What is greatness?
Every nation has individuals who they define as great. Since these are often ethnocentric or nationalistic definitions, a truly great person should be someone who is recognized as great by many countries. A superstar, someone that is greater than great, should be defined as having multiple talents. Thomas Jefferson, for example, would fit such a definition. However, I would add a third dimension as an identifying mark of greatness and that would be a willingness to make sacrifices for the betterment of others less fortunate. Once again, Jefferson qualifies as does Jesus Christ and a rather limited number of other historical luminaries. In modern times, I know of no one person who fits the above definition better than the following individual.
He is a graduate of two of our nation's finest universities---Rutgers and Columbia. At Rutgers he was an All American football star for two years while also lettering in a dozen other sports. He accomplished this while also being an outstanding Phi Beta Kappa scholar. After graduation he went to Columbia to study law with the intention of becoming a lawyer. However, after being offered a position as a lawyer, he recognized that other opportunities provided him with a better chance of changing society. He went on to become an internationally acclaimed stage and screen actor, a concert soloist on stages throughout the world singing to sold out houses, a successful recording artist, and a major radio personality. At the height of his success he was one of the best known figures in the world.
He vigorously supported the efforts of the working man in their struggles to win fair treatment, he was a powerful voice against fascism both before and during World War Two, and he never hesitated to support unpopular causes, even though it meant that he would be persecuted, if the cause was one that was an effort to free humanity from various forms of oppression.
This bold, brilliant, charismatic, talented, courageous, and caring man is one of America's and the world's greatest citizens of not only this century but from throughout our history. But, I am going to guess that most of you do not know who he is?????