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Potential Research Topics: PEOPLE

This guide will help with settling on a research topic for class.

PEOPLE

PEOPLE: Billy Graham
TOPIC:
Reverend Billy Graham was an evangelical Christian preacher who was one of the most
influential international evangelists of the 20th century. How did he start his career and build his
ministry so successfully? What was the relationship that he had with U.S. presidents and what are
some of examples of where he is said to have influenced their decisions?
SEARCH TERMS: Bill Graham AND evang* AND Christian

PEOPLE: Kehinde Wiley
TOPIC:
Kehinde Wiley is an artist who has painted President Obama’s official portrait that will be
displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. What style of portraiture is he best known
for? What are some other portraits he has painted?
SEARCH TERMS: Kehinde Wiley

PEOPLE: Sridevi Kapoor
TOPIC:
Bollywood star Sridevi Kapoor was known professionally by her first name. She started as
a child actor and rose to become one of the most beloved actors in Indian films. What were some
of her greatest roles? How did she redefine the role of women in Bollywood films?
SEARCH TERMS: Sridevi Kapoor

PEOPLE: Julian Assange
TOPIC:
Even though the Swedish charges against him have been dropped, Julian Assange
remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. A judge has refused to vacate the arrest
warrant against him for jumping bail. What was the judge’s reasoning behind this decision? What
has been the health impact on Assange of his 5 ½ year stay at the embassy?
SEARCH TERMS: Julian Assange AND bail

PEOPLE: John Perry Barlow
TOPIC:
John Perry Barlow was a gifted writer who has been best known as a cyberlibertarian
political activist, at different times on behalf of Democrats and Republicans but also known to many
as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead rock band. What is a cyberlibertarian and what were his greatest
achievements as an Internet activist? Who was his writing partner in the Grateful Dead and what
are some of his most famous lyrics? What is Barlow’s political philosophy and what candidates has
he worked for in each political party? What are some of his most successful books?
SEARCH TERMS: John Parry Barlow

PEOPLE: Cecile Richards
TOPIC:
Cecile Richards has announced that she is stepping down as president of Planned
Parenthood. How long had she presided over Planned Parenthood and what is her legacy there?
What have been her activities as a political activist?
SEARCH TERMS: Cecile Richards AND Planned Parenthood

PEOPLE: South African Jazz Musician
TOPIC:
Hugh Masekela was a South African jazz musician. He first came to prominence in the
mid-1960s with this song Grazing in the Grass. What was the arc of his career like? Who did he
perform with and what styles of music did he play? What were his sentiments in his late 1980s
anthem about the imprisoned Nelson Mandela?
SEARCH TERMS: Hugh Masekela

PEOPLE: IKEA Founder
TOPIC:
Ingvar Kamprad was the founder or IKEA. He started the firm at age 17. How did he come
up with the name IKEA? What other items did he sell before deciding to concentrate on furniture?
How did he explain his youthful flirtation with far-right politics in Sweden? Why does IKEA sell
furniture that needs to be assembled?
SEARCH TERMS: Ingvar Kamprad OR IKEA

PEOPLE: Top Chef
TOPIC:
Paul Bocuse was the French chef most associated with the Nouvelle Cuisine of the 1970s.
What international cooking contest did he found? How does Nouvelle Cuisine differ from classic
French cooking? What other French chefs were associated with nouvelle cuisine?
SEARCH TERMS: Paul Bocuse AND Nouvelle Cuisine

PEOPLE: Ursula Le Guin
TOPIC:
Ursula La Guin was an American novelist of fantasy and science fiction including the
popular illustrated Earthsea fantasy series. What other popular and critically acclaimed books is
she known for and what is it in her writing that has earned her literary praise? What writers have
claimed her as an influence and how?
SEARCH TERMS: Ursula Le Guin

PEOPLE: John Young
TOPIC:
John Young was an American astronaut and one of only three people to have flown to the
moon twice. What are his achievements as an astronaut and how do his experiences collectively
distinguish him from other astronauts?
SEARCH TERMS: Ed Lee AND San Francisco

PEOPLE: Royal Engagement
TOPIC:
The engagement of Prince Harry and the actress Meghan Markle has been announced.
They plan to wed in May. How did this couple meet? What were high points in Markle’s acting
career? What type of advocacy work has she been involved with? How did the people of the United
Kingdom react to this announcement?
SEARCH TERMS: Prince Harry AND Meghan Markle AND engagement

PEOPLE: Pistorius New Sentence
TOPIC:
Prosecutors upset with the five-year prison sentence imposed on Oscar Pistorius for the
murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp prevailed on appeal. His sentence was raised to 15
years, albeit with some time off for time already served. What else was surprising about his initial
sentencing? How did Ms. Steenkamp’s parents react to this new sentence? Why was Pistorius
famous before the shooting?
SEARCH TERMS: Oscar Pistorius AND sentence

PEOPLE: Slobodan Praljak
TOPIC:
Slobodan Praljak rejected the verdict that he had committed war crimes and then drank a
bottle of poison while standing in the court that had just convicted him. What was he and his fellow
defendants accused of? How did he get the poison and how was it smuggled into the courtroom?
SEARCH TERMS: Slobodan Praljak

PEOPLE: Emperor Akihito Abdication Date Set
TOPIC:
A date has been set on April 30, 2019, for the abdication of Emperor Akihito of Japan, who
will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, his eldest son, the following day. Akihito will be the
first emperor to abdicate since 1817. What are his reasons for wishing to abdicate? After Naruhito,
who is in line for the throne? Why was the abdication put off until 2019?
SEARCH TERMS: Emperor Akihito AND abdication

PEOPLE: David Cassidy
TOPIC:
David Cassidy was a pop singer and actor but mainly known as one of the quintessential
teen idols of pop culture in the 1970’s. What TV show was he famous for and what hit songs did he
have? How did the entertainment industry foster the concept of teen idol to promote individuals
and how did this concept evolve?
SEARCH TERMS: David Cassidy AND Partridge Family

