The German philosopher, revolutionary economist (one who studies the use of money and other material funds), and leader Karl Marx founded modern "scientific" socialism (a system of society in which no property is held as private). His basic ideas—known as Marxism—form the foundation of Socialist and Communist (an economic and government system characterized by citizens holding all property and goods in common) movements throughout the world.
Mary, Queen of Scots was queen of France and Scotland. She was also a claimant (someone who has a legal claim to be the lawful ruler) to the throne of England.
Cotton Mather was a Puritan (a member of a group that broke away from the Church of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth century) preacher, historian (recorder of events and culture of the times), and the youngest man to graduate from Harvard College. Of the third generation of a New England founding family, he is popularly associated with the Salem witchcraft trials (1692–93; trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in which nineteen women were accused, tried, and executed and several others imprisoned for what juries determined was witchcraft).
The French painter and sculptor Henri Matisse was one of the great initiators of the modern art movement, which uses the combination of bold primary colors and free, simple forms. He was also the most outstanding personality of the first revolution in twentieth century art—Fauvism (style of art that uses color and sometimes distorted forms to send its message).
Brothers and outstanding surgeons (doctors who perform operations) William Mayo and Charles Mayo, along with their father William Worrall Mayo, founded the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the nation's first efforts at group practice of medicine.
During the twenty-one seasons in his major league career, Willie Mays hit more than six hundred home runs. Besides being a solid hitter, Mays also has been called the game's finest defensive outfielder ever and perhaps its best baserunner as well.
Joseph McCarthy, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, became a national figure in a highly publicized pursuit of a Communist "conspiracy." Because of him, the term McCarthyism became a synonym for a public "witch-hunt" intended to destroy the victim's political standing and public character.
Hattie McDaniel's portrayal of the "mammy" figure in the film Gone with the Wind, for which she received an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1940, is still widely seen as a role that could only have been played by her. She was the first African American to receive an Oscar.
John McEnroe was one of the most successful and high-profile players in the history of tennis. Throughout his career, McEnroe won seventeen Grand Slam titles, seventy-seven career single titles, and seventy-seven doubles titles.
Terry McMillan, an African American novelist and short story writer, describes in her works the experiences of urban (city-dwelling) African American women and men.
Aimee Semple McPherson, American evangelist (one who preaches Christianity), symbolized important traits of American popular religion in the 1920s and 1930s. She was one of the first female evangelists, the first divorced evangelist, and the founder of the Foursquare Gospel church.
The American anthropologist (a scientist who studies human beings and their origins, distribution, and relationships) Margaret Mead developed the field of culture and personality research and was a leading influence in introducing the concept of culture into education, medicine, and public policy.
Catherine de' Medici was married to the French King Henry II (1519– 1559) and was mother and regent (one who governs a kingdom in the absence of the real ruler) of three other kings—Francis II (1544–1560), Charles IX (1550–1574), and Henry III (1551–1589). She had great influence over her sons and is thought by some to have authorized the famous Massacre of St.
Golda Meir served as Israel's foreign minister from 1956 to 1966 and became its fourth prime minister in 1969. By the end of her life, she had become a hero as one of the first women to head a nation in the modern era.
Rigoberta Menchú has been a passionate spokesperson for the rights of indigenous peoples—people who belong to an ethnic group that is native to a region, such as the Mayan peoples of Central America. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work on behalf of the indigenous groups of Guatamela, her native country.
Felix Mendelssohn was a German composer (a writer of music), conductor (the leader of a musical group), pianist, and organist. He developed a basic classical approach to musical composition with fresh romantic harmonies and expressiveness.
Kweisi Mfume has been an active leader in the civil rights struggle for many decades. As a congressman, Mfume became one of the most well-known African American politicians in Washington, D.C.
Michelangelo was one of the greatest sculptors of the Italian Renaissance and one of its greatest painters and architects.
San Francisco city politician Harvey Milk helped open the door for gays and lesbians in the United States by championing civil rights for homosexuals (those sexually attracted to members of the same sex). Since Milk's murder in 1978, he has remained a symbol of activism.
The English philosopher and economist (someone who studies the buying and selling of goods and services) John Stuart Mill was the most influential British thinker of the nineteenth century. He is known for his writings on logic and scientific method and for his many essays on social and political life.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American lyric (expressing direct and personal feeling) poet whose personal life and verse reflected the attitudes of rebellious youth during the 1920s.
Best known for his play Death of a Salesman, American playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Arthur Miller is considered one of the major dramatists of twentieth-century American theater.
American author Henry Miller was a major force in literature in the late 1950s, largely because his two most important novels, banned from publication and sale in the United States for many years, tested federal laws concerning art and pornography (material intended to cause sexual excitement).
Slobodan Milosevic was president of Serbia (a republic, or member state, of Yugoslavia) from 1989 to 1997 and president of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. In 2001 he was sent to stand trial at the international war crimes tribunal (court) in The Hague, Netherlands, for his actions during the civil war that occurred in Yugoslavia during the 1990s.
The English poet John Milton was a champion of liberty. As a Protestant, he believed that the individual reader should interpret the Bible.
The Spanish painter Joan Miró was one of the first surrealists (artists who created art that emphasized fantastic imagery who were part of a movement called surrealism that began in the early twentieth century). Miró developed a highly personalized visual language that originated from prehistoric and natural sources.
The French dramatist Molière was the master of French comedy. His plays often attacked hypocrisy (pretending to possess qualities one does not actually have).
The French painter Claude Monet was the leading figure in the growth of impressionism, a movement in which painters looked to nature for inspiration and used vibrant light and color rather than the solemn browns and blacks of previous paintings.