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What It Takes

Academy of Achievement

171
Followers
1.4K
Plays
What It Takes

What It Takes

Academy of Achievement

171
Followers
1.4K
Plays
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About Us

Revealing, intimate conversations with visionaries and leaders in the arts, science, technology, public service, sports and business. These engaging personal stories are drawn from interviews with the American Academy of Achievement, and offer insights you’ll want to apply to your own life.

Latest Episodes

Best of - Olivia de Havilland: The Last Belle of Cinema

Olivia de Havilland, who just passed away at the age of 104, was the last of the Hollywood's leading ladies from the Golden Age. She is best known for portraying Melanie Hamilton in "Gone With The Wind" (and admit it: you liked Melanie better than Scarlett, right?), but she had starring roles in dozens of films during the 1930's, 40's and 50's. This "best of" episode, which originally posted in June of 2016, features an extensive conversation with Ms. de Havilland about the early days of the American film industry. She explains how the studio system confined her to the role of the ingenue, and how she eventually broke out of it to play some of the more complex and fascinating women on the silver screen -- including in two films that won her Academy Awards for Best Actress: "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress".

45 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Best of - Olivia de Havilland: The Last Belle of Cinema

Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

EHe grew up on the tough streets of Miami in the 1980s, dealing drugs and learning how to survive. But this first generation Cuban-American took the stage name Pitbull, and became a wildly successful rapper and music producer, who has put out dance, pop & latin hits for the past twenty years. He calls himself a hustler, and talks here about how hard work and determination have been more important to his story than talent. And he describes the charter schools he helped start, to provide a better chance for kids low-income kids who face the same kind of challenges in life that he did.

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

In honor of Congressman John Lewis, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17th, we are re-posting this episode. It was originally published in January, 2020. Lewis spent his whole life trying to get our nation to live up to its own ideals. He maintained faith and optimism about the future, and was inspired by the new generation of activists for racial justice. He was the son of a sharecropper, and tells the story here of how he grew up to become a legendary leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a 17-term Congressman from the state of Georgia. He describes his political and spiritual awakenings, and recounts how he learned to live fearlessly and non-violently, despite the many beatings and arrests he endured -- at lunch counter sit-ins and during the march from Selma to Montgomery. You'll hear archival sound from those events as well, and an excerpt of John Lewis speaking at the March on Washington when he was just 23 years old.

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

Ron Howard: Imagine Success

He has had one of the longest and most celebrated careers in Hollywood history, and it's still on overdrive. As a director, Ron Howard has worked in almost every genre. His films include Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Far and Away, Splash, and Cocoon. As an actor, he made his screen debut before the age of two, and then skyrocketed to fame at five, playing Opie on the Andy Griffith Show. As a teenager, he starred in the movie American Graffiti and the television show Happy Days, and then transitioned to directing, where he's made his mark ever since. Ron Howard explains here how and why he made the shift. He talks about embracing criticism, and he explains why he approaches his work as a collaborator rather than a lone wolf.

40 MINJUL 13
Comments
Ron Howard: Imagine Success

Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

Maya Angelou took the harshest experiences in her life and turned them into words of triumph, justice and hope. Her memoirs and her poems told of her survival, and uplifted people around the world. Her first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," is a classic of American literature. Angelou's voice and the rhythm of her speech were absolutely unique. In this episode, which originally ran in December of 2016, you'll be reminded why she was one of the most inspiring figures of the past century, and why her voice is missed today more than ever.

35 MINJUL 6
Comments
Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

Two world-renowned novelists, from different corners of the globe, talk about why they write. Orhan Pamuk, from Turkey, is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Carlos Fuentes, who died in 2009, was one of the most celebrated Mexican authors of all time. When Pamuk was facing a prison sentence for expressing his views, Fuentes gathered a group of international literary heavyweights to intervene on his behalf. You'll hear both authors describe how they discovered the power of literature, and how their writing relies on a combination of dreams, magic and discipline.

57 MINJUN 29
Comments
Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

Both of these men grew up under segregation, 50 years apart, and each became an important force for truth and for justice. John Hope Franklin was a pre-eminent historian, whose scholarship focused on the central role of African-Americans in our national story. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Bryan Stevenson is a human rights lawyer who fights on behalf of death row prisoners in the deep south. He's also the author of "Just Mercy" and is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Their talks, which you'll hear in this episode, are as pressing today as the day they were given. Perhaps more so.

