Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/1
Stephen Grover Cleveland
(March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States
. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote
for president three times—in 1884
, and 1892
—and was the only Democrat
elected to the presidency in the era of Republican
political domination that lasted from 1860 to 1912.
Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. His battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a reformer he worked indefatigably against political corruption, patronage, and bossism. His second term coincided with the Panic of 1893, a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic party, opening the way for Republican landslides in 1894 and 1896, and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of his Democratic party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.
Cleveland took strong positions and in turn took heavy criticism. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide and angered the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term. Even so, his reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not."
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/2
George Brinton McClellan
(December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885) was a major general
during the American Civil War
. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac
and served briefly (November 1861 to March 1862) as the general-in-chief
of the Union Army
. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union
. Although McClellan was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these characteristics may have hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment. He chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass, frequently leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points.
McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller Army of Northern Virginia and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam blunted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but allowed Lee to eke out a precarious tactical draw and avoid destruction, despite being outnumbered. As a result, McClellan's leadership skills during battles were questioned by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who eventually removed him from command, first as general-in-chief, then from the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln offered this famous evaluation of McClellan: "If he can't fight himself, he excels in making others ready to fight." Indeed, McClellan was the most popular of that army's commanders with its soldiers, who felt that he had their morale and well-being as paramount concerns.
General McClellan also failed to maintain the trust of Lincoln, and proved to be frustratingly derisive of, and insubordinate to, his commander-in-chief. After he was relieved of command, McClellan became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. His party had an anti-war platform, promising to end the war and negotiate with the Confederacy, which McClellan was forced to repudiate, damaging the effectiveness of his campaign. He served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881. He eventually became a writer, defending his actions during the Peninsula Campaign and the Civil War.
Although the majority of modern authorities assess McClellan as a poor battlefield general, a small but vocal faction of historians maintain that he was a highly capable commander, but his reputation suffered unfairly at the hands of pro-Lincoln partisans who needed a scapegoat for the Union's setbacks. His legacy therefore defies easy categorization. After the war, Ulysses S. Grant was asked to evaluate McClellan as a general. He replied, "McClellan is to me one of the mysteries of the war."
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/3
Kirsten Caroline Dunst
(born April 30, 1982) is an American actress, singer and model. She made her film debut in Oedipus Wrecks
, a short film
directed by Woody Allen
for the anthology New York Stories
(1989). At the age of 12, Dunst gained widespread recognition playing the role of vampire Claudia
in Interview with the Vampire
(1994), a performance for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress
. The same year she appeared in Little Women
, to further acclaim.
Dunst achieved international fame as a result of her portrayal of Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07). Since then her films have included the romantic comedy Wimbledon (2004), the romantic science fiction Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Cameron Crowe's tragicomedy Elizabethtown (2005). She played the title role in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006) and starred in the comedy How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008). She won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 for her performance in Lars von Trier's Melancholia.
In 2001, Dunst made her singing debut in the film Get Over It, in which she performed two songs. She also sang the jazz song "After You've Gone" for the end credits of the film The Cat's Meow (2001).
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/4
Morris "Moe" Berg
(March 2, 1902 – May 29, 1972) was an American catcher
in Major League Baseball
who later served as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services
during World War II
. Although he played 15 seasons in the major leagues, almost entirely for four American League
teams, Berg was never more than an average player, usually used as a backup catcher, and was better known for being "the brainiest guy in baseball" than for anything he accomplished in the game. Casey Stengel
once described Berg as "the strangest man ever to play baseball".
A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg spoke several languages and regularly read 10 newspapers a day. His reputation was fueled by his successful appearances as a contestant on the radio quiz show Information, Please! in which he answered questions about the derivation of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences.
As a spy working for the government of the United States, Berg traveled to Yugoslavia to gather intelligence on resistance groups the U.S. government was considering supporting. He was then sent on a mission to Italy, where he interviewed various physicists concerning the German nuclear program. After the war, Berg was occasionally employed by the OSS's successor, the Central Intelligence Agency, but, by the mid-1950s, was unemployed. He spent the last two decades of his life without work, living with various siblings.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/5
Jon Stevens Corzine
(born January 1, 1947) is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and a one time American politician
, who served as the 54th Governor of New Jersey
from 2006 to 2010. A Democrat
, Corzine served five years of a six-year U.S. Senate term representing New Jersey before being elected Governor in 2005. He was defeated for re-election in 2009
by Republican Chris Christie
. In March 2010, Corzine was named chairman and CEO of MF Global Inc.
, a financial services firm specializing in futures brokerage.
Corzine began his career in banking and finance. In the early and mid 1970s, he worked for Midwestern banks (Continental-Illinois National Bank in Chicago, Illinois and BancOhio National Bank in Columbus, Ohio) during and after his master of business administration (MBA) studies at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 1975 he moved to New Jersey to work for Goldman Sachs. He became Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and the leading advocate in the firm's decision to go public. In 1999, having lost a power struggle with Henry M. Paulson, Corzine left the firm. After his departure from Goldman Sachs, he earned what has been estimated to be $500 million during the 1999 initial public offering of the company.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/6
; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen)
; March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a German
-born theoretical physicist
who developed the theory of general relativity
, effecting a revolution in physics
. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics
, and one of the most prolific intellects
in human history. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics
"for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect
". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory
Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.
