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Arkansas Historic Figures

Maya Angelou
1928-Present: African-American poet, actress, and singer who was raised in Stamps. She was a National Book Award nominee for her autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), a Pulitzer Prize nominee for Just Give Me a Drink of Water Fore I Diiie (1972) and a Tony Award winner for her performance in "Look Away." She was the second poet in the country to be selected to present an inauguration poem at President Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
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Paul "Bear" Bryant
1913-83: Born in Moro Bottom and raised in Fordyce, Bryant picked up his nickname when, as a youth, he wrestled a bear at the Fordyce Theater. He was the head coach of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide from 1958-1983 and became the winningest college football coach with 323 victories and six national championships. Five weeks after retiring as head coach, he died of a heart attack.
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William Jefferson Clinton
1946-Present: 42nd President of the United States, Clinton was born in Hope and had his boyhood home in Hot Springs. He served as the state's attorney general (1976-78) and governor, (1978-80, 1982-93). He emphasized education reform and economic development during his tenure as Arkansas's Governor.
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General Douglas MacArthur
1880 -1964: He was born in the Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal while his father was its commandant. He rose to become a Five-star U.S. Army general and Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II. He accepted the Japanese surrender in 1945. His accomplishments include: first in class at West Point; Superintendent of West Point; Army Chief of Staff; U.S. Far East Commander; Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers; and first UN Commander. The building where the general was born, the Officer's Quarters, still stands and is now used to house the Arkansas Museum of Science and History. The surrounding park in named MacArthur Park.
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E. Fay Jones
1921-Present: Pine Bluff and raised in El Dorado, this University of Arkansas architecture professor designed artisan-built houses that incorporated organic design and native materials. He was designated by the American Institute of Architects in 1989 as one of the world's greatest contemporary architects. His Arkansas projects include Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, The Faubus House in Huntsville, and the Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista. He was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture for 1980-81 and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal by President Bush in 1991.
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