my list of great lives

my list of great lives

January 30, 2018


John hebert 1/29/18

Sir Alexander Fleming FRS FRSE FRCS[1] (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish physician, microbiologist, and pharmacologist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the world’s first antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain.[3][4][5] He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. Fleming was knighted for his scientific achievements in 1944.[6] In 1999, he was named in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century. In 2002, he was chosen in the BBC’s television poll for determining the 100 Greatest Britons, and in 2009, he was also voted third “greatest Scot” in an opinion poll conducted by STV, behind only Robert Burns and William Wallace.

Paul Ehrlich; 14 March 1854 – 20 August 1915) was a German Jewish physician and scientist who worked in the fields of hematology, immunology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy. He invented the precursor technique to Gram staining bacteria. The methods he developed for staining tissue made it possible to distinguish between different types of blood cells, which led to the capability to diagnose numerous blood diseases. His laboratory discovered arsphenamine (Salvarsan), the first effective medicinal treatment for syphilis, thereby initiating and also naming the concept of chemotherapy. Ehrlich popularized the concept of a magic bullet. He also made a decisive contribution to the development of an antiserum to combat diphtheria and conceived a method for standardizing therapeutic serums.[1] In 1908, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to immunology.[2] He was the founder and first director of what is now known as the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

Robert koch—

(1843-1910) The German doctor Robert Koch is considered the founder of modern bacteriology. His discoveries made a significant contribution to the development of the first ‘magic bullets’ – chemicals developed to attack specific bacteria – and Koch was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1905. Physician Robert Koch is best known for isolating the tuberculosis bacterium, the cause of numerous deaths in the mid-19th century. As the founder of modern bacteriology, he identified the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and gave experimental support for the concept of infectious disease, which included experiments on humans.

Dorothea dix—

an author, teacher and reformer. Her efforts on behalf of the mentally ill and prisoners helped create dozens of new institutions across the United States and in Europe and changed people’s perceptions of these populations. She was firstly a teacher and then a social reformer for the treatment of the mentally ill. In her life her goals were not defined, she simply did whatever would best help people.

Norman Borlaug—

Known as the “father of the Green Revolution,” Norman Borlaug pushed the boundaries of agriculture and saved over a billion lives in the process.

Raoul wallenberg–

Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg (born 4 August 1912, death date unknown) was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for saving tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from German Nazis and Hungarian Fascists during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory.

Albert Schweitzer, (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was a French-German theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul‘s mysticism of “being in Christ” as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”,[2] expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa).

Louis Pasteur. 1822 – 1895, was a French chemist and one of the founders of microbiology. He was not a licensed doctor, but he improved the health of everyone. His work proved the theory that germs cause disease. He was a professor of physics and then a professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg. The death of two of his five children from typhoid fever motivated him to study disease and medicine. In his breakthrough work Pasteur demonstrated that fermentation is caused by the growth of microorganisms. He discovered the pasteurization process to kill the bacteria and molds that spoil milk and wine. He created a rabies vaccine and a vaccine for chicken cholera.

Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904 – April 1, 1950) was an American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.[1] The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed.[2] As the most prominent African American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, and resigned his position with American Red Cross, which maintained the policy until 1950.

William morton–

he was the first to show how ether could be used as an anesthetic to allay previously very, very painful operations.

Phillipe pinel—

a French physician who was instrumental in the development of a more humane psychological approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients, referred to today as moral therapy which used kindness rather than cruel behavior to treat the mentally ill.

Maximilian Kolbe—

(1894–1941 ) was a Franciscan priest who encouraged devotion to Mary and was committed to praying for those hostile to the Church. In 1941, he was arrested for sheltering Jews and sent to Auschwitz. He volunteered to take the place of a man condemned to death.

Mother Teresa—

(1910–1997) Albanian nun and charity worker. Devoting her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed Mother Teresa became a global icon for selfless service to others. Through her Missionary of Charities organisation, she personally cared for thousands of sick and dying people in Calcutta.

