Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.
—1 Thessalonians 4:11
Ida Tarbell was an American teacher, author, and journalist who pioneered investigative journalism. She is best known for taking on John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil Company, resulting in the Supreme Court decision in 1911 that held it to be an illegal monopoly and ordered it broken into thirty-four separate companies.
Ida rubbed shoulders with the well-known and wrote the biographies of several of them, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Abraham Lincoln.
In an interview on her 80th birthday, she was asked to name the greatest people she had ever met. “The greatest people I have ever met,” she said, “are people nobody knows anything about.”
She explained that most people are never known outside a small circle of relatives and friends, but exert enormous influence and love within that small circle.
Those who do the most seem
to talk the least—and vice versa.