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#1276 2023-03-16 01:25:07

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1240) Bill Tilden

Summary

William Tatem Tilden II (February 10, 1893 – June 5, 1953), nicknamed "Big Bill", was an American tennis player. Tilden was the world No. 1 amateur for six consecutive years, from 1920 to 1925, and was ranked as the world No. 1 professional by Ray Bowers in 1931 and 1932 and Ellsworth Vines in 1933. He won 14 Major singles titles, including 10 Grand Slam events, one World Hard Court Championships and three professional majors. He was the first American man to win Wimbledon, taking the title in 1920. He also won a joint-record seven U.S. Championships titles (shared with Richard Sears and Bill Larned).Tilden dominated the world of international tennis in the first half of the 1920s, and during his 20-year amateur period from 1911 to 1930, won 138 of 192 tournaments he contested. He owns a number of all-time tennis achievements, including the career match-winning record and the career winning percentage at the U.S. Championships. At the 1929 U.S. National Championships, Tilden became the first player to reach ten finals at the same Grand Slam event. Tilden, who was frequently at odds with the rigid United States Lawn Tennis Association about his amateur status and income derived from newspaper articles, won his last Major title in 1930 at Wimbledon aged 37. He turned professional at the end of that year and toured with other professionals for the next 15 years.

Details

William Tatem Tilden II towered over tennis both literally and figuratively. Known as “Big Bill,” he thoroughly dominated the game from 1920-1926. During that stretch, the 6-foot-2 foot Tilden won six straight U.S. National Championship Men’s Singles titles (7 overall) and Wimbledon three times. He punctuated that by winning 13 straight Davis Cup matches and leading the United States to seven consecutive titles, a Davis Cup record, over the foremost players from Australia, France, and Japan. Tilden brought a thinking approach to tennis, rather than a booming serve and banging forehand. He studied and mastered the use of spin, favored drop shots and lobs and would rely on his athleticism and physical talents to defeat his opponents. Tilden’s place in tennis history extends his on-court prowess.  He was handsome, smart, gregarious, and charming, but he was likewise opinionated, arrogant, and inconsiderate. As his stardom rose, so did his ego.

Despite personal shortcomings, tennis holds its heroes in the highest esteem and close to the heart. Tilden was no different. He was beloved and admired, as much for the brilliance he brought to the court as the Hollywood appeal he exuded off the court. That side of Tilden’s personality was fitting — he long desired to become an actor and was a writer of more than 20 tennis books. Allison Danzig, the legendary New York Times tennis writer from 1923-1968, called Tilden the “greatest player he had ever seen.” Tilden had style and flash, walking onto the court in the 1920 U.S. National Singles Championship finals match against William Johnston wearing a camel hair coat. Luckily, Tilden was able to back up such pretentious entrance, winning a five-set slugfest 6-1, 1-6, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 over an opponent he would dispatch in five of his seven title match victories. With the triumph, a star was born. Legendary status would soon follow.

Tilden played as an amateur from 1912-1930, and then in need of money played professionally from 1931 until his death in 1953. For years Tilden had resisted the lure of professional tennis, but it was estimated he earned $500,000 in his pro career. As either an amateur or pro, Tilden was almost unbeatable, his seven U.S. National victories were earned at a 91 percent clip — he had 73 wins in 80 matches and from 1920-1926 won 42 straight matches. Frenchman René Lacoste interrupted Tilden’s reign of mastery, winning the 1926 and 1927 titles, the later victory coming over Tilden in three sets. Though doubles wasn’t necessarily his forte, judging by his U.S. National record he was extremely proficient. He won five men’s doubles titles and added four mixed doubles championships.

Tilden became the first American male to win Wimbledon, capturing back-to-back championships in 1920 and 1921 over Australian Gerald Patterson and South African Brian Norton respectively. Curiously, he didn’t return to the All England Club until 1927, losing in the semifinals three straight years. In 1930, and at age 37, Tilden became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon's singles title, defeating American Wilmer Allison in straight sets. Tilden’s Davis Cup teams were invincible from 1920-1926, winning seven straight titles. Big Bill led the charge, compiling a 34-7 record, including a 25-5 mark in singles, third best in history behind Andre Agassi and John McEnroe.

Many of Tilden’s statistical records stand alone, most notably his ten U.S. National finals appearances, a 42 match win streak at Forest Hills (1920-1926), a 95 match win streak (1924-1925), and a best win-loss (78-1) single season (1925). Tilden was ranked in the world’s Top 10 twelve straight times from 1919-1930. He was ranked No. 1 a record six times (1920-1925), matched by Pete Sampras in 1998.

Additional Information

Bill Tilden, byname of William Tatem Tilden II, also called Big Bill, (born February 10, 1893, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died June 5, 1953, Hollywood, California), was an American tennis player who dominated the game for more than a decade, winning seven U.S. championships (now the U.S. Open), three Wimbledon Championships, and two professional titles. His overpowering play and temperamental personality made him one of the most colourful sports figures of the 1920s.

Tilden learned to play tennis at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia, where his wealthy parents were members. Although he won the 1913 U.S. mixed doubles with Mary Browne, he did not reach the finals of the U.S. singles championship until 1918. Considered a late bloomer, he won the U.S. title from 1920 to 1925 and again in 1929. He also won several doubles (1918, 1921–23, 1927) and mixed doubles (1913–14, 1922–23) for a record total of 16 U.S. titles.

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women's Singles final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Tilden became the first American player to win the men’s championship at Wimbledon in 1920 and repeated this victory in 1921 and 1930. Among his other titles were many indoor U.S. championships and Italian singles, men’s doubles and French mixed doubles, all in 1930. His Davis Cup play was outstanding, and his 21 victories in 28 cup matches helped the United States hold the trophy from 1920 to 1926. In 1931 Tilden turned professional and spent the next 15 years traveling the world and playing exhibition tennis matches. He was named the greatest tennis player of the first half of the 20th century in a 1950 Associated Press poll and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1959.

Tilden’s stellar accomplishments were often overshadowed by his controversial personal life.

bill-tilden.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1277 2023-03-18 02:44:21

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1241) Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers

Summary

Dorothea Lambert Chambers (née Dorothea Katherine Douglass, 3 September 1878 – 7 January 1960) was a British tennis player. She won seven Wimbledon women's singles titles and a gold medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics.

Tennis

In 1900, Douglass made her singles debut at Wimbledon, and after a bye in the first round, lost her second-round match to Louisa Martin. Three years later, she won her first of seven ladies singles titles. On 6 April 1907, she married Robert Lambert Chambers and was became known by her married surname Lambert Chambers.

In 1908, she won the gold medal in the women's singles event at the 1908 Summer Olympics after a straight-sets victory in the final against compatriot Dora Boothby.

She wrote Tennis for Ladies, published in 1910. The book contained photographs of tennis techniques and contained advice on attire and equipment.

In 1911, Lambert Chambers won the women's final at Wimbledon against Dora Boothby 6–0, 6–0, the first player to win a Grand Slam singles final without losing a game. The only other female player to achieve this was Steffi Graf when she defeated Natalia Zvereva in the 1988 French Open final.

In 1919, Lambert Chambers played the longest Wimbledon final up to that time: 44 games against Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen. Lambert Chambers held two match points at 6–5 in the third set but eventually lost to Lenglen 8–10, 6–4, 7–9.

Lambert Chambers only played sporadic singles after 1921 but continued to compete in doubles until 1927. She made the singles quarterfinals of the U.S. Championships in 1925, and from 1924 to 1926, she captained Britain's Wightman Cup team. In the 1925 Wightman Cup, she played, at the age of 46, a singles (against Eleanor Goss) and doubles match and won both. In 1928 she turned to professional coaching.

Lambert Chambers posthumously was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981. She died in Kensington, London in January 1960.

Details

Dorothea Lambert Chambers was such as dominating force on the grass at Wimbledon that two of her seven championship victories rank among the 17 most lopsided women’s finals in history. The fact that they came seven years apart may just be a numerical coincidence, but there was no mistaking that Chambers was an opponent to be feared at the All England Club. She was a finalist 12 times, tied for second best in history with Martina Navratilova, behind Blanche Bingley Hillyard’s 13 trips. In her twenty years playing at Wimbledon, Chambers hardly lost, compiling a 32-8 record in singles, 29-11 mark in doubles and 24-11 in mixed play. Her seven singles championships ranks third best in history (currently, Serena Williams is tied with her) behind Navratilova (9) and Helen Wills Moody (8).

In 1903, Chambers won the first of her Wimbledon crowns, defeating Brit Ethel Thomson Larcombe in three rare sets, and needed a comeback effort to claim the championship. Chambers prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, and must have abhorred going the distance. Her next six championships were all completed in straight sets and she yielded just 29 games. In 1904, she bounced Charlotte Cooper Sterry from the winner’s circle 6-0, 6-3. In 1911, she demolished Dora Boothby, 6-0, 6-0. Both Thomson (1912) and Boothby (1909) would win Wimbledon Ladies Championships, but when they faced the athletic Chambers they were no match. When she shut out Boothby, she became the first player to win a major singles final without dropping a game.

Douglass won seven of her Wimbledon titles against five different opponents, knocking out American May Sutton Bundy in 1906 (6-3, 9-7), Boothby in 1910 (6-2, 6-2), Winifred Slocock McNair in 1913 (6-0, 6-4), and Ethel Thomson Larcombe in 1914 (7-5, 6-4).

Chambers was a Wimbledon finalist in 1905, 1907, 1912, 1919, and 1920. Sutton defeated her 6-3, 6-4 in 1905 and again in 1907, 6-1, 6-4. The incomparable Suzanne Lenglen earned the first of her five straight championships in dramatic fashion in 1919, holding off Chambers in three sets, 10-8, 4-6, 9-7. Chambers was trailing 4-1, and staged a remarkable comeback in a match historians say ranks among the all-time best on Centre Court. Chambers used her resourceful all-court game and reliable backcourt strokes to surge ahead 6-5, and was serving up 40-15. Lenglen miraculously recovered and eked out the match. When the pair met again in the 1920 final, Lenglen squashed any notion of a long, drawn out match, winning convincingly, 6-3, 6-0. The 41-year-old Chambers made history as the oldest female Wimbledon finalist. 

Chambers played in three Wimbledon Ladies Doubles finals (1913, 1919, 1920) and one in mixed doubles (1919) final. She failed to secure a title, however: the closest she came was in 1919, teaming with Larcombe in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 loss against Lenglen and American Elizabeth Ryan. In a twist of fate, she lost the 1919 mixed doubles final partnered with Albertem Prebble to Ryan and Randolph Lycett, 6-0, 6-0.

At age 46, she was still actively slugging it out, playing on the 1925 Wightman Cup team. Chambers helped her team secure a 4-3 victory with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Eleanor Gross, who was 16 years younger than Chambers. At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, both indoor and outdoor tennis was played, and Chambers won the outdoor Gold Medal defeating fellow Brit Dora Booth.

Chambers authored Lawn Tennis for Ladies, first published in London in 1910. It was both a written and pictorial reference book on how to hit all the tennis shots with detailed explanations.

Additional Information

Dorothea Lambert Chambers, née Dorothea Katharine Douglass, (born September 13, 1878, Ealing, Middlesex, England—died January 7, 1960, London), was a British tennis player who was the leading female competitor in the period prior to World War I.

Chambers won the Wimbledon singles seven times (1903–04, 1906, 1910–11, 1913–14), a record surpassed only by Helen Wills Moody in the 1930s. In the 1919 Wimbledon singles championship, Chambers lost to Suzanne Lenglen of France in a memorable game. In 1925, at the age of 46, she reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. championships and played on the British doubles team for the Wightman Cup. An outstanding all-around athlete, Chambers was also a champion badminton and field hockey player.

dorothea-lambert-chambers.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1278 2023-03-20 00:14:49

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1242) Richard Sears (tennis)

Summary

Richard Dudley Sears, (born Oct. 26, 1861, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died April 8, 1943), was the first American men’s singles champion in lawn tennis (1881) and winner of that title for each of the six following years. His record has never been equaled by any other amateur player. Sears also won the U.S. men’s doubles championship for six straight years (1882–84 and 1886–87, with James Dwight, and 1885, with Joseph Sill Clark). He retired from lawn-tennis competition in 1888 because of an injury, but he won the first U.S. men’s singles championship in court tennis four years later.

Details

Richard Dudley Sears (October 26, 1861 – April 8, 1943) was an American tennis player, who won the US National Championships singles in its first seven years, from 1881 to 1887, and the doubles for six years from 1882 to 1887, after which he retired from tennis.

Early life

He was the son of Frederic Richard Sears and Albertina Homer Shelton. His brothers Philip and Herbert were also tennis players.

Tennis career

Sears learned to play tennis in 1879. Sears played his first tournament and won his first title at the Beacon Park Championships held at Beacon Park in Boston in October 1880. He was undefeated in the U.S. Championships, he won the first of his seven consecutive titles in 1881 while still a student at Harvard. In those days, the previous year's winner had an automatic place in the final. Starting in the 1881 first round, he went on an 18-match unbeaten streak that took him through the 1887 championships, after which he retired from the game. Not until 1921 was his 18-match unbeaten run overtaken (by Bill Tilden). During his first three championships, Sears did not lose a single set. Sears was the first 19-year-old to win in the U.S., slightly older than Oliver Campbell in 1890 and Pete Sampras in 1990.

Although primarily remembered for his grand slam titles he did compete in and win other titles. He won his first tournament at Beacon Park in Boston in 1880, defeating Edward Gray. In May 1883, he reached the semifinals of the Longwood Bowl in Boston, losing to James Dwight by a walkover. In 1884 he traveled to Europe to play tournaments in Great Britain and Ireland. At the second major tournament of the 19th century the Irish Championships, held in Dublin he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Herbert Lawford in three sets. Sears had to withdraw from the West of England Championships held at Bath due to a foot injury but in June he reached the final of the East Gloucestershire Championships held at Cheltenham, losing in three sets to Donald Stewart.

He then traveled to Manchester to compete at the second most important English tournament at the time the Northern Championships where he also reached the quarterfinals, again losing to Stewart. Unable to compete at the Wimbledon Championships due to a wrist injury he returned to the United States in July after the U.S. Championships he entered the U.S. National Collegiate Championships in Hartford, Connecticut, where he reached the semi-finals. In June 1885 he won the Middle States Championships in Hoboken, New Jersey, defeating Howard Taylor.

Sears was the first U.S. No. 1 in the USLTA rankings, when they began in 1885 and retained the ranking in 1886 and 1887.

After giving up playing lawn tennis, Sears won the U.S. Court Tennis singles title in 1892 and also served as USTA president in 1887 and 1888.

Personal life

Sears married Eleanor M. Cochrane on November 24, 1891, and they had two children, Richard Dudley Sears Jr. and Miriam Sears. He died on April 8, 1943. His grandson was the Massachusetts politician John W. Sears.

Legacy

Sears was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955.

Additional Information

Harvard-educated, Richard Dudley Sears looked more like a college professor than the dominant tennis player of his generation. He was bespectacled with a thick mustache and his playing ensemble was a black and white striped jacket and cap, adorned by a necktie. Sears dominated competitive tennis in America from its very beginning. He won the U.S. National Men’s Singles Championships at the Newport Casino for seven straight years (1881-87), defeating seven different opponents. Only three men in tennis history have won seven U.S. National/US Open Championships: Sears, William Larned (1901-02, 1907-11), and Bill Tilden (1920-25, 1929). One glaring statistic separates Sears from that illustrious group: Sears won his successively – a record as enduring as any in our sporting culture. At America’s tennis event Sears won 13 combined titles (1881-87), second most in history behind the immortal Tilden.

In his first three title matches, Sears didn’t lose a set and only three total sets in his seven victories. He enjoyed an 18-match win streak that stood from 1887 to 1922, when Tilden earned his 19th straight victory. Sears employed an attacking style, which he frequently utilized to dismantle his opponent. He moved into the forecourt to end points with crisp volleys before other players fully perceived the tactic and could react. It was a strategic windfall for Sears who became a terrific net player, leading to six straight U.S. Men’s Doubles Championships (1882-87), five of those alongside James Dwight. The five titles won by that dashing duo is tied for best in U.S. history with the Bryan brothers. In total, however, Sears won six straight doubles titles, and that mark stands alone. The team of Sears and Joseph Clark won their 1885 title playing just 23 total games in defeating Henry Slocum and Wallace Knapp, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.

After giving up playing lawn tennis, Sears won the U.S. Court Tennis singles title in 1892 and served as USNLTA President in 1887 and 1888. Sears career was chronicled in Lawn Tennis in America (1889), authored by Valentine G. Hall, a 1888 and 1890 U.S. National Men’s Doubles Champion.

kidpaw-richard-dudley-sears-9207.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1279 2023-03-26 22:12:05

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1243) Giovannino Guareschi

Giovannino Oliviero Giuseppe Guareschi (1 May 1908 – 22 July 1968) was an Italian journalist, cartoonist and humorist whose best known creation is the priest Don Camillo.

Life and career

Giovannino Guareschi was born into a middle-class family in Fontanelle di Roccabianca, Province of Parma, in 1908. He always joked about the fact that he, a big man, was baptized Giovannino, a name meaning "little John" or "Johnny".

In 1926 his family went bankrupt and he could not continue his studies at the University of Parma. After working at various minor jobs, he started to write for a local newspaper, the Gazzetta di Parma. In 1929 he became editor of the satirical magazine Corriere Emiliano, and from 1936 to 1943 he was the chief editor of a similar magazine called Bertoldo.

In 1943 he was drafted into the army, which apparently helped him to avoid trouble with the Italian Fascist authorities. He ended up as an artillery officer.

When Italy signed an armistice with the Allies in 1943, he was arrested as an Italian military internee and imprisoned with other Italian soldiers in camps in German-occupied Poland for almost two years, including at Stalag X-B near Sandbostel. He later wrote about this period in Diario Clandestino (My Secret Diary).

After the war Guareschi returned to Italy and in 1945 founded a monarchist weekly satirical magazine, Candido. After Italy became a republic, he supported the Democrazia Cristiana party. He criticized and satirized the Communists in his magazine, famously drawing a Communist as a man with an extra nostril, and coining a slogan that became very popular: "Inside the voting booth God can see you, Stalin can't." When the Communists were defeated in the 1948 Italian general election, Guareschi did not put his pen down but also criticized the Democrazia Cristiana party.

In 1950, Candido published a satirical cartoon by Carlo Manzoni poking fun at Luigi Einaudi, President of the Republic. The President is at the Quirinal Palace, surrounded by, instead of the presidential guard of honour (the corazzieri), giant bottles of Nebbiolo wine, which Einaudi actually produced on his land in Dogliani. Each bottle was labeled with the institutional logo. The cartoon was judged 'in Contempt of the President' by a court at the time. Guareschi, as the director of the magazine, was held responsible and sentenced.

Fernandel as Don Camillo

In 1954 Guareschi was charged with libel after he published two facsimile wartime letters from resistance leader and former Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi requesting that the Allies bomb the outskirts of Rome in order to demoralize German collaborators. The legitimacy of the letters was never established by the court, but after a two-month trial it found in favour of De Gasperi. Guareschi declined to appeal the verdict and spent 409 days in Parma's San Francesco jail, and another six months on probation at his home.

His most famous comic creations are his short stories, begun in the late 1940s, about the rivalry between Don Camillo, a stalwart Italian priest, and the equally hot-headed Peppone, Communist mayor of a Po River Valley village in the "Little World." These stories were dramatized on radio, television and in films, most notably in the series of films featuring Fernandel as Don Camillo.

By 1956 Guareschi's health had deteriorated and he began spending time in Switzerland for treatment. In 1957 he retired as editor of Candido but remained a contributor.

He died in Cervia in 1968 of a heart attack, at age 60.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1280 2023-03-29 00:09:31

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1244) Pam Shriver

Details

Pamela Howard Shriver (born July 4, 1962) is an American former professional tennis player and current tennis broadcaster, pundit, and coach. During the 1980s and 1990s, Shriver won 133 WTA Tour-level titles, including 21 singles titles, 111 women's doubles titles, and one mixed doubles title. This includes 22 major titles, 21 in women's doubles and one in mixed doubles. Shriver also won an Olympic gold medal in women's doubles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, partnering Zina Garrison. Shriver and regular doubles partner Martina Navratilova are the only women's pair to complete the Grand Slam in a calendar year, winning all four majors in 1984. She was ranked as high was world No. 3 in singles, and world No. 1 in doubles.

Playing style

Shriver was well known for her variety, including sharp volleys and all-round solid technique at the net. She also possessed a strong slice forehand and underspin approach, which set her apart from the rest of the women's field, but she had a comparatively weak chip backhand. She was known for being a serve-and-volleyer.

Career

Shriver first came to prominence at the 1978 US Open where, as a 16-year-old amateur, she reached the women's singles final. She defeated the reigning Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova in a semifinal. Shriver then lost to Chris Evert in the final. This early singles achievement proved to be the pinnacle of her singles success. Shriver also won her first career singles title in 1978 in Columbus, Ohio and won a total of 21 singles titles between 1978 and 1997.

The 1978 US Open final was the only Grand Slam singles final of Shriver's career. She lost the next eight Grand Slam singles semifinals she played, four of them to Navratilova, two to Steffi Graf, and one each to Evert and Hana Mandlíková.

In 2022 Shriver disclosed that she had been in a multi-year inappropriate relationship with her coach, Australian Don Candy, that started when she was a teenager. She chose to reveal the story in part because of her concern that there are ongoing issues with young tennis players being placed in vulnerable situations.

Doubles

Shriver achieved numerous successes in doubles tournaments with Navratilova, winning 79 women's doubles titles. Shriver won 112 career doubles titles overall and is one of six female players in the Open era to have won more than 100 career titles.

Navratilova and Shriver formed one of the most successful women's doubles teams, capturing seven Australian Open, five Wimbledon, five US Open and four French Open titles. In 1984, the pair captured all four major women's doubles titles, i.e. the "Calendar Grand Slam." This was part of a record 109-match winning streak between 1983 and 1985. The pair were named the WTA Tour's "Doubles Team of the Year" eight consecutive times from 1981 through 1988 and won the WTA Tour Championships title ten times between 1981 and 1992.

Shriver won another women's doubles Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1991, partnering with Natasha Zvereva. She was also the 1987 French Open mixed doubles winner with Emilio Sánchez. She won all three gold medals (singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles) at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba.

Shriver reached the world No. 1 doubles ranking in 1985 and held it briefly before relinquishing it again to Navratilova, her playing partner.

Federation Cup

In the Federation Cup representing the United States, Shriver won five out of five singles matches and 14 of 15 doubles matches. From 1986 to 1992, she played in 17 Federation Cup ties. She reached three finals with her compatriots, winning twice; in 1986 the U.S. defeated Czechoslovakia (3–0); in 1987 the U.S. lost to Germany (1–2); and in 1989 the U.S. defeated Spain (3–0).[6]

Broadcaster

Shriver has provided television commentary for ABC, CBS, ESPN, and The Tennis Channel in the United States, the BBC in the United Kingdom, and the Seven Network in Australia. She has been providing coverage of various events since her 1996 retirement.

During Wimbledon 2010, James Blake admonished Shriver for criticizing him while his match was still in progress, as Shriver was in an outside commentary box and he could hear her. Shriver said she regretted responding to Blake while still on air.

Equipment

Shriver was one of the first players to use an oversized racquet, manufactured by Prince.

Distinctions and honors

* Throughout the 1980s, Shriver was ranked among the world's top 10 in women's singles, peaking at world No. 3.
* She was elected to serve as president of the WTA Tour Players Association from 1991 to 1994.
* She has served as president of the USA Tennis Foundation and on the board of directors of the United States Tennis Association.
* She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.
* She was awarded the Ambassador Award of Excellence by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission in 2002.

Additional Information

Pam Shriver made her indelible mark in tennis as one of the greatest doubles players in history. In a career that began when she was a fresh-faced 16-year-old from Baltimore in 1979, and lasted for nearly two decades, Shriver won 111 doubles championships. She is one of only six women’s players in the Open Era to surpass 100 career titles and perhaps more importantly won the women’s Grand Slam in doubles in 1984 with longtime partner Martina Navratilova.

Shriver teamed with Navratilova to form a combination that was virtually unbeatable. The two won 74 titles together – twenty of which came in major tournaments (seven Australian, five Wimbledon, four US Open, four French Open), and the two are tied with Louise Brough Clapp and Margaret Osborne duPont for the most majors as a team in history. The duo’s record-breaking career included a record 109 match winning streak that extended from April 1983 to July 1985. In an 11-year span from 1981 to 1992, they won the WTA Tour Championships ten times and were named the WTA Tour Doubles Team of the Year eight straight times (1981-88). In all, Shriver amassed 21 doubles titles, which ranks second all-time in women’s history behind Navratilova’s 31 and puts her in a three-way tie with Americans Brough Clapp and Osborne duPont.

Shriver’s 6-foot frame, long angular arms and legs made her a tough opponent who, whether playing singles or doubles, was constantly charging the net. Her length and reach could be demoralizing because it took precise shots to slip a ball past her. Shriver’s sharp, punctuating volleys were difficult to combat; her strength, combined with a larger-sized racquet head, didn’t provide many openings. Her vertical extension ruled out lobbing as tactic. When adding the nimble, agile, and powerful Navratilova to the mix, the pair were the most athletic duo in the modern era. Their similar attacking styles left little room for opponents to exploit.

Shriver and Navratilova first teamed at the 1981 Australian Open, where they suffered the first of only three major final losses in 23 opportunities, falling to the American team of Kathy Jordan and Anne Smith, 6-2, 7-5. From 1982-85, Shriver and Navratilova won 11 straight major titles and were only taken to a third set three times. In a rare occurrence, the duo were defeated in the 1985 Wimbledon and US Open finals, but proceeded to win eight majors from the 1986 Wimbledon to the 1989 Australian.

The duo won seven straight Australian titles (1982-89), second all-time to the record 10 won by Aussies Thelma Coyne Long and Nancye Wynne Bolton. They earned five titles at Wimbledon (1981-84, 1986), putting them in a three-way tie for second all-time behind the six earned by Suzanne Lenglen and Elizabeth Ryan. Four championships were captured at the French (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988), a spot shared with just three other combinations. The pair won four US Open titles (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987) tied for second best and behind the incomparable 12 titles won by Brough Clapp and Osborne duPont. Shriver and Navratilova played the majors until the 1989 US Open where Shriver teamed with Mary Joe Fernandez to reach the finals against Navratilova and Hana Mandlikova. Her only major doubles title without Navratilova came at the 1991 US Open, where she partnered with Natasha Zvereva. In 1987 she earned a mixed doubles major title at the French Open with Spain’s Emilio Sanchez.

Shriver caught the world’s attention at the 1978 US Open where she played as an amateur in singles and earned the No. 16 seed. She was the youngest to reach a US Open final, five months younger than 1979 titlist Tracy Austin. Perhaps more surprising than the high school student advancing to the finals against No. 2 seed Chris Evert was how and who she defeated to reach the crowning moment of her singles career. In the semifinals, Shriver knocked off No. 1 Navratilova, 7-6, 7-6, displaying not the slightest tinge of awe. Shriver had a big, flat serve, a unique underspin forehand, and a sliced one-handed backhand. It was a style that was in stark contrast to the topspin games favored on the women’s tour. This distinctive style was in full splendor when she met Evert in the final.

Shriver constantly sliced her forehand deeply and moved like a gazelle to net, but Evert’s backcourt game was too polished and exact, and Shriver couldn’t match stroke-for-stroke with the legend. Shriver did force Evert to mix up her game with her own approaches to net and gave the ultimate champion a strong showing, losing 7-5, 6-4. Evert praised Shriver’s game afterwards, saying “she stayed cool.”

While doubles was her forte, Shriver advanced to 48 tour singles finals, winning 21 of them. Her first championship was earned on January 23, 1978, defeating American Kate Latham in Columbus, Ohio, 6-1, 6-3. To her credit, Shriver was a major singles semifinalist eight times on the fast courts at Australia (1981, 1982, 1983), Wimbledon (1981, 1987, 1988) and the US Open (1982, 1983). Those losses came against the game’s crème de la crème – four against Navratilova, two versus Steffi Graf, and one each against Evert and Mandlikova.

Shriver’s most meaningful non-major championship came in 1988 when she and partner Zina Garrison won the Olympic Gold Medal at the 1988 Games played in Seoul over Helena Suková and Jana Novotná, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8. Shriver was a Wightman Cup team member for five years, winning titles in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1987.  She also was a member of the Fed Cup team for four years, winning titles in 1986 and 1989. In singles she was a world Top 10-ranked player nine times, reaching a high of No. 3 in 1984 and winning 625 matches. She earned a No. 1 doubles ranking in 1985, and won 622 of 744 doubles matches. 

Following her playing days, Shriver embarked on a highly successful broadcasting career with several networks, including ABC, CBS, and most notably with ESPN.

Headshot-Shriver-2021-300x300.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1281 2023-03-30 20:36:20

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1245) George Washington

Summary

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of the Continental Army, Washington led Patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War and served as president of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which created and ratified the Constitution of the United States and the American federal government. Washington has been called the "Father of his Country" for his manifold leadership in the nation's founding.

Washington's first public office, from 1749 to 1750, was as surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia. He subsequently received his first military training and was assigned command of the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War. He was later elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the Continental Army and led American forces allied with France to victory over the British at the siege of Yorktown in 1781 during the Revolutionary War, paving the way for American independence. He resigned his commission in 1783 after the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Washington played an indispensable role in adopting and ratifying the Constitution of the United States, which replaced the Articles of Confederation in 1789 and remains the world's longest-standing written and codified national constitution to this day. He was then twice elected president by the Electoral College unanimously. As the first U.S. president, Washington implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry that emerged between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty. He set enduring precedents for the office of president, including use of the title "Mr. President" and taking an Oath of Office with his hand on a Bible. His Farewell Address on September 19, 1796, is widely regarded as a preeminent statement on republicanism.

Washington was a slave owner who had a complicated relationship with slavery. During his lifetime, he owned a cumulative total of over 577 slaves, who were forced to work on his farms and wherever he lived, including the President's House in Philadelphia. Yet, as president, he also signed laws passed by Congress that both protected and curtailed slavery. His will stated that one of his slaves, William Lee, should be freed upon his death and that the other 123 slaves should be freed on his wife's death, though she freed them earlier during her lifetime.

Washington endeavored to assimilate Native Americans into the Anglo-American culture. He also waged military campaigns against Native American nations during the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War. He was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons and supported broad religious freedom as the Continental Army commanding general and nation's first president. Upon his death, Washington was eulogized by Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen".

Washington has been memorialized by monuments, a federal holiday, various media depictions, geographical locations including the national capital, the State of Washington, stamps, and currency. Many scholars and ordinary Americans alike rank him among the greatest U.S. presidents. In 1976, Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies, the highest rank in the U.S. Army.

Details

George Washington, also called Father of His Country, (born February 22 [February 11, Old Style], 1732, Westmoreland county, Virginia [U.S.]—died December 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia, U.S.), was American general and commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution (1775–83) and subsequently first president of the United States (1789–97).

Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, had gone to school in England, tasted seafaring life, and then settled down to manage his growing Virginia estates. His mother was Mary Ball, whom Augustine, a widower, had married early the previous year. Washington’s paternal lineage had some distinction; an early forebear was described as a “gentleman,” Henry VIII later gave the family lands, and its members held various offices. But family fortunes fell with the Puritan revolution in England, and John Washington, grandfather of Augustine, migrated in 1657 to Virginia. The ancestral home at Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, is maintained as a Washington memorial. Little definite information exists on any of the line until Augustine. He was an energetic, ambitious man who acquired much land, built mills, took an interest in opening iron mines, and sent his two eldest sons to England for schooling. By his first wife, Jane Butler, he had four children. By his second wife, Mary Ball, he had six. Augustine died April 12, 1743.

