influential person essay brother

Sample Essays: Influential Person

influential person essay brother

Please select from the following sample application essays:

Essay 1: Wellesley | Essay 2: Harvard | Essay 3: Harvard

Note: The following essays were not edited by EssayEdge Editors. They appear as they were initially reviewed by admissions officers.

Sample Essay 1

Wellesley, Influence of mother

It took me eighteen years to realize what an extraordinary influence my mother has been on my life. She's the kind of person who has thoughtful discussions about which artist she would most want to have her portrait painted by (Sargent), the kind of mother who always has time for her four children, and the kind of community leader who has a seat on the board of every major project to assist Washington's impoverished citizens. Growing up with such a strong role model, I developed many of her enthusiasms. I not only came to love the excitement of learning simply for the sake of knowing something new, but I also came to understand the idea of giving back to the community in exchange for a new sense of life, love, and spirit.

My mother's enthusiasm for learning is most apparent in travel. I was nine years old when my family visited Greece. Every night for three weeks before the trip, my older brother Peter and I sat with my mother on her bed reading Greek myths and taking notes on the Greek Gods. Despite the fact that we were traveling with fourteen-month-old twins, we managed to be at each ruin when the site opened at sunrise. I vividly remember standing in an empty ampitheatre pretending to be an ancient tragedian, picking out my favorite sculpture in the Acropolis museum, and inserting our family into modified tales of the battle at Troy. Eight years and half a dozen passport stamps later I have come to value what I have learned on these journeys about global history, politics and culture, as well as my family and myself.

While I treasure the various worlds my mother has opened to me abroad, my life has been equally transformed by what she has shown me just two miles from my house. As a ten year old, I often accompanied my mother to (name deleted), a local soup kitchen and children's center. While she attended meetings, I helped with the Summer Program by chasing children around the building and performing magic tricks. Having finally perfected the "floating paintbrush" trick, I began work as a full time volunteer with the five and six year old children last June. It is here that I met Jane Doe, an exceptionally strong girl with a vigor that is contagious. At the end of the summer, I decided to continue my work at (name deleted) as Jane's tutor. Although the position is often difficult, the personal rewards are beyond articulation. In the seven years since I first walked through the doors of (name deleted), I have learned not only the idea of giving to others, but also of deriving from them a sense of spirit.

Everything that my mother has ever done has been overshadowed by the thought behind it. While the raw experiences I have had at home and abroad have been spectacular, I have learned to truly value them by watching my mother. She has enriched my life with her passion for learning, and changed it with her devotion to humanity. In her endless love of everything and everyone she is touched by, I have seen a hope and life that is truly exceptional. Next year, I will find a new home miles away. However, my mother will always be by my side.

The topic of this essay is the writer's mother. However, the writer definitely focuses on herself, which makes this essay so strong. She manages to impress the reader with her travel experience, volunteer and community experience, and commitment to learning without ever sounding boastful or full of herself. The essay is also very well organized.

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Sample Essay 2

Harvard, Favorite fictional character

Of all the characters that I've "met" through books and movies, two stand out as people that I most want to emulate. They are Attacus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird and Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham from Field of Dreams. They appeal to me because they embody what I strive to be. They are influential people in small towns who have a direct positive effect on those around them. I, too, plan to live in a small town after graduating from college, and that positive effect is something I must give in order to be satisfied with my life.

Both Mr. Finch and Dr. Graham are strong supporting characters in wonderful stories. They symbolize good, honesty, and wisdom. When the story of my town is written I want to symbolize those things. The base has been formed for me to live a productive, helpful life. As an Eagle Scout I represent those things that Mr. Finch and Dr. Graham represent. In the child/adolescent world I am Mr. Finch and Dr. Graham, but soon I'll be entering the adult world, a world in which I'm not yet prepared to lead.

I'm quite sure that as teenagers Attacus Finch and Moonlight Graham often wondered what they could do to help others. They probably emulated someone who they had seen live a successful life. They saw someone like my grandfather, 40-year president of our hometown bank, enjoy a lifetime of leading, sharing, and giving. I have seen him spend his Christmas Eves taking gifts of food and joy to indigent families. Often when his bank could not justify a loan to someone in need, my grandfather made the loan from his own pocket. He is a real-life Moonlight Graham, a man who has shown me that characters like Dr. Graham and Mr. Finch do much much more than elicit tears and smiles from readers and movie watchers. Through him and others in my family I feel I have acquired the values and the burning desire to benefit others that will form the foundation for a great life. I also feel that that foundation is not enough. I do not yet have the sophistication, knowledge, and wisdom necessary to succeed as I want to in the adult world. I feel that Harvard, above all others, can guide me toward the life of greatness that will make me the Attacus Finch of my town.

This essay is a great example of how to answer this question well. This applicant chose characters who demonstrated specific traits that reflect on his own personality. We believe that he is sincere about his choices because his reasons are personal (being from a small town, and so forth). He managed to tell us a good deal about himself, his values, and his goals while maintaining a strong focus throughout.

Sample Essay 3

Harvard, Family illness: Mother's fight with cancer

I am learning, both through observations and first-hand experiences, that there are many mishaps in life which seem to be unexplainable and unfair, and yet have devastating consequences. Disease fits into this category. Its atrocity does not stem from the fact that it is a rare or uncommon occurrence, since illness and disease pervade our lives as we hear numerous stories of sick people and come into contact with them each day. However, there is a marked difference between reading in the newspaper that a famous rock star or sports icon has tested H.I.V. positive and discovering that your own mother has been diagnosed with cancer.

Undoubtedly, the most influential people in my life have been my mother and father. It is to them that I credit many of my accomplishments and successes--both inside and outside of school. Throughout my childhood, my parents have always fostered and encouraged me in all my endeavors. At all my sporting events, spelling bees, concerts, and countless other activities, they have always been front row and center. My parents, in conjunction with twelve years of Catholic training, have also instilled in me a sound belief in a loving, caring God, which I have come to firmly believe. It therefore should not come as a surprise that the news of my mothers sickness would greatly alter my entire outlook on life. Where was my God?