He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, together with Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein taught physics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/7
William Warren "Bill" Bradley
(born July 28, 1943) is an American hall of fame basketball
player, Rhodes scholar
, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator
from New Jersey
. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President
in the 2000 election
Bradley was born and raised in a suburb of St. Louis and excelled at basketball from an early age. He was a member of the Boy Scouts and did well academically, was an all-county and all-state basketball player in high school, and was offered 75 college scholarships. At Princeton University he earned a gold medal as a member of the 1964 Olympic basketball team and was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1965. After graduating in 1965, he attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, delaying a decision for two years on whether or not to play in the NBA.
While at Oxford, Bradley played one season of professional basketball in Europe, and eventually decided to join the New York Knicks in the 1967–68 season, after serving six months in the Air Force Reserve. He spent his entire ten-year professional basketball career playing for the Knicks, winning two championship titles. Retiring in 1977, he ran for a seat in the United States Senate the following year, from his adopted home state of New Jersey. He was re-elected in 1984 and 1990, left the Senate in 1997, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2000 Democratic presidential nomination.
Bradley is the author of six non-fiction books, most recently The New American Story, and hosts a weekly radio show, American Voices, on Sirius Satellite Radio. He is a corporate director of Starbucks and a partner at investment bank Allen & Company in New York City.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/8
Walter Bruce Willis
(born March 19, 1955), better known as Bruce Willis
, is an American actor, producer, and musician. His career began in television in the 1980s and has continued both in television and film since, including comedic, dramatic, and action roles. He is well known for the role of John McClane
in the Die Hard series
, which were mostly critical and uniformly financial successes. He has also appeared in over sixty films, including box office successes like Pulp Fiction
, Sin City
, 12 Monkeys
, The Fifth Element
, and The Sixth Sense
Motion pictures featuring Willis have grossed US$2.64 billion to 3.05 billion at North American box offices, making him the ninth highest-grossing actor in a leading role and twelfth highest including supporting roles. He is a two-time Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe Award-winning and four-time Saturn Award-nominated actor. Willis was married to actress Demi Moore and they had three daughters before their divorce in 2000, following thirteen years of marriage.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/9
Albert Alexander "Ox" Wistert
(born December 28, 1920) is a former All-Pro American football offensive tackle
in the National Football League
(NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles
. He played his entire nine-year NFL career for the Eagles and became their team captain
. He was named to play in the NFL's first Pro Bowl
as an Eagle. During most of Wistert's career there were no football All-star games although he was named to the league All-Pro team eight times.
He played college football for the University of Michigan Wolverines. He is one of the three Wistert brothers (Alvin, Francis) who were named All-American Tackles at Michigan and later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was the first Michigan Alum to be selected to the National Football League Pro Bowl. He and his brothers are three of the seven players who have had their numbers retired by the Michigan Wolverines football program.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/10
Robert "Bob" Richard Ward
(1927–2005) was an American football
coach and player. He played college football
for the Terrapins
at the University of Maryland
. He is considered, alongside Randy White
, as one of the greatest linemen to have ever played for Maryland. Ward is the only player to have been named an Associated Press
for both an offensive and defensive position.
In 1950, Ward was named a first-team All-American, and the following year, he received consensus first-team honors. He served as the Maryland head football coach from 1967 to 1968, but without success. He coached football for a total of 22 years, including assistant coaching positions at Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Army, and in the Canadian Football League. Ward was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1980.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/11
Daniel M. Borislow (born September 21, 1961) is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and thoroughbred horse breeder. Originating in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, Borislow attended Widener University and worked in cable construction and landscaping before going into the telephone business. He founded Tel-Save, Inc. to resell access to AT&T long-distance lines in 1989. Borislow took the company public in 1995, and two years later brokered a $100 million deal with AOL that made it the exclusive telephone service of its users. At its peak in early 1998, Tel-Save had sales of $300 million and was valued by Wall Street investors at $2 billion. However, due to the financial strain of paying off the AOL deal, Tel-Save lost $221 million in 1999, and Borislow sold his stock and retired.
