IMPORTANT PEOPLE























What significance do the following names have?  How many do you recognize and what do you know about their lives?

·         Harlow H. Curtice[i]
·         John Foster Dulles[ii]
·         Konrad Adenauer[iii]
·         Mohammed Mossadegh[iv]
·         Jeff Bezos[v]
·         Andy Grove[vi]
·         David Ho[vii]
·         Deng Xiaoping[viii]
·         Peter Ueberroth[ix]
·         Willy Brandt[x]

Since 1927, TIME Magazine has chosen a man, woman, or idea that "for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year." Though TIME's list is not an academic or objective study of the past, the list gives a contemporary viewpoint of what was important during each year.[xi] 

Though considered to be ‘Person of the Year’ (and the most significant world-shapers of their day) their names have now been mostly forgotten.  Somewhere in their study or in their archives, a faded Time Magazine has their picture on the cover.  Maybe they bring it out at parties to remind guests of how important they once were.  But mostly, no-one remembers.  There may be a statue, street name or building erected in their name; but they have blurred into history for the most part without you having a clue about them.

Another important man of the past Dag Hammarskjold[xii] made the following comment about being publicly known:

Around a man who has been pushed into the limelight a legend begins to grow as it does around a dead man. But a dead man is in no danger of yielding to the temptation to nourish his legend, or accept its picture as reality. I pity the man who falls in love with his image as it is drawn by public opinion during the honeymoon of publicity.[xiii]


[i] 1955 helped steer U.S. into new age of wide-open affluence
[ii] 1954 Secretary of State brought ‘brinksmanship’ to cold war lexicon
[iii] 1953 forced war-shattered West Germany to face the future
[iv] 1951 rallied short-lived anti-Western government in Iran
[v] 1999 Amazon.com founder
[vi] 1997 Intel CEO
[vii] 1996 AIDS researcher pioneered treatment
[viii] 1985 Reshaped China by embracing free-market reforms
[ix] 1984 Married big business to the Olympics with profitable L.A. Games
[x] 1970 West German tried to bring about enlarged, united Western Europe
[xii] Secretary-General of United Nations 1953-61
[xiii] Dag Hammarskjold, quoted in C. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, Word, 1990, p. 238-9.

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