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS (born 8 June 1955),[1] also known as TimBL, is an English engineer and computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.


Florence Nightingale—

((1820–1910) British nurse. By serving in the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her dedicated service won widespread admiration and led to a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers.


it is generally accepted that he embraced Buddhism.  Legends state he converted after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest. “Ashoka reflected on the war in Kalinga, which reportedly had resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations, ending at around 200,000 deaths.” After seeing the slaughter he had caused, Ashoka embraced Buddhism and preached a new doctrine of non-violence, toleration and peace. The lethal war with Kalinga transformed the vengeful Emperor Ashoka to a stable and peaceful emperor and he became a patron of Buddhism. Ashoka converted to Buddhism about 263 BCE. He is remembered for the Ashoka pillars and edicts, for sending Buddhist monks to Sri Lanka and Central Asia, and for establishing monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha. In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Pali Devānaṃpiya or “the Beloved of the Gods”), and Priyadarśin (Pali Piyadasī or “He who regards everyone with affection”).

William Wilberforce–

an English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to stop the slave trade.

Edith Louisa Cavell (/ˈkævəl/; 4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested. She was accused of treason, found guilty by a court-martial and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. She is well known for her statement that “patriotism is not enough, I must have no hate in my heart”. Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.”

Martin Luther King—

(1929–1968) Non-violent civil rights leader. Inspired American civil rights movement to achieve greater equality.

Jonas Salk–

the Salk vaccine was introduced to combat polio which was considered one of the most frightening public health problems in the world.

Thomas Clarkson—

(1760–1846) English abolitionist and leading campaigner against the slave trade.

Elizabeth Fry—

(1780–1845) Prison reform campaigner. Fry was instrumental in raising awareness of the poor conditions in British prisons and campaigning for more humane conditions.

Emily Pankhurst—

(1858–1928) Suffragette who led campaigns of civil disobedience against the male dominated political system, which denied women the vote. Pankhurst was sent to jail on several occasions for her activities.

Mary Wollstonecraft—

(1759–1797) Early feminist author who helped to propagate belief in equal rights for women.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer—

(1906–1945) Principled Christian activist who opposed the Nazi regime in Germany. He opposed Hitler’s euthanasia program and persecution of the Jews.

Oskar Schindler—

(28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party, who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in occupied Poland.

Cesar chavez—

Originally a Mexican American farm worker, Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.

We can live great lives to in big ways or small, it doesn’t matter which.

25 Most Famous Humanitarians of All Time

Bill Gates 

Few other humanitarians can match their talk of good deeds with the actual amount the founder of Microsoft has put up. While the exact total donated or pledged is hard to gauge, it is at least $29 billion, according to I4U News. Although Gates donates to a variety of causes, one of his most devoted causes is the fight against malaria. As part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has received various awards for his humanitarian efforts. You can check out more on “60 Minutes,” which estimates he will give away $60 billion.

 Warren Buffett

What do you have to do to inherit 85 percent of a $44 billion fortune? The short answer is prove to Warren Buffett that your

humanitarian cause is worth it. The 75 year old billionaire is well known for his sound investing and practical advice. However, in humanitarian circles he might be better known for pledging most of his earnings to charity. The bulk of the fortune is planned to be given to the Gates Foundation and other related organizations which focus on world health. Other charities on the giving list include foundations headed by Buffett’s three children, Susan, Howard, and Peter, and to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

Chuck Feeney

While some humanitarians will name the foundations they founded after themselves or a family member, he is reluctant to do so. The same goes with having wings, buildings, or even a plaque in his honor erected at the universities or hospitals he has donated hundreds of millions to. Worth at least $8 billion, he is a founder of Duty Free Shoppers. The board of his foundation has instructions to give away every penny by 2016.

George Soros

Although his critics have loads to say about what Soros is actually funding, the billionaire is estimated to have given away over six billion to humanitarian efforts. The Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC, he is one of the world’s most successful financiers. The Open Society Foundation is his humanitarian organization and supports democracy and human rights in over 70 countries.

