Top 5 Hero Celebrities

“The hero is known for achievements; the celebrity for well-knowns. The hero reveals the possibilities of human nature. The celebrity reveals the possibilities of the press and media. Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

But which celebrities have managed to become heroes in their own right? Who has crossed the line and transcended the unwelcome title of celebrity to be granted the role of hero?

Bono – Gained popularity as the charismatic singer for U2 as they stormed the world. Capitalizing on the reach his new voice had found he preached on the needs of the Third World, particularly starvation and AIDS. His celebrity opens doors for him to the world’s leaders and he asks them questions about their policies. His popularity continues to drive fund raising efforts.

Angelina Jolie – As a wild-child actress she received a lot of press. Her tattoos and abnormal choices labeled her irresponsible. After filming in Cambodia she became concerned with humanitarian issues and was later named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Her work for refugees has spread awareness far and wide, bringing media with her wherever she goes. Her effort is clear.

Oprah Winfrey – After escaping early poverty through education and television celebrity, Oprah has become one of the most influential women in the world. This influence is something she takes seriously. From creating a school in South Africa to organizing giveaways and providing unparalleled exposure to non-profits, Oprah is making a difference.

Lance Armstrong – On the way to becoming the greatest endurance cyclist in the history of the world, Lance Armstrong beat cancer. He stands tall as a hero to those struggling against the odds. To those on a long road of adversity.

Paul Newman – An almost peerlessly famous actor started a food business that donates all the profits to charity. $200 million in profits later, this man has affected millions of people. And yet how many people have heard about it? How often does he tell people about it?

After typing this, it’s a pretty American list. Does anyone have any substitutions?

*This is part of Darren Rowse’s Group Writing Project

52 Responses to Top 5 Hero Celebrities

  1. Sarakastic May 8, 2007 at 6:19 am #

    With all of the meaningless gossip out there, it’s nice to read about celebrities who are doing good & are inspirations. Thanks!

  2. JoLynn May 8, 2007 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    I agree with Paul Newman, he’s something else! Lance is a good one, too.

    You asked for one who isn’t American…. I’d add Audrey Hepburn. She did so much work with UNICEF and I think other charities, too.

    Good luck with the Problogger contest, it’s fun checking out so many different blogs, isn’t it? 🙂

    JoLynn

  3. Tom May 9, 2007 at 6:30 am #

    Hi

    Nice top 5
    I’ve never really thought about which celebrities deserved hero status. I think you are on to something here. These guys really seem to have made the best of their position to do good things for others

    Thanks
    Tom

  4. Matt Langdon May 9, 2007 at 6:55 am #

    JoLynn, I’ll have to look more into Audrey Hepburn. I realized I don’t know a whole lot about her life.

    Tom, thanks for your comments.

  5. Jennifer May 9, 2007 at 9:24 am #

    Great list.

  6. GL HOFFMAN May 14, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    I have a section in my blog (http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds) called PLP…people like paris…celebrities who we should ignore from now on.
    I like your more positive list!

    Great work,

    GL HOFFMAN, JOBDIG, Minneapolis, MN
    what would dad say

  7. Matt Langdon May 14, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    Thanks GL. I like the “What would Dad say” idea.

  8. Leah Killinger July 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm #

    I agree with the number five person on the list. Paul Newman is an American Classic. My favorite movie is Cool Hand Luke. His accomplishments in life are numerous, but he still remains low key and modest. He is one of the best.

  9. Anonymous January 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    thanks for the info i used it for a project

  10. Anonymous October 11, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    Hello, I saw your top 5 on Darren’s blog, long time ago, if you’re interested in promoting this top or other you might do, on my new site, here it is Best-Reviewer dot com I don’t make a link, so only those interested can write the url in their browser 🙂
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  11. Hope rieser November 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    Angelina Jolie is such a sweetheart yet still judged from her ify younger selves reputation. She has got such a big heart. She’s a caring, sensitive , loving person with a rocky path. If people looked at her more for her charity instead of her risky past they would see how great of a person she really is.

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