PEOPLE: Mel Tillis
TOPIC:
Country music singer and songwriter Mel Tillis started a rise to fame in the late 1950s,
hitting his peak in the 60s and 70s. What are some of his most famous hits and what are some
songs that others have had success with? What are some of the qualities of his music that most
impressed music critics and his fans?
SEARCH TERMS: Mel Tillis

PEOPLE: Princess Diana
TOPIC:
It is the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris. Television
specials, including one that involved her sons talking about their memories of her, and other
coverage of this anniversary have tried to place the influence her death had on the United Kingdom
in perspective. How did the country respond to her death in 1997? How was that death
commemorated this year?
SEARCH TERMS: Princess Diana


PEOPLE: Malala Yousafzai
TOPIC:
Malala Yousafzai will be attending Oxford University. The youngest-ever Nobel Prize
laureate has passed her A-level exam and has been accepted at Lady Margaret Hall, where
Benazir Bhutto studied. Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for her support of education for girls in
Afghanistan. What will she be studying at Oxford?
SEARCH TERMS: Malala Yousafzai

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PEOPLE: Glen Campbell
TOPIC:
Glen Campbell was a popular singer and musician whose style was an appealing blend of
country, pop and folk that gave him a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. What were some of his
hits and how did Jimmy Wells impact Campbell’s singing career? What was the name of his
popular television variety program?
SEARCH TERMS: Glen Campbell


PEOPLE: Sam Shepard
TOPIC:
Sam Shepard was a distinguished playwright, actor, director and screenwriter. What are
some common themes in his plays, which of his celebrated plays are good examples of these
themes and why? What are some of his best-known acting roles in film?
SEARCH TERMS: Sam Shepard


PEOPLE: Joe Arpaio
TOPIC:
Former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona Joe Arpaio has been given a pardon by
President Trump that overturns his conviction on criminal contempt of court. What was Trump’s
reasoning behind the decision to pardon Arpaio? What instances of police misconduct has the
former Sheriff been investigated for and what were the results of those investigations? What was
his role in the so-called birther movement?
SEARCH TERMS: Joe Arpaio

PEOPLE: Jerry Lewis
TOPIC:
Jerry Lewis was a popular comedian and movie actor known for his antic physical comedy
and also for his popular telethons to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Who
often starred with him on stage and in films as his calmer more rational friend and what are the
more popular films they made together? How did he get his start as a comedian? What are some
of the most acclaimed later movies of his career and how did his comedy style change as he aged?
SEARCH TERMS: Jerry Lewis AND comed*


PEOPLE: Dick Gregory
TOPIC:
Dick Gregory was a popular comedian. He was also an activist for civil rights, and social
justice causes, and he promoted healthy habits. What was the health company he founded and
what did it achieve? What are some of his political causes? What did he do to promote them?
What kind of comedy did he perform? Which comedians have cited him as influencing their work?
SEARCH TERMS: Dick Gregory AND comed*


PEOPLE: Haruo Nakajima and Godzilla
TOPIC:
Haruo Nakajima, who was the actor inside the original Godzilla suit, has died at age 88.
He portrayed the giant, mutant monster in the first Godzilla film and 11 sequels. He also portrayed
Rodan, a giant flying monster. How did he feel about his work as a suit actor? What other roles did
he act during his career?
SEARCH TERMS: Haruo Nakajima

PEOPLE: Reality Winner  
TOPIC: U.S. intelligence specialist Reality Winner has been arrested for leaking classified information concerning the National Security Agency’s (NSA) investigation of Russia’s computer hacking and distribution of fake news to influence the 2016 election.   What company was Reality Winner working for that had contracted with the NSA and what intelligence clearance did she have? What political views has Reality Winner expressed on social media?
SEARCH TERMS: Reality Winner AND leak AND (intelligence OR NSA)

PEOPLE: Otto Warmbier  
TOPIC: American college student Otto Warmbier was arrested while visiting North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster and was serving his sentence when he fell into a coma, later dying in the U.S. after being released.  What are some of the factors of his imprisonment that are being questioned?  What was the diagnosis of his medical state upon arrival and what has been mysterious about it?  What impact has his fate had on U.S. relations with North Korea?
SEARCH TERMS: Otto Warmbier

PEOPLE: The End of an Era
TOPIC:  Helmut Kohl was the German leader who reunited East and West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The former chancellor won 4 straight elections before losing his fifth campaign. What were some of the reasons for that loss? What did he partner with French President Francois Mitterrand to accomplish?
SEARCH TERMS: Helmut Kohl

PEOPLE: Crown Prince Named
TOPIC: King Salman of Saudi Arabia has replaced his brother Prince Mohammad bin Nayef as crown prince with his 31-year-old son, Mohammad bin Salman. If he succeeds to the throne, he will be the first of the founder of the country’s grandsons to become the leader of the country. Is this generational change a good thing for the country? How did bin Nayef respond to his seeming demotion?
SEARCH TERMS: Saudi Arabia AND Mohammad bin Salman

PEOPLE: Michael Bond  
TOPIC:  Michael Bond was the creator of Paddington Bear. He was a cameraman at the BBC when he thought up and wrote the original story of Paddington Bear, basing the character on a stuffed animal he had given his wife. How many books did he write about the character?  What other characters did Bond create? Did he write any books for adults?
SEARCH TERMS: Michael Bond OR Paddington Bear

PEOPLE: Andimba Toivo ya Toivo
TOPIC:  Andimba Toivo ya Toivo was a revolutionary who struggled to free Namibia from South Africa in the 1960s. He was sentenced to 20 years in 1967 and spent 16 years imprisoned with Nelson Mandela and other members of the ANC. How did South Africa have a role in running Namibia? What did Toivo do at his trial that was seen as particularly brave? What did he do after Namibia gained independence?
SEARCH TERMS: Andimba Toivo ya Toivo

