As Aug. 16 marks the anniversary of the deaths of Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth, Page 2 presents our definitive and arbitrary list of the top 10 U.S. pop culture icons since 1900.
|Elvis Presley remains a U.S. symbol, albeit one who borrowed music from African Americans, got fat and abused drugs.|
Whether you agree with our order or not, vote in the poll at right for the biggest icon in U.S. pop culture since the turn of the 20th century.
1. Elvis Presley
He's made $37 million this year, 25 years after his death. How much have you made this year?
2. Babe Ruth
When informed that his $80,000 salary in 1930 was $5,000 higher than the salary of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, the Bambino is reported to have said, "I had a better year than he did." And nobody disagreed. And during World War II, when Japanese soldiers wanted to infuriate American soldiers, they would often yell, over loud speakers, "F--- Babe Ruth."
3. John F. Kennedy
Revisionist history has been less than kind, but he was the living embodiment of the American Camelot, possibly the last age of innocence this country will ever see.
4. Marilyn Monroe
|Babe Ruth is a far better icon than Herbert Hoover, too.|
It all started with a simple little calendar.
5. Martin Luther King
Charismatic force who inspired long overdue change and an everlasting symbol of the civil rights movement.
6. Muhammad Ali
Self proclaimed "The Greatest," he was, at the same time, one of the most hated and one of the most beloved people in the world, both a moral compass for a conflicted nation and a cautionary fable.
7. John Wayne
The cinematic representation of the can-do, bigger-than-life, never-back-down-when-you-know-you're-right American man.
8. Frank Sinatra
|Was Muhammad Ali the greatest U.S. icon?|
No lie ... The Chairman of the Board really did it his way.
9. Michael Jordan
Who didn't want to be like Mike?
10. James Dean
The embodiment of the ultimate American Dream -- live hard, die young, leave a beautiful corpse.
Also receiving votes
Jackie Robinson, Al Capone, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Carson, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimi Hendrix, Vince Lombardi, Edward R. Murrow, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Madonna, Milton Berle, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Bill Gates, Walter Cronkite, Homer Simpson, Oprah Winfrey