A renowned graffiti-turned-Neo-Expressionism artist, Basquiat painted some of the world's most coveted artwork and frequently collaborated with Andy Warhol. He often painted in Armani suits and wore the paint splattered suits in public.
At age eight, this youth speaker for the United Nations started Lil' MDGs, an international nonprofit organization that empowers youth through digital media to address social issues with small actions.
As a young Pakistani student, Yousafzai uses her voice to stand up for girls to fight for education equality and change the composition of classrooms worldwide.
James Alix Michel
As President of Seychelles, a small island developing state in the Indian Ocean, Michel has push green initiatives and been a vocal voice to environmental initiatives worldwide.
This prolific French film composer makes the music we remember for award-winning films such as The Queen, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter and The King’s Speech.
As the first female president of Finland, Halonen pushed global human rights to the forefront of many conversations and continues to do so as a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.
This American animator and filmmaker directed the Academy Award-winning 2012 short film “Paperman,” which employed a new style of animation giving artists and animators more influence and control over the final product.
This Danish chef opened two-Michelin star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen in 2004, rocking the culinary world with inventive food combinations and artful presentation, and putting Nordic
food on the gastronomic world map.
At nine-years-old, this chess prodigy is the youngest female player to achieve expert level since the U.S. Chess Federation began keeping records, and her goal is to become the youngest
female master of the game.
Dancing along the edge of physical expression, this Japanese choreographer pushes boundaries with his modern, unpredictable style (like a funeral dance on broken glass).
This hilarious comedian, actress, writer and producer challenges weight discrimination and "sizeism" with her smashing successes and box office hits.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
This Irish astrophysicist discovered the first pulsar as a postgraduate, but was omitted from the resulting 1974 Nobel Prize because only the "senior men" could receive credit.
This entrepreneur founded ecoATM in 2008, a self-serve kiosk that pays for old mobile phones and recycles them, reducing e-waste in U.S. landfills, which leaches toxic chemicals.
This 17-year-old invented an inexpensive and portable electrocardiogram that that transmits data via cellular networks, making this heart test available to low-income people in developing countries.
All hail geeks! This rebel founded the Nerdist in 2008, a website and podcast devoted to all things nerd related.
This Academy Award-winning actor and advocate founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to change female portrayals and gender stereotypes in children's media and entertainment.
As CEO and co-founder of MakerBot Industries in 2009, entrepreneur Pettis is leading the 3-D printing revolution, making the machines smaller and more affordable.
This gaming industry veteran created Ouya last year, an affordable, open-source console that allows game creation and accessory incorporation in exciting, novel ways.
This entrepreneur founded Global Citizen Year to foster cross cultural communication and leadership, placing college students in year-long service positions in developing nations.
As co-founder and CEO of FarmersWeb, this entrepreneur produces and buys sustainably grown food, with decent wages for farmers and fair prices for consumers.
A brilliant young software engineer, Selvaduri took a good idea and made it reality, revolutionizing the mobile environment when he co-founded Foursquare in 2009.
Anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician Mandela was the first black South African to hold the office, tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality as president from 1994 to 1999.
This iconic Dutch actress never forgot nearly starving during Germany’s WWII occupation of the Netherlands, going on to champion UNICEF’s work in impoverished nations.
This newspaper comic and self-taught animator paved the way for entirely new avenues of entertainment, revolutionizing the industry and giving us beloved characters for all ages.
This Texas politician stood up for women’s rights with her 10-hour filibuster against Senate Bill 5 in June 2013, launching herself into the national spotlight.
World heavyweight champion Cassius Clay, Jr., stood for religious freedom and racial justice inside and outside the ring with his witty repartee and brave actions.
As an undergraduate in 1971 at Portland State University, this graphic designer created the Nike “swoosh” logo, one of the iconic advertising symbols of our era.
To combat childhood illiteracy in the mid-1950s, cartoonist and writer Theodor Seuss Geisel used imaginative rhymes, style and verse to create books that engaged and excited young readers, like “The Cat in the Hat”.