My mother, in fact, had been aware of her condition in the spring of my junior year in high school. She deliberately did not inform my sister or me of her illness because she did not want to distract us from our studies. Instead, my mother waited for the completion of her radiation therapy treatments. At this time, she brought me into her room, sat me down on the same wooden rocking chair from which she used to read me bedtime stories, and began to relate her story. I did not weep, I did not flinch. In fact, I hardly even moved, but from that point onward, I vowed that I would do anything and everything to please my mother and make her proud of me.

Every subsequent award won and every honor bestowed upon me has been inspired by the recollection of my mother's plight. I look to her as a driving force of motivation. In her I see the firm, enduring qualities of courage, strength, hope, and especially love. Whenever I feel discouraged or dispirited, I remember the example set by my mother and soon become reinvigorated. Instead of groveling in my sorrow, I think of all the pain and suffering that my mother had to endure and am revived with new energy after realizing the triviality of my own predicament. For instance, last year, when I was playing in a championship soccer game, my leg became entangled with a forwards leg on the other team, and I wound up tearing my medial cruciate ligament. I was very upset for having injured myself in such a seemingly inane manner. Completely absorbed in my own anguish, I would not talk to anyone and instead lamented on the sidelines. But then I remembered something that my mother used to say to me whenever something like this happened: If this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, I'll be very happy, and you'll be very lucky. Instantly, many thoughts race through my mind. I pictured my mother as a young thirteen-year-old walking to the hospital every day after school to visit her sick father. She had always told me how extremely painful it had been to watch his body become emaciated as the cancer advanced day by day and finally took its toll. I then pictured my mother in the hospital, thirty years later, undergoing all the physically and mentally debilitating tests, and having to worry about her husband and her children at the same time. I suddenly felt incredibly ashamed at how immature I had been acting over my own affliction. I gathered my thoughts and instead of sulking or complaining, helped coach my team to victory.

I am very happy to say that my mother is now feeling much better and her periodic checkups and C.A.T. scans have indicated that she is doing very well. Nevertheless, her strength and courage will remain a constant source of inspiration to me. I feel confident to greet the future with a resolute sense of hope and optimism.

The majority of the suggestions for this essay highlight the danger inherent in relying on an overly poignant topic, in this case the writer's mother's bout with cancer. Part of why the reactions to this piece are so passionate (and why there are so many of them) is because had the applicant just taken a slightly different approach, he could have had a powerful and touching composition on his hands. It is always frustrating when a piece with so much potential misses the mark. In this case, the material and emotion are all there. Had he spent more time and written with more sincerity, this essay might have been a real winner.

I wish this kid had started the essay with his mom sitting him down in the rocking chair. That would have been a powerful beginning. In general, using the introduction of the essay to paint a scene or mood can be very effective.

He should begin with the most simple and striking sentence possible, such as "On January 5, 1995, my mother learned that she had cancer." Use real times and exact places. Let the most dramatic point go where it belongs, at the end of the sentence--also known as the stress point.

Because this topic is so personal, I yearn to know more about the student's reaction to his mom's cancer, how he and his family dealt with it over time. As written, things just seem a bit too tidy.

The author describes a valuable life lesson, but I find the writing style to be artificial and a bit maudlin. I imagine he resorted to the thesaurus more than once.

The writer tells us a sad story about his mother with cancer and how he has strived to do his best because of what his mother has been through. The topic can be a tear jerker, but this essay lacked the depth and richness that other essays with similar topics possess.

The experience obviously impacted the student very much. But what students do not realize is that they do not have to share such personal issues within the confines of a college essay.

I don't believe the "epiphany" in the conclusion as it's described. It's too easy and convenient to be believable. He begins his description with "For instance," which negates almost everything that follows. When he sees his mother in his mind, he "instantly" thinks this and "suddenly" does that, and finally "helped coach his team to victory." He "coached" the team. "Cheered" maybe. "Coached?" No way.

This essay smells of contrivance. Yes, his mother's bout with cancer affected him. Just not in the way he wants me to believe. This is the "lasting sanctifying effect" essay. Look at what the writer is actually saying (using his own words): I used to be "absorbed in my own anguish" and "lament" my bouts with adversity. But, "instantly" or "suddenly" (take your pick), I became a young man "confident to greet the future with a resolute sense of hope and optimism." Why not say, "I used to be a thoughtless, immature teenager. My mother got cancer. I'm now a thoughtful, mature adult. You should admit me to _____." His essay is no less subtle.

Return to: Lesson One: College Essay Questions

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influential person essay brother

How to Write a College Essay About an Influential Person

influential person essay brother

  • November 2, 2022

When brainstorming topics for your college essay, you’ve probably considered writing about a person who has influenced or inspired you–a parent or grandparent, a sibling, a teacher, or another significant figure in your life. You may be writing an essay of your own design or responding to the fourth prompt on this year’s Common Application: Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Writing about someone else in a college essay can be tricky—after all, your ultimate goal is still to tell admissions officers enough about you to help them decide whether to offer you admission. But there’s a way to do that even while writing a specific, insightful essay centered on another person. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing someone to write about, brainstorming, and pulling your ideas together into a finished essay.

Choosing a person to write about

One of our favorite college essays about someone other than the writer is Zoya Garg’s essay about her mother, which was published in the New York Times . Garg writes about her mother’s dreams of a career as a stand-up comedian and how a gift from Garg helped set her on the path to achieving those dreams:

“My mom finds a baffling delight from drinking from glass, hotel-grade water dispensers. Even when three-day-old lemon rinds float in stale water, drinking from the dispenser remains luxurious. Last year for her birthday, I saved enough to buy a water dispenser for our kitchen counter. However, instead of water, I filled it with handwritten notes encouraging her to chase her dreams of a career.”

One of the things that works well about Garg’s essay is how precisely Garg pinpoints the ways her mom has inspired her—Garg mentions her mother’s curiosity, her sense of humor, and her ability to “light up conversations” with and “reach the hearts of” everyone she encounters. If you’re going to write an essay about someone else, choose someone about whom you can identify these kinds of details, rather than someone who has inspired you from afar.

Inspiration doesn’t always have to be positive—perhaps you were inspired by not wanting to be like a particular person in your life. But if you choose to write about someone who inspired you in a more indirect or negative way, be mindful of the tone you’re striking in your essay and the impression it might leave on an admissions officer. Remember that your essay is an opportunity to show the kind of community member you would be if admitted to the school.

