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THE CLASS OF 1954

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 5, 2012

– and the effect we had on society.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

Over the summer I’ll be attending the 40th reunion of my High School Class (of 1972). This is not the first time I have attended a reunion. We go to rekindle old friendships, settle our curiosity as to how certain people turned out, and collectively answer the question, “How did we do?” Some high school classes are marred by tragedy, such as a rapist or murderer, a terrorist, or some other major criminal activity thereby embarrassing the class. Fortunately, we didn’t have any of that in our school. Among the members of our class were doctors, several attorneys, a handful of clergy members, some noteworthy artists and entrepreneurs, a lot of business people, and a judge we’re all proud of.

As I was looking over the careers of the members of my class, I started to wonder about the overall effect our “baby boomer” class had on the world, those born during the year 1954. I then started to research the Internet and compiled a list of the “Class of 1954” to see who else was a part of my generation (see below). Frankly, I was surprised by some of the names of the list. All are notable, some are noble, and a few rather notorious, at least in my view. From what I could see, we had some pretty impressive sports figures in our class, a lot of politicians, and quite a few entertainers, but I guess that is to be expected in such a compilation.

In studying the list, you cannot help but wonder how these people made their fame and fortune. Some worked hard to get where they were going, some inherited a famous name to live up to, and some were just plain lucky. However, I think all of them had some good handlers to assist them in their journey through life, be it a coach, a relative, an agent, or some other mentor. I learned a long time ago that we enjoy life through the help and society of others, meaning success is attributed, in part, to our ability to effectively interact with people, develop a rapport, and listen to advice. We may be very skilled in our chosen profession, but if we make the wrong decision along the way, we may never realize our full potential. Although there may be a few people on the list with enough confidence and determination to find their own way, most of us rely on others to refine our skills and nudge us in the right direction. After that, it is a matter of having the sense and determination to grasp the brass ring. Some people know when to boldly seize an opportunity, others are hesitant thereby missing their chance, and others simply too timid to try. Some of us listened to advice, others spurned it.

Making your mark on the world requires more than just talent or skill, it also requires hard work, a little ambition, and the ability to assume risk. It is this latter attribute where advisors come in handy. I do not believe it has anything to do with luck as much as possessing the sense to know when to seize the moment.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the list and find it as interesting as I did.

