Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl yesterday has sparked a lot of comments on the greatest athlete ever. TB12 is definitely the greatest quarterback ever; without exception or qualification. In fact, most every athlete of this generation is light years ahead of the past generations because of nutrition, training, and devotion. However, honorable mentions would definitely include Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.
But I don’t care about athletics that much. It’s just a game, but I thought I’d make a little list — just a simple list — of the greatest in their fields. This is a matter of taste and opinion. But here is the list — and I’ve taken The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit out of the equation because he is, obviously, not the greatest but the ultimate, and likewise I’ve removed biblical answers from possibilities. Also, this list is horrifically skewed toward white males. Part of that is the nature of history, and part of that is the nature of taste. For example, while Jane Austen is many people’s favorite writer, I have a hard time getting through four pages. J. K. Rowling is many people’s favorite author, and she creates great characters and a great world, but her abuse of adverbs precludes her from being the greatest writer. Again, this list is my list and so it will skew in my own demographic.
- Greatest singer — Frank Sinatra
- Greatest chef — Jacques Pepin
- Greatest writer — Charles Dickens
- Greatest leader — Winston Churchill
- Greatest actor — Tom Hanks
- Greatest Artist — Michelangelo
- Greatest journalist — Walter Cronkite
- Greatest theologian — N. T. Wright
- Greatest band — U2
- Greatest Star Trek Captain — Picard
Honorable mentions: Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Julia Childs, Alton Brown, J. R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, Papa Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Meryl Streep, Wil Smith, Helen Mirren, Caravaggio, Monet, Edward R. Murrow, St. Augustine of Hippo, Fleming Rutledge, Millard Erickson, R.E.M., The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, James T. Kirk, and Benjamin Sisko.