10 Famous Recommendation Letters That Changed Lives

Albert Einstein’s Powerful Recommendation of Martin Luther King Jr.


Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr.

In the early 1950s, Martin Luther King Jr. was still a relatively unknown figure in the civil rights movement, and his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 brought him onto the national stage. Albert Einstein, however, had been aware of King’s activism at least as far back as 1946, when he had been instrumental in founding the American Friends Service Committee’s interracial “Emergency Civil Liberties Committee.” The two met in 1952, and over the next several years, Einstein became an important mentor to King.

In January 1956, King was arrested in Montgomery for leading a boycott of the city’s segregated buses. While he was serving a sentence of 386 days in jail, he received a letter from a group of prominent white clergy who objected to the boycott and urged him to “find a better way” of achieving his goals. King responded eloquently, writing what would become his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Einstein was among the first to read King’s letter, and he immediately recognized its historic significance. In a reply dated April 13, 1956, Einstein wrote:

“Dear Dr. King,
I am greatly moved by your courage in standing up against the vicious segregationalist policies which have been adopted in the state of Alabama…I have long known of your work and your courageous stand on the fundamental issues of justice, freedom, and democracy…You are to be congratulated for having brought about a situation which exposes the evils of the segregationalist policies of the southern states…If we are to have peace on earth and good will among men, we must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools…”

It was a powerful endorsement from one of the most respected and brilliant minds of the 20th century, and it had a profound impact on King’s image and influence.

Einstein’s letter of recommendation was instrumental in elevating Dr. King’s status as a leader of the civil rights movement and helped to bring national attention to the struggle for justice and equality in America. The letter not only acknowledged King’s courage in standing up against the vicious segregationalist policies in Alabama but it also made it clear that their struggle for justice was aligned with the pursuit of peace, goodwill, and brotherhood.

In the years since Einstein wrote his letter, it has become recognized as one of the most powerful recommendations in history and its message continues to inspire new generations of activists in their fight for social justice.

J.K. Rowling’s Affectionate Praise for Emma Watson


J.K. Rowling's Affectionate Praise for Emma Watson

When it was first announced that the Harry Potter series was going to be adapted into a series of movies, fans of the beloved book series were curious about who would be cast in the roles of their favourite characters. Few could have predicted the incredible success and impact that Harry Potter would have on both cinema and popular culture. Among the standout performances in the series is Emma Watson’s portrayal of Hermione Granger, the bookish and intelligent best friend of Harry Potter.

Watson’s portrayal of Hermione was praised for being both strong and nuanced, and, in many ways, set the standard for how female heroes should be portrayed on screen. The character’s cleverness, bravery, and loyalty to her friends resonated with audiences all over the world.

Watson’s performance as Hermione earned her a legion of fans and admirers, including J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling was so impressed with Watson’s portrayal of Hermione that she wrote a glowing recommendation letter for the young actress.

In the letter, which was published in Vanity Fair in 2009, Rowling praised Watson’s “bright and attractive personality.” She goes on to say that “I cannot praise her performance highly enough,” and adds that Watson’s portrayal of Hermione “is perfect. There are no false notes.”

The letter is a testament to the friendship and admiration that Rowling and Watson have for each other. Both women are known for their commitment to philanthropy and social justice, and have spoken out on a range of issues, including gender equality and education reform.

The letter is also significant because of Rowling’s relationship with her fans. The author has always been incredibly supportive of the Harry Potter fan community, and her recommendation letter for Watson is just one example of how she has used her platform to uplift others.

Watson, for her part, has expressed her admiration for Rowling on multiple occasions. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Watson spoke about the impact that Rowling has had on her life and career.

“She’s been such an enormous part of my life,” Watson said. “In terms of role models, I don’t think you could have a better one. I think she’s an incredible woman, and if I could achieve even a fraction of what she’s achieved I would be very, very happy.”

The admiration and affection that Rowling and Watson have for each other is apparent in the letter that Rowling wrote for Watson. For fans of the Harry Potter series, the letter is a heartwarming reminder of the power of friendship, and the impact that one person can have on the life of another.

Steve Jobs’ Glowing Recommendation of Google’s Larry Page


Steve Jobs and Larry Page

Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, was known for his discerning eye when it came to hiring top talent. Jobs recognized the potential in Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google, and wrote a glowing recommendation letter that helped Page secure a prestigious fellowship. In this article, we will examine the background of Larry Page, the contents of Jobs’ recommendation letter, and the impact that letter had on Page’s career.

Larry Page, born in Michigan in 1973, went on to attend both the University of Michigan and Stanford University, where he earned his Master’s in Computer Science while studying under renowned artificial intelligence expert Terry Winograd.

After graduation, Page teamed up with fellow Stanford student Sergey Brin to develop Google, originally known as Backrub. Google’s unique PageRank algorithm helped organize search results based on relevance, quickly making it the most popular search engine on the web. The company went public in 2004, making Page and Brin two of the wealthiest people in the world overnight.

