Happy Geek Pride Day: Top 10 Real Life Geek Heroes [guestpost]

May 25th is Geek Pride Day and to celebrate, instead of having the normal 5 posts of geeky greatness, we have this guest post from Greg Buckskin from CableTV.com!  Enjoy!

May 25 is a geek pride day, your opportunity to strut your stuff and promote geek culture. What better way to promote and inspire the geek way of life, than to list our top 10 real life geek heroes? So here’s our list of people who made it big, proving that it is cool to be a geek.

10. James Cameron

James Cameron
James Cameron

The list begins with a deep-sea explorer, artist, editor, screenwriter, film producer and director. Not only did James Cameron direct Hollywood hits like “Titanic” (1997) and “Avatar” (2009)—the two largest grossing movies in history, he has shown his geek roots by developing technologies. Born in Canada, Cameron moved to California and studied physics at a two-year community college. While working as a truck driver, he taught himself about special effects and anything having to do with film technology. When he saw the original “Star Wars” film in 1977, he quit his day job and the rest is history. Cameron was named Hollywood’s top earner by Vanity Fair in March 2011, making $257 million in 2010.

9. Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale

Believe it or not, this breathtaking beauty from England is not only a top actress, but a geek. How so? Well, before Beckinsale was killing werewolves or performing at The Royal Court Theatre, she was writing award-winning poems and short stories. In fact, her love for the written language helped her win the national W.H. Smith Literary Award, twice. At Oxford University, Beckinsale mastered Russian, French and German, and studied dusty old texts—for the love of it. Though we have no doubt she would have eventually become the world’s hottest librarian, we’re glad she decided to make movies instead.

8. Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis

The star of “That ‘70s Show” moved to the United States at age 7, not knowing a word of English––and cried every day about it. When her parents enrolled her in acting classes to help her with English, Mila’s life changed. Discovered by Susan Curtis, Mila secured roles in TV, animated sitcoms and eventually, major motion pictures. In 2008 wired.com named Mila one of the “most attractive geeks”, due to her love and the obsession for “World of Warcraft.” Watch out Horde, she plays Alliance!

7. Elon Musk

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

An engineer and entrepreneur from South Africa, Musk is best known for co-founding PayPal. Bursting with geek talent from head to toe, he is currently the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, Chairman of the SolarCity and Product Architect of Tesla Motors. Not geek enough for you? Well, Musk also invented the Tesla Roadster: the first all electric vehicle, highway capable, in serial production in the United States. It can travel 244 miles on a single charge, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 125 mph. You WISH you were that geeky.

6. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

What geek list would be complete without including the man who created more geeks? Best known for co-creating the networking site Facebook, Zuckerberg has been repeatedly named as one of the most influential people in the world. This isn’t surprising, considering he has access to over 700 million users through Facebook! As one of the world’s youngest billionaires, Zuckerberg is reported to be worth $17.5 billion.

5. Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey

One of my favorite geeks, Dorsey is best known as the creator of Twitter and the founder and CEO of Square. Working as a programmer for a courier dispatch service in San Francisco, Dorsey cemented his place in geek history when he asked the right question: “What are you doing?” That question blossomed into Twitter and over 316 million sign-ups, sharing their every move with the world. With approximately 460,000 sign ups per day, we should thank Dorsey for keeping geeks connected in real time.

4. Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Sienfeld
Jerry Sienfeld

You might think that a standup comedian is a shoe-in for a geek list, but that’s not the only reason why Jerry Seinfeld was chosen. Born in Brooklyn, New York and son of a sign maker, Seinfeld took to stand up comedy and worked his way up from humble beginnings to one of the highest–earning celebrities around. That, and the fact that he has a monumental obsession with “Superman,” nabbed him the #4 spot in my book. The Seinfeld set was filled with homage to the son of krypton. He even included a cartoon “Superman” into his commercials for American Express.

3. Tina Fey

Tina Fey
Tina Fey

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, is a geek we can all love. Brilliant, talented, beautiful and funny, this Pennsylvania girl was exposed to comedy early in life. Fey joined “Saturday Night Live,” first as a writer, then as a head writer and performer for the show. Fey has become a successful writer, actress, producer, mom, and always infuses her geek goddess humor into her never-ending roles and responsibilities. She’s also the youngest-ever winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

2. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Snatching the number two position is a man who exuded geek energy and inspiration to the world, while changing the world forever. Steve Jobs is, without a question, the epitome of what geeks aspire to become. Pioneer of the personal computer revolution, Pixar, Apple, Mac OSX, the list attributed to his influence doesn’t end. He oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad. The world is a dim, less interesting place without Job, and iMiss him.

1. Stan Lee

Stan Lee
Stan Lee

If there was a single, defining attribute or paraphernalia that could brand a person a geek, what would it be? When I polled friends, family and associates, they all came up with the same answer: comic books. Thus, the #1 spot on our geek list goes to one of the greatest names in comic book history; the great Stan Lee. While the jocks waited for the next car or muscle magazine to come out, we waited with baited breath for the next issue of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and Thor. Lives of millions have been shaped through the imagination of this brilliant man and his creations. The Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame inducted Lee in 1994, followed by the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. The son of Romanian Jewish immigrants, Stan Lee is the crowning jewel of American Geekdom.

Bio: Greg Buckskin loves exploring the collision of pop culture and technology on Cable TV and the Internet. Check out some of his geeky infographics at CableTV.com where he’s a writer.