I’m inspired by biographies. They’re the closest thing to walking a mile in another person’s shoes without, you know, walking a mile in another person’s shoes. I recently stumbled across the biography of Hedy Lamarr called Bombshell. Hedy Lamarr grew up in Austria during a time of turmoil, fear, and great uncertainty. Hitler was on the rise and Nazism was spreading rampant across Europe. In her quest for freedom, the ambitious Hedy Kiesler set off to America in her early 20’s. While on the ship from the UK to the great United States, her natural beauty was noticed by Louis B. Mayer of MGM. He signed her to a film contract, and the rest is history. Or, is it? Not so fast…
Hedy Lamarr was not just another pretty face. She was quoted as saying, “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” But stupid, she most certainly was not. She spent much of her time working on inventions and ideas. She became friends with the likes of Howard Hughes and offered input that helped him with his aircraft designs. Hughes gave her a design and test bench to use for her inventions. Her ideas were brilliant even though she was not technically an engineer.
She wanted very much to help her new country defeat Hitler and Nazism, offering her inventor assistance to the US Government. Times being what they were, she was asked to help by leveraging her beauty to promote the sales of War Bonds. She was hugely successful raising what would be 350 million dollars in today’s money. Hedy’s love for The United States and disdain for Hitler made her one of the most patriotic citizens in US history. She embraced the freedom of America. She appreciated everything the US had to offer and wondered why many didn’t understand that.
She still wanted to do more and knew she could. Hedy worked tirelessly on her inventions. The most significant invention, inspired by her patriotism, would prove to be an idea that would change the entire world. Along with British Composer, George Anthiel, they used their knowledge of music, the piano, and other inspiration, to invent what is today, commonly known as “frequency jumping”. She envisioned her invention to be applied to guided missiles for a more effective campaign against the German U-Boats. Her US patent was used by the government for the world’s first securely guided missiles and continues today in technologies such as cellular, wi-fi, Bluetooth, satellite, and many others.
I know every one of you reading this is marvelously gorgeous, just like Hedy Lamarr. But, you’re not just another pretty face. And, though others see us differently than we see ourselves, that doesn’t mean we must be as they see us. It’s all up to you. Don’t worry about what others think or what might happen.
I’ve always said, “Do the right things for the right reasons and you’ll be rewarded for it.”
Happy New Year!