Who's 'The Guy / Gal' in your profession, and why?

Recently I’ve been looking into various scientific topics, and I find that when names pop up, I get drawn into finding out who these people are; they tend to be folks with incredible theories or research under their belt, and I learn a lot more about the subject they study by simply reading what they have to offer.
In this process, I’ve also learned that almost every field has their unsung heroes; people who, to said field, are giants, but outside, they’re faceless. So, here’s the thread for some recognition: In your current or past profession (or even in the profession of someone you know / acquaint with), who’s the person whom everyone knows for their thoughts or deeds, but outside of your realm, no one would know them from Adam?

Ven T. Chow

Dr. Brett Steenbarger

Is it so hard to write a sentence or two of explanation so that those of us unfamiliar with your field can get some idea of why these people are important?

Kenneth Norris (1924-1998), grand-daddy of modern-day whale and dolphin research.

Lengthy obit.

He wrote a memoir of his adventures over the years, addressed to the general audience, called The Porpoise Watcher – Fun reading.

S.R. Ranganathan

Peter C. Hogg, O.C., Q.C. - the New Zealander who is the expert on Canadian constitutional law.

Michael Dirr wrote the bible on American horticulture, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture and Propagation and Uses, more commonly just known in the industry as “The Dirr Book”.

Boas is my homeboy. Damn near invented the field as a distinct pursuit.

Saul Alinsky. He is basically considered the founder of community organizing as we know it today. Community organizing, for people not familiar, is about increasing a marginalized community’s capacity to represent its own interests. He’s a somewhat controversial figure because 1) he was a radical leftist and 2) his approach was very confrontational, deeply grounded in civil disobedience. He did amazing work to help poor communities all across North America. He died in the 70s.

Conservatives used Alinsky’s strategies to form the Tea Party. According to Wikipedia, the noted conservative William F. Buckley described Alinsky as “very close to being an organizational genius.”

Robert Peel

Sob - “Books are for use”!

More modernly, at least in the cataloging/subject heading/aboutness world, Sandy Berman.

Johanna Nichols

For some limited parts of mine it used to be me. :frowning:

Not to prod a sore subject, Dropzone, but I have to know- care to elaborate more on that?
(And much thanks to others who’ve posted. I now have all sorts of interesting subjects and people to research!)

Not really because I’m trying to get back into that industry and the target market is so small that we all know or even worked with each other and I wish to maintain my anonymity. Now that the economy is picking up I filled out a job application for one of our vendors. When giving my work history it asked what I didn’t like about one company I contracted for. I said, “Slow pay,” but, being gracious, didn’t add, “Ask your Receivables people or drop the name of (its owner).”