Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kaity Tong

Country of origin: China

Kaity Tong is a Chinese-born American broadcast journalist who has been a television news anchor in New York City since 1981.


Tong joins Gloria Steinem and the late Beverly Sills in receiving the “Exceptional Achievement Award” from The Women’s Project and was the first woman honored by Rotary International with its “Paul Harris Fellowship”. She was also honored with a “Star” award by the New York Women’s Agenda .

Tong was recognized by the Chinese America Arts Council for her excellence in communication. She has received a “Distinguished Woman” award from the Chinese American Planning Council and a Champion of Excellence Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans. A naturalized citizen, Tong is especially proud to have received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her work.

She is actively involved with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the League for the Hard of Hearing, CACF [Coalition for Asian American Children], and Asian American Journalists Association.

To read more about Kaity Tong, read her page on Wikipedia.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Michael Lopez-Alegria

Country of origin: Spain

Michael Eladio "LA" López-Alegría (also known as Miguel López-Alegría) b. May 30, 1958, is a Spanish-American astronaut; a veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and one International Space Station mission. He is known for having performed ten EVAs so far in his career, presently holding the #2 all-time EVA duration record and having the longest spaceflight of any American at the length 215 days, this time was spent on board the ISS from September 18, 2006 to April 21, 2007.

To find out more about Michael Lopez-Alegria, see his page on Wikipedia, or take a look at his biography at NASA.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anousheh Ansari

Country of origin: Iran

Anousheh Ansari (Persian: انوشه انصاری; née Raissyan; born September 12, 1966 in Mashhad, Iran) is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, she became the first Iranian in space. Ansari was the fourth overall self-funded space tourist*, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station. Her memoir, My Dream of Stars, co-written with Homer Hickam, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.

* Ansari has expressed that she does not consider herself a "space tourist", and prefers the title of "spaceflight participant".

To read more about Anousheh Ansari, visit her page on Wikipedia or her official website.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paloma Herrera

Country of origin: Argentina

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she began her training at the age of seven with Olga Ferri and graduated with the highest qualification at the Insti­tute of Arts at the Colon Theater. At age 14, Paloma was awarded Finalist Diploma at the XIV Varna International Ballet Competition, Bulgaria, in l990. In January 1991, having just turn 15, she moved to New York and continued her stu­dies at the School of American Ballet, where she was given the lead role in Balanchine´s Raymonda Variation for its annual workshop. After only six months, she joined the American Ballet Theater. She was promoted to Soloist two years later. In l995, age 19, she became the youngest Principal Dancer in American Ballet Theater history.


On December 11, 2001 she received the New York Immigrant Achievement Award as “outstanding immigrant whose contributions to America have greatly enriched our Nation”.

To find out more about this amazing dancer, visit her official website.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prerna Lal

Country of origin: Fiji

While technically she is from Fiji, Prerna Lal grew up in the United States.

Prerna's parents are permanent residents. Prerna is the grand-daughter of U.S. citizens. In fact, Prerna is the only undocumented person in four generations of American citizens. Four generations! Prerna was also a legal resident until she became an adult before her family's petition finished processing (a process she had no control over).


By every right, she should be an American citizen:

I am sharing with you the story of Prerna Lal. Her story is similar to so many Dream Students. When she was a small child, she was brought into our country legally, by her parents, who were here legally. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she is now in illegal status, struggling to stay here, in the only country she has ever known. ALL of her family is here legally, including her siblings. Her entire family is American. Now, due to questionable legal interpretation issues, she may be deported to a land she has never known.


She is a sumna cum laude graduate in Political Science and International Relations, currently attending law school at The George Washington University. Please go sign the petition to stop deportation proceedings.

To find out more about Prerna Lal and the outstanding work she is currently engaged in, see this link on (where she is a frequent contributor). You may also want to visit, which she helped found, which is described as a multicultural, migrant youth-led, social media hub for the movement to pass the DREAM Act and pursue the enactment of other forms of legislation that aim to mend the broken immigration system.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fernando Briceño

Country of origin: Ecuador

He is a table tennis player representing his school from Ecuador at the US Open in Miami in 1986. After the tournament, with his brother Jaime and his teammate Douglas, he gets on a New York City–bound Greyhound bus. He is captivated by the grandeur of the city and, after his return to Ecuador, dreams of going back someday. Three months later, he returns to the United States. This time, he overstays his visa and becomes an illegal alien.