33 MINJUN 15
Comments
Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

Best of - Coretta Scott King: The Courage to Dream

The United States seemed poised for a new day in 1963, when the March on Washington drew a quarter million people. And yet, throughout the intervening fifty-seven years, Martin Luther King Jr’s dream has remained elusive. George Floyd’s killing by police, two weeks ago, and the protests that have erupted in its wake, could not make that any clearer. Over the next several weeks, we will feature some of the extraordinary voices from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s that are in the audio archive of the Academy of Achievement. Today, we bring you our episode on Coretta Scott King. It originally posted in January of 2016. As Mrs. King says, she wasn’t just married to Martin Luther King Jr., she was married to the cause. Their partnership in life, in faith, and in the struggle for justice and human rights, changed the world. In this episode, Mrs. King describes her early aspirations in music, her courtship with Martin, and her courage in the face of violence.

29 MINJUN 8
Comments
Best of - Coretta Scott King: The Courage to Dream

Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life

He knew from the age of five that he was going to become a paleontologist, but he also became one of the most important evolutionary theorists since Darwin. As a Harvard professor, he inspired generations of students. And as a writer, he made science understandable and exciting to the general public. Stephen Jay Gould died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 60, but during his lifetime, The Library of Congress designated him a "living legend." In this interview, he explains his most famous contributions to evolutionary theory, he talks about how his high school choral director taught him the importance of excellence, and he makes the case against global warming, as only a paleontologist might.

46 MINJUN 1
Comments
Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life

Lt. Michael Thornton and Lt. Tommy Norris: Portraits of Valor

In 1972, a Navy Seal named Thomas Norris carried out one of the most dangerous and daring rescue missions of the war in Vietnam. Six months later, he would be rescued himself, in an equally dramatic manner, after being shot through the head. His rescuer was fellow Seal, Michael Thornton, who had shrapnel wounds, but swam for three hours while carrying Norris, and a South Vietnamese commando. Both Norris and Thornton would go on to receive the Medal of Honor. They tell their remarkable war stories here - best friends, sitting side by side.

58 MINMAY 18
Comments
Lt. Michael Thornton and Lt. Tommy Norris: Portraits of Valor

Latest Episodes

Best of - Olivia de Havilland: The Last Belle of Cinema

Olivia de Havilland, who just passed away at the age of 104, was the last of the Hollywood's leading ladies from the Golden Age. She is best known for portraying Melanie Hamilton in "Gone With The Wind" (and admit it: you liked Melanie better than Scarlett, right?), but she had starring roles in dozens of films during the 1930's, 40's and 50's. This "best of" episode, which originally posted in June of 2016, features an extensive conversation with Ms. de Havilland about the early days of the American film industry. She explains how the studio system confined her to the role of the ingenue, and how she eventually broke out of it to play some of the more complex and fascinating women on the silver screen -- including in two films that won her Academy Awards for Best Actress: "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress".

45 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Best of - Olivia de Havilland: The Last Belle of Cinema

Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

EHe grew up on the tough streets of Miami in the 1980s, dealing drugs and learning how to survive. But this first generation Cuban-American took the stage name Pitbull, and became a wildly successful rapper and music producer, who has put out dance, pop & latin hits for the past twenty years. He calls himself a hustler, and talks here about how hard work and determination have been more important to his story than talent. And he describes the charter schools he helped start, to provide a better chance for kids low-income kids who face the same kind of challenges in life that he did.

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

In honor of Congressman John Lewis, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17th, we are re-posting this episode. It was originally published in January, 2020. Lewis spent his whole life trying to get our nation to live up to its own ideals. He maintained faith and optimism about the future, and was inspired by the new generation of activists for racial justice. He was the son of a sharecropper, and tells the story here of how he grew up to become a legendary leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a 17-term Congressman from the state of Georgia. He describes his political and spiritual awakenings, and recounts how he learned to live fearlessly and non-violently, despite the many beatings and arrests he endured -- at lunch counter sit-ins and during the march from Selma to Montgomery. You'll hear archival sound from those events as well, and an excerpt of John Lewis speaking at the March on Washington when he was just 23 years old.