Childhood and youth

Little is known of George Washington’s early childhood, spent largely on the Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock River, opposite Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mason L. Weems’s stories of the hatchet and cherry tree and of young Washington’s repugnance to fighting are apocryphal efforts to fill a manifest gap. He attended school irregularly from his 7th to his 15th year, first with the local church sexton and later with a schoolmaster named Williams. Some of his schoolboy papers survive. He was fairly well trained in practical mathematics—gauging, several types of mensuration, and such trigonometry as was useful in surveying. He studied geography, possibly had a little Latin, and certainly read some of The Spectator and other English classics. The copybook in which he transcribed at 14 a set of moral precepts, or Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation, was carefully preserved. His best training, however, was given him by practical men and outdoor occupations, not by books. He mastered tobacco growing and stock raising, and early in his teens he was sufficiently familiar with surveying to plot the fields about him.

At his father’s death, the 11-year-old boy became the ward of his half brother Lawrence, a man of fine character who gave him wise and affectionate care. Lawrence inherited the beautiful estate of Little Hunting Creek, which had been granted to the original settler, John Washington, and which Augustine had done much since 1738 to develop. Lawrence married Anne (Nancy) Fairfax, daughter of Col. William Fairfax, a cousin and agent of Lord Fairfax and one of the chief proprietors of the region. Lawrence also built a house and named the 2,500-acre (1,000-hectare) holding Mount Vernon in honour of the admiral under whom he had served in the siege of Cartagena. Living there chiefly with Lawrence (though he spent some time near Fredericksburg with his other half brother, Augustine, called Austin), George entered a more spacious and polite world. Anne Fairfax Washington was a woman of charm, grace, and culture; Lawrence had brought from his English school and naval service much knowledge and experience. A valued neighbour and relative, George William Fairfax, whose large estate, Belvoir, was about 4 miles (6 km) distant, and other relatives by marriage, the Carlyles of Alexandria, helped form George’s mind and manners.

The youth turned first to surveying as a profession. Lord Fairfax, a middle-aged bachelor who owned more than 5,000,000 acres (2,000,000 hectares) in northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, came to America in 1746 to live with his cousin George William at Belvoir and to look after his properties. Two years later he sent to the Shenandoah Valley a party to survey and plot his lands to make regular tenants of the squatters moving in from Pennsylvania. With the official surveyor of Prince William county in charge, Washington went along as assistant. The 16-year-old lad kept a disjointed diary of the trip, which shows skill in observation. He describes the discomfort of sleeping under “one thread Bear blanket with double its Weight of Vermin such as Lice Fleas & c”; an encounter with an Indian war party bearing a scalp; the Pennsylvania-German emigrants, “as ignorant a set of people as the Indians they would never speak English but when spoken to they speak all Dutch”; and the serving of roast wild turkey on “a Large Chip,” for “as for dishes we had none.”

The following year (1749), aided by Lord Fairfax, Washington received an appointment as official surveyor of Culpeper county, and for more than two years he was kept almost constantly busy. Surveying not only in Culpeper but also in Frederick and Augusta counties, he made journeys far beyond the Tidewater region into the western wilderness. The experience taught him resourcefulness and endurance and toughened him in both body and mind. Coupled with Lawrence’s ventures in land, it also gave him an interest in western development that endured throughout his life. He was always disposed to speculate in western holdings and to view favourably projects for colonizing the West, and he greatly resented the limitations that the crown in time laid on the westward movement. In 1752 Lord Fairfax determined to take up his final residence in the Shenandoah Valley and settled there in a log hunting lodge, which he called Greenway Court after a Kentish manor of his family’s. There Washington was sometimes entertained and had access to a small library that Fairfax had begun accumulating at Oxford.

The years 1751–52 marked a turning point in Washington’s life, for they placed him in control of Mount Vernon. Lawrence, stricken by tuberculosis, went to Barbados in 1751 for his health, taking George along. From this sole journey beyond the present borders of the United States, Washington returned with the light scars of an attack of smallpox. In July of the next year, Lawrence died, making George executor and residuary heir of his estate should his daughter, Sarah, die without issue. As she died within two months, Washington at age 20 became head of one of the best Virginia estates. He always thought farming the “most delectable” of pursuits. “It is honorable,” he wrote, “it is amusing, and, with superior judgment, it is profitable.” And, of all the spots for farming, he thought Mount Vernon the best. “No estate in United America,” he assured an English correspondent, “is more pleasantly situated than this.” His greatest pride in later days was to be regarded as the first farmer of the land.

He gradually increased the estate until it exceeded 8,000 acres (3,000 hectares). He enlarged the house in 1760 and made further enlargements and improvements on the house and its landscaping in 1784–86. He also tried to keep abreast of the latest scientific advances.

For the next 20 years the main background of Washington’s life was the work and society of Mount Vernon. He gave assiduous attention to the rotation of crops, fertilization of the soil, and the management of livestock. He had to manage the 18 slaves that came with the estate and others he bought later; by 1760 he had paid taxes on 49 slaves—though he strongly disapproved of the institution and hoped for some mode of abolishing it. At the time of his death, more than 300 slaves were housed in the quarters on his property. He had been unwilling to sell slaves lest families be broken up, even though the increase in their numbers placed a burden on him for their upkeep and gave him a larger force of workers than he required, especially after he gave up the cultivation of tobacco. In his will, he bequeathed the slaves in his possession to his wife and ordered that upon her death they be set free, declaring also that the young, the aged, and the infirm among them “shall be comfortably cloathed & fed by my heirs.” Still, this accounted for only about half the slaves on his property. The other half, owned by his wife, were entailed to the Custis estate, so that on her death they were destined to pass to her heirs. However, she freed all the slaves in 1800 after his death.

For diversion Washington was fond of riding, fox hunting, and dancing, of such theatrical performances as he could reach, and of duck hunting and sturgeon fishing. He liked billiards and cards and not only subscribed to racing associations but also ran his own horses in races. In all outdoor pursuits, from wrestling to colt breaking, he excelled. A friend of the 1750s describes him as “straight as an Indian, measuring six feet two inches in his stockings”; as very muscular and broad-shouldered but, though large-boned, weighing only 175 pounds; and as having long arms and legs. His penetrating blue-gray eyes were overhung by heavy brows, his nose was large and straight, and his mouth was large and firmly closed. “His movements and gestures are graceful, his walk majestic, and he is a splendid horseman.” He soon became prominent in community affairs, was an active member and later vestryman of the Episcopal church, and as early as 1755 expressed a desire to stand for the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Prerevolutionary military and political career of George Washington:

Early military career

Traditions of John Washington’s feats as Indian fighter and Lawrence Washington’s talk of service days helped imbue George with military ambition. Just after Lawrence’s death, Lieut. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie appointed George adjutant for the southern district of Virginia at £100 a year (November 1752). In 1753 he became adjutant of the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore. Later that year, Dinwiddie found it necessary to warn the French to desist from their encroachments on Ohio Valley lands claimed by the crown. After sending one messenger who failed to reach the goal, he determined to dispatch Washington. On the day he received his orders, October 31, 1753, Washington set out for the French posts. His party consisted of a Dutchman to serve as interpreter, the expert scout Christopher Gist as guide, and four others, two of them experienced traders with the Indians. Theoretically, Great Britain and France were at peace. Actually, war impended, and Dinwiddie’s message was an ultimatum: the French must get out or be put out.

The journey proved rough, perilous, and futile. Washington’s party left what is now Cumberland, Maryland, in the middle of November and, despite wintry weather and impediments of the wilderness, reached Fort LeBoeuf, at what is now Waterford, Pennsylvania, 20 miles (32 km) south of Lake Erie, without delay. The French commander was courteous but adamant. As Washington reported, his officers “told me, That it was their absolute Design to take possession of the Ohio, and by God they would do it.” Eager to carry this alarming news back, Washington pushed off hurriedly with Gist. He was lucky to have gotten back alive. An Indian fired at them at 15 paces but missed. When they crossed the Allegheny River on a raft, Washington was jerked into the ice-filled stream but saved himself by catching one of the timbers. That night he almost froze in his wet clothing. He reached Williamsburg, Virginia, on January 16, 1754, where he hastily penned a record of the journey. Dinwiddie, who was labouring to convince the crown of the seriousness of the French threat, had it printed, and when he sent it to London, it was reprinted in three different forms.

The enterprising governor forthwith planned an expedition to hold the Ohio country. He made Joshua Fry colonel of a provincial regiment, appointed Washington lieutenant colonel, and set them to recruiting troops. Two agents of the Ohio Company, which Lawrence Washington and others had formed to develop lands on the upper Potomac and Ohio rivers, had begun building a fort at what later became Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dinwiddie, ready to launch into his own war, sent Washington with two companies to reinforce this post. In April 1754 the lieutenant colonel set out from Alexandria with about 160 men at his back. He marched to Cumberland only to learn that the French had anticipated the British blow; they had taken possession of the fort of the Ohio Company and had renamed it Fort Duquesne. Happily, the Indians of the area offered support. Washington therefore struggled cautiously forward to within about 40 miles (60 km) of the French position and erected his own post at Great Meadows, near what is now Confluence, Pennsylvania. From this base, he made a surprise attack (May 28, 1754) upon an advance detachment of 30 French, killing the commander, Coulon de Jumonville, and nine others and taking the rest prisoners. The French and Indian War had begun.

Washington at once received promotion to a full colonelcy and was reinforced, commanding a considerable body of Virginia and North Carolina troops, with Indian auxiliaries. But his attack soon brought the whole French force down upon him. They drove his 350 men into the Great Meadows fort (Fort Necessity) on July 3, besieged it with 700 men, and, after an all-day fight, compelled him to surrender. The construction of the fort had been a blunder, for it lay in a waterlogged creek bottom, was commanded on three sides by forested elevations approaching it closely, and was too far from Washington’s supports. The French agreed to let the disarmed colonials march back to Virginia with the honours of war, but they compelled Washington to promise that Virginia would not build another fort on the Ohio for a year and to sign a paper acknowledging responsibility for “l’assassinat” of de Jumonville, a word that Washington later explained he did not rightly understand. He returned to Virginia, chagrined but proud, to receive the thanks of the House of Burgesses and to find that his name had been mentioned in the London gazettes. His remark in a letter to his brother that “I have heard the bullets whistle; and believe me, there is something charming in the sound” was commented on humorously by the author Horace Walpole and sarcastically by King George II.

The arrival of Gen. Edward Braddock and his army in Virginia in February 1755, as part of the triple plan of campaign that called for his advance on Fort Duquesne and in New York Gov. William Shirley’s capture of Fort Niagara and Sir William Johnson’s capture of Crown Point, brought Washington new opportunities and responsibilities. He had resigned his commission in October 1754 in resentment of the slighting treatment and underpayment of colonial officers and particularly because of an untactful order of the British war office that provincial officers of whatever rank would be subordinate to any officer holding the king’s commission. But he ardently desired a part in the war; “my inclinations,” he wrote a friend, “are strongly bent to arms.” When Braddock showed appreciation of his merits and invited him to join the expedition as personal aide-de-camp, with the courtesy title of colonel, he therefore accepted. His self-reliance, decision, and masterfulness soon became apparent.

At table he had frequent disputes with Braddock, who, when contractors failed to deliver their supplies, attacked the colonials as supine and dishonest while Washington defended them warmly. His freedom of utterance is proof of Braddock’s esteem. Braddock accepted Washington’s unwise advice that he divide his army, leaving half of it to come up with the slow wagons and cattle train and taking the other half forward against Fort Duquesne at a rapid pace. Washington was ill with fever during June but joined the advance guard in a covered wagon on July 8, begged to lead the march on Fort Duquesne with his Virginians and Indian allies, and was by Braddock’s side when on July 9 the army was ambushed and bloodily defeated.

In this defeat Washington displayed the combination of coolness and determination, the alliance of unconquerable energy with complete poise, that was the secret of so many of his successes. So ill that he had to use a pillow instead of a saddle and that Braddock ordered his body servant to keep special watch over him, Washington was, nevertheless, everywhere at once. At first he followed Braddock as the general bravely tried to rally his men to push either forward or backward, the wisest course the circumstances permitted. Then he rode back to bring up the Virginians from the rear and rallied them with effect on the flank. To him was largely due the escape of the force. His exposure of his person was as reckless as Braddock’s, who was fatally wounded on his fifth horse; Washington had two horses shot out from under him and his clothes cut by four bullets without being hurt. He was at Braddock’s deathbed, helped bring the troops back, and was repaid by being appointed, in August 1755, while still only 23 years old, commander of all Virginia troops.

But no part of his later service was conspicuous. Finding that a Maryland captain who held a royal commission would not obey him, he rode north in February 1756 to Boston to have the question settled by the commander in chief in America, Governor Shirley, and, bearing a letter from Dinwiddie, had no difficulty in carrying his point. On his return he plunged into a multitude of vexations. He had to protect a weak, thinly settled frontier nearly 400 miles (650 km) in length with only some 700 ill-disciplined colonial troops, to cope with a legislature unwilling to support him, to meet attacks on the drunkenness and inefficiency of the soldiers, and to endure constant wilderness hardships. It is not strange that in 1757 his health failed and in the closing weeks of that year he was so ill of a “bloody flux” (dysentery) that his physician ordered him home to Mount Vernon.

In the spring of 1758 he had recovered sufficiently to return to duty as colonel in command of all Virginia troops. As part of the grand sweep of several armies organized by British statesman William Pitt the Elder, Gen. John Forbes led a new advance upon Fort Duquesne. Forbes resolved not to use Braddock’s road but to cut a new one west from Raystown, Pennsylvania. Washington disapproved of the route but played an important part in the movement. Late in the autumn the French evacuated and burned Fort Duquesne, and Forbes reared Fort Pitt on the site. Washington, who had just been elected to the House of Burgesses, was able to resign with the honorary rank of brigadier general.

Although his officers expressed regret at the “loss of such an excellent Commander, such a sincere Friend, and so affable a Companion,” he quit the service with a sense of frustration. He had thought the war excessively slow. The Virginia legislature had been niggardly in voting money; the Virginia recruits had come forward reluctantly and had proved of poor quality—Washington had hanged a few deserters and flogged others heavily. Virginia gave him less pay than other colonies offered their troops. Desiring a regular commission such as his half brother Lawrence had held, he applied in vain to the British commander in North America, Lord Loudoun, to make good a promise that Braddock had given him. Ambitious for both rank and honour, he showed a somewhat strident vigour in asserting his desires and in complaining when they were denied. He returned to Mount Vernon somewhat disillusioned.

Marriage and plantation life of George Washington

Immediately on resigning his commission, Washington was married (January 6, 1759) to Martha Dandridge, the widow of Daniel Parke Custis. She was a few months older than he, was the mother of two children living and two dead, and possessed one of the considerable fortunes of Virginia. Washington had met her the previous March and had asked for her hand before his campaign with Forbes. Though it does not seem to have been a romantic love match, the marriage united two harmonious temperaments and proved happy. Martha was a good housewife, an amiable companion, and a dignified hostess. Like many wellborn women of the era, she had little formal schooling, and Washington often helped her compose important letters.

Some estimates of the property brought to him by this marriage have been exaggerated, but it did include a number of slaves and about 15,000 acres (6,000 hectares), much of it valuable for its proximity to Williamsburg. More important to Washington were the two stepchildren, John Parke (“Jacky”) and Martha Parke (“Patsy”) Custis, who at the time of the marriage were six and four, respectively. He lavished great affection and care upon them, worried greatly over Jacky’s waywardness, and was overcome with grief when Patsy died just before the Revolution. Jacky died during the war, leaving four children. Washington adopted two of them, a boy and a girl, and even signed his letters to the boy as “your papa.” Himself childless, he thus had a real family.

From the time of his marriage Washington added to the care of Mount Vernon the supervision of the Custis estate at the White House on the York River. As his holdings expanded, they were divided into farms, each under its own overseer; but he minutely inspected operations every day and according to one visitor often pulled off his coat and performed ordinary labour. As he once wrote, “middling land under a man’s own eyes, is more profitable than rich land at a distance.” Until the eve of the Revolution he devoted himself to the duties and pleasures of a great landholder, varied by several weeks’ attendance every year in the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg. During 1760–74 he was also a justice of the peace for Fairfax county, sitting in court in Alexandria.

In no light does Washington appear more characteristically than as one of the richest, largest, and most industrious of Virginia planters. For six days a week he rose early and worked hard; on Sundays he irregularly attended Pohick Church (16 times in 1760), entertained company, wrote letters, made purchases and sales, and sometimes went fox hunting. In these years he took snuff and smoked a pipe; throughout life he liked Madeira wine and punch. Although wheat and tobacco were his staples, he practiced crop rotation on a three-year or five-year plan. He had his own water-powered flour mill, blacksmith shop, brick and charcoal kilns, carpenters, and masons. His fishery supplied shad, bass, herring, and other catches, salted as food for his slaves. Coopers, weavers, and his own shoemaker turned out barrels, cotton, linen, and woollen goods, and brogans for all needs. In short, his estates, in accordance with his orders to overseers to “buy nothing you can make yourselves,” were largely self-sufficient communities. But he did send large orders to England for farm implements, tools, paint, fine textiles, hardware, and agricultural books and hence was painfully aware of British commercial restrictions.

Washington was an innovative farmer and a responsible landowner. He experimented at breeding cattle, acquired at least one buffalo, with the hope of proving its utility as a meat animal, and kept stallions at stud. He also took pride in a peach and apple orchard.

His care of slaves was exemplary. He carefully clothed and fed them, engaged a doctor for them by the year, generally refused to sell them—“I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species”—and administered correction mildly. They showed so much attachment that few ran away.

He meanwhile played a prominent role in the social life of the Tidewater region. The members of the council and House of Burgesses, a roster of influential Virginians, were all friends. He visited the Byrds of Westover, the Lees of Stratford, the Carters of Shirley and Sabine Hall, and the Lewises of Warner Hall; Mount Vernon often was busy with guests in return. He liked house parties and afternoon tea on the Mount Vernon porch overlooking the grand Potomac; he was fond of picnics, barbecues, and clambakes; and throughout life he enjoyed dancing, frequently going to Alexandria for balls. Cards were a steady diversion, and his accounts record sums lost at them, the largest reaching nearly £10. His diary sometimes states that in bad weather he was “at home all day, over cards.” Billiards was a rival amusement. Not only the theatre, when available, but also concerts, math, circuses, puppet shows, and exhibitions of animals received his patronage.

He insisted on the best clothes—coats, laced waistcoats, hats, coloured silk hose—bought in London. The Virginia of the Randolphs, Corbins, Harrisons, Tylers, Nicholases, and other prominent families had an aristocratic quality, and Washington liked to do things in a large way. It has been computed that in the seven years prior to 1775, Mount Vernon had 2,000 guests, most of whom stayed to dinner if not overnight.

Prerevolutionary politics

Washington’s contented life was interrupted by the rising storm in imperial affairs. The British ministry, facing a heavy postwar debt, high home taxes, and continued military costs in America, decided in 1764 to obtain revenue from the colonies. Up to that time, Washington, though regarded by associates, in Col. John L. Peyton’s words, as “a young man of an extraordinary and exalted character,” had shown no signs of personal greatness and few signs of interest in state affairs. The Proclamation of 1763 interdicting settlement beyond the Alleghenies irked him, for he was interested in the Ohio Company, the Mississippi Company, and other speculative western ventures. He nevertheless played a silent part in the House of Burgesses and was a thoroughly loyal subject.

But he was present when Patrick Henry introduced his resolutions against the Stamp Act in May 1765 and shortly thereafter gave token of his adherence to the cause of the colonial Whigs against the Tory ministries of England. In 1768 he told George Mason at Mount Vernon that he would take his musket on his shoulder whenever his country called him. The next spring, on April 4, 1769, he sent Mason the Philadelphia nonimportation resolutions with a letter declaring that it was necessary to resist the strokes of “our lordly masters” in England; that, courteous remonstrances to Parliament having failed, he wholly endorsed the resort to commercial warfare; and that as a last resort no man should scruple to use arms in defense of liberty. When, the following month, the royal governor of Virginia dissolved the House of Burgesses, he shared in the gathering, at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, that drew up nonimportation resolutions, and he went further than most of his neighbours in adhering to them. At that time and later he believed with most Americans that peace need not be broken.

Late in 1770 he paid a land-hunting visit to Fort Pitt, where George Croghan was maturing his plans for the proposed 14th colony of Vandalia. Washington directed his agent to locate and survey 10,000 acres adjoining the Vandalia tract, and at one time he wished to share in certain of Croghan’s schemes. But the Boston Tea Party of December 1773 and the bursting of the Vandalia bubble at about the same time turned his eyes back to the East and the threatening state of Anglo-American relations. He was not a member of the Virginia committee of correspondence formed in 1773 to communicate with other colonies, but when the Virginia legislators, meeting irregularly again at the Raleigh Tavern in May 1774, called for a Continental Congress, he was present and signed the resolutions. Moreover, he was a leading member of the first provincial convention or revolutionary legislature late that summer, and to that body he made a speech that was much praised for its pithy eloquence, declaring that “I will raise one thousand men, subsist them at my own expense, and march myself at their head for the relief of Boston.”

The Virginia provincial convention promptly elected Washington one of the seven delegates to the first Continental Congress. He was by this time known as a radical rather than a moderate, and in several letters of the time he opposed a continuance of petitions to the British crown, declaring that they would inevitably meet with a humiliating rejection. “Shall we after this whine and cry for relief when we have already tried it in vain?” he wrote. When the Congress met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774, he was in his seat in full uniform, and his participation in its councils marks the beginning of his national career.

His letters of the period show that, while still utterly opposed to the idea of independence, he was determined never to submit “to the loss of those valuable rights and privileges, which are essential to the happiness of every free State, and without which life, liberty, and property are rendered totally insecure.” If the ministry pushed matters to an extremity, he wrote, “more blood will be spilled on this occasion than ever before in American history.” Though he served on none of the committees, he was a useful member, his advice being sought on military matters and weight being attached to his advocacy of a nonexportation as well as nonimportation agreement. He also helped to secure approval of the Suffolk Resolves, which looked toward armed resistance as a last resort and did much to harden the king’s heart against America.

Returning to Virginia in November, he took command of the volunteer companies drilling there and served as chairman of the Committee of Safety in Fairfax county. Although the province contained many experienced officers and Col. William Byrd of Westover had succeeded Washington as commander in chief, the unanimity with which the Virginia troops turned to Washington was a tribute to his reputation and personality; it was understood that Virginia expected him to be its general. He was elected to the second Continental Congress at the March 1775 session of the legislature and again set out for Philadelphia.

Revolutionary leadership of George Washington:

Head of the colonial forces

The choice of Washington as commander in chief of the military forces of all the colonies followed immediately upon the first fighting, though it was by no means inevitable and was the product of partly artificial forces. The Virginia delegates differed upon his appointment. Edmund Pendleton was, according to John Adams, “very full and clear against it,” and Washington himself recommended Gen. Andrew Lewis for the post. It was chiefly the fruit of a political bargain by which New England offered Virginia the chief command as its price for the adoption and support of the New England army. This army had gathered hastily and in force about Boston immediately after the clash of British troops and American minutemen at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. When the second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on May 10, one of its first tasks was to find a permanent leadership for this force. On June 15, Washington, whose military counsel had already proved invaluable on two committees, was nominated and chosen by unanimous vote. Beyond the considerations noted, he owed being chosen to the facts that Virginia stood with Massachusetts as one of the most powerful colonies; that his appointment would augment the zeal of the Southern people; that he had gained an enduring reputation in the Braddock campaign; and that his poise, sense, and resolution had impressed all the delegates. The scene of his election, with Washington darting modestly into an adjoining room and John Hancock flushing with jealous mortification, will always impress the historical imagination; so also will the scene of July 3, 1775, when, wheeling his horse under an elm in front of the troops paraded on Cambridge common, he drew his sword and took command of the army investing Boston. News of Bunker Hill had reached him before he was a day’s journey from Philadelphia, and he had expressed confidence of victory when told how the militia had fought. In accepting the command, he refused any payment beyond his expenses and called upon “every gentleman in the room” to bear witness that he disclaimed fitness for it. At once he showed characteristic decision and energy in organizing the raw volunteers, collecting provisions and munitions, and rallying Congress and the colonies to his support.

The first phase of Washington’s command covered the period from July 1775 to the British evacuation of Boston in March 1776. In those eight months he imparted discipline to the army, which at maximum strength slightly exceeded 20,000; he dealt with subordinates who, as John Adams said, quarrelled “like cats and dogs”; and he kept the siege vigorously alive. Having himself planned an invasion of Canada by Lake Champlain, to be entrusted to Gen. Philip Schuyler, he heartily approved of Benedict Arnold’s proposal to march north along the Kennebec River in Maine and take Quebec. Giving Arnold 1,100 men, he instructed him to do everything possible to conciliate the Canadians. He was equally active in encouraging privateers to attack British commerce. As fast as means offered, he strengthened his army with ammunition and siege guns, having heavy artillery brought from Fort Ticonderoga, New York, over the frozen roads early in 1776. His position was at first precarious, for the Charles River pierced the centre of his lines investing Boston. If the British general, Sir William Howe, had moved his 20 veteran regiments boldly up the stream, he might have pierced Washington’s army and rolled either wing back to destruction. But all the generalship was on Washington’s side. Seeing that Dorchester Heights, just south of Boston, commanded the city and harbour and that Howe had unaccountably failed to occupy it, he seized it on the night of March 4, 1776, placing his Ticonderoga guns in position. The British naval commander declared that he could not remain if the Americans were not dislodged, and Howe, after a storm disrupted his plans for an assault, evacuated the city on March 17. He left 200 cannons and invaluable stores of small arms and munitions. After collecting his booty, Washington hurried south to take up the defense of New York.

Washington had won the first round, but there remained five years of the war, during which the American cause was repeatedly near complete disaster. It is unquestionable that Washington’s strength of character, his ability to hold the confidence of army and people and to diffuse his own courage among them, his unremitting activity, and his strong common sense constituted the chief factors in achieving American victory. He was not a great tactician: as Jefferson said later, he often “failed in the field”; he was sometimes guilty of grave military blunders, the chief being his assumption of a position on Long Island, New York, in 1776 that exposed his entire army to capture the moment it was defeated. At the outset he was painfully inexperienced, the wilderness fighting of the French war having done nothing to teach him the strategy of maneuvering whole armies. One of his chief faults was his tendency to subordinate his own judgment to that of the generals surrounding him; at every critical juncture, before Boston, before New York, before Philadelphia, and in New Jersey, he called a council of war and in almost every instance accepted its decision. Naturally bold and dashing—as he proved at Trenton and Princeton, as well as at Germantown—he repeatedly adopted evasive and delaying tactics on the advice of his associates; however, he did succeed in keeping a strong army in existence and maintaining the flame of national spirit. When the auspicious moment arrived, he planned the rapid movements that ended the war.

One element of Washington’s strength was his sternness as a disciplinarian. The army was continually dwindling and refilling, politics largely governed the selection of officers by Congress and the states, and the ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-paid forces were often half-prostrated by sickness and ripe for mutiny. Troops from each of the three sections, New England, the middle states, and the South, showed a deplorable jealousy of the others. Washington was rigorous in breaking cowardly, inefficient, and dishonest men and boasted in front of Boston that he had “made a pretty good sort of slam among such kind of officers.” Deserters and plunderers were flogged, and Washington once erected a gallows 40 feet (12 metres) high, writing, “I am determined if I can be justified in the proceeding, to hang two or three on it, as an example to others.” At the same time, the commander in chief won the devotion of many of his men by his earnestness in demanding better treatment for them from Congress. He complained of their short rations, declaring once that they were forced to “eat every kind of horse food but hay.”

The darkest chapter in Washington’s military leadership was opened when, reaching New York in April 1776, he placed half his army, about 9,000 men, under Israel Putnam, on the perilous position of Brooklyn Heights, Long Island, where a British fleet in the East River might cut off their retreat. He spent a fortnight in May with the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, then discussing the question of independence; though no record of his utterances exists, there can be no doubt that he advocated complete separation. His return to New York preceded but slightly the arrival of the British army under Howe, which made its main encampment on Staten Island until its whole strength of nearly 30,000 could be mobilized. On August 22, 1776, Howe moved about 20,000 men across to Gravesend Bay on Long Island. Four days later, sending the fleet under command of his brother Adm. Richard Howe to make a feint against New York City, he thrust a crushing force along feebly protected roads against the American flank. The patriots were outmaneuvered, defeated, and suffered a total loss of 5,000 men, of whom 2,000 were captured. Their whole position might have been carried by storm, but, fortunately for Washington, General Howe delayed. While the enemy lingered, Washington succeeded under cover of a dense fog in ferrying the remaining force across the East River to Manhattan, where he took up a fortified position. The British, suddenly landing on the lower part of the island, drove back the Americans in a clash marked by disgraceful cowardice on the part of troops from Connecticut and others. In a series of actions, Washington was forced northward, more than once in danger of capture, until the loss of his two Hudson River forts, one of them with 2,600 men, compelled him to retreat from White Plains across the river into New Jersey. He retired toward the Delaware River while his army melted away, until it seemed that armed resistance to the British was about to expire.

The Trenton-Princeton campaign of George Washington

It was at this darkest hour of the Revolution that Washington struck his brilliant blows at Trenton and Princeton in New Jersey, reviving the hopes and energies of the nation. Howe, believing that the American army soon would dissolve totally, retired to New York, leaving strong forces in Trenton and Burlington. Washington, at his camp west of the Delaware River, planned a simultaneous attack on both posts, using his whole command of 6,000 men. But his subordinates in charge of both wings failed him, and he was left on the night of December 25, 1776, to march on Trenton with about 2,400 men. With the help of Colonel John Glover’s regiment, which was comprised of fishermen and sailors from Marblehead, Massachusetts, Washington and his troops were ferried across the Delaware River. In the dead of night and amid a blinding snowstorm, they then marched 10 miles (16 km) downstream and in the early hours of the morning caught the enemy at Trenton unaware. In less than two hours and without the loss of a single man in battle, Washington’s troops defeated the Hessians, killed their commander (Johann Rall), and captured nearly 1,000 prisoners and arms and ammunition. This historic Christmas crossing proved to be a turning point in the war, and it was immortalized for posterity by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze in his famous 1851 painting of the event. (The painting is historically inaccurate: the depicted flag is anachronistic, the boats are the wrong size and shape, and it is questionable whether Washington could have crossed the icy Delaware while standing in the manner depicted.)

The immediate result of this American victory was that Gen. Charles Cornwallis hastened with about 8,000 men to Trenton, where he found Washington strongly posted behind the Assunpink Creek, skirmished with him, and decided to wait overnight “to bag the old fox.” During the night, the wind shifted, the roads froze hard, and Washington was able to steal away from camp (leaving his fires deceptively burning), march around Cornwallis’s rear, and fall at daybreak upon the three British regiments at Princeton. These were put to flight with a loss of 500 men, and Washington escaped with more captured munitions to a strong position at Morristown, New Jersey. The effect of these victories heartened all Americans, brought recruits flocking to camp in the spring, and encouraged foreign sympathizers with the American cause.

