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1.
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a film-cutter at RKO Studios who, widowed and mentally ill, abandoned her to a sequence of foster homes. She was almost smothered to death at two, nearly raped at six. At nine, the LA Orphans' Home paid her a nickel a month for kitchen work while taking back a penny every Sunday for church...
 
2.
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Rose Kennedy (née Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald) and Joseph P. Kennedy. John was named after his maternal grandfather, John "HoneyFitz" Fitzgerald, the mayor of Boston. John was very ill as a child and was given the last rites five times...
 
3.
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., was a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. His mother was a schoolteacher. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six years old. Two of his friends did not show up to play ball with him and Martin decided to go looking for them...
 
4.
Malcolm X
Writer, Malcolm X
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, one of eight children. His father, Earl Little, was a Baptist preacher who supported Marcus Garvey's Back to Africa movement. When Malcolm was four, the family moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Earl tried opening a store while continuing his preaching...
 
5.
Adolf Hitler
Miscellaneous Crew, Triumph of the Will
Born the fourth of six children to Austrian customs officer Alois Hitler--who had been married twice before--and the former Klara Polzl, Adolf Hitler grew up in a small Austrian town in the late 19th century. He was a slow learner and did poorly in school. He was frequently beaten by his authoritarian father...
 
6.
Eva Braun
Camera and Electrical Department, Hitler, a Career
 
7.
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-68), US politician, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the third son of Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and wife Rose Kennedy. He studied at Harvard and at Virginia University Law School, served at sea (1944-46) in World War II, was admitted to the bar (1951), and served on the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities (1957-59)...
 
8.
Michael Jackson
Thanks, This Is It
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together...
 
9.
Bob Crane
Bob Crane was born in Waterbury, CT, the youngest of two sons. In school he was known for being a class clown and an intense music lover. His favorites were jazz and big band. Bob's specialty was the drums. After graduating from Stamford High School in 1946 he turned his attention to his love for music...
 
10.
Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Notorious 25-year-old gangsta MC and actor Tupac Shakur was shot and killed before he had a chance to fulfill the promise of a successful career in both fields. He was born in New York City and his mother, Afeni Shakur, was a member of the Black Panther Party. Shakur spent much of his youth in Harlem...
 
11.
George W. Bush
Camera and Electrical Department, Journeys with George
The 43rd President of the United States of America, George Walker Bush (known colloquially as "W" to distinguish himself from his father, George Bush, the 41st president of the U.S.), was born two days after the national holiday of the Fourth of July, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut where his father was attending Yale College in the Class of 1949...
 
12.
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soundtrack, Superbad
Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, was born in Brooklyn, New York, May 21, 1972. He was the son of Jamaican parents, Voletta Wallace, a pre-school teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time politician. He was raised in the poor Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant as the son of a preschool teacher...
 
13.
Bob Marley
Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, seeing his son only once...
 
14.
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden was the criminal mastermind behind Al-Qaida and the world's most sought-after terrorist since the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Libya. He has released videos praising terrorist threats. Almost 10 years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, on a late May 1, 2011 evening, US President Barack Obama made an announcement that bin Laden was killed by US operatives.
 
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16.
Janis Joplin
Soundtrack, Watchmen
Janis Lyn Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the oil-refining town of Port Arthur, Texas, near the border with Louisiana. Her father was a cannery worker and her mother was a registrar for a business college. As an overweight teenager, she was a folk-music devotee (especially Odetta...
 
17.
Kurt Cobain
Soundtrack, Moulin Rouge!
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He became withdrawn and anti-social...
 
18.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, son of Marguerite Frances Claverie Oswald. He never knew his father, Robert Edward Lee Oswald, who had died 2 months before his birth of a heart attack. Oswald had 1 older full brother and another half-brother (from his mother's first marriage). Young Oswald was placed in a Lutheran orphanage at the age of 3...
 
19.
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
 
20.
Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens...