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Al Gore Biography

Posted On September 29th, 2013 By Celebrity Biographies

Al Gore Biography

Al Gore

Al Gore is a former vice president of USA, who has served in The House as well as The Senate. He is the chairman of “Current TV”, an independently run, an award winning cable and satellite television network for young adults. It is a non-fiction network, solely based on citizen journalism and viewer-created content. He also leads a firm called the “Generation Investment Management”, focusing on a new method to sustainable investment.

Gore is a senior advisor to Google and is a member of the directory board of Apple. He chairs a non-profit organization, which works towards solutions for climate crisis, called “The Alliance For Climate Protection” and is a visiting professor at the MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University).

Gore was elected to the US Senate in 1984 and 1990 whereas he was elected for the House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982. On January 20, 1993, he was pledged as the 45th vice president of United States and served a term of 8 years. During his tenure, Gore was also a core member of Bill Clinton’s economic department. He served as a Cabinet member, member of the National Security Council, President of the Senate and headed a series of Administrative campaigns.

He became the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary and is an author of the bestsellers “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Earth In The Balance”. Along with the Intergovernmental Panel, Al Gore is a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was appreciated for informing the world about the upcoming dangers of the climate change.

Early Life

Al Gore was born on March 31, 1948 as Albert Arnold Gore Jr. He was born in Washington DC to Pauline LaFon Gore and Albert Gore. His father Albert Gore served as a Democrat in the House from Tennessee and was also a part of the US Senate from 1953 to 1971. He was considered to be a possible nominee for the vice presidential elections from 1956 to 1960. On the other hand, his mother was the first female graduate from the Vanderbilt School Of Law.

Gore spent his childhood between hotel rooms in Washington and went to his family farm in summer, located in Carthage, Tennessee. He went to the Harvard and shared his room with future superstar Tommy Lee Jones. In June 1969, he earned his degree in government with high honors. His final thesis in college was one of the best works in his batch and discussed the impact of television on presidency conduct. Gore was an active participant in sports and also became the captain of his school football team. He showed great interest in painting and other forms of art.

Military Service

Al Gore was completely against the Vietnam War, however he mentioned that his sense of civic duty forced him to join the US Army in 1969. Gore was assigned to write for the base newspaper The Army Flier, as a military journalist, after some basic military training.

In November 1970, his father lost the re-election into the Senate, mostly due to his liberal opinions on issues involving Civil Rights and the Vietnam War. Gore was shipped to Vietnam, with 7 months left in his enlistment in January 1971. He served as a Army Engineer Command and as an Engineer Brigade in Long Binh and Bien Hoa respectively.

Politics

After returning to United States in 1971, Gore worked as a reporter for The Tennessean. He was later promoted to the city politics team where he uncovered bribery and political cases, which led to convictions. While working at the Tennessean, Gore also studied phenomenology and philosophy at the Vanderbilt University. He enrolled into the Vanderbilt School of Law in 1974.

In order to run for the US House from Tennessee, he quit the law school in March 1976. After being elected four times, he also became the first individual to feature on C-SPAN. Once Howard Baker, the Republican Majority Leader, vacated a seat in the US Senate, Gore successfully ran for it. In 1991, Gore pushed the Computer and Communication Act, which later led to the expansion of the Internet.

Vice Presidency

Al Gore made a bid, in 1988, for the Democratic presidency nomination. In spite of winning five southern states on a Super Tuesday, he still lost to Michael Dukakis. Gore stayed in the Senate until Bill Clinton, the presidential candidate in 1992, chose him as a running mate. They made it to the office that year and were re-elected in the year 1996.

During his time, he worked to cut down on government bureaucracy, however his reputation suffered when there was an investigation by the Justice Department, questioning his fund-raising campaigns.

Gore Vs Bush

Facing a primitive challenge by Bill Bradley, a former Senator, Gore won the presidential nomination in 2000. Gore picked Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut as his running mate, who was apparently the first Jew to ever receive a ticket for the National Party. Gore received the popular vote but accepted defeat against Republican George Bush. This was one of the most dramatic presidential elections in the United States, involving five weeks of complicated legal argument about the presidential voting and election procedures.

