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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Stephen Ambrose

Biographer and Historian

I have never shaken Mr. Nixon's hand. I never had one private moment with him. But I really think that I know him as well as I do Dwight Eisenhower with whom I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours. I never met Meriwether Lewis, but I feel like I know Meriwether Lewis better than I know my brothers. So there are various ways that you get to know people, and I don't know which one is best. You just work on what you've got. When Nixon refused to see me, I just thought, "Well all right. I'm just going to have to work harder, and interview more people that were with Nixon at various times in his terribly long career."
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Julie Andrews

Legend of Stage and Screen

I was absolutely atrocious at all the early readings and poor Rex Harrison wondered what on earth he had been landed with, this young girl that could sing and had not a clue how to get into the arc of a character. I had no idea how to develop a character at all. He intimidated me tremendously because he was so, so good. He was also very, very nervous and very, very demanding and selfish because he was scared to death because he had never sung before. So, I knew I could pull off all the singing stuff and he, for sure, knew he could pull off all the dialogue, but he wasn't about to give anybody else any time and I know that Stanley Holloway, who played Doolittle, also had problems and was waiting for his sort of fleshing out of the character. And, Moss took me for a long weekend and dismissed the entire company and worked with me in the most brilliant way.
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Julie Andrews

Legend of Stage and Screen

Julie Andrews: I think it's that early training, if anything, in vaudeville for me that gave me any kind of gumption. Touring endlessly around England, doing the second show on a Saturday night in places like Glasgow or Newcastle or Liverpool or Swansea or Cardiff, that's pretty dicey. I was very, very young. There were days when they would have to turn all the house lights on in the theater because people were hurling beer bottles and things like that. And, there was this determination to get through. My mum was terrific. She would say, "Don't you dare complain. Don't you dare say you can't sing in cigarette smoke," because in those days you could see it spiraling down the great arcs on to the spotlights on to the stage. Nothing but cigarette smoke in those days. And she would say, "Don't you dare get a swollen head," accompanied by great love sometimes. But, all the good stuff that one needs, "Get up and do it. What are you complaining about? You're so much luckier than most other people," just absolutely true.
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Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

It was my fortune to have a child when I was 16. I had just finished -- I finished high school three weeks before my son was born. Now, here was my blessing. I refused to go on welfare; I refused to take money from my mother; and when my son was three months old, I moved out of my mother's house and got a room with cooking privileges. I did force myself to read. Read. And I did force myself to work. I have taken my son all over the world. He finished high school in Egypt, where I was working; took his first degree from the University of Ghana, where I was working. I realize this, and this is what I have to say to the young women who already have children: Remember that that is somebody. That's not just an appendage. It's not just somebody you attach to your hip and you hold in your arms. That's a person -- a person who may have the most horrible life if you're not careful, or a person who can have the most glorious life if you're careful. Just remember that is somebody. And that is somebody's child: Your child. And that you are somebody's child. So try to enrich yourself. Don't take "No." Don't take low. And under no circumstances must you accept being battered by anybody, including life.
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Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

"And Still I Rise," which is a poem of mine that is very popular in the country. And a number of people use it. A lot of black of people and a lot of white people use it. Which begins:

"You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies;
You may trod me in the very dirt;
But still, like dust, I'll rise."

So there is that poem, and it goes on. And then, a poem just for women, which is called "Phenomenal Women," and I love the poem. I wrote it for black women, and white women, and Chinese women, and Japanese women, and Jewish women. I wrote it for Native American women, Aleut, Eskimo ladies. I wrote it for all women. Very fat women, very thin, pretty, plain. Now, I know men are phenomenal, but they have to write their own poem.
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