PEOPLE: Adam West     
TOPIC:  Adam West is best known for his portrayal of the DC superhero Batman in the campy 1960s television series Batman.  What were some qualities of this TV series that amused and impressed the critics?  What are some other film and television roles he played and how were they received by the critics?
SEARCH TERMS: Adam West AND Batman

PEOPLE: Gabe Pressman     
TOPIC:  Gabe Pressman was a journalist for NBC-TV in New York City whose career spanned seven decades.  What function of television reporting has he been given credit for pioneering?  What are some of the major stories that he covered and what qualities did he bring to reporting that impressed his peers?
SEARCH TERMS: Gabe Pressman

 

PEOPLE: Joseph Clancy
TOPIC:
Joseph Clancy is retiring as Director of the U.S. Secret Service. How long has he held the
position and what are some of his highest achievements in this position? What were some of his
major roles before becoming director and what were some of his achievements in those positions?
SEARCH TERMS: Joseph Clancy AND Secret Service


PEOPLE: Queen Elizabeth II
TOPIC:
Elizabeth II has been Queen of England for 65 years. She has been the longest-reigning
monarch since September of 2015. How many prime ministers have served her? What are some of
the largest changes to Great Britain under her reign?
SEARCH TERMS: Queen Elizabeth II


PEOPLE: Seijun Suzuki
TOPIC:
Seijun Suzuki was a Japanese filmmaker. His two best films are the 1960s Tokyo Drifter
and Branded to Kill. The latter caused his dismissal from the film studio employing him. What set
these films apart from the other yakuza films of the time? What films did he make after them? How
influential did his work become through the years? Who claims him as an influence? What are
some of the more unique aspects of Suzuki’s films?
SEARCH TERMS: Seijun Suzuki


PEOPLE: Claudio Ranieri
TOPIC:
Less than nine months after he led Leicester City F.C. to the English Premier League title,
Claudio Ranieri has been fired. The club sits one point above the relegation zone. Relegation in
soccer sees the bottom teams in the league being dropped into the next lower division of the sport
and the top teams of that lower league being promoted. What are the reasons he was let go? Does
relegation and promotion seem like a good idea, and, if so, what American sports leagues might
benefit from instituting it?
SEARCH TERMS: Claudio Ranieri OR relegation


PEOPLE: Mike Ilitch
TOPIC:
Mike Ilitch was the founder and owner of Little Caesars Pizza restaurant chain as well as
owner of two major Detroit sports franchises, the Detroit Red Wings hockey team and the Detroit
Tigers baseball team. How did he start and build the Little Caesars Pizza chain? What has been
his influence on the Red Wings and Tigers?
SEARCH TERMS: Mike Ilitch

PEOPLE: Norma McCorvey
TOPIC:
Under the name Jane Roe in the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade that legalized
abortion, Norma McCorvey was probably the most famous defendant whose name was not widely
known. What are the specifics of the case of Roe v. Wade and what was the court’s reasoning
behind supporting legalized abortion? What has been the changing position on the abortion of
McCorvey over the years, and has the perspective changed?
SEARCH TERMS: Norma McCorvey AND Roe

PEOPLE: Zhou Youguang
TOPIC:
Zhou Youguang was in charge of the committee that set out to produce a coherent and consist way to translate Chinese into Roman letters. The Pinyan system was adopted by the People’s Republic of China in 1958 and has since replaced all the other systems of transliteration. What in his previous career made him seem likely to lead a successful effort at this task? What was his later career?
SEARCH TERMS: Zhou Youguang

PEOPLE: Butch Trucks
TOPIC:
Butch Trucks was the drummer and a founding member for the Allman Brothers Band. What was his style of drumming and how did it support the music of the Allman Brothers? What kind of music did they play and how did they advance that kind of music? What some of their best known songs and albums?
SEARCH TERMS: Butch Trucks

PEOPLE: Mary Tyler Moore
TOPIC:
Mary Tyler Moore was a popular television and film actress best known for her television roles as Laura Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke Show and especially as an iconic independent woman of the early 1970s in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. What was her role in the film Ordinary People and what about it most impressed film critics? What were some of the most poignant moments in the Mary Tyler Moore Show that represent the changing roles of women in the 1970s?
SEARCH TERMS: Mary Tyler Moore

PEOPLE: Gene CernanCernan
TOPIC:
Gene Cernan was an astronaut who, since December 1972, had remained the most recent astronaut to walk on the moon. What manned space flights was he part of and what was the objective of each mission? What did he do to show his opposition to the cancellation of the Constellation Program, a human spaceflight program that was cancelled in 2009?Cernan was an astronaut who, since December 1972, had remained the most recent astronaut to walk on the moon. What manned space flights was he part of and what was the objective of each mission? What did he do to show his opposition to the cancellation of the Constellation Program, a human spaceflight program that was cancelled in 2009?
SEARCH TERMS: Gene Cernan AND astronautCernan AND astronaut

PEOPLE: John Hurt
TOPIC:
John Hurt was a British actor who had been in films, TV and on stage since the early 1960s. One of his most notable roles was the Elephant Man. What were his other film roles and what was his breakthrough role in which he portrayed a civil servant?
SEARCH TERMS: John Hurt

PEOPLE: Clare Hollingsworth
TOPIC:
Clare Hollingsworth first reported the massing of German tanks on the Polish border and then broke the news of the start of World War II. How did she get her great scoop? Where else did she report from in the rest of her career, and what did she write about?
SEARCH TERMS: Clare Hollingsworth

PEOPLE: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
TOPIC:
The former president of Iran was Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. A long-time leader of the Islamic Republic, he embraced a more moderate approach in the past few years, urging it to negotiate away its nuclear program, which he was instrumental in starting. What it the timeline of his career? How did he govern when he was president? Where did his wealth come from?
SEARCH TERMS: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

