Ken Burns, American Filmmaker
The son of a professor and photography buff, Burns developed an interest in photography and film as a young man. After Brooklyn Bridge, he directed documentaries on topics like the Shakers, Huey Long and the Statue of Liberty, before undertaking the project that would prove to be his breakout hit, The Civil War. The nine-part, 11-hour documentary, which featured the commentary of Civil War historian Shelby Foote (pictured with the filmmaker, above) and the voices of numerous Hollywood stars like Sam Waterston, Jason Robards and Morgan Freeman, was the most-watched public-television documentary in history when it aired in September 1990. It later won two Emmy Awards.