We all need great men and women who can help nudge us towards greatness! From Mother Teresa to Nelson Mandela, many famous heroes can inspire you and your family.
We've all had to be a little more heroic to get through 2020, and lessons from many of these famous heroes can inspire us to keep going. Most of them had difficult beginnings in their life stories, but later, they overcame odds and achieved greatness. Read on for some lessons from some of the most influential heroes in modern history. These people have made a tremendous difference in the world.
There’s more to heroism than simply being a public figure. The passion and purpose of the following men and women have made a better world. Here are a few of our favorite people who have made many amazing contributions to our world today:
- George Washington Carver- Although born into slavery, Carver overcame many obstacles to become one of the most extraordinary botanists, inventors, and heroes in American history. His discoveries empowered farmers to unlock the power of the peanut, improve soil nutrients, and feed their families. His scientific advances have improved the lives of people worldwide.
- Clara Barton – Few organizations have the footprint of the American Red Cross. And Clara Barton founded the organization in 1881 after providing support to soldiers. Today, the American Red Cross is among the most prominent charitable organizations in the world! You can still help her cause when you book an appointment to donate blood to those in need.
- Lynda Blackmon Lowery – She may not be one of the most famous heroes in American history. However, Lowery is one of the most dedicated activists around. This Civil Rights advocate had been jailed eleven times before turning 15! In her book Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, Lowery bravely shares her story of the 1965 voting rights march.
- Thomas Edison- Edison only lasted three months in formal schooling, but that didn't stop him from later becoming one of the greatest inventors of all time. By the time of his death, he had over 1500 patents and had founded 14 companies, including General Electric. Every time you turn on a lightbulb, you can thank Edison!
Many political and religious figures have graced the world stage. But the following famous heroes have also helped pave the way for justice for generations to come.
- Abraham Lincoln – To this day, Lincoln is considered one of the best presidents in American history. He led the country as President of the United States from March 4, 1861, until his assassination on April 15, 1865. Lincoln’s abolition of slavery stands as one of his greatest achievements.
- Mother Teresa – One of the most humble heroes in history, Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. She dedicated herself to serving the poor and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.
- Nelson Mandela – Mandela’s recent passing in 2013 may have seemed to unite the world. However, it was his anti-apartheid activism that led to his legacy. Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999, working towards civil rights and tackling racism and apartheid.
- Susan B. Anthony- Her tenacity and passion for empowering American women with the right to vote are still inspiring us today. Her efforts paved the way for many future women in American politics, from Kamala Harris to Nikki Haley.
Beyond political figures and activists, many artists and explorers also inspire many.
- Samuel Clemens – The name might not sound familiar, but this writer is better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. As one of the United States heroes, Twain is the man behind the great American novel. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the most beloved books of all time.
- Katherine Johnson -- Her brilliant orbital calculations were crucial to helping the United States launch an astronaut into space. You can learn more about her contributions and life in the film, Hidden Figures.
- Amelia Earhart– As the first female aviator to take a transatlantic flight, Amelia's passion for science and adventure continues to inspire young people of all ages! In addition to her accomplishments as a woman in aviation, she also championed women's rights.
- Walt Disney- When you think about the magic of wonder and childhood, it's possible that one of many Disney characters comes to mind. Between his movies and theme parks, Disney has left a lasting mark in the world of entertainment and imagination.
There are so many heroic people still making their marks in various ways today. Here are a few modern-day heroes.
- Bono- While most rock stars are known for their crazy antics, U2's Bono has used his influence for good. Bono's been a role model for Americans and others worldwide. As co-founder of the ONE and RED campaigns, his organizations have helped raise over $500 million towards AIDS prevention and eradicating global poverty.
- Oprah Winfrey- Media mogul, entrepreneur, talk show host, philanthropist, and actress- is there anything she can't do? As much as we admire Oprah's business acumen and many talents, we're also in awe of her foundations Oprah's Angels and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
- Dolly Parton- Despite her humble beginnings in a one-room cabin in Tennessee along with 11 brothers and sisters, she persevered to become a prolific songwriter, singer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She's donated millions towards causes including children's literacy, medical research, and disaster relief.
Our lives are chock full of heroes for your children, both famous and unknown, past and present. There are plenty of political figures, activists, and artists out there to admire! Are there any well-known figures your child looks up to? Share them with us in our comments or on FamilyApp! After all, having someone to admire can help shape and inspire your own life story.