Personal Life

Al Gore was married to Tipper, and has four children. However the couple called it an end in 2010, after forty years of marriage. Currently, Gore is dating Democratic Party supporter and fellow environmentalist Mary Elizabeth Keadle. He now spends his time between his homes in San Francisco, Nashville and Tennessee.


Abraham Lincoln Biography

Posted On August 9th, 2011 By Celebrity Biographies

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of United States and also headed the country during the Civil War. He shall always be remembered for his efforts to abolish slavery and for his ability to rule a divided nation. The Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation and two other inaugural addresses made by Lincoln are considered to be the best speeches to be delivered by any American Leader.

Early Life

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12th February, 1809 to Nancy and Thomas Lincoln. The family lived in Hardin County, Kentucky in a small log cabin of a farm. After two years, they moved into a farm of Knob Creek. Lincoln went to a school which was located two miles away from this farm and this is where he learnt the basics of writing, reading and mathematics.

In 1818, Abraham Lincoln lost his mother to a terrible disease called the “milk sickness”. The family started falling apart after the death of Nancy Lincoln and hence Abraham as well as his sister had to share much of the workload. His father later got married to Sarah Bush Johnson, who moved into the family with her three children. The family moved on to several places for better opportunities, however once Abraham grew up, he moved to New Salem and was later in charge of a store and a mill.

Public Life

While working at the mill, he soon grew popular amongst the masses and people came to him to enjoy his stories. Abraham soon became popular for his  little speeches and he was welcomed by the New Salem Debating Society. During the Black Hawk War, between hostile Native Americans and United States, Lincoln was elected as the captain of the region by the volunteers.

Lincoln announced himself as the candidate for the Illinois Legislature, soon after the war. Although he lost the election, he received about 277 votes out of 300, in the precinct of New Salem. He made another attempt in 1834 and was then elected at the Legislature. Most politicians during that time were impressed by the campaign skills used by Lincoln. He served four years in the Legislature and then became the party leader. After reading several law books, he started practicing law by September 1836. He was married to Mary Todd on 2nd November, 1842.

The 16th President

The Republican National Convention, in 1960, chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate to fight presidency elections. With a recent formation of the Democratic party and the Constitutional Union Party, it was certain that Lincoln was to participate in the election. After Lincoln was elected, several parts of the country reacted harshly on the president’s stand on slavery. His tenure as a President was faced with early failures and he had to withstand the occurrence of the Civil War. Lincoln was elected again in 1864 and after the Confederate Army ended the Civil War, John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln while he was addressing the crowd in Ford Theatre in Washington. Abraham Lincoln died on 15th April, 1965, the day after he was shot. Although the reasons behind his assassination are still unknown, he has managed to build a prominent place for himself in American history.


Nelson Mandela Biography

Posted On July 10th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is one of the most popular names in the world. He served as the South African president from 1994 to 1999. Before his act as a president, he led the armed wing of ANC (African National Congress) called the Umkhonto We Sizwe. Being arrested in 1962, he spent 27 years in prison (most of them on Robben Island), serving charges of sabotage. After his release on February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela involved himself into negotiations, finally leading to multi-racial democracy in the year 1994. He is also referred to as ‘Madiba’ in South Africa, which is an honorary title given to him by the other elderly members of his claim. During the span of four decades, he received more than 250 awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Early Life

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18th July, 1918. He was born in a small village called Mvezo, located in the province of Umtata. Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, Mandela’s father was the chief of this town and as soon as he protested against the colonial authorities, the chief was deprived of his rights and the family was forced to migrate to Qunu.

Nelson Mandela’s father had four wives with a total of thirteen children, nine girls and four boys. Nelson was a child of his father’s third wife called Nosekeni Fanny. His middle name ‘Rolihlahla’ meant ‘pulling a branch of a tree’, but in this context it meant ‘troublemaker’. Mandela became the first and the only member of the family to attend school and his teacher ‘Miss Mdingane’ gave him his English name ‘Nelson’. At the age of 9, Mandela lost his father due to tuberculosis. Thereafter, regent Jongintaba took care of him as a guardian.

