Category Archives: Biography

Secret Billionaire: The Chuck Feeney Story

Despite having been one of the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet, Chuck Feeney now wears a watch, eats in diners, flies economy and doesn’t own a car. He refuses to be interviewed or photographed and, until very recently, refused to allow his name to be connected to any of the projects he funds.

Born in New Jersey during the Great Depression, Feeney became a billionaire many times over in the Sixties when he co-founded the Duty Free Shoppers Group. However Feeney found that his vast wealth sat uneasily with him, and has spent the past 25 years devising ways to give it all away. In this exclusive documentary, the self-styled ‘shabby philanthropist’ talks for the first time ever about his remarkable life.

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How a Dreamer Changed the World

This is a profile on late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a technological visionary who overcame numerous setbacks on his path to success. This short documentary features interviews with several of Jobs’ colleagues and business associates who recount the adversities faced, and his ultimate triumph as a computer pioneer.

A longhaired dreamer described by friends as a traditional “hippie,” Jobs dropped out of Reed College and travelled before returning to his childhood home in the Bay Area of California. It was upon his return that he presented his concept of a personal computer to his friend and future business partner, Steve Wozniak. Together they designed the Apple I, setting in motion a turn of events that would impact the future of technology for decades to come.

Tracing the evolution of the early model Apples and their groundbreaking features from color graphics to the mouse, the would-be turning point for Jobs and company came in 1984 with the debut of the Macintosh. Revolutionary in its user-friendly interface, the Macintosh paved the way for personal computers still in use today; however, the initial launch didn’t translate immediately into profit, causing many on the Apple Board of Directors to question Jobs’ leadership at the company and delivering a hit to his reputation.

Ultimately ejected from Apple, Jobs created a new company, NEXT, with the continued ambition to create a world-changing computer. It was during this time that Jobs turned his attention to operating systems instead of hardware, focused on his personal life, and undertook a new venture in entertainment with the purchase of Pixar Animation, an investment that made Jobs a billionaire thanks to the success of their first feature film, Toy Story.

In the ten years that had passed since Jobs’ ousting from Apple the company had suffered greatly, often failing to compete with Windows. Having a renewed interest in Apple, Jobs sold NEXT to the company and returned as interim CEO. In an unprecedented move, Jobs secured an investment from competitor Bill Gates in order to revitalize the Mac brand with the debut of the candy-colored iMac desktops and clamshell laptops that paved the way for the personal technology still in use today, from the iPod to the iPhone.

Representing Jobs as an incorrigible salesman and charismatic public figure, this edition of GAME CHANGERS provides a succinct overview of his life’s work.

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Billionaire Samurai Warrior of Silicon Valley

A samurai warrior of Silicon Valley, Larry Ellison, grew up in Chicago and at the age of 12 he was shocked with the news from his father that he was adopted. He was a mediocre student who had always disliked formal education and later on dropped out of college twice.

Addiction to money, no interest in following the rules and expensive tours around the world show that he is a stylish lad who lives a luxurious life. His Japanese-style house, worth of 200 million dollars, consists of a tea house, a man made lake, a koi pond and a bath house. He was the one to spend 400 million dollars to bring 2010 America’s cup – the oldest active trophy in sports – back to America for the first time in fifteen years.

Larry Ellison, the man with obsession to be first at everything, wanted to prove to his father that he can make something of himself. About 40 years ago, he got himself job at Ampex where his project included producing a large-scale database for CIA. The database project was later on named Oracle by Larry. Soon he left Ampex to start his own company, Software Development Laboratories Corporation (SDL), which was later named Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982. In early 1990s, the company began to face crisis and the reason was the marketing strategy.

The company happened to be on the verge of bankruptcy as they began to sale the products which were not even materialized yet. He was known to be a genius for launching a Network Computer which supported the internet facility back in 1996 but due to the falling prices of PCs, his venture was shutdown in consumer market. Now, he is known to be the highest paid executive over the last decade with total compensation of $1.84 billion.

According to a journalist who interviewed Larry Ellison, nobody is better than making a customer believe that he can change their business life with his product. He does whatever it takes to win and according to him the more we win, the more we earn. His company’s technology has become the backbone of the world’s information system and almost everyone in today’s world uses products of Oracle.

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Marlon Brando

The maverick ‘Godfather’ actor, one of the most controversial of his generation. Recluse, activist or genius? Perhaps all three.

Marlon Brando’s father was also named Marlon Brando, and was a travelling salesman who sold calcium carbonate. Brando’s mother was Dorothy (nee Pennebaker). Dorothy was an artistically inclined woman who was fond of amateur dramatics. She is said to have mentored Henry Fonda, whilst she was a director of the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Brando’s family nickname was ‘Bud’; he was the youngest of three children, and had two older sisters, Jocelyn and Frannie. Jocelyn dreamed of becoming an actress, whilst Frannie aspired to a career as an artist.

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I Was There: The Great War Interviews

In the early 1960s, the BBC spoke to almost 300 people about their experiences during the First World War for landmark series The Great War, but only a fraction of the interviews were broadcast.

This programme airs a selection of the original material, most of which has never been screened before, with recollections of the horrors of artillery bombardment and fleeting outbreaks of peace on the battlefield, as well as the stories of those on the home front waiting for news of their loved ones. A documentary film narrated by Samuel West.

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