Brainstorming your essay

A successful essay about someone who has inspired you will have two key ingredients: examples and reflection. (To learn more on the importance of reflection in the college essay, check out our Complete Your College Essay Online Course .) But unlike a recipe, you don’t have to add these ingredients in any particular order—you can begin by brainstorming either one and still find your way to a powerful finished essay.

If you’d like to start with examples, spend some time thinking about moments when this person inspired or influenced you. Try to pinpoint them as precisely as possible: Did you have a conversation with your father or a driving lesson with your mother that particularly taught you something? Did time spent with an older sibling while on a family vacation show you something about the person you hope to become?

Once you have your list of moments, try writing a sentence or two about what you learned in each instance. For example: Driving with my mother, who always wanted to take the scenic route, reminded me of the importance of patience, something I have long struggled with. 

If you already know what you’ve learned from the person you’re focusing on, you can just as easily do this brainstorm in reverse. Try first writing out the “lessons” you’ve learned. Then, under each one, list as many examples as you can think of that illustrate how this person taught you what you’ve learned from them—the driving lesson, the meaningful conversation, the morning spent surfing, and more. The most evocative examples and moments on the list will be excellent material for your essay.

Beginning to write

You’ve probably spent a lot of time with the most important people in your life. (If you haven’t, that might be an essay in itself!) That can make those people even harder to describe, because we know so much more about them than can fit into a single essay.

As you begin to write, return to some of the questions you asked during the brainstorming process:

  • What one illustrative story can you tell about this person?
  • What one or two key things have you learned from them, or what one or two things have they inspired you to do?
  • Was there a specific experience one of you went through during which they inspired you?

Think back to Zoya Garg’s anecdote of a birthday gift, which tells a much larger story about her relationship with her mother and about Garg’s own ability to understand and support those around her.

Sometimes the easiest way to build this kind of essay is to work backwards. Consider this person’s traits – what does the reader need to know most about the person, and what have you learned from them? Perhaps it’s your mother’s fondness for taking the scenic route, or your sister’s willingness to try new things. Then make a list of experiences, traits, or adjectives that best capture those elements: Is it the way they laugh, how they take charge in difficult situations, how they walk into a room? In Garg’s essay, one telling detail is her mother’s “baffling delight” in drinking out of fancy glass water dispensers, which kicks off the entire story. Those are the perfect kinds of characteristics and small moments to include in your essay.

And remember—it isn’t enough just to describe this inspirational person. You’ll also need to describe how their influence shows up in your life, in big or small ways.

Revising your essay

Once you’ve drafted your essay, and perhaps taken some time away from the draft, look at your essay with fresh eyes . This is a great opportunity to check that your essay is specific and precise in the way you describe the person who inspired you, so that the admissions officers reading your essay will come away feeling like they know that person. Keep in mind that even if you’re writing about an experience of anti-inspiration, or someone who inspired you not to be like them, it’s worth trying to strike a positive tone in your essay.

And finally, remember that your ultimate goal is to give the admissions committee insight into who they might be inviting into their campus community. You want them to feel as though they’ve gotten to know you —no matter who else you introduce them to along the way.

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My brother is the most influential person in my life

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My brother is the most influential person in my life.  His name is Wade, and he is 21 years old, leaving a 4 year gap in between the two of us.  Most siblings are always quarreling, and never do anything together.  My brother and I are most definitely not like that, we do everything together.  Throughout my life I have modeled to be more like him, he is not only my older brother but my peer and my role model.

        When I was 5, I would follow my brother around everywhere, I was the pesky younger brother.  I felt the brunt of many a cruel joke that my brother and his friends would play on me, but throughout all of these jokes I knew they only did it in fun and I enjoyed it.  When they found that I would laugh at these jokes as much as they did, I was accepted into that group of friends.  My brother would always take me along when he went to a friend’s house, or when his friends came over to our house I would get to hang out with all of the older guys.  This could be seen as a good or a bad thing.  I was exposed to many things I should not have been by hanging out with my brother and his friends, but this also helped me to mature earlier.

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        There is a phase in the younger years of my generation’s lives when it is considered cool to smoke.  At the age of 14 I was tempted by friends to smoke, but since I had been with my brother when he was tempted to smoke I knew it would be a bad decision to even try.  Watching my brothers go through the trials of life has helped me to resist certain temptations that I otherwise might have gotten sucked into.  I was able to see the mistakes he made and avoid those decisions in my life.

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        I have always been in competition with my brother; I strive to be as good as or better at everything than he is.  He was always bigger and faster than I was so if we wrestled I would get beat, and if we raced he would leave me in the dust.  This instilled in me a drive to improve myself.  My brother was not the brightest student.  This compelled me to be as good a student as possible.  If my age restrained me from being equals with my brother physically, I would have to strive hard in school to have better grades than he did.

        My brother and I are still very close, but now he is engaged.  We don’t do everything together anymore; he has his own career and hopes to start a family of his own.  The drive to better myself that he put in me as a young child still drives me to be a better person.  I still model myself after my brother because he is the greatest person in the world in my eyes.  I will always remember the wrestling matches as a child that I got terribly beat at, and the times when he would make me do stupid stuff just so his friends could laugh at me.  These things may seem like something I would look back at and be bitter about, but I will always value the lessons in life that Wade taught me.

My brother is the most influential person in my life

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  • Subject Health and Social Care

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influential person essay brother

My Older Brother as a Role Model

Elijah Kramer

Elijah Kramer

Writing 150 Fall 2020

I can safely say that the most influential and important role model in my life has been my older brother Adam. I have learned so much from him; not only have I learned to be a more responsible person from his personal maturity but also how to overcome critical trials that are bound to occur in life.

One of the largest reasons that Adam has been such an important role model in my life is because of our minimal age gap. Because he is only one and a half years older than me, I have always been close to him, and therefore I have learned much more than I would have if our age gap was larger. Since I had grown up being homeschooled with him, we grew a lot together. I felt like since we both had to face the challenge of being self-reliant together, we were able to push each other to overcome the obstacle.

As we both grew older, the challenges became more difficult and I began to rely on him more. I entered high school two grades below Adam, and it is safe to say that my transition from homeschooling to a traditional high school would not have been nearly as successful without him. I can clearly remember our early morning New York City train rides to school during my freshman year when I would be constantly asking him questions about how to conduct myself and how I should act in certain situations. Oftentimes, I would be so proud of my older brother for transitioning to highschool without an older sibling, because I constantly felt as though I would be helpless without Adam as a form of guidance during my transition.

