Bill Gates(1955- )
Bill Gates,is an American business magnate, investor,
programmer, inventor, and philanthropist. became
interested in computers at an early age. Gates is the
former chief executive and current chairman of
Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer
While studying at Harvard, during the early days of
personal computers, he created the MS- DOS system.
In 1980 he sold the contract to IBM. Gates profited
greatly from his relationship with IBM and their sales
of his operating system. The Windows program was
more user-friendly than other programs and led to the
rapid expansion of personal computer ownership.
Gates is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the
world’s wealthiest people. He is one of the best-know
entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution.
Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, established the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue a
number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large
amounts of money to various charitable organizations
and scientific research.
Sam Walton (1918-1992)
Sam Walton was an American businessman and
entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma best known for
founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club.
Born in Oklahoma in1918, Walton attended the University
of Missouri where he studied economics. Following
graduation, he gained retail experience working for JC
Penney’s. He went on to open a small variety store,
Walton’s Five and Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas, before
he branched out and created today’s Wal-Mart stores.
Walton was successful in his business because he made an
effort to include his employees in the company by making
sure that they understood the company’s goals and
objectives. He led the way in developing new types of retail
establishments such as membership warehouses
(Sam’sClub) and supercenters where he combined grocery
items with variety store merchandise. He encouraged his
managers to invest and take an equity stake in the business,
often as much as $1000 in their store, or the next outlet to
open. This motivated the managers to sharpen their
managerial skills and take ownership over their role in the
Walton died in 1992. After his death, Walton was included
in Time’s list of 100 most influential people of the 20th
century. Walton was honored for his pioneering efforts in
retail when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom from President George H. Bush.
Estee Lauder (1908-2004)
Estee Lauder was an American businesswoman and
co-founder, along with her husband, Joseph Lauder,
of Estée Lauder Companies. She was the only woman
on Time magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most
influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She
was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. She was inducted to the Junior
Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1988.
Lauder was born to immigrant parents who opened a
hardware store in the United States. Here she learned
to run a business.. She worked with her uncle, who
was a chemist, to create a skin cream to help people
Ms. Lauder built a global cosmetic company through
dedication and hard work. She is credited with
pioneering the marketing idea of receiving a gift with
a purchase. She was notedfor saying, “Beauty is an
attitude. There’s no secret... There are no ugly
women— only women who don’t care or who don’t
believe they are attractive”.
RobertJohnson (1946- )
Robert Johnson is an American businessman, media
mogul, investor, and the founder of television network
Black Entertainment Television (BET), and its former
chairman and chief executive officer. He is the world's
first black billionaire. He is also chairman and founder
of RLJ Development and former majority owner of the
Charlotte Bobcats, a National Basketball Association
franchise. In 2001, Johnson became the first African
American billionaire, and the first black person to be
included in any of Forbes world's most rich listings.
After graduating from Princeton University with a
Master’s degree in Public Affairs, Johnson went to work
as a lobbyist for the cable industry. Noticing that
African American television audiences were largely
ignored by the industry, he used his business
connections to start BET. He later sold BET to Viacom
In recent years he has diversified hisinterests in the
communication field. His holdings now include interest
in professional sports teams and humanitarian efforts
overseas.In 2007, Johnson organized a tour of African-
American business leaders to Liberia. This trip led to the
creation of the Liberia Enterprise Development Fund.
He was inducted into Junior Achievement's U.S.
Business Hall of Fame in 2008.
Lionel Sosa (1940-)
Lionel Sosa is the founder of the largest Hispanic agency in
the U.S. He saw the potential of the Hispanic market and
identified this cultural group as an important target for
advertising and politics.
Sosa grew up in San Antonio, Texas, a child of immigrants.
His father owned a laundry where he learned the value of
hard work. In the 1960’s, his artistic ability gained him
recognition, and he turned this talent into his own
Sosa helped John Tower win his 1978 Senate re-election.
This earned him respect as an expert of Hispanic issues and
values. He has been Hispanic Media Consultant in
Republican presidential campaigns since1980.
Sosa was named one of the "25 most influential Hispanics
in America" by Time Magazine and is a member of the
Texas Business Hall of Fame.He is the author of "Think
and Grow Rich: a Latino Choice" and several other
publications encouraging Latinos to successfully compete
Lionel has served on the Board of Regents of The Texas
A&M University System, the Board of Trustees for the
University of the Incarnate Word, the Boards of Sesame
Workshop, creators of Sesame Street, ACT (American
College Testing) and the Public Broadcasting System. He
chaired both the United Way of San Antonio and the San
OprahWinfrey (1954- )
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show
host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best
known for her multi-award-winning talk show “The Oprah
Winfrey Show” which was the highest-rated program of its
kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to
2011. She has been ranked as the richest African-American
of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in
American history, and was for a time the world's only black
billionaire. She is, according to some sources, the most
influential woman in the world.
Winfrey overcame a difficult childhood to land a job in
radio that began her climb to international syndication. She
is credited with creating a more intimate, conversational
form of media communication. In 1988 she established a
new production company, Harpo Productions. In 1993
Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential
People of the 20
In 1998 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from
the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.In
2008 she announced that she would create a new
broadcasting venture, the Oprah Winfrey Network, where
she plans to host a variety of programs.
Winfrey is often praised for overcoming adversity to
become a benefactor to others.
SoniaSotomayor (1954- )
Sonia Sotomayor was appointed as anAssociate Justice of
the Supreme Court of the United States in August 2009 by
President Barrack Obama. Sotomayor is the Court's first
Hispanic justice, and its third female justice.
Sotomayor grew up in a Bronx housing project where her
mother worked to raise her and her brother following the
death of her father. Her mother instilled the value and
importance of education in Sonia. Justice Sotomayor
graduated from Princeton University and earned her law
degree from Yale. She was appointed a U. S District Court
judge by President George H.W. Bush, and later a judge of
theU.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by
President Bill Clinton.
She maintains ties with Puerto Rico, visiting once or twice
a year, speaking there occasionally, and visiting cousins
and other relatives who still live in the Mayagüez area. She
has long stressed her ethnic identity, saying, "Although I
am an American, love my country and could achieve its
opportunity of succeeding at anything I worked for, I also
have a Latina soul and heart, with the magic that carries.
Hillary Clinton (1947- )
Hillary Clinton is an American politician and diplomat. She
served as the 67th United States Secretary of State from
2009 to 2013, appointed by President Barack Obama. She
served as a United States Senator representing New York
from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of President Bill Clinton,
she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to
2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate
for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Clinton received her law degree from Yale University
where she met her future husband, Bill Clinton. Bill
Clinton served as Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981
and from 1983 to 1992. As the First Lady of Arkansas, she
championed health care and education. As the First Lady of
the U. S., she continued her pursuit of health care reform.
Throughout her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton looked
towards "smart power" as the strategy for asserting U.S.
leadership and values; combining military strength with
U.S. capacities in global economics, development aid,
technology, creativity, and human rights advocacy. While
she says she has no interest in running for president again,
she left office with very high approval ratings. Polls
indicate she is the overwhelming favorite among
Democrats for the 2016 presidential election nomination.