Clint Eastwood: The life story you may not know (2023)

Clint Eastwood: The life story you may not know (1)


Written by:

Ellen Wulfhorst

May 24, 2022

Chris Weeks // WireImage

Clint Eastwood: The life story you may not know

Most well-known for his film roles of cowboys and cops, audiences first met the tall, taciturn,handsome Clint Eastwood on the small screen, when he played cowboy Rowdy Yates on the hit television Western series "Rawhide."

From there, he was the inscrutable "Man without a Name" squinting under the sun in Sergio Leone's Western movies and the scowling San Francisco detective in "Dirty Harry" movies who posed the famous challenge: "Go ahead, make my day."

With the haunting "Play Misty for Me," Eastwood firstdemonstrated his talent for directing is just as abundant as acting. Two of his four Oscars are awards for Best Director—for "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby"—and the other two Oscars are Best Picture awards won by the same movies. As a director, he is known for sticking to the budget and often finishing ahead of schedule. Actors say they like working with Eastwood for his reserved and supportive style. "He respects the actor,"Morgan Freeman has said. He's also known for filming minimal takes—one take, or two "if you were lucky," actor Tim Robbins said of the director.

With decades of work behind him and no sign of slowing down—thenonagenarian is still acting—Stacker took a look at the accomplishments and events of Eastwood's life and compiled a list of 25 facts that you may not know. To put together the list, Stacker consulted newspaper and magazine articles, biographies, film archives, film recordings and reviews, and fan websites.

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AFP // Getty Images

1930: Born in San Francisco

Clinton Eastwood Jr. was born May 31, 1930, in San Francisco, and he has one younger sister, Jeanne. He attended Oakland Technical High School.

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Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1950: Odd jobs and an Army stint

After high school, Eastwood found work as a logger, hay baler, truck driver, and furnace tender in a steel plant. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 and stationed at California's Fort Ord, where he taught swimming lessons on base. After being discharged in 1953, Eastwood attended Los Angeles City College and worked in a gas station.

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Authenticated News // Getty Images

1953: Marriage to Maggie Johnson

Eastwood marriedMaggie Johnson, a Los Angeles model, in 1953. They had two children, Kyle and Alison. In 1964, while married to Johnson, Eastwood had a daughter, Kimber, with Roxanne Tunis, an actress and stuntwoman. Eastwood and Johnson divorced in 1984.

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LMPC // Getty Images

(Video) 15 Things You Didn't Know About Clint Eastwood

1955: Movie debut in monster flick

Eastwood passed a screen test with Universal Studios, got a 40-week contract, and landed his first roles in the 1955 monster movies "Revenge of the Creature" and "Tarantula" and the comedy "Francis in the Navy."

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John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Late 1950s: TV roles and manual labor

When his Universal Studios contract ended, Eastwood booked a few roles in television, but he made ends meet by digging swimming pools and driving a garbage truck.

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Sunset Boulevard // Getty Images

1958: Becoming Rowdy Yates

Eastwood's breakout role came in 1958 when he landed the part of Rowdy Yates on the Western television series "Rawhide." He would go on to play the cowboy for the show's eight seasons.

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United Artists/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

1960s: Spaghetti Westerns

The actor headed to Italy in the 1960s to star in a series of spaghetti Westerns—"A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More," and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"—all directed by Sergio Leone. The stint in Europe brought Eastwood international attention.

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United Artists/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

1960s: The 'Man with No Name'

Actors James Coburn and Charles Bronson both turned down the role of the "Man with No Name" that Eastwood played in the Sergio Leone Westerns. Eastwood wore the same sarape in each movie and is said to have never washed it.

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LMPC // Getty Images

1967: Establishing Malpaso Productions

In 1967 Eastwood set up his own company, Malpaso Productions, which would produce his first Western, "Hang 'Em High," in 1968. Malpaso Productions was behind more of Eastwood's cowboy roles in "High Plains Drifter" in 1973, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" in 1976, and "Pale Rider" in 1985, as well as Eastwood's portrayal of real-life prisoner Frank Lee Morris in the 1979 movie "Escape from Alcatraz."

