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Rocky Road to Success: Sean Combs Making – Records and breaking records

Sean Combs was born in a low-income housing project in New York City’s Harlem district. His father was murdered after being associated with drug-related crime in the city. Raised by his mother, he grew into a teenager that cherished athletics as a way to channel his energy and anger; indeed he played football throughout high […]

Rocky Road to Success: Janis Joplin – Singing for her soul

One would not expect an icon of the 1960s west coast rock and roll counter culture movement to hail from a small southeast Texas port city, but that is where Janis Joplin was born and raised. Her father was an oil engineer, and it seemed to be an idyllic southern life for a church-going couple […]

Rocky Road to Success: Fred Smith – Betting on Himself

Fred Smith’s father also had a keen interest for ways to create business when it came to the basic needs of people; in his case he founded a passenger bus company. But Smith’s father died when he was just four years old, and Smith himself was infirmed for much of his early years with a […]

Rocky Road to Success: Dolly Parton – A life-long song

Dolly Parton was born in rural Tennessee in 1946. She was brought up in the rustic Smoky Mountains in a cabin that was really one large room. Parton’s parents did what they could to keep her and her siblings clothed and under a roof; indeed they were known for trading for goods and services because […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Eleanor of Aquitaine – A Talent for Staying in Power

Eleanor of Aquitaine was born around the year 1122, as exact records of a birth that long ago do not exist. Until she became a teenager, she was raised in privilege as the daughter of France’s most powerful Duke, who was also one of the King’s wealthiest landowners. Eleanor was extremely lucky for a woman […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Simon Cowell – Failure Was Not An Option

Born in London just before the rise of the swinging 1960s, Simon Cowell’s mother and father counted their professions as ballet dancer and music industry executive, respectively. Cowell was a decent student in school while he was growing up, however he was not particularly drawn to any one passion as far as his future career […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Michael Dell – Ahead of the Tech Curve

  Michael Dell was born in Houston, Texas in 1965 to an upper middle class Jewish family. Even in elementary school, the future founder of Dell Computers attempted to leap ahead of other children his age, convinced he was ready to graduate from high school at age eight and enter the business world. While encouraging […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Robin Wright – Talent Strikes Twice

  Robin Wright was born to non-entertainment industry parents in 1966 Texas. After a move to California however, she was raised in the backyard of Hollywood for much of her young life. While she attended high school in San Diego and Los Angeles, Wright began a modelling career, which quickly led to a higher profile, […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Wes Bentley – The Path of Most Resistance

One could be forgiven for assuming that Wes Bentley, an actor who has already lived a dramatic Hollywood existence by the age of 37, was born to privileged Los Angeles parents that were successful in the entertainment industry. This however, is not Bentley’s story. He was born and raised in Arkansas to parents that were […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Sacajawea – From Wronged to Strong

Sacajawea’s early life was fraught with peril. Born into a tribe of the Shoshone Native Americans, she was kidnapped by an opposing tribe at the tender age of 12. This however was not an uncommon age for anyone in untamed North America to be forced to grow up quickly and adapt to a sour turn […]

Rocky Roads to Success: John Mackey – His Whole World

A seemingly go-with-flow attitude early in life couldn’t mask John Mackey’s inner success engine. Born in Houston, Texas to middle class parents, Mackey always leaned toward pursuing his interests, as opposed to getting an education as a way to make more money. To this point, Mackey studied at the University of Texas at Austin in […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Hillary Clinton – A Flourishing Ambition

Hillary Rodham Clinton was born into a middle class family in 1947 Chicago. Clinton’s parents were extremely supportive of her intellect and ambition, a trait which was not especially supported in women at the time. At the young age of 13, Clinton could be found helping to campaign for presidential candidates across the south side […]

Rocky Road to Success: Dabo Swinney – A Life of Good Play-Calling

Dabo Swinney is a collegiate American football coach who took a long-shot team to the national championship in 2015. Swinney was born in 1969 Alabama, at a time when American football was gaining exponential popularity. A born hard worker, Swinney from a young age had the fortitude to look past the rough patches his family […]