Thus far the important successes had been won by Washington; then battlefield success fell to others, while he was left to face popular apathy, military cabals, and the disaffection of Congress. The year 1777 was marked by the British capture of Philadelphia and the surrender of British Gen. John Burgoyne’s invading army to Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York, followed by intrigues to displace Washington from his command. Howe’s main British army of 18,000 left New York by sea on July 23, 1777, and landed on August 25 in Maryland, not far below Philadelphia. Washington, despite his inferiority of force—he had only 11,000 men, mostly militia and, in the marquis de Lafayette’s words, “badly armed and worse clothed”—risked a pitched battle on September 11 at the fords of Brandywine Creek, about 13 miles (21 km) north of Wilmington, Delaware. While part of the British force held the Americans engaged, General Cornwallis, with the rest, made a secret 17-mile (27-km) detour and fell with crushing effect on the American right and rear, the result being a complete defeat from which Washington was fortunate to extricate his army in fairly good order. For a time he hoped to hold the Schuylkill Fords, but the British passed them and on September 26 triumphantly marched into Philadelphia. Congress fled to the interior of Pennsylvania, and Washington, after an unsuccessful effort to repeat his stroke at Trenton against the British troops posted at Germantown, had to take up winter quarters at Valley Forge. His army, twice beaten, ill housed, and ill fed, with thousands of men “barefoot and otherwise naked,” was at the point of exhaustion; it could not keep the field, for inside of a month it would have disappeared. Under these circumstances, there is nothing that better proves the true fibre of Washington’s character and the courage of his soul than the unyielding persistence with which he held his strong position at Valley Forge through a winter of semistarvation, of justified grumbling by his men, of harsh public criticism, and of captious meddling by a Congress that was too weak to help him. In February Martha Washington arrived and helped to organize entertainment for the soldiers.

Washington’s enemies seized the moment of his greatest weakness to give vent to an antagonism that had been nourished by sectional jealousies of North against South, by the ambition of small rivals, and by baseless accusations that he showed favouritism to such foreigners as Lafayette. The intrigues of Thomas Conway, an Irish adventurer who had served in the French army and had become an American general, enlisted Thomas Mifflin, Charles Lee, Benjamin Rush, and others in an attempt to displace Washington. General Gates appears to have been a tool of rather than a party to the plot, expecting that the chief command would devolve upon himself. A faction of Congress sympathized with the movement and attempted to paralyze Washington by reorganizing the board of war, a body vested with the general superintendence of operations, of which Gates became the president; his chief of staff, James Wilkinson, the secretary; and Mifflin and Timothy Pickering, members. Washington was well aware of the hostility in congress, of the slanders spread by Rush and James Lovell of Massachusetts, and of the effect of forgeries published in the American press by adroit British agents. He realized the intense jealousy of many New Englanders, which made even John Adams write his wife that he was thankful Burgoyne had not been captured by Washington, who would then “have been deified. It is bad enough as it is.” But Washington decisively crushed the cabal: after the loose tongue of Wilkinson disclosed Conway’s treachery, Washington sent the general on November 9, 1777, proof of his knowledge of the whole affair.

With the conclusion of the French alliance in the spring of 1778, the aspect of the war was radically altered. The British army in Philadelphia, fearing that a French fleet would blockade the Delaware while the militia of New Jersey and Pennsylvania invested the city, hastily retreated upon New York City. Washington hoped to cut off part of the enemy and by a hurried march with six brigades interposed himself at the end of June between Sir Henry Clinton (who had succeeded Howe) and the New Jersey coast. The result was the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, where a shrewd strategic plan and vigorous assault were brought to naught by the treachery of Charles Lee. When Lee ruined the attack by a sudden order to retreat, Washington hurried forward, fiercely denounced him, and restored the line, but the golden opportunity had been lost. The British made good their march to Sandy Hook, and Washington took up his quarters at New Brunswick. Lee was arrested, court-martialed, and convicted on all three of the charges made against him; but instead of being shot, as he deserved, he was sentenced to a suspension from command for one year. The arrival of the French fleet under Adm. Charles-Hector Estaing on July 1778 completed the isolation of the British, and Clinton was thenceforth held to New York City and the surrounding area. Washington made his headquarters in the highlands of the Hudson and distributed his troops in cantonments around the city and in New Jersey.

The final decisive stroke of the war, the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown, is to be credited chiefly to Washington’s vision. With the domestic situation intensely gloomy early in 1781, he was hampered by the feebleness of Congress, the popular discouragement, and the lack of prompt and strong support by the French fleet. A French army under the comte de Rochambeau had arrived to reinforce him in 1780, and Washington had pressed Admiral de Grasse to assist in an attack upon either Cornwallis in the south or Clinton in New York. In August the French admiral sent definite word that he preferred the Chesapeake, with its large area and deep water, as the scene of his operations; and within a week, on August 19, 1781, Washington marched south with his army, leaving Gen. William Heath with 4,000 men to hold West Point. He hurried his troops through New Jersey, embarked them on transports in Delaware Bay, and landed them at Williamsburg, Virginia, where he had arrived on September 14. Cornwallis had retreated to Yorktown and entrenched his army of 7,000 British regulars. Their works were completely invested before the end of the month; the siege was pressed with vigour by the allied armies under Washington, consisting of 5,500 Continentals, 3,500 Virginia militia, and 5,000 French regulars; and on October 19 Cornwallis surrendered. By this campaign, probably the finest single display of Washington’s generalship, the war was brought to a virtual close.

Washington remained during the winter of 1781–82 with the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, exhorting it to maintain its exertions for liberty and to settle the army’s claims for pay. He continued these exhortations after he joined his command at Newburgh on the Hudson in April 1782. He was astounded and angered when some loose camp suggestions found expression in a letter from Col. Lewis Nicola offering a plan by which he should use the army to make himself king. He blasted the proposal with fierce condemnation. When the discontent of his unpaid men came to a head in the circulation of the “Newburgh Address” (an anonymously written grievance) early in 1783, he issued a general order censuring the paper and at a meeting of officers on March 15 read a speech admonishing the army to obey Congress and promising his best efforts for a redress of grievances. He was present at the entrance of the American army into New York on the day of the British evacuation, November 25, 1783, and on December 4 took leave of his closest officers in an affecting scene at Fraunces Tavern. Traveling south, on December 23, in a solemn ceremonial immortalized by the pen of William Makepeace Thackeray, he resigned his commission to the Continental Congress in the state senate chamber of Maryland in Annapolis and received the thanks of the nation. His accounts of personal expenditures during his service, kept with minute exactness in his own handwriting and totalling £24,700, without charge for salary, had been given the controller of the treasury to be discharged. Washington left Annapolis at sunrise of December 24 and before nightfall was at home in Mount Vernon.

In the next four years Washington found sufficient occupation in his estates, wishing to close his days as a gentleman farmer and to give to agriculture as much energy and thought as he had to the army. He enlarged the Mount Vernon house; he laid out the grounds anew, with sunken walls, or ha-has; and he embarked on experiments with mahogany, palmetto, pepper, and other foreign trees, and English grasses and grains. His farm manager during the Revolution, a distant relative named Lund Washington, retired in 1785 and was succeeded by a nephew, Maj. George Augustine Washington, who resided at Mount Vernon until his death in 1792. Washington’s losses during the war had been heavy, caused by neglect of his lands, stoppage of exportation, and depreciation of paper money, which cost him hardly less than $30,000. He then attempted successfully to repair his fortunes, his annual receipts from all his estates being from $10,000 to $15,000 a year. In 1784 he made a tour of nearly 700 miles (1,125 km) to view the wildlands he owned to the westward, Congress having made him a generous grant. As a national figure, he was constrained to offer hospitality to old army friends, visitors from other states and nations, diplomats, and Indian delegations, and he and his household seldom sat down to dinner alone.

Presidency of George Washington

Postrevolutionary politics

Viewing the chaotic political condition of the United States after 1783 with frank pessimism and declaring (May 18, 1786) that “something must be done, or the fabric must fall, for it is certainly tottering,” Washington repeatedly wrote his friends urging steps toward “an indissoluble union.” At first he believed that the Articles of Confederation might be amended. Later, especially after the shock of Shays’s Rebellion, he took the view that a more radical reform was necessary but doubted as late as the end of 1786 that the time was ripe. His progress toward adoption of the idea of a federal convention was, in fact, puzzlingly slow. Although John Jay assured him in March 1786 that breakup of the nation seemed near and opinion for a constitutional convention was crystallizing, Washington remained noncommittal. But, despite long hesitations, he earnestly supported the proposal for a federal impost, warning the states that their policy must decide “whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered a blessing or a curse.” And his numerous letters to the leading men of the country assisted greatly to form a sentiment favourable to a more perfect union. Some understanding being necessary between Virginia and Maryland regarding the navigation of the Potomac, commissioners from the two states had met at Mount Vernon in the spring of 1785; from this seed sprang the federal convention. Washington approved in advance the call for a gathering of all the states to meet in Philadelphia in May 1787 to “render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.” But he was again hesitant about attending, partly because he felt tired and infirm, partly because of doubts about the outcome. Although he hoped to the last to be excused, he was chosen one of Virginia’s five delegates.

Washington arrived in Philadelphia on May 13, the day before the opening of the Constitutional Convention, and as soon as a quorum was obtained he was unanimously chosen its president. For four months he presided over the convention, breaking his silence only once upon a minor question of congressional apportionment. Although he said little in debate, no one did more outside the hall to insist on stern measures. “My wish is,” he wrote, “that the convention may adopt no temporizing expedients, but probe the defects of the Constitution to the bottom, and provide a radical cure.” His weight of character did more than any other single force to bring the convention to an agreement and obtain ratification of the instrument afterward. He did not believe it perfect, though his precise criticisms of it are unknown. But his support gave it victory in Virginia, where he sent copies to Patrick Henry and other leaders with a hint that the alternative to adoption was anarchy, declaring that “it or dis-union is before us to chuse from.” He received and personally circulated copies of The Federalist. When ratification was obtained, he wrote to leaders in the various states urging that men staunchly favourable to it be elected to Congress. For a time he sincerely believed that, the new framework completed, he would be allowed to retire again to privacy. But all eyes immediately turned to him for the first president. He alone commanded the respect of both the parties engendered by the struggle over ratification, and he alone would be able to give prestige to the republic throughout Europe. In no state was any other name considered. The electors chosen in the first days of 1789 cast a unanimous vote for him, and reluctantly—for his love of peace, his distrust of his own abilities, and his fear that his motives in advocating the new government might be misconstrued all made him unwilling—he accepted.

On April 16, after receiving congressional notification of the honour, he set out from Mount Vernon, reaching New York City in time to be inaugurated on April 30. His journey northward was a celebratory procession as people in every town and village through which he passed turned out to greet him, often with banners and speeches, and in some places with triumphal arches. He came across the Hudson River in a specially built barge decorated in red, white, and blue. The inaugural ceremony was performed on Wall Street, near the spot now marked by John Quincy Adams Ward’s statue of Washington. A great crowd broke into cheers as, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall, he took the oath administered by Chancellor Robert Livingston and retired indoors to read Congress his inaugural address. Washington was clad in a brown suit of American manufacture, but he wore white stockings and a sword after the fashion of European courts.

Martha was as reluctant as her husband to resume public life. But a month later she came from Mount Vernon to join him. She, too, was greeted wildly on her way. And when Washington crossed the Hudson to bring her to Manhattan, guns boomed in salute. The Washingtons, to considerable public criticism, traveled about in a coach-and-four like monarchs. Moreover, during his presidency, Washington did not shake hands, and he met his guests on state occasions while standing on a raised platform and displaying a sword on his hip. Slowly, feeling his way, Washington was defining the style of the first president of a country in the history of the world. The people, too, were adjusting to a government without a king. Even the question of how to address a president had to be discussed. It was decided that in a republic the simple salutation “Mr. President” would do.

The Washington administration

Washington’s administration of the government in the next eight years was marked by the caution, the methodical precision, and the sober judgment that had always characterized him. He regarded himself as standing aloof from party divisions and emphasized his position as president of the whole country by touring first through the Northern states and later through the Southern. A painstaking inquiry into all the problems confronting the new nation laid the basis for a series of judicious recommendations to Congress in his first message. In selecting the four members of his first cabinet—Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state, Alexander Hamilton as secretary of treasury, Henry Knox as secretary of war, and Edmund Randolph as attorney general—Washington balanced the two parties evenly. But he leaned with especial weight upon Hamilton, who supported his scheme for the federal assumption of state debts, took his view that the bill establishing the Bank of the United States was constitutional, and in general favoured strengthening the authority of the federal government. Distressed when the inevitable clash between Jefferson and Hamilton arose, he tried to keep harmony, writing frankly to each and refusing to accept their resignations.

But when war was declared between France and England in 1793, he took Hamilton’s view that the United States should completely disregard the treaty of alliance with France and pursue a course of strict neutrality, while he acted decisively to stop the improper operations of the French minister, Edmond-Charles Genêt. He had a firm belief that the United States must insist on its national identity, strength, and dignity. His object, he wrote, was to keep the country “free from political connections with every other country, to see them independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character that the powers of Europe may be convinced that we act for ourselves, and not for others.” The sequel was the resignation of Jefferson at the close of 1793, the two men parting on good terms and Washington praising Jefferson’s “integrity and talents.” The suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 by federal troops whom Hamilton led in person and the dispatch of John Jay to conclude a treaty of commerce with Great Britain tended further to align Washington with the federalists. Although the general voice of the people compelled him to acquiesce reluctantly to a second term in 1792 and his election that year was again unanimous, during his last four years in office he suffered from a fierce personal and partisan animosity. This culminated when the publication of the terms of the Jay Treaty, which Washington signed in August 1795, provoked a bitter discussion, and the House of Representatives called upon the president for the instructions and correspondence relating to the treaty. These Washington, who had already clashed with the Senate on foreign affairs, refused to deliver, and, in the face of an acrimonious debate, he firmly maintained his position.

Early in his first term, Washington, who by education and natural inclination was minutely careful of the proprieties of life, established the rules of a virtual republican court. In both New York and Philadelphia he rented the best houses procurable, refusing to accept the hospitality of George Clinton, for he believed the head of the nation should be no man’s guest. He returned no calls and shook hands with no one, acknowledging salutations by a formal bow. He drove in a coach drawn by four or six smart horses, with outriders and lackeys in rich livery. He attended receptions dressed in a black velvet suit with gold buckles, with yellow gloves, powdered hair, a math hat with an ostrich plume in one hand, and a sword in a white leather scabbard. After being overwhelmed by callers, he announced that, except for a weekly levee open to all, persons desiring to see him had to make appointments in advance. On Friday afternoons the first lady held informal receptions, at which the president appeared. Although the presidents of the Continental Congress had made their tables partly public, Washington, who entertained largely, inviting members of Congress in rotation, insisted that his hospitality be private. He served good wines and the menus were elaborate, but such visitors as Pennsylvania Sen. William Maclay complained that the atmosphere was too “solemn.” Indeed, his simple ceremony offended many of the more radical anti-federalists, who did not share his sense of its fitness and accused the president of conducting himself like a king. But his cold and reserved manner was caused by native diffidence rather than any excessive sense of dignity.

Retirement

Earnestly desiring leisure, feeling a decline of his physical powers, and wincing under abuses of the opposition, Washington refused to yield to the general pressure for a third term. This refusal was blended with a testament of sagacious advice to his country in the Farewell Address of September 19, 1796, written largely by Hamilton but remolded by Washington and expressing his ideas. Retiring in March 1797 to Mount Vernon, he devoted himself for the last two and a half years of his life to his family, farm operations, and care of his slaves. In 1798 his seclusion was briefly interrupted when the prospect of war with France caused his appointment as commander in chief of the provisional army, and he was much worried by the political quarrels over high commissions; but the war cloud passed away.

On December 12, 1799, after riding on horseback for several hours in cold and snow, he returned home exhausted and was attacked late the next day with quinsy or acute laryngitis. He was bled heavily four times and given gargles of “molasses, vinegar and butter,” and a blister of cantharides (a preparation of dried beetles) was placed on his throat, his strength meanwhile rapidly sinking. He faced the end with characteristic serenity, saying, “I die hard, but I am not afraid to go,” and later: “I feel myself going. I thank you for your attentions; but I pray you to take no more trouble about me. Let me go off quietly. I cannot last long.” After giving instructions to his secretary, Tobias Lear, about his burial, he died at 10:00 PM on December 14. The news of his death placed the entire country in mourning, and the sentiment of the country endorsed the famous words of Henry (“Light-Horse Harry”) Lee, embodied in resolutions that John Marshall introduced in the House of Representatives, that he was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” When the news reached Europe, the British channel fleet and the armies of Napoleon paid tribute to his memory, and many of the leaders of the time joined in according him a preeminent place among the heroes of history. His fellow citizens memorialized him forever by naming the newly created capital city of the young nation for him while he was still alive. Later, one of the states of union would bear his name—the only state named for an individual American. Moreover, counties in 32 states were given his name, and in time it also could be found in 121 postal addresses. The people of the United States have continued to glory in knowing him as “the Father of His Country,” an accolade he was pleased to accept, even though it pained him that he fathered no children of his own. For almost a century beginning in the 1770s, Washington was the uncontested giant in the American pantheon of greats, but only until Abraham Lincoln was enshrined there after another critical epoch in the life of the country.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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#1282 2023-03-31 18:48:10

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1246) A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Summary

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam BR (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was an Indian aerospace scientist and statesman who served as the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

Kalam was elected as the 11th president of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the "People's President", he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83. Thousands, including national-level dignitaries, attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameswaram, where he was buried with full state honours.

Early life and education

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931, to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen Marakayar was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque; his mother Ashiamma was a housewife. His father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in his family. His ancestors had been wealthy Marakayar traders and landowners, with numerous properties and large tracts of land. Marakayar are a Muslim ethnic group found in coastal Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka who claim descent from Arab traders and local women. The family business had involved trading groceries between the mainland and the island and to and from Sri Lanka, as well as ferrying pilgrims between the mainland and Pamban. With the opening of the Pamban Bridge to the mainland in 1914, however, the businesses failed and the family fortune and properties were lost by the 1920s, apart from the ancestral home. The family was poverty-stricken by the time Kalam was born. As a young boy he had to sell newspapers to add to the family's meager income.

In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics. After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, "I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline." He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.

Details

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, (born October 15, 1931, Rameswaram, India—died July 27, 2015, Shillong), was an Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was president of India from 2002 to 2007.

Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In 1969 he moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation, where he was project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India. Rejoining DRDO in 1982, Kalam planned the program that produced a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man.” Among those successes was Agni, India’s first intermediate-range ballistic missile, which incorporated aspects of the SLV-III and was launched in 1989.

From 1992 to 1997 Kalam was scientific adviser to the defense minister, and he later served as principal scientific adviser (1999–2001) to the government with the rank of cabinet minister. His prominent role in the country’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests solidified India as a nuclear power and established Kalam as a national hero, although the tests caused great concern in the international community. In 1998 Kalam put forward a countrywide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which he described as a road map for transforming India from a less-developed to a developed society in 20 years. The plan called for, among other measures, increasing agricultural productivity, emphasizing technology as a vehicle for economic growth, and widening access to health care and education.

In 2002 India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) put forward Kalam to succeed outgoing President Kocheril Raman Narayanan. Kalam was nominated by the Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) NDA even though he was Muslim, and his stature and popular appeal were such that even the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, also proposed his candidacy. Kalam easily won the election and was sworn in as India’s 11th president, a largely ceremonial post, in July 2002. He left office at the end of his term in 2007 and was succeeded by Pratibha Patil, the country’s first woman president.

Upon returning to civilian life, Kalam remained committed to using science and technology to transform India into a developed country and served as a lecturer at several universities. On July 27, 2015, he collapsed while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong and was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest soon afterward.

Kalam wrote several books, including an autobiography, Wings of Fire (1999). Among his numerous awards were two of the country’s highest honours, the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997).

Additional Information

Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr.Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club.

He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organization as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.

As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500 experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020 giving a road map for transforming India from the present developing status to a developed nation. Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.

Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country.

In his literary pursuit Dr. Kalam authored a number of books, such as "Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India", “Indomitable Spirit”, “Guiding Soul”, “Envisioning an Empowered Nation”, “Inspiring Thoughts”, “Children Ask Kalam”, “You are born to blossom”, “Family and the Nation”, “Life Tree” and “The Luminous Sparks” a collection of his poems. Many of them have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.

Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 36 universities and institutions from India and abroad. He has been awarded with the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several awards and Fellow of many professional institutions.

International Recognitions

The Royal Society, UK has awarded Dr Kalam with the “King Charles-II Medal” for Science and Technology in October 2007. He received the Woodrow Wilson Award in 2008. The Royal Academy of Engineering, London conferred on him the International Medal 2008 in June 2009 at London. The Hoover Board of Awards presented him the Hoover Medal 2008 at New York in April 2009. The Aerospace Historical Society in Collaboration with the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT) at the California Institute of Technology awarded him the “2009 International Von Karman Wings Award” in September 2009.

Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. After five eventful years he demitted office on 25th July 2007. His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.

APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Rameswram, India, established in 2015

A not-for-profit initiative aimed at fulfilling the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Vision 2020 Developed India.

APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation supports programs in the areas of education, Science and Technology with students , rural development, healthcare . Its mission is to work in remote regions of several states in India.

APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation takes pride in working with all sections of society, students, Corporate companies, Schools, etc.,

APJ Abdul Kalam Foundaiton closely works with DRDO and ISRO ,CII both are very close to Dr Kalam.

Last 3 years APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation is done various progams lead by President of India, Vice-President of India, Prime Minister Of India, Former President of India.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1283 2023-04-02 17:37:10

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1247) Abraham Lincoln

Details

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer, politician and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the Union through the American Civil War to defend the nation as a constitutional union and succeeded in abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S. economy.

Lincoln was born into poverty in a log cabin in Kentucky and was raised on the frontier, primarily in Indiana. He was self-educated and became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator, and U.S. Congressman from Illinois. In 1849, he returned to his successful law practice in central Illinois. In 1854, he was angered by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which opened the territories to slavery, and he re-entered politics. He soon became a leader of the new Republican Party. He reached a national audience in the 1858 Senate campaign debates against Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln ran for president in 1860, sweeping the North to gain victory. Pro-slavery elements in the South viewed his election as a threat to slavery, and Southern states began seceding from the nation. During this time, the newly formed Confederate States of America began seizing federal military bases in the south. Just over one month after Lincoln assumed the presidency, the Confederate States attacked Fort Sumter, a U.S. fort in South Carolina. Following the bombardment, Lincoln mobilized forces to suppress the rebellion and restore the union.

Lincoln, a moderate Republican, had to navigate a contentious array of factions with friends and opponents from both the Democratic and Republican parties. His allies, the War Democrats and the Radical Republicans, demanded harsh treatment of the Southern Confederates. Anti-war Democrats (called "Copperheads") despised Lincoln, and irreconcilable pro-Confederate elements plotted his assassination. He managed the factions by exploiting their mutual enmity, carefully distributing political patronage, and by appealing to the American people. His Gettysburg Address came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. Lincoln closely supervised the strategy and tactics in the war effort, including the selection of generals, and implemented a naval blockade of the South's trade. He suspended habeas corpus in Maryland and elsewhere, and averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. In 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the slaves in the states "in rebellion" to be free. It also directed the Army and Navy to "recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons" and to receive them "into the armed service of the United States." Lincoln also pressured border states to outlaw slavery, and he promoted the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which upon its ratification abolished slavery.

Lincoln managed his own successful re-election campaign. He sought to heal the war-torn nation through reconciliation. On April 14, 1865, just five days after the war's end at Appomattox, he was attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mary, when he was fatally shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln is remembered as a martyr and a national hero for his wartime leadership and for his efforts to preserve the Union and abolish slavery. Lincoln is often ranked in both popular and scholarly polls as the greatest president in American history.

Additional Information

Abraham Lincoln, byname Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter, or the Great Emancipator, (born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.—died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C.), was the 16th president of the United States (1861–65), who preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other lands. This charm derives from his remarkable life story—the rise from humble origins, the dramatic death—and from his distinctively human and humane personality as well as from his historical role as saviour of the Union and emancipator of enslaved people. His relevance endures and grows especially because of his eloquence as a spokesman for democracy. In his view, the Union was worth saving not only for its own sake but because it embodied an ideal, the ideal of self-government. In recent years, the political side to Lincoln’s character, and his racial views in particular, have come under close scrutiny, as scholars continue to find him a rich subject for research. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated to him on May 30, 1922.

Life

Lincoln was born in a backwoods cabin 3 miles (5 km) south of Hodgenville, Kentucky, and was taken to a farm in the neighbouring valley of Knob Creek when he was two years old. His earliest memories were of this home and, in particular, of a flash flood that once washed away the corn and pumpkin seeds he had helped his father plant. His father, Thomas Lincoln, was the descendant of a weaver’s apprentice who had migrated from England to Massachusetts in 1637. Though much less prosperous than some of his Lincoln forebears, Thomas was a sturdy pioneer. On June 12, 1806, he married Nancy Hanks. The Hanks genealogy is difficult to trace, but Nancy appears to have been of illegitimate birth. She has been described as “stoop-shouldered, thin-breasted, sad,” and fervently religious. Thomas and Nancy Lincoln had three children: Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas, who died in infancy.

Childhood and youth

In December 1816, faced with a lawsuit challenging the title to his Kentucky farm, Thomas Lincoln moved with his family to southwestern Indiana. There, as a squatter on public land, he hastily put up a “half-faced camp”—a crude structure of logs and boughs with one side open to the weather—in which the family took shelter behind a blazing fire. Soon he built a permanent cabin, and later he bought the land on which it stood. Abraham helped to clear the fields and to take care of the crops but early acquired a dislike for hunting and fishing. In afteryears he recalled the “panther’s scream,” the bears that “preyed on the swine,” and the poverty of Indiana frontier life, which was “pretty pinching at times.” The unhappiest period of his boyhood followed the death of his mother in the autumn of 1818. As a ragged nine-year-old, he saw her buried in the forest, then faced a winter without the warmth of a mother’s love. Fortunately, before the onset of a second winter, Thomas Lincoln brought home from Kentucky a new wife for himself, a new mother for the children. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, a widow with two girls and a boy of her own, had energy and affection to spare. She ran the household with an even hand, treating both sets of children as if she had borne them all; but she became especially fond of Abraham, and he of her. He afterward referred to her as his “angel mother.”

His stepmother doubtless encouraged Lincoln’s taste for reading, yet the original source of his desire to learn remains something of a mystery. Both his parents were almost completely illiterate, and he himself received little formal education. He once said that, as a boy, he had gone to school “by littles”—a little now and a little then—and his entire schooling amounted to no more than one year’s attendance. His neighbours later recalled how he used to trudge for miles to borrow a book. According to his own statement, however, his early surroundings provided “absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course, when I came of age I did not know much. Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the rule of three; but that was all.” Apparently the young Lincoln did not read a large number of books but thoroughly absorbed the few that he did read. These included Parson Weems’s Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington (with its story of the little hatchet and the cherry tree), Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and Aesop’s Fables. From his earliest days he must have had some familiarity with the Bible, for it doubtless was the only book his family owned.

In March 1830 the Lincoln family undertook a second migration, this time to Illinois, with Lincoln himself driving the team of oxen. Having just reached the age of 21, he was about to begin life on his own. Six feet four inches tall, he was rawboned and lanky but muscular and physically powerful. He was especially noted for the skill and strength with which he could wield an ax. He spoke with a backwoods twang and walked in the long-striding, flat-footed, cautious manner of a plowman. Good-natured though somewhat moody, talented as a mimic and storyteller, he readily attracted friends. But he was yet to demonstrate whatever other abilities he possessed.

After his arrival in Illinois, having no desire to be a farmer, Lincoln tried his hand at a variety of occupations. As a rail-splitter, he helped to clear and fence his father’s new farm. As a flatboatman, he made a voyage down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana. (This was his second visit to that city, his first having been made in 1828, while he still lived in Indiana.) Upon his return to Illinois he settled in New Salem, a village of about 25 families on the Sangamon River. There he worked from time to time as storekeeper, postmaster, and surveyor. With the coming of the Black Hawk War (1832), he enlisted as a volunteer and was elected captain of his company. Afterward he joked that he had seen no “live, fighting Indians” during the war but had had “a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes.” Meanwhile, aspiring to be a legislator, he was defeated in his first try and then repeatedly reelected to the state assembly. He considered blacksmithing as a trade but finally decided in favour of the law. Already having taught himself grammar and mathematics, he began to study law books. In 1836, having passed the bar examination, he began to practice law.

The next year he moved to Springfield, Illinois, the new state capital, which offered many more opportunities for a lawyer than New Salem did. At first Lincoln was a partner of John T. Stuart, then of Stephen T. Logan, and finally, from 1844, of William H. Herndon. Nearly 10 years younger than Lincoln, Herndon was more widely read, more emotional at the bar, and generally more extreme in his views. Yet this partnership seems to have been as nearly perfect as such human arrangements ever are. Lincoln and Herndon kept few records of their law business, and they split the cash between them whenever either of them was paid. It seems they had no money quarrels.

Within a few years of his relocation to Springfield, Lincoln was earning $1,200 to $1,500 annually, at a time when the governor of the state received a salary of $1,200 and circuit judges only $750. He had to work hard. To keep himself busy, he found it necessary not only to practice in the capital but also to follow the court as it made the rounds of its circuit. Each spring and fall he would set out by horseback or buggy to travel hundreds of miles over the thinly settled prairie, from one little county seat to another. Most of the cases were petty and the fees small.

The coming of the railroads, especially after 1850, made travel easier and practice more remunerative. Lincoln served as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad, assisting it in getting a charter from the state, and thereafter he was retained as a regular attorney for that railroad. After successfully defending the company against the efforts of McLean county to tax its property, he received the largest single fee of his legal career—$5,000. (He had to sue the Illinois Central in order to collect the fee.) He also handled cases for other railroads and for banks, insurance companies, and mercantile and manufacturing firms. In one of his finest performances before the bar, he saved the Rock Island Bridge, the first to span the Mississippi River, from the threat of the river transportation interests that demanded the bridge’s removal. His business included a number of patent suits and criminal trials. One of his most effective and famous pleas had to do with a murder case. A witness claimed that, by the light of the moon, he had seen Duff Armstrong, an acquaintance of Lincoln’s, take part in a killing. Referring to an almanac for proof, Lincoln argued that the night had been too dark for the witness to have seen anything clearly, and with a sincere and moving appeal he won an acquittal.

By the time he began to be prominent in national politics, about 20 years after launching his legal career, Lincoln had made himself one of the most distinguished and successful lawyers in Illinois. He was noted not only for his shrewdness and practical common sense, which enabled him always to see to the heart of any legal case, but also for his invariable fairness and utter honesty.

Lincoln’s family

While residing in New Salem, Lincoln became acquainted with Ann Rutledge. Apparently he was fond of her, and certainly he grieved with the entire community at her untimely death, in 1835, at the age of 22. Afterward, stories were told of a grand romance between Lincoln and Rutledge, but these stories are not supported by sound historical evidence. A year after the death of Rutledge, Lincoln carried on a halfhearted courtship with Mary Owens, who eventually concluded that Lincoln was “deficient in those little links which make up the chain of woman’s happiness.” She turned down his proposal.

So far as can be known, the first and only real love of Lincoln’s life was Mary Todd. High-spirited, quick-witted, and well-educated, Todd came from a rather distinguished Kentucky family, and her Springfield relatives belonged to the social aristocracy of the town. Some of them frowned upon her association with Lincoln, and from time to time he, too, doubted whether he could ever make her happy. Nevertheless, they became engaged. Then, on a day in 1841 that Lincoln recalled as the “fatal first of January,” the engagement was broken, apparently on his initiative. For some time afterward, Lincoln was overwhelmed by terrible depression and despondency. Finally the two were reconciled, and on November 4, 1842, they married.