To read an article about Fernando Briceño at CBS Atlanta, click here. There is also a two part video interview at the top of the article; here are links to part one and part two.

The quote above is from his website: where you can find out about his book.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rafael Mora-Lopez

Country of origin: Mexico

A Mexican national illegally in the U.S. stole another man's identity and went on to become a police officer in Alaska, authorities said Friday.


He said Mora-Lopez was considered a popular swing-shift officer who was respected by peers and others in the criminal justice system.

His arrest, conducted about 24 hours after case emerged, was a "bitter pill to swallow" for many in the police department, Mew said.

"His reputation here is one of a hard-working officer, one who was very professional," he said. "The problem, obviously, is he is not Rafael Espinoza."

More about this breaking story can be read at the following links:

Jacksonville News

Huffington Post

NY Times

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Isabel Allende

Country of origin: Chile

Isabel Allende Llona (born in Lima, Peru on August 2, 1942) is a Chilean writer with American citizenship. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the "magic realist" tradition, is famous for novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus) (1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias) (2002), which have been commercially successful. Allende has been called "the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author". In 2010 she received Chile's National Literature Prize. In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

To read more about Isabel Allende, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Friday, April 22, 2011

David Jung

Country of origin: China

David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles.

David Jung claimed to be the inventor of the fortune cookie; below is an excerpt from The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer Lee (click on the image to see a larger version):

Information about David Jung on the web is scarce, but to read more about the fortune cookie, see the page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

John Muir

Country of origin: Scotland

Happy Birthday John Muir!

John Muir (21 April 1838 – 24 December 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.


During his lifetime John Muir published over 300 articles and 12 books. He co-founded the Sierra Club which helped establish a number of national parks after he died, and today has over 1.3 million members. Muir has been called the "patron saint of the American wilderness" and its "archetypal free spirit." Author Gretel Ehrlich states that as a "dreamer and activist, his eloquent words changed the way Americans saw their mountains, forests, seashores, and deserts." He not only led the efforts to protect forest areas and have some designated as national parks, but his writings gave readers a conception of the relationship between "human culture and wild nature as one of humility and respect for all life," writes author Thurman Wilkins.

If you would like to read more about John Muir (and there is plenty more to read), see his page on Wikipedia or the Sierra Club exhibit in his honor, or visit one of the many wonderful wilderness areas that he helped preserve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Liya Kebede

Country of origin: Ethiopia

Liya Kebede (Amharic: ሊያ ከበደ?) (born January 3, 1978) is an Ethiopian model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer and actress who has appeared three times on the cover of US Vogue . According to Forbes, Kebede was eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007. Since 2005, Kebede has served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.


In 2005, Kebede was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She then founded the Liya Kebede Foundation, whose mission is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia and around the world. The Foundation funds advocacy and awareness raising projects as well as providing direct support for low-cost technologies, community-based education, and training and medical programs.

Kebede has traveled to Ethiopia to support maternal health projects on multiple occasions. In 2009, she worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of their Living Proof Project. Kebede served as a High-Level adviser for the Center for Global Development's 2009 report "Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health."

Kebede writes for The Huffington Post about maternal and child health and has been featured in Vogue and on The Daily Beast. She is also part of the Champions for an HIV Free Generation, an organization of African leaders led by former Botswana President Festus Mogae. The Champions advocate for increased HIV prevention and treatment efforts in Africa.

To find out more about Liya Kebede, visit her page on Wikipedia, or her official website.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seo Jae-pil

Country of origin: Korea

Philip Jaisohn (January 7, 1864 – January 5, 1951) was the anglicized name used by Seo Jae Pil, a noted champion for Korea's independence, and the first Korean to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

A marker at the Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation states in part:

"American-educated medical doctor who sowed seeds of democracy in Korea, published its first modern newspaper (1896-98), and popularized its written language. The first Korean to earn a Western medical degree and become a U.S. citizen. He worked for Korean independence during the Japanese occupation, 1910-45. Chief Advisor to the U.S. Military Government in Korea, 1947-1948."

To find out more about Seo Jae-pil, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Edwidge Danticat

Country of origin: Haiti

Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When she was two years old, her father André emigrated to New York, to be followed two years later by her mother Rose. This left Danticat and her younger brother Eliab to be raised by her aunt and uncle. Although her formal education in Haiti was in French, she spoke Kreyòl at home.