Rocky Road to Success: Elizabeth Taylor – Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Elizebeth Taylor was born in a suburb of London during the all-too-short years of peace between World War I and World War II. By happenstance, Taylor’s parents had chosen to pursue financial gain in an industry seemingly impervious to The Great Depression: art dealing; they escaped much of the fallout from the economic hardship in […]

Rocky Road to Success: J.R.R. Tolkien – Fantasy is Reality

Born in South Africa to upwardly mobile parents, thanks to his father’s promising career in banking, J.R.R. Tolkien was only three years old when his father died. A crushing blow to the family, Tolkien, his mother and younger brother happened to be on vacation in England at the time. This left the family quite literally […]

Rocky Road to Success: Chelsea Handler – A Handle on Success

It’s a bit difficult to be noticed when you’re the youngest of six kids and everyone in your neighbourhood has more money than your family. That’s how Chelsea Handler came into the world in 1975-New Jersey. Her father was a used car dealer, and the Handlers were used to the sort of workman-like mentality she […]

Rocky Road to Success – Jon Cryer: Nobody’s Second Choice

Jon Cryer was born into an east coast family that had an appetite for show business. They had been successful enough in and around the theatre to be able to provide a path for Cryer’s later career in film and stage. Born in New York City in 1965, Cryer’s education centred on the arts. After […]

Rocky Road to Success – Jennifer Hudson: A Girl Dreaming

Jennifer Hudson spent her childhood in and around the Church, constantly surrounded by family and friends. Born in a crime-ridden part of Chicago, Illinois in 1981, she was the youngest sibling in her family. She began singing in the church choir while still in grade school and, with the encouragement of her grandmother, Hudson spread […]

Rocky Road to Success – Henry Miller: Owning his Opportunity

A true American wanderer and success story, Henry Miller was actually of German descent. He was born in Germany in 1927 to a father whose stock and trade as a butcher and cattle rancher would give Miller the know-how for his later success. He began assisting his father’s business at a young age, often acquiring […]

Rocky Road to Success – Adele: Changing to Stay the Same

Adele began her singing life when she was only four years old, after already having lived through hard times early in her life. Raised in London primarily by a single mother, Adele’s father walked out on the family shortly after she was born. Singing was in her blood, as the young performer enjoyed imitating and […]

Rocky Roads to Success – Yasiel Puig: No Permission Needed to Win

Yasiel Puig began his dream in humble environs in early 1990s Cuba. While his father was working in a sugar cane factor to support him and his younger sister, Puig became enthralled with the incredible hotbed of baseball that Cuba had become in recent decades. In many parts of the world, young children see athletes […]

Rocky Roads to Success – Rosalia Mera: Designs on Success

Rosalia Mera was not meant to be a success. She was a female born in Spain at the end of World War II. She was also not meant to end her life with a net worth of more than $6bn. Mera however had different designs on how she would live her life. The mid-1950s was […]

Rocky Roads to Success – Ludwig van Beethoven: Hearing Between the Notes

At the time of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth in late 1770, many children died in infancy. Indeed, four of Beethoven’s infant siblings did not survive. His grandfather already a musician of note during that era, Beethoven had much to live up to. It was suspected by his father, who was his first instructor, as well […]

Rocky Roads to Success – Carrie Fisher: Forcing A Balance

Carrie Fisher was born into wealth, fame and privilege; she went on to international acclaim and superstardom with her roles in the Star Wars movies and lived happily ever after. Perhaps Fisher herself wishes her life had been so streamlined, but it wasn’t so for the daughter of two famous parents. Fisher was raised in […]

Rocky Road – Tyrann Mathieu: Breaking Away

Born in the most famous area of American bayou country, New Orleans was the setting for Tyrann Mathieu’s rise, fall, and rise again. Mathieu was raised by his uncle and aunt amidst a family setting away from his biological parents. His mother was absent most of his childhood, while his father was jailed for heinous […]