One of the most important things I have learned from Adam as my role model is how to overcome adversity. My older brother enrolled in the United States Military Academy in 2018 but was sent back home due to a medical misunderstanding. He had been accepted and was only sent home after arriving on his first day of summer training for all incoming freshmen. This news was extremely shocking to not only Adam but my parents as well. Seeing that his entire life was set on a different track, I was truly astonished at his reaction. My brother responded to this backtrack by saying that if it happened, it was meant to happen and that God has a plan for everyone. This was very impressing to me because he was handling this set back more calmly than my parents. Although my brother eventually took a gap year at another college and then returned to Westpoint, this trial taught me to believe that everything happens for a reason.

I have learned a medley of important lessons from my older brother, and these lessons have shown me how great of a role model he is. I look up to him in so many ways, and I know that I would not be nearly the same person today if I did not have him as an older brother.

Elijah Kramer

Written by Elijah Kramer

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The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Descriptive Essay on an Influential Person in Your Life

How to Write a Speech About Someone I Admire

How to Write a Speech About Someone I Admire

A descriptive essay on an influential person can be about someone who has had a positive or negative impact on your life. This person can be a teacher, a coach, a family member, a friend, an employer, a political figure, a historical figure or even a fictional character. The key element of writing this type of essay is to reflect on how and why the person has influenced you.

Focus Your Essay

As in any essay, when writing about an influential person in your life you should include a thesis statement. In this case, the thesis statement declares how or why this person has influenced you life. For example, if writing about your soccer coach, you may write, "Through his advice and the example of his character, my soccer coach has inspired me to never be lazy, to get back up after a fall, and to be a confident leader." The thesis statement gives you, the writer, a focus and direction so that you are not only describing a person, but exploring the causes and effects of that person's impact on you.

Start With an Anecdote

Instead of starting the essay with an explicit physical or personal description of the person, you can more meaningfully reveal who the individual is by sharing a personal story. For example, if you are writing about your sibling, you can begin the essay with a specific memory of a moment or experience you shared in which your relationship or your sibling's strengths and weaknesses are revealed through actions. This is an engaging way to entertain the reader while imparting valuable information about the person you are describing.

Describe the Person

At some point in the descriptive essay, you need to describe the influential person. This description -- which can include physical attributes, biographical information and personality traits -- should be related with concrete language. The description should paint a vivid picture of all that matters about the person. The writer needs to be judicious in which descriptive material she selects for inclusion in the essay; the information should be determined by the overall point being made in the essay. For example, if your thesis statement is about how Abraham Lincoln is your hero because of all his accomplishments relative to the social and political conditions of the time, descriptions of his favorite hobbies or hair color may not be pertinent. The description serves to give a deeper and more vivid portrait of the influential person, but should ultimately serve the higher cause of the thesis statement and the effect of the person on the writer.

Describe Your Relationship

When writing about an influential person, you have to talk not just about the person, but also about the reason the person has made an impact on your life; this means you have to talk about yourself, what specific things you have learned from this person, and how those lessons affect you today. An important strategy for successfully describing the relationship between the person and the writer is to give specific examples. For example, don't just say, "my grandmother is generous"; give specific examples of her generosity: "she always makes sure everyone is fed before eating," or "she sold her jewelry to help pay for a car so that I could drive to work." These specific examples are more powerful and evoke more empathy than general descriptive words such as "kind" or "generous."

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Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

Tips for the College Interview Question "Who Has Most Influenced You?"

  • Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania
  • B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT

Interview questions about influential people can come in many variations: Who is your hero? Who deserves the most credit for your success? Who is your role model? In short, the question is asking you to discuss someone you admire.

Interview Tips: Who Has Most Influenced you?

  • You don't have to be creative with this question. Just be honest and thoughtful. Family members, teachers, and friends are all fine answers.
  • Be careful with polarizing political figures since it can a challenge for your interviewer to be entirely unbiased.
  • Don't try to impress your interviewer with historical figures like Abraham Lincoln or Mother Theresa.
  • Focus on a human, not a pet.

Good Interview Answers About an Influential Person

So, who should you name as a hero or influential person? Speak from the heart here. There is no right answer other than a sincere answer. Also, realize that unlike a "hero," an influential person isn't always a positive example. You may have grown and changed as a result of someone whose mistakes or inappropriate behavior taught you what  not  to do with your life. Answers to the question can draw from lots of different options:

  • A Family Member— For most of us, parents and siblings have a huge impact on our lives. Answering with a family member is fairly predictable but also perfectly appropriate. Just make sure you can articulate the specific ways in which the family member influenced you.
  • A Teacher— Is there a particular teacher who got you excited about learning, a subject area, or continuing your education? Since you're interviewing in an effort to continue your education, focusing on an educator can be an excellent choice.
  • A Friend— For good or bad, your close friends have a huge influence on your decisions and behavior. Do you have a close friend who has helped you succeed in high school? Or, depending on how the question is worded, do you have a friend who influenced you in a negative way?
  • A Coach— Coaches often teach us leadership, responsibility and teamwork. As long as your response doesn't reveal that you value athletics more than academics, a coach can be a great choice. Try to articulate how your coach has helped you succeed in areas other than sports.
  • A Community Member— Do you have a mentor in the church or some other community organization? Community members often teach us to think outside of the narrow sphere of our families.

