Inspirational Celebrities of the Week: Salvador Dali and Jackie Robinson

Inspirational celebrities act as role models, showing us how to reach for our goals. They educate and instruct, entertain and enrich our lives, helping us live our dreams vicariously through others.

Everlasting Footprint promotes celebrating life. Every week, we celebrate the lives of inspirational celebrities at the time of their birth or death anniversary. We remember the impact our loved ones had on our hearts and minds.

Inspirational Celebrity #1: Salvador Dali (died Jan 23, 1989)


Salvador Dali on Whats My LineSalvador Dali on “What’s My Line?”, 1952

“Not the Best Game Show Contestant”

What’s My Line was a game show in the 1950s and 1960s that consisted of celebrity panelists who had to ask questions to an unknown contestant in order to try and figure out who they were and what they did for a living. Most of the shows went smoothly. “Do you wear a uniform?” a panelist might ask. “Yes,” the hidden contestant who was a firefighter would reply. And the questions would start getting more and more focused as the contestant got more clues based on previous questions.

On January 20, 1952, Salvador Dalí was the guest contestant, and he did not disappoint. Dalí was known as a quirky, outrageous, and entertaining person, but seeing him in action was a different experience. No matter what the poor panelists asked, Dalí responded, “Yes.” Even to things that didn’t apply to his profession, like “Are you an athlete?” he assured them was, in fact, the truth. After a while the audience was an explosion of laughter, the host couldn’t stop smiling, and the panelists’ faces were twisted in confusion.

During all of it; there was Salvador Dalí not even flinching. No giggling, no hesitating, just sitting up straight like it was a normal interview. Finally, someone called out, “There’s nothing this man doesn’t do! What we have to guess is an all-around man.” The best part about this TV appearance was the fact that this performance was true to who Dalí was. He was creative, intelligent, intuitive, and entertaining. It was impossible to ever know exactly what he was thinking, and he was always ready to keep everyone on their toes. Salvador Dalí was a breath of fresh air in all circumstances.

Short Story By: Liz Grear, Staff Writer

A character for the ages, Salvador Dalí continues to be an inspirational celebrity who teaches us to push the boundaries of who we are and what we know.


Inspirational Celebrity #2: Jackie Robinson (born Jan 31, 1919)

Jackie Robinson at batJackie Robinson, MLB legend

On April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson first played with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he integrated baseball, and subsequently, opened the door to end racial segregation in all professional US sports. The event was seen as a piece of sports news at the time – the New York Times published the story in their Sports section – but in hindsight, Jackie Robinson’s performance that day became a historical event that furthered the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century.

After becoming the star player of Brooklyn, Robinson still was not allowed to stay in the same hotel with the white team members when they traveled. He roomed with a black sportswriter who followed the team. He dodged bad throws from pitchers as he stood at home plates around the country; he endured fellow MLB players spitting on him and cursing at him. Even through death threats, Robinson held his head high, a paragon of integrity.

Jackie Robinson was chosen to be the first player to integrate the major leagues not just because of his skill, but because of his indomitable spirit. Since he was a child, Robinson had learned to repel racism with grace, to maturely handle himself with class and dignity whenever he was met with cruel treatment. He recalls in his autobiography, I Never Had It Made, how he was inspired by his mother, Mallie Robinson, to act so honorably. Robinson admired his mother’s strength, her ability to be stand up to injustice without antagonizing anyone. He wrote, “My mother never lost her composure.”

Mallie Robinson’s legacy lives through her son, Jackie Robinson, who acted as a shining example of nonviolent protest and composed dignity for all the world. In moments of harsh, prejudiced treatment, each of us can look to inspirational celebrities like Jackie Robinson for guidance through our own difficult times.

Visit Everlasting Footprint to create Footprints for your favorite inspirational celebrities like Salvador Dali and Jackie Robinson. Create, become a Collaborator, and share your own stories and memories of your loved ones.

About Cortni Merritt

Managing Editor, Cortni Merritt, MA, reads everything she comes across. She has degrees in both psychology and English, and has been a composition instructor, and a copywriter for lawyers, a coordinator at a dating service, and a property manager of apartments. Cortni makes it her mission to read people's stories.

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