This physicist and astronaut became the youngest American and first American woman in space in 1983, inspiring girls and women to challenge gender stereotypes in science careers.
Susan B. Anthony
With the motto, “failure is impossible,” this civil rights leader fought tirelessly against slavery and for women’s suffrage. The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, co-written by Anthony, passed 14 years after her death, in 1920.
After struggling with depression, unemployment, divorce and poverty, this writer channeled all her love into writing “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,” and is today the United Kingdom's best-selling author since records began.
Watson and Crick
By discovering the structure of DNA in 1953, graduate student Francis Crick and research fellow James Watson opened the doors to genetic study, a boundless scientific frontier.
This “funny girl” paved the way for female comedians at the turn of the last century, making a name for herself in comedy, acting and dancing.
As a Mexican-American singer, songwriter and guitarist, this self-taught musician gave a new face to rock and roll and is a forefather of the Chicano rock movement.
If you like to “vogue,” thank this choreographer, who refined the style, inspired Madonna and encouraged an electrifying subculture in the 1990s.
Our favorite TV family of the 80s defied racial stereotypes and revived the sitcom genre.
After nearly drinking himself to death, this charismatic stockbroker found a way to stay sober, co-founding Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s.
Aung San Suu Kyi
As an opposition leader in Myanmar, this freedom fighter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for democracy and human rights, even while under house arrest for most of the last two decades.
Woodward and Bernstein
With dogged determination and courage, this dynamic duo uncovered the Watergate scandal over four years, forever changing political history.
This larger-than-life comedian became an entertainment legend in a male-dominated industry by relating tales of hilarity in motherhood and marriage.
Catherine the Great
As Empress of Russia in the 18th century, she redefined what it meant to be powerful as a female leader.
The Jazz Singer
As the first “talking picture,” this movie redefined entertainment standards and that industry in 1927.
American visionary in the use of digital technology in communication, marketing, sales and human relations.
An entrepreneur and business maven who specializes in big ideas both for herself and others, based on authentic, courageous expressions of creativity.
The Countess of Lovelace became the world’s first computer programmer with her algorithm for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.
A 16 year old high school student and science prodigy who has revolutionized early detection of pancreatic cancer.
As co-founder of Whole Foods Market in 1978, this entrepreneur created higher standards for his grocery stores, from stronger animal welfare practices to organic food options.
First African-American female to star in a major motion picture and to integrate an American concert hall, becoming a world-famous dancer, singer and actress.
This PayPal inventor and Tesla Motors founder is now focusing his entrepreneurial gaze on SpaceX, a private space transport company.
In 1824, this French inventor created braille at the age of 15, revolutionizing forever the world of reading and writing for the visually impaired.
This stylish footwear option donates a pair of shoes to an impoverished child whenever a pair is sold, giving away over one million pairs of shoes in 40 countries since 2006.
Founder of Positive Psychology, a field of study that examines healthy states, such as happiness, strength of character and optimism, raising the bar on the human condition.
Four Nigerian teen inventors
Adebola Duro-Aina, Oluwatoyin Faleke, Eniola Bello and Abiola Akindele saw a great need in their country for safe electricity and invented a generator that runs on urine.
Paul "Moose" Curtis
One of the pioneers of a reverse graffiti technique to create a clean message on a dirty wall, a creative spin picked up by many brands for advertising.
The first African-American to play Major League Baseball, challenging racist assumptions about black inferiority and the logic for segregation.
Changed the public’s access to government officials as mayor of New York City from 1978 – 1989, often standing on street corners and asking passersby, "How'm I doin'?".
Serbian motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome—no arms or legs—but full of zeal and hope that he shares around the world.
Ben & Jerry’s
The Ice Cream makers have been giving customers the ability to participate and influence the direction of the company in unprecedented ways since 1978.
Heavily influenced the "New Journalism" movement of the 60s and 70s, using unconventional literary techniques and flair.
American entrepreneur and CEO of Amazon.com committed to disrupting the marketplace with pioneering Ecommerce practices.
Tastemaker, fashion icon and former Vogue editor who blazed trails and changed the way people look at style.