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1971: Directorial debut

Eastwood directed his first film, "Play Misty for Me," in 1971. The film was a psychological thriller about a radio disc jockey (Eastwood) and an obsessed listener played by Jessica Walter.

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(Video) Clint Eastwood: The Man From Malpaso | The Hollywood Collection
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Silver Screen Collection // Getty Images

1971: 'Dirty Harry' arrives on screen

Eastwood first took on the iconic role of hard-edged San Francisco detective Harry Callahan in 1971's "Dirty Harry," which led to the sequels "Magnum Force" in 1973, "The Enforcer" in 1976, "Sudden Impact" in 1983, and "The Dead Pool" in 1988.

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Sunset Boulevard/ // Getty Images

1975: Relationship with Sondra Locke

In 1975, Eastwood began a 13-year relationship with actress Sondra Locke that would end bitterly. The couple made six films together, although while living with Locke, Eastwood had a son, Scott, and a daughter, Kathryn, with former flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves.In 1989,Locke filed a $70 million palimony lawsuit againstEastwood, seeking damages and an equal division of property. In a private settlement, Locke got money, property, and a directing contract at Warner Bros.

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Sunset Boulevard // Getty Images

1978: Comedy with an orangutan costar

Venturing into comedy, Eastwood appeared in the 1978 movie "Every Which Way but Loose," sharing the screen with a charismatic orangutan named Clyde. The pair reunited for a sequel, "Any Which Way You Can," in 1980.

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MIKE SARGENT // Getty Images

1986: Mayor of Carmel

The life-long Californian was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1986, after running a campaign that promised to bridge the business and residential communities of the 1-square-mile village. He was mayor of Carmel, which has no street addresses or street lights, for a single two-year term and did not seek reelection.

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Jim Smeal // Getty Images

1988–1992: Directing prize-winning films

Adding to his growing list of award-winning directorial efforts, Eastwood made "Bird," a 1988 biopic about jazz legend Charlie Parker thatwon him a Golden Globe, followed by the 1992 Western "Unforgiven," which won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. In "Unforgiven," Eastwood played an aging gunslinger taking on one last job.

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Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

1993: Two Oscars and a baby

Eastwood had been in a relationship with actress Frances Fisher sincethe early '90s, soonafter the two appeared together in "Pink Cadillac." She was also one of his co-starsin the Oscar-winning "Unforgiven," and in 1993, the couple welcomed a daughter, Francesca.

(Video) 10 Facts You May Not Know About Clint Eastwood | 90th Birthday

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Sunset Boulevard // Getty Images

1995–2003: Making dramas and romance

Eastwood directed and starred in the 1995 love story "The Bridges of Madison County" alongside Meryl Streep as well as the 2000 adventure movie "Space Cowboys"with James Garner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Donald Sutherland. In 2003, he directed the crime drama "Mystic River," which earned Oscars for stars Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.

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ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

1996: A second marriage

Eastwood entered into marriage a second time when he wed a California TV news anchor named Dina Ruiz, who was 35 years his junior. The couple welcomed a daughter, Morgan, that same year, and Ruiz went on to appearin two of his films, "True Crime" and "Blood Work."

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Christopher Polk // Getty Images

2004: Hitting it big with 'Million Dollar Baby'

"Million Dollar Baby," starring Hilary Swank as a boxer and Eastwood as her trainer, earned four Academy Awards: Eastwood received an Oscar for Best Director, the movie won for Best Picture, and Swank and Morgan Freeman were recognized with Oscars for their acting. The movie made a whopping $200 million.

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Jon Kopaloff // Getty Images

2006: Two looks at World War II

In 2006, Eastwood focused on an unusual set of projects—directing two movies about World War II, one from an American point of view and the other Japanese. "Flags of Our Fathers" looks at the men who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima, and "Letters from Iwo Jima" drew from battlefield correspondence to explore the experiences of Japanese soldiers. "Letters" was nominated for four Academy Awards, among them Best Picture and Best Director.