Rocky Road – Stevie Nicks: A Vocal Success

Stephanie ‘Stevie’ Nicks was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1948. However during her upbringing Nicks was a child of the road, as her consumer products executive father constantly moved the family to accommodate his career. Never able to settle and make friends for an extended period of time, Nicks’ mother became overly wary of new […]

Rocky Road – Michael Sam: Facing Forward

Before Michael Sam entered high school, five of his seven siblings were either dead or in jail. In the small town of Hitchcock, Texas the members of the Sam family were perhaps the most tragic residents. Many would consider it a stroke of pure luck that Sam did not follow in the footsteps of his […]

Rocky Road – Louisa May Alcott: Written for the Future

Born and raised in the early 1800s in American New England, Louisa May Alcott spent her childhood in what some might call a confused household. Her father belonged to a sect of transcendentalists who had harsh and prescriptive views of what child rearing should look like. Alcott’s father spent years uprooting the family and struggling […]

Rocky Road: Ryan Tedder – The Man with the Music

Ryan Tedder is an Oklahoma native, born in Tulsa and raised there, as well as Colorado later in his youth. He was brought up in religion, often surrounded by a large group of family members who were missionaries and higher-ranking members of the church. Encouraged by his family, Tedder began playing the piano at the […]

Rocky Road: Kalpana Saroj – Arranging her Own Future

Raised in Vidarbha, India, Kalpana Saroj lived her young life as any normal child would: she played with other children and attended school. And it was school and education in which she took a keen interest from a very early age. Sadly, it was also during this early age that she would find herself ripped […]

Rocky Road: Jarryd Hayne – Cross and Conquer

Born in the late 1980s in Sydney, Australia, Jarryd Hayne is a modern day global folk hero. But he didn’t get there without some bumps and bruises along the way. Hayne’s father was a professional rugby player, however Hayne and his two siblings were raised primarily by a single mother. Hayne showed early athletic promise, […]

Rocky Road: Harriet Beecher Stowe – Spoken Out

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born during the infancy of the United States. In 1811 Connecticut, there wasn’t much room for a woman’s voice in the public arena. Luckily for Stowe, she was preceded by outspoken and influential notables, including a religious leader father, as well as a grandfather who made an impact in the American […]

Ava DuVernay: producing history

    Ava DuVernay was raised in the infamous city of Compton, near Los Angeles, California. Growing up she spent summers travelling between old world and new, spending summer months with family in a small town between Montgomery and Selma, Alabama. While she was attending UCLA in the mid-1990s, DuVernay was intrigued by journalism. She […]

Ellen DeGeneres: funny on the up

Ellen DeGeneres spent most of her formative years in a place not many would expect: the Southern United States. Metairie, Louisiana was the setting for early hardship in DeGeneres’s life; her family was in and out of practicing different religions, and when she was just a teenager her parents divorced. Perhaps knowing her future career […]

Jesse Ventura: a better body of work

Born in Minneapolis to parents who had each seen service in the Second World War, Jesse Ventura could be described as having hard work and grit in his DNA. Indeed, after finishing high school, Ventura went directly into the United States Navy’s SEAL programme. He served as a SEAL during the Vietnam War, braving wartime […]

Winston Churchill: no impediment to liberty

During the first part of his childhood, Winston Churchill lived in Dublin, Ireland with his mother and father, who themselves were of mixed descent, including American lineage on his mother’s side. His parents were very much an integral part of Irish political society, where his grandfather served as Viceroy. As such, Churchill was always tended […]

Steve Jobs – a keen intellect and visionary

Steven Paul Jobs was born with vision, the ability to see what is possible through effort. His birth parents gave him up for adoption early on, and Jobs was raised in San Francisco by supportive parents. After a move to Mountain Valley, California when Jobs was five, his father began teaching Jobs about basic electronics. […]

Mary Kay Ash – pioneering female entrepreneur

Mary Kay Ash was born in deep south Texas in the early 20th century. Ash’s mother, a nurse and manager of a restaurant in Houston, was a strong role model and powerful figure in her life. As was common at the time, Ash married when she was only 17. Her first break from the norm […]

