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They Made America: "Gamblers"

"Gamblers" details the people whose iconic products connected the world in the second half of the 20th century, popularizing the act of flying in an airplane or using a computer.

Every passenger whisked across countries or continents today can thank Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan Am who in the 1950s pushed Boeing and Pratt & Whitney to come up with a jet that would carry 200 people across the Atlantic Ocean in less than seven hours. By making international travel accessible, he allowed ordinary people to do the extraordinary -- like the woman who boarded the first 707 on October 4, 1958, and traveled to Paris, just to have lunch.

Innovators profiled in "Gamblers":

Juan Trippe, an air taxi pilot with a single-engine seaplane, flew the whole world into the jet age.

Ruth Handler created Barbie, the most successful doll of the twentieth century.

Thomas Watson, Jr., turned a tiny company into the great icon of the information age.

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page created on 6.30.2004
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