IMHO, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King. Probably many others, but these influence me.
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1903 - Willem Einthoven invented the EKG 1913 - William D. Coolidge invented the x-ray machine 1922 - Sir Frederick Grant Banting invented insulin 1922 - Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters invented the first absorption refrigerator 1927 - Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw invented the first respirator (iron lung) 1928 - Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin 1929 - Hans Berger invented the first EEG 1936 - Konrad Zuse invented the first computer run by software 1937 - John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry invented the first digital computer 1944 - Willem Kolf invented the kidney dialysis machine 1946 - Percy Spencer invented the microwave 1972 - Dean Karmen invented the ambulatory infusion pump 1977 - Raymond V. Damadian invented the MRI 1977 - Steve Wozniak & Steve Jobs invented the first Apple computer 1978 - Robert K. Jarvik invented the artificial heart 1984 - Sir Alec Jeffreys invented DNA fingerprinting 1990 - The World Wide Web (WWW) and Internet Protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) invented by Tim Berners-Lee
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Well, for my answer I decided to look beyond the realm of inventions and physical things --and to look at the person most known for impact on the needs of others. I choose Mother Theresa. Her name has become synonymous with compassion...and because of her personal sacrifice and commitment, many many charities were spawned and many more lives were dedicated to the relief of the suffering. I personally am not Catholic, but nonetheless, stand in awe of her accomplishments. Not every person in the world may know who Bill Gates is...but I'll bet everyone in the world knows who Mother Theresa is.
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