Bad Interview Answers

This question about an influential person, like many common interview questions , is not difficult, but you do want to think about it for a few minutes before your interview. A few answers can fall flat, so think twice before giving responses such as these:

  • Myself— In truth, you probably are the person who is most responsible for your success. You may, in fact, be self-reliant with no real heroes. However, if you answer this question with yourself you will sound self-absorbed and selfish. Colleges want to admit students who help each other out and work as a community. They don't want solitary egotists.
  • Gandhi or Abe Lincoln— If you have great respect for an admirable historical figure, that's wonderful. Such answers, however, can come across sounding like you're trying to make a good impression, not like you're answering the question sincerely. In your day-to-day life of classes, extracurricular activities , tests, and relationships, is Abe Lincoln really influencing your behavior? If he is, fine. If not, rethink your answer and work to speak from the heart.
  • Donald Trump or Barack Obama— Here, as with the example above, is the president (or Senator, Governor, etc.) really influencing and guiding you in your day-to-day life? This question has an added danger. Your interviewer will do his or her best to be unbiased, but interviewers are human. If you name a Democrat and your interviewer is a staunch Republican, your response could create a subconscious strike against you in the interviewer's mind. Both Trump and Obama can be polarizing figures, so be aware of the inherent risks before choosing a prominent political figure for your response.
  • God— At a college with a religious affiliation, God could be a fine answer. At many colleges, however, the answer is a crap shoot. The admissions officer may admire your faith. Some interviewers, however, will be skeptical of students who attribute their successes to prayer and divine guidance rather than commitment and hard work. That said, you certainly don't need to shy away from your faith in your interview, and a priest or rabbi can be an excellent choice for this interview question.
  • My Dog— Fido may be a great pet who has taught you responsibility and unconditional love, but keep your answer in the world of humans. Colleges are made up of humans.

A Final Word

Whatever your answer, bring the influential person to life for your interviewer. Avoid vague generalities. As with an admissions essay on an influential person , you'll want to provide colorful, entertaining, and specific examples of how the person has influenced you. Also, keep in mind that a strong answer provides a window into your life and personality, not just the admirable qualities of the influential person. The ultimate goal of the interviewer is to get to know you better, not the person you admire.

Finally, make sure you dress appropriately and avoid common interview mistakes . College interviews are generally congenial exchanges of information, so try to relax and have a good time chatting with the college representative.

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My brother has prominently impacted my life - influential person

ManOnTheMooon 1 / -   Nov 25, 2010   #1 Please have in mind that english is my second language, therefore my word choice is not that great :p. I would greatly appreciate it if you guys are strict on my essay, and be blunt about my mistakes. Thank you in advance. Here's the prompt: Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you. One person can have a lasting effect in your decisions and the way you perceive life. It is that one person who knows you best, that has the most influence on your life. This person can be very inspirational and even more if it is someone close to you or a relative. In my case, it is my brother who has prominently impacted my life. He has been there to support me in my many decisions, whether they were smart or foolish ones. It is due to my brother that I am the ambitious, responsible, and respectful person that I am today. My brother has been a wonderful friend as well as sharing a resemblance of that of a parental figure. He enforces that rules that has been set upon us by our parents, making sure that I keep myself sane and respectful. I can go to him with whatever problem I encounter in life. He has taught me many lessons in my existence, all of which has molded and will continue to mold my life in its entirety. He has affected every aspect in my life; from the way I dress, to the way I perceive life. I consider it as a phenomenal thing because he has showed me the great things that can be accomplished in life, has taught me many great things, and has inspired to become successful in life. My brother, Aldo, always has been an inspiration to me because he has set a great example for me to follow. He is always helping my parents with anything they need, and does many errands around the house. He occasionally helps out at church, showing me that giving back to the community is a good way to show that you want a better community to live in. Aldo has taught me all his life lessons that he has so far undergone and learned from. He learns from his own mistakes and makes sure I do not commit the same mistakes as him. He makes sure I do not veer in the wrong path, meaning he is always on my case in everything I do. My brother says he does this because he did not have anyone to motivate him when he was as young as me. He did not take the same road I am taking; he preferred to get out of high school and to begin to work. This is an aspect of his life in which he regrets doing. He tells me that not to follow in the same footsteps he took, because they are not all great. Aldo takes many positions in my life, and impacts my life in that certain aspect. He can be considered as my basketball coach, teaching me everything that he has been taught, and always paying attention to my flaws in my basketball skills. He tries his best to make me a better basketball player, and makes me have a try-your-best attitude. Without him, I do not think I would have such a great passion for basketball, nevertheless for sports itself. He is always the first person I seek when I need help with any current problem I come across. I asked for his help when I had been asked by a student that if I wanted to smoke a cigarette. When I asked my brother if I should try smoking, he quickly replied "Bro, there is no need for that. It just messes up your body, and it messes up your image. And if you think that makes you look cool, you are a fool because it doesn't and it only makes you look like a buffoon." My brother told me that it is our human nature that we get curious of certain drugs, but fighting the urges of trying them is what differentiates from a normal human to one that is strong-willed and determined to seek a better life. I have always followed his advice because it has always seems to work out and ease my life. Aldo has made me have an optimistic way of thinking, he knows what is best for me; therefore I do not see him only as a brother, but also as a counselor. I cherish my brother, greatly because he has taught me many things in life as well as lessons, all of which I have come to realize that I have used. He is guiding me to the right road, making sure I do not fall a victim to any bad intentions, making sure I always try my best in everything I partake in, and making sure I always strive for the better things in life. He is my motivator, counselor, coach, gym partner, role model, mentor, best friend, my big brother but mostly the biggest influence that has forever changed my life in a positive way! I need a better conclusion but I don't know how to write one. Also I find this essay to be simple, don't you guys think so?

Ayeh 2 / 3   Nov 25, 2010   #2 "This person can be very inspirational and even more if it is someone close to you or a relative." It sounds a bit strange to me.. maybe change it to "This person can be very inspirational especially if it is.." ? Just a suggestion haha "support me in my many decisions" Should probably be changed to "support all of my decisions" "I consider it as a phenomenal thing because he has showed me the great things that can be accomplished in life" Maybe alter this a bit to be "I consider it to be a phenomenal thing that he.." As for the conclusion, "I cherish my brother , greatly because.." The comma is not needed. The long list of characters your brother has played in your life ends in a choppy fashion " friend, my big brother but mostly the biggest influence that has forever changed my life in a positive way!" Try to make it flow smoother. Other than that it's a great essay topic good job

/ /

influential person essay brother

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My Sister - The Most Influential Person in My Life

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CVPR 2024 Announces Best Paper Award Winners

influential person essay brother

This year, from more than 11,500 paper submissions, the CVPR 2024 Awards Committee selected the following 10 winners for the honor of Best Papers during the Awards Program at CVPR 2024, taking place now through 21 June at the Seattle Convention Center in Seattle, Wash., U.S.A.

Best Papers

  • “ Generative Image Dynamics ” Authors: Zhengqi Li, Richard Tucker, Noah Snavely, Aleksander Holynski The paper presents a new approach for modeling natural oscillation dynamics from a single still picture. This approach produces photo-realistic animations from a single picture and significantly outperforms prior baselines. It also demonstrates potential to enable several downstream applications such as creating seamlessly looping or interactive image dynamics.
  • “ Rich Human Feedback for Text-to-Image Generation ” Authors: Youwei Liang, Junfeng He, Gang Li, Peizhao Li, Arseniy Klimovskiy, Nicholas Carolan, Jiao Sun, Jordi Pont-Tuset, Sarah Young, Feng Yang, Junjie Ke, Krishnamurthy Dj Dvijotham, Katherine M. Collins, Yiwen Luo, Yang Li, Kai J. Kohlhoff, Deepak Ramachandran, and Vidhya Navalpakkam This paper highlights the first rich human feedback dataset for image generation. Authors designed and trained a multimodal Transformer to predict the rich human feedback and demonstrated some instances to improve image generation.

Honorable mention papers included, “ EventPS: Real-Time Photometric Stereo Using an Event Camera ” and “ pixelSplat: 3D Gaussian Splats from Image Pairs for Scalable Generalizable 3D Reconstruction. ”

Best Student Papers

  • “ Mip-Splatting: Alias-free 3D Gaussian Splatting ” Authors: Zehao Yu, Anpei Chen, Binbin Huang, Torsten Sattler, Andreas Geiger This paper introduces Mip-Splatting, a technique improving 3D Gaussian Splatting (3DGS) with a 3D smoothing filter and a 2D Mip filter for alias-free rendering at any scale. This approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods in out-of-distribution scenarios, when testing at sampling rates different from training, resulting in better generalization to out-of-distribution camera poses and zoom factors.
  • “ BioCLIP: A Vision Foundation Model for the Tree of Life ” Authors: Samuel Stevens, Jiaman Wu, Matthew J. Thompson, Elizabeth G. Campolongo, Chan Hee Song, David Edward Carlyn, Li Dong, Wasila M. Dahdul, Charles Stewart, Tanya Berger-Wolf, Wei-Lun Chao, and Yu Su This paper offers TREEOFLIFE-10M and BIOCLIP, a large-scale diverse biology image dataset and a foundation model for the tree of life, respectively. This work shows BIOCLIP is a strong fine-grained classifier for biology in both zero- and few-shot settings.

There also were four honorable mentions in this category this year: “ SpiderMatch: 3D Shape Matching with Global Optimality and Geometric Consistency ”; “ Image Processing GNN: Breaking Rigidity in Super-Resolution; Objects as Volumes: A Stochastic Geometry View of Opaque Solids ;” and “ Comparing the Decision-Making Mechanisms by Transformers and CNNs via Explanation Methods. ”

“We are honored to recognize the CVPR 2024 Best Paper Awards winners,” said David Crandall, Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., U.S.A., and CVPR 2024 Program Co-Chair. “The 10 papers selected this year – double the number awarded in 2023 – are a testament to the continued growth of CVPR and the field, and to all of the advances that await.”

Additionally, the IEEE Computer Society (CS), a CVPR organizing sponsor, announced the Technical Community on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TCPAMI) Awards at this year’s conference. The following were recognized for their achievements:

  • 2024 Recipient : “ Rich Feature Hierarchies for Accurate Object Detection and Semantic Segmentation ” Authors: Ross Girshick, Jeff Donahue, Trevor Darrell, Jitendra Malik
  • 2024 Recipient : Angjoo Kanazawa, Carl Vondrick
  • 2024 Recipient : Andrea Vedaldi

“The TCPAMI Awards demonstrate the lasting impact and influence of CVPR research and researchers,” said Walter J. Scheirer, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., U.S.A., and CVPR 2024 General Chair. “The contributions of these leaders have helped to shape and drive forward continued advancements in the field. We are proud to recognize these achievements and congratulate them on their success.”

About the CVPR 2024 The Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR) is the preeminent computer vision event for new research in support of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented, virtual and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR), deep learning, and much more. Sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society (CS) and the Computer Vision Foundation (CVF), CVPR delivers the important advances in all areas of computer vision and pattern recognition and the various fields and industries they impact. With a first-in-class technical program, including tutorials and workshops, a leading-edge expo, and robust networking opportunities, CVPR, which is annually attended by more than 10,000 scientists and engineers, creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for networking, recruiting, inspiration, and motivation.

CVPR 2024 takes place 17-21 June at the Seattle Convention Center in Seattle, Wash., U.S.A., and participants may also access sessions virtually. For more information about CVPR 2024, visit .

About the Computer Vision Foundation The Computer Vision Foundation (CVF) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to foster and support research on all aspects of computer vision. Together with the IEEE Computer Society, it co-sponsors the two largest computer vision conferences, CVPR and the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV). Visit for more information.

About the IEEE Computer Society Engaging computer engineers, scientists, academia, and industry professionals from all areas and levels of computing, the IEEE Computer Society (CS) serves as the world’s largest and most established professional organization of its type. IEEE CS sets the standard for the education and engagement that fuels continued global technological advancement. Through conferences, publications, and programs that inspire dialogue, debate, and collaboration, IEEE CS empowers, shapes, and guides the future of not only its 375,000+ community members, but the greater industry, enabling new opportunities to better serve our world. Visit for more information.

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Drag Goes Mainstream in the Philippines, a Bastion of Christianity

For many performers, drag is not only a cultural phenomenon, but also a political statement promoting social justice and gay rights.

Two performers in drag, surrounded by an audience in a restaurant.

By Camille Elemia

Photographs by Jes Aznar

Reporting from San Juan, Quezon City and Manila in the Philippines

Before he put on the glittery neon yellow tasseled jumpsuit, donned the yellow wig, and lip synced and danced onstage under colorful spotlights, Paul Hidacan went through his preshow routine in a busy dressing room. He pulled out a small white Bible from his bag, sat down and read a verse.

“I grew up in my church,” said Mr. Hidacan, 21, who has attended service in cropped tops, skirts and boots, and started performing in drag last year. “I know there are some who raise their brows when they see me, but the pastors accept me.”

In many places in the Philippines, drag is becoming more mainstream, and more popular. It is no longer confined to comedy bars, gay pageants and L.G.B.T.Q. spaces. New clubs devoted to drag are opening. Drag queens are on fashion magazine covers, and are pitching name-brand products like MAC Cosmetics, Shell gasoline, Durex condoms and Samsung phones. Students of at least one public university recently held a drag competition.

The new visibility of the art form has come largely because of changing mores around religion and gender, as well as the runaway success of the global TV franchise “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

But for many performers, drag is not only a cultural phenomenon, but also a political statement promoting social justice and gay rights that they hope will transform Philippines society even more.

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Quezon City



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‘This is for the city!’ Kendrick Lamar fans sound off and show out in the Forum parking lot

Fans were in the mood to have fun, celebrate and reflect on the current cultural moment before Wednesday's show in Inglewood.

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Thousands of Kendrick Lamar fans from across the country congregated Wednesday afternoon at the Forum in Inglewood for the hometown rapper’s only recently announced “The Pop Out — Ken & Friends” show, which took place roughly one month after his epic rap feud with Drake.

The concert, which was held on Juneteenth (an annual commemoration of the day in 1865 in which enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free), featured lively performances from dozens of L.A. artists including DJ Mustard, Ty Dolla Sign, Blxst, Steve Lacy, Westside Boogie, Dom Kennedy, RJMrLA, Tommy the Clown (along with his talented crew of child krumpers) and Tyler, the Creator. Lamar also surprised fans with a Black Hippy reunion by bringing Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q to the stage.

While many of Lamar’s supporters came to experience his Drake diss records — “Not Like Us” and “Euphoria” — performed live for the first time, others thought of the concert as the best way to celebrate Juneteenth, given the topics that Lamar regularly discusses in his music.

Los Angeles, CA - June 15: Naomi Nightingale dances at the Oakwood Juneteenth Celebration in Los Angeles, CA. (Zoe Cranfill / Los Angeles Times)

Editorial: Juneteenth isn’t a holiday just for Black people. Everyone should celebrate freedom

Juneteenth, a federal holiday, is about honoring fortitude, perseverance and, yes, optimism. Those are traits that Americans have always had and that Black Americans had to have in abundance to survive centuries of racism.

June 18, 2024

Before the event, we spoke to fans in the parking lot about why they wanted to attend the show, how Lamar’s music embodies the spirit of Juneteenth and why the event was a significant cultural moment in hip-hop history. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Thousands of Kendrick Lamar fans congregated at The Forum in Inglewood for “The Pop Out — Ken & Friends” show on Juneteenth, with many telling The Times that the concert was the best way to celebrate the holiday.

Daja Heard, Omarri Beck, Christian Johnson, Parlet Cooper of L.A.

From left: Parlet Cooper of Compton wit and L.A. residents Daja Herad, Omarri Beck and Christian Johnson.

“There’s nobody, honestly, better than Lamar to bring out the community who actually know the history and purpose of Juneteenth and to get people more aware of Juneteenth and its importance.” — Omarri Veck, 24, of Los Angeles

“There’s been community representation, but hip-hop icon has taken Juneteenth as their celebration date and utilized it for something that speaks for the community. It’s not for a tour or nothing like that — this is for the city.” — Christian Johnson, 35, of Los Angeles

Robert Harris, 34, shows off his T-shirt.

Robert Harris of Anaheim

“Kendrick has been a very inspirational person in my life. Ever since I came out to this area, I’ve been listening to his music and it’s been really touching. He always speaks to the people and for the people, so at the end of the day, it’s just great to see him always show love back. I’ve been to pretty much, every single one of his concerts. This show is impacting the people. It’s bringing people together that were normally feuding. It’s bringing good energy. It’s not even about hate and love, it’s actually just all about good vibes. And for Kendrick to do that, I celebrate him because he’s the man — he runs hip-hop. We all know that.” — Robert Harris, 34, of Anaheim

Porsche Johnson of Compton

Porsche Johnson, 38, of Compton said she was excited to attend "The Pop Out" with her family.

“It’s a moment because I mean, it’s Kendrick and ‘Not Like Us’ is definitely an anthem right now. Even with other races being here, they are acknowledging us like how we do Cinco de Mayo — we celebrate everybody. Now it’s everybody celebrating us, and the fact that so many people came out for him to do this is what made it big.” — Porsche Johnson, 38, Compton

Pennelope Gonzalez and Johnny “Raydeoworld” Feliz of New York

Couple Pennelope Gonzalez, 21, and Johnny "Raydeoworld" Feliz, 26, traveled from New York to attend the show.

“We wanted to be here because of the fact that he knows that he is the embodiment of culture. We feel like he understands what we go through... He’s like the best person to voice that out and lead that, and I feel like we’ve needing a leader in hip-hop who advocates for the right thing we should all follow and do. It just felt right to celebrate Juneteenth with him. He just made sense because he’s all about culture. We had to come here.” — Johnny “ Raydeoworld ” Feliz, 26 of New York

“For me, I just love Kendrick based on what I feel like he represents. [Feliz] inspired me to actually put Compton Cowboys and pgLang [on my fit]. I personally like Kendrick in this photo [from his ‘ Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers ’ album]. I’ve never seen him so relaxed, but so elegant at the same time, so I wanted a photo that represented a photo that represents this holiday specifically. It took me two days to make it.” — Pennelope Gonzalez, 21

Stacy Aneke of Ontario, Calif.

Stacy Aneke, 25, said he wanted to attend the show to support the "winning team" following the Kendrick-Drake rap feud.

“With this being Kendrick’s first performance in a long time, being able to experience ‘Not Like Us’ in person, I had to be here. ... I obviously think he won the beef, so that’s why it’s a cultural moment. Just being able to be a part of the “winning team.” — Stacy Aneke, 25, of Ontario

Drew Bosompem of New Jersey and Chioma Nwana of New York

Couple Drew Bosompem, left, and Chioma Nwana, right, from New York, at "The Pop Out — Ken & Friends" show.

“It’s the two biggest rappers going at it,” said Drew Bosompem, 29, of New Jersey. “I feel like it’s something that people have been waiting for.”

Lauren and Lawrence Wolfeland of L.A.

Couple Lauren Wolfeland, 40, and Lawrence Wolfeland, 43, went to see Kendrick Lamar for the first time on Juneteenth.

