After World War II, he became Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. In 1948, following the creation of the Department of Defense, he became the first leader of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He left public service in 1953 to become chairman of the board of the Bulova Watch Company.
Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964) - A reclusive author and scientist for the U.S. Department of Fisheries, Carson first came to prominence in 1941 with her book Under The Sea-Wind. She later became famous for alerting the public to the dangers of DDT and other pesticides used in agriculture in her final book, Silent Spring, in 1962.
Jacque Yves-Cousteau - (1910-1997) Arguably the world's most famous oceanographer, Cousteau was the co-inventor of the aqua-lung in the 1940's and filmed many early underwater documentaries that are the origins of most public fascination with underwater life. In addition to his scholarly work in oceanopgraphy, Cousteau was a member of the French resistance navy and engaged in a series of daring and successful campaigns against Axis Italian forces in the Mediterranean. After the war, he launched his signature ship, the Calypso and became the most public advocate of ocean health until his death in 1997.
General James Harold Doolittle - (1896-1993) - An Army Air Force flying instructor who with a doctorate in aeronautical negineering, Colonel Doolittle led the first bombing raids on Toyko, Japan in April 1942. For this campaign, he as promoted to Brigadier General and given command of air forces in North Africa. He was promoted to Lieutnant General in 1944 and given command of the Eighth Air Force. In 1946, Doolittle was in the employ of Shell Oil company when he reportedly was among those that recovered the alien space craft, crew intact, that is rumored to have crashed on the Spitzbergen Islands off Norway. These rumors have been repeatedly denied by official sources in The U.S. and Norway. Doolittle died in 1993.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) - Probably the most reknowned scientist of the 20th century, Einsten is best known for his theories of relativity and his description of quanta, for which he won the Nobel prize. His later work described the relation between mass and energy (E=mc2) and the unified field theory. While his work laid the foundation for the Manhatten Project, Einstein's German citizenship (which he renounced in 1940) was considered a security risk and he was not invited to join it. Einstein actively campaigned for a Jewish homeland and after the formation of Isreal, was offered the Israeli presidency in 1952. He died in 1955.
Enrico Fermi (1901 - 1954) - An Italian physicist and Nobel Laureate who created the first controlled nuclear reaction, Fermi fled to America after winning the Nobel Prize in 1938. His work was pivotal in the construction of the first nuclear weapons.
Howard Hughes (1905-1976) - An American entrepeneur and playboy, Howard Hughes is likely one of the most eclectic figrues of 20th century America. Likely the format own which fictional characters like Bruce Wayne or Ted Knight were based, Hughes was a dashing figure, oftenseen in the company of starlets such as Katehrien Hepburn, Lana Turner and Ginegr Rogers. Among his notable past times was film, in which he directed and produced films such as "Hell's Angels" and worked extensively with Jane Russell, developing her signature look. He was also an accomplished aviator, setting several aerial speed records in the 1930's and 40's and designing the Spruce Goose, a combination boat and aeroplane composed entirely of wood (birch not spruce though). Hughes idea was that wood cargo vessels would help alleviate the metal shortages caused by U-boat activity. After the war, Hughes engaged in a variety of unsuccessful corporate ventures before succumbing to mental illness, paranoia and addictions to codeine and valium. When Hughes died in 1976, he had not be seen in public or photographed in 20 years and had to be identified from fingerprints. His legacy include the Howard Hughed Medical Foundation, Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) and and Hughes Electronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric.
Princess Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan (1914-1944) - Khan was a the direct descendent on the Khan dynasty, the last Muslim sultanate of India. Raised in France, she fled with her family in advance of the Nazi offensive into France. While her family sought refuge in London, Khan enrolled in a course for special operatives. In June of 1943, she became a covert agent in France, a wireless operator maintaining communication between the French Resistance and the outside world. She was hounded by the Gestapo until her betrayal in October 1943. She spent several months in Gestapo custody, where she was repeatedly interrogated. When she refused to reveal any secrets, she was brutalized and beaten. After one final unsuccessful interrogation, she was sent to Dachau and executed on September 13th, 1944.
Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) - Robinson was the first professional baseball player in the Major Leagues who was African-American, beginning with Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Aside from the cultural significance of breaking racial barriers, Robinson played in six of the ten world series in his MLB career, had a batting average of 0.311, 1518 hits and 137 home runs. In 1962, he became the first African-American hall of famer. After his death of diabetes in 1972, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which she runs to this day.
Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) - A courageous and brilliant military strategist known as the Desert Fox, Rommel became reknown for his mastery of desert combat in Northern Africa. After leading a Nazi sweep from Libya eastward, he was stymied at El-Alamein and never able to capture Alexandria, Egypt. He was slowly driven steadily back and eventually retreated from Africa. In 1944, he was severely injured and returned him to recover. Never a member of the Nazi party, Rommel openly criticized Hitler's policies. When an attempt was made on Hitler's life, Rommel was accused of collusion and given the choice of suicide or the kangeroo court of the Nazi Germany. Rommel chose the latter and died of poison ingestion in October of 1944.
Raymond Ames Spruance (1886-1969) - Commander
of a cruiser division that support Admiral Halsey's fleet, Spruance was
promoted to Task Force 16 Commander (including the USS Enterprise and
USS Hornet) during the Battle of Midway. The stunning victories under
Spruance's command led to his assumption of leadership of the 5th Fleet
in the Pacific when he was promoted to full Admiral in 1944. He led the
naval support of the Phillipines in 1945, decimating Japan's remaining
air power. After the war, Spruance became president of the Naval War College
and from 1952- 1955, served as U.S. Ambassador to the Phillipines. He died
in 1969 at the aged of 83.
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