John Rzeznik – creativity triumphs adversity

Raised in upstate New York, John Rzeznik had four older sisters whom he would eventually depend on for everything. After their parents passed away within two years of each other, the Rzeznik children were on their own. Rzeznik was mostly brought up by his four sisters until he turned 17 and moved out on his […]

Martha Stewart. Domestic goddess

 Martha Stewart – domestic goddess A true ‘Jane of all trades’ during a time when women were raised to live more simplistic lives, Martha Stewart grew up in New Jersey in the 40s and 50s, learning about culinary arts and fashion from her mother. Having pursued ambition to rub elbows with famous New Yorkers from an early […]

Rachael Ray Food, Life and Happiness

“I like feeling like an ox at the end of the day. I like working hard” Rachael Ray’s early life was defined by two constants: moving and food. Growing up around New England in the United States, Ray’s family owned and managed several restaurants in New York and Massachusetts in the 1970s. Throughout high school, […]

Blake Mycoskie A Goal of Giving Back

 “We are all human beings and I believe that we all should have equal rights” Early life for Blake Mycoskie included much of that of any other kid: school and sports. But Mycoskie, born in Texas in 1976, quickly developed an intuitive business sense that set him apart. He attended Southern Methodist University in Texas […]

Arthur Blank The Blueprint to Success

“Passion and standing up for things can help create a sense of unity” Arthur Blank was born into a modest household in Queens, New York in 1942. After graduating high school, he stepped on the life accelerator and finished college in three years. His father’s pharmaceutical business was bought out in the late 1960s. Blank […]

Arianna Huffington – A Super-Short Celebration Of Success by The Best You

Start up and stay there – You have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid From culture to politics, Arianna Huffington’s ambition would lead her into the global zeitgeist. Born in Athens, her parents instilled an inquisitive nature and fierce curiosity. Huffington studied at the University of Cambridge, heading the debate […]

Jay-Z: Empire State of Mind

  “I’m far from being god, but I work god damn hard.”   Hailing from the projects of New York City, Jay-Z came straight out of Brooklyn in 1969. He was raised with three siblings in a broken home, after his father abandoned the family. A culture of drugs and violence surrounded him through high […]

Celine Dion: A Voice for the Ages

  “I want to be more successful as a mother than I am in show business.”   Celine Dion was born to be heard. She had to be, as she was the last child born in a family of fourteen siblings in French-speaking Canada. Despite their lack of money, the family did own a small […]

Becky Hammon – Digging In for the Win

  “It’s a chance for girls to play and a chance for us to do something different.”   Becky Hammon would travel a long way before she would return to the American heartland. Born in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1977, Hammon grew up on steady diet of basketball. Before heading off to college, she […]

How Arnie Got To The Top by The Best You

“The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that. “Early and often” is the motto by which Arnold Schwarzenegger has lived his entire life. It’s a life that began in Thal, Austria in 1947. His father was the local police chief, an occupation that extended into the home whenever […]

Reba McEntire: A Rural Route to Success

  “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”   Born in 1955 in the small town of McAlester, Oklahoma, Reba McEntire was already a prolific country artist by the time she was a teenager. She and her siblings learned to sing primarily from McEntire’s mother, and […]

Michelle Mone: From Drop-Out to All-In

  “I will never give up. I never have, even when times have been terrible.”   As a young woman, Michelle Mone was always told that she was beautiful. And like many young people, when the chance of a lifetime came calling, she jumped at it. Mone grew up in Scotland in the early 1970s. […]

Leonardo Del Vecchio: The Vision to Achieve

  “I am proof that you can you make money in Italy and be honest.”   He was given up as an infant, but that was the last time he would experience anything close to giving up again. Leonardo Del Vecchio was born to a poor single mother in Italy in 1935. His father passed […]

Ingvar Kamprad: A Mind Made for Business

  “Our idea is to serve everybody, including people with little money.”   Ingvar Kamprad grew up about as far from the fast-paced world of international business as one could. He spent his formative years on a farm in rural Sweden in the early 20th century. His enterprising mind worked feverishly from a young age. […]

