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13 Iowans Who Made The World A Better Place

The Hawkeye State has a rich history of fostering citizens with a natural inclination for innovation. And by joining the NextGen Climate #50by30 coalition, you can join the movement to help change the clean energy conversation.

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1. Lee de Forest

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Known by some as "the father of radio," de Forest was born in Council Bluffs and earned notoriety for inventing a device called the audion. This vacuum tube was the first of its kind to amplify electrical signals and eventually served an important function within radios, televisions, and computers.

2. Amelia Bloomer

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Another Council Bluffs resident, Bloomer was a prominent figure in the women's rights movement. Her progressive attitude toward the standard dress code for women at the time led to longstanding associations with the garment that shares her name.

3. Mary Beth Tinker

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Hailing from Des Moines, Tinker became an advocate for free speech at an early age. Her peaceful protest in response to the Vietnam War even resulted in a Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for greater students' rights across the country.

6. Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie

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Omlie spent the bulk of her childhood in Des Moines before taking to the skies in the fight for women's equality. She was the first woman to secure an airplane mechanics license and ultimately used her skills in aviation to level the playing field in an industry dominated by men.

7. Robert Noyce

Intel Free Press (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: intelfreepress

Without Noyce, the world of Silicon Valley as we know it might not exist. This Burlington-born inventor of the integrated circuit used his propensity for computer technology to change the face of the digital world in ways that few others could have imagined.

10. Wallace Hume Carothers

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It's hard to imagine a world without parachutes, automobiles, or any number of other items that often contain some percentage of nylon. For that, we have Carothers to thank. The chemist from Burlington was largely responsible for creating the now-ubiquitous synthetic polymer.

13. Norman Borlaug

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The highly lauded humanitarian from Cresco once said that "food is the moral right of all who are born into this world." His vision for food distribution, cultivation, and supply was valuable enough to earn him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

With the help of forward-thinking Iowans, NextGen Climate's #50by30 goal calls on candidates to lay out a plan to power our country with more than 50% clean energy by 2030. Join the coalition today to help make the world a better place.

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