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Alexandra Wyman // Getty Images

2008–2016: Continued directorial success

Among Eastwood's successes as a director were "Gran Torino" in 2008 and "Invictus" the following year, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. Eastwood also directed the film adaptation of the Broadway hit musical "Jersey Boys," "American Sniper" about Navy Seal sharpshooter Chris Kyle, and "Sully," a behind-the-scenes look at pilot Chesley Sullenberger's daring Hudson River airplane landing.

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Michael Kovac // Getty Images for AFI

2012: Talking to an empty chair

At the 2012 Republican National Convention, in support of candidate Mitt Romney, Eastwood appeared on stage next to an empty chair and spoke to an imaginary President Barack Obama. The unconventional convention appearance left many observers wondering why the actor chose to attempt such an odd stunt.

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(Video) A Brutally Honest Clint Eastwood Biography

Mark Wilson // Getty Images

2014: A second divorce

In 2014, Eastwood divorced Dina Ruiz, a television anchorwoman 35 years his junior whom he had married in 1996. In 2012, Dina starred in a reality show called "Mrs. Eastwood and Company," and her famous husband appeared in three episodes of its single season. They separated the following year.

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ROBYN BECK // Getty Images

2019: A controversial look at 'Richard Jewell'

Eastwood directed the 2019 movie "Richard Jewell" about the security guard accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The movie came under criticism for portraying Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs as trading sexual favors with an FBI agent for an inside scoop. The editor-in-chief of the Journal-Constitution and colleagues of the late reporter said the film's depiction of the respected journalist was offensive.

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin // Getty Images

2018–2020: More directorial projects underway

The year 2018 saw Eastwood starring in "The Mule,"a true story about a U.S. Army veteran working as a drug mule for a Mexican cartel. In 2020, he started his 42nd project as a director—"Cry Macho," about a horse breeder who rescues a boy from his alcoholic mother.

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What is Clint Eastwoods real name? ›

Clint Eastwood, in full Clinton Eastwood, Jr., (born May 31, 1930, San Francisco, California, U.S.), American motion-picture actor who emerged as one of the most popular Hollywood stars in the 1960s and went on to become a prolific and respected director-producer.

Is there a Clint Eastwood autobiography? ›

American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood: Eliot, Marc: 9780307336897: Books.

What show did Clint Eastwood first appear on? ›

(Stacker) - Most well-known for his film roles of cowboys and cops, audiences first met the tall, taciturn, handsome Clint Eastwood on the small screen, when he played cowboy Rowdy Yates on the hit television Western series “Rawhide.”

What is the most iconic line ever? ›

Famous Movie Quotes
  • “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
  • “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
  • “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
  • “ Carpe diem. ...
  • “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
  • “ It's alive! ...
  • “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
  • “ I'll be back.” -
21 Sept 2018

What was the most iconic line of all time? ›

A jury consisting of 1,500 film artists, critics, and historians selected "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", spoken by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the 1939 American Civil War epic Gone with the Wind, as the most memorable American movie quotation of all time.

Did John Wayne and Clint Eastwood get along? ›

It just so happens, that Eastwood incurred the displeasure of such a legendary cowboy—none other than John Wayne. Eastwood starred in the 1973 film High Plains Drifter which he also directed. Now a classic, the film was absolutely hated by John Wayne, an iconic figure in the western genre and Eastwood's senior.

What kind of car does Clint Eastwood Drive? ›

Clint Eastwood isn't just an acclaimed filmmaker, actor, producer, composer, and most likely the toughest man alive—he's an automobile aficionado who has owned many cherished cars throughout his life. The collection includes a Gran Torino Sport, two Ferraris, and an Austin Healey 100M.

Does Clint Eastwood speak Italian? ›

He also owns a home in Umbria where he's often found in his off time. Finishing up our list comes the great and famous Clint Eastwood. And who would've known that the icy-blue eyed cowboy spoke Italian so well? But in fact, yes!