However, before Google’s meteoric rise, Page was in need of funding and applied for the Hertz Foundation Fellowship, a prestigious grant awarded to promising young scientists and engineers. During the application process, Page was asked for letters of recommendation, and reached out to Jobs, who had been a mentor and adviser throughout Page’s college years.

Jobs’ recommendation letter was written in 1997 and was addressed to the Hertz Foundation’s executive director. In it, Jobs described Page as “a very bright young man,” and praised his technical skills as well as his ability to think creatively. Jobs went on to recommend Page for the fellowship, saying “I have no doubt that he will continue to achieve great things in his career.”

The glowing recommendation from Jobs undoubtedly played a significant role in Page’s being selected for the fellowship, which provided $85,000 in funding over five years, as well as access to exclusive networking events with other top scientists and engineers.

After receiving the fellowship, Page continued to lead Google’s innovation efforts, helping to develop groundbreaking products like Google Maps, Google News, and more. In 2011, Page was named CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, a position he holds to this day.

The impact of Jobs’ recommendation on Page’s career cannot be overstated. The fellowship gave Page the financial support and industry connections he needed to continue his work at Google, further establishing the company as a leader in the tech industry. In a commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, Page spoke about the importance of taking chances and reaching out to mentors:

“We are all here today because we were given a chance, a chance to be students at one of the greatest universities in the world, to be taught by professors who have changed the course of human history. But let’s also remember the chances we aren’t given. It’s important to seize opportunities and make the most of them, but it’s just as important to be proactive and reach out to others who can help us along the way.”

As we can see from the example of Jobs’ recommendation letter, reaching out to mentors and establishing relationships with industry leaders can be instrumental in achieving success. For his part, Page has become a mentor himself, seeking out promising young minds as he continues to push Google and the tech industry forward.

Elvis Presley’s Heartfelt Recommendation of President Richard Nixon


Elvis Presley Richard Nixon

In December 1970, Elvis Presley wrote a heartfelt recommendation letter to President Richard Nixon, expressing his support and admiration for the President’s leadership. The letter has since become one of the most famous and unusual presidential correspondences in American history. Although Elvis and Nixon were two very different people from different worlds, they shared a mutual respect for each other, and their unlikely friendship was born through this letter.

In the letter, Elvis expressed his concern about the state of America and its increasing drug culture. He believed that his celebrity status could be used to help fight drug abuse, and he wanted to meet with the President to discuss how he could help. Elvis explained that he had been deeply disturbed by the anti-American sentiment that had been circulating in the media and wanted to use his influence to encourage patriotism and support for the government.

The letter was written on the letterhead of Elvis’ own personal stationery, which featured an image of a large eagle with the words “TCB” (Taking Care of Business) inscribed underneath it. The letter was delivered to the White House by hand, and Nixon responded by inviting Presley to the White House for a personal meeting. The meeting between the two men took place on December 21, 1970, and was captured on film. The photo of Elvis and Nixon standing together has become one of the most famous images in American history.

Although the letter and meeting were initially kept secret, they eventually became public knowledge, and the press had a field day with the story. Some people criticized Elvis and accused him of trying to use his celebrity status for personal gain, while others praised him for his patriotism and willingness to help the government. Regardless of the public’s reaction, the friendship between Elvis and Nixon continued to grow, and the two men remained in touch until Elvis’ death in 1977.

In retrospect, Elvis’ recommendation letter to President Nixon is seen as a symbol of a bygone era, when the government and the entertainment industry were more closely intertwined. Today, it is difficult to imagine a celebrity like Elvis Presley writing a letter of this nature to the President or any government official. However, the letter remains an important piece of American history, and it continues to be studied and talked about today.

Oprah Winfrey’s Supportive Recommendation of Barack Obama


Oprah Winfrey Barack Obama

Oprah Winfrey is a highly respected figure in American media, known for her philanthropic work and influence on widespread issues. Her support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 was notable not just because of her celebrity status and wide-ranging influence but also because of the personal relationship she shared with him. Oprah helped promote Obama’s candidacy on her talk show by inviting him on several times and hosting fundraising events, but she also wrote a powerful recommendation letter that highlighted Obama’s leadership qualities and vision for the future.

In the letter, Oprah emphasized Obama’s ability to inspire hope and unity among Americans and spoke about his unwavering commitment to public service. She highlighted his unique perspective as someone who had experienced the challenges of growing up in a multi-racial family and working as a community organizer before entering politics. Oprah also mentioned that Obama had the ability to bring people together through his message of hope and optimism, a quality that she felt was essential in a leader.

The letter became famous for its poignancy and eloquence, as well as the impact it had on Obama’s campaign. Many people were impressed by Oprah’s unwavering faith in Obama and her belief in his ability to lead the country in a new direction. Her public endorsement of Obama helped to sway many undecided voters and solidify his support among minority communities.

Oprah’s recommendation letter remains a powerful example of how a personal endorsement from a respected figure can help to shape public opinion and influence important decisions. It is a testament to the enduring power of words and the ability of persuasion to move people towards a common goal. Oprah’s support for Obama showed that even a single voice can have a profound impact when it is used to inspire change and promote a better future for everyone.

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