PEOPLE: William Onyeabor
TOPIC:
William Onyeabor was a Nigerian musician. He is best known for a series of records he released in the 70s and 80s, before becoming devoted to his religious beliefs and leaving the music business. What style of music did he perform? What businesses did he run after his departure from the music scene?
SEARCH TERMS: William Onyeabor

PEOPLE: John Glenn
TOPIC:
John Glenn was an American astronaut and senator from the state of Ohio. What were his
main accomplishments as an astronaut? What were his main accomplishments as a U.S. senator?
SEARCH TERMS: John Glenn

PEOPLE: George Michael
TOPIC:
George Michael was a British pop star. He originally came to fame as a member of Wham!
They were the first pop group to play in China in the 1980s. What were the highlights of his solo
career? What were some instances of his personal philanthropy that were revealed after his death?
What are some of the notable highlights of his singing career?
SEARCH TERMS: George Michael

PEOPLE: A Good Week for Cristiano
TOPIC:
Cristiano Ronaldo not only won the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time, in addition, his hat trick
later that week lead Real Madrid to the Club World Cup. What is the Ballon d’Or and who else was
favored to win it? How do teams gain entry to and advance through this tournament and who did
Real defeat to become champions?
SEARCH TERMS: Cristiano Ronaldo AND Ballon d’Or OR Club World Cup

PEOPLE: Sailing Around the World Record
TOPIC:
Frenchman Thomas Coville sailed single handedly around the world in slightly over 49
days, setting a world record. The old record, 57 days, had been set in 2008 by Frenchman Francis
Joyon. How many attempts had Coville made to break this record? What type of boat was he on
and how might this have contributed to his attempt?
SEARCH TERMS: Thomas Coville

PEOPLE: Rex Tillerson
TOPIC:
Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson has been nominated by President-elect
Donald Trump to be the next U.S. Secretary of State. What was Tillerson’s background before
ExxonMobil and what were his primary achievements at ExxonMobil? What is his relationship with
Russia and Vladimir Putin?
SEARCH TERMS: Rex Tillerson

PEOPLE: Alan Thicke
TOPIC:
Alan Thicke was a popular actor and composer as well as host of game and talk shows.
How did he get his start in show business and what were the motivations for him to try different
areas as a television personality? What are his most acclaimed roles in films and television
programs?
SEARCH TERMS: Alan Thicke

PEOPLE: Henry Heimlich
TOPIC:
Henry Heimlich has saved countless lives after he came up with a simple way to clear the
windpipe of a choking person that anyone could easily learn to apply when they see someone in
such distress. How did he come up with his process, called the Heimlich Maneuver, of rescuing a
choking person? How is this Maneuver taught and what are the specifics of the process?
SEARCH TERMS: Henry Heimlich

PEOPLE: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
TOPIC:
Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher were both established actresses whose
relationship was portrayed in Carrie’s popular book Postcards from the Edge and the even more
popular film adaptation. What are some of most esteemed films each of these women have starred
in? What are some other critically acclaimed books written by Fisher? What mental health
conditions has Fisher had to deal with and what advancements in mental health has she advocated
for in improving mental health care?
SEARCH TERMS: Carrie Fisher OR Debbie Reynolds

PEOPLE: Man of Film
TOPIC:
Andrzej Wajda was a Polish filmmaker. He had a long career, making films in every
decade from the 1940s to the 1990s. What were his greatest films? What were the political themes
in his films and how surprising is it that they were made under a communist regime? How did his
life change after that regime fell in the late 1980s?
SEARCH TERMS: Andrzej Wajda

PEOPLE: Prima Ballerina
TOPIC
: Yvette Chauvire was a French Ballerina. She partnered with Rudolf Nureyev after his
defection and was hailed as a prima ballerina assoluta. Who brought her into the world of ballet
and created many dances for her? What roles did she triumph in? What did she do after she
stopped dancing in the 1970s?
SEARCH TERMS: Yvette Chauvire

PEOPLE: Bobby Vee
TOPIC
: Bobby Vee was an American pop singer and teen idol whose popularity was at its peak in
the late 1950s and early 1960s. What were some of his biggest hits and how would you describe
his style of music? How did pop music change from his heyday to the end of the 1960s?
SEARCH TERMS: Bobby Vee

PEOPLE: Tom Hayden
TOPIC:
Tom Hayden was a prominent political activist, especially for the antiwar and civil rights
movements. Who were the Chicago 7 and what role did he play in that? What was the SDS and
the Port Huron Statement and what was his role in that?
SEARCH TERMS: Tom Hayden AND (radical OR activist)

PEOPLE: Qatar’s Ruler
TOPIC:
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani ruled Qatar from 1972 until he was deposed by his son
in 1995. What was his role in modernizing Qatar? How did he help lead the country to becoming
one of the richest nations per capita? Why was he deposed?
SEARCH TERMS: Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani

PEOPLE: Maureen O’Hara    
TOPIC:  Maureen O’Hara was well-known in the 1940s and 1950s for her roles as a strong and passionate red-haired heroine, often starring in opposite John Wayne.  What films are her most celebrated and why?  What director often worked with her and John Wayne, what kinds of films did the three make together and what are some of the aspects that impressed the critics?
SEARCH TERMS: Maureen O’Hara

PEOPLE: Fred Thompson       
TOPIC:  Fred Thompson was a longtime Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee as well as a television and film actor.  What were some of his key accomplishments as a Senator?  What television show was he most famous for and what were his most popular film rolls?
SEARCH TERMS: Fred Thompson

PEOPLE:  Paul Prudhomme     
TOPIC:  Paul Prudhomme was a famous chef specializing in Cajun and Creole cuisine.  What restaurants and food products were part of his business and what were the qualities in them that show his cooking style?  What are the qualities of Cajun and Creole food?
SEARCH TERMS: Paul Prudhomme