Dorothy Hodgkin: Molecular Mapper

  “I was captured for life by chemistry and by crystals.”   Born in 1910 to parents that were both Egypt-focused archaeologists, Dorothy Hodgkin experienced a bumpy, cross-cultural upbringing in both Egypt and England. As the inevitability of the outbreak of World War I became apparent, Hodgkin’s parents, rather than returning to the much more […]

Suze Orman: Financing The Future

    “Many people are in the dark when it comes to money, and I’m going to turn on the lights.”   At the age of 29, Suze Orman was already VP of investments at a top-tier financial services firm. She would ultimately make a long climb from her modest upbringing on the south side […]

Slash: Creating Rock Heaven On Earth

    “I had no aspirations to be a musician, but I picked up a guitar for two seconds and haven’t put it down since.”   Before he became one of the most famous and well-respected guitarists in history, Slash was born as Saul Hudson. A quick study of his background and it becomes apparent […]

Elon Musk: Post-Modern Genius

    “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.”   It was perhaps the many cultures in which he was raised that drove Elon Musk to push civilisation forward as one people. He was born in South Africa to Canadian and British parents. Proving to […]

How Anita Roddick Made Trade Fairer

    “If I can’t do something for the public good, what the hell am I doing?”   Born in England during the height of World War II, Anita Roddick’s life seemed to channel the chaos surrounding that war, as she forged new activist fronts for twentieth-century environmental and social issues. On the way to […]

Shaquille O’Neal Dreaming Big Since He Was Little

    “I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.”   A basketball legend was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1972. Shaquille O’Neal may have dominated the NBA for almost twenty years, but he walked a rocky road in his quest to become the best. O’Neal never had a relationship with […]

Magnus Carlsen Checkmate Master

  “Without the element of enjoyment, it is not worth trying to excel at anything.”   Born in Norway in 1990, Magnus Carlsen knew how to solve complex puzzles at the age of two. His parents are both engineers, and young Magnus quickly showed them that he was no ordinary child. Carlsen made leaps and […]

Sarah Jessica Parker: Success and The City

  “When it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?”   It’s fitting that Sarah Jessica Parker is sometimes known as America’s sweetheart. Parker was the youngest of four children born into a struggling family in an Ohio coal-mining town. Her parents divorced when she was two. Soon after, her […]

Robert Downey Jr – Down But Never Out

  “The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven.”   Born in New York City in 1965, Robert Downey Jr. was brought up in a culture of drug and alcohol abuse. Downey’s father, Robert Downey Sr., was a filmmaker of some repute. It was his father that gave Downey access to […]

Park Geun-Hye: A Tradition All Her Own

  “I will end the history of division and conflict through reconciliation and fairness.”   At first glance, following in the footsteps of one’s father would hardly seem to be something entirely out of the ordinary. However, Park Geun-Hye’s father was the President of South Korea, and she is the country’s first-ever female president. Born […]

Sylvester Stallone: One Fighting Chance by The Rocky Road To Success

  “Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”   Born in 1946, Sylvester Stallone has been called Sly for as long as he can remember – an appropriate nickname considering how much he has embodied the trait throughout his film career. His father came to America from Italy in the early 20th century, and […]

David Weir: Wheels Up by Rocky Road To Success

  “I have never seen myself as disabled”   David Weir was born with a barrier: from birth, he was not able to use his legs, due to a rare spinal cord condition. But as a youth in Wallington, Weir hit the ground running, so to speak. He became an accomplished wheelchair athlete at an […]

Andrew Carnegie: Founding The Future

  While he didn’t get to live to see the future for which he paved the way, one imagines Andrew Carnegie glimpsed it often enough in his dreams. Born in the early 19th Century to near-penniless parents, Carnegie travelled to America with his mother and father in search of better prospects after industry in Scotland […]