Did Clint Eastwood serve in the military? ›

The acclaimed actor was also in the military. In 1951 Eastwood was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He was a swimming instructor at Fort Ord, California. Clint Eastwood in his Army uniform during the Korean War.

What does Malpaso stand for? ›

Name origins. The name is derived from Malpaso Creek (Spanish for "bad step", or "misstep"), located south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

What actor has made the most movies? ›

The “Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc is regarded as the actor who's racked up the most acting credits — more than 1,200 — voicing Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and many, many more cartoon characters since the 1930s.

What's the best Clint Eastwood Western? ›

Best Clint Eastwood Westerns, Ranked
  • 8/13 Honkytonk Man (1982)
  • 7/13 The Beguiled (1971)
  • 6/13 High Plains Drifter (1973)
  • 5/13 The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • 4/13 Pale Rider (1985)
  • 3/13 A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
  • 2/13 Unforgiven (1992)
  • 1/13 The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
28 Nov 2022

How much money has Clint Eastwood made in his lifetime? ›

As of November 2022, Clint Eastwood's net worth is estimated to be roughly $375 Million dollars.

What is Disney's famous quote? ›

Walt Disney Quotes

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." "If you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there's some way to do it." "Why worry? If you've done the very best you can, then worrying won't make it any better."

What is the best spoken lines in any movie? ›

  1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone with the Wind (1939) ...
  2. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." The Godfather (1972) ...
  3. "You don't understand! ...
  4. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." ...
  5. "Here's looking at you, kid." ...
  6. "Go ahead, make my day." ...
  7. "All right, Mr.

What was John Wayne's famous saying? ›

1. "Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim." 2. "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

What is the most powerful line? ›

15 Powerful Quotes On Success
  • 1) Success is No Accident. ...
  • 2) Success is Not Final, Failure is Not Fatal: it is the Courage to Continue that Counts. ...
  • 3) Don't Count the Days, Make the Days Count. ...
  • 4) He Who is Not Courageous Enough to Take Risks Will Accomplish Nothing in Life. ...
  • 5) Don't Wait for Opportunity, Create it.
20 Feb 2019

What is the coolest quote ever? ›

Quotes by Famous People
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - ...
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. - ...
  • Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ...
  • If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. -
2 Nov 2022

What is the most romantic quote ever? ›

You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought.” “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” “I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.”

Who is John Wayne's best friend? ›

Ernie Saftig was one of John Wayne's longest and closest friends.

Did Elvis meet Clint Eastwood? ›

The 80-year-old Hollywood legend says he and the late rock 'n' roll star were studio pals as Elvis was often working next door to where Clint was filming in the 1960s. The pair struck up a friendship and it seems the dark-haired sex symbol could not resist meeting a 'cowboy'.

Are Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger friends? ›

The duo has been longtime friends, with Schwarzenegger telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 he admires Eastwood's career. “In the future, I have to adapt my roles to my age,” Schwarzenegger said at the time.

What cars does President Biden drive? ›

The 1967 Corvette is the car Biden, 79, says he loves to drive the most. He showed it off in 2020 during an 80-second campaign ad on Twitter. The car was a wedding gift from his father, who ran a Chevrolet dealership for years, to a young Biden in August 1967.

Where does Clint Eastwood currently reside? ›

Clint Eastwood resides in Carmel, California, not far from Hollywood. Eastwood owns and manages various companies in Carmel, a quiet coastal town where he was briefly mayor. Clint Eastwood is certainly beloved by the town he currently lives in.

How much money did Sondra Locke get from Clint Eastwood? ›

In 1990, Locke and Eastwood arrived at a settlement that included a $1.5 million development-and-directing deal at Warner Brothers that Eastwood set up for her in exchange for her dropping her palimony suit.

Does Clint Eastwood have a pilot's license? ›

Clint Eastwood: Celebrity with Pilot License. Always a trendsetter, Clint Eastwood has been a licensed helicopter pilot for almost 30 years. He says that flying helicopters is his favorite hobby.

