Excerpt from: A Short History
"The person who makes money is invariably short. Very short…The majority of billionaires in this country are below-average height. I once found myself standing in the midst of a number of these men, and it looked like the wrap party from The Wizard of Oz."
— Fran Lebowitz
"It is good for me that I am not a tall man. Why? Because I must be quick! quick! and a tall man is always slow. It is so through all professions. The best men are not too high. All the mean, cunning men that I have known—short! All the keen, eager, ambitious men—short! And for work—the tall man has too much to carry, he is too far from the ground, he cannot lose and recover balance as is necessary—in a flash."
— Harry Houdini
A tall friend of mine brags that her baby is "well over the average in length." To show pride or confidence, