Hartsook, photographer / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Henry Ford


30 July 1863 – 7 April 1947 (Aged 83)

Ford was one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

He founded the Ford Motor Company, before revolutionizing the business world with introducing the assembly line to enable mass production.

Ford’s company became the first to manufacture an affordable car for the middle class with the famous Model T.

Ford was also responsible for more than doubling worker’s wages, to $5 per day and the five-day working week.

Ford’s wealth was largely left to the Ford Foundation, which continues to fund projects globally today.

Ford was also famously anti-Semitic publishing his views in an autobiography, and other publications, including ‘The International Jew.

When Adolf Hitler was imprisoned, he read one of Ford’s books and was strongly influenced by them.

Ford died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 83.

Al Capone

(Mafia Boss)

 Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

17 January 1899 – 25 January 1947 (Aged 48)

Al Capone was a Chicago mafia boss, known as Scarface, who rose to infamy during the Prohibition era in America.

Capone largely enjoyed a period of popularity in Chicago, until he was behind the Saint Valentines Day Massacre, killing seven members of a rival gang.

The incident would make him public enemy number one, and drew federal authorities onto him.

A number of Prohibition agents, under the command of Elliot Ness, formed a group, known as the ‘Untouchables’, to try and take down Capone’s operation.

The investigation eventually led to Capone being found guilty of tax evasion, receiving an 11-year sentence, in 1931.

He was initially imprisoned in Atlanta, Georgia, before being moved to Alcatraz, off the coast of San Francisco.

During his imprisonment, Capone was found to be suffering from syphilis, which gradually eroded his mental capacity.

He received parole in 1939, but in poor health, he spent his final years at his mansion in Palm Island, Florida, dying in 1947, aged 48.

James Larkin

(Irish Activist)

James Larkin in Dublin in 1913. RTE archive / stills collection

21 January 1876 – 30 January 1947 (Aged 71)

Larkin was an Irish activist and trade union leader.

He gained fame for his role in a 6-month industrial dispute in Dublin during the second half of 1913, known as the ‘Dublin lock-out’.

Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, as well as the Irish Labour Party.

His influence on Irish life was recognized with an iconic statue of him erected on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Raoul Wallenberg

(Swedish Diplomat)

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4 August 1912 – disappeared 17 January 1945 (Aged 32)

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who is renowned for his deeds in saving thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II.

Wallenberg saved Jews from going to the concentration camps by giving them what was known as a ‘Schutz pass’, which served as a Swedish passport & protection from deportation.

Wallenberg also gave them refuge in safe houses near Budapest’s Jewish ghetto.

During the ‘Siege of Budapest’, he was detained by Soviet officials at some stage in early 1945 and imprisoned.

The Soviets originally denied this, but in 1957, Soviet officials announced they had documents showing Wallenberg died in a Soviet prison during 1947.

Wallenberg’s fate has been debated ever since, with there being many unconfirmed reports of him surviving long after 1947.

The good deeds Wallenberg carried out during the war consequently saw him made an honorary U.S. citizen in 1981. He was also the first non-Jew to be made an Israeli citizen.

Bugsy Siegel

(U.S. Mobster)

New York Police Department / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

28 February 1906 – 20 June 1947 (Aged 41)

Bugsy Siegel was an infamous American mobster who became one of the leading influencers in the development of the Las Vegas strip.

He had been a bootlegger during Prohibition, before focusing on gambling after it was repealed.

Siegel was a founding member of the notorious Murder Inc., a group known to have carried out hundreds of contract hits during the 1930s & 1940s.

Siegel was killed in a hail of bullets, shot through the sitting room window in his girlfriend’s home in Beverley Hills.

The murder was never officially resolved.

Fiorello La Guardia

(New York Mayor)

By Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff photographer / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

11 December 1882 – 20 September 1947 (Aged 64)

La Guardia was a three-term mayor of New York.

He was beloved by New Yorkers for reinvigorating the city, fighting systemic corruption & numerous improvements to varying aspects of the city, such as housing & transport.

New York’s LaGuardia airport is named in his honor, as a testament to the esteem in which he was held.