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American Idol

A national icon is someone who, by the mere mention of their name, will remind people of their country. Whether they like it or not, they are representatives of their nation to the rest of the world.

Top 10 : Ronald Reagan1

Best known for his role as the 40th President of the United States, Reagan started out as a radio announcer and Hollywood actor, having made over 50 films. He realized politics was his calling2 and in 1947 became President of the Screen Actors Guild3.

He changed his party affiliation4 from Democrat to Republican and was elected Governor of California in 1966. After taking over the White House in 1981, he served in this capacity5 for two terms. During those years, he showed the world what America is all about.

Best quote: "America is too great to dream small dreams."

Top9: Ernest Hemingway6

Hemingway is considered the greatest American fiction writer of the 20th century. He was an ambulance driver during World War I and a war correspondent during World War II. He wrote about his experiences as an American expatriate7 in Paris during the 1920s, hunting in Africa, and fishing off Cuba.
His direct and sparse way of writing became his trademark, which has often been imitated and parodied8. His works have earned him both the Pulitzer9 and the Nobel Prize. He supposedly committed suicide while struggling with a bout10 of depression, but he still remains one of the most prominent literary ambassadors America has ever had.

Best quote: "All things truly wicked start from an innocence."11

Top8: Frank Sinatra12

The single most popular crooner13 of all time, Frank Sinatra had early ambitions of becoming a journalist. By the time he was working as a sports reporter, a second career in singing was taking off. Before long, he was touring with a big band orchestra and embarking on a solo career in 1942.

He was a bona fide14 sensation, selling records faster than they could be printed. Regarded as the greatest entertainer of the 20th century, Sinatra deserves his status as an American icon.

Best quote: "A friend is never an imposition."

Top7: James Dean15

James Dean was a kid from the Midwest. He studied acting and law in California but quit after getting a taste of the real thing on a TV show. He then moved to act on Broadway and got more guest appearances16 on television. His soft, unforced acting impressed both audience and producers.

He made three movies before his 1955 death in a car crash. East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause and Giant were not only critical and financial successes, but they showcased17 a new kind of actor that people had never seen before. Dean became more than an idol; he became a legend.

Best quote: "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

Top6: Michael Jordan

Here's a man who lives the American Dream. Originally from Brooklyn18, Michael Jordan attended the University of North Carolina and proved that he truly was the best basketball player that ever lived by taking his team to the NCAA19 championship. He was soon drafted into the NBA as a guard for the Chicago Bulls. He led his team to six league championships and won the MVP20 award five times.

Also a savvy businessman, Air Jordan's fortune was estimated at $408 million in 2003.

Best quote: "I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."

Top5: Martin Luther King, Jr.

He had a dream. When he heard about a pacifist in India named Mahatma Gandhi21, and became enamored with22 Gandhi's methods of peaceful protest.

Openly supporting Rosa Parks23 and her refusal to relinquish her seat to a white bus passenger made him a target for his opponents and his house was bombed. But that just served to fuel his desire to see segregation terminated. He became a national advocate for civil liberties and inspired a nation to change its ways. His assassination in 1968 only proved that he was on the right track24.

Best quote: "If a man hasn't found something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

Top4: John Wayne25

The "Duke" was forced to leave college after an injury put an end to his football playing days. He had been working odd jobs at Fox Studios when he was finally noticed by executives. After a lead role in a major production failed to make him a star, he began to appear in low-budget films.

The movie that put him on the map was 1939's Stagecoach26, directed by John Ford, with whom Wayne would have a long professional relationship. The Duke became famous for playing tough guys in westerns and war pictures. He is the personification of the American of those days, a private and honest man of action.

Best quote: "I never trust a man that doesn't drink."

Top3: Elvis Presley27

Category :[People][Hot spot figures]
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