Thelonious Monk was an important member of the jazz revolution that took place in the early 1940s. Monk's unique piano style and his talent as a composer made him a leader in the development of modern jazz.
Decades after Marilyn Monroe's death, the film actress and model has remained one of Hollywood's greatest sex symbols with her eye-catching style, champagne blond hair, and breathless manner of speaking.
Joe Montana has earned a reputation as one of the top quarterbacks ever to play professional football, first rising to fame in the 1980s.
The French satirist (writer using sarcasm to communicate his message) and political and social philosopher Montesquieu was the first of the great French scholars associated with the Enlightenment (a philosophical movement in the eighteenth century that rejected traditional social and religious ideas by placing reason as the most important ideal).
The Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori was the first Italian woman to receive a medical degree. She was the originator of the Montessori method of education for children.
The life of the English humanist (one who studies human nature, interests, and values) and statesman (political leader) Sir Thomas More represents the political and spiritual disorder of the Reformation (the time of religious change in the sixteenth century that moved away from Roman Catholic tradition toward Protestantism). The author of Utopia, he was beheaded for being against the religious policy of Henry VIII (1491–1547).
Lead singer for the rock group the Doors, Jim Morrison was the poster-boy for the mind-bending, outlandish lifestyle of the 1960s in his brief but brilliant career.
Toni Morrison is the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is best known for her novels focusing on intimate relationships, especially between men and women.
Samuel F. B.
The Old Testament prophet Moses was chosen to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery. He created Israel's nationhood and delivered the Ten Commandments.
Grandma Moses was one of America's best-known primitive painters (artists who did not receive a formal art education).
Mother Teresa's devotional work among the poor and dying of India won her the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979. She is also known as the founder of the only Catholic religious order still growing in membership.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer (a writer of music) whose mastery of the whole range of contemporary (modern) instrumental and vocal forms—including the symphony, concerto, chamber music, and especially the opera—was unchallenged in his own time and perhaps in any other.
Hosni Mubarak became president of Egypt after the assassination (political murder) of Anwar Sadat (1918–1981). He continued his country's peace with Israel, made efforts to bring peace to the entire Middle East, and cracked down on Islamic groups that participated in terrorist activities.
Muhammad was the founder of the religion of Islam and of a community at Medina that later developed into the Arab Empire.
Elijah Muhammad was the leader of the Nation of Islam ("Black Muslims") during their period of greatest growth in the mid-twentieth century. He was a major promoter of independent, black-operated businesses, institutions, and religion.
The writings of John Muir, American naturalist (a scientist of natural history) and explorer, are important for their scientific observations and their contributions to the cause of conservation (the preservation and protection of natural resources).
The Norwegian painter and graphic artist Edvard Munch illustrated man's emotional life in love and death. His art was a major influence of the expressionist movement, in which where artists sought to give rise to emotional responses.
Starting out as a newspaper publisher in his native Australia, Rupert Murdoch became a powerful media entrepreneur (someone who begins a business venture) with many publications in England and the United States. His style of journalism brought criticism from serious readers but served the entertainment needs of a wide audience.
Benito Mussolini was head of the Italian government from 1922 to 1943. He was the founder of fascism, and as a dictator he held absolute power and severely mistreated his citizens and his country.
Russian-born American poet, fiction writer, and butterfly expert Vladimir Nabokov, most famous for the novel Lolita, noted for his dramatic descriptions, experimental style, and carefully structured plots, was one of the most highly acclaimed novelists of his time.
American social crusader and lawyer Ralph Nader became a symbol of the public's concern over the business practices of large corporations. He inspired investigations that were meant to improve the operations of industries and government bureaus.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor, was one of the greatest military leaders in history. He helped remake the map of Europe and established many government and legal reforms, but constant battles eventually led to his downfall.
Ogden Nash was one of the most commercially successful English-language poets of the twentieth century.
Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and wife of King Akhenaten who remains a mystery to scholars today. A bust (sculpture of a person's head and shoulders) of her discovered in 1913 is one of the most widely recognized symbols of ancient Egypt.
Isaac Newton was an English scientist and mathematician. He made major contributions in mathematics and physics (the study of the relationship between matter and energy) and advanced the work of previous scientists on the laws of motion, including the law of gravity.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche predicted a European collapse into a time where no one could define truth and the end of man was desired. In works of powerful and beautiful prose (writing that differs from poetry in its rhythm and closeness to ordinary speech) and poetry he struggled to head off the disaster.
The English nurse Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing and made outstanding contributions to the knowledge and improvement of public health.