Does Clint Eastwood have a plane? ›

Clint Eastwood, the legendary star and director, doesn't own a private jet but he does own a helicopter, the Aerospatiale AStar. He's also a licensed helicopter pilot. Eastwood got the flying bug from his aerial coordinator, Craig Hosking, according to

Are Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood friends? ›

Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood have been good friends since working together in the early '90s on the Eastwood directed Unforgiven. They later teamed up for Million Dollar Baby and Invictus, both of which Eastwood again directed.

Is Sicilian different than Italian? ›

Is Sicilian Language different from Italian? Yes, it is, just like the other romance languages (French, Spanish, or Portuguese) are different from Italian. The Sicilian grammar shares the same fundamentals as the other Latin language and, in my opinion, has a closer relation to Spanish grammar.

Is Al Pacino an Italian? ›

Pacino is quoted as saying, “In America, most everybody who's Italian is half-Italian–except me. I'm all Italian. I'm mostly Sicilian, and I have a little bit of Neapolitan in me.

Is Robert De Niro Sicilian or Italian? ›

Robert De Niro has alweys been proud of his Italian roots, as a matter of fact his great-grandparents were from Molise. His ability in speaking the Sicilian dialect in The Godfather II led him to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Is Clint Eastwood a vegetarian? ›

New documentary 'Why on Earth' features 92-year-old actor Clint Eastwood, who voices his support of a plant-based diet to fight the climate crisis.

Who turned down the role of Dirty Harry? ›

Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman were all approached to play Dirty Harry, and all of them turned the role down down, although Newman recommended 41-year-old Eastwood for the part.

Are Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson friends? ›

Are Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson friends? Eastwood and Gibson share a good friendship after many years of working in the same industry. Gibson once described Eastwood as a “wonderful and gifted director.”

How much is Eastwood worth? ›

Clint Eastwood net worth as in 2022 stands at a whopping 375 million dollars.

Is Clint Eastwood Dutch? ›

He is a heavily decorated actor, director, producer, and military veteran born on May 31, 1930, in San Francisco. His mother's name was Ruth Runner, and his father was Clint Eastwood Sr. Eastwood was born to an affluent family. He is a Gemini, and of English, Irish, Dutch and Scottish descent.

What is the quote from Clint Eastwood? ›

I don't believe in pessimism. If something doesn't come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it's going to rain, it will.

What is the famous line from Dirty Harry? ›

Instead of backing off, Harry points his . 44 Magnum revolver into the man's face and dares him to shoot, saying with clenched teeth and in his characteristic rough grumble, "Go ahead, make my day,'" meaning that if the robber attempts to harm Loretta in any way, Harry would be happy to dispatch the robber.

What was the famous saying from Wayne's World? ›

Wayne Campbell: I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.

What is the most famous line in cinema? ›

  1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone with the Wind (1939) ...
  2. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." The Godfather (1972) ...
  3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. ...
  4. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
  5. "Here's looking at you, kid."

What was Clint Eastwood's favorite saying? ›

Tomorrow is promised to no one.”

What is Elon Musk's most famous quote? ›

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

What was John Wayne's famous line in True Grit? ›

Rooster Cogburn : You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be.

What does Dirty Harry mean slang? ›

Noun. Dirty Harry (plural Dirty Harrys) (figuratively) A police officer who is reckless, disregards practices and policies, or who practices vigilantism, or has a questionable use of force and officer involved shooting incidents.

What does Doc Brown always say? ›

Who Was Scott? The Origin of Doc Brown's Favorite Phrase, Explained.

What is Damian Wayne's catchphrase? ›

"I'll kill you, clown boy!"

What is Matthew Mcconaughey's quote? ›

"Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at."

What is Arnold Schwarzenegger famous for saying? ›

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

What is Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous quote? ›

1. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” 2. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

What is Henry Ford's most famous quote? ›

"There is no failure except failure to serve one's purpose."


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