Books change lives,  Creativity and discovery,  Motivation

Who are your heroes?

“One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.” ~Steve Jobs, Cofounder of Apple, Inc.

In the sixth grade, I was deeply moved and inspired by the courage of diarist Anne Frank, who earned literary fame after her death with the 1947 publication of The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne started her diary after she turned 13, recording the details of her life in hiding (from 1942 to 1944) during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

After reading it for the first time, I sobbed for days at the thought of how a young girl — not much older than I was then — had to hide in a “secret annex” to escape Nazi persecution, and later perished in a concentration camp.

Anne Frank’s evocative personal writing sparked my fascination with diaries, memoirs, and journals — and even influenced my career focus on essays and personal columns. Who were your heroes growing up? Do you still admire them, or has your list of heroes changed? ~CL

Special Note: Today’s photo features the 75th anniversary edition of The Diary of a Young Girl, published by Anchor/Penguin Random House. In the lower right corner is a postcard showing passport photos of Anne Frank in 1939 (, sent by my friend Susan when she was visiting Amsterdam. (Thank you, Susan.)

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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