In Depth

Famous First Impressions


PHENOMS:

ORSON WELLES (1941)

His first Hollywood film was the masterpiece Citizen Kane.

WILT CHAMBERLAIN (1959-60)

In his first season, "Wilt The Stilt" was named the league's most valuable player and averaged 37 points a game, more than any rookie ever.

HARPER LEE (1960)

A former airline reservation clerk in New York, Lee took a year off to write her first novel: To Kill a Mockingbird.

DAN MARINO (1983)

Drafted as a backup for the Dolphins, Marino ended up leading his conference in passing and starting in the Pro Bowl, the first rookie to do either.

BOB CRANDALL (1985-98)

CEO Crandall guided American Airlines through airline deregulation, instituting the first national frequent-flier program and dual-class labor system.

FLOPS:

HERBERT HOOVER (1929-1933)

Sworn in seven months before the stock market crash of Black Tuesday, the 31st President is remembered for the "Hooverville" shanty towns.

JOHN SCULLEY (1983-1993)

After Sculley was recruited to run Apple, the company fired Steve Jobs and headed into a long slide.

SAM BOWIE (1984)

The NBA center, drafted second overall, had the misfortune of a mediocre career after getting picked ahead of six-time champion Michael Jordan.

JERRY YANG (2007-2008)

Yahoo's co-founder was vilified by shareholders for rebuffing a $44 billion acquisition offer from Microsoft and quickly gave up the CEO job.

CONAN O'BRIEN (2009-2010)

As he was bounced for Jay Leno, O'Brien said it was "always my dream to host The Tonight Show—for seven months."


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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