For over three decades, Paul Harvey made a name for himself by telling “the rest of the story.” Day after day he came on our radios recounting familiar historical events and biographies of famous people. He did it with great drama, attention to detail, and impeccable timing, causing his listeners to realize there was more to those stories than we previously imagined.
Based on my limited research, Paul Harvey never told this story. Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born an Austrian in the fall of 1914. She died an American in January of 2000—a recluse and estranged from her adopted son. You may have never heard the name Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler before, but the world today would be a different place if she’d never lived.
Hedwig Kiesler was better known for most of her life by the name Hedy Lamarr. If you’re a fan of Hollywood from the ‘30s to ‘40s, you’ll remember Hedy Lamarr as that actress whom MGM Studios touted as “the world’s most beautiful woman.” She appeared in thirty films over a twenty-eight year career, including the co-starring role in Cecil B. DeMille’s epic Samson and Delilah. She was so famous and so gorgeous that over one 10-day period at the height of her popularity, she raised $25 million for the American war effort by selling bonds and giving a kiss to one lucky sailor planted in the audience. Adjusting for inflation, that would come out to over $350 million today!
But Hedy was more than a movie star, and it’s not her beauty that changed the world. Hedy Lamarr was an inventor. She suggested improved aircraft aerodynamics to millionaire Howard Hughes; invented a tablet that dissolved in water to create a carbonated drink; and, ...
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