Four children, all boys, were born to the Lincolns. Edward Baker was nearly 4 years old when he died, and William Wallace (“Willie”) was 11. Robert Todd, the eldest, was the only one of the children to survive to adulthood, though Lincoln’s favourite, Thomas (“Tad”), who had a cleft palate and a lisp, outlived his father. Lincoln left the upbringing of his children largely to their mother, who was alternately strict and lenient in her treatment of them.

The Lincolns had a mutual affectionate interest in the doings and welfare of their boys, were fond of one another’s company, and missed each other when apart, as existing letters show. Like most married couples, the Lincolns also had their domestic quarrels, which sometimes were hectic but which undoubtedly were exaggerated by contemporary gossips. She suffered from recurring headaches, fits of temper, and a sense of insecurity and loneliness that was intensified by her husband’s long absences on the lawyer’s circuit. After his election to the presidency, she was afflicted by the death of her son Willie, by the ironies of a war that made enemies of Kentucky relatives and friends, and by the unfair public criticisms of her as mistress of the White House. She developed an obsessive need to spend money, and she ran up embarrassing bills. She also staged some painful scenes of wifely jealousy. At last, in 1875, she was officially declared insane, though by that time she had undergone the further shock of seeing her husband murdered at her side. During their earlier married life, she unquestionably encouraged her husband and served as a prod to his own ambition. During their later years together, she probably strengthened and tested his innate qualities of tolerance and patience.

With his wife, Lincoln attended Presbyterian services in Springfield and in Washington but never joined any church. He once explained:

When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Saviour’s condensed statement of the substance of both Law and Gospel, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor, as thyself,” that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.

Early in life Lincoln had been something of a skeptic and freethinker. His reputation had been such that, as he once complained, the “church influence” was used against him in politics. When running for Congress in 1846, he issued a handbill to deny that he ever had “spoken with intentional disrespect of religion.” He went on to explain that he had believed in the doctrine of necessity—“that is, that the human mind is impelled to action, or held in rest by some power over which the mind itself has no control.” Throughout his life he also believed in dreams and other enigmatic signs and portents. As he grew older, and especially after he became president and faced the soul-troubling responsibilities of the Civil War, he developed a profound religious sense, and he increasingly personified necessity as God. He came to look upon himself quite humbly as an “instrument of Providence” and to view all history as God’s enterprise. “In the present civil war,” he wrote in 1862, “it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.”

Lincoln was fond of the Bible and knew it well. He also was fond of Shakespeare. In private conversation he used many Shakespearean allusions, discussed problems of dramatic interpretation with considerable insight, and recited long passages from memory with rare feeling and understanding. He liked the works of John Stuart Mill, particularly On Liberty, but disliked heavy or metaphysical works.

Though he enjoyed the poems of Lord Byron and Robert Burns, his favourite piece of verse was the work of an obscure Scottish poet, William Knox. Lincoln often quoted Knox’s lines beginning: “Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?” He liked to relax with the comic writings of Petroleum V. Nasby, Orpheus C. Kerr, and Artemus Ward, or with a visit to the popular theatre.

16th president of the United States

FAST FACTS
NAME: Abraham Lincoln
NICKNAMES: Honest Abe, the Great Emancipator
BORN: February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky
DIED: April 15, 1865, in Washington, D.C.
TIME IN OFFICE: March 4, 1861, to April 15, 1865
VICE PRESIDENTS: Hannibal Hamlin (first term), Andrew Johnson (second term)
POLITICAL PARTY: Republican (formerly Whig)

EARLY LIFE

WHITE HOUSE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION

Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky on February 12, 1809, to parents who could neither read nor write. He went to school on and off for a total of about a year, but he educated himself by reading borrowed books. When Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died. His father—a carpenter and farmer—remarried and moved his family farther west, eventually settling in Illinois.

As a young adult, Lincoln worked as a flatboat navigator, storekeeper, soldier, surveyor, and postmaster. At age 25 he was elected to the local government in Springfield, Illinois. Once there, he taught himself law, opened a law practice, and earned the nickname "Honest Abe."

He served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives but lost two U.S. Senate races. But the debates he had about the enslavement of people with his 1858 senatorial opponent, Stephen Douglas, helped him win the presidential nomination two years later. (Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery in the United States.) In the four-way presidential race of 1860, Lincoln got more votes than any other candidate.

A NATION DIVIDED

When Lincoln first took office in 1861, the United States was not truly united. The nation had been arguing for more than a hundred years about enslaving people and each state’s right to allow it. Now Northerners and Southerners were close to war. When he became president, Lincoln allowed the enslavement of people to continue in southern states but he outlawed its spread to other existing states and states that might later join the Union.

Southern leaders didn’t agree with this plan and decided to secede, or withdraw, from the nation. Eventually, 11 southern states formed the Confederate States of America to oppose the 23 northern states that remained in the Union. The Civil War officially began on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, when troops from the Confederacy attacked the U.S. fort.

WARTIME PRESIDENCY

Lincoln’s primary goal as president was to hold the country together. For a long time, it didn’t look as if he would succeed. During the early years, the South was winning the war. It wasn’t until the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania during July 1863 that the war turned in favor of the Union.

Through speeches such as the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln encouraged Northerners to keep fighting. In this famous dedication of the battlefield cemetery, he urged citizens to ensure "that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Earlier that same year Lincoln called for the end of the enslavement of people in his Emancipation Proclamation speech.

When the war was nearly over, Lincoln was re-elected in 1864. Civil War victory came on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. Some 750,000 soldiers had died during the four-year conflict.

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Seeing the Union successfully through the Civil War was Lincoln’s greatest responsibility, but it wasn’t his only triumph during his presidential years. Together with Congress, he established the Department of Agriculture; supported the development of a transcontinental railroad; enacted the Homestead Act, which opened up land to settlers; and crafted the 13th Amendment, which ended the enslavement of people.

TRAGIC FATE

Less than a week after people celebrated the end the Civil War, the country was mourning yet again. Lincoln became the first president to be assassinated when he was shot on April 14, 1865.

The night he was shot, he and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, were watching a play in Washington, D.C. The entrance to their box seats was poorly guarded, allowing actor John Wilkes Booth to enter. Booth hoped to revive the Confederate cause by killing Lincoln. He shot Lincoln in the back of the head, then fled the theater. He wasn’t caught until two weeks later. He was shot during his eventual capture and died from his wounds.

The president's death at the end of the Civil War unsettled the fragile nation.


The wounded and unconscious president was carried to a boardinghouse across the street, where he died the next morning, April 15, 1865. Lincoln’s presidency was tragically cut short, but his contributions to the United States ensured that he would be remembered as one of its most influential presidents.

FAST FACTS
• The Lincoln family ate at the White House dinner table with their cat.

• Lincoln sometimes kept important documents under the tall black hats he wore.

• Lincoln was taller (at six feet four inches) than any other president.

heroGettyImages-1308080.jpg?w=1024


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

Offline

#1284 2023-04-03 23:52:32

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1248) Nelson Mandela

Summary

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician who served as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

A Xhosa, Mandela was born into the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, Union of South Africa. He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, Mandela and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. He was appointed president of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant uMkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and, following the Rivonia Trial, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state.

Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure and fears of racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became president. Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Economically, his administration retained its predecessor's liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty and expand healthcare services. Internationally, Mandela acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as secretary-general of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those on the far left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his activism. Globally regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Thembu clan name, Madiba, and described as the "Father of the Nation".

Details

Nelson Mandela, in full Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, byname Madiba, (born July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa—died December 5, 2013, Johannesburg), was a Black nationalist and the first Black president of South Africa (1994–99). His negotiations in the early 1990s with South African Pres. F.W. de Klerk helped end the country’s apartheid system of racial segregation and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule. Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993 for their efforts.

Early life and work

Nelson Mandela was the son of Chief Henry Mandela of the Madiba clan of the Xhosa-speaking Tembu people. After his father’s death, young Nelson was raised by Jongintaba, the regent of the Tembu. Nelson renounced his claim to the chieftainship to become a lawyer. He attended South African Native College (later the University of Fort Hare) and studied law at the University of the Witwatersrand; he later passed the qualification exam to become a lawyer. In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC), a Black-liberation group, and became a leader of its Youth League. That same year he met and married Evelyn Ntoko Mase. Mandela subsequently held other ANC leadership positions, through which he helped revitalize the organization and oppose the apartheid policies of the ruling National Party.

In 1952 in Johannesburg, with fellow ANC leader Oliver Tambo, Mandela established South Africa’s first Black law practice, specializing in cases resulting from the post-1948 apartheid legislation. Also that year, Mandela played an important role in launching a campaign of defiance against South Africa’s pass laws, which required nonwhites to carry documents (known as passes, pass books, or reference books) authorizing their presence in areas that the government deemed “restricted” (i.e., generally reserved for the white population). He traveled throughout the country as part of the campaign, trying to build support for nonviolent means of protest against the discriminatory laws. In 1955 he was involved in drafting the Freedom Charter, a document calling for nonracial social democracy in South Africa.

Mandela’s antiapartheid activism made him a frequent target of the authorities. Starting in 1952, he was intermittently banned (severely restricted in travel, association, and speech). In December 1956 he was arrested with more than 100 other people on charges of treason that were designed to harass antiapartheid activists. Mandela went on trial that same year and eventually was acquitted in 1961. During the extended court proceedings, he divorced his first wife and married Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela (Winnie Madikizela-Mandela).

After the massacre of unarmed Black South Africans by police forces at Sharpeville in 1960 and the subsequent banning of the ANC, Mandela abandoned his nonviolent stance and began advocating acts of sabotage against the South African regime. He went underground (during which time he became known as the Black Pimpernel for his ability to evade capture) and was one of the founders of Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), the military wing of the ANC. In 1962 he went to Algeria for training in guerrilla warfare and sabotage, returning to South Africa later that year. On August 5, shortly after his return, Mandela was arrested at a road block in Natal; he was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.

In October 1963 the imprisoned Mandela and several other men were tried for sabotage, treason, and violent conspiracy in the infamous Rivonia Trial, named after a fashionable suburb of Johannesburg where raiding police had discovered quantities of arms and equipment at the headquarters of the underground Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela’s speech from the dock, in which he admitted the truth of some of the charges made against him, was a classic defense of liberty and defiance of tyranny. (His speech garnered international attention and acclaim and was published later that year as I Am Prepared to Die.) On June 12, 1964, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, narrowly escaping the death penalty.

From 1964 to 1982 Mandela was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town. He was subsequently kept at the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison until 1988, when, after being treated for tuberculosis, he was transferred to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. The South African government periodically made conditional offers of freedom to Mandela, most notably in 1976, on the condition that he recognize the newly independent—and highly controversial—status of the Transkei Bantustan and agree to reside there. An offer made in 1985 required that he renounce the use of violence. Mandela refused both offers, the second on the premise that only free men were able to engage in such negotiations and, as a prisoner, he was not a free man.

Throughout his incarceration, Mandela retained wide support among South Africa’s Black population, and his imprisonment became a cause célèbre among the international community that condemned apartheid. As South Africa’s political situation deteriorated after 1983, and particularly after 1988, he was engaged by ministers of Pres. P.W. Botha’s government in exploratory negotiations; he met with Botha’s successor, de Klerk, in December 1989.

On February 11, 1990, the South African government under President de Klerk released Mandela from prison. Shortly after his release, Mandela was chosen deputy president of the ANC; he became president of the party in July 1991. Mandela led the ANC in negotiations with de Klerk to end apartheid and bring about a peaceful transition to nonracial democracy in South Africa.

Presidency and retirement

In April 1994 the Mandela-led ANC won South Africa’s first elections by universal suffrage, and on May 10 Mandela was sworn in as president of the country’s first multiethnic government. He established in 1995 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which investigated human rights violations under apartheid, and he introduced housing, education, and economic development initiatives designed to improve the living standards of the country’s Black population. In 1996 he oversaw the enactment of a new democratic constitution. Mandela resigned his post with the ANC in December 1997, transferring leadership of the party to his designated successor, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela had divorced in 1996, and in 1998 Mandela married Graca Machel, the widow of Samora Machel, the former Mozambican president and leader of Frelimo.

Mandela did not seek a second term as South African president and was succeeded by Mbeki in 1999. After leaving office Mandela retired from active politics but maintained a strong international presence as an advocate of peace, reconciliation, and social justice, often through the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, established in 1999. He was a founding member of the Elders, a group of international leaders established in 2007 for the promotion of conflict resolution and problem solving throughout the world. In 2008 Mandela was feted with several celebrations in South Africa, Great Britain, and other countries in honour of his 90th birthday.

Mandela Day, observed on Mandela’s birthday, was created to honour his legacy by promoting community service around the world. It was first observed on July 18, 2009, and was sponsored primarily by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the 46664 initiative (the foundation’s HIV/AIDS global awareness and prevention campaign); later that year the United Nations declared that the day would be observed annually as Nelson Mandela International Day.

Mandela’s writings and speeches were collected in I Am Prepared to Die (1964; rev. ed. 1986), No Easy Walk to Freedom (1965; updated ed. 2002), The Struggle Is My Life (1978; rev. ed. 1990), and In His Own Words (2003). The autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, which chronicles his early life and years in prison, was published in 1994. An unfinished draft of his second volume of memoirs was completed by Mandla Langa and released posthumously as Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years (2017).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1285 2023-04-04 17:30:40

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1249) Amy Jackson

Summary

Amy Jackson is a British actress who began her acting career in India.

Amy became a household name after movies such as 'I', 'Singh is Bling' and '2.0'.

Jackson landed her first Hollywood role as Saturn Girl in season 3 of The CW's superhero series Supergirl (2017) and can be next seen in Guy Ritchie's upcoming spy thriller opposite Jason Statham (2021).

Trivia

Was crowned Miss Teen World 2008 and Miss Liverpool 2010.
Daughter of Marguerita Jackson and BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Alan Jackson.
Amy Jackson competed at the Horse of the Year Show along with the Royal International Horse Show as a teenager.

Personal Quotes

For me, age doesn't matter. You've got to go with your heart.
I love my pets, and I'm a big animal lover. I also enjoy the nature and countryside.
Now that I've moved to Mumbai, I should perhaps get a horse. It'll be a nice escape from my everyday life.
Rajinikanth is an absolute legend to work with. Imagine meeting him every day and spending time with him on the set. Sharing the frame with him is a lifetime experience; there's a reason he is called a legend.
I love being in Mumbai and want to continue being here.
I have become like a rhinoceros - thick-skinned - all the gossip about my numerous affairs does not bother me anymore.
We can stop the cycle of animal homelessness and save lives by opening our hearts and homes to a loving cat or dog from an animal shelter instead of buying animals from breeders or pet shops.
The negativity will always be there. I think that's for any actress or actor. But I think you've got to take it with a pinch of salt.
I get treated like a princess in India. It is like a different world.
I'm getting good exposure because of the movies I'm picking and the people I'm working with.
As an actress, I am very happy with 'Singh Is Bliing' because that was totally different from what I have done before.
I was new to acting before my role in 'Madrasapattinam.'
I feel more comfortable in saris than gowns.
I use this method to bring emotion into my performance. I recite my lines in English first, and then switch back to the original lines when shooting begins.
Thanks to having my dad travel with me, I don't feel quite cut off from my family.
I am a Christian, and since the age of five I have been singing... chanting hymns containing the word 'Hosanna.'
If you look from my point of view, that's what Christians strive for - love from God.
I generally like to stay fit.
I am conscious about not getting typecast, but obviously I have to keep picking up great roles so that I don't get typecast.
I started with Tamil film, then Hindi. Now, I am also doing a Telugu film. The journey has been wonderful so far.
The hardest thing for me was leaving my friends and family behind.
I had so much fun working with Akshay, especially in the action scenes.
I was always focused on the modelling and succeeding in that, but now I'm completely focused on making it over in India in the movies.
I used to dress up in my older sister Alisia's clothes and thought modelling would be fun.
I was so shy, I couldn't stand up in front of people and speak. Now I'm in the next big three Bollywood movies.
'2.0' is an entirely new thing in Indian cinema, a movie to watch out for.
'I' is bound to have an impact on my career.
A. L. Vijay asked if I could dance, and I just said yes. I didn't tell him the only dancing I had done was on nights out in Liverpool. He said he would arrange workshops and help me with the scripts and the language. He liked the fact that I was English but had an Indian look.
I'd be getting texts from my mates saying they'd just got into a club in Liverpool with a fake ID, and what was I doing? I'd have just finished a 20-hour day and be sitting in a hotel room, starving.
When I'm not shooting, I like to spend time with friends and family.
When 'I' released, I gave a couple of interviews in which I expressed my interest to play an action heroine.

Details

Amy Louise Jackson (born 31 January 1992) is a English actress and model known for her work in Indian films, predominantly in Tamil films, along with a few Hindi and Telugu films. A former Miss Teen World, Jackson has appeared in over fifteen films. She made her US debut in 2017 with Warner Brothers television production of DC Comics Supergirl as Imra Ardeen/ Saturn Girl. Jackson's most notable roles include her debut into the industry as Amy Wilkinson in Madrasapattinam (2010), Sarah in action film Singh Is Bliing (2015), and Nila in India's most expensive film 2.0 (2018).

She has won an Ananda Vikatan Cinema Award, a SIIMA Award, and a London Asian Film Festival award. She was featured in The Times of India's "Most Desirable Women of 2014" as well as the "Most Promising Female Newcomers of 2012" list.

In 2009, Jackson won the Miss Teen World title in America. At the age of 15, she began her modeling career in the UK and has since worked with designers such as Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera, JW Anderson, Bvlgari, and Cartier. In a twist of fate, Jackson was called to London to audition for the lead role in the Tamil-language period-drama Madrasapattinam (2010) directed by A. L. Vijay. Despite having had no previous acting experience, Jackson landed the role and thus began her career in India.

Jackson is a patron for charities such as "The Sneha Sargar Orphanage for girls". In 2018, she was honoured with the United Nations' International Day of The Girl Child award in London. Jackson is a proclaimed vegan animal rights advocate and has been an ambassador for PETA since 2016 as well as supporting The Elephant Family with their mission to aid human-animal conflict primarily in Asia.

Early life

Amy Louise Jackson was born on 31 January 1992 in Douglas on the Isle of Man, the daughter of Marguerita and Alan Jackson, who divorced several years after Amy Jackson was born. She has an elder sister, Alicia, who is a school teacher. When she was two years old, the family returned to Liverpool and lived with Jackson's grandmother in Woolton so that her father could continue his career with BBC Radio Merseyside. Jackson attended St Edward's College from the age of 3 - 16. She had the intention of taking her A–Levels in English literature, philosophy and ethics before she was cast in her first film.

Career:

Modelling

After winning the Miss Teen Liverpool and Miss Teen Great Britain pageants, Jackson won the title of Miss Teen World in 2009, which resulted in a modelling contract in the US. In 2009, Jackson started her modelling career with the Northern-based modelling agency, Boss Model Management, and then went on to sign with her London agency, Models 1. She won Miss Liverpool in 2010. She competed for the Miss England title in 2010 and was crowned the runner-up to Jessica Linley.

2010–2012: Breakthrough in Indian films

In 2010, Indian film producers spotted Jackson's photo on the Miss Teen World website and invited her to audition for the Tamil period-drama film Madrasapattinam (2010). Despite having had no previous acting experience, she was cast as the female lead opposite Arya. The film, set against the backdrop of 1947 India, tells the story of a British Governor's daughter who falls in love with a village boy. Jackson admitted that it was very difficult to learn the Tamil dialogues. The film was released on 9 July 2010; it was praised by critics and performed well at the box office, with Jackson gaining praise for her performance. Sify wrote, "It is an out and out Amy Jackson show. She is simply amazing to deliver lines in Tamil, and is one good reason to see the film". Behindwoods wrote, "The one who walks away with the top honours is Amy Jackson for a beautiful portrayal of a lady torn between her love and the mighty empire. She looks absolutely beautiful, emotes well through her expressive eyes and is able to earn the sympathy of the audiences during tough times". Rediff wrote, "Amy Jackson is almost perfect as the wide-eyed young girl who is seeing India for the first time, fascinated by its culture".

In 2011, she was signed by Gautham Vasudev Menon to play the female lead opposite Prateik Babbar in Ekk Deewana Tha (2012), the Hindi remake of the 2010 hit romantic drama film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. She essayed the role played by Trisha in the original, of Jessie, a Malayali Nasrani Christian who falls in love with a Hindu boy, but is prevented from pursuing the romance by her father. The film was released in February 2012. Jackson received praise for her performance and for her chemistry with Babbar, with BehindWoods stating that "she has done wonders," and the Times of India saying that "she never disappoints."

In September 2012, Jackson made her return to Tamil cinema with a supporting role in Thaandavam (2012), starring opposite Vikram and Anushka Shetty. She was signed for the film in 2011 and shooting took place in India and London, enabling Jackson to return to see her family and friends. It was her second collaboration with director A. L. Vijay after Madrasapattinam (2010). She played the role of Sarah Vinayagam, a British-born Anglo-Indian girl who wins the Miss London title. She reportedly dubbed her own dialogues in Tamil. She received her first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil at the 60th Filmfare Awards South ceremony.

2014–present

Jackson made her debut in Telugu cinema with the Vamshi Paidipally's Yevadu (2014) alongside Ram Charan and Shruti Haasan, playing the role of Shruti. Jackson next starred as supermodel Diya in Shankar's romantic thriller film, whose title is simply I (2015), the biggest project in her career. The making of the film, one of the most costly Indian films to date, took over two-and-a-half years, with a major part of the film being shot in China. The film was released on 14 January 2015 and received a mixed critical response, although Jackson's performance received favorable reviews. Deccan Chronicle wrote that she was "simply superb. She is another highlight of the film and has given a mature performance", while Sify noted that she was "the biggest surprise packet in the film" and "perfect eye candy". Consequently, she was ranked #1 in The Times of India, Chennai Edition list of the most desirable women in 2014. After I (2015), Jackson signed on to Prabhu Deva's Singh Is Bliing (2015), opposite Akshay Kumar. She had signed on to be part of Venkat Prabhu's supernatural thriller Masss (2015), but opted out of it later when the script and her character were changed. Instead, she signed on to Velraj's Thanga Magan (2015) alongside Dhanush and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.

Soon after, Jackson starred in Thirukumaran's Gethu (2016), portraying an Anglo-Indian girl, for which she won positive reviews, . She has been shooting for a "gritty BBC drama series", on which she declined to further elaborate. She then portrayed the lead female role in Atlee's Theri (2016), featured alongside Vijay while portraying a Malayali teacher. Her performance received positive reviews and her role as a teacher was well appreciated. Upon release, the film went on to become one of the most profitable Tamil films of all time.

On 25 September 2017, it was announced that Jackson had been cast in her first Hollywood role as Imra Ardeen, aka Saturn Girl, in The CW's superhero drama series Supergirl (2017). The character made her first appearance in the third season. The series, based on DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros Television.

Jackson has played Sita in Prem's Kannada film The Villain (2018) alongside Shiva Rajkumar and Sudeep. She starred as the andro-humanoid robot Nila in Shankar's film 2.0 (2018) alongside Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar. After a four-year hiatus, Jackson returned to film with Acham Enbathu Illayae.

Personal life

Jackson lived in India from 2012 to 2015 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, before later moving back to England, currently living in London. Jackson revealed that she was dating hotelier George Panayiotou, the son of English-Cypriot businessman Andreas Panayiotou since December 2015. On 1 January 2019, George Panayiotou proposed in Zambia. Their son was born on 19 September 2019. The couple later broke up. In 2022, she started dating Ed Westwick.

Jackson is a regular attendee at BAFTA, Cannes Film Festival, British Fashion Awards and International Fashion Weeks. In 2017 she was chosen as the muse for L'Agence at The Green Carpet Fashion Awards during Milan Fashion Week. She has been featured in editorials for fashion magazines like Vogue, Marie Clare, Cosmopolitan, ELLE.

Jackson is an ambassador and spokesperson for charities such as Being Human, Cash and Rocket, St. Jude's Hospital in Mumbai and the Girl Child education program in India. In 2014, she posed with her rescue cat in a PETA campaign promoting the adoption of animals from shelters.

Amy_Jackson_1142C-230x310.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1286 2023-04-05 21:23:55

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1250) Amala Akkineni

Amala Akkineni (née Mukherjee) is an Indian actress, Bharatanatyam dancer, and animal welfare activist. She has predominantly worked in Tamil films, in addition to Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada-language films. She was a leading actress in the Tamil film industry from 1986 to 1992 and has appeared in many blockbusters in Tamil and other languages. She has won two Filmfare Awards South, namely Best Actress – Malayalam for the 1991 film Ulladakkam and Best Supporting Actress – Telugu for the 2012 film Life Is Beautiful. Amala is the co-founder of Blue Cross of Hyderabad, a non-government organisation (NGO) in Hyderabad, India, which works towards the welfare of animals and preservation of animal rights in India.

Early life

Amala was born in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) to a Bengali Indian Navy officer and an Irish mother. Their family soon shifted to Madras (present-day Chennai) where she was brought up. She has a brother.

Amala holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Bharatanatyam from Kalakshetra college of fine arts, Madras now Chennai. She gave many live performances worldwide. She is fluent in English, Tamil and Telugu, and can understand Bengali.

Personal life

Amala married Telugu actor Nagarjuna on 11 June 1992 and the couple has a son, actor Akhil Akkineni born in 1994. She is the step-mother of actor Naga Chaitanya. They currently live in Hyderabad.

Career

She was persuaded to join films by T. Rajendar, who visited her home with his wife Usha and convinced her mother to let her act in the film, which would be a classical film featuring her Bharatanatyam dancing. That film was Mythili Ennai Kaathali (1986) which was a huge box office hit. Winning overnight fame, she charmed cinegoers in a flurry of fifty films, including a number of Tamil box office hits. She acted with her future husband Akkineni Nagarjuna in hits such as Nirnayam and Siva. She received Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam for the film Ulladakkam (1991).

She quit acting in 1992 following her marriage to Nagarjuna. After a hiatus of 20 years she made a comeback in 2012 with the Telugu film Life is Beautiful. She received a CineMAA Award for Best Outstanding Actress and Telugu category Filmfare Award for best supporting actress in 2013 for her portrayal.

She returned to Malayalam cinema with C/O Saira Banu after a gap of 25 years, since Ulladakkam.

Amala-Akkinen.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1287 2023-04-06 19:43:10

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1251) Daphne Akhurst

Summary

Daphne Jessie Akhurst (22 April 1903 – 9 January 1933) known also by her married name Daphne Cozens, was an Australian tennis player.

Akhurst won the women's singles title at the Australian Championships five times between 1925 and 1930. According to Wallis Myers (The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail), she was ranked World No. 3 in 1928.

Career

The second daughter of Oscar James Akhurst, a lithographer, and his wife Jessie Florence (née Smith), Daphne Akhurst won the women's singles title at the Australian Championships five times, in 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, and 1930. She is fourth on the list of most women's singles titles at the Australian Championships; behind only Margaret Court with eleven titles, Serena Williams with seven and Nancye Wynne Bolton with six titles. She won the women's doubles title at the Australian Championships five times: in 1924 and 1925 with Sylvia Lance Harper, in 1928 with Esna Boyd Robertson, and in 1929 and 1931 with Louie Bickerton. She and Marjorie Cox were the runners-up in 1926.

In 1925 she was part of the first Australian women's team to tour Europe and reached the quarterfinal of the singles event at Wimbledon which she lost to Joan Fry. During her second and last European tour in 1928, she reached the singles quarterfinal at the French Championships, in which Cristobel Hardie defeated her, and the semifinal at Wimbledon, which she lost in straight sets to Lili de Alvarez.

Akhurst won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Championships four times: in 1924 and 1925 with Jim Willard, in 1928 with Jean Borotra, and in 1929 with Gar Moon. She and Willard were the runners-up in 1926. She and her partner Jack Crawford reached the mixed doubles final at Wimbledon in 1928, but lost to the team of Elizabeth Ryan/Patrick Spence, 7–5, 6–4.

Akhurst won the singles title at the German Championships in 1928 after a three-sets victory in the final against defending champion Cilly Aussem.

Personal life

Akhurst attended the Miss. E. Tildesley's Normanhurst School, followed by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. On 26 February 1930 at St Philip's Church of England, Sydney, Daphne Akhurst married Royston Stuckey Cozens, a tobacco manufacturer, and retired from serious competition soon after winning the Australian ladies' doubles championship in 1931. They had one son, Don.

Daphne Akhurst Cozens died on 9 January 1933, aged 29, from an ectopic pregnancy.

Legacy

Since 1934 the trophy presented each year to the winner of the women's singles at the Australian Open is named the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in her honour. She was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame on Australia Day (26 January), 2006. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

Details

Daphne Akhurst was the first — and perhaps greatest — homegrown talent, who captured the 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, and 1930 singles titles at the Australian Championships. She won nine championships in doubles — five in women’s play and four in mixed competition — and had an indelible impact on her nation.

Akhurst is fourth on the list of most women’s singles titles at the Australian Championships; behind Margaret Court with eleven titles, Serena Williams with seven titles, and Nancye Wynne Bolton with six titles.  She won the women's doubles title at the Australian Championships five times: in 1924 and 1925 with Sylvia Lance Harper, in 1928 with Esna Boyd Robertson, and in 1929 and 1931 with Louise Bickerton. She and Marjorie Cox were the runners-up in 1926. Akhurst won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Championships four times: in 1924 and 1925 with Jim Willard, in 1928 with Frenchman Jean Borotra, and in 1929 with Gar Moon. She and Willard were finalists in 1926.

An accomplished pianist whose talents on the keys rivaled those on the court, Akhurst was a self-taught tennis player. Akhurst won the New South Wales schoolgirls' singles championship four straight years (1917-1920). Her first major victory in the County of Cumberland ladies' singles in 1923 was the precursor of a dominant run at the State and National levels.

In 1925 she won her first Australian title, coming back from a set down to defeat her Victorian rival, Esna Boyd, 1-6, 8-6, 6-4. She handled Esna in straight sets in 1925 and 1928. In her five title matches, the dominating Akhurst lost only three sets.

Akhurst seldom left her homeland to compete at the three other Grand Slam events. She reached the quarterfinals of the 1928 French Championships in singles, doubles, and mixed, and had a fantastic run at the 1928 Wimbledon Championships, nearly winning all three events. She advanced to the Ladies Singles semifinal as an unseeded player, bouncing the esteemed American Helen Hull Jacobs in the third round, 6-8, 6-1, 8-6. She lost her bid for a coveted Wimbledon title, however, losing to Spain’s Lili de Alvarez, 6-3, 6-0. Partnering with her singles rival Esna Boyd, the duo advanced to the Ladies Doubles semifinal, bowing in three hard-fought sets to the British tandem of Eileen Bennett and Ermyntrude Harvey, 8-6, 3-6, 2-6.

She paired with Jack Crawford to reach the Mixed Doubles finals, bowing in a tight match to America’s Elizabeth Ryan paired with South African Patrick Spence, 7-5, 6-4.  Despite the loss, Akhurst and Crawford returned home as heroes.

Tragically, Akhurst passed away from an ectopic pregnancy at the young age of 29. As a fitting tribute, the women’s singles champion at the Australian Open is presented with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. She was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame on Australia Day, January 26, 2006.

Additional Information

Daphne Jessie Akhurst (1903-1933), tennis-player, was born on 22 April 1903 at Ashfield, Sydney, second daughter of Oscar James Akhurst, lithographer, and his wife Jessie Florence, née Smith. She showed promise as a pianist and won prizes at eisteddfods as a child. After schooling at Miss E. Tildesley's Normanhurst until 1920 and at the State Conservatorium of Music (D.S.C.M., 1922), she became a music teacher and performed at concerts and music clubs.

