I’d rather risk confusion and stay creatively fresh and stimulated.
– Ron Howard
Note: Lists like this cannot catch them all. Biases kick in. I’m not intending to be objective. While my world is as a creative, there are a great many explorers of the unknown who were not creative.
Some great artists will be missing because I think they took less risk or, I just felt like stopping the list at some point. It could be they refined an existing art form or, it may be as simple as I don’t know enough about them.
Tell me who I missed. If you are interested in more ordinary people, see Everyday Leapers.
- Martin Luther: German theologian who risked his life to make his church more honest socially and theologically.
- Steve Jobs: Apple founder
- Bill Gates: Microsoft founder
- Jackie Robinson: Major League Baseball’s first black player
- Lewis and Clark: Explored America
- Protesters at Tiananmen Square in 1989: They stood up against tyranny and oppression in China
- St. Francis: He shirked wealth to care for the poor
- John Glenn: First American astronaut
- Madame Marie Curie: Pioneer researcher of radioactivity
- St. Stephen: First Christian martyr
- Sir Francis Drake: Circumnavigated the globe (also a pirate, unfortunately)
- Jim Elliot: Christian martyr whose life inspired many Christians
- Evel Knievel: Daredevil motorcyclist who feats pushed the limits of stunt performance
- Benjamin Franklin: Polymath who was a printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
- Auguste Chapdelaine: French missionary to China, then (1852) an unknown region to most of Europe. Martyred.
- Christopher Columbus: Explorer whose efforts helped establish North and South America as we know it today.
- Edgar Allan Poe: American poet, short story writer and literary critic whose work gave us the modern detective story, science fiction, and more
- William Shakespeare: Greatest playwright ever
- The Wright Brothers: Invented first successful airplane
- George Washington: First president of the then new United States of America
- Bob Dylan: American musician whose songs influenced generations of artists to follow, as well as society at large.
- Walt Disney: He gave us Mickey Mouse
- Christa McAuliffe: While not the first person, she was a teacher, not a trained astronaut.
- Thomas Edison: Inventor of the first successful lightbulb and more.
- David Livingstone: Influential medical missionary and explorer in Africa.
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