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  • Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677)
    Baruch de Spinoza , XVII Century Philosopher "Roots": Baruch Spinoza Could John Berman be related to the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, noted as the Prince of Philosophers? CNN "Roots" journey: Vi...
  • Harriet Martineau (1802 - 1876)
    Harriet Martineau (June 12, 1802 – June 27, 1876) was an English social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first woman sociologist. Martineau wrote more than 50 books and is signif...
  • Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997)
    "Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances;[fn 1] née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Eli...
  • Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832 - 1899)
    . Horatio Alger, Jr. January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899 Parents: Horatio Alger 1806-1881 and Olive Fenno 1807-1878 Horatio Alger was a prolific 19th-century American author, best known for...
  • Pope Clement VII (1478 - 1534)
    Pope Clement VII (26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534), born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici , was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534. He was born in Florence one mon...

Genealogical Wildcards

This project will explore wild cards of genealogy, challenging stigmas that paradoxically

  • Turn paupers and the scorned into royalty overnight .
  • Ignite irrepressible passion to overcome tremendous disadvantages---physical, mental, emotional, social and other Herculean challenges.
  • Uniquely mysterious individuals--the buried gems in families, who arise from the depth of nowhere to illuminate the way to the future.

So, ironically, while so many seek impeccable illustrious pedigrees , it is very often that genius and greatness emerges forged from the crucible of physical challenge, discrimination, despair and abandonment.

Discover extraordinary divine spirits driven by immeasurable courage and tenacity to transform their humble beginnings into world-changing purpose and achievement.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering, Friedrich Nietzsche

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware., Martin Buber

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Luminary Guides

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Illegitimate Children Who Rose to Fame: True And Riveting Accounts Of Famous Illegitimate Children Who Went On To Achieve Greatness

"Stories from Illegitimacy to Greatness" brings together the captivating and stirring stories of fifteen remarkable and influential people who overcame the disadvantages of illegitimate birth to rise to positions of power.

Among its subjects are powerful political players including Alexander Hamilton, the abandoned son who became a founding father of the United States, and cultural figureheads such as Leonardo da Vinci, who, despite being denied entrance to trade guilds and universities, was proclaimed one of the greatest men of his day in courts throughout Europe.

Equally affecting are some of the less well-known but no less fascinating figures, such as James Smithson, the disinherited son of an English duke, whose bequest to a country he never visited founded the largest museum in the world, the Smithsonian Institution.