At school Daphne had shown natural ability at tennis. Although self-taught, she won the New South Wales schoolgirls' singles championship in 1917-20. Her first major win in the County of Cumberland ladies' singles in 1923 was the beginning of a long series of victories at State and national levels. In 1925 she defeated her Victorian rival Miss E. F. Boyd in the Australasian championships; women's matches were not usually popular, but her determined play in the final brought cheers which delayed the men's championship event on an adjoining court. She dominated this event for the next five years, winning in 1926, 1928, 1929 and 1930, when she retained permanently the Anthony Wilding Memorial Cup. She won the Australasian ladies' doubles title five times and the mixed doubles four times, partnered in 1928 by the Frenchman Jean Borotra.

Although described as shy and self-effacing, Daphne Akhurst was a keen competitor with a 'temperament that treats tennis as purely a game'. Her consistency in match play was no doubt developed in practice with local players Norman Peach, Jack Crawford and J. O. Anderson at her home club, The Western Suburbs Association, Pratten Park.

In 1925 the New South Wales Lawn Tennis Association had financed the first overseas tour by an Australian women's team. They succeeded against Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Holland but could not match the experience of England and the United States of America. Akhurst, rated as an outsider at the All England Lawn Tennis Club championships at Wimbledon, reached the quarter-finals of the ladies' singles, losing to English player Miss J. Fry 6-2, 4-6, 3-6. The Times noted her effort against a hard-hitting opponent by recalling 'those early Australian stonewallers who seemed to have no strokes, but who never got out'. Another Australian women's team was sent overseas in 1928; this time they won all thirteen matches. At Wimbledon, Akhurst outdid her previous success and reached the singles and doubles semi-finals and, partnered by Crawford, the mixed doubles final. She performed better than any of the Australian men and was ranked by Ayres' Almanac third in the world after Helen Wills and Senorita E. dé Alvarez. The Referee, more generous, claimed she was the best all-round player in the world.

On 26 February 1930 at St Philip's Church of England, Sydney, Daphne Akhurst married Royston Stuckey Cozens, a tobacco manufacturer, and retired from serious competition soon after winning the Australian ladies' doubles championship in 1931. They had one son. She died on 9 January 1933 of an ectopic pregnancy and, after a service at St Anne's, Strathfield, was cremated.

Her capacity to retrieve and 'ability to run about like a gazelle untiringly' had been responsible for her success and for an Australian-title record that lasted until broken by Nancy Bolton in 1951.

The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup has been awarded to the winner of the women’s singles at the Australian Open since 1934. She was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

daphne-akhurst.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1288 2023-04-08 01:05:21

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1252) Daniel Defoe

Summary

Daniel Defoe, (born 1660, London, Eng.—died April 24, 1731, London), was a English novelist, pamphleteer, and journalist, author of Robinson Crusoe (1719–22) and Moll Flanders (1722).

Early life.

Defoe’s father, James Foe, was a hard-working and fairly prosperous tallow chandler (perhaps also, later, a butcher), of Flemish descent. By his middle 30s, Daniel was calling himself “Defoe,” probably reviving a variant of what may have been the original family name. As a Nonconformist, or Dissenter, Foe could not send his son to the University of Oxford or to Cambridge; he sent him instead to the excellent academy at Newington Green kept by the Reverend Charles Morton. There Defoe received an education in many ways better, and certainly broader, than any he would have had at an English university. Morton was an admirable teacher, later becoming first vice president of Harvard College; and the clarity, simplicity, and ease of his style of writing—together with the Bible, the works of John Bunyan, and the pulpit oratory of the day—may have helped to form Defoe’s own literary style.

Although intended for the Presbyterian ministry, Defoe decided against this and by 1683 had set up as a merchant. He called trade his “beloved subject,” and it was one of the abiding interests of his life. He dealt in many commodities, traveled widely at home and abroad, and became an acute and intelligent economic theorist, in many respects ahead of his time; but misfortune, in one form or another, dogged him continually. He wrote of himself:

No man has tasted differing fortunes more,

And thirteen times I have been rich and poor.

It was true enough. In 1692, after prospering for a while, Defoe went bankrupt for £17,000. Opinions differ as to the cause of his collapse: on his own admission, Defoe was apt to indulge in rash speculations and projects; he may not always have been completely scrupulous, and he later characterized himself as one of those tradesmen who had “done things which their own principles condemned, which they are not ashamed to blush for.” But undoubtedly the main reason for his bankruptcy was the loss that he sustained in insuring ships during the war with France—he was one of 19 “merchants insurers” ruined in 1692. In this matter Defoe may have been incautious, but he was not dishonourable, and he dealt fairly with his creditors (some of whom pursued him savagely), paying off all but £5,000 within 10 years. He suffered further severe losses in 1703, when his prosperous brick-and-tile works near Tilbury failed during his imprisonment for political offenses, and he did not actively engage in trade after this time.

Soon after setting up in business, in 1684, Defoe married Mary Tuffley, the daughter of a well-to-do Dissenting merchant. Not much is known about her, and he mentions her little in his writings, but she seems to have been a loyal, capable, and devoted wife. She bore eight children, of whom six lived to maturity, and when Defoe died the couple had been married for 47 years.

Mature life and works.

With Defoe’s interest in trade went an interest in politics. The first of many political pamphlets by him appeared in 1683. When the Roman Catholic James II ascended the throne in 1685, Defoe—as a staunch Dissenter and with characteristic impetuosity—joined the ill-fated rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth, managing to escape after the disastrous Battle of Sedgemoor. Three years later James had fled to France, and Defoe rode to welcome the army of William of Orange—“William, the Glorious, Great, and Good, and Kind,” as Defoe was to call him. Throughout William III’s reign, Defoe supported him loyally, becoming his leading pamphleteer. In 1701, in reply to attacks on the “foreign” king, Defoe published his vigorous and witty poem The True-Born Englishman, an enormously popular work that is still very readable and relevant in its exposure of the fallacies of racial prejudice. Defoe was clearly proud of this work, because he sometimes designated himself “Author of ‘The True-Born Englishman’” in later works.

Foreign politics also engaged Defoe’s attention. Since the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697), it had become increasingly probable that what would, in effect, be a European war would break out as soon as the childless king of Spain died. In 1701 five gentlemen of Kent presented a petition, demanding greater defense preparations, to the House of Commons (then Tory-controlled) and were illegally imprisoned. Next morning Defoe, “guarded with about 16 gentlemen of quality,” presented the speaker, Robert Harley, with his famous document “Legion’s Memorial,” which reminded the Commons in outspoken terms that “Englishmen are no more to be slaves to Parliaments than to a King.” It was effective: the Kentishmen were released, and Defoe was feted by the citizens of London. It had been a courageous gesture and one of which Defoe was ever afterward proud, but it undoubtedly branded him in Tory eyes as a dangerous man who must be brought down.

What did bring him down, only a year or so later, and consequently led to a new phase in his career, was a religious question—though it is difficult to separate religion from politics in this period. Both Dissenters and “Low Churchmen” were mainly Whigs, and the “highfliers”—the High-Church Tories—were determined to undermine this working alliance by stopping the practice of “occasional conformity” (by which Dissenters of flexible conscience could qualify for public office by occasionally taking the sacraments according to the established church). Pressure on the Dissenters increased when the Tories came to power, and violent attacks were made on them by such rabble-rousing extremists as Dr. Henry Sacheverell. In reply, Defoe wrote perhaps the most famous and skillful of all his pamphlets, “The Shortest-Way With The Dissenters” (1702), published anonymously. His method was ironic: to discredit the highfliers by writing as if from their viewpoint but reducing their arguments to absurdity. The pamphlet had a huge sale, but the irony blew up in Defoe’s face: Dissenters and High Churchmen alike took it seriously, and—though for different reasons—were furious when the hoax was exposed. Defoe was prosecuted for seditious libel and was arrested in May 1703. The advertisement offering a reward for his capture gives the only extant personal description of Defoe—an unflattering one, which annoyed him considerably: “a middle-size spare man, about 40 years old, of a brown complexion, and dark-brown coloured hair, but wears a wig, a hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth.” Defoe was advised to plead guilty and rely on the court’s mercy, but he received harsh treatment, and, in addition to being fined, was sentenced to stand three times in the pillory. It is likely that the prosecution was primarily political, an attempt to force him into betraying certain Whig leaders; but the attempt was evidently unsuccessful. Although miserably apprehensive of his punishment, Defoe had spirit enough, while awaiting his ordeal, to write the audacious “Hymn To The Pillory” (1703); and this helped to turn the occasion into something of a triumph, with the pillory garlanded, the mob drinking his health, and the poem on sale in the streets. In An Appeal to Honour and Justice (1715), he gave his own, self-justifying account of these events and of other controversies in his life as a writer.

Triumph or not, Defoe was led back to Newgate, and there he remained while his Tilbury business collapsed and he became ever more desperately concerned for the welfare of his already numerous family. He appealed to Robert Harley, who, after many delays, finally secured his release—Harley’s part of the bargain being to obtain Defoe’s services as a pamphleteer and intelligence agent.

Defoe certainly served his masters with zeal and energy, traveling extensively, writing reports, minutes of advice, and pamphlets. He paid several visits to Scotland, especially at the time of the Act of Union in 1707, keeping Harley closely in touch with public opinion. Some of Defoe’s letters to Harley from this period have survived. These trips bore fruit in a different way two decades later: in 1724–26 the three volumes of Defoe’s animated and informative Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain were published, in preparing which he drew on many of his earlier observations.

Perhaps Defoe’s most remarkable achievement during Queen Anne’s reign, however, was his periodical, the Review. He wrote this serious, forceful, and long-lived paper practically single-handedly from 1704 to 1713. At first a weekly, it became a thrice-weekly publication in 1705, and Defoe continued to produce it even when, for short periods in 1713, his political enemies managed to have him imprisoned again on various pretexts. It was, effectively, the main government organ, its political line corresponding with that of the moderate Tories (though Defoe sometimes took an independent stand); but, in addition to politics as such, Defoe discussed current affairs in general, religion, trade, manners, morals, and so on, and his work undoubtedly had a considerable influence on the development of later essay periodicals (such as Richard Steele and Joseph Addison’s The Tatler and The Spectator) and of the newspaper press.

Later life and works. of Daniel Defoe

With George I’s accession (1714), the Tories fell. The Whigs in their turn recognized Defoe’s value, and he continued to write for the government of the day and to carry out intelligence work. At about this time, too (perhaps prompted by a severe illness), he wrote the best known and most popular of his many didactic works, The Family Instructor (1715). The writings so far mentioned, however, would not necessarily have procured literary immortality for Defoe; this he achieved when in 1719 he turned his talents to an extended work of prose fiction and (drawing partly on the memoirs of voyagers and castaways such as Alexander Selkirk) produced Robinson Crusoe. A German critic has called it a “world-book,” a label justified not only by the enormous number of translations, imitations, and adaptations that have appeared but by the almost mythic power with which Defoe creates a hero and a situation with which every reader can in some sense identify.

Here (as in his works of the remarkable year 1722, which saw the publication of Moll Flanders, A Journal of the Plague Year, and Colonel Jack) Defoe displays his finest gift as a novelist—his insight into human nature. The men and women he writes about are all, it is true, placed in unusual circumstances; they are all, in one sense or another, solitaries; they all struggle, in their different ways, through a life that is a constant scene of jungle warfare; they all become, to some extent, obsessive. They are also ordinary human beings, however, and Defoe, writing always in the first person, enters into their minds and analyzes their motives. His novels are given verisimilitude by their matter-of-fact style and their vivid concreteness of detail; the latter may seem unselective, but it effectively helps to evoke a particular, circumscribed world. Their main defects are shapelessness, an overinsistent moralizing, occasional gaucheness, and naiveté. Defoe’s range is narrow, but within that range he is a novelist of considerable power, and his plain, direct style, as in almost all of his writing, holds the reader’s interest.

In 1724 he published his last major work of fiction, Roxana, though in the closing years of his life, despite failing health, he remained active and enterprising as a writer.

Legacy

A man of many talents and author of an extraordinary range and number of works, Defoe remains in many ways an enigmatic figure. A man who made many enemies, he has been accused of double-dealing, of dishonest or equivocal conduct, of venality. Certainly in politics he served in turn both Tory and Whig; he acted as a secret agent for the Tories and later served the Whigs by “infiltrating” extremist Tory journals and toning them down. But Defoe always claimed that the end justified the means, and a more sympathetic view may see him as what he always professed to be, an unswerving champion of moderation. At the age of 59 Defoe embarked on what was virtually a new career, producing in Robinson Crusoe the first of a remarkable series of novels and other fictional writings that resulted in his being called the father of the English novel.

Defoe’s last years were clouded by legal controversies over allegedly unpaid bonds dating back a generation, and it is thought that he died in hiding from his creditors. His character Moll Flanders, born in Newgate Prison, speaks of poverty as “a frightful spectre,” and it is a theme of many of his books.

Details

Daniel Defoe, (born Daniel Foe; c. 1660 – 24 April 1731) was an English writer, trader, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, which is claimed to be second only to the Bible in its number of translations. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts, was often in trouble with the authorities, and spent a period in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted him.

Defoe was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than three hundred works—books, pamphlets, and journals — on diverse topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. He was also a pioneer of business journalism and economic journalism.

Early life

Daniel Foe (his original name) was probably born in Fore Street in the parish of St Giles Cripplegate, London. Defoe later added the aristocratic-sounding "De" to his name, and on occasion made the false claim of descent from a family named De Beau Faux. "De" is also a common prefix in Flemish surnames. His birthdate and birthplace are uncertain, and sources offer dates from 1659 to 1662, with the summer or early autumn of 1660 considered the most likely. His father, James Foe, was a prosperous tallow chandler of Flemish descent, and a member of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. In Defoe's early childhood, he experienced some of the most unusual occurrences in English history: in 1665, 70,000 were killed by the Great Plague of London, and the next year, the Great Fire of London left only Defoe's and two other houses standing in his neighbourhood. In 1667, when he was probably about seven, a Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway via the River Thames and attacked the town of Chatham in the raid on the Medway. His mother, Alice, had died by the time he was about ten.

Education

Defoe was educated at the Rev. James Fisher's boarding school in Pixham Lane in Dorking, Surrey. His parents were Presbyterian dissenters, and around the age of 14, he was sent to Charles Morton's dissenting academy at Newington Green, then a village just north of London, where he is believed to have attended the Dissenting church there. He lived on Church Street, Stoke Newington, at what is now nos. 95–103. During this period, the English government persecuted those who chose to worship outside the Church of England.

Business career

Defoe entered the world of business as a general merchant, dealing at different times in hosiery, general woollen goods, and wine. His ambitions were great and he was able to buy a country estate and a ship (as well as civets to make perfume), though he was rarely out of debt. On 1 January 1684, Defoe married Mary Tuffley at St Botolph's Aldgate. She was the daughter of a London merchant, and brought with her a dowry of £3,700—a huge amount by the standards of the day. Given his debts and political difficulties, the marriage may have been troubled, but it lasted 47 years and produced eight children.

In 1685, Defoe joined the ill-fated Monmouth Rebellion but gained a pardon, by which he escaped the Bloody Assizes of Judge George Jeffreys. Queen Mary and her husband William III were jointly crowned in 1689, and Defoe became one of William's close allies and a secret agent. Some of the new policies led to conflict with France, thus damaging prosperous trade relationships for Defoe. In 1692, he was arrested for debts of £700 and, in the face of total debts that may have amounted to £17,000, was forced to declare bankruptcy. He died with little wealth and evidently embroiled in lawsuits with the royal treasury.

Following his release from debtors' prison, he probably travelled in Europe and Scotland, and it may have been at this time that he traded wine to Cadiz, Porto and Lisbon. By 1695, he was back in England, now formally using the name "Defoe" and serving as a "commissioner of the glass duty", responsible for collecting taxes on bottles. In 1696, he ran a tile and brick factory in what is now Tilbury in Essex and lived in the parish of Chadwell St Mary.

Writing

As many as 545 titles have been attributed to Defoe, including satirical poems, political and religious pamphlets, and volumes.

Pamphleteering and prison

Defoe's first notable publication was An Essay Upon Projects, a series of proposals for social and economic improvement, published in 1697. From 1697 to 1698, he defended the right of King William III to a standing army during disarmament, after the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) had ended the Nine Years' War (1688–1697). His most successful poem, The True-Born Englishman (1701), defended William against xenophobic attacks from his political enemies in England, and English anti-immigration sentiments more generally. In 1701, Defoe presented the Legion's Memorial to Robert Harley, then Speaker of the House of Commons—and his subsequent employer—while flanked by a guard of sixteen gentlemen of quality. It demanded the release of the Kentish petitioners, who had asked Parliament to support the king in an imminent war against France.

The death of William III in 1702 once again created a political upheaval, as the king was replaced by Queen Anne who immediately began her offensive against Nonconformists. Defoe was a natural target, and his pamphleteering and political activities resulted in his arrest and placement in a pillory on 31 July 1703, principally on account of his December 1702 pamphlet entitled The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church, purporting to argue for their extermination. In it, he ruthlessly satirised both the high church Tories and those Dissenters who hypocritically practised so-called "occasional conformity", such as his Stoke Newington neighbour Sir Thomas Abney. It was published anonymously, but the true authorship was quickly discovered and Defoe was arrested. He was charged with seditious libel and found guilty in a trial at the Old Bailey in front of the notoriously sadistic judge Salathiel Lovell. Lovell sentenced him to a punitive fine of 200 marks (£336 then, £60,544 in 2023), to public humiliation in a pillory, and to an indeterminate length of imprisonment which would only end upon the discharge of the punitive fine. According to legend, the publication of his poem Hymn to the Pillory caused his audience at the pillory to throw flowers instead of the customary harmful and noxious objects and to drink to his health. The truth of this story is questioned by most scholars, although John Robert Moore later said that "no man in England but Defoe ever stood in the pillory and later rose to eminence among his fellow men".

"Wherever God erects a house of prayer
the Devil always builds a chapel there;
And 't will be found, upon examination,
the latter has the largest congregation."

– Defoe's The True-Born Englishman, 1701

After his three days in the pillory, Defoe went into Newgate Prison. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, brokered his release in exchange for Defoe's cooperation as an intelligence agent for the Tories. In exchange for such cooperation with the rival political side, Harley paid some of Defoe's outstanding debts, improving his financial situation considerably.

Within a week of his release from prison, Defoe witnessed the Great Storm of 1703, which raged through the night of 26/27 November. It caused severe damage to London and Bristol, uprooted millions of trees, and killed more than 8,000 people, mostly at sea. The event became the subject of Defoe's The Storm (1704), which includes a collection of witness accounts of the tempest. Many regard it as one of the world's first examples of modern journalism.

In the same year, he set up his periodical A Review of the Affairs of France, which supported the Harley Ministry, chronicling the events of the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1714). The Review ran three times a week without interruption until 1713. Defoe was amazed that a man as gifted as Harley left vital state papers lying in the open, and warned that he was almost inviting an unscrupulous clerk to commit treason; his warnings were fully justified by the William Gregg affair.

When Harley was ousted from the ministry in 1708, Defoe continued writing the Review to support Godolphin, then again to support Harley and the Tories in the Tory ministry of 1710–1714. The Tories fell from power with the death of Queen Anne, but Defoe continued doing intelligence work for the Whig government, writing "Tory" pamphlets that undermined the Tory point of view.

Not all of Defoe's pamphlet writing was political. One pamphlet was originally published anonymously, entitled A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal the Next Day after her Death to One Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury the 8th of September, 1705. It deals with the interaction between the spiritual realm and the physical realm and was most likely written in support of Charles Drelincourt's The Christian Defence against the Fears of Death (1651). It describes Mrs. Bargrave's encounter with her old friend Mrs. Veal after she had died. It is clear from this piece and other writings that the political portion of Defoe's life was by no means his only focus.

Daniel-Defoe-Author.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1289 2023-04-10 17:46:15

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1253) Norman Brookes

Sir Norman Everard Brookes (14 November 1877 – 28 September 1968) was an Australian tennis player. During his career he won three Grand Slam singles titles; Wimbledon in 1907 and 1914 (the first non-British individual to do so) and the Australasian Championships in 1911. Brookes was part of the Australasian Davis Cup team that won the title on five occasions. The Australian Open men's singles trophy, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour. After his active playing career Brookes became president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia.

Early life

Brookes was born in the St Kilda suburb of Melbourne as the youngest son to Catherine Margaret (née Robinson) and William Brookes. His father, an English immigrant who emigrated to Australia in 1852 had become rich from gold mining in the Bendigo area. His older brothers, Herbert and Harold, were prominent businessmen. Brookes received a private education at Melbourne Grammar School where he matriculated in 1895. As a schoolboy he excelled in cricket, Australian football and tennis. On leaving school, he went to work as a clerk at Australian Paper Mills, where his father was managing director, and was on the board himself within eight years.

As a youth Brookes played regularly on the court of the family mansion in Queens Road, Melbourne and nearby, at the Lorne St courts, he studied the strokes and tactics of leading players and was coached by Wilberforce Eaves. In 1896 he became a regular player at the Royal South Yarra Tennis Club.

During World War I he served as commissioner of the Australian Red Cross in Egypt.

Tennis career

In 1907 Brookes became the first non-British player and the first left-hander to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon after a straight sets victory in the final against 39-year old Arthur Gore. Brookes intended to defend his Wimbledon title as late as February 1908 but in April cancelled his plans to travel to England due to the ill health of his father (who died in 1910) which meant that Brookes had to spend more time at his father's company Australian Paper Mills. He gave priority to his business endeavors during this time and would not return to Wimbledon until 1914 when he again won the singles title, this time against the title holder Anthony Wilding with whom he also won the Wimbledon doubles title in 1907 and 1914. During these years he also skipped most Australasian Championships with the exception of the 1911 edition which was held in his hometown Melbourne and which he won in the final against Horace Rice. When he did play tennis he focused on the locally held Victorian Championships and the Davis Cup.

Brookes played 39 Davis Cup matches for Australia/New Zealand and the Australian Davis Cup team between 1905 and 1920 and was a member of the winning team in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1914, 1919.

In May 1914 he won the singles title at the Surrey Lawn Championships in Surbiton, defeating Gordon Lowe in the final in five sets.

Brookes was instrumental in the development of Kooyong as a tennis centre. In 1926 he became the first president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, a post he held for the next 29 years until his retirement in June 1955.

Australian rules football career

Brookes was also an Australian rules footballer in his youth, particularly for Melbourne Grammar School. Until 2016 it was believed that he had played two VFL games for St Kilda in 1898; it was actually his brother Harold who had done so.

Personal life

Brookes married 20-year-old Mabel Balcombe Emmerton, the daughter of Harry Emmerton, a solicitor, on 19 April 1911 at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne. They had three daughters.

He died in South Yarra, Victoria, in 1968.

Honours

Norman Brookes was created a Knight Bachelor "for public services in the Commonwealth of Australia" in the 1939 Birthday Honours. His wife, Mabel, Lady Brookes was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1955 for "charitable and social welfare services."

The trophy for men's singles at the Australian Open, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977.

In 1981 he was honoured on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post depicting a cartoon image by Tony Rafty.

Additional Information

Norman Brookes was stylish and dapper on court, an ever-present driver’s cap on his head. He wore a button-down sweater, pressed white pants, and pristine white shoes. It was a debonair look, but Brookes had a good-looking game to back up his appearance.

Until Brookes arrived on the scene, the Wimbledon Gentlemen Singles Championship was a closed fraternity for everyone except those of the United Kingdom (which at that time consisted of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland). In 1907, the Aussie became the first non-UK-based player since play began in 1877 to win the championship. His triumph was resounding and dominant — a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Arthur Gore. It provided some solace for Brookes who lost the 1905 final to one of the fraternity's more decorated champions, Laurie Doherty, 8-6, 6-2, 6-4. With that 1907 victory came another first at Wimbledon: the left-handed playing Brookes became the first southpaw to win a Wimbledon title. He had an unorthodox game — using both sides of the racquet for both his forehand and backhand — and employed a serve that twisted, spun, and skidded on the grass surface away from his opponent.

It took seven years, but Brookes captured another Wimbledon title in 1914, this time ending the four-year reign of New Zealander Anthony Wilding, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. World War I suspended play at Wimbledon from 1915-1918 and when play resumed in 1919 Brookes was in the final, losing a tough match to fellow countryman Gerald Patterson in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.

Outside of his success at Wimbledon, Brookes played for the Australian Nationals Singles Championship only once in 1911, but throttled compatriot Horace Rice, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, making him perfect in his major championship wins — nine sets played, nine sets won.

Brookes won four major doubles championships — two at Wimbledon, and one each at the U.S. Nationals and Australian Championships. His two Wimbledon titles came alongside Wilding in 1907 and 1914, providing him with championships in both singles and doubles in both years. He and Patterson needed five long sets (8-6, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-2) to defeat Americans Vincent Richards and Bill Tilden at the 1919 U.S. National Championships. His last doubles crown came as a 46-year-old elder statesman at the Australia Nationals in 1924, a routine straight sets (6-2, 6-4, 6-3) victory alongside James Anderson over Pat O’Hara Wood and Patterson.

Brookes spent virtually his entire amateur career playing on the Australasian (Australia and New Zealand) Davis Cup Team. He played 39 matches between 1905 and 1920 and compiled a 28-11 record. That mark included leading Australasia to five championships in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1914, and 1920. The 1907 title was the first for Australasia, a 3-2 win over the British Isles.

Also an estimable cricketer, bowler, and golfer, Brookes was knighted in 1939 “in recognition of service to public service” and Sir Norman served as President of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia for 29 years (1926-1955). His retirement drew a huge headline in the June 30, 1955 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald. During World War I in 1914, Brookes served as commissioner of the Australian branch of the British Red Cross in Egypt.

Since 1934, the men's singles winner of the Australian National Championships, and later the Australian Open (since 1969), is presented with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

norman-brookes-medium.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

Offline

#1290 2023-04-11 22:06:16

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1254) Kane Williamson

Details

(Updated March,2023)

Kane Stuart Williamson (born 8 August 1990) is a New Zealand cricketer who is currently the captain of the New Zealand national team in limited overs cricket. On 27 February 2023, Williamson became the all-time leading runscorer for New Zealand in test cricket.  He is a right-handed batsman and an occasional off spin bowler.

Williamson made his first-class cricket debut in December 2007. He made his U-19 debut against the touring Indian U-19 team the same year and was named captain of the New Zealand U-19 team for the 2008 U-19 Cricket World Cup. He made his international debut in 2010. Williamson has represented New Zealand at the 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions of the Cricket World Cup and 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2021 editions of the ICC World Twenty20. He made his full-time captaincy debut for New Zealand in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India. He captained New Zealand at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, leading the team to the final and winning the Player of the Tournament award in the process. On 31 December 2020, he reached a Test batting rating of 890, surpassing Steve Smith and Virat Kohli as the number one ranked Test batsmen in the world. He was nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade, and the award for Test cricketer of the decade. Ian Chappell and Martin Crowe have ranked Williamson among the top four or five Test cricket batsmen, along with Joe Root, Steve Smith, and Virat Kohli of the current era.

Williamson was the only New Zealander to be named in the ICC Test Team of the Decade (2011–2020). The late former New Zealand cricketer, Martin Crowe, noted that, "we're seeing the dawn of probably our greatest ever batsman" in Williamson. In June 2021, he captained New Zealand to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the first ICC trophy the team won since winning the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy. In November 2021, he led New Zealand to the final of the ICC T20 World Cup.

Early life

Williamson was born on 8 August 1990 in Tauranga, New Zealand. His father Brett was a sales representative who had played under-17 and club cricket in New Zealand and his mother Sandra had been a representative basketball player. He has a twin brother Logan, who is one minute younger than him. The brothers have three older sisters, Anna, Kylie and Sophie. All three were accomplished volleyball players, and Anna and Sophie were in New Zealand age group teams. Williamson's grandmother Joan Williamson-Orr served as mayor of Taupō. His first cousin Dane Cleaver has also played international cricket for New Zealand.

Williamson played senior representative cricket at the age of 14 and first-class cricket at 16. He attended Tauranga Boys' College from 2004 to 2008, where he was head boy in his final year. He was coached by Pacey Depina who described Williamson as having "a thirst to be phenomenal – but not at anyone else's expense." He reportedly scored 40 centuries before he left school.

Domestic career

Northern Districts

Williamson made his debut for Northern Districts in 2007 at the age of 17, who he has remained with for the duration of his New Zealand domestic career. He scored his first T20 hundred, on 19 September 2014, making 101* in 49 balls to guide Northern Districts to a comfortable win against Cape Cobras in Champions League Twenty20 2014.

English county cricket

Williamson signed for Gloucestershire to play in the 2011 English county season. On 14 August 2013, he signed for Yorkshire for the rest of the season and subsequently signed to return for the 2014 season, when his side won the County Championship. He signed to return the latter part of the 2015 season, but when incumbent overseas player Aaron Finch was not selected for the Australia ODI squad, Yorkshire ultimately chose to extend Finch's deal in place of Williamson. He subsequently signed a deal for part of the 2016 season, and also returned for a part of the 2018 season.

Indian Premier League

In February 2015 Williamson signed for Indian Premier League side Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He played for the side in the 2016 season, winning the title, and was retained for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He captained the side in 2018, replacing David Warner. Under Williamson's captaincy, Sunrisers Hyderabad finished runners-up and he was the season's leading scorer, with 735 runs. In IPL 2021, Kane took over the captaincy from David Warner in the middle of the season. However, SRH finished last in the tournament, winning only 3 matches. He was retained by the franchise for the 2022 edition as the captain, but failed to perform, averaging 19.64, with a strike rate of 93.51 and scoring one half-century. He will play for Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023 after they bid INR 2 crore for him.

International career

Williamson was 17, when he led the New Zealand Under-19 side in the World Cup in Malaysia in 2008. New Zealand reached the semi-final, where they lost to the eventual champions India. On 24 March 2010, Williamson was named in the New Zealand Test squad for the second Test against Australia, but ultimately he did not play in the match.

Williamson made his One-Day International debut against India on 10 August 2010. He was dismissed for a 9th ball duck. In his second match, he was bowled by Angelo Mathews for a second ball duck. He scored his maiden ODI century against Bangladesh on 14 October 2010 in Dhaka and hence became the youngest centurion in New Zealand's cricket history. Due to his performance on the Bangladesh tour where New Zealand suffered a 4–0 whitewash, Williamson was selected in the New Zealand Test squad for the tour of India that followed.

Williamson made his Test cricket debut against India at Ahmedabad on 4 November 2010. In his first innings he scored 131 runs off 299 balls and became the eighth New Zealand player to score a century on Test debut.

Rising through the ranks

Williamson scored 161 not out against West Indies in June 2014, his second century of the series and helped secure a rare away Test series victory for his side. He finished as the leading overall run scorer in the series with 413 runs, and was denied a double century only by rain, which encouraged skipper Brendon McCullum to declare in the interest of obtaining a result in the match. He was also reported for a suspect bowling action in April 2014, but was cleared in December 2014. His illegal bowling action started after he left high school in order to get a faster release and turn on the ball. His new action essentially reverts him to his action in high school, with a more side-on approach and less wrist and elbow deviation. He was also named as captain ahead of the ODI and Twenty20 series against Pakistan as Brendon McCullum was rested.

Williamson batting against Sussex in 2013

Williamson scored 100* off 69 balls against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, which at the time was the second fastest century by a New Zealander in a One-Day International.[39] He also established one of the most potent top-order partnership with Ross Taylor, with Williamson himself being the most prolific number-three batsman for the national side since former captain Stephen Fleming. As a fielder, his position is predominantly at gully.