While still in Haiti, Danticat wrote her first short story about a girl who was visited by a clan of women each night.[citation needed] At the age of 12, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, to join her parents in a heavily Haitian American neighborhood. As she was an immigrant teenager, Edwidge's accent and upbringing were a source of discomfort for her, thus she turned to literature for solace.[citation needed] Two years later she published her first writing, in English, "A Haitian-American Christmas: Cremace and Creole Theatre," in New Youth Connections, a citywide magazine written by teenagers. She later wrote a story about her immigration experience for New Youth Connections, "A New World Full of Strangers." In the introduction to Starting With I, an anthology of stories from the magazine, Danticat wrote, “When I was done with the [immigration] piece, I felt that my story was unfinished, so I wrote a short story, which later became a book, my first novel: Breath, Eyes, Memory…. Writing for New Youth Connections had given me a voice. My silence was destroyed completely, indefinitely.”



* 1994 Fiction Award The Caribbean Writer
* 1995 Woman of Achievement Award, Barnard College
* Pushcart Short Story Prize for "Between the Pool and the Gardenias"
* National Book Award nomination for Krik? Krak!
* 1996 Best Young American Novelists for Breath, Eyes, Memory by GRANTA
* Lila-Wallace-Reader's Digest Grant
* 1999 American Book Award for The Farming of the Bones
* The International Flaiano Prize for literature
* The Super Flaiano Prize for The Farming of the Bones
* 2005 The Story Prize for "The Dew Breaker"
* 2007 National Book Award nomination for "Brother, I'm Dying"
* 2007 The National Book Critics Circle Award for "Brother, I'm Dying"
* 2008 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for "Brother, I'm Dying"
* 2009 MacArthur Fellows Program Genius grant

To find out more about Edwidge Danticat, see her page on Wikipedia, as well as this interview.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Svetlana Alliluyeva

Country of origin: Soviet Union

Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva (Russian: Светлана Иосифовна Аллилуева; born February 28, 1926 in Moscow, Soviet Union), later known as Lana Peters, is the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife. In 1967, she caused an international furor when she defected and became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

To read more about Svetlana Alliluyeva, read her page on Wikipedia. Also available on youtube is part of an interview with Svetlana Alliluyeva from the Svetlana About Svetlana film.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Elizabeth Avellan

Country of origin: Venezuela

Avellán was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Her grandfather, Gonzalo Veloz Mancera, created the first privately-owned Venezuelan television station, Televisa. As a teenager, she and her family moved to Houston, Texas, where she attended Rice University.

She is the current co-owner and vice president of Troublemaker Studios, the production company that she and her former husband, Robert Rodriguez, founded in 2000. Avellán was also executive producer of In and Out of Focus, a documentary about balancing motherhood and a career in the film business.

To read more about Elizabeth Avellan, see her page on Wikipedia.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Licia Albanese

Country of origin: Italy

Licia Albanese (born July 22, 1913) is an Italian-born American operatic soprano. Noted especially for her portrayals of the lyric heroines of Verdi and Puccini, Albanese was a leading artist with the Metropolitan Opera of New York from 1940 to 1966. She also made many recordings and is chairman of The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation which is dedicated to assisting young artists and singers.


Albanese became a United States citizen in 1945. On October 5, 1995, President Bill Clinton presented her with the National Medal of Honor for the Arts.

She has received awards and honorary degrees from Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State Teachers College, Saint Peter's College, New Jersey, Seton Hall University, University of South Florida, Fairfield University, Siena College, Caldwell College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She received the prestigious Handel Medallion, the highest official honor given by the City of New York and presented to individuals for their contributions to the city's cultural life, from Rudolph Giuliani in 2000. At the ceremony, Mayor Giuliani commemorated the career of a woman who is “without question [one] of the most loved and respected performers in the world."

To read more about Licia Albanese, read her page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Erik Erikson

Country of origin: Germany

Erik Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis. His son, Kai T. Erikson, is a noted American sociologist.

For more about Erik Erikson, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Olov Janse

Country to of orgin: Sweden

Professor Robert Ture Olov Janse (August 3, 1892, in Norrköping, Sweden – March 1985, in Washington, D.C.) was a Swedish archaeologist. He is notable for his excavation work at Đông Sơn between 1935–1939. Though he originally argued a viewpoint for the European origins of Bronze Age culture in Vietnam, he reversed himself in support of Chinese origins after he started excavations at Đông Sơn. Janse is characterized as having introduced order into the research of the history of archaeology in Mainland Southeast Asia.

