2. Christopher Reeve
As an movie actor, he was known to the world as Superman. But the greatest test of Christopher Reeve's strength came after a 1995 horse-riding accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.
His efforts to recover and to remain active, including an appearance at the 1996 Academy Awards in which he urged filmmakers to deal with important issues, inspired millions. Before his death in 2004, he went on to direct, narrate, and act in film productions – and to crusade for medical research that he hoped would restore him to full activity and give health to others.
"The last few years we've heard a lot about something called family values," Reeve said in a speech at the 1996 Democratic National Convention. He offered his own definition: "I think it means that we're all family, ... that we all have value."