PEOPLE: Henning Mankell
TOPIC:  Henning Mankell was a best selling Swedish author of Nordic Noir detective novels. His moody novels featured a police inspector named Kurt Wallender.  Mankell spent part of each year in Mozambique, where he ran a theater company. What is Nordic Noir? What role did Mankell play in its popularity? Who are some of the other authors in this form? What attracted him to Africa? 
SEARCH TERMS: Henning Mankell

PEOPLE: Shaker Aamer Released
TOPIC:  Shaker Aamer has been released from custody in Guantanamo. He is the final prisoner there with ties to the United Kingdom. Why was he being detained? How long after he had been cleared for release did he remain in custody? Does this release mean President Obama is pushing forward with his plans to close Guantanamo?
SEARCH TERMS: Shaker Aamer

PEOPLE: Allen Toussaint     
TOPIC:  Allen Toussaint was an arranger and composer of music in the New Orleans Rhythm and Blues tradition.  What are some examples of popular songs he wrote, and what was it about these songs people found appealing?  What are some of the various names he used as credits on records and why?  Who are some of the artists who have frequently performed his songs?
SEARCH TERMS: Allen Toussaint

PEOPLE:  Vincent Asaro     
TOPIC:  Vincent Asaro has recently been found not guilty of the 1978 robbery at New York’s Kennedy Airport that was famously depicted in Martin Scorsese’s film Goodfellas.  What was his role in New York’s Bonanno crime family?  What were the specific charges that he was acquitted of in November 2015?
SEARCH TERMS: Vincent Asaro

PEOPLE: Mikhail Lesin
TOPIC: Mikhail Lesin was a founder of the English-language Russian news source Russia Today. What was the rationale for starting this news service? What are some of the criticisms of it? What was Lesin career both before and after his work at Russia Today?
SEARCH TERMS: Mikhail Lesin AND Russia Today

PEOPLE: Jonah Lomu
TOPIC:  Jonah Lomu was a rugby star who took his New Zealand All-Blacks to the final of the 1994 Rugby World Cup, where they lost to host South Africa. What was the rest of his international rugby career like? How was he seen to have changed the game? What was most memorable about the 1994 Rugby World Cup?
SEARCH TERMS: Jonah Lomu

PEOPLE: Helmut Schmidt
TOPIC:  Helmut Schmidt was the former chancellor of West Germany.  He served as the leader of West Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s. What other governmental jobs did he have? What issues defined his term in office?
SEARCH TERMS: Helmut Schmidt

PEOPLE: Anastasia Lin
TOPIC: Miss World Canada has been refused entry to China for the Miss World. Anastasia Lin was born in China and moved to Canada at the age of 13. She has been outspoken in defense of Falun Gong, which China treats as a cult. What are her claims about China’s treatment of Falun Gong practitioners? Is it possible that not allowing Ms. Lin to compete will backfire on China and increase the transmission of her words?
SEARCH TERMS: Anastasia Lin

PEOPLE: George Barris     
TOPIC:  George Barris became famous for building custom cars that contributed a lot to the 1950s and 1960s car culture in Los Angeles.  What are two examples of famous cars used on 1960s TV shows that were designed by him?  What are some of the trademark features of his designs?
SEARCH TERMS:  George Barris AND custom AND cars

PEOPLE: Abe Vigoda     
TOPIC:  Actor Abe Vigoda was best known for his television roles in the popular situation comedies Barney Miller and Fish as well as his small role in The Godfather film.  What qualities of his acting impressed the critics and what types of characters did he play?  What theater did he do?  How did the rumors of his death start in 1982 and how did they continue?
SEARCH TERMS: Abe Vigoda

PEOPLE: Glenn Frey    
TOPIC:  Glenn Frey was a founding member of the hugely popular California rock band The Eagles as well as a producer and actor.  What are some of the major hits of the Eagles and which ones did Frey write?  What were his major roles as an actor?
SEARCH TERMS:  Glenn Frey

PEOPLE: Alan Rickman
TOPIC:  British actor Alan Rickman was memorable as Severus Snape and the terrorist Hans Gruber in Dis Hard. How did he get into the acting profession and what had he been doing before that? What were some of his most memorable roles on stage and screen?  
SEARCH TERMS: Alan Rickman

PEOPLE: David Bowie
TOPIC:  David Bowie released a new album, Lazarus, on his birthday. He had been known for the changes in his persona and music throughout his career. How did his final album differ from his preceding work? What different styles did his career encompass?
SEARCH TERMS: David Bowie 

PEOPLE: Jacques Rivette
TOPIC:  Jacques Rivette was a French New Wave film director. He was known for his lengthy films. What was the French New Wave? Why did his films seem so innovative? Who were his fellow directors? From their descriptions, which of his films seem most interesting to you?
SEARCH TERMS: Jacques Rivette

PEOPLE: Buddy Cianci    
TOPIC:  Buddy Cianci is best known as a former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island who was twice forced to resign after felony convictions for racketeering?  What were his specific crimes?  What other careers did he have?
SEARCH TERMS:  Buddy Cianci AND Providence AND mayor

PEOPLE: Nancy Reagan
TOPIC: Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was the wife of the late U.S. President and governor of California Ronald Reagan. What was her contribution to battling the drug problem in the United States? What were some of the changes that she made to the look and design of the White House? What are some examples where she encouraged her husband on policy or otherwise influenced events in the White House? SEARCH TERMS: Nancy Reagan