In 2015, he started with 69 and 242* against Sri Lanka, with two catches in the field in a man-of-the-match performance. On 3 February 2015, he scored the 99th ODI century in the New Zealand's history, against Pakistan; Ross Taylor scored the 100th in the same match. He also scored over 700 runs before the 2015 Cricket World Cup in the first two months of the calendar year. On 17 June 2015 he became the fifth-fastest batsmen and fastest New Zealander to score 3,000 runs, getting them in just 78 innings. On 15 November 2015 Williamson and Taylor became the first pair of away batsmen to each score 2nd innings centuries at WACA Ground in Perth.

In December 2015, during the second Test against Sri Lanka, Williamson broke the record for the most Test runs scored in a calendar year by a New Zealander, with 1172 runs. He also ended 2015 with 2692 runs, the highest total across all forms of international cricket for the year, and third highest total in a single year.

He was awarded the T20 Player of the Year by NZC for the 2014–15 season.

Captaincy

In March 2016, Williamson assumed the position of captain of New Zealand across all forms of cricket after the retirement of Brendon McCullum, beginning with the World T20I cup in India. He was named as captain of the 'Team of the Tournament' by Cricinfo and Cricbuzz. He also picked up NZ player of the year, Test player of the year and the Redpath Cup for top batsman in first class cricket for the second year in a row.

In August 2016, during the Test series against Zimbabwe, Williamson became the thirteenth batsman to score a century against all the other Test playing nations. He completed this in the fewest innings, the quickest time from his Test debut and became the youngest player to achieve this feat.

Williamson set a new record for scoring the most centuries by a New Zealand batsman in Tests, with his 18th, in March 2018 when he score 102 against England at Auckland. Later that year, he scored his 10,000th run in first-class cricket, batting for the English side Yorkshire in the 2018 County Championship. On 8 December 2018, he scored his 19th Test century in the deciding 3rd game in the Pakistan away series. On 7 December 2018, Williamson became the first player from New Zealand to cross 900 rating points in the ICC Test batting rankings. During the 2019 Test series against Bangladesh, Williamson scored 200 not out as New Zealand posted a team total of 715, their highest ever in a Test innings. He also became the fastest New Zealand player to score 6,000 runs in Test cricket.

In April 2019, he was named the captain of New Zealand's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. During the tournament, he scored an unbeaten 106 to guide New Zealand to victory over South Africa, scoring his 3,000th run as captain of New Zealand in ODIs in the process. On 22 June, Williamson scored 148 runs off 154 balls in a 5-run victory over West Indies, his career best score in ODI cricket. One week later, in the match against Australia, Williamson became the third-fastest batsman, in terms of innings, to score 6,000 runs in ODIs, doing so in his 139th innings. At the end of the World Cup, he was awarded the Player of the Tournament award after becoming the highest scoring captain in a single World Cup, making 578 runs in 10 matches. He was named as captain of the 'Team of the Tournament' by the ICC and ESPNCricinfo.

In November 2020, Williamson was nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade, and the award for Test cricketer of the decade. On 4 December, Williamson scored 251 runs, his highest test score, in the first innings of the first Test against West Indies and helped New Zealand win the match by an innings and 134 runs.

In June 2021, he led New Zealand to victory in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, beating India in the final by eight wickets. In August 2021, Williamson was named as the captain of New Zealand's squad for the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.[69] Under his captaincy, New Zealand reached their third consecutive ICC event final across all formats after beating England in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup. In the final, Williamson scored a brilliant knock of 85 off 48 balls but ended up on the losing side after facing defeat to Australia by 8 wickets. He was New Zealand's top scorer in the tournament with 216 runs at an average of 43.20.

(2022–present)

In December 2022, Williamson stepped down as New Zealand's Test captain, ahead of their tour to Pakistan. In the first Test, he scored his fifth double century in Tests, and became the first New Zealand batter to hit five double centuries in Test cricket. He also became the first New Zealand batter to achieve the milestone of 25 century in Test cricket.

On 28 February 2023, Williamson surpassed Ross Taylor's tally of 7,683 runs to become New Zealand's highest run scorer in Test cricket, on the same day he also scored his 26th Test century against England in the second Test of the two match Test series.

On 18 March 2023, Williamson scored his 29th century in test cricket. He went on to turn the innings into his 6th test match double century.

International centuries

As of March 2023, Williamson has scored 28 Test and 13 ODI centuries. His highest score in Test is 251 and 148 in ODIs. He is yet to score a century in T20Is.

Achievements

In the annual ICC Awards in January 2022, Williamson was included in ICC Men's Test Team of the Year for the year 2021.

Personal life

He bowls and bats right handed but writes left handed. Williamson has two children, a daughter and son with wife Sarah Raheem whom he met in 2015. During the New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 ODI series, Williamson donated his entire match fee for all five ODIs to the victims of the 2014 Peshawar school massacre.

Statistics

Career statistics

Competition  :  Test  :  ODI  :  T20I  :  FC
Matches  :  94  :  161  :  87  :  162
Runs scored  :  8,124  :  6,554  :  2,464  :  12,935
Batting average  :  54.89  :  47.83  :  33.29  :  50.92
100s/50s  :  28/33  :  13/42  :  0/17  :  38/60
Top score  :  251  :  148  :  95  :  284*
Balls bowled  :  2,151  :  1,467  :  118  :  6,624
Wickets  :  30  :  37  :  6  :  86
Bowling average  :  40.23  :  35.40  :  27.33  :  43.26
5 wickets in innings  :  0  :  0  :  0  :  1
10 wickets in match  :  0  :  0  :  0  :  0
Best bowling  :  4/44  :  4/22  :  2/16  :  5/75
Catches/stumpings  :  82/–  :  64/–  :  41/– :  146/–

Profile

Arguably New Zealand's finest batsman since the legendary Martin Crowe, Kane Williamson had been a wonder kid since his teenage days. His exceptional talent included the rare Non-Asian skill to play quality spin apart from being adept against fast bowling. It would be fair to say the Williamson family boasted of sports freak all around. While his father had played cricket at certain age groups, his mother was a fine basketball player and his sisters excelled in volleyball. It was therefore not a surprise when Kane took a liking to sports and it happened to be cricket.

Since his Under-19 days, it was expected that Williamson would one day become the backbone of New Zealand's batting apart from being their captain. His leaderships skills were in abundance, just like his batting. Along expected lines, the year 2010 saw Williamson donning the Kiwi colors, making his international debut in Sri Lanka for the tri-series that also featured India. His white-ball cricket started in tragedy with ducks in his first two innings but his class couldn't be hidden for long as he stroked a ton against Bangladesh in Dhaka later that year. The Test call up came and it was for a challenging trip to India but Williamson made a massive statement but racking up a century on debut.

The following years saw Williamson scoring runs albeit not at the highly consistent levels that one expected from him. That changed in 2014 though during ODI home series against India when he also broke a heap of records. With fifty plus scores in all five games, he became only the second batsman in ODI history (after Yasir Hameed) to achieve this feat. He also became the fourth New Zealand player to hit five or more consecutive fifty plus scores in ODIs. His five fifty plus scores are also the most by a NZ batsman in a bilateral series.

If 2014 was a superb year for Williamson, it was 2015 that put him officially into the big league of batsmen. He notched up 1172 runs in Tests at a staggering average of 90 apart from amassing a gargantuan 1376 runs in ODIs at a strong average of 57. More than the numbers, it was the effortless ease with which he handled bowling attacks that impressed everybody. 2015 was also a historic year for New Zealand as they made their first ever World Cup final appearance.

Being a regular player and having leadership skills at his disposal, it was only a matter of time before Williamson was appointed New Zealand's captain across formats. It happened in early 2016 after Brendon McCullum announced retirement from all forms of international cricket, just before the World T20 in India. It was a huge role but Williamson took to it fairly well, much like people had expected him to. Still a long way to go as captain in terms of success but the one thing that stands out about his leadership skills is his ability to be tactically street-smart.

Williamson's batting is a purists delight - what with his classy strokeplay blending nicely with his footwork and gritty temperament. The only slight flaw that can be mentioned about his batting could be his relative inability to score quickly at will. You could argue that his role is that of a sheet anchor around which the other Kiwi batsmen revel. However, if he can raise his white-ball skills a notch upward, he could be a real phenomenon in world cricket. This is not to suggest that he hasn't produced impact knocks in the shorter formats. There have been quite a few knocks in that regard and he had shown in the 2017 IPL that he can adapt to that role easily.

IPL through the years

Kane Williamson, who is often referred to as a classical Test batsman, was first signed by an IPL franchise in 2015. The Sunrisers Hyderabad had him in their kitty for less than $100,000, and in the first season, he didn't return the dividends - particularly given the limited opportunities he had in an unfamiliar lower-middle order position. Williamson was a part of the side when the franchise coasted to their maiden title under the captaincy of David Warner in 2016, and was retained once again for the 2017 season (for $460,500), as the franchise showed trust in him and his ability to be the rock in the batting order around which the innings could be built. After the 2018 auction, however, David Warner was banned from the 2018 season of the IPL and was stripped from the captaincy, and the franchise handed Williamson the reins for the 2018 season. Against all odds, the Kiwi skipper exhibited a different dimension in his batting, hammering 735 runs at 52.50 and a strike-rate of 142.44. Moreover, he also led his side into the final, only to be defeated a second time by the Chennai Super Kings in the play-offs. With Warner out of contention for any leadership role, Williamson is likely to continue with the role in the 2019 season and certainly remains a vital cog in the batting order of the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

World Cup - Through the years

Kane Williamson has played 13 matches in the history of World Cup but he hasn't really clicked in those particular games. The top-order batsman has scored only one fifty in 13 innings and his average isn't that impressive too. However, one of his most memorable World Cup knocks came against Australia in the Pool A match of WC 2015. New Zealand were set a target of 152 by the Aussies and Mitchell Starc was breathing fire on that particular day. The left-arm pacer had claimed six wickets in the match and Australia were almost on the verge of defending a paltry total, but Kane Williamson came to rescue and hit a cracking six to take the Kiwis over the line. As a result of KW's knock of 45*, New Zealand pulled off a thriller by 1 wicket.

Williamson has not only grown as a player but also as a leader over the last few years - it's only been an upward climb for the talented player. Although his previous two World Cups haven't been great, there would be a lot of expectations of him this time around. With the likes of Guptill and Taylor in the team, Williamson has got experienced players by his side. His ability to perform under pressure makes him one of the vital cogs in the team and it would be interesting to see how New Zealand perform under his leadership during WC 2019. Also, it wouldn't be a surprise if Williamson ends up being New Zealand's highest run-getter in the tournament.

kane-williamson.jpg?w=640


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1291 2023-04-13 19:05:18

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1255) Rishi Sunak

Summary

Rishi Sunak (born 12 May 1980) is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since October 2022. He previously held two cabinet positions under Boris Johnson, lastly as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022. Sunak has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.

Sunak was born in Southampton to parents of Punjabi descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. He was educated at Winchester College, studied philosophy, politics and economics at Lincoln College, Oxford, and earned an MBA from Stanford University in California as a Fulbright Scholar. During his time at Oxford University, Sunak undertook an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters and joined the Conservative Party. After graduating, Sunak worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firms The Children's Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners.

Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for Richmond in North Yorkshire at the 2015 general election. As a backbencher, Sunak supported the successful campaign for Brexit in the 2016 European Union (EU) membership referendum. Following the 2017 general election, Sunak was appointed to a junior ministerial position in Prime Minister Theresa May's second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 cabinet reshuffle. He voted three times in favour of May's Brexit withdrawal agreement, which was rejected by Parliament three times, leading to May announcing her resignation. During the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, Sunak supported Johnson's successful bid to succeed May as Conservative leader and prime minister, after which he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.

Following the 2019 general election, Johnson promoted Sunak to Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle after the resignation of Sajid Javid. During his time in the position, Sunak was prominent in the government's financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He was also involved in the government's response to the cost of living crisis, UK energy supply crisis, and global energy crisis. Sunak resigned as chancellor in July 2022 amid a government crisis that culminated in Johnson's resignation.

Sunak stood in the July–September Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Johnson. He had received the most votes in each of the series of MP votes, but lost the members' vote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. After spending the duration of Truss's premiership on the backbenches, Sunak stood in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Truss, who resigned amid another government crisis. He was elected unopposed as Conservative leader and appointed prime minister. He is the first British Asian and Hindu to hold the office of prime minister. Sunak took office amid the cost of living crisis and energy supply crisis that began during his chancellorship. He has authorised foreign aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion of the country.

Details

Rishi Sunak, (born May 12, 1980, Southampton, England), is a British politician and financier who became leader of the Conservative Party and prime minster of the United Kingdom in October 2022. Previously he served as chancellor of the Exchequer (2020–22).

Early life

Sunak was born into a family with immigrant roots. His grandparents emigrated from Punjab, in northwestern India, to East Africa, where his mother and father were born in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively.  They met and married after their families migrated in the 1960s to Southampton in southern England. Sunak’s father became a general practitioner for the National Health Service. His mother, a pharmacist, owned and operated a small pharmacy, for which Sunak, the eldest of their three children, would eventually keep the books. Later, during his political career, Sunak would draw parallels between his experiences working in the family business and the values he gained from them and those of Conservative Party icon Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a grocer.

As a result of his parents’ sacrifices and saving to fund his education, Sunak was able to attend Winchester College, the exclusive private school that has produced no fewer than six chancellors of the Exchequer. In addition to becoming “head boy” at Winchester, Sunak was the editor of the school’s newspaper. During summer vacations he waited tables at a Southampton Indian restaurant. Sunak went on to study philosophy, politics, and economics (the degree obtained by many future prime ministers) at Lincoln College, Oxford. There he was president of the Oxford Trading & Investment Society, which provided students with opportunities to learn about financial markets and global trading. While at Oxford, Sunak also had an internship at the headquarters of the Conservative Party.

After graduating from Oxford in 2001, Sunak became an analyst for Goldman Sachs, working for the investment banking company until 2004. As a Fulbright scholar, he then pursued an MBA at Stanford University, where he met his future wife, Akshata Murthy, daughter of Narayana Murthy, an Indian billionaire and cofounder of technology giant Infosys. Returning to the United Kingdom in 2006, Sunak took a job with The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI), the hedge fund operated by Sir Chris Hohn, who made him a partner some two years later. In 2009 Sunak left TCI to join another hedge fund, Theleme Partners. That year he married Murthy; they would have two daughters. By virtue of Sunak’s success in business and his wife’s 0.91 percent stake in Infosys, the couple began to amass a considerable fortune, which would be estimated at about £730 million ($877 million) in 2022 by The Sunday Times. (Some sources estimated Akshata Murthy’s net worth at as much as £1 billion [$1.2 billion].)

Political career

In 2010 Sunak began working for the Conservative Party. During this period he also became involved with Policy Exchange, a leading Conservative think tank, for which he became head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit in 2014. That year Policy Exchange published A Portrait of Modern Britain, a pamphlet that Sunak wrote with Saratha Rajeswaran, deputy head of the BME unit. In 2014 Sunak was chosen as the Conservative Party’s candidate for the House of Commons representing Richmond in North Yorkshire, a safe Conservative seat in the north of England long held by onetime party leader (1997–2001) William Hague. In May 2015 Sunak was elected by a commanding majority. He came into office a Euroskeptic and firmly in the “leave” camp on the issue of Brexit, which he said would make the United Kingdom “freer, fairer, and more prosperous.” He would be reelected to Parliament in 2017 and 2019, and he voted three times in favour of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

From 2015 to 2017 he was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In January 2018 he was appointed to his first ministerial post as undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Sunak became a vocal supporter of Boris Johnson’s pursuit of the party’s leadership, and, when Johnson became leader and prime minister, he rewarded Sunak with a promotion, appointing him chief secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.

During Sunak’s tenure as second-in-command at the Treasury ministry, tensions were rising between his boss, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, and Johnson. When Javid resigned in February 2020, Johnson replaced him with Sunak, who, at age 39, became the fourth youngest person ever to hold that position. Almost immediately Sunak was faced with the manifold challenges brought about by the arrival in Britain of the COVID-19 global pandemic. As the British economy was clobbered by the shutdowns imposed by the government in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, Sunak employed the powers of his office to try to offset the economic and human damage. He instituted a broad economic-support program that dedicated some £330 billion ($400 billion) in emergency funds for businesses and salary subsidies for workers aimed at job retention and easing the burden of the lockdown for individuals and companies alike. Those rescue programs were widely popular, and the polished, poised Sunak became the welcome face of the government at daily press conferences where the prime minister appeared less composed.

Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, aimed at supporting restaurants and pubs with government-subsidized food and drinks, was viewed by some observers as a rousing success, but critics pointed to it as having likely played a significant role in the emergence of a catastrophic spike in COVID-19 cases in autumn 2020. Nonetheless, the portrait of Sunak that arose during the pandemic was that of a superslick, social-media savvy, immaculately dressed, handsome, but down-to-earth politician. “Dishy Rishi” was named “Britain’s sexiest MP” in 2020.

Sunak’s gleaming brand was tarnished, however, by a series of disclosures in April 2022. Perhaps most damaging was the revelation that his wife, as an Indian citizen and non-domiciled U.K. resident, had claimed a tax status that allowed her to avoid paying British taxes on her overseas income, which may have saved her as much as £20 million ($24 million) in U.K. taxes over a roughly seven-and-a-half-year period. While not illegal, the maneuver cast a bad light on Sunak, and Murthy was quick to revise her tax status. Sunak’s patriotism was also called into question when it was revealed that he had held on to a green card for U.S. residency until late October 2021, which seemed to suggest a desire to keep his options open. Finally, in April 2022 Sunak was fined by the police for having been among the guests at a birthday party for Johnson at his office in 2020 in violation of the government’s rules against social gatherings at that stage of the pandemic. Sunak claimed that his appearance at the party was inadvertent and the result of having appeared early for a meeting with the prime minister.

The fallout from the incident for Sunak, however, was much less than what the “Partygate” scandal would bring for the increasingly embattled Johnson. When the series of scandals involving Johnson’s integrity and honesty expanded to include the prime minister’s mishandling of allegations of sexual misconduct against former Conservative deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, Sunak joined Javid, then serving as health secretary, in resigning from the cabinet on July 5, 2022. Their prominent resignations contributed greatly to the groundswell of opposition within the Conservative Party that eventually forced Johnson’s resignation as party leader. Although some Tories saw Sunak’s action as traitorous, he was quick to declare his intention to replace Johnson as leader with a cannily produced campaign video that was released hot on the heels of Johnson’s announcement that he was stepping down.

With Johnson remaining as a caretaker prime minister until the party could choose a replacement for him, the parliamentary party (sitting Conservative MPs) set about the series of votes that incrementally winnowed the field of candidates for the leadership from eight to two. At the end of that process, Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss remained as the final duo whose names were submitted for a vote by the party’s whole membership.

Sunak stood to be the first person of colour and first Hindu to lead Britain. To achieve that end, he would have to overcome the perception among some Conservatives of his being too wealthy to understand the needs of the average British citizen at a time of devastating inflation and the reservations of other Conservatives who were put off by the tax increases Sunak had imposed on corporations and national insurance in an attempt to help offset the costs of the government’s pandemic relief programs. When the results of the election were announced on September 5, Sunak came up short, taking 42.6 percent of the vote, compared with 57.4 percent for Truss, who became party leader.

Truss’s tenure in office would prove to be the shortest in British history at just over six weeks. Her attempt to impose an unfunded £45 billion ($50 billion) in tax cuts while also capping energy prices for two years promised to open a gaping budget deficit and panicked financial markets. (During the leadership campaign, Sunak had warned against just such tax cuts.) After the pound plummeted, mortgage rates climbed, and the cost of U.K. government borrowing rose, the Bank of England was forced to take emergency action to calm the markets. Truss quickly replaced her Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng with Jeremy Hunt, who almost immediately rescinded Truss’s economic plan, but confidence in Truss’s leadership was damaged beyond repair. Although Conservative Party rules protected Truss from a vote on her leadership for a year, dissent among Conservative MPs grew rapidly, and calls for her resignation mounted. On October 20 Truss announced her resignation, putting into motion another leadership contest.

This time around, 100 nominations from Conservative MPs were required for candidate eligibility. With 357 Conservative MPs, it meant that at most only three candidates could advance for consideration. Again the two finalists were then to be put to a vote by the party membership. Sunak, who still enjoyed broad support among MPs, was the early favourite. House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt was the first to declare her candidacy, but support for her was limited. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace looked to be a popular choice, but he opted not to run and threw his conditional support to Johnson—who suddenly was back in the mix despite being ousted from office only months earlier—not least because of his continued popularity with the broader party membership. As tensions grew, Johnson made a dramatic return to the U.K. from a vacation in the Dominican Republic. All of this unfolded in a matter of days. On October 23, the day before nominations were due, Johnson withdrew from consideration. By early October 24 more than half the MPs had already committed to nominate Sunak. When Mordaunt dropped out shortly before the deadline, the way was clear for Sunak, as the sole remaining candidate, to be confirmed as party leader, setting the stage for him to become prime minister.

rishi-sunak-as-first-asian-prime-minister-1666719519.jpg?resize=1200:*


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

Offline

#1292 2023-04-15 20:57:37

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1256) Margaret Thatcher

Summary

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, DStJ, PC, FRS, HonFRSC (née Roberts; 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013), was a British politician and stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first female British prime minister and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. As prime minister, she implemented economic policies that became known as Thatcherism. A Soviet journalist dubbed her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style.

Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a research chemist before becoming a barrister. She was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970–1974 government. In 1975, she defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom.

On becoming prime minister after winning the 1979 general election, Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high inflation and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an oncoming recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Her popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment. Victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her landslide re-election in 1983. She survived an assassination attempt by the Provisional IRA in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and achieved a political victory against the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1984–85 miners' strike.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term with another landslide in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge (also known as the "poll tax") was widely unpopular, and her increasingly Eurosceptic views on the European Community were not shared by others in her cabinet. She resigned as prime minister and party leader in 1990, after a challenge was launched to her leadership, and was succeeded by John Major, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[nb 2] After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel, London, at the age of 87.

A polarising figure in British politics, Thatcher is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings and public opinion of British prime ministers. Her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in Britain, with the complicated legacy attributed to Thatcherism debated into the 21st century.

Details

Margaret Thatcher, in full Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, née Margaret Hilda Roberts, (born October 13, 1925, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England—died April 8, 2013, London), was a British Conservative Party politician and prime minister (1979–90), Europe’s first woman prime minister. The only British prime minister in the 20th century to win three consecutive terms and, at the time of her resignation, Britain’s longest continuously serving prime minister since 1827, she accelerated the evolution of the British economy from statism to liberalism and became, by personality as much as achievement, the most renowned British political leader since Winston Churchill.

Early years

The daughter of Alfred Roberts, a grocer and local alderman (and later mayor of Grantham), and Beatrice Ethel Stephenson, Thatcher formed an early desire to be a politician. Her intellectual ability led her to the University of Oxford, where she studied chemistry and was immediately active in politics, becoming one of the first woman presidents of the Oxford University Conservative Association. After graduating in 1947 she worked for four years as a research chemist, reading for the bar in her spare time. From 1954 she practiced as a barrister, specializing in tax law. In 1951 she married a wealthy industrialist, Denis Thatcher (b. 1915—d. 2003), who supported her political ambition. The couple had twins, a son and a daughter, in 1953.

Thatcher first ran for Parliament in 1950 but was unsuccessful, despite increasing the local Conservative vote by 50 percent. In 1959 she entered the House of Commons, winning the “safe” Conservative seat of Finchley in northern London. She rose steadily within the party, serving as a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (1961–64), as chief opposition spokesman on education (1969–70), and as secretary of state for education and science (1970–74) in the Conservative government of Edward Heath. While a member of the Heath cabinet (Thatcher was only the second woman to hold a cabinet portfolio in a Conservative government), she eliminated a program that provided free milk to schoolchildren, provoking a storm of controversy and prompting opponents in the Labour Party to taunt her with cries of “Thatcher the milk snatcher.” She also created more comprehensive schools—introduced by the Labour Party in the 1960s to make rigorous academic education available to working-class children—than any other education minister in history, though they were undermined during her tenure as prime minister. After Heath lost two successive elections in 1974, Thatcher, though low in the party hierarchy, was the only minister prepared to challenge him for the party leadership. With the backing of the Conservative right wing, she was elected leader in February 1975 and thus began a 15-year ascendancy that would change the face of Britain.

Thatcher led the Conservatives to a decisive electoral victory in 1979 following a series of major strikes during the previous winter (the so-called “Winter of Discontent”) under the Labour Party government of James Callaghan. As a prime minister representing the newly energetic right wing of the Conservative Party (the “Dries,” as they later called themselves, as opposed to the old-style moderate Tories, or “Wets”), Thatcher advocated greater independence of the individual from the state; an end to allegedly excessive government interference in the economy, including privatization of state-owned enterprises and the sale of public housing to tenants; reductions in expenditures on social services such as health care, education, and housing; limitations on the printing of money in accord with the economic doctrine of monetarism; and legal restrictions on trade unions. The term Thatcherism came to refer not just to these policies but also to certain aspects of her ethical outlook and personal style, including moral absolutism, fierce nationalism, a zealous regard for the interests of the individual, and a combative, uncompromising approach to achieving political goals.

The main impact of her first term was economic. Inheriting a weak economy, she reduced or eliminated some governmental regulations and subsidies to businesses, thereby purging the manufacturing industry of many inefficient—but also some blameless—firms. The result was a dramatic increase in unemployment, from 1.3 million in 1979 to more than double that figure two years later. At the same time, inflation doubled in just 14 months, to more than 20 percent, and manufacturing output fell sharply. Although inflation decreased and output rose before the end of her first term, unemployment continued to increase, reaching more than three million in 1986.

Thatcher embarked on an ambitious program of privatization of state-owned industries and public services, including aerospace, television and radio, gas and electricity, water, the state airline, and British Steel. By the end of the 1980s, the number of individual stockholders had tripled, and the government had sold 1.5 million publicly owned housing units to their tenants.

Nonetheless, rising unemployment and social tensions during her first term made her deeply unpopular. Her unpopularity would have ensured her defeat in the general election of 1983 were it not for two factors: the Falkland Islands War (1982) between Britain and Argentina, over possession of a remote British dependency in the South Atlantic, and the deep divisions within the Labour Party, which contested the election on a radical manifesto that critics dubbed the “longest suicide note in history.” Thatcher won election to a second term in a landslide—the biggest victory since Labour’s great success in 1945—gaining a parliamentary majority of 144 with just over 42 percent of the vote.

Thatcher entered office promising to curb the power of the unions, which had shown their ability to bring the country to a standstill during six weeks of strikes in the winter of 1978–79. Her government enacted a series of measures designed to undermine the unions’ ability to organize and stage strikes, including laws that banned the closed shop, required unions to poll their members before ordering a strike, forbade sympathy strikes, and rendered unions responsible for damages caused by their members. In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers began a nationwide strike to prevent the closing of 20 coal mines that the government claimed were unproductive. The walkout, which lasted nearly a year, soon became emblematic of the struggle for power between the Conservative government and the trade union movement. Thatcher steadfastly refused to meet the union’s demands, and in the end she won; the miners returned to work without winning a single concession.

A terrorist bombing at a Conservative Party conference in Brighton in 1984, the work of the Irish Republican Army, nearly killed Thatcher and several senior members of her government. After battling Ken Livingstone’s Labour-led London government, Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council in 1986. By the end of Thatcher’s second term, few aspects of British life had escaped the most sweeping transformation of Britain since the postwar reforms of the Labour Party.

In foreign affairs, the Falklands War illuminated her most significant international relationship, with Ronald Reagan, president of the United States (1981–89). Thatcher and Reagan, who together made the 1980s the decade of conservatism, shared a vision of the world in which the Soviet Union was an evil enemy deserving of no compromise, and their partnership ensured that the Cold War continued in all its frigidity until the rise to power of the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. In keeping with her strong anticommunism—a 1976 speech condemning communism earned her the nickname “Iron Lady” in the Soviet press—Thatcher strongly supported the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, a stance that proved popular with the electorate, given the Labour Party’s repudiation of Britain’s traditional nuclear and defense policies. In Africa, Thatcher presided over the orderly establishment of an independent Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) in 1980 after 15 years of illegal separation from British colonial rule under a white minority. However, she encountered considerable criticism both at home and abroad for her opposition to international sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.

The second half of Thatcher’s tenure was marked by an inextinguishable controversy over Britain’s relationship with the European Community (EC). In 1984 she succeeded, amid fierce opposition, in drastically reducing Britain’s contribution to the EC budget. After her third electoral victory in 1987, she adopted a steadily more hostile attitude toward European integration. She resisted “federalist” continental trends toward both a single currency and a deeper political union. Her traditionally pro-European party became divided, and a string of senior ministers left the Cabinet over the issue.

The implementation of a poll tax in 1989 produced outbreaks of street violence and alarmed the Conservative rank-and-file, who feared that Thatcher could not lead the party to a fourth consecutive term. Spurred by public disapproval of the poll tax and Thatcher’s increasingly strident tone, Conservative members of Parliament moved against her in November 1990. Although she defeated her most senior opponent, former defense minister Michael Heseltine, by 204 votes to Heseltine’s 152, her total fell four votes short of the necessary majority plus 15 percent, and she decided not to contest the election in a second ballot. On November 22 she announced her resignation as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, paving the way for her replacement by John Major six days later.

Later years

In retirement, Margaret Thatcher remained a political force. She continued to influence internal Conservative Party politics (often to the dismay of Major), and Thatcherism shaped the priorities of the Labour Party, which she had kept out of office for more than a decade. She remained a member of Parliament until the 1992 election and was subsequently elevated, as a peeress for life, to the House of Lords. She continued to speak and lecture, notably in the United States and Asia, and established the Thatcher Foundation to support free enterprise and democracy, particularly in the newly liberated countries of central and eastern Europe. In 1995 she became a member of the Order of the Garter.

Following a series of minor strokes, she retired from public speaking in 2002. Thatcher’s daughter, Carol, revealed in her 2008 memoir A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl that her mother had been showing symptoms of progressive dementia since 2000.

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#1293 2023-04-17 22:58:21

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

1257) John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Summary

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He was the youngest person to assume the presidency by election and the youngest president at the end of his tenure. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his foreign policy concerned relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress prior to his presidency.

Born into the prominent Kennedy family in Brookline, Massachusetts, Kennedy graduated from Harvard University in 1940 before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater. Kennedy's survival following the sinking of PT-109 and his rescue of his fellow sailors made him a war hero and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, but left him with serious injuries. After a brief stint in journalism, Kennedy represented a working-class Boston district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior senator for Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, Kennedy published his book, Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Kennedy ran in the 1960 presidential election. His campaign gained momentum after the first televised presidential debates in American history, and he was elected president, narrowly defeating Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president. He was the first Catholic elected president.

Kennedy's administration included high tensions with communist states in the Cold War. He increased the number of American military advisors in South Vietnam. He authorized numerous operations to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, including the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961. The following October, U.S. spy planes discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba; the resulting period of tensions, termed the Cuban Missile Crisis, nearly resulted in the breakout of a global thermonuclear conflict. He also signed the first nuclear weapons treaty in October 1963. Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps, Alliance for Progress with Latin America, and the continuation of the Apollo program with the goal of landing a man on the Moon. He also supported the civil rights movement but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies.

On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. His vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, assumed the presidency upon Kennedy's death. Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested for the assassination, but he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later. The FBI and the Warren Commission both concluded Oswald had acted alone, but conspiracy theories about the assassination still persist. After Kennedy's death, Congress enacted many of his proposals, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Revenue Act of 1964. Kennedy ranks highly in polls of U.S. presidents with historians and the general public. His personal life has also been the focus of considerable sustained interest following public revelations in the 1970s of his chronic health ailments and extramarital affairs. Kennedy is the most recent U.S. president to have died in office.