“We’ve always been Kendrick fans, but with this whole thing that happened within the past month, I feel like he literally spoke up for the culture and pointed things out and was like ‘Look y’all. Look.’ We all know the whole history of us always being taken advantage of and somebody being like ‘I want some of that,’ and here you got somebody who kind of looks like us kind of doing the same thing, and we got to be like ‘Yo! Hey.’ And right before we have our own big celebration, it’s just perfect like let’s not only celebrate someone who we’re a fan of, but for what he just spoke about. Let’s come together and recognize that about ourselves and keep an eye out for things to come.” — Lauren Wolfeland, 40

“He unified L.A., the coast, hip-hop and then to have it on Juneteenth, our freedom day, that’s a big deal. — Lawrence Wolfeland, 43 of Los Angeles

See more shots of K.Dot fans from the Forum parking lot below:

Man in shirt that says "Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop!"

More to Read

DJ Mustard in a snakeskin jacket, black turtleneck and a large chain

Mustard on the beat: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Not Like Us’ was a surprise, even for the DJ

June 20, 2024

Drake performs onstage in Toronto on Oct. 8, 2016. Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan watches an NBA Rising Stars semifinal basketball game Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Kendrick Lamar performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, AP Photo/Rick Bowmer Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

DeMar DeRozan was Drake’s ‘brother.’ Now he’s dancing onstage to Kendrick Lamar’s diss track

Kendrick Lamar performs onstage

Kendrick Lamar reps L.A. unity at Forum, performs ‘Not Like Us’ marathon, brings out Dr. Dre

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influential person essay brother

Kailyn Brown is a lifestyle reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked as a staff writer for Los Angeles Magazine and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she’s not penning an article, she’s DJing at events and parties around the city.

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Los Angeles, CA - June 20: Noah Kahan, the Gen Z-beloved singer-songwriter whose "Stick Season" won him a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, plays the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

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Tyler, the Creator cancels headlining gigs at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands. It’s not clear why

BEVERLY HILLS-CA-JUNE 13, 2024: Singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills on June 13, 2024. Abrams has an upcoming album, "The Secret of Us," and a three-night run at the Greek Theatre this September. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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Taylor Swift poses in a white gown and black gloves at the Grammy Awards

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Biden’s new immigration gamble; State primary races to watch

Our daily political update, featuring the stories that matter

Maria Juarez, left, serve empanadas to immigrant families at Quality Inn in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Sign up here to receive “The US in brief” as a newsletter, each weekday, in your inbox.

Joe Biden is expected to announce on Tuesday a path to legal residency and eventual citizenship for migrants who arrived in America illegally but are married to American citizens. The measure would affect hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise have had to return to their countries of origin to apply for a green card. The move is an electoral gamble—Mr Biden must tread a careful path between those who favour a more progressive immigration policy and others who feel the president is not tough enough on the border. This month he issued a sweeping executive order that will, theoretically, deny asylum to migrants who enter illegally when numbers are already high.

Georgia, Oklahoma and Virginia are holding primaries on Tuesday. One Republican race is particularly contentious. Bob Good, who chairs the hard-right House Freedom Caucus , last year committed the grave error of endorsing Ron DeSantis’s presidential bid. Donald Trump—and loyal surrogates such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia congresswoman—have backed Mr Good’s opponent.

Mr Trump is in Racine, Wisconsin , for a campaign event at which he will denounce “Joe Biden’s failed presidency”. Wisconsin’s race was among the tightest in 2020; Mr Biden won by a mere 20,000 votes. Last week Mr Trump caused a stir after reportedly calling Milwaukee, a nearby city and host of next month’s Republican convention, “horrible”. He denies saying this.

New Jersey’s attorney-general charged six people, including George Norcross , with racketeering. Mr Norcross, whose brother is a congressman, is an influential figure in the state’s Democratic Part y despite never holding elected office. A 13-count indictment alleged the group used their political clout to land property deals and subsequently collect millions of dollars in tax credits. Mr Norcross’s lawyer said the indictment was “tortured and unfair”.

Wes Moore, Maryland’s Democratic governor, pardoned around 100,000 people convicted of low-level cannabis offences . Black Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested for possessing weed, even though they use it at similar rates. Such convictions look increasingly outmoded now that recreational marijuana is legal in 24 states . Mr Biden quashed thousands of federal weed convictions in 2022; dozens of states have followed suit.

Battleground boost

Between 2012 and 2020 gerrymandering meant that Republicans in Wisconsin always won at least 60% of state assembly seats, even though they topped out at 53% of the vote. Then, in 2023, everything changed. A conservative justice retired, sparking the most expensive judicial race in American history—and a liberal won it. Having since redrawn its maps, the state is becoming more competitive .

A view from elsewhere

When the television series about the 2024 election is eventually written, it is sure to be a “procedural drama” that takes place “in a courtroom”, wrote Mikhail Gurevich in Kommersant , a Russian newspaper. It will begin with the trials of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden. But “whoever wins, this endless string of lawsuits will continue”, Mr Gurevich writes, as courts in Republican states bring cases against Democrats and vice versa. At least it will “be interesting for the viewers”.

Today’s polls

influential person essay brother

The race between the two candidates remains stubbornly stable. Judging from our  poll tracker , which is updated daily and shows an average of the latest polls, Mr Biden and Mr Trump continue to match one another in the popular vote.

Figure of the day

11 , the number of states where chemical castration is a possible punishment for child molesters. Read our story on how Louisiana may go a step further and legalise surgical castration, and how a Democrat is leading the charge.

influential person essay brother

Tuesday: Which Native American settlement, situated in modern Illinois, was the largest urban centre in North America prior to the 18th century?

Monday : Which state has the highest proportion of Native Americans in its population?

See how to take part in the quiz at the bottom of this page.

If you enjoyed this week’s questions,  play Dateline ,  The Economist’ s history game.

—Lawrence Summers, a former treasury secretary, says what everyone is thinking about Donald Trump’s plan to replace income taxes with tariffs.

How to take part in the quiz: From Monday to Thursday we’ll quiz you on America. Email all your answers with your name and where you are from to [email protected] before 5pm New York time (10pm London time) on a Thursday. The weekly winner, chosen at random from those who give all the right answers, will be announced on this page on Fridays.

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