Catherine the Great – Empress of the People

  The life and rise of Catherine the First of Russia is an improbable tale of a peasant who walked the path to prominence. As a child, Catherine’s parents were both lost to the plague, and, at three years of age, she was adopted by an aunt in Latvia. She was mostly raised by a […]

Maria das Gracas Silva Foster: Energy to Accomplish

  From humble beginnings to being named one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Maria das Gracas Silva Foster knows how to aim high and hit the mark. Raised in the 1950s amidst impoverished conditions in a shantytown near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Foster was presented with adversity early on. During her […]

Jim Carrey: Long Climb to Acclaim

  From living in a van to the heights of Hollywood, Jim Carrey has seen every socio-economic level. Born in Canada in 1962, Carrey’s father was a musician at heart, who held a day job to support Carrey, his brother and two sisters. Times turned tough when the elder Carrey lost that job and the […]

The Rocky Road to success. Ruth First: An Apartheid Perspective

  Ruth First was raised in apartheid South Africa, but despite being white, she and her family were opposed to the minority rule. She inherited her passion for activism from her parents, aligning herself early on with the Communist Party of South Africa. She attended the University of the Witwatersrand with the distinction of being […]

The Rocky Road to success. Michael J. Fox: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Him Now

  Michael J. Fox was born in Canada to an actress and a policeman. Fox landed a role in Canadian Broadcasting Network television series, which turned out to be the platform that launched his Hollywood career. However, he wasn’t able to find success right out of the gate. He has famously said that early in […]

Jane Austen: A Modern Woman in the Old World

  There are many who think that Jane Austen would have been a fan of some of the better romantic comedies and dramedies of today. Born in the time of the Industrial Revolution in 1775, Jane Austen hailed from the ‘lower part of the upper crust.’ A devoted writer early on, Jane studied as an […]

Howard Schultz: Making More Than Bucks At Starbucks

  Born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, Howard Schultz was born to working-class parents. Schultz spent his youth pursuing team sports and college came calling in the form of a sports scholarship, making him the first person in his family to pursue higher education. While overseeing American Operations for Swedish Coffee Manufacturer Hammarplast, Schultz’s […]

Rocky Road: Valentina Tereshkova

The highest flying seagull It is not often the case that a mill worker not only dreams of the stars, but goes there. Such is the story of Valentina Tereshkova. Born in 1937 in Maslennikovo, Central Russia, she was the daughter of a tractor driver and a textile plant worker, where Tereshkova also worked.  When […]

How The Boss Of Ann Summers Changed Women’s Sex Lives – Jacqueline Gold

  The UK’s 16th wealthiest woman has been dubbed “the Queen of Sex” and “Princess of Pleasure”, but Jacqueline Gold’s early life was deeply unhappy. When she was born in 1960, her father David Gold wept with disappointment on hearing he had fathered a girl, not a boy. Jacqueline had all the trappings of wealth […]

The Amazing True Story Of Mahatma Gandhi

  How can one man bring down an empire that ruled one-fifth of the world? Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi did just that in his fight for Indian Independence from the British Empire. Though mediocre at school in India, Gandhi’s parents urged him to study law in England. Once qualified, he was too shy to appear in […]

Dame Evelyn Glennie – Good Vibrations

  Dame Evelyn Glennie is the first person in 20th Century Western Society to make a full-time living as a solo percussionist. She is also profoundly deaf. Born and raised on a farm in Aberdeenshire to musical parents, Evelyn started to go deaf from age 8, almost completely losing her hearing by age 12. Initially […]

Steve Jobs: The Elements of a Genius

  Born to unmarried college graduates in a judgemental era and then adopted by an accountant and carpenter, Steve Jobs’ birth mirrored his unconventional life. Able to read before he attended school, Jobs became a class prankster who had to be bribed to work. In 1973, he dropped out of university after six months. He […]

Vince Lombardi: The Greatest American Football coach

  Vince Lombardi is arguably the greatest American Football coach of all time, and is on the short list of history’s greatest coaches, regardless of sport. His ability to teach, motivate and inspire players helped turn the Green Bay Packers into the most dominating NFL team in the 1960s. Lombardi was born in Brooklyn, New […]