Richard Branson

The man behind the Virgin Group has been well known for many stunts, but humanitarian efforts also land him on the list. According to the Power of Giving, he pledged that all his profits from his train and airline businesses would be donated to charity. The estimated worth is three billion dollars. The cause is ironically enough global warming.

Jon Huntsman, Sr.

This humanitarian has long been giving away his money, which totals well into the billion dollar range. Founder of a global chemical manufacturer, his serious giving days began in 1992 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On his way to the hospital, he gave a one million dollar check to a homeless shelter, another million to a soup kitchen, and $500,000 to the clinic that first found the malignancy. Huntsman would go on to found his own cancer foundation, which cost him more than one billion dollars alone. His donations have even gone so far as to knock him of the Forbes list of wealthiest individuals.

Gordon Moore

He is probably better known as the cofounder of Intel. Along with his wife, Betty, their foundation has contributed over $1 billion and countless hours toward the goal of improving the quality of life for future generations. With a goal of making a difference in environmental conservation, science, and the San Francisco area, millions more have been given by Moore outside the foundation. He is also the recipient of the 2007 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award


The front man for the band U2 has made no secret of his humanitarian efforts. Using both his fame and his own fortune, he has fought everything from war to disease. At barely 50 years old, he has a long running record of worthy humanitarian efforts that far make up for the lack of billion dollar wealth. Just a few include efforts to quell famine in Ethiopia, AIDS in Africa, and the environment. Lisa Germinsky of Tonic even has a list of Bono’s top ten humanitarian efforts.

Past Most Famous Humanitarians of All Time

Although these humanitarians are no longer with us, their deeds still live on today.

mother teresa

She proves that you don’t need to be a billionaire to be one of the greatest humanitarians of all time. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, she became a nun and was granted permission to provide food for the needy. The Missionaries of Charity then began in India and would later grow to have branches in 50 Indian cities and 30 other countries. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, her philosophy of actively helping the poor in every way is by far her greatest humanitarian contribution.

Mahatma Gandhi

He again proved that you don’t have to have a lot of money to make a difference. This humanitarian is best known for using

non-violent practices to end the British occupation of India. What began as a stay in South Africa to earn his rights as British citizen grew to a movement that would capture the world’s attention. He is also the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Much like the above, he is best known for his practice of non-violence as a protest against injustice. As a pastor for a church in Alabama, he was one of the first to defend Rosa Parks. His role in the American civil rights movement would later grow and he would give the “I Have a Dream” speech that has inspired so many other humanitarians. Also like Gandhi, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Oskar Schindler 

More than a topic of Hollywood films, he was a saver of lives when it was of great danger for him to do so. A factory owner and member of the Nazi party, he seemed to be unlikely to be one of the greatest humanitarians of all time. After a change of conscience, Schindler used his factory as a way to employ Jews and keep them from being sent to the deadly Auschwitz camp. The simple act went unsung for a long time, but the over one thousand people he saved and their families still sing his praises.

Per Anger

Much like the above, he is accredited with saving the lives of many Jewish people during World War II. Along with colleagues, Anger fabricated Swedish passports that allowed Jews to leave occupied countries and find safe haven in Sweden. For his efforts, he won many humanitarian awards including from Israel, Hungary, and the United States.

Andrew Carnegie 

Chances are if the building has the name on it, it was founded by him. In the 19th century, Andrew Carnegie was the richest man in the world and made his fortune at the dawn of the industrial age. In addition to giving away millions of dollars, which was unheard of at that time, he was one of the first wealthy men to believe it was a disgrace to die rich.

Johns Hopkins

Although his name is often associated with medical, he amassed with wealth through banking and smart investing. Out of his eight million dollar wealth, also a significant amount at the time, he left seven million to endow a university, a hospital, and medical school. After his death in 1873, the will was carried out and the institutions still stand today.

