Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
   + [ Preparation ]
 Courage
 Perseverance
 Integrity
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
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


Bob Woodward

Investigative Reporter

Bob Woodward: June 17th, 1972. I had worked for The Post for nine months. They had this -- it looked like a local burglary at the Democratic Headquarters, a police story. I covered the night police beat. It was a Saturday morning, I think the summer. Editors looked around and thought, "Who could we call in? Who would be dumb enough to work on this story on a Saturday morning?" And they thought of me immediately. So I went to work with about seven or eight other people, including Carl (Bernstein), and I went to the arraignment of the five burglars, and the judge wanted to know where one of them worked, and he was mumbling. He wouldn't say. Kind of going, "CIA." And the judge said, "Where?" And he went, "CIA." And the judge said, "Speak up. Where do you work? Where did you work?" And he went, "CIA, Central Intelligence Agency." And I know my reaction was one of. "Oh! This is not your average burglary."
View Interview with Bob Woodward
View Biography of Bob Woodward
View Profile of Bob Woodward
View Photo Gallery of Bob Woodward



Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

The X-1 was a specialized airplane. It was a liquid rocket powered airplane. You sat against a liquid oxygen tank about 290 below zero. It was cold. You had a lot of wind chill, frosting sometimes, especially when your breath condensed on the windshield. Of course you had an oxygen mask on. You were in 100 percent nitrogen gas atmosphere. All of the landings in the X-1 were tricky. I mean, that's the reason we used Rogers Dry Lake there at Muroc, now Edwards Air Force Base that the [space] shuttle lands on, because it was an easy lake to land on. And the X-1 was tricky to land, because it landed so fast, pushing 200 miles an hour. And all your landings were dead stick, meaning you flew it until you had exhausted all of your liquid oxygen and alcohol, so you were a glider, but a very fast glider. It was not difficult, because I was used to it.
View Interview with Chuck Yeager
View Biography of Chuck Yeager
View Profile of Chuck Yeager
View Photo Gallery of Chuck Yeager



Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

We trained in the United States, before we went to England, in P-39s, old Bell Air Cobras. And it was all dog-fighting, air-to-ground gunnery, dive bombing, skip bombing, buzzing, really learning to fly a fighter. We were training to go overseas. Being the maintenance officer, I also had a lot of fun, just running test-offs on the airplanes when they came out of the maintenance. Yes, I was no better than the rest of the fighter pilots. I had very good eyes, as a lot of guys did, and also could dog-fight, just a matter of experience. When we went to England in November of '43, and we got the first P-51s in the Eighth Air Force, as I recall, we picked up a P-51 -- I had never been in one before -- and flew it from this assembly base down to our base in Leiston, and the next day, we are sitting over the middle of Germany fighting in them. You have to learn real quick, and that's the way our pilots were. As I recall, on my seventh mission, I shot down a 109. It was my first airplane that I shot down. We were on a raid over Berlin, the first daylight bombing raid over Berlin. I saw a 109, and I nailed him and, to me, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, because we were a little bit apprehensive about dog-fighting the Germans in their fighters. They had a lot of experience dog-fighting, and we didn't. So I nailed the guy, but the next day I got shot down.
View Interview with Chuck Yeager
View Biography of Chuck Yeager
View Profile of Chuck Yeager
View Photo Gallery of Chuck Yeager



Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

In high school, things got a little more serious as far as my education was concerned. And also there were sports -- football and basketball, which I played both. And I also played a trombone in the high school band and chased gals, so I was a pretty busy kid. The subjects that I liked very much in school were mathematics, algebra and typing. I could type 60 words a minute easy. Anything that took hand-eye coordination I had a good time at it. History, my teachers had trouble passing me.
View Interview with Chuck Yeager
View Biography of Chuck Yeager
View Profile of Chuck Yeager
View Photo Gallery of Chuck Yeager



Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

When I reported to Wright Field in the summer of 1945, the personnel looked at my records and saw that I was a fighter pilot, but the one thing that caught their eye was that I was a maintenance officer, meaning that I had been trained as a crew chief in aviation maintenance, and then when I served in my fighter squadron in combat, I served as the maintenance officer. You know, running the crew chiefs and the maintenance guys. When I got back, they saw this, and there was a vacancy in a fighter test section there in the flight test division that needed a maintenance officer. And they assigned me there. I had hangars full of every kind of airplane that we were flying. It was interesting to me, because I got to fly every airplane. After they were worked on, then the maintenance officer had to take them up and check all the systems out, and sign them off, and then you turn them over to the test pilots to do their test work in them.
View Interview with Chuck Yeager
View Biography of Chuck Yeager
View Profile of Chuck Yeager
View Photo Gallery of Chuck Yeager



Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

Now, over the next year, or six months, I put on many air shows in jets all over the United States. Colonel Boyd, who was chief of the flight test division, watched a few of those air shows and he was impressed. He noticed also that me being a maintenance officer, I never had any trouble with my airplanes. If something happened to them, I could fix them, and I always brought them home. So, that's when he approached me in December, 1945. He said, "Would you like to go to the test pilot school?" I said, "Well, I only have a high school education and it might be kind of tough for me, the academic requirements." He said, "No, you can make out." And so I went into the test pilot school, and that's what got me started in the test program. And then later, when the X-1 came along, in 1947, he selected me for the test program. And the reason he did was that I understood machinery, and obviously could fly an airplane.
View Interview with Chuck Yeager
View Biography of Chuck Yeager
View Profile of Chuck Yeager
View Photo Gallery of Chuck Yeager



Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

I called one of the leaders of the community, and he suggested that we go downtown to see the Mayor, who ran the local hardware store. And while we were there, he called the head of Sunnyland Packing Company and Flowers Bakery. They were the two largest employers in the town. They decided with us that they would not let the Klan come into the black community and intimidate us and interfere with our voter registration drive. But they would respect the Klan's right to have a meeting on the courthouse steps. So that was my first test of nonviolence. What it taught me was that the best way to avoid violence is to head it off. Not wait for a confrontation where violence is almost inevitable, but that you've got to be more aggressive in pursuing what Gandhi called "organized, aggressive, disciplined goodwill."
View Interview with Andrew Young
View Biography of Andrew Young
View Profile of Andrew Young
View Photo Gallery of Andrew Young



Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

Andrew Young: When people say extemporaneous, I always say, the implication is "off the cuff." And no, I think when we were in constant struggle like that, you're struggling with issues and ideas. And he never slept. Ralph used to say, "Martin's got a war on sleep, not on poverty." Because he would want to discuss things -- two, three o'clock in the morning. Then he'd wake up at six o'clock in the morning, raring to go again. He was always reading or talking or arguing. So his life was a life of constant preparation. He'd done a lot of -- and he had a brilliant memory. So he could go back and quote Shakespearean things that he had not seen since he was in college, or he could -- because he was a preacher, preaching every Sunday -- he'd always get the right Bible verse at the right time. It was his life.
View Interview with Andrew Young
View Biography of Andrew Young
View Profile of Andrew Young
View Photo Gallery of Andrew Young



Browse Preparation quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page