<Standard 2.9

2.10 After reading or listening to a variety of true stories about individuals recognized for their achievements, describe and compare different ways people have achieved great distinction (e.g. scientific, professional, political, religious, commercial, military, athletic, or artistic).

Albert Einstein


  • Albert Einstein
    • Born March 14, 1879 in Germany
    • He was very intelligent but had a speech problem and struggled in school
    • His family moved to Milan, he dropped out of school to join them
    • He later finished his degree to gain admittance to school in Switzerland
    • He struggled to find employment after graduating
    • Eventually got a job as a clerk in a Swiss patent office
    • He reviewed applications for electromagnetic products
    • He was very interested in electromagnetism
    • In 1905, he published 4 papers
    • They were ignored at first, but shortly gained fame
    • His papers are still main aspects of physics today
    • Won a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921
    • Moved to the US in 1932
    • Helped develop the atomic bomb
    • Even today, his name is synonymous with genius and scientist
    • He was able to achieve great success even after struggling in school
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for Einstein's full biography.

Ursula Burns

  • Ursula Burnsmulticultural.pngwomens history.jpg
    • First African American woman to be CEO of a fortune 500 company
    • Born in NYC in 1958
    • Grew up in a housing project
    • Attended Cathedral High School in NYC
    • Discovered she had a gift for math
    • Went to Pyrotechnic Institute of New York and got a degree in mechanical engineering
    • Attended Columbia University and received her masters in engineering
    • Started as an intern at Xerox in 1980
    • Moved up within the company with her hard work ethic
    • Became CEO of Xerox in July 2009
    • She also works to get girls interested in math and science careers
    • Burns was able to go from the projects to CEO of a company because of her hard work
Biography icon for wiki.pngTo read more about Burns, click here and here.

John F. Kennedy


  • John F. Kennedy
    • Born May 29, 1917
    • Born into a popular and wealthy Boston family
    • Many of the Kennedy's are involved in politics
    • Attended boarding school in Connecticut, where he was rebellious and not interested in school
    • Almost failed Latin
    • Went on to Princeton and then transferred to Harvard
    • After graduating, he joined the US Navy and commanded a PT boat in the Pacific
    • After his boat was attacked, Kennedy helped lead his men to an island, where they were saved 6 days later
    • Earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart
    • Won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1946 for MA
    • Served from 1946 to 1952
    • Went on to a Senate seat in 1952
    • Gained popularity in the Democratic Party
    • Ran for and became President in 1960
    • 2nd youngest President in US history
    • First Catholic President
    • Created the Peace Corps in 1961
    • Led the US through the Cuban Missile Crisis
    • Initiated the Civil Rights Act
    • Became one of the most well-known Presidents
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for Kennedy's full biography

Mother Teresa

  • Mother Teresa
    • Born August 26, 1910 in Macedonia
    • Her birth name was Agnes Bojaxhiu
    • Her family was very Catholic and involved in the church
    • Her father died when she was 8 years old
    • Her mother taught her compassion and helping others
    • Was 18 when she decided to become a nun
    • Took the name Teresa
    • Moved to India, where she taught poor children
    • Officially became a nun in 1937
    • Became the school's principal in 1944
    • In 1946, she heard a call from God
    • Left teaching to help the poor in the slums of Calcutta
    • In her work, she established an orphanage, leper colony, nursing home, family clinic, and mobile health clinics
    • Established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 with 12 members
    • By 1997, the Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 members
    • Established a soup kitchen and HIV/AIDS home in NYC in 1971
    • Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979
    • Her name is synonymous with kindness and charity
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for her full biography

Andrew Carnegie

  • Andrew Carnegie
    • Born November 25, 1835 in Scotland
    • Moved to the US in 1848
    • Worked in a factory, as a telegraph messenger, telegraph operator, and as an assistant to a railroad official
    • Later promoted to superintendent on the railroad
    • While working on the railroad, he made investments in oil and steel
    • Left the railroad to work on his business, Carnegie Steel Company
    • Built plants around the country
    • Owned everything to make the steel, from the natural resources to the transportation when the steel was made
    • The company made Carnegie very wealthy
    • Carnegie Steel Company was the largest company of its kind by 1889
    • in 1901, he sold his company to the United States Steel Corporation for $200 million
    • Became a philanthropist
    • Opened libraries, schools, and donated money to education
    • Revolutionized the steel industry and later helped the world with his donations
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for his full biography

George Patton

  • George Patton
    • Born November 11,1885 in CA
    • Wanted to be in the military since hearing about his ancestors fighting in the Revolutionary War and Civil War
    • Attended the Virginia Military Institute, followed by West Point
    • Was an accomplished swordsman, competed in the Stockholm Olympics in 1912
    • Fought against Pancho Villa in Mexico and in WWI
    • Was a military leader in WWII
    • Used unconventional tactics
    • Helped lead the invasion of Normandy
    • Earned the nickname "Old Blood and Guts"
    • In 1945, Patton crossed into Germany
    • Helped liberate Germany from the Nazi's
    • Was able to accomplish his dream of being a war hero with his bravery and leadership
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for his full biography


Image of Muhammad Ali on Stamp of Azerbaijan, 1998
Image of Muhammad Ali on Stamp of Azerbaijan, 1998

  • Muhammad Ali
    • Known as the "Greatest of All Time"
    • Known for his accomplishments as a professional boxer and his impact on people around the world
    • Born Jan. 18, 1942
    • Birth name was Cassius Clay
    • Started boxing at 12 years old
    • Won a gold medal in light heavyweight boxing in the 1960 Rome Olympics
    • Brought back attention to a dying sport
    • Converted to Islam in 1964
    • Renamed Muhammad Ali
    • He was heavyweight champion for the next seven years
    • Was drafted for the Vietnam War but refused to go
    • Stripped of his boxing license and titles
    • The case against Ali went all the way to the Supreme Court
    • Court ruled in his favor
    • Invited to the White House in 1974
    • Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1984
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for his full biography


  • Pablo Picasso
    Pablo Picasso
    • Born Oct. 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain
    • His first word was "piz" short for "lápiz", or pencil in Spanish
    • Struggled academically
    • Moved to Barcelona with his family when he was 14
    • Accepted into the Barcelona School of Fine Arts early
    • Was bored with the school work
    • Moved to Madrid at 16 to go to the Royal Academy of San Fernando
    • Just like in Barcelona, he became bored with the work
    • Moved back to Barcelona
    • Met other artists and learned to break from the classical painting techniques
    • Moved to Paris around 1900
    • Was depressed over the death of his close friend
    • Started creating pieces in his "Blue Period" which consisted of paintings in blue and green
    • Entered his "Rose Period" in 1905
    • His work was mainly done in red, pink, and beige
    • By 1907, he was experimenting with cubism and abstract art
    • WWI inspired him to create classic works
    • In the late 1920s, he created works of surrealism
    • Picasso's career was very long and he created a variety of painting styles
    • He is still known as one of the best artists of all time
Biography icon for wiki.pngClick here for his full biography
Multimedia.pngClick here to view photos of Picasso's art