Details

John F. Kennedy, in full John Fitzgerald Kennedy, byname JFK, (born May 29, 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.—died November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas), 35th president of the United States (1961–63), who faced a number of foreign crises, especially in Cuba and Berlin, but managed to secure such achievements as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Alliance for Progress. He was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas.

Early life

The second of nine children, Kennedy was reared in a family that demanded intense physical and intellectual competition among the siblings—the family’s touch football games at their Hyannis Port retreat later became legendary—and was schooled in the religious teachings of the Roman Catholic church and the political precepts of the Democratic Party. His father, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, had acquired a multimillion-dollar fortune in banking, bootlegging, shipbuilding, and the film industry, and as a skilled player of the stock market. His mother, Rose, was the daughter of John F. (“Honey Fitz”) Fitzgerald, onetime mayor of Boston. They established trust funds for their children that guaranteed lifelong financial independence. After serving as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Kennedy became the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, and for six months in 1938 John served as his secretary, drawing on that experience to write his senior thesis at Harvard University (B.S., 1940) on Great Britain’s military unpreparedness. He then expanded that thesis into a best-selling book, Why England Slept (1940).

In the fall of 1941 Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy and two years later was sent to the South Pacific. By the time he was discharged in 1945, his older brother, Joe, who their father had expected would be the first Kennedy to run for office, had been killed in the war, and the family’s political standard passed to John, who had planned to pursue an academic or journalistic career.

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers a speech to a crowd of approximately 7,000 people on May 17, 1967 at UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza in Berkeley, California.

John Kennedy himself had barely escaped death in battle. Commanding a patrol torpedo (PT) boat, he was gravely injured when a Japanese destroyer sank it in the Solomon Islands. Marooned far behind enemy lines, he led his men back to safety and was awarded the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism. He also returned to active command at his own request. (These events were later depicted in a Hollywood film, PT 109 [1963], that contributed to the Kennedy mystique.) However, the further injury to his back, which had bothered him since his teens, never really healed. Despite operations in 1944, 1954, and 1955, he was in pain for much of the rest of his life. He also suffered from Addison disease, though this affliction was publicly concealed. “At least one-half of the days he spent on this earth,” wrote his brother Robert, “were days of intense physical pain.” (After he became president, Kennedy combated the pain with injections of amphetamines—then thought to be harmless and used by more than a few celebrities for their energizing effect. According to some reports, both Kennedy and the first lady became heavily dependent on these injections through weekly use.) None of this prevented Kennedy from undertaking a strenuous life in politics. His family expected him to run for public office and to win.

Congressman and senator

Kennedy did not disappoint his family; in fact, he never lost an election. His first opportunity came in 1946, when he ran for Congress. Although still physically weak from his war injuries, he campaigned aggressively, bypassing the Democratic organization in the Massachusetts 11th congressional district and depending instead upon his family, college friends, and fellow navy officers. In the Democratic primary he received nearly double the vote of his nearest opponent; in the November election he overwhelmed the Republican candidate. He was only 29.

Kennedy served three terms in the House of Representatives (1947–53) as a bread-and-butter liberal. He advocated better working conditions, more public housing, higher wages, lower prices, cheaper rents, and more Social Security for the aged. In foreign policy he was an early supporter of Cold War policies. He backed the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan but was sharply critical of the Truman administration’s record in Asia. He accused the State Department of trying to force Chiang Kai-shek into a coalition with Mao Zedong. “What our young men had saved,” he told the House on January 25, 1949, “our diplomats and our President have frittered away.”

His is congressional district in Boston was a safe seat, but Kennedy was too ambitious to remain long in the House of Representatives. In 1952 he ran for the U.S. Senate against the popular incumbent, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. His mother and sisters Eunice, Patricia, and Jean held “Kennedy teas” across the state. Thousands of volunteers flocked to help, including his 27-year-old brother Robert, who managed the campaign. That fall the Republican presidential candidate, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, carried Massachusetts by 208,000 votes; but Kennedy defeated Lodge by 70,000 votes. Less than a year later, on September 12, 1953, Kennedy enhanced his electoral appeal by marrying Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis). Twelve years younger than Kennedy and from a socially prominent family, the beautiful “Jackie” was the perfect complement to the handsome politician; they made a glamorous couple.

As a senator, Kennedy quickly won a reputation for responsiveness to requests from constituents, except on certain occasions when the national interest was at stake. In 1954 he was the only New England senator to approve an extension of President Eisenhower’s reciprocal-trade powers, and he vigorously backed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, despite the fact that over a period of 20 years no Massachusetts senator or congressman had ever voted for it.

To the disappointment of liberal Democrats, Kennedy soft-pedaled the demagogic excesses of Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who in the early 1950s conducted witch-hunting campaigns against government workers accused of being communists. Kennedy’s father liked McCarthy, contributed to his campaign, and even entertained him in the family’s compound at Hyannis Port on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Kennedy himself disapproved of McCarthy, but, as he once observed, “Half my people in Massachusetts look on McCarthy as a hero.” Yet, on the Senate vote over condemnation of McCarthy’s conduct (1954), Kennedy expected to vote against him. He prepared a speech explaining why, but he was absent on the day of the vote. Later, at a National Press Club Gridiron dinner, costumed reporters sang, “Where were you, John, where were you, John, when the Senate censured Joe?” Actually, John had been in a hospital, in critical condition after back surgery. For six months afterward he lay strapped to a board in his father’s house in Palm Beach, Florida. It was during this period that he worked on Profiles in Courage (1956), an account of eight great American political leaders who had defied popular opinion in matters of conscience, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1957. Although Kennedy was credited as the book’s author, it was later revealed that his assistant Theodore Sorensen had done much of the research and writing.

Back in the Senate, Kennedy led a fight against a proposal to abolish the electoral college, crusaded for labour reform, and became increasingly committed to civil rights legislation. As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the late 1950s, he advocated extensive foreign aid to the emerging nations in Africa and Asia, and he surprised his colleagues by calling upon France to grant Algerian independence.

During these years his political outlook was moving leftward. Possibly because of their father’s dynamic personality, the sons of Joseph Kennedy matured slowly. Gradually John’s stature among Democrats grew, until he had inherited the legions that had once followed Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, the two-time presidential candidate who by appealing to idealism had transformed the Democratic Party and made Kennedy’s rise possible.

Presidential candidate and president

Kennedy had nearly become Stevenson’s vice presidential running mate in 1956. The charismatic young New Englander’s near victory and his televised speech of concession (Estes Kefauver won the vice presidential nomination) brought him into some 40 million American homes. Overnight he had become one of the best-known political figures in the country. Already his campaign for the 1960 nomination had begun. One newspaperman called him a “young man in a hurry.” Kennedy felt that he had to redouble his efforts because of the widespread conviction that no Roman Catholic candidate could be elected president. He made his 1958 race for reelection to the Senate a test of his popularity in Massachusetts. His margin of victory was 874,608 votes—the largest ever in Massachusetts politics and the greatest of any senatorial candidate that year.

A steady stream of speeches and periodical profiles followed, with photographs of him and his wife appearing on many a magazine cover. Kennedy’s carefully calculated pursuit of the presidency years before the first primary established a practice that became the norm for candidates seeking the nation’s highest office. To transport him and his staff around the country, his father bought a 40-passenger Convair aircraft. His brothers Robert (“Bobby,” or “Bob”) and Edward (“Teddy,” or “Ted”) pitched in. After having graduated from Harvard University (1948) and from the University of Virginia Law School (1951), Bobby had embarked on a career as a Justice Department attorney and counsellor for congressional committees. Ted likewise had graduated from Harvard (1956) and from Virginia Law School (1959). Both men were astute campaigners.

In January 1960 John F. Kennedy formally announced his presidential candidacy. His chief rivals were the senators Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota and Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Kennedy knocked Humphrey out of the campaign and dealt the religious taboo against Roman Catholics a blow by winning the primary in Protestant West Virginia. He tackled the Catholic issue again, by avowing his belief in the separation of church and state in a televised speech before a group of Protestant ministers in Houston, Texas. Nominated on the first ballot, he balanced the Democratic ticket by choosing Johnson as his running mate. In his acceptance speech Kennedy declared, “We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier.” Thereafter the phrase “New Frontier” was associated with his presidential programs.

Another phrase—“the Kennedy style”—encapsulated the candidate’s emerging identity. It was glamorous and elitist, an amalgam of his father’s wealth, John Kennedy’s charisma and easy wit, Jacqueline Kennedy’s beauty and fashion sense (the suits and pillbox hats she wore became widely popular), the charm of their children and relatives, and the erudition of the Harvard advisers who surrounded him (called the “best and brightest” by author David Halberstam).

Kennedy won the general election, narrowly defeating the Republican candidate, Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon, by a margin of less than 120,000 out of some 70,000,000 votes cast. Many observers, then and since, believed vote fraud contributed to Kennedy’s victory, especially in the critical state of Illinois, where Joe Kennedy enlisted the help of the ever-powerful Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago. Nixon had defended the Eisenhower record; Kennedy, whose slogan had been “Let’s get this country moving again,” had deplored unemployment, the sluggish economy, the so-called missile gap (a presumed Soviet superiority over the United States in the number of nuclear-armed missiles), and the new communist government in Havana. A major factor in the campaign was a unique series of four televised debates between the two men; an estimated 85–120 million Americans watched one or more of the debates. Both men showed a firm grasp of the issues, but Kennedy’s poise in front of the camera, his tony Harvard accent, and his good looks (in contrast to Nixon’s “five o’clock shadow”) convinced many viewers that he had won the debate. As president, Kennedy continued to exploit the new medium, sparkling in precedent-setting televised weekly press conferences.

He was the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic ever elected to the presidency of the United States. His administration lasted 1,037 days. From the onset he was concerned with foreign affairs. In his memorable inaugural address, he called upon Americans “to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle…against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” He declared:

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it.…The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

The administration’s first brush with foreign affairs was a disaster. In the last year of the Eisenhower presidency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had equipped and trained a brigade of anticommunist Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously advised the new president that this force, once ashore, would spark a general uprising against the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. But the Bay of Pigs invasion was a fiasco; every man on the beachhead was either killed or captured. Kennedy assumed “sole responsibility” for the setback. Privately he told his father that he would never again accept a Joint Chiefs recommendation without first challenging it.

The Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, thought he had taken the young president’s measure when the two leaders met in Vienna in June 1961. Khrushchev ordered a wall built between East and West Berlin and threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany. The president activated National Guard and reserve units, and Khrushchev backed down on his separate peace threat. Kennedy then made a dramatic visit to West Berlin, where he told a cheering crowd, “Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein [I am a] Berliner.’” In October 1962 a buildup of Soviet short- and intermediate-range nuclear missiles was discovered in Cuba. Kennedy demanded that the missiles be dismantled; he ordered a “quarantine” of Cuba—in effect, a blockade that would stop Soviet ships from reaching that island. For 13 days nuclear war seemed near; then the Soviet premier announced that the offensive weapons would be withdrawn. (See Cuban missile crisis.) Ten months later Kennedy scored his greatest foreign triumph when Khrushchev and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan of Great Britain joined him in signing the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Yet Kennedy’s commitment to combat the spread of communism led him to escalate American involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, where he sent not just supplies and financial assistance, as President Eisenhower had, but 15,000 military advisers as well.

Because of his slender victory in 1960, Kennedy approached Congress warily, and with good reason; Congress was largely indifferent to his legislative program. It approved his Alliance for Progress (Alianza) in Latin America and his Peace Corps, which won the enthusiastic endorsement of thousands of college students. But his two most cherished projects, massive income tax cuts and a sweeping civil rights measure, were not passed until after his death. In May 1961 Kennedy committed the United States to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade, and, while he would not live to see this achievement either, his advocacy of the space program contributed to the successful launch of the first American manned spaceflights.

He was an immensely popular president, at home and abroad. At times he seemed to be everywhere at once, encouraging better physical fitness, improving the morale of government workers, bringing brilliant advisers to the White House, and beautifying Washington, D.C. His wife joined him as an advocate for American culture. Their two young children, Caroline Bouvier and John F., Jr., were familiar throughout the country. The charm and optimism of the Kennedy family seemed contagious, sparking the idealism of a generation for whom the Kennedy White House became, in journalist Theodore White’s famous analogy, Camelot—the magical court of Arthurian legend, which was celebrated in a popular Broadway musical of the early 1960s.

Joseph Kennedy, meanwhile, had been incapacitated in Hyannis Port by a stroke, but the other Kennedys were in and out of Washington. Robert Kennedy, as John’s attorney general, was the second most powerful man in the country. He advised the president on all matters of foreign and domestic policy, national security, and political affairs.

In 1962 Ted Kennedy was elected to the president’s former Senate seat in Massachusetts. Their sister Eunice’s husband, Sargent Shriver, became director of the Peace Corps. Their sister Jean’s husband, Stephen Smith, was preparing to manage the Democratic Party’s 1964 presidential campaign. Another sister, Patricia, had married Peter Lawford, an English-born actor who served the family as an unofficial envoy to the entertainment world. All Americans knew who Rose, Jackie, Bobby, and Teddy were, and most could identify Bobby’s wife as Ethel and Teddy’s wife as Joan.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy believed that his Republican opponent in 1964 would be Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona. He was convinced that he could bury Goldwater under an avalanche of votes, thus receiving a mandate for major legislative reforms. One obstacle to his plan was a feud in Vice Pres. Johnson’s home state of Texas between Gov. John B. Connally, Jr., and Sen. Ralph Yarborough, both Democrats. To present a show of unity, the president decided to tour the state with both men. On Friday, November 22, 1963, he and Jacqueline Kennedy were in an open limousine riding slowly in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. At 12:30 PM the president was struck by two rifle bullets, one at the base of his neck and one in the head. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Governor Connally, though also gravely wounded, recovered. Vice President Johnson took the oath as president at 2:38 PM. Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old Dallas citizen, was accused of the slaying. Two days later Oswald was shot to death by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner with connections to the criminal underworld, in the basement of a Dallas police station. A presidential commission headed by the chief justice of the United States, Earl Warren, later found that neither the sniper nor his killer “was part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy,” but that Oswald had acted alone. The Warren Commission, however, was not able to convincingly explain all the particular circumstances of Kennedy’s murder. In 1979 a special committee of the U.S. House of Representatives declared that although the president had undoubtedly been slain by Oswald, acoustic analysis suggested the presence of a second gunman who had missed. But this declaration did little to squelch the theories that Oswald was part of a conspiracy involving either CIA agents angered over Kennedy’s handling of the Bay of Pigs fiasco or members of organized crime seeking revenge for Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s relentless criminal investigations. Kennedy’s assassination, the most notorious political murder of the 20th century, remains a source of bafflement, controversy, and speculation.

John Kennedy was dead, but the Kennedy mystique was still alive. Both Robert and Ted ran for president (in 1968 and 1980, respectively). Yet tragedy would become nearly synonymous with the Kennedys when Bobby, too, was assassinated on the campaign trail in 1968.

Jacqueline Kennedy and her two children moved from the White House to a home in the Georgetown section of Washington. Continuing crowds of the worshipful and curious made peace there impossible, however, and in the summer of 1964 she moved to New York City. Pursuit continued until October 20, 1968, when she married Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek shipping magnate. The Associated Press said that the marriage “broke the spell of almost complete adulation of a woman who had become virtually a legend in her own time.” Widowed by Onassis, the former first lady returned to the public eye in the mid-1970s as a high-profile book editor, and she remained among the most admired women in the United States until her death in 1994. As an adult, daughter Caroline was jealous of her own privacy, but John Jr.—a lawyer like his sister and debonair and handsome like his father—was much more of a public figure. Long remembered as “John-John,” the three-year-old who stoically saluted his father’s casket during live television coverage of the funeral procession, John Jr. became the founder and editor-in-chief of the political magazine George in the mid-1990s. In 1999, when John Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law died in the crash of the private plane he was piloting, the event was the focus of an international media watch that further proved the immortality of the Kennedy mystique. It was yet another chapter in the family’s “curse” of tragedy.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1294 2023-04-19 02:26:04

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1258) Martin Crowe

Summary

Martin David Crowe MBE (22 September 1962 – 3 March 2016) was a New Zealand cricketer, Test and ODI captain as well as a commentator. He played for the New Zealand national cricket team between 1982 and 1995, and is regarded as one of the country's greatest batsmen.

Crowe made his first-class debut for Auckland at the age of 17, and his Test debut for New Zealand at the age of 19. He was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1985, and was credited as one of the "best young batsmen in the world". Crowe was appointed New Zealand's captain in 1990, and led the team until 1993. In a Test against Sri Lanka in 1991, he scored 299 runs, breaking the record for the highest score by a New Zealander. In the same match, he also set a new record for the highest partnership in Test cricket, putting on 467 runs with Andrew Jones. At the 1992 World Cup, which New Zealand co-hosted with Australia, Crowe was named the player of the tournament, and led his team to a semi-final. By the time he finished his international career in 1995, he held the records for the most Test and One Day International (ODI) runs scored for New Zealand.

After retiring from playing, Crowe remained involved in cricket as a writer and commentator. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, but was declared cancer-free the following year. However, the disease returned in 2014, and eventually led to his death in 2016. He was also one of the main brains of initiating the ICC World Test Championship concept which was initially proposed in 2009 but did not materialise until 2019.

Statistics

Personal information

Full name  :  Martin David Crowe
Born  :  22 September 1962, Henderson, New Zealand
Died  :  3 March 2016 (aged 53), Auckland, New Zealand
Batting  :  Right-handed
Bowling  :  Right-arm medium
Role  :  Middle-order batsman
Relations  :  Lorraine Downes (wife)
Dave Crowe (father)
Jeff Crowe (brother)
Russell Crowe (cousin)
Francis Jervis (great-grandfather)
International information

National side
   
New Zealand (1982–1995)

Test debut  :  (cap 150)  :  26 February 1982 v Australia
Last Test  :  12 November 1995 v India
ODI debut (cap 40)  :  13 February 1982 v Australia
Last ODI  :  26 November 1995 v India

Domestic team information

Years  :  Team
1979/80–1982/83  :  Auckland
1983/84–1989/90  :      Central Districts
1984–1988  :  Somerset
1990/91–1994/95  :  Wellington

Career statistics

Competition  :  Test  :  ODI  :  FC  :  LA
Matches  :  77  :  143  :  247  :  261
Runs scored  :  5,444  :  4,704  :  19,608  :  8,740
Batting average  :  45.36  :  38.55  :  56.02  :  38.16
100s/50s  :  17/18  :  4/34  :  71/80  :  11/59
Top score  :  299  :  107*  :  299  :  155*
Balls bowled  :  1,377  :  1,296  :  7,921  :  3,994
Wickets  :  14  :  29  :  119  :  99
Bowling average  :  48.28  :  32.89  :  33.69  :  28.87
5 wickets in innings  :  0  :  0  :  4  :  0
10 wickets in match  :  0  :  0  :  0  :  0
Best bowling  :  2/25  :  2/9  :  5/18  :  4/24
Catches/stumpings  :  71/–  :  66/–  :  226/–  :  115/–

Additional Information

Career Information

Test debutvs Australia at Basin Reserve, Feb 26, 1982
Last Testvs India at Barabati Stadium, Nov 08, 1995
ODI debutvs Australia at Eden Park, Feb 13, 1982
Last ODIvs India at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nov 26, 1995

Profile

Perhaps the best ever batsman to emerge from the Kiwi soil, Martin Crowe broke several batting records despite fighting a spate of injuries. An innovative thinker, Martin Crowe came up with pearls such as opening the bowling with Dipak Patel in the opening match of the 1992 WC against Australia, the promotion of Mark Greatbatch to rattle the opposition as the Kiwis made the semi-finals of the home WC, before another untimely injury in the semi-finals saw the hopes of Crowe evaporating right before him.

An excellent batsman, Crowe reveled in the company of Hadlee as New Zealand enjoyed a period of renaissance in the late 80s. In a 77 match Test career, Crowe scored 5444 runs at a fine average of 45.36. His best innings was a superb 299 against Sri Lanka, which was the record for the highest Test score by a New Zealand batsman before Brendon McCullum went past it and scored 302 against India in the second Test at Wellington.

With 456 runs at an average of 114, Martin Crowe was the best batsman of the 1992 WC as he led New Zealand to the semi-finals. Being an innovator to the core during his playing days, Crowe continued in that fashion behind the scenes as well. He served as a commentator with Sky in New Zealand and also managed their management activities.

Crowe developed a new version of the game, which he named as Cricket Max in 1996. It was deemed as a success in New Zealand but failed to catch up anywhere else. Crowe was named as the CEO of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008, but a poor performance by the Bangalore outfit saw his exit.

In May, 2011, Crowe surprised even his most ardent critics by tweeting that he aimed at getting fitter and was considering making a return to club cricket with the ultimate goal of playing for Auckland, in New Zealand's domestic first-class competition - at the age of 48. His return was delayed by a groin injury, but he did make a triumphant return, captaining Cornwell reserve grade team in a second division club game against Papatoetoe, also batting at number three in the process.

Crowe was diagnosed with Lymphoma in October 2012. According to him the main cause for this was that his immune system was weakened by the various illness he picked on tours in the 80's and 90's. However, as he did with his batting, Crowe battled hard and became cancer free in June 2013. Since then he has become a pundit and gives his opinion on cricket for a popular cricket website.

Crowe's successful battle against lymphona didn't last long though. In 2014, he announced that the cancer had returned and his chances of survival beyond a year was less than 5 percent. In an emotional speech, Crowe mentioned about his desire to watch the 2015 Cricket World Cup, to be jointly co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

On 28th February, 2015, Crowe was inducted into the International Council of Cricket (ICC) Hall of fame, in front of an adoring, jam-packed Eden Park crowd during the World Cup match between Australia and New Zealand. Crowe had lived for the moment and it was fitting that the honour came in front of a gushing crowd.

Cancer was the eventual cause of his passing on March 3, 2016, surrounded by his family members. Crowe was just 53 and left behind his family including his second wife, Lorraine Dawnes, daughter Emma and step children, Hilton and Jasmine.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1295 2023-04-20 17:13:48

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1259) Revathi

Gist

Revathi was born on 8 July 1966 in Kochi, Kerala, India. She is an actress and director, known for 2 States (2014), Itlu Amma (2021) and Thevar Magan (1992). She was previously married to Menon, Suresh.

Summary

Revathi was born on July 8, 1966 in Kochi, Kerala, India. She is an actress and director, known for 2 States (2014), Itlu Amma (2021) and Thevar Magan (1992). She was previously married to Menon, Suresh.

Spouse    Menon, Suresh (1988 - 2004)  (divorced)

When she was in school, she took part in a fashion show. Group photos were taken during the show and a photo was chosen to be the cover of a popular Tamil magazine. This happened to be her photo, which was seen by the director Bharathiraja, who, at that time was on the lookout for a new heroine for his latest venture.
She is a well-known, highly acclaimed film actress with over 16 years of experience in the entertainment industry. She has to her credit five Best Actress Filmfare awards for her performance in the Tamil films 'Mann Vasanai', 'Thevar Magan', 'Anjali', Telugu film 'Ankuram' and Malayalam film 'Kakothi Kaavil Appoopan Thadigal'. She was awarded the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Tamil film, 'Thevar Magan' in 1992. In addition, she has also won the Tamilnadu State Award for 'Thalaimurai' in 1998. 'Mitr My Friend' was her first directorial venture.

Details

Asha Kelunni Nair (born 8 July 1966), better known by her stage name Revathi, is an Indian actress and director, known for her works predominantly in Tamil and Malayalam cinema - in addition to Telugu, Hindi and Kannada films. She has won several accolades, including the National Film Awards in three different categories, and six Filmfare Awards South. She has also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Bhoothakaalam (2022).

Early life

Revathi was born as Asha Kelunni Nair in Cochin (present-day Kochi) to Malank Kelunni Nair, a major in the Indian Army, who hails from Palakkad, and Lalitha Kelunni.

When she was in school, she took part in a fashion show. Group photos were taken during the show and a photo was chosen to be the cover of a popular Tamil magazine. This happened to be her photo, which was seen by the director Bharathiraja, who at that time was on the lookout for a new heroine for his latest venture, Mann Vasanai.

Career

She made her acting debut with the Tamil film Mann Vasanai in 1983. The film was a silver jubilee hit and she was rewarded with a Filmfare Special Award – South. She then made her Malayalam film debut with the movie titled Kattathe Kilikkoodu in 1983. This film too hit the gold at the box office and was among her biggest hits of the 1980s. She was introduced to Telugu film industry with 1984 films, Seethamma Pelli by director Bapu and Manasa Veena. The later movie was dubbed into Malayalam, with the name Thennal Thedunna Poovu. Revathy went on to play a blind, math-survivor Seetha in Tamil in Mahendran’s Kai Kodukkum Kai (1984) opposite Rajinikanth. Revathy went on to play Seetha in Pudhumai Penn (1984) directed by Bharathiraja. The same year she also did Vaidehi Kathirunthal, directed by R. Sundarrajan.

She was versatile in her choice of roles and often played strong, relatable women characters. Her big break, the one that put her name high on the charts, was her portrayal of Divya, a very spirited and headstrong girl who transforms into a woman through the course of the movie, in Mani Ratnam’s Mouna Ragam (1986).

She was cast opposite Kamal Haasan in Punnagai Mannan in 1986. Revathi won several accolades for her role in the film. The film too was a huge hit and established her as one of the most sought after actress of Tamil film industry. She finally won her first Best Actress Award for her splendid performance in the Malayalam film Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thaadikal in 1988. She won her Best Actress Award for Tamil film industry with the film titled Kizhakku Vaasal in 1990. She gave hits after hits and gave one of her finest performance in Priyadarshan’s Malayalam film Kilukkam (1991). In 1991, she had made her debut in Hindi with Suresh Krissna’s Love, co-starring Salman Khan. She then won a National Film Award under the category of Best Supporting Actress for her Tamil film Thevar Magan in 1992. She was at the peak of her career in the early 1990s. She also gave occasional appearance in Telugu and Kannada films as well. Revathy again won the Filmfare Award in Balu Mahendra’s Marupadiyum (1993). The golden run lasted until the end of the 1990s, after appearing in some of her most well-regarded films in that decade Anjali (1990), Thevar Magan (1992), Magalir Mattum (1994) were already behind her. She has also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for Thalaimurai in 1998.

In addition to acting, Revathi has directed two features (Mitr, My Friend and Phir Milenge) and contributed an episode each to the anthology films Kerala Cafe and the unreleased Mumbai Cutting.

Hindi audiences have savoured Revathi in Margarita with a Straw (2014) and 2 States (2014). In Tamil, Pa Paandi (2017); Jackpot (2019) and in Malayalam Virus (2019).

She was seen in the bilingual Telugu and Hindi film Major (2022), where she portrayed Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's mother, Dhanalakshmi.

Personal life

Revathi married cinematographer and director Suresh Chandra Menon in 1986. The couple didn't have any children. However, following differences between them, they started living separately from 2002 and were granted divorce on 23 April 2013 by Chennai Additional Family Court.

In 2018, she revealed that she has a five-year old biological daughter named Mahee through In Vitro Fertilisation.

In the media

Revathi is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, having studied since the age of seven and performed her arangetram in Chennai in 1979. She has been considered one of the all-time top actresses of Tamil cinema and South Indian cinema. She was one of the most successful leading actresses of South Indian cinema. Revathi was the only South Indian actress of 80s and 90s to win the Filmfare best actress award in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, including three consecutive wins in Tamil. Apart from films, Revathi has been involved in a variety of social organisations, the most notable being the Banyan, Ability foundation, Tanker foundation and Vidyasagar, and has also served as a member of several film festivals including the Chennai International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1296 2023-04-22 00:46:25

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1260) Sharone Stone

Summary

Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress. Known for primarily playing femme fatales and women of mystery on film and television, she became one of the most popular gender symbols of the 1990s. She is the recipient of various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a nomination for an Academy Award. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995 and was named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France in 2005 (Commander in 2021).

After modeling in television commercials and print advertisements, Stone made her film debut as an extra in Woody Allen's dramedy Stardust Memories (1980) and played her first speaking part in Wes Craven's horror film Deadly Blessing (1981). In the 1980s, she appeared in such pictures as Irreconcilable Differences (1984), King Solomon's Mines (1985), Cold Steel (1987), and Above the Law (1988). She had a breakthrough with her part in Paul Verhoeven's science fiction action film Total Recall (1990), before rising to international recognition when she portrayed Catherine Tramell in another Verhoeven film, the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), for which she earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

Stone's performance as a trophy wife in Martin Scorsese's epic crime drama Casino (1995) earned her the best reviews of her career, the Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her other notable films include Sliver (1993), The Specialist (1994), The Quick and the Dead (1995), Sphere (1998), The Mighty (1998), The Muse (1999), Catwoman (2004), Broken Flowers (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Bobby (2006), Lovelace (2013), Fading Gigolo (2013), The Disaster Artist (2017), Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019), and The Laundromat (2019).

On television, Stone has had leading and supporting roles in productions such as the ABC miniseries War and Remembrance (1987), the HBO television film If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), Steven Soderbergh's Mosaic (2017) and Ryan Murphy's Ratched (2020). She made guest appearances in The Practice (2004) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2010), winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the former.

Early life and education

Sharon Vonne Stone was born on March 10, 1958, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to Dorothy Marie (née Lawson), an accountant, and Joseph William Stone II, a tool and die manufacturer and former factory worker. She has three siblings: Michael, Kelly, and Patrick Joseph (died in 2023). She is of part Irish ancestry. In a 2013 interview with Conan O'Brien, she stated that her Irish ancestors arrived in the United States during the Great Famine. She has a reported IQ of 154. Stone was considered academically gifted as a child and entered the second grade when she was five years old. Stone said that she and her sister were both sexually abused as children by their maternal grandfather, in an interview to The New York Times in March 2021, while promoting her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice. At 14, her neck was badly injured while breaking a horse when the animal bucked as it charged toward a washing line.

She graduated from Saegertown High School in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, in 1975. Stone was admitted to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania on a creative writing scholarship at age 15 but quit college and moved to New York City to become a fashion model. Inspired by Hillary Clinton, Stone later went back to Edinboro University to complete her degree in 2016.

Additional Information

Sharon Yvonne Stone was born on March 10, 1958, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to accountant Dorothy Lawson and tool and die manufacturer and former factory worker Joseph William Stone II. She has three siblings: Michael, Kelly, and Patrick. Stone was considered academically gifted as a child and began second grade at five. She graduated from Saegertown High School in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, in 1975. She also competed in the Miss Pennsylvania beauty pageant, winning Miss Crawford County. Stone relocated to New Jersey with her aunt in 1977 to pursue a modeling career, signing up with the Ford Modeling Agency within a month. She soon relocated to Europe, spending a year in Milan and Paris.

However, Stone became disillusioned with the world of modeling in Europe and decided to pursue acting while living there. At 20, she appeared in Woody Allen’s film “Stardust Memories,” which received mixed reviews. Three years later, she appeared in the 1981 horror film “Deadly Blessing,” in which she played Lana Marcus. Later, Stone appeared in the mystery-drama series “The New Mike Hammer” on American television in 1984 and in the action film “Above the Law” in 1988. In 1990, Stone co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Academy Award-winning science fiction film “Total Recall.” She received a Golden Globe nomination in 1999 for her role as Sarah Little in Albert Brooks’ comedy film “The Muse.” In 2000, Stone played the lead in the Emmy Award-winning H.B.O. film “If These Walls Could Talk 2,” which follows the lives of two different couples.