PEOPLE: Patty Duke
TOPIC: Patty Duke was a popular television and film star. What are some of her most celebrated roles in film and television and what most impressed the critics? What ailment did she have and took on as a cause for aiding others with it starting in the 80s?
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PEOPLE: Rob Ford
TOPIC: Rob Ford was the former mayor of Toronto Rob. What ended his political career? However, he might be best remembered for a scandal during his term of office. When did he run for the mayoralty and what were his issues? What policies did he pursue while in office and how effective were they? What was the scandal that occurred while he was in office and how did he respond to it?
SEARCH TERMS: Toronto AND Rob Ford

PEOPLE: Prince
TOPIC: The musician Prince invented a highly compelling blend of popular music styles to create a form music that fit his talents and developed a large devoted following of fans. What styles of music did he blend to create his sound? What were some of his biggest hits and what were the qualities that most impressed the critics? What were some recurring themes in this songs? What movie helped widen his audience?
SEARCH TERMS: Prince AND Purple Rain

PEOPLE: Doris Roberts
TOPIC: Actress Doris Roberts was most famous for her portrayal of Marie Barone in the television comedy Everyone Loves Raymond. What were some of the comic aspects of her character Marie that were recognized by fans of the show as amusing aspects of human nature and family dynamics?
SEARCH TERMS: Doris Roberts AND Everybody Loves Raymond

PEOPLE: Fidel Castro
TOPIC: Fidel Castro made a speech at the Cuban Communist Party meeting that recently concluded in which he contemplated his own death. He had not been seen in public for a very long time. What was the main theme of his speech? What meeting was he addressing? If he dies soon, how do you think the world will remember him?
SEARCH TERMS: Fidel Castro

PEOPLE: Malick Sidibe
TOPIC: Malick Sidibé was an internationally known African photographer. He photographed the shifting fashions of Malian youth from the 1950s to the 1970s as well as the nightlife of Bamako. What was striking about the portraits of youth that he took? What awards did he win for his work during his lifetime?
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PEOPLE: Merle Haggard
TOPIC: Merle Haggard helped create a style of western country music that came to be known as the Bakersfield Sound after Bakersfield, California where the music developed in the local bars and music clubs. What are some of the prominent qualities of the Bakersfield Sound and who are some of the most famous players of the Bakersfield country music? What are some of his most famous songs? What is the Outlaw Country movement and what was his contribution to that music?
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PEOPLE: Muhammad Ali
TOPIC: World heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali was also famous for his charisma and outspoken stances on social and political issues that made him both adored and controversial. What was his name before converting to Islam and how did Islam impact his view on the issues that he championed? What were the issues he stood up for and why did many people feel strongly for him and many against him on them? What were some of the major fights in his career and how did his skills and strategy as a boxer work in those fights?
SEARCH TERMS: Muhammad Ali

PEOPLE: Pat Summitt
TOPIC: Pat Summitt was the most successful basketball coach in history. What college team did she coach for and what were her primary skills? Who were the key players on teams she coached and how did their skills work to complement each other? How many times did she win the NCAA championship, what years and how did the matchups against the opposing teams help win those games? What teams did she coach that represented the United States in international competitions and how did those games go?
SEARCH TERMS: Pat Summitt AND (Lady Vols OR Volunteers) AND basketball

PEOPLE: Buddy Ryan
TOPIC: Buddy Ryan was a head coach and defensive coordinator for the National Football League (NFL). What does a defensive coordinator do and what skills did Buddy Ryan show in doing this job? What teams did he coach and how did his skills help those teams in their seasons?
SEARCH TERMS: Buddy Ryan AND (Jets OR Bears OR Eagles OR Oilers OR Cardinals OR Vikings)

PEOPLE: Gordie Howe
TOPIC: Gordie Howe was one of the greatest professional hockey players of all time. What teams did he play for and what were the primary strengths of his game? How many Stanley Cup wins did he play in and what was his contribution to those games?
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PEOPLE: Peter Shaffer
TOPIC: Sir Peter Shaffer was the British playwright who wrote Amadeus and Equus, among other plays. Many of his plays were turned into films. What other plays did he write? What awards and prizes did his plays win?
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PEOPLE: Scotty Moore
TOPIC: Early rock guitarist Scotty Moore was best known for backing Elvis Presley in his earliest years and during Elvis’ Hollywood phase. What style of guitar is Moore known for and how did he meet Elvis? On which of Elvis’ famous songs is Moore’s guitar playing most praised? What are some high points in his career outside this work?
SEARCH TERMS: Scotty Moore

PEOPLE: Bill Cunningham
TOPIC: Fashion photographer Bill Cunningham was most famous for his street fashion photos in the New York Times. What are some of the qualities of his style that has made him very popular both with the subjects he photographs and with New York Times readers? What is his background and what other publications has he worked for and what did he do?
SEARCH TERMS: Bill Cunningham AND fashion AND New York Times

PEOPLE:  Yogi Berra     
TOPIC:  Yogi Berra was a catcher, manager and coach in Major League Baseball, mostly working for the New York Yankees.  What are some of his most impressive plays and what were his strongest talents as a catcher? What are some of his successes as a coach and manager?  What are some of the many famous witticisms that he became known for during his years in baseball?
SEARCH TERMS: Yogi Berra

PEOPLE: Moses Malone    
TOPIC:  Moses Malone was a star center for the NBA who played for several teams during his 20 year professional basketball career but his is often identified for his years with the Philadelphia 76ers.  What year did the 76ers win the championship with him, and what were his contributions to their success that season? How many times did he win Most Valuable Player (MVP) and why?  What were the strengths and weaknesses of his playing?  What was noteworthy about his going straight from high school to professional basketball?
SEARCH TERMS:  Moses Malone

PEOPLE: Elton John Pranked  
TOPIC:  After Elton John said he’d like to speak with Russian leader Vladimir Putin about gay and lesbian issues, he was prank called from Moscow by someone claiming to be Putin. Why did he want to discuss these issues with the president of Russia? Who really called him? How did Putin respond to the prank call?
SEARCH TERMS: Elton John AND Vladimir Putin