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

Ron Howard: Imagine Success

He has had one of the longest and most celebrated careers in Hollywood history, and it's still on overdrive. As a director, Ron Howard has worked in almost every genre. His films include Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Far and Away, Splash, and Cocoon. As an actor, he made his screen debut before the age of two, and then skyrocketed to fame at five, playing Opie on the Andy Griffith Show. As a teenager, he starred in the movie American Graffiti and the television show Happy Days, and then transitioned to directing, where he's made his mark ever since. Ron Howard explains here how and why he made the shift. He talks about embracing criticism, and he explains why he approaches his work as a collaborator rather than a lone wolf.

40 MINJUL 13
Comments
Ron Howard: Imagine Success

Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

Maya Angelou took the harshest experiences in her life and turned them into words of triumph, justice and hope. Her memoirs and her poems told of her survival, and uplifted people around the world. Her first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," is a classic of American literature. Angelou's voice and the rhythm of her speech were absolutely unique. In this episode, which originally ran in December of 2016, you'll be reminded why she was one of the most inspiring figures of the past century, and why her voice is missed today more than ever.

35 MINJUL 6
Comments
Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

Two world-renowned novelists, from different corners of the globe, talk about why they write. Orhan Pamuk, from Turkey, is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Carlos Fuentes, who died in 2009, was one of the most celebrated Mexican authors of all time. When Pamuk was facing a prison sentence for expressing his views, Fuentes gathered a group of international literary heavyweights to intervene on his behalf. You'll hear both authors describe how they discovered the power of literature, and how their writing relies on a combination of dreams, magic and discipline.

57 MINJUN 29
Comments
Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

Both of these men grew up under segregation, 50 years apart, and each became an important force for truth and for justice. John Hope Franklin was a pre-eminent historian, whose scholarship focused on the central role of African-Americans in our national story. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Bryan Stevenson is a human rights lawyer who fights on behalf of death row prisoners in the deep south. He's also the author of "Just Mercy" and is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Their talks, which you'll hear in this episode, are as pressing today as the day they were given. Perhaps more so.

33 MINJUN 15
Comments
Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

Best of - Coretta Scott King: The Courage to Dream

The United States seemed poised for a new day in 1963, when the March on Washington drew a quarter million people. And yet, throughout the intervening fifty-seven years, Martin Luther King Jr’s dream has remained elusive. George Floyd’s killing by police, two weeks ago, and the protests that have erupted in its wake, could not make that any clearer. Over the next several weeks, we will feature some of the extraordinary voices from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s that are in the audio archive of the Academy of Achievement. Today, we bring you our episode on Coretta Scott King. It originally posted in January of 2016. As Mrs. King says, she wasn’t just married to Martin Luther King Jr., she was married to the cause. Their partnership in life, in faith, and in the struggle for justice and human rights, changed the world. In this episode, Mrs. King describes her early aspirations in music, her courtship with Martin, and her courage in the face of violence.

29 MINJUN 8
Comments
Best of - Coretta Scott King: The Courage to Dream

Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life

He knew from the age of five that he was going to become a paleontologist, but he also became one of the most important evolutionary theorists since Darwin. As a Harvard professor, he inspired generations of students. And as a writer, he made science understandable and exciting to the general public. Stephen Jay Gould died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 60, but during his lifetime, The Library of Congress designated him a "living legend." In this interview, he explains his most famous contributions to evolutionary theory, he talks about how his high school choral director taught him the importance of excellence, and he makes the case against global warming, as only a paleontologist might.

46 MINJUN 1
Comments
Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life

Lt. Michael Thornton and Lt. Tommy Norris: Portraits of Valor

In 1972, a Navy Seal named Thomas Norris carried out one of the most dangerous and daring rescue missions of the war in Vietnam. Six months later, he would be rescued himself, in an equally dramatic manner, after being shot through the head. His rescuer was fellow Seal, Michael Thornton, who had shrapnel wounds, but swam for three hours while carrying Norris, and a South Vietnamese commando. Both Norris and Thornton would go on to receive the Medal of Honor. They tell their remarkable war stories here - best friends, sitting side by side.

58 MINMAY 18
Comments
Lt. Michael Thornton and Lt. Tommy Norris: Portraits of Valor
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