THE CLASS OF 1954

Jan-02 – Henry Bonilla – former Congressman from Texas
Jan-12 – Howard Stern – radio shock-jock
Jan-19 – Katey Sagal – actress, “Married, with Children”
Jan-27 – Ed Schultz – radio personality
Jan-29 – Oprah Winfrey – television personality
Feb-01 – Bill Mumy – actor, “Lost in Space”
Feb-02 – Christie Brinkley – model
Feb-08 – Joe Maddon – MLB Manager, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Feb-15 – Matt Groening – cartoonist, “The Simpsons”
Feb-16 – Margaux Hemingway* – actress
Feb-17 – Rene Russo – actress
Feb-18 – John Travolta – actor
Feb-20 – Patty Hearst- newspaper heiress, convicted bank robber
Feb-25 – Tim Floyd – NCAA and NBA Head Basketball Coach
Feb-26 – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Prime Minister of Turkey
Feb-27 – Mark Neumann – former Congressman from Wisconsin
Feb-28 – Brian Billick – Super Bowl winning Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens
Mar-01 – Ron Howard – director and actor
Mar-24 – Robert Carradine – actor
Mar-26 – Curtis Sliwa – Founder of the Guardian Angels
Apr-07 – Jackie Chan – actor, martial artist
Apr-07 – Tony Dorsett – NFL Hall of Fame running back
Apr-08 – Gary Carter* – MLB Hall of Fame catcher
Apr-09 – Dennis Quaid – actor
Apr-10 – Juan Williams – TV news commentator
Apr-23 – Michael Moore – film director
Apr-27 – Herman Edwards – former NFL Head Coach
Apr-28 – Ron Zook – former Head football Coach, Illinois, and Florida
Apr-29 – Bill Paxon – former Congressman from New York
Apr-29 – Jerry Seinfeld – comedian, actor
May-07 – Candice Miller – Congresswoman, Michigan 10th
May-23 – Marvin Hagler – former boxing champ
May-24 – Doug Lamborn – Congressman, Colorado 5th
May-20 – David Paterson – former New York Governor
May-28 – Aylwin Lewis – CEO of Sears
May-29 – Jerry Moran – US Senator from Kansas
Jun-02 – Dennis Haysbert – actor, Allstate spokesman
Jun-15 – Jim Belushi – actor
Jun-19 – Kathleen Turner – actress
Jun-22 – Charles Canady – Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
Jun-22 – Freddie Prinze* – comedian, actor
Jun-25 – Sonia Sotomayor – US Supreme Court Justice
Jul-05 – Bob Ney – Congressman from Ohio, 1995-2006
Jul-06 – Willie Randolph – former MLB Baseball Manager, New York Mets
Jul-10 – Tommy Bowden – former Head football Coach, Clemson University
Jul-18 – Ricky Skaggs – country music singer
Jul-22 – Steven LaTourette – Congressman, Ohio 14th
Jul-25 – Walter Payton* – NFL Hall of Fame running back
Jul-26 – Vitas Gerulaitis – tennis great
Jul-28 – Hugo Chavez – President of Venezuela
Aug-04 – Anatoliy Kinakh – former Prime Minister of Ukraine
Aug-06 – Carl C. Perkins – former Congressman from Kentucky
Aug-13 – Lincoln Diaz-Balart – former Congressman from Florida
Aug-14 – Robert A. Eckert – CEO of Mattel
Aug-16 – James Cameron – Oscar winning movie director
Aug-20 – Al Roker – TV weatherman
Aug-25 – Elvis Costello – Graqmmy winning singer-songwriter, Rock Hall of Fame
Aug-30 – Alexander Lukashenko – President of Belarus
Aug-31 – Robert Kocharian – President of Armenia
Sep-07 – Corbin Bernsen – actor
Sep-08 – Mark Foley – former Congressman from Florida
Sep-10 – Cynthia Lummis – Congresswoman, Wyoming
Sep-12 – Peter Scolari – actor
Sep-21 – Shinzo Abe – former Prime Minister of Japan
Sep-22 – Shari Belafonte – actress
Sep-25 – Sylvester Croom – Mississippi State Head Football Coach
Sep-28 – Steve Largent – NFL Hall of Famer, former Congressman from Oklahoma
Oct-02 – Lorraine Bracco – actress
Oct-03 – Dennis Eckersley – MLB Hall of Fame pitcher
Oct-03 – Al Sharpton – political gadfly
Oct-03 – Stevie Ray Vaughan* – famous blues guitarist
Oct-08 – Tom Price – Congressman, Georgia 6th
Oct-09 – Scott Bakula – actor
Oct-10 – David Lee Roth – singer
Oct-24 – Mike Rounds – former Governor of South Dakota
Oct-26 – Lauren Tewes – actress, TV’s “Love Boat”
Nov-03 – Adam Ant – musician
Nov-10 – Bill Johnson – Congressman, Ohio 6th
Nov-13 – Chris Noth – actor
Nov-14 – Condoleezza Rice – former US Secretary of State
Nov-14 – Yanni – musician
Nov-15 – Aleksander Kwasniewski – former President of Poland
Nov-23 – Bruce Hornsby – musician
Nov-29 – Joel Coen – film director, half of the Coen brothers
Dec-06 – Martha L. Minow – Dean of Harvard Law School
Dec-09 – Phil Bryant – Governor of Mississippi
Dec-09 – Mary Fallin – Governor of Oklahoma
Dec-11 – Jermaine Jackson – musician
Dec-15 – Mark Warner – US Senator from Virginia and former Governor
Dec-18 – Ray Liotta – actor
Dec-19 – Mike Sherman – former Head Football Coach at Texas A&M
Dec-20 – Sandra Cisneros – author
Dec-21 – Chris Evert – tennis great, former #1
Dec-25 – Annie Lennox – singer
Dec-26 – Ozzie Smith – MLB Hall of Fame shortstop
Dec-28 – Denzel Washington – Oscar winning actor

* Deceased

Do not believe for a moment that anyone on this list made it exclusively on their own. They all had someone lend them a hand along the way, and they were smart enough to take it.

There are probably many more people I could have added to list, but I think you get the idea. If I’ve forgotten your name, I apologize. I probably missed the memo.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
HIGH TECH PICKPOCKETS – Keeping your hand on your wallet will not help either.

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One Response to “THE CLASS OF 1954”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “I enjoy my class reunions. Some people have really surprised me. Maybe I’m not what they expected, either. Some of the quietest students became very dynamic, productive people in their respective fields of work. Some of the wunderkind burned out early. Very few have not experienced some kind of change. Since my high school was all girls, our reunions now look like a red hat ladies’ gathering. We’re way past needing to prove ourselves and enjoy reminiscing and poring over photos of our kids and grandkids. It’s a really comfortable feeling to reunite with women I grew up with and take a sentimental journey.”

    Like

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