PEOPLE: Jackie Collins      
TOPIC:  Jackie Collins was a popular romance novelist.  What are some of her most popular books and what was it about her writing style that most impressed her fans?  What defines the romance novel genre and why are romance novels so popular?  Who is her famous sister and how do the two sisters influence each other?
SEARCH TERMS: Jackie Collins AND romance AND (novel* OR author)

PEOPLE: Franco Interlenghi
TOPIC:  Franco Interlenghi was an Italian actor. In the early 1950s he starred in two classics of Italian cinema -- Shoeshine directed by Vittorio De Sica and I Vittelloni directed by Federico Fellini. His career continued until 2010. What other Italian films was he in? What Hollywood movies did he appear in?  Fellini. His career continued until 2010. What other Italian films was he in? What Hollywood movies did he appear in?  
SEARCH TERMS: Franco Interlenghi

PEOPLE:  Jake Brewer    
TOPIC:  White House Senior Technology Officer Jake Brewer died tragically in a bike accident.  What were some recent projects that he was working on to help the underprivileged? What were his duties for the Obama Administration and what other projects was he working on?
SEARCH TERMS: Jake Brewer AND Technology Officer

PEOPLE: John Trudell     
TOPIC:  John Trudell was a Native American political activist, author, actor, musician and poet.  What incident involved him on the island of Alcatraz in 1969 and how did the situation resolve?  What Native American rights group was he the chairman of?  After what tragic event in 1979 did he turn to writing, music and film?
SEARCH TERMS: John Trudell

PEOPLE: Tim Peake  
TOPIC:  British astronaut Tim Peake is on the International Space Station. He has made a long distance phone call to Earth that was a wrong number. What athletic event does he hope to participate in and how will he do so? What scientific experiments will he do in space? How was he selected from the current batch of British astronauts?
SEARCH TERMS: Tim Peake

PEOPLE: Person of the Year
TOPIC:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. She is only the fourth woman to be chosen for this honor. Why did they choose her? Do you agree with this choice?  
SEARCH TERMS: Angela Merkel AND Time Magazine

PEOPLE: Dr. Alfred Gilman  
TOPIC:  Dr. Alfred Gilman was a Nobel Prize winning researcher, famous for his discoveries with G-proteins.  What are G-proteins, how do they work and what did Dr. Gilman discover about them? What are some of his other interesting discoveries?
SEARCH TERMS:  Nobel AND Alfred Gilman

PEOPLE: Natalie Cole      
TOPIC:  Natalie Cole was a popular rhythm and blues singer who rose to fame in the mid-1970s.  Who was her father, and what was his influence on her work?  What were some of her most famous songs, and what in her style was most prized by the critics?
SEARCH TERMS:  Natalie Cole

PEOPLE: Scott Weiland   
TOPIC:  Scott Weiland was the lead singer for the popular grunge band the Stone Temple Pilots as well as singing with super-group Velvet Revolver.  What were the qualities of his singing and writing that most impressed the critics?  What is grunge music and how and where did it come about?
SEARCH TERMS:  Scott Weiland AND Stone Temple Pilots

PEOPLE: Maurice White     
TOPIC:  Maurice White was the founder and leader of the popular band Earth, Wind and Fire. What were some of their major hits? What genres of popular music were blended to create their unique but very successful sound?  What was their impact on music?
SEARCH TERMS: Maurice White AND Earth Wind and Fire

PEOPLE: Boutros Boutros-Ghali
TOPIC:  Boutros Boutros-Ghali was an Egyptian politician who eventually became the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations. During his time as the leader of the UN, he oversaw the breakup of Yugoslavia and responded to the genocide in Rwanda. What is the role of the UN Secretary-General? What other notable world events happened during Boutros-Ghali’s time in office, and how did he respond? What notable leadership traits did Boutros Boutros-Ghali have in his career?
SEARCH TERMS: Boutros Boutros-Ghali

PEOPLE: Julian Assange
TOPIC:  The United National Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has called for the release of Julian Assange from detention.  What is the reasoning behind this recommendation given in the report?  What governments have been named in the report and what is their reaction?
SEARCH TERMS: Assange AND United Nations

PEOPLE: Sarah Parcak     
TOPIC: Sarah Parcak is an American archeologist who has used satellite imaging to identify former sites of the Roman Empire that could hold archeological treasures.  What television documentaries and news broadcasts have featured her, and what did they say about her work? What university does she teach at and what course?
SEARCH TERMS: Sarah Parcak

PEOPLE: Robert Califf     
TOPIC:  President Obama’s nominee, Robert Califf has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the new head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  What was his prior career and what role did it play in clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies?  What are the duties of the head of the FDA?
SEARCH TERMS:  Robert Califf AND FDA

PEOPLE: Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
TOPIC:  Sibghatullah Mojaddedi was an Afghani politician and briefly the president of Afghanistan in 1992.  What was he jailed for in 1959? Why was he forced to resign from the presidency?
SEARCH TERMS: president AND Mojaddedi

PEOPLE: Sushil Koirala
TOPIC:  Sushil Koirala was the Prime Minister of Nepal for most of 2014 and 2015.  What were his main achievements during this time?  What position did he hold in the Nepal Congress and what were his main accomplishments there?
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PEOPLE: The Scots Makar
TOPIC: Jackie Kay has been named the national poet of Scotland. The official title is The Scots Makar. Who were the original Makars? How old is this office in Scotland? Who else has held it? What is his poetry like?
SEARCH TERMS: Jackie Kay OR Scots Makar

PEOPLE: Calvin Borel
TOPIC: Three-time Kentucky Derby winner jockey Calvin Borel has announced his retirement from horse racing. What were the key strengths of his riding technique? What were some of his other big wins?
SEARCH TERMS: Calvin Borel