In his brief retirement, he focused on his horse racing career, sending Talk is Money to the 2001 Kentucky Derby although the thoroughbred did not complete the race. Borislow's most successful horse yet has been Toccet, who won four graded stakes, among which are the Champagne and Hollywood Futurity in 2002. After selling most of his horses in 2004, Borislow set forth plans for a new voice-over-IP business which became the magicJack. Invented in 2007, the magicJack is a small product which can be plugged into a computer's USB port and allows for unlimited calling from regular telephones. In 2010, YMAX, the company behind the magicJack, merged with an Israeli company and became a publicly traded corporation. Borislow also purchased a controlling share of the Washington Freedom women's professional soccer team. Borislow and his family live in Palm Beach County, Florida, where, through D&K Charitable Foundation, Borislow issues grants to charitable causes.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/12
George Thomas Coker
(born July 14, 1943) is a retired US Navy commander
, honored with the Navy Cross
for his leadership as a prisoner of war
(POW) during the Vietnam War
, and a Distinguished Eagle Scout
noted for his devotion to Scouting
In 1966, the A-6 Intruder on which Coker was serving as bombardier–navigator was shot down over North Vietnam. He was held as a prisoner of war in the "Hanoi Hilton" and other camps for 6.5 years (1966–1973). After his release, he continued to serve in the Navy until his retirement in 1986. He also returned to active participation in Scouting.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/13
Jill Tracy Biden
, previously Stevenson
) (born June 5, 1951) is an American educator
and, as the wife of Vice President Joe Biden
, is the Second Lady of the United States
She was born in Hammonton, New Jersey and grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. She married Joe Biden in 1977 and became stepmother to his two young sons from his first marriage, Beau and Hunter, whose mother and baby sister died in a car accident. Joe and Jill Biden have a daughter, Ashley, born in 1981.
Jill Biden has a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware, master's degrees from West Chester University and Villanova University and a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware. She taught English and reading in high schools for 13 years, and also taught adolescents with emotional disabilities at a psychiatric hospital. From 1993 to 2008, she was an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College. Since 2009, she has been an adjunct professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College and is thought to be the first Second Lady to hold a paying job while her husband is Vice President.
She is the founder of the Biden Breast Health Initiative non-profit organization, co-founded the Book Buddies program, and is active in Delaware Boots on the Ground. She participated in her husband's presidential and vice presidential campaigns while continuing her teaching responsibilities.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/14
Joseph Emley Borden
, aka Joe Josephs
, (May 9, 1854 – October 14, 1929), nicknamed "Josephus the Phenomenal", was a starting pitcher
in professional baseball for two seasons. Born in Jacobstown, New Jersey
, he was playing for a Philadelphia amateur team when he was discovered by the Philadelphia White Stockings
of the National Association
(NA) in 1875
. The White Stockings needed a replacement for a recently released pitcher, and were awaiting the arrival of a replacement. During his short, seven-game stint with the team, he posted a 2–4 win–loss record
, both victories recorded as shutouts
. On July 28 of that season, he threw the first no-hitter
in professional baseball history.
When the NA folded after the 1875 season, Borden signed a three-year contract with the Boston Red Caps. On April 22, 1876, Borden and the Red Caps were victorious in the first National League (NL) game ever played. Later that season, on May 23, he pitched a shutout, which some historians claim was the first no-hitter in Major League Baseball. Known for having an eccentric personality, he played under different surnames, such as Josephs and Nedrob, so as to disguise his involvement in baseball; his prominent family would have disapproved had they known. After he was released from the Red Caps as a player during the first season of his contract, he worked for a short period of time as their groundskeeper until he and the owner agreed to a buyout of the remainder of his contract. Little is known about his post-baseball life, and it has been claimed that he died as early as 1889, in the Johnstown Flood, but his official death date is recognized as occurring in 1929 when he was 75 years of age.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/15
John Washington Rogers, Jr. (born March 31, 1958) is an investment manager who founded Ariel Capital Management (now Ariel Investments, LLC), which is the United States' largest minority-run mutual fund firm, in 1983. He is chairman and CEO of the company. He served as the Board President of the Chicago Park District for six years in the 1990s. He was captain of the 1979–80 Ivy League co-champion Princeton Tigers men's basketball team.
Rogers has performed other service as board member to several prominent companies, as a leader of several organizations affiliated with his collegiate alma mater, and as a leader in youth education in his native Chicago. He has been honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University for the breadth and depth of his service to many organizations. He was active in the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign and was a leader of the 2009 Inauguration committee. Rogers has been a regular contributor to Forbes magazine for most of the 2000s.
Portal:New Jersey/Selected biography/16
Colonel Walter Rudolph Walsh
(born May 4, 1907) is a former FBI
shooting instructor and Olympic
shooter. Walsh joined the FBI in 1934, serving during the Public enemy
era, and was involved in several high-profile FBI cases, including the capture of Arthur Barker
and the killing of Al Brady
. He served in the Pacific theatre during World War II
with the Marine Corps and, after a brief return to the FBI, served as a shooting instructor with the Marine Corps until his retirement in the 1970s.
A high profile shooter, Walsh won numerous tournaments within the FBI and the Marine Corps, as well as nationally, and participated in the 1948 Summer Olympics. He received awards for his marksmanship until the age of 90 and served as the coach of the Olympic shooting team until 2000. At the FBI's 100th anniversary celebration he was recognized as the oldest living former agent and noted as being a year older than the organization itself. Aside from some hearing and memory loss, he remained physically fit at his 102nd birthday.
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