Nelson attended the Wesleyan Mission School, which was located next to the regent’s palace. According to the Thembu custom, he attended the Clarkebury Boarding School at the age of 16. Instead of the usual three years, Mandela completed his Junior Certificate in two years. At the age of 19, he was highly interested in running and boxing at school. He later enrolled himself at the Fort Hare University for a Bachelor of Arts program. During this course, he met his lifelong friend Oliver Tambo. By the end of first year in college, he was actively involved with the Student’s Representative Council. After consistent boycott against the university policies, he was asked to leave the university and he could return only if he agreed to accept the conditions of the university. During his term at the prison, he took an external program in Bachelor of Laws from the University of London.

On his return from the Fort Hare University, the regent arranged his marriage and in protest to the arrangement, he relocated to Johannesburg. As soon as he reached Johannesburg, he was employed as a guard at the local mine. He then worked at the Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman law firm in Johannesburg.

Political Career

Nelson Mandela actively involved himself into politics after the Afrikaner-dominated party won the elections in 1948. He fought for the anti-apartheid causes and led the Defiance campaign of ANC in 1952 as well as the Congress of People in 1955. During these years, Nelson Mandela along with his lawyer Oliver Tambo started a law firm that provided free counsel to loads of blacks who lacked lawyer representation. Nelson Mandela was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s approach towards truth and non-violence. He also attended the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at a conference in New Delhi in the year 2007.

Mandela became the leader of the ANC wing in the year 1961. He became the coordinator for the sabotage campaigns against government and military targets. He also made plans for a guerrilla war in case if the sabotage failed. ANC members as well as Mandela were barred an entry from United States until July 2008. They required a special waiver from the Secretary of State in US since they were designated as terrorists due to their apartheid regime.

On June 12, 1964, Mandela was sentenced to imprisonment for life. He was imprisoned at the Robben Island, where he spent 18 years out of his total 27 years in prison. While in prison, he gained a lot of reputation as an important leader in South Africa. The prisoners were separated by race and the blacks received the fewest privileges. He was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in March 1982. President Botha offered freedom to Nelson Mandela in February 1985 on the condition that he and his party members must give up armed struggle.

Marriage and Family

Nelson Mandela has been married three times and he has fathered a total of six children. He has 20 grand-children and an increasing number of great grand kids. All of his children were educated in the United World College. He was first married to Evelyn Ntoko Mase and their marriage lasted for 13 years, before they decided to break up in 1957. His second marriage was to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who happened to the first black worker in Johannesburg. The marriage ended due to separation in 1992. Thereafter, he remarried to Graça Machel née Simbine on his 80th birthday. Mandela still stays at Qunu with his royal nephew.

Nelson Mandela was elected as the oldest president of South Africa and he resumed work at the age of 75 in the year 1994. He refused to stand for the second term and took retirement in 1999. He was then succeeded by Thabo Mbeki.


Dalai Lama Biography

Posted On March 15th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day – Dalai Lama”

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

His holiness Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, happens to be the 14th head of the state as well as the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born to a family of farmers on July 6th, 1935, in a small village situated in north-eastern part of Tibet: Taktset, Amdo. He was named Lhamo Dhondup and by the age of two, he was believed to be the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso, Dalai Lama the 13th. The Dalai Lamas are the patron saints of Tibet, known to be the manifestations of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara.

Education

His holiness Dalai Lama initiated his ascetic education when he was six years old. His course structure included five minor and five major subjects. The major subjects included Tibetan art & culture, logic, medicine, Sanskrit and Buddhist ideology. The Buddhist philosophy was later divided into five different categories such as Prajnaparimita, Madhyamika, Vinaya, Abidharma and Pramana. He chose the five minor categories as astrology, music and drama, poetry, synonyms and phrasing. He appeared for his concluding examination at the age of 23 during the annual prayer festival of 1959 in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. He passed the examination with honours and was also awarded the highest level degree (Geshe Lharampa). Such a degree is equivalent to the doctorate of Buddhist ideology.

Leadership Responsibilities

His holiness, Dalai Lama was invited to grant complete political power in the year 1950, after China invaded Tibet in 1949. He later went to Beijing in 1954 and conducted peace talks with Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong, Chou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. However, in the year 1959, with the brutal revolt against the Tibet national uprising by the Chinese troops in Lhasa, Dalai Lama was required to exile. He then escaped to Dharamsala in Northern India, which is also the place for Tibetan administration in exile. Ever since the invasion of China, Dalai Lama has requested to the UN (United Nations) committee about the condition of Tibet.