PEOPLE: Morley Safer
TOPIC: Morley Safer was a longtime newscaster on CBS news and best known for his work on the groundbreaking newsmagazine program 60 Minutes. What are some of the most acclaimed news stories he reported? What journalism awards has he won and why?
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PEOPLE: Neil Maes
TOPIC: Neil Maes is an 11-year-old who was born deaf but is now in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. What technology was used to help him hear and what therapy did he use to learn language? When did he first realize his talent for spelling and how did he develop this talent?
SEARCH TERMS: Neil Maes AND Spelling Bee

PEOPLE: Mayor of London
TOPIC: Sadiq Khan has been elected mayor of London. He is the first Muslim to hold the job. What was his path to this office? What sort of policies is he proposing? What was controversial about the campaign? Who were his two immediate predecessors and what was controversial about them?
SEARCH TERMS: Sadiq Khan AND London

PEOPLE: Desmond Tutu’s Daughter
TOPIC: Mpho Tutu-van Furth, daughter of Desmond Tutu, has resigned from the priesthood as the South African Anglican Church does not recognize same-sex marriages and she has married her partner, Marceline van Furth, a Dutch academic. Her father, a noted anti-apartheid figure and former Anglican Bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner, supports her marriage. How has the worldwide Anglican Communion reacted to the emerging issue of same sex marriage in years past? What is the official South African government position on gay marriage? How does it differ from that of the South African Anglican Church?
SEARCH TERMS: Mpho Tutu-van Furth OR (South Africa AND same sex marriage)

PEOPLE: Francis Arnold
TOPIC: Top American chemical engineer Dr. Francis Arnold has won the Millennium Technology Prize for her pioneering work in directed evolution. What is directed evolution and what has been her contribution to this method? What other awards has she won and what were the significant contributions she made that qualified her for each award?
SEARCH TERMS: Francis Arnold AND directed evolution

PEOPLE: Emilio Navaira
TOPIC: Grammy award-winner Emilio Navaira was a major star of the Tejano style of music in both the United States and Mexico. What are some significant ways in which he helped advance Tejano music in the U.S.? What were some of his major hits and what about his music most impressed the critics?
SEARCH TERMS: Emilio Navaira

PEOPLE: Garry Marshall
TOPIC: Garry Marshall worked in many different areas in television and film but is best known for creating the popular TV series Happy Days and directing popular comedy films like Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries. What are some key contributions to TV that he made as a writer, producer, and adapting TV shows from other mediums? What awards has he won during his career?
SEARCH TERMS: Garry Marshall AND (TV OR television OR film)

PEOPLE: Roger Ailes
TOPIC: Roger Ailes has resigned his position as president of Fox News under allegations of sexual harassment. What jobs in the political and entertainment fields did he have before working for Fox? When did he start Fox News and how did he define the channel and develop it?
SEARCH TERMS: Roger Ailes

PEOPLE: Abbas Kiarostami
TOPIC: Abbas Kiarostami was an Iranian film director. He won the Palme d’Or at the 1997 with his film Taste of Cherry. What were some of his other films? How was he regarded by other members of the Iranian film community? Did he ever run into problems with the Iranian regime, and, if not, why not?
SEARCH TERMS: Abbas Kiarostami

PEOPLE: Qandeel Baloch
TOPIC: Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was murdered in her sleep by her brother in an honor killing. He objected to how she presented herself online. How did she show herself to her followers? What are honor killings and how frequent are they in Pakistan? How did her parents respond to her death?
SEARCH TERMS: Qandeel Baloch

PEOPLE: Jack Davis
TOPIC: Jack Davis was a popular illustrator for the humor magazine MAD, specializing in parodies of popular television shows and movies. What cartooning and illustration work did he do other than his work for MAD? What are the common features of his work?
SEARCH TERMS: Jack Davis AND MAD magazine

PEOPLE: John Hinckley Jr.
TOPIC: John Hinckley Jr. who, except for brief visits to family, has been confined to a psychiatric hospital since 1981 for his attempt to assassinate President Reagan will be released by the ruling of a federal judge. What evaluation did Hinckley undergo that determined he was no longer a threat to himself or others? What was the verdict at his trial that had him sent to a psychiatric ward instead of prison and what was the evidence that drove that verdict? What treatment has he been receiving during his years in psychiatric care?
SEARCH TERMS: John Hinckley Jr. AND (hospital OR psych*)

PEOPLE: Gene Wilder
TOPIC: A comedic actor best known in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder began his acting career on stage. He then went to television and finally to the big screen, earning a number of acting awards. How did Gene Wilder begin his acting career? What are some of his well-known comedic movies? Aside from acting, what were some of his other professional pursuits?
SEARCH TERMS: Gene Wilder

PEOPLE: Islam Karimov
TOPIC: Islam Karimov was the long-time leader of Uzbekistan. He went from being first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Uzbek SSR to the leader of an independent country, declaring independence following the failed coup in Moscow in August, 1991. What were his domestic policies during his leadership? What were his economic policies? What was the political opposition to him and how did he deal with it? Who will succeed him?
SEARCH TERMS: Uzbekistan AND Islam Karimov

PEOPLE: Hunger Strike Over
TOPIC: Irom Sharmila, an activist from Manipur India, has ended her 16-year-long hunger strike. She was protesting a law that empowered the police and paramilitaries to shoot rebels and to make arrests without warrants. During her hunger strike, she was often force fed through feeding tubes. On what grounds was she often arrested? Why did she end her hunger strike? Did she achieve her goals?
SEARCH TERMS: Irom Sharmila

PEOPLE: Pavlina Pizova
TOPIC: Pavlina Pizova survived for 30 days in the mountains of New Zealand after she and her partner became lost during a hiking outing. Her partner, Ondrej Petr, died early in the ordeal. What disoriented them and caused them to become lost? How did she find her way to shelter? Who rescued her and how did they find her?
SEARCH TERMS: Pavlina Pizova