 Paul Newman

One of Hollywood’s all-time greatest leading men was also a great humanitarian. After starring in many movies from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to “Cars,” Paul Newman enjoyed a long and successful acting career. However, in 1982 he wanted more. That year, he cofounded Newman’s Own food products which most famously made salad dressing. Throughout the years, profits were used to donate over $250 million to charities and are still being generated today. Newman also sponsored eleven Hole-in-the-Wall camps worldwide that helped thousands of children with incurable diseases experience outdoor activities.

Specialty Most Famous Humanitarians of All Time

These famous humanitarians have a specific cause that they are known for.

Al Gore

He will always be known as the former Vice President of the United States, but his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the environment have won him many awards. A speech given was the basis for the award winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and Gore often travels to speak and discuss how climate change and poverty can be combated at the same time. The blogger at Triple Pundit has more.

Oprah Winfrey

In 2003, the talk show host became the first African American woman to become a billionaire. In addition to breaking many

other barriers, Winfrey is also well known for her humanitarian efforts. One of her best known accomplishments was the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She also has her own foundation which donates millions to fight poverty, build dreams, and much more.

Muhammad Yunus

While micro finance may sound like a fancy Wall Street term, it was actually given a global forum when Dr. Yunus brought it center stage. It is the practice of giving the poor small loans in order to improve their own lives. As founder of the Grameen Bank, he has done just that providing numerous loans and doing and immeasurable amount of good. It also won him a Nobel Prize and a guest spot on “The Simpsons.”

Gary Sinise

In addition to being an accomplished actor starring in films like “Forrest Gump” and currently “CSI: New York,” he is one of the most outspoken advocates of military and humanitarian efforts overseas. He is known to often visit troops even in dangerous areas and has given loads of time and money to worthy causes. A few include bringing school supplies to needy children overseas and providing prosthetics to wounded soldiers.

Wayne Newton

Although it is impossible to replace Bob Hope as the face of the USO, no one has done a better job of trying than Wayne Newton. The ever popular singer can sell out Vegas stadiums but truly makes his humanitarian mark when performing for the troops. A few highlights of his service for the USO include performing for 25,000 members in 1983 after the attacks in Beirut, serving as Chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle, and being the first USO performer to go to Afghanistan.

Jeff Skoll 

Because the children are the future and education shapes that future, there is Jeff Skoll. He is the man behind the well-received document entitled “Waiting for Superman.” He made his billions as one of the original eBay employees. Skoll now spends his time and fortune making hard hitting documentaries that have won him notoriety. He has also signed a pledge leaving much of his wealth to charity.

Kristine Pearson

While many of us have ditched old-fashioned radios for iPods, a single radio can make a huge difference for the impoverished people of Africa. This was the cause the executive director of the FreePlay Foundation sought to overcome. Knowing how valuable education and information was for developing countries, Pearson helped develop a radio that allowed these programs to be played in villages, even if there was no power. There are now almost 100,000 Lifeline radios committed to various humanitarian projects in developing countries, with over two million listeners.

Tom Shadyac 

Young Hollywood hopefuls head to the city every year to do what he has done: become a well-respected and successful director. With credits such as “Ace Ventura” and “The Nutty Professor,” Shadyac seemed to have it all, including a 17,000-square foot mansion in Los Angeles. However, things changed for him after a bicycle accident. He began questioning the hypocrisy in his own life and traded his mansion for a trailer in Malibu. Earlier this year, he released a documentary entitled “I Am” with more on the philosophy.

Karl Rabeder

Never heard of him? Neither have most people. Many people say money is the root of all woes, but few prove it like he does. This Australian millionaire found no happiness in all his wealth, so he wanted to give it away. This includes a luxury villa, stone farmhouse, gliders, and luxury car. The proceeds are going to charities in Central and South America and Rabeder himself plans to live in a small wooden hut.

Although no list of greatest humanitarians can ever truly be complete, we hope we have included at least some of your favorites in the above 25 most famous humanitarians of all time.


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