Alexander Graham Bell
[Babe Ruth] -- there's no question he belongs: sports icon of the century and the man who almost singlehandedly created the American national sports consciousness; Bainbridge is flat-out wrong here.
[Bill Cosby (William Henry Cosby, Jr.)] -- Bainbridge is wrong here too: Cosby is to black comics what Poitier is to black actors.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eleanor Roosevelt (Anna Eleanor Roosevelt)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
[George W. Bush] -- it may be early, but 15 years after his Presidency ends, he will be remembered as a transcendant political figure.
George Washington -- My vote for #1
George Washington Carver
Harriet Ross Tubman
[Harry Truman] -- talk about dead-wrong: Truman is the best Democratic President of the 20th Century, the man who realized the necessity to fight the Cold War and the man who made the decision to drop the A-bomb.
[Jackie Robinson (Jack Roosevelt Robinson)] -- again, Bainbridge is wrong: what Robinson did as the first black man in major American professional sports is impossible to understate
[Johnny Carson (John William Carson)] -- He's not at the top of the list, but Carson is one of the great entertainers ever.
Jonas Edward Salk
Lyndon B. Johnson
[Malcolm X (Malcolm Little)] -- For his impact on civil rights philosophy and the movement itself, he deserves inclusion on this list
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.)
Neil Alden Armstrong
Dr. Phil McGraw
Susan B. Anthony
[Tom Hanks] -- the greatest American actor of this generation deserves a spot on the list
Wrights Brothers (Orville & Wilbur Wright)
And Bainbridge is right to decry some of the great Americans not included: John Marshall (our greatest Chief Justice), Ulysses Grant (who won the Civil War), Thurgood Marshall (who as the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund did more to fight segregation than ANYONE else in the nation), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Andrew Jackson, William Sherman (my inclusion, not Bainbridge's), Henry Kissinger (also mine), John Adams (one of our more underrated Presidents), James Madison (he's the primary author of the US CONSTITUTION for criminy's sake!), William Seward (my inclusion -- we bought Alaska at his insistence) and others. It's really pathetic when people with no sense of history make grand historical-in-scope lists geared towards the present day.