Despite The Obstacles They Faced, These Eight Men Achieved Great Things.

We all need heroes in our lives—a person we admire for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

When we were children, we wanted to be like Pippi Longstocking, Huckleberry Finn, Superman, Wonder Woman and Company.  As we grew older, we became more interested in real persons, like Jackie Kennedy, Princes Diane, Ghandi, and so on.

Then, came a turning point in our life—called reality, or whatever we called it, and our dreams went to the way side.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

If life handed you lemons in your early years, it is still time to make some fabulous lemonade.

The eight famous men who overcame obstacles in the following slide did it and so can you..

They had the mindset, determination and persistence that got them through strong adversities.

Who is your hero?

If you don’t have one, pick one from my list.

Next time you face a challenge ask yourself, “what would my hero do in my situation.”

In closing, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And, just like the famous eight, you too can achieve great things in life.


Sir Isaac Newton


Dec 25, 1642 – Mar 20, 1726

Occupation: Scientist

Challenge: From birth the cards were stacked against him. He was: born prematurely, three months after his father’s death; raised by his grandmother; removed from school at age 17; expected to become a farmer; and paid his way through college…Read More

Legacy: Universal Law of Gravitation, Laws of Motion and the Reflecting Telescope. Read More

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Benjamin Franklin

Jan 17, 1706 – Apr 17, 1790

Occupation: Diplomat, Inventor and Scientist

Challenge: Benjamin Franklin was one of seventeen children. His father could only afford to send him to school for one year and his schooling ended when he was ten.

Legacy:  Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He invented the lightning rod and bifocals.

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Thomas Edison

Feb 11, 1847 – Oct 18, 1931

Occupation: Inventor and Business Man

Challenge: In school, young Edison’s mind often wandered and his teachers told him “he was to stupid to learn.” Work was no better.  After the railroad bypassed his home town in 1854 and business declined, his family relocated to  bypassed his home town, his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. To make ends meet, he sold candy and newspaper on the train and…Read More

Legacy: Electric light bulb, phonograph, movie camera.

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Vincent Van Gogh


Mar 30, 1853 – Jul 29, 1890

Occupation: Painter

Challenge: Early in life, even so he was brought up in a cultured atmosphere, van Gogh lacked self-confidence, struggled with his identity and lacked direction. In 1888, he was treated for psychiatric issues. During his life, he sold only one painting, lived in poverty, was malnourished and overworked.

Legacy: Van Gogh is one of the most well-known and influential artists.

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Henry Ford


Jul 30, 1863 – Apr 07, 1947

Occupation: American Industrialist

Challenges: Henry Ford was brought up on a farm, outside of Detroit, MI. He was twelve, when his mother died of childbirth. While his father hoped Henry would someday take over the family farm, young Henry preferred to tinker.

Legacy: Model T automobile and the Five Dollar Workday

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Albert Einstein

Mar 14, 1879 – Apr 18, 1955

Occupation: Theoretical Physicist

Challenge: He did not speak fluently until after he was nine and was considered slow. Although he was an average student, he was eventually expelled for his rebellious nature. Learn More

Legacy: The Theory of Special Relativity (1905)

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Charles Darwin

Feb 12, 1809 – Apr 19, 1882

Occupation: Naturalist

Challenge: In 1825, Charles Darwin set out to study medicine, but he soon found out he disliked everything about it.  His father proposed he become a parson as a respectable alternative. Darwin was admitted a member of Christ College, Cambridge, but he had to relearn Greek, as well as advanced Greek before….Read More

Legacy: Theory of Evolution

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Franklin Roosevelt

Jan 30, 1882 – Apr 12, 1945

Occupation: US President

Challenge: FDR was diagnosed with polio in 1921, five years prior to becoming 32 president.

Legacy:  FDR served as the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945). During his four terms, he guided America through its greatest domestic crisis, other than the Civil War), and its foreign crisis.

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