Another one of those delightful names that catch my inner eye and ear: Vartan Gregorian. Born in 1934 in Iran, thanks to the help of strangers (plus a lot of determination) he made it through tough times to the US, got a great education, and became a professor, the president of a university, and eventually the head of the Carnegie Corporation, a major charitable foundation.
Gregorian is a modest, charming, cheerful person, as comes out constantly in his talks and writings. As he says in a 2003 interview, re one motivation for writing his autobiography:
... I wanted people to know that life is not all cynical, that there are kind, wonderful people who do good things, help other people out of a sense of humanity, charity, religious obligation, ethnic pride, whatever. They help each other, and acknowledging that was the purpose of the book.
... another book that I need to read someday soon!
^z - 2010-02-05