Rocky Road: James Dyson – An Eye for Innovation

  Despite his convention-defying appliances scooping him a cool £206 million in one year alone, James Dyson does not call himself a businessman. In his own terms, he is a designer and an engineer. This focus on what makes him successful keeps him producing innovative products that have changed the way we think of domestic […]

Oprah Winfrey: The Support That Made Her Shine

  When she was 13 years old, Oprah Winfrey ran away from home to escape the sexual abuse she suffered from male relatives while her single mother was out at work. As a result, she was sent to a juvenile detention home, only to be denied admission because the beds were full. By age 14 […]

J K Rowling’s Inspiring Story by The Best You

  J K Rowling’s story is a great example of how inspiration can be vital when the chips are down. Born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1965, Rowling had an unremarkable childhood. Though her teen years were difficult, at Exeter University she was considered a “competent student doing what was necessary to get by”. Then, in […]

The Dalai Lama’s Rocky Road To Freedom by The Best You

Tenzin Gyatso, Tibet’s 14th Dalai Lama was recognised in 1937 at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. He looked set for a life of mysterious obscurity on the Tibetan plateau as head of a mediaeval government until the People’s Republic of China […]

Rocky Road: Stephanie Kwolek

    Born in 1923 in Pennsylvania, USA, Stephanie Kwolek had no intention of being a world-changing chemist. She wanted to be a doctor. Without the funds to go to medical school after finishing her degree in chemistry in 1946, she took a “temporary” job with chemical giant DuPont. Nylon had recently been discovered and […]

Rocky Road: Wangari Maathai

    Born as Wangari Muta in Kenya in 1940, none could have known of the lifelong struggle for justice she was to embody. After early schooling in Kenya, Wangari was chosen for the Kennedy Airlift, which arranged University education for 300 Kenyans in the USA.  Here she was inspired by the environmental movement and […]

Rocky Road: Andrew Carnegie

    A tough life can create a habit of hard work. Andrew Carnegie was born in poverty in Scotland in 1835. His father William emigrated with the family to America when Andrew was 13, where his first job was in a linen mill for $1.20 for a six day week. At age 15 he […]

The Inspiring Life Of Helen Keller

Early childhood and illness Born in the US in 1880, Helen Keller was struck blind and deaf by a mystery illness at 19 months. Though she had the basic ability to communicate using hand signals, her life was one of frustration at not being able to understand what was going on around her. She had […]

Nikolai Tesla – The Amazing Life Of A True Genius by The Best You

Born in Croatia in 1856 to an illiterate mother and a priest, Nikola Tesla was no doubt a genius. At college he showed how he could perform integral calculus in his head, prompting his teachers to accuse him of cheating. During his first year at University he worked from 3am to 11pm every day, but […]

Marie Curie – A determined pioneer

The first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences, Marie Curie made a lasting contribution to the world. Born in Warsaw in 1867 to a family impoverished for taking part in uprisings against the Russian Empire, Marie studied at […]

The True Story of Soichiro Honda – The Japanese Henry Ford

The son of a blacksmith born in Shizuoka, Japan in 1906, Soichiro Honda spent his early years with his father repairing bicycles. He had little interest in school, forging his father’s family stamp to show receipt of school reports. However, he was curious about engineering and his love of invention was born on seeing an […]

The Secrets Of Bill Gates’s Success

  Competitive and Precise Born in 1955, the founder of software giant Microsoft has a staggering personal fortune estimated at around US $65 billion. His world influence is difficult to overstate. As a teenager, Gates first programmed a computer to play tic-tac-toe, then exploited bugs in his school computers to allow him more computing time. Banned […]

The Rocky Road to Success Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Curiosity and Analysis

  Not a household name, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is one of the unsung heroes of 20th century science. Born in Wendover, England, as Cecilia Payne, her father died when she was just four years old, forcing her mother to raise the family alone. With her mother deciding to spend no money on her higher education, Cecilia […]