Stone reprised her role as Catherine Tramell in the 2006 film, “Basic Instinct 2,” a sequel to the 1992 film, “Basic Instinct.” She played Nina Ferraro in the 2009 action-drama film, “Streets of Blood,” directed by Charles Winkler and based on a story written by Hess and Dennis Fanning. In 2013, Stone portrayed Dorothy Boreman in the American biographical film “Lovelace.” The plot was inspired by the life of math actress Linda Susan Boreman, famously known as Linda Lovelace. The 2019 biographical comedy film, “The Laundromat,” paired her alongside industry veterans like Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman. Stone published a memoir in 2021.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1297 2023-04-23 20:38:17

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1261) Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Summary

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (born 7 July 1981), commonly known as MS Dhoni, is a former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2017 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014, who plays as a Wicket-keeper-Batsman. He is also the current captain of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, the most by any captain. He also led India to victory in the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cup. Additionally, under his leadership, India won the 2010 and 2011 ICC Test Mace and 2013 ICC ODI Championship. Dhoni is considered one of the best finishers in the game ever, as well as one of the greatest wicket-keepers and captains in the history of cricket.

Born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), His exceptional wicketkeeping skills allowed him to become the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando Cricket Club (1995–1998), he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship, where he performed well. From 2001 to 2003, He worked as a Travelling Ticket Examiner at Kharagpur railway station under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore, in West Bengal. In Indian domestic cricket he played for Bihar and then for Jharkhand Cricket team. Dhoni's performance in the 2002–03 season included three half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy and a couple of half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy, as he started gaining recognition for his lower-order contribution as well as hard-hitting batting style. In the 2003/04 season.

Dhoni made his ODI debut on 23 December 2004, against Bangladesh in Chittagong, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka. He played his first T20I also a year later against South Africa. In 2007, he took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid and he also selected as T20I captain of India in this year. In 2008, he was selected as Test captain. His captaincy record in Tests format was mixed, successfully leading India to a series win against New Zealand in 2008 and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (home series in 2010 and 2013) against Australia while losing to Sri Lanka, Australia, England, and South Africa by big margins in away conditions. He is the captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League, leading them to the final on 9 occasions and winning in the 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2021 editions of the league, as well as winning the Champions League T20 two times, in 2010 and 2014. He is the 7th cricketer have scored more than 5,000 runs in the IPL, as well as being the first wicket-keeper to do so. Dhoni is a right-handed wicket-keeper batsman known for his calm captaincy and his ability to finish matches in tight situations. He has scored 17,266 runs in International Cricket (including 10,000 plus runs in ODI Internationals).

Dhoni received India's highest sports honour, the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna Award in 2008 for his outstanding achievements and the Government of India honoured him India's fourth civilian award Padma Shri in 2009 and third civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2018. He is the only cricket captain in the world to win all three of the Cricket World Cup, ICC Men's T20 World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. Dhoni holds an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Territorial Army, it was presented to him by the Indian Army in 2011 for his service to the nation as a cricketer. Dhoni is considered one of the most popular cricket in the world. He is a leading brand endorser celebrity in India. He announced his retirement from Tests on 30 December 2014, and stepped down as captain of T20Is and ODIs in 2017. On 15 August 2020, Dhoni retired from all formats of international cricket and continues to play in the IPL.

Statistics

Personal information

Full name  :  Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Born  :  7 July 1981 (age 41)
Ranchi, Bihar (present-day Jharkhand), India
Nickname  :  Mahi, Thala, MSD
Height  :  1.75[1] m (5 ft 9 in)
Batting  :  Right-handed
Bowling  :  Right-arm medium
Role  :  Wicket-keeper-batter
Relations  :  Sakshi Dhoni (m. 2010)

International information

National side
   
India  :  (2004–2019)
Test debut  :  (cap 251)  :  2 December 2005 v Sri Lanka
Last Test  :  26 December 2014 v Australia
ODI debut  :  (cap 158)  :  23 December 2004 v Bangladesh
Last ODI  :  9 July 2019 v New Zealand
ODI shirt no.  :  7
T20I debut (cap 2)  :  1 December 2006 v South Africa
Last T20I  :  27 February 2019 v Australia
T20I shirt no.  :  7

Domestic team information

Years  :  Team
1999/00–2003/04  :  Bihar cricket team
2004/05–2016/17  :  Jharkhand
2008–2015  :  Chennai Super Kings (squad no. 7)
2016–2017  :  Rising Pune Supergiant (squad no. 7)
2018–present  :  Chennai Super Kings (squad no. 7)

Career statistics

Competition  :  Test  :  ODI  :  T20I  :  T20
Matches  :  90  :  350  :  98  :  361
Runs scored  :  4,876  :  10,773  :  1,617 :  7,167
Batting average  :  38.09  :  50.53  :  37.60  :  38.12
100s/50s  :  6/33  :  10/73  :  0/2  :  0/28
Top score  :  224  :  183*  :  56  :  84*
Balls bowled  :  96  :  36  :  –  :  12
Wickets  :  0  :  1  :  –  :  0
Bowling average  :  – :  31.00  :  –  :  –
5 wickets in innings:  –  :  0  :  – :  –
10 wickets in match  :  –  :  0  :  –  :  –
Best bowling  :  –  :  1/14  :  –  :  –
Catches/stumpings  :  256/38  :  321/123  :  57/34  :  207/84

Profile

Less than thirty years before that enchanting Saturday night when Ravi Shastri’s voice rang through television sets all over India, when even the spunky and exuberant Indian youth showed more interest in an old-school CRT television at a local chai ki dukaan than the dance-floor at a pub, a pump-operator in Ranchi awaited the birth of his third child.

'Dhoniiiii finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the World Cup after 28 years. The party's started in the dressing room. And it’s an Indian captain, who’s been absolutely magnificent, in the night of the final.’

Any cricket fan worth his salt just read this in Ravi Shastri's most dramatic voice, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni enchanted the math on the night of 2nd April 2011.

The Foundations

Hailing from Jharkhand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s rise through the ranks into international cricket is a tale of rebellion, extraordinary merit, perseverance, and, most of all, belief. After being scouted on the whims of his school P.E. teacher as a wicketkeeper, Dhoni created whispers in the cricketing circles of Ranchi - a teenage boy with no measurable upper-body strength clearing boundaries against some of the best fast bowlers of the district. However, the system failed him as he found it difficult to make the cut against candidates of the more affluent A-tier states. Consequently, in a desperate move, he joined the Railways Ranji team and started to work as a ticket collector at the Kharagpur railway station to make ends meet.

Nevertheless, in a few months, the stars started to align themselves for the precocious wunderkind from Ranchi. Inspired by the KSCA, the BCCI started a country-wide Training Research Development Wing to scout talent from the more financially backward states. Dhoni immediately caught the eyes of the scouts and was sent on an A tour to Kenya, where his talent burst forth for the world to see as he showcased his batting pyrotechnics against world-class bowlers in alien conditions. He immediately shot to national reckoning and was selected for the tour of Bangladesh in November 2004.

By then a broad 22-year-old with long locks, Dhoni’s India career got off to an inauspicious start, as he scored a duck in his first ODI and a string of low scores followed. However, the selectors and the then-captain Sourav Ganguly decided to persist with him and gave him an extended run. Dhoni repaid their faith with an exhibition of his charisma and audacious stroke-play in his fifth ODI against Pakistan, who certainly didn’t see the butchery coming, as he butchered his way to 148 at Vishakhapatnam. Later in 2005, he went one step further bludgeoning his way to a brutal 183* in Jaipur to make a mockery of a 300-run chase against a Sri Lankan attack that looked aghast at his bizarre-but-effective stroke-play and the unparalleled physical power that he imparted on the ball.

As teams all over the world tried to work a way around his fireworks, Dhoni established himself as a reliable batsman in Tests too, with a technique that worked against pace, seam, swing and spin. In his 5th Test, he coincidentally scored another 148 against Pakistan in an uncharacteristically stoic effort to save the match, thereby portraying his versatility as a batsman. After a string of wicketkeeper-batsmen being tried in the side, Dhoni had finally become a mainstay in the side - a powerful pinch-hitter towards the end of the innings capable of more than just cameos, and a more-than-reliable wicketkeeper in the side.

In a state where leather ball cricket was a luxury, Dhoni grew up playing tennis ball cricket tournaments. With heavy Kashmir willow bats, light and hollow tennis balls, and long boundaries, he developed a bottomhand-dominated technique to impart maximum power on the light tennis ball which undergoes energy-damping upon impact. However, Dhoni stood out when he, along with a friend, developed an elevated body-weight shot with an exaggerated follow-through that cleared boundaries with ease. On that count, cricketing folklore will remember MS Dhoni as the man who had the audacity to play the 'helicopter shot' against the leather ball.

Captaincy

With a mature head on his shoulders and an astute and shrewd cricketing mind, Dhoni was recommended by senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid for captaincy after Rahul Dravid stepped down as skipper.

On his first assignment in the inaugural World T20 in 2007, Dhoni and his young troops romped to the title in a shock victory for the inexperienced Indian side, bringing about the T20 revolution in India. Dhoni's calm and composed leadership was widely lauded in the cricketing fraternity after India brought the trophy home, earning him the label of ‘Captain Cool’. He was soon handed the ODI leadership as a natural move after his World T20 triumph, and after the retirement of Anil Kumble in late 2008, the Test leadership was thrust upon him too.

Dhoni had a golden run as captain, with an unbeaten run in Test series since his captaincy debut, leading them to their first stint as the top-ranked Test team in the world. His winning streak included the home series against Australia in 2008, a 1-0 triumph in New Zealand in 2009, and a 2-0 victory against Sri Lanka at home, culminating in a comprehensive win at the Brabourne stadium, Mumbai, where he received the coveted Test Championship mace. India continued to dominate in home Tests after this and drew a series in South Africa, coming very close to their maiden series win in South Africa in the decider in Cape Town, where some stoic resistance by the hosts narrowly saved them from the a defeat at the hands of a rampaging Indian side in top form.

Dhoni continued to garner praise for his success across formats; especially for his clinical success in limited-overs cricket, reaching the pinnacle of his captaincy career during India's path to glory in the 2011 World Cup. Dhoni’s India knocked out Australia, the holders of the World Cup since 1999, in the quarter-final in Ahmedabad. Having gone through a patch of lackluster form throughout the tournament, Dhoni peaked at the right time, exhibiting his usual sangfroid on the way to 91* in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka, and lofted an iconic six over long-on, triggering night-long celebrations all over Mumbai and the rest of India.

Transition Period - A rebuilding phase

After the World Cup, the Indian team saw a difficult transition period. Dhoni's shrewd captaincy came under severe scrutiny during the 8 successive losses in England and Australia. In the aftermath of the overseas failures, which included England toppling them over as the number 1 Test side in the world, a fatigued Indian side faced a 1-2 drubbing against England at home as India's Test team hit rockbottom. The team's abysmal performances in the longer format raised serious questions about Dhoni's leadership and a whisper of his sacking; a somewhat misplaced and impulsive proposition, given the poor overall performance of the entire team, their inept technique against spin (which is their forte), an overflowing timetable, and a plethora of viable explanations.

However, the transition phase in Indian cricket saw the famed batting line-up failing to meet their lofty standards, and a rather raw bowling fast-bowling line-up with negligible experience struggling, as Zaheer Khan suffering from a long-term injury.

There was only so much Dhoni could do...

However, after taking some tough selection calls, Dhoni led the way in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a marathon 224 in Chennai, setting the platform for a clean-sweep of Australia at home, clinically blanking them to regain the trophy. India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series and Dhoni now had the most Test wins for an Indian captain under his belt.

India's poor Test form had unfortunately seeped into the ODI fold as well. However, Dhoni developed an uncanny ability to play a symbolic game of poker during run-chases, and backing himself to finish it off in the last over without blinking. He repeated this feat multiple times: whacking a 112-meter six to clear the Adelaide boundary with 12 to win off 4 in the CB series, chasing down 15 in the last over in the Celkon Cup final to name a few, and a ridiculous 23 off the last over in a run-chase off Axar Patel to win a dead-rubber in IPL 2016; with the equation at 12 to win from 2, he dropped jaws by clouting two sixes to pull off a scarcely believable victory.

He had started to build a reputation of being one of the most reliable batsmen limited-overs cricket, taking India to victory constantly from the jaws of defeat. For instance, his century batting at No.7 against Pakistan at Chennai, a stunning 113 walking into the crease when India were 29 for 5, was a knock that symbolized the leader MS Dhoni who led by example, as well as exhibited sharp tactical nous: a much sought-after combination in a captain.

The Redemption

After rebuilding the ODI side and phasing out the seniors, Dhoni had a fine run as captain in 2013, leading India to their second Champions Trophy triumph as they cruised to the title undefeated, providing a welcome distraction from the IPL spot-fixing controversy. This made him the first captain in history to win all three ICC global trophies, etching his name in the history books with an unprecedented record and an enviable trophy cabinet as a limited-overs captain.

He led the side to the final of the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh, in which India lost to Sri Lanka in the final, and the semi-final of the World T20 in 2016 in India. Dhoni also is the captain of Chennai franchise, one of the most successful teams in the history of Indian Premier League, which won back-to-back titles in the years 2010 and 2011 and also the Champions League T20 in the years 2010 and 2014.

Dhoni's Test captaincy came under severe criticism, especially after India's continuous losses overseas. Despite a Lord’s victory on a green-top in 2014, India went on to lose the three subsequent Tests in England in 2014, where Dhoni made some lone contributions, including a dogged 82 in a total of 148 and a few other fifties. He countered the seam movement and swing by playing late and walking down the pitch, showing greater application than the rest of his line-up with more orthodox techniques. Despite not having the often-talked-about hundred in overseas conditions, Dhoni has made several valuable contributions in the lower-order which have immeasurable value in the context of the game.

The beginning of the end

In the away Border-Gavaskar trophy in 2014, moments after helping India draw the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, Dhoni announced that he was stepping down from Test captaincy and retiring from Test cricket, citing excessive workload as the reason for quitting the longest format. After honing a potent bowling attack and a gritty batting line-up for his heir, and taking several body blows - literal and metaphorical - Dhoni ensured that he copped the criticism to nurture a potent team and left his successor a young, zealous team with the tenacity, fitness, and most importantly, the positive attitude to perform in all conditions.

Dhoni successfully led India to the 2015 World Cup semi-final, where the defending champions conceded cricket’s most desirable trophy to Australia. Here too, Dhoni was the lone-warrior, as he gritted his way through to 65, as his team fell short by 95 runs.

On 4th January, 2017 Dhoni stepped down as the captain of the Indian ODI and T20I team, bringing about the end of an era in Indian cricket. Having led the team with zeal and panache across all formats of the game for more than nine years, Dhoni decided to play with the freedom of a pure batsman in his final lap of international cricket without the enormous burden of captaincy.

In 2018, with the top order of the Indian team in turbo-mode, MS Dhoni had fewer opportunities to bat and went through an alarming dip in form - the likes of which hadn't been seen since the early days of his international career. With a revised technique and a far more top-handed batting style, Dhoni reinforced his game to suit his waning reactions and wrist strength and continued to be a part of the Indian middle order, guiding younger bowlers, almost handholding the spinners in limited-overs cricket and creating dismissals out of thin air with his lightning-quick stumpings, and almost reinventing the art of wicketkeeping to spinners by eliminating the followthrough at the point of connection.

While his chicanery behind the stumps, and the tactical nous to assist the newer leaders may have been priceless for the team, the lack of runs and the declining strike-rate were starting to stand out, leading to his exclusion from T20Is in late 2018. Despite a fantastic IPL 2018, Dhoni has struggled to make his bat do the talking in international cricket of late, as the helicopter stands rusting on the spot it was last seen. After the semifinal heartbreak of the 2019 World Cup, Dhoni did not play an international game for India. On August 15, 2020, just like catches batsmen unaware with his glovework, MS Dhoni surprised the cricketing world by announcing his international retirement through an Instagram post that read, "Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired."

The journey started with a run-out and ended with a run-out.

IPL through the years

MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings is a great yellove story. Ever since the Indian Premier League idea spread vigorously among the cricketing fraternity, people wondered which team would pouch the then Indian captain. The Super Kings, run by an organisation that knew the nuances of running sports, knew they wanted a strong leader to lay a strong base and they made a grand opening by bagging Dhoni for a whopping 6 Crore, the highest bid back then. The IPL would be born on April 18, 2008 and on June 1, Dhoni was there leading CSK in the final, albeit in a losing cause in a final-ball finish.

The result may not have gone his way, but he made a mark with his captaincy and by finishing as the side's second highest run-getter. CSK were stopped one step before the final in 2009, but a year later, Dhoni made a quirky move against Kieron Pollard in the final against Mumbai Indians by placing a straightish mid-off despite having a long-off to get his hands on the coveted trophy after two failed attempts. With three consistent years, Dhoni ensured the team made a big mark and they were considered the invincibles of the IPL. CSK justified the tag by winning the title in 2011 and came runners up in the following two editions.

Dhoni was the third highest run-getter in 2013, a season where he fought a lone battle against Mumbai in the final. His team team suffered a tough loss in Qualifier 2 against a rampant Kings XI Punjab in 2014, another year where Dhoni scored in excess of 350 runs. 2015 was a black mark in CSK's history as the team was hit by the spot-fixing saga, but Dhoni led the side to the final among the ruckus, before the franchise was slapped with a two-year ban.

The ban meant all the CSK players were to spread and Dhoni moved to the newly formed Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. He spent a quite year, but was back doing what he does best, leading his side to the final, but yet again, finished runners-up in a heart-breaking loss to the Mumbai Indians in the final.

2018 was a grand re-entry for Dhoni and CSK. The franchise was given an unimaginably rousing welcome by the fans, who even took a train all the way from Chennai to Pune to support the team as the matches had to be moved out of Chennai. Dhoni was back to where he belonged. He looked fresher, fitter and hungrier. With his brilliant power-hitting through the season, he silenced critics who ever questioning his hitting prowess and made a strong statement that he is still well and truly alive for the 2019 World Cup.

After a heart-breaking 1-run loss in the 2019 IPL final to Mumbai, Dhoni led CSK to their 4th title in 2021. Dhoni stepped down from CSK captaincy but he got it back from Ravindra Jadeja after a disastrous 2022 season which saw them not qualify for the playoffs. Dhoni will be back for the 2023 season and will captain the side.

MS-Dhoni.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1298 2023-04-25 01:06:18

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1262) Wilfred Baddeley

Summary

Wilfred Baddeley (11 January 1872 – 24 January 1929) was a British male tennis player and the elder of the Baddeley twins.

Career

Wilfred, the better-known competitor, made his debut at Wimbledon in 1889 and he went on to win singles title three times in 1891, 1892 and 1895. His 6–4, 1–6, 7–5, 6–0 win over Joshua Pim in 1891 at the age of 19 years and five months made him, until Boris Becker in 1985, the youngest men's singles champion at Wimbledon. He was also runner-up in 1893, 1894 and 1896. With Herbert, he won four doubles championships at Wimbledon in 1891, 1894 – 1896. The twins retired from competitive lawn tennis after the 1897 Wimbledon Championships to pursue their law careers but made a reappearance in the doubles event at Wimbledon in 1904 and 1905. In total he participated in eight Wimbledon singles tournaments and eleven doubles tournaments between 1889 and 1905.

Baddeley was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

Professional life

In February 1895 the brothers qualified in London as solicitors. They joined their uncle and father Thomas and E. P. Baddeley in Leadenhall Street at the family firm, founded by their great grandfather in 1790. The brothers remained partners in the firm until 1919, when they retired leaving their cousin, Cyril Baddeley, to carry on in the family name.

Details

Records are meant to be broken, but some just take longer than others. In 1891, when Wilfred Baddeley was 19 years and 5 months old, he won the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship at Wimbledon, making him the youngest winner in history. That record stood for 94 years until 17-year-old German Boris Becker broke it in 1985.

Baddeley had a dark, brooding, mysterious look and a penetrating stare that was said to intimidate his opponents. It helped him appear in six consecutive Wimbledon Gentlemen Singles finals, winning three. Baddeley captured the 1891 title 6–4, 1–6, 7–5, 6–0 over Ireland’s Joshua Pim. The July 8, 1891 edition of English sports magazine Pastime wrote, “The winner may be compared to a cricketer who has played a faultless innings. It is not too much to say that he always did the right thing. Besides playing with wonderful accuracy, he kept his head well at the most critical times, and showed, in particular, the most unerring judgment in choosing the right side for passing his man. In activity he is second to none, and the manner in which he places the ball when running at full speed recalls the famous strokes of the champion whom he has succeeded.”

Pim gave Baddeley another tough match in 1892, but lost another four-setter, 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 6–2. The 1895 championship was a tough chore, as Baddeley came back from two sets down to defeat compatriot W.V. Eaves, 4–6, 2–6, 8–6, 6–2, 6–3. He played for the championship in 1893 and 1894, when Pim exacted revenge by winning both in hard-fought matches and in 1896 when countryman Harold Mahoney prevailed in five grueling sets, 6–2, 6–8, 5–7, 8–6, 6–3.

Baddeley didn’t save his expertise just for singles. He copped four Wimbledon Gentlemen Doubles Championships in six trips to the finals. Those titles, in 1891, 1894, 1895, and 1896 where all accomplished with his identical twin brother Herbert, making them a formidable pair. They lost in the 1892 and 1897 finals. Despite being only 25-years-old, that 1897 match wound up being Baddeley’s last. He and Herbert both stopped playing tennis and dedicated themselves to their law careers.

Baddeley was described by British historian John Barrett as “a sound rather than a spectacular player.” In the early 1890s, he authored a book on lawn tennis simply called Lawn Tennis. It offered practical advice on how to play the game in what was described as a “reflection of Wilfred’s unpretentious, modest personality.”

wilfred-baddeley.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1299 2023-04-29 00:53:09

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1263) Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling

Summary

Hildegard "Hilde" Krahwinkel Sperling (German pronunciation: [ˈhɪldəɡaʁt kʀaːvɪŋkl̩] née Krahwinkel; 26 March 1908 – 7 March 1981) was a German tennis player who became a dual-citizen after marrying Dane Svend Sperling in December 1933. She won three consecutive singles titles at the French Championships from 1935 to 1937. Krahwinkel Sperling is generally regarded as the second-greatest female German tennis player in history, behind Steffi Graf. Sperling played a counterpunching game, predicated on speed, and wore down opponents. Helen Jacobs once wrote that Sperling was the third-best player she ever played, behind Helen Wills Moody and Suzanne Lenglen.

Career

According to A. Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Sperling was ranked in the world top ten from 1930 through 1939 (no rankings issued from 1940 through 1945), reaching a career high of World No. 2 in those rankings in 1936. But according to Ned Potter of American Lawn Tennis magazine, Sperling was the top ranked player for 1936.

From 1935 through 1937, Sperling won three consecutive singles titles at the French Championships. She is one of only four women in history to do so. The others are Moody (1928–1930), Monica Seles (1990–1992), and Justine Henin (2005–2007).

Sperling's only loss on a clay court from 1935 through 1939 was to Simonne Mathieu at a tournament in Beaulieu, France in 1937. The score was 7–5, 6–1, and the two sets took 2 hours and 45 minutes to play. Two games alone lasted an hour. It was Mathieu's only victory versus Sperling in over 20 career matches.

Sperling twice reached the singles final at Wimbledon but never won the title. In 1931, she lost to her compatriot Cilly Aussem. In 1936, she lost to Jacobs. However, Sperling won the mixed doubles title that year, playing with Gottfried von Cramm.

From 1933 through 1939, Sperling won the singles title at the German Championships six consecutive times (the tournament was not held in 1936 because of the Berlin Olympics). This record stood for five decades until Graf won the tournament nine times (though not more than four consecutively). Sperling also won the singles title at the Italian Championships in 1935 and defeated Moody in a semifinal of the 1938 Queens Club London championships, just before Moody won her eighth Wimbledon singles title. Sperling's last international singles title was at the 1950 Scandinavian Covered Courts Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark when she was 41 years old. Sperling won several championships in Denmark while that country was occupied by Germany during World War II. Sperling never entered the U.S. Championships because of scheduling conflicts with the German Championships.

In recognition of her winning the French Championships three times, being a Wimbledon finalist twice, reaching the semifinals of the French Championships and Wimbledon an additional six times, and being ranked in the top 10 for ten consecutive years, Sperling was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

Details

In her book Gallery of Champions, the legendary Helen Hull Jacobs ranked German-born Hilde Krahwinkel as the third best player she ever faced, right behind only Helen Wills and Suzanne Lenglen. In Jacobs’s esteemed opinion, the superstar was better than a fair crop of fellow Hall of Famers, including Alice Marble and Molla Mallory. Jacobs dedicated an entire 14-page chapter to Krahwinkel, one of the excerpts reading, “Height and limb were two of her greatest assets. Where the average woman player covered the baseline in five strides, Hilde covered it in three. To lob against her required a shot of sufficient height and depth to evade the reach of the average man; and to pass her along the sidelines meant eluding a racquet that appeared to extend across the alley.”

Krahwinkel is one of only four women to capture the French Championships three consecutive years (1935-1937), joining Wills (1928–1930), Monica Seles (1990–1992), and Justine Henin (2005–2007), but her game didn’t always impress even the most casual observers. Upon watching her play in 1938, Allison Danzig wrote, “She is one of the best yet most hopeless looking tennis players I have ever seen. Her game is awkward in the extreme, limited to cramped unorthodox ground strokes without volley or smash to aid her, yet she has been the most consistent winner in women’s tennis each year since 1934. She is another proof of that great tennis truth that it is where and when you hit a tennis ball, not how, that wins matches.”

Krahwinkel was regarded as an attacking counter-puncher who spent ten years ranked in the world’s Top 10 and rose to No. 1 worldwide in 1936.  She got her indoctrination in how to play under pressure, falling in the 1931 Wimbledon Ladies final to German Cilly Aussem, 6-2, 7-5. It spawned three consecutive French National Championships over homegrown favorite Simonne Mathieu in 1935, 1936, and 1937, all coming in straight sets. Krahwinkel’s specialty was clay, and her only loss on the soft surface from 1935 through 1939 interestingly came against Mathieu at a 1937 tournament in Beaulieu, France. It was Mathieu's only victory against Krahwinkel in 20 career matches.

Krahwinkel advanced to the Wimbledon final once more in 1936, downed by Jacobs who needed three sets in registering a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory. Krahwinkel didn’t leave London empty-handed, however. She teamed with Gottfried von Cramm to win the 1933 mixed doubles competition, a 7-5, 8-6 nail biter against the team of Mary Heeley from the United Kingdom and South African Norman Farquharson.

In 1933, she married Dane Svend Sperling and became a Danish citizen.

Krahwinkel won six consecutive singles titles at the German Championships (1933-39), a record for victories that held firm for 50 years until Steffi Graf won nine times from 1986-96. Her last international singles title came at the 1950 Scandinavian Covered Courts Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark when she was 41 years old.

Krahwinkel never played in the Australian or U.S. Championship events, providing speculation on how many more titles she could have won had she played a full major championship schedule in her decade-long career.

“Hilde’s strokes were made in the same manner that the direction of the ball was concealed until it left her racquet,” said Helen Hull Jacobs. “Neither by footwork, body-position nor the position of the racquet was it possible to tell whether the shot would be cross-court or down the line. I think that was one of the most disconcerting features about her game.”

hilde-krahwinkel-sperling.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1300 2023-05-01 22:30:25

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,731

Re: crème de la crème

1264) Jodie Foster

Details

Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (born November 19, 1962) is an American actress and filmmaker. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. For her work as a director, she has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. People magazine named her the most beautiful woman in the world in 1992, and in 2003, she was voted Number 23 in Channel 4's countdown of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time. Entertainment Weekly named her 57th on their list of 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in 1996. In 2016, she was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star located at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard.

Foster began her professional career as a child model at age three and made her acting debut in 1968 in the television sitcom Mayberry R.F.D. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she worked in multiple television series and made her film debut with Disney's Napoleon and Samantha (1972). Following appearances in the musical Tom Sawyer (1973) and Martin Scorsese's comedy-drama Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), her breakthrough came with Scorsese's psychological thriller Taxi Driver (1976), in which she played a child prostitute, and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other roles as a teenager include the comedy musical Bugsy Malone (1976) and the thriller The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), and she became a popular teen idol by starring in Disney's Freaky Friday (1976) and Candleshoe (1977), as well as Carny (1980) and Foxes (1980).

After attending Yale University, Foster struggled to transition into adult roles until she garnered critical acclaim for playing a math survivor in the legal drama The Accused (1988), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won her second Academy Award three years later for the psychological horror film The Silence of the Lambs (1991), in which she portrayed FBI agent Clarice Starling. She made her debut as a film director the same year with Little Man Tate. She founded her own production company, Egg Pictures, in 1992. Its first production was Nell (1994), in which Foster also played the title role, receiving her fourth Academy Award nomination. Her other successful films in the 1990s were the romantic drama Sommersby (1993), western comedy Maverick (1994), science fiction Contact (1997), and period drama Anna and the King (1999).

Foster experienced career setbacks in the early 2000s, including the cancellation of a film project and the closing down of her production company, but she then starred in four commercially successful thrillers: Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005), Inside Man (2006), and The Brave One (2007). In the 2010s, Foster shifted her focus to directing, with films like The Beaver (2011) and Money Monster (2016), and episodes for Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, and Black Mirror.  She also starred in the films Carnage (2011), Elysium (2013), Hotel Artemis (2018), and The Mauritanian (2021), with the latter winning Foster her third Golden Globe Award.

Additional Information

Jodie Foster, original name Alicia Christian Foster, (born November 19, 1962, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), is an American motion-picture actress who began her career as a tomboyish and mature child actress. Although she demonstrated a flair for comedy, she is best known for her dramatic portrayals of misfit characters set against intimidating challenges.

Foster began her professional career as a very young child in television, appearing first in commercials. After repeated performances in such TV shows as Gunsmoke, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and My Three Sons, she starred in her own short-lived series, Paper Moon (1974), based on the 1973 film of the same name. She also appeared in a number of Disney films, beginning with Napoleon and Samantha (1972).

Director Martin Scorsese cast Foster in a bit part in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) before giving her the role of Iris, the 12-year-old prostitute who becomes the object of the title character’s obsession in Taxi Driver (1976); her precocious and complex performance earned her critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress. Her later films as a child actress were less impressive, but her performances were consistently admired. Foster graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1985.

Perhaps because of her screen image of early maturity, Foster was never dismissed as merely a child actress but instead was able to make a relatively smooth transition to adult roles. In The Accused (1988) she gave a remarkable performance as Sarah Tobias, a math victim who struggles with inequities in the justice system. In The Silence of the Lambs (1991) she tracks a serial killer as FBI agent Clarice Starling. Both performances won her Academy Awards as best actress.

In the 1990s Foster branched into other areas of filmmaking. She made her big screen directorial debut with the drama Little Man Tate (1991), in which she also costarred, and she later directed the ensemble film Home for the Holidays (1995). She also served as a producer for several of her films, including Nell (1994), for which she also received an Oscar nomination for best actress. In 1997 Foster starred in Contact, an adaptation of the science-fiction novel by Carl Sagan. Subsequent films in which she acted included the thrillers Panic Room (2002), Inside Man (2006), and The Brave One (2007); the satirical comedy Carnage (2011); and the dystopian drama Elysium (2013). She later starred in Hotel Artemis (2018), playing a nurse who runs a clandestine emergency room for criminals, and in The Mauritanian (2021), which was based on the memoir of a man held at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for 14 years.

In 2011 Foster directed and appeared in The Beaver, a drama about a depressed man (played by Mel Gibson) who finds a remedy of sorts in a hand puppet. She also helmed the Wall Street thriller Money Monster (2016), about a financial pundit (George Clooney) who is taken hostage. Foster directed episodes of a number of television series as well, including Tales from the Darkside, Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards.

Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille Award (a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement) in 2013.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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