Ilion Jones writes that "On the great biographer Ida M. Tarbell's 80th birthday, someone asked her to name the greatest persons she had ever met. She responded, 'the greatest persons I have ever met are those nobody knows anything about.'
"Once the New York Times was asked to help a group of club women decide on the twelve greatest women in the United States. After due consideration, the editors replied, 'the twelve greatest women in the United States are women who have never been heard of outside of their own homes."'
Jones concludes, "I ask you, who was greater, Thomas A. Edison or his mother? When he was a young lad his teacher sent him home with a note which said, "Your child is dumb. We can't do anything for him.? Mrs. Edison wrote back, "You do not understand my boy. I will teach him myself?. And she did, with results that are well known.