Table of Contents

updated 10/24/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

AMAZING AMERICANS!

INTRODUCTION 10

THE UNITED STATES OF AMAZING has it all, from flying mailmen to champion ear pullers to a woman with hair twice as long as she is 12

INSPIRATIONS

KATHY & BILL MAGEE travel the world putting happier faces on disfigured children 18

TARAS GENET became the youngest climber, at 12, ever to conquer Alaska's Mount McKinley 24

MAXCY FILER survived California's toughest trial: He took the state bar exam 48 times 26

FERNANDO MATEO, a New York carpet king, shows young convicts how to nail down money—legally 28

KATIE KELLY gave up the glitzy life of a movie critic to teach abandoned Amerasians in Vietnam 34

CAMILLE & MICHAEL GERALDI adopted 15 severely disabled kids and have grocery bills to prove it! 38

HEROES

DENIS O'SULLIVAN, a retired New York City detective, wouldn't give up on a widow's murder 56

KEVIN JOHNSON, the NBA all-star, helps troubled kids from the neighborhood where he grew up 62

JENNY RICHARDSON, 14, lost her father but found strength by counseling her peers about grief 64

ORIGINALS

JOHN LORENZEN, an Iowa farmer, generates all the electricity he needs at the perfect price 68

BILL GATES created a computer-software program and is now a controversial billionaire 72

GEORGE WAY amassed a $1.5 million collection of antiques—on a deli worker's wages 76

GAIL MORSE turned her North Carolina junior high classroom into a high-tech wonderworld 78

LONGSHOTS

LEWIS PULLER JR., the son of a Marine hero, won his biggest battle after he came home from Vietnam 82

JILL SHIELDS had only seconds to live after her parachute failed to open. Then she got lucky 86

MICHAELA & AUGUSTO ODONE are not doctors. But they found a way to stop their son's fatal illness 88

MADELINE MANN, the tiniest newborn ever to survive, turned 2 last summer. Exclusive photo 94

BEN CARSON escaped a tough Detroit neighborhood to become a world-famous neurosurgeon 96

CRUSADERS

EULA HALL brought medicine to the poverty-stricken coal-mining areas of eastern Kentucky 100

DAYTON HYDE loves wild horses so much, he found a place for them to roam free 104

MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS sounded the alarm to help save Florida's fabled Everglades 108

THE DO-GOOD DOZEN are Hollywood's finest: stars who use their clout and hearts to help and heal 110

TOM BORCHARD grows The Big Ones! 116

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