Democratization Process

In the year 1963, Dalai Lama was given a draft of the democratic constitution of Tibet, which led to a number of reforms so as to democratise the administrative set-up. He issued some important guidelines in 1992, for the future constitution of free Tibet. He proclaimed that when Tibet would become free, it would require an interim government who would then elect the constitutional assembly to strategise the democratic constitution of Tibet. His holiness would then transfer all of his chronological and political authorities to the provisional President and continue to live his life as an ordinary man. According to him, he wanted all the three provinces of Tibet (Amdo, U-Tsang and Kham) to be democratic. The reforms formed by Dalai Lama, saw its realisation in May 1990. Another major step in democratisation was taken in September 2001, when the Tibetan electorate directly appointed the most senior minister of the cabinet, Kalon Tripa. He was the first minister to elect his own cabinet that had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. This was the first time in the history of Tibet that the masses appointed the leaders.

Peace Initiatives

His Holiness planned the “Five Point Peace Prize” in September 1987, which was considered to be the first step towards improving the worsening conditions in Tibet. He often spoke of his vision of Tibet, which involved the country to become a sanctuary. Dalai Lama worked towards making the country, a region of peace where all beings can survive in harmony and preserve the environment. So far, China has failed to respond to several peace proposals brought into existence by His Holiness. The “Five Year Peace Plan” comprised of the basic components such as bringing about peace in the country, abandoning the population transfer policy of China, respecting the fundamental and democratic rights of the Tibetans, protecting the natural environment of the country and abandoning the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste from China.

The Strasbourg Proposal

During his address to the European Parliament members on June 15, 1988 in Strasbourg, he elaborated on the peace plan. He proposed peace talks between Tibet and China, leading to democratic government entity for all the provinces of Tibet. Such an entity would be in association with the Chinese Government and would continue to be responsible for the foreign policy and defense of China.

Global Recognition

Dalai Lama is known to be the man of peace. In the year 1989, he was given the Nobel Prize for Peace to recognise his non-violent effort for the liberty and freedom of Tibet. He consistently propagated policies of truth and non-violence, while facing extreme aggression. He was one of the first Nobel Laureates identified for this concern over environmental problems all across the globe.

Dalai Lama has traveled across 62 countries, stretched across 6 continents. He has had meetings with rulers, prime ministers and presidents of prominent nations. He has also held conferences with different spiritual leaders and renowned scientists. Ever since 1959, he was won more than 84 awards, prizes and honorary doctorates for his efforts on peace, inter-religious tolerances, compassion as well as universal responsibility. He has authored 72 books so far and yet he addresses himself as a mere Buddhist monk.


Barack Obama Biography

Posted On November 30th, 2009 By Celebrity Biographies

Barack Hussein Obama

Barack Hussein Obama

Barack Obama was born as ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ on August 4, 1961. He is currently serving as the 44th president of United States. He is the first president to be born in Hawaii, including being the first from the African-American origin. His father Barack Obama, Sr. belonged to the Luo ethnicity of Kenya and his mother, Stanley Ann Durham belonged to Wichita, Kansas. Barack was commonly called ‘Barry’ throughout his childhood and ‘Hussein’ is the middle name since his father adopted Islam, but they were originally Christians.

Early Life

His parents met each other during college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father studied as a foreign student. His parents separated when Barack Obama was two years old and later divorced in 1964. His mother then brought him to stay with her at her parent’s house in Manoa district. In the meantime, his father graduated with a ‘Masters in Economics’ degree from the Harvard University and went back to Kenya. Barack has five half brothers and two half-sisters from his father’s other marriage. His father later became the ‘finance minister’ of Kenya and died in the year 1982 out of a car accident. Obama met his father only once before his death in 1971. On the other hand, Obama’s mother got married to another Indonesian student from the Hawaii University called Lolo Soetoro. His mother then took him to Jakarta, Indonesia along with his step-father in the year 1967.

