James Bryant ... my top 10 heroes of all time


BELOW IS A LADDER OF MY TOP 10 HEROES. If you click each picture you'll go to an external web page that gives more information, alternatively see below my very brief summary about each of them.

1. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Ne plus ultra (near perfection) and beyond words but see my hero.


2. Alan Turing (1912-1954)
I first became aware of Alan Turing in the 1980s and he remains an unsung hero. A mathematician, founder of computer science, philosopher, Bletchley Park codebreaker, loner, eccentric, visionary and a gay man before his time. Below Newton but still standing high on the shoulders of giants. See my link on who built the first computer.


3.Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Scientist who contributed more than any other to the modern vision of physical reality. His special and general theories of relativity are still regarded as the most satisfactory model of the universe. As a child he wondered what it would be like to "ride" on a beam of light.


4. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Poet extraordinaire. Forget his 37 plays, just read his sonnets. See my favourite Shakespeare Sonnets.


5. Bruce Lee (1940-1973)
I first heard about Bruce Lee in the early 1970s when I took up Tang Soo Do. The greatest exponent of the art that has ever lived. See my Bruce Lee and my Hobbies


6. Edmund Halley (1656-1742)
Had he not been so generous in financing Newton's Principia it would never had been published. Discovered the comet that bears his name. A genius in every way... an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist.


7. Robert Fischer (1954- 2008)
I followed religiously the 1972 eleventh world cup match between Fischer and Spassky ( Fischer won). A complete eccentric who would give up everything on a matter of principle and often did. Considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time and at the age of 15, became the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess. He was my only living hero until he died on 17 January 2008.


8. Alexander the Great (356BC- 323BC)
I was first introduced to Alexander the Great when I was ten. Phew, what a CV to die for! At the age of only 33 he had conquered most of the known world. A great leader who tragically died young possibly from excess drinking or was he assassinated?


9. Leonidas (535BC- 480BC)
King & leader of the Greek advanced army of 300 soldiers who defended and lost against Xerxes' army of tens of thousands. I remember watching the fact based film of his epic battle called The 300 Spartans when I was a kid in 1962 and it affected me greatly. More recently (March 2007), I went to see the 300 film based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller - brilliant.


10. Eratosthenes (276BC- 194BC)
Hmmmmmm what can I say? He calculated the circumference of the Earth all those years ago, with no instruments, to an accuracy of about 5% of the value we know today. I wrote a letter that was published in The Daily Mail in 1994 about his achievement.



Just as I completed this page it dawned on me that all my heroes are male and I don't want to appear sexist. Therefore, I'm adding Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1945?). She worked as an English spy and landed in occupied France during the second world war and was a truly remarkable and brave person. She was captured by the Gestapo and despite being tortured she never cracked and was posthumously awarded the George Cross on 5th April 1949.

“We can't all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.”


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