Greg Graffin– “I’m a twenty-first century digital boy, I don’t know how to read but I got a lot of toys. My daddy’s a lazy middle class intellectual, my mommy’s on valium, so ineffectual.” 1990
Ray Allen– a math player (3 and D) before the NBA was a math league.
Madonna– hot, bold and sexual way before that was easy for a woman to pull off.
Barry Sanders– left football young and healthy before the world acknowledged how much of a death sentence the game is.
Martin Luther King Jr.– Civil rights leader in a time when it was not easy to be one (I know it’s still not easy, but now doesn’t even compare to then/civil right leaders are always ahead of their time).
George Orwell– this dude was standing up to nits/speaking out about them back in the early 1920s
RuPaul– on that gender choice shit early
Allen Iverson– the first big athlete to embrace hip hop culture in his appearance (see tats and corn rows)
Jackie Robinson– if you don’t know…
Muhammad Ali– charisma for days, but fading the war was bold af
Ellen– I used to hate her for stealing Anne Heche when I was a kid, now I just respect the hell out of her.
Steve Jobs– I mean…
Tiger Woods– golfers will forever be athletes moving forward
Art Davie– the man who created the UFC
Rich Rodriguez– invented the spread option
Haralabos Voulgaris– OG “sharp”
Chuck Berry– no big deal, he just sped up the blues and invented rock ‘n’ roll
Ignaz Semmelweis– started hand washing before surgery
Jimmy Valvano– started fouling at the end of basketball games when losing
I have a very limited sense of History. I’d much appreciate your thoughts on this in the comments section (obv there needs to be way more women on the list). If I agree with you after researching, I’ll add to/subtract from my list. Lists are fun- this one seems important though too.
Clarification: I’m looking for people who were pioneers for stuff that became popular later, not just genius or high achieving. I started thinking of this list when I played some Bad Religion for my kids the other day…
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