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Famous people all over the world

Albertus Magnus – Albert the Great

Albertus Magnus - Albert the Great

Albertus Magnus – Albert the Great


There are few figures in the history of the Western European Middle Ages who were worshiped by the contemporaries during their lifetime. Death only promoted the growth of the already great glory.
Albert von Bollstedt was born in 1193 into a wealthy family in the small Bavarian town of Lauingen. As a child, Albert didn’t have any outstanding abilities that would indicate his bright future. However, little Albert had one passion: the future scientist and theologian had thirst for knowledge.
There is a legend that survived Albert for centuries. Once, Blessed Virgin appeared to the young man during his hot prayer and asked him what science he wanted to succeed in. Albert wished to achieve success in studying the queen of sciences – philosophy. Nodding, the Mother of God said with sadness: “I will fulfill your request – you will become a great philosopher. But, alas, you’ve chosen philosophy not theology. And it is theology that deserves the greatest preference over all other sciences, for there is nothing more beautiful than comprehending the greatest wisdom of our beloved God. As punishment for the lack of piety, you will return to your previous stupidity before your death.”
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Benvenuto Cellini – Italian goldsmith and sculptor

Benvenuto Cellini - Italian goldsmith and sculptor

Benvenuto Cellini – Italian goldsmith and sculptor


Benvenuto Cellini was a famous Florentine sculptor, a representative of Mannerism, a goldsmith, the author of several books. The most famous of them were The Life of Benvenuto and two treatises: On Goldsmithing and On Sculpting.
Cellini was born on November 3, 1500 in Florence. Parents, who had only girls before, called the long-awaited heir Benvenuto, which in Italian means “desired”. A father who played the flute and viola well, really wanted his son to become a famous musician. But little Cellini didn’t like playing music, although he learned to sing well and play the flute. At the age of 13, the future sculptor had an interest in jewelry. Against the will of his father, he became a pupil of goldsmiths. And in this craft Benvenuto succeeded. In the following years, young Cellini traveled extensively in Italy, studying with the best jewelers. Only in 1518 he returned to Florence.
In his five years of study, Cellini became a good craftsman. At first he worked in his native city, but soon went to Rome. Benvenuto didn’t like the work of the apprentice, because a third of the earnings had to be given to the owner. Moreover, he surpassed many famous jewelers who profited from his work. This forced the young man to go home.
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James Braddock – Cinderella Man

James Braddock - Cinderella Man

James Braddock – Cinderella Man


James Walter Braddock, also known as Jim Braddock, was an American professional boxer, world heavyweight champion. His nickname was Cinderella Man. Braddock, just like the fairy-tale character Cinderella, went from being a poor person to becoming a rich person – although he didn’t marry the handsome prince.
During the 1930s, Jim Braddock became a champion for the common man, a symbol of the fight against poverty, and a hero for millions of Americans who were trapped in a desperate and helpless situation. Just recently Braddock’s story has been turned into a major film starring Russell Crowe.
When the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Depression started millions and millions of Americans lost their jobs, houses, all their savings. There was no food. The whole life came crashing down.
When the Depression started, people reacted in different ways. Some packed up and headed out west to look for work. Others hung around looking for any part-time work they could pick up. Some signed on for government benefits. And others even committed suicide. Braddock, like many others in the same situation, decided that he would never give up.
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Herbert Clark Hoover – thirty-first president of America

Herbert Clark Hoover - thirty-first president of America

Herbert Clark Hoover – thirty-first president of America


The future US President Herbert Clark Hoover was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch. His parents were Quakers with German roots from provincial Iowa. The boy’s father sold agricultural machinery and worked as a blacksmith. He died when Herbert was only 6 years old. His mother died 4 years later. An orphaned boy moved to his uncle in Oregon. In 1891, young Hoover entered the newly opened Stanford University. He became a mining engineer, and nothing foreshadowed that this specialist would be engaged in politics.
In 1895, Herbert Hoover received a bachelor’s degree. His professional career was extremely exciting. First, a Stanford graduate got a job as a rock cleaner at the mining company Reward Gold Mine. Then British Bewick, Moreing and Company, specializing in gold, hired a 23-year-old Hoover and sent him to Australia. There Hoover gained invaluable experience not only as a geologist, but also as a manager.
Later the specialist received an unexpected offer from the Chinese government. The Chinese wanted to learn modern Western experience. The American was in China when the infamous Boxing Uprising began there. Peasants were against the domination of foreigners and they did not like the missionary activity of Christians. Once Tianjin, in which the Hoovers lived, came under fire. The rebel shells landed in a building across the street from the house of an American engineer. On that day, Herbert, risking his life, rushed into the ruined house and saved a Chinese girl.
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Vasco da Gama – Portuguese explorer

Vasco da Gama - Portuguese explorer

Vasco da Gama – Portuguese explorer


The achievement of the famous Portuguese Vasco da Gama is difficult to overestimate. The brave navigator, having rounded Africa on a ship, was the first European to reach the Indian Peninsula. But besides this, he was a cruel conqueror, who hurt thousands of innocent people …
Thanks to the discoveries of Vasco da Gama, the poor kingdom of Portugal became one of the richest on the mainland.
Vasco da Gama was born in 1469 into the family of the royal governor of Estevan da Gama and his wife Isabel in Sines. Despite his noble birth, the boy grew up with the sons of fishermen, and therefore he learned to swim and sailed a lot. In the evenings, the children gathered around the old sailors, who told them about the adventures. Often there were stories about the African coast, where black people with big lips and bloodshot eyes lived. The Portuguese considered them savages and cannibals, and the boys took for granted the ruin of their settlements. There was no need to look for justifications for this – “in benefit of the crown and of Portugal.”
Vasco became a naval officer and soon received praise from the king himself. The fact is that in 1492 the French corsairs captured the Portuguese caravel with gold from Guinea. The king ordered the young officer to revenge. Vasco and his team, under cover of night, passed along the coast at lightning speed and captured all the ships of the French. Naturally, the enemy resisted, but Da Gama simply did not give them a chance. As a result, France returned the gold in exchange for the seized vessels, and the name of Vasco da Gama was pronounced after the prefix “ferocious corsair”.
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Eddie Kendricks – American singer

Eddie Kendricks – American singer

Eddie Kendricks – American singer


Eddie Kendricks was an American singer, member of the vocal group The Temptations. He is known for solo hits in the 1970s. To tell the truth, Eddie was an expressive vocalist who often sang falsetto.
Edward James Kendrick was born on December 17, 1939 in Union Springs, Alabama. He had three brothers – Charles, Robert and Clarence, as well as sister Patricia.
The life of a young boy changed forever by a move to Birmingham, Alabama, which put him in contact with Paul Williams, who became his best friend. The pair enthralled audiences with their choir performances, and in 1955 formed a doo-wop trio with Kell Osbourne and relocated to Ohio.
Kendrick worked as a dishwasher and at night he performed together with Williams in night clubs. Their group The Primes (originally The Cavaliers) caught the attention of manager Milton Jenkins. Later Kendrick and Williams and the group The Distants formed the band The Temptations. Under Berry Gordy’s guidance, The Temptations eventually became famous. They became the most successful male soul-group of the company Motown. Their songs My Girl (1965) and I Can’t Get Next to You (1969) were hits number one.
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Jack Johnson – great boxer

Jack Johnson – great boxer

Jack Johnson – great boxer


Jack Johnson was an American boxer and perhaps the best heavyweight athlete of his generation. He was the first black world champion in 1908-1915 and became infamous for his relationship with white women. From 1902 to 1907, the boxer won more than 50 matches. Johnson’s career was legendary, for 47 years of fighting, he was knocked out only three times, but his life was full of problems. You know, Johnson, while still alive, wasn’t recognized as a champion, and supporters of extremism were constantly looking for “great white hope” to take away his title. They asked heavyweight champion James Jeffrey to fight with Johnson in Reno, Nevada, in 1910. However, their “hope” was defeated in the fifteenth round.
As a boxer, he achieved some of his greatest victories already being close to defeat. Outside the ring, he was attacked by the racists of America, and in response showed his arrogant position and publicly violated racial taboos.
After the end of his boxing career, the great fighter, nicknamed The Galveston Giant, being a cello amateur and violinist, a connoisseur of Harlem nightlife, opened his own Club Deluxe. He died in a car accident near Raleigh, North Carolina, in June 1946.
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