Claim to Fame: Award-winning Actor and Philanthropist
Poitier became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field. In 1967 when he starred in three successful films: To Sir, with Love; In the Heat of the Night; and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, making him the top box-office star of that year. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking 22nd on the list of 25. Since 1997, he has been the Bahamian ambassador to Japan. Author of “The Measure of a Man,” Poitier is also an entrepreneur, serving as president and CEO of Verdon Cedric Productions.