Education

During his stay in Indonesia he attended all local Indonesian schools and soon after, he moved with his grandparents in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama has admitted that he had a struggling childhood trying to find out answers about his multi racial and multicultural heritage. He used to find it complex to recognize such enormous differences between the skin colours of his father and his mother. He has also admitted of using marijuana, cocaine and alcohol during his teenage years.

Barack moved to Los Angeles after high school and studied for two years at the Occidental College. He then moved on to the Columbia College in New York where he majored in Political Science in 1983 along with a speciality in International relations. After spending four years in New York, Obama moved to Chicago and started working at the Business International Corporation with the NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group). He also worked as a Community organizer for a church based community organization called the ‘Developing Communities Project’. He worked as a director of this organisation for four years from 1985 to 1988. This is exactly where he got his organisational skills from and later travelled to Europe and Kenya for the first time.

The Law

He entered Harvard Law School in late 1988 because he felt that law was a medium that could facilitate community organization and activism. In 1990, which is his second year at college, he was chosen to be the editor of the Law Review. He worked as a training associate at ‘Sidley and Austin’ law firm while still in law school in 1989. This is where he met his wife Michelle Robinson, who was also a lawyer in that firm. He later worked at ‘Hopkins and Sutter’ in the year 1990 and then graduated from Harvard in 1991. He moved back to Illinois, Chicago and worked a civil rights lawyer. He was offered to write a book on racial relations by the University of Chicago and was also offered a fellowship from the university. Obama got married in the year 1992 and his mother Ann died of ovarian and uterine cancer in 1994. The book was published in the year 1995 with a name ‘Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance’ and ended up winning the Grammy for the audio version of this book. He occasionally taught Constitutional Law at the university and was a lecturer from 1992 to 1996; however he was a senior lecturer at the university until 2004. He was also on the board of directors for several organisations such as ‘Chicago Lawyer’s Committee’, ‘Chicago Annenberg Challenge’, ‘Woods Fund of Chicago’, ‘Lugenia Burns Hope Centre’ and ‘The Centre of Neighbourhood Technology’.

Personal Life

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama had their first daughter in 1998 named ‘Malia Ann’ and second daughter ‘Sasha’ in 2001. He published his second book called the ‘Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream’ in October 2006 and also won the Grammy for the audio version of this book. He is a talented writer and a dedicated basketball player. He is a major supporter of Chicago Bears and Chicago White Sox. Although he was raised in Islamic faith, Obama is an atheist by choice and his current family follows Christianity.

The Journey

He had organized largest voter registration drives in the 1992 election under the ‘Project Vote’. His work in this project led him to run for the Illinois State Senate and he was finally elected in November, 1996. With the U.S. senator Paul Simon, Obama passed the toughest campaign finance law in 1998. From the year 1997 to 2004, he went on to serve three terms in the Illinois State Senate. He lost to Bobby Rush in the year 2000, which was a primary run for U.S. House of Representatives. , he passed legislation to expand healthcare in the year 2003 to cover 70,000 children and extended health insurance to uninsured parents. Barack Obama created Illinois Earned Income tax credit that offered tax relief and also worked on several other legislation.

He came into national limelight on July 2004, with a motivational speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he openly condemned the administration policies of Bush on the Iraq War. His vocational skills are often compared to that of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther. He started thinking about running for U.S. Senate by middle of 2002 and later announced his candidacy in the year 2003. He won the election on 2nd November, 2004 and finally made it to the US Senate. He became the fifth African American senator in the history of United States and resigned from the Illinois State Senate. Obama held minority appointments till 2006 and took major assignments in 2007. He personally visited Iraq to witness the war and introduced a legislation to end the war in 2007. He sponsored a total of 136 bills in the Senate, out of which two of them have been officially announced as laws in the US Government.

Barack Obama declared his candidacy for the ‘Democratic Presidential’ nomination in February 2007 and out of all the candidates that had filed their nominations, the only two left were Barack Obama and Senator Hilary Clinton. Obama became the presumptive nominee on the 3rd of June 2008. Obama accepted the nomination in August 2008 against the republican nominee, John McCain. Thousands of supporters witnessed the historic win on November 4th, 2008.


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