To read more about Olov Janse, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Note: This entry was inadvertently posted elsewhere, and was intended as the entry for April 13th.


Apparently I posted today's and yesterday's entries in the wrong blog!

I'll repost them here shortly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Helene Cooper

Country of origin: Liberia

Helene Cooper (born April 22, 1966) is a Liberian-born American journalist who is a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Before that, she was the paper's diplomatic correspondent in Washington, D.C.. She joined the Times in 2004 as assistant editorial page editor.

At The Wall Street Journal, Cooper wrote about trade, politics, race and foreign policy at the Washington and Atlanta bureaus from 1992 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999, she reported on the European Monetary Union from the London bureau. From 1999 to 2002, she was a reporter focusing on international economics; then assistant Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2004

To read more about Helene Cooper, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cesar Millan

Country of origin: Mexico

Cesar Millan, (born César Millán Favela; August 27, 1969) is a Mexican-American self-taught, professional dog psychologist widely known for his television series The Dog Whisperer, now in its seventh season and broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide.

Prior to The Dog Whisperer series, Millan focused on rehabilitating especially aggressive dogs and founded the Dog Psychology Center in South Los Angeles (2002–2008) — under construction in a new Los Angeles location as of late 2009.


Born in 1969 to Felipe Millán Guillen and María Teresa Favela de Millán in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, Millan grew up working with animals on his grandfather's Sinaloa farm. Because of his natural way with dogs, he was called el Perrero, "the dog boy." The family later moved to Mazatlán, and there — at age 13, on their way to his judo competition and standing in front of a large statue — Millan declared to his mother he would one day be the best dog trainer in the world.

Millan illegally crossed the border into the US when he was 21 years old, spoke no English and knew no one in the USA. He first worked in a dog grooming store, working with the most aggressive dogs — later creating the Pacific Point Canine Academy and developing a following. Jada Pinkett Smith (then, Jada Pinkett) became one of Millan's first clients and supporters — when he was working as a limousine driver — providing him with an English tutor for a year. Subsequently, Millan created the Dog Psychology Center, a 2-acre (8,100 m2) facility in South Los Angeles—specializing in working with large breed dogs.

Millan became a legal resident of the U.S. in 2000, became a U.S. citizen in 2009, and lives in Santa Clarita, CA.

To find out more about Cesar Millan, see his page on Wikipedia, or to find out more about his Dog Whisperer show, see his website.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harry Kesten

Country of origin: Netherlands

Harry Kesten is an American mathematician best known for his work in probability, most notably on random walks and percolation theory. He was a Guggenheim fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, received the Brouwer Medal, the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the AMS, and the George Pólya Prize from the SIAM. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the correspondent member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

To read more about Harry Kesten, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Khalid Khannouchi

Country of origin: Morocco

Khalid Yusuf Abdurahman Khannouchi (Arabic: خالد خنّوشي‎) (born December 22, 1971) is a Moroccan American marathoner. He was born in Meknes, Morocco. He is the former world record holder for the marathon and held the former road world best for the 20 km distance. He is one of only five men to break the marathon world record more than once, and one of only four to break their own marathon world record. (The others are Jim Peters, Derek Clayton, and Haile Gebrselassie.)

Khalid fell out with the Moroccan athletics federation over training expenses and moved to Brooklyn, New York City in 1992 with three of his friends. He married American Sandra Inoa in 1996 who now coaches him and acts as his agent. They have set up home in Ossining, New York. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on May 2, 2000.


Khannouchi was the first marathoner to break 2:06:00

To learn more about Khalid Khannouchi, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thubten Jigme Norbu

Country of origin: Tibet

Thubten Jigme Norbu (August 16, 1922 – September 5, 2008) recognized as the Taktser Rinpoche, was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and is the eldest brother of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He was one of the first high-profile Tibetans to go into exile and was the first Tibetan to settle in the United States.


Norbu decided in 1950 that he would leave Tibet and attempt to educate the world about the atrocities in Tibet and the actions of the PRC.

After leaving Tibet, Norbu worked continually for Tibet and the Tibetans in exile. He served as the Representative of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to Japan and North America. He also served as Professor of Tibetan Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He wrote a number of books, including, in 1959, his autobiography, Tibet Is My Country as told to Heinrich Harrer and in 1968 Tibet: Its History, Religion and People, with Colin Turnbull. During the years, Norbu frequently lectured about the Tibetan situation at seminars throughout the world.

To read more about Thubten Jigme Norbu, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rudolph Schindler

Country of origin: Austria

Rudolph Michael Schindler (born Rudolf Michael Schindler, 1887–1953) was an American architect whose most important works were built in or near Los Angeles during the early to mid-twentieth century.

Although he worked and trained with some of its foremost practitioners, he often is associated with the fringes of the modern movement in architecture. His inventive use of complex three-dimensional forms, warm materials, and striking colors, as well as his ability to work successfully within tight budgets, however, have placed him as one of the true mavericks of early twentieth century architecture.

To read more about Rudolph Schindler, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Peter Frampton

Country of origin: England

Peter Kenneth Frampton (born 22 April 1950) is an English musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd. Frampton's international breakthrough album was his live release, Frampton Comes Alive!. The album sold over 6 million copies in the United States alone and spawned several hits. Since then he has released several major albums. He has also worked with David Bowie and both Matt Cameron and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, among others. Frampton is best known for such hits as "Show Me the Way", "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Do You Feel Like We Do", and "I'm in You", which to this day, remain staples on classic-rock radio. He has also appeared as himself in television shows such as The Simpsons, The Colbert Report and Family Guy.

For more about Peter Frampton, see his page on Wikipedia. You can also see a list of the causes he supports here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Desi Arnaz

Country of origin: Cuba

Desi Arnaz (March 2, 1917 – December 2, 1986) was a Cuban-born American musician, actor and television producer. While he gained international renown for leading a Latin music band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, he is best known for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the classic American TV series I Love Lucy, starring with Lucille Ball, to whom he was married at the time.


Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one at 6327 Hollywood Boulevard for contributions to motion pictures, and one at 6220 Hollywood Boulevard for television. There is a Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center museum in Jamestown, New York (birthplace of Lucille Ball) and a Desi Arnaz Bandshell in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, New York (childhood home of Lucille Ball).

To read more about Desi Arnaz, see his page on Wikipedia.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yuan-Cheng Fung

Country of origin: China

Yuan-Cheng "Bert" Fung (born 1919) is a scientist regarded as a founding figure of bioengineering, tissue engineering, and the "Founder of Modern Biomechanics".

To find out more about Yuan-Cheng Fung, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Angélique Kidjo

Country of origin: Benin

Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, commonly known as Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. BBC African Service has included Angelique in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva" and The Guardian has listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.

Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime", Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo's hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika".

Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yorùbá, and English and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language which includes words that serve as song titles such as "Batonga". Malaika is a song sung in Swahili language. She often utilizes Benin's traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese.

To find out more about Angélique Kidjo and her dedication to making the world a better place, visit her page on Wikipedia. Also visit her official website to see a list of the many wonderful causes she supports.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peter Jennings

Country of origin: Canada

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM (July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer. A high-school dropout, he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.

Jennings started his career early, hosting a Canadian radio show at the age of nine. In 1965, ABC News tapped him to anchor its flagship evening news program. His inexperience was attacked by critics and others in television news, making for a difficult first stint in the anchor chair, and Jennings became a foreign correspondent in 1968, honing his reporting skills in the Middle East.

He returned as one of World News Tonight's three anchors in 1978, and was promoted to the role of sole anchor in 1983. In addition to anchoring, Jennings was the host of many ABC News special reports and moderated several American presidential debates. Having always been fascinated with the United States, Jennings became a naturalized United States citizen in 2003.

Along with Tom Brokaw at NBC and Dan Rather at CBS, Jennings formed part of the "Big Three" news anchors who dominated American evening network news from the early 1980s to 2005. His death, which closely followed the retirements of Brokaw and Rather, marked the end of the "Big Three" era.

To read more about Peter Jennings, visit his page on Wikipedia

Friday, April 1, 2011

Celia Cruz

Country of origin: Cuba

Celia Cruz (born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso on October 21, 1924 – July 16, 2003) was a Havana, Cuba born salsa singer, and was one of the most successful Salsa performers of the 20th century, with twenty-three gold albums to her name. She was renowned internationally as the "Queen of Salsa" as well as "La Guarachera de Cuba."

To read more about Celia Cruz, see her page on Wikipedia.