While some states such as California, New York, and Florida seem to have an endless supply of people who are famous and some who may have even changed the world as we know it, Illinois homes aren’t often thought of as breeding grounds for the ultra famous.

However, Illinois has produced or been home to plenty of world-famous luminaries which include the likes of Hugh Hefner, Nancy Reagan, David Hasselhoff, and Harrison Ford. But Illinois has also been home to a few people that have changed the world we live in, but who never received the fame of those mentioned earlier.

Though you may not know them by heart, you probably should.

Archibald McLeish

Archibald McLeish was a WWI veteran who also served under President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the Librarian of Congress. Despite protests to his appointment from the American Library Association because of Archibald’s lack of librarian experience, he went on to become a key figure in helping to modernize the Library.

However, it was his writing that Archibald is most known for. Archibald is the winner of not one, not two, but three Pulitzer prizes. Two for poetry in 1933 and 1953, and a third for drama in 1956 for his play titled “J.B.”

Mae Jemison

Growing up in Morgan Park, Mae was so smart that she surpassed all the available math classes at her high school. Her thirst for knowledge drove her to show up to school before it started in order to study calculus from a tutor because no calculus classes were available.

Mae was a big Star Trek fan. One day, while watching Star Trek with her best friend, she revealed that she would one day, “…do that.” Though her friend thought she was speaking of becoming an actress, Mae’s sights were set a little higher.

Mae went on to fulfill her dream of becoming an astronaut in 1992 when she became the first African-American woman to fly into space.

Stanley Mazor

You’re probably reading this from a computer. You can thank Stanley Mazor for making the home computer a possibility.

During the late 1960’s, Stanley began work on a single-chip computer that would do the same tasks that up to this time even simple computers, like calculators, required the use of multiple processors to accomplish. In 1971 Stanley delivered the world’s first working microprocessor while working as an engineer for Intel.

That single processor contained the same computing power as the ENIAC which filled an entire room. Because of Stanley’s invention, computers would eventually come to be an integrated part of everyday society with a personal computer in virtually every home.

Illinois homes continue to produce some of the world’s best and brightest to this day.

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