Wilbur Smith

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About Wilbur Smith

African-born author whose work pertains to the discovery and colonization of African territories. His works include the Ballantyne, Courtney, and Egyptian series.

Early life

He graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa in 1954. He worked as an accountant before publishing his first novel, When the Lion Feeds, in 1964.

Trivia

He spent a portion of his childhood working on a cattle ranch in his native Northern Rhodesia (modern-day Zambia).

Family of Wilbur Smith

He was married and divorced twice and had three children before he wed his third wife, Danielle Thomas, in 1971. He dedicated all of his books to her until her death in 1999.

Close associates of Wilbur Smith

His novel, The Diamond Hunters, was adapted into a film starring Alyssa Milano.

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Anne Frank

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About Anne Frank

Jewish Holocaust victim whose diary describes her family’s evasion of the Nazis during the World War II-era German Occupation of the Netherlands. Her Diary of a Young Girl (The Diary of Anne Frank) gives a full account of her life in hiding from June 1942 through early August 1944.

Early life

She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and was raised primarily in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She received a blank book for her thirteenth birthday that she soon transformed into her now-famous diary.

Trivia

She gained posthumous fame for her diary after her family was betrayed and she died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Family of Anne Frank

Her parents, Edith Frank-Hollander and Otto Frank, hid their family in Otto’s office building for two years before being discovered. Anne, her older sister Margot, and the girls’ mother all died during the Holocaust, leaving Otto Frank as the family’s only surviving member.

Close associates of Anne Frank

Shelley Winters won on Oscar Award for her 1959 film adaptation of Anne Frank’s, The Diary of a Young Girl.

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Alfie Kohn

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About Alfie Kohn

Built a controversial career out of lecturing on and writing about progressive education with criticisms on traditional methods of managing and parenting.

Early life

He moved from Florida to Rhode Island to attend Brown University, which he graduated from in 1979.

Trivia

Many behaviorists and conservatives have defended their practices against his questioning, which includes phrases such as, “Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.”

Family of Alfie Kohn

He spent most of his professional life researching and writing about parenting.

Close associates of Alfie Kohn

He has called standardized testing, homework, incentive programs, and competition amongst students into question, as did Chuck Berry in the song “School Days.”

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Gay Talese

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About Gay Talese

American author who wrote for The New York Times and Esquire Magazine. His famous pieces of literary journalism include articles about singer Frank Sinatra and baseball player Joe DiMaggio.

Early life

He belonged to the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity while he attended the University of Alabama.

Trivia

He is mentioned in the lyrics of the Pete Townshend song, “Communication.”

Family of Gay Talese

He was born in New Jersey to an Italian-American family. He and his wife, Nan, had two daughters.

Close associates of Gay Talese

His 1966 Esquire article on Frank Sinatra, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” became one of the most influential American magazine articles of all time and inspired a new generation of journalism.

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Jazz Thornton

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About Jazz Thornton

Mental health advocate and author who is best recognized for her book Stop Surviving Start Fighting. She is a public speaker and started the mental health charity VOICES OF HOPE. 

Early life

She launched her Instagram account in 2013. 

Trivia

She has gained over 100,000 followers on her jazzthornton Instagram account. 

Family of Jazz Thornton

Her mom has appeared on her Instagram account. 

Close associates of Jazz Thornton

She posted an Instagram photo with Jacinda Ardern in March 2020. 

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Lizzie Velasquez

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About Lizzie Velasquez

American nonfiction writer whose works include a 2010 autobiography and a 2012 motivational work entitled Be Beautiful, Be You. She became famous for being one of only a handful of people in the world to suffer from Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome, which results in an inability to accumulate body fat.

Early life

As a result of Marfanoid-progeroid-lipodystrophy syndrome, she was bullied while growing up.

Trivia

Also a motivational speaker, she became known for her anti-bullying activism.

Family of Lizzie Velasquez

She and her two younger siblings were born in Austin, Texas to Guadalupe and Rita Velasquez.

Close associates of Lizzie Velasquez

Her mysterious disease shared several key characteristics with progeria, a condition resulting in premature aging and death that affected television documentary subject Sam Berns.

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