“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