it takes is a quick perusal of your local newsstand to realize how dumb
celebrity is and how we as a race have almost ruined that one thing
that’s supposed to be the coolest and most enviable thing we regular
folks can aspire to be. Who doesn’t want to be rich or famous, or at
least a little of one? It’s not the American Dream, it’s The Dream.
Sadly, so many of the people that get the ink are the ones who are the
least interesting or real. Or worse yet, they’re famous for something
cheap. Or for being a freak.

at we would like to shine a light on folks out there who are
doing it right. Some of them aren’t even people who we’re a fan of the
output of but self-made individuals
who have earned the respect in their own right. You may not agree or
you may find a new few favorite folks. Either way, I look forward to
your take on it. This list is in no particular order.

Day One – Anthony Bourdain.

The Celebrity: Dave Eggers.

What He’s Best Known For: A Hearthbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,the memoir about the death of both his parents and his raising of his younger brother. McSweeney’s, an amazing publishing empire.

The Catalyst for His Success: His little book nearly won him a Pulitzer.

Career Low Points: Being featured on this site?

Otherwise none, though he has experienced serious loss in his family with his parent’s succumbing to disease and his sister committing suicide.

Why He’s Here: In addition to being a crackerjack writer, good looking gentleman, and a publisher of absolutely beautiful and amazingly diverse books, trades, and one delightful expensive newspaper he has done massive amounts of work in spreading the contagion of reading and writing.

This is a recipe for great:

  • Massive talent.
  • A good attitude.
  • Good taste in collaborators and people to champion and provide opportunities to.
  • Giving back to the community and the kids.
  • Hard earned power and the logic to wield it with class and bravery.
  • The ability to deliver both deep and literary work as well as pure pulp.

And he wrote Where the Wild Things Are and Away We Go for the screen.

Seriously, that this guy has given the world McSweeney’s is enough to warrant his place on this list. And it’s just one piece of his puzzle. The guy’s published Stephen King, David Foster Wallace, Michael Chabon, and many more.

As role models go, can’t do much better.

Suggested Miscellany: 826 Valencia, an amazing place he founded to teach children how to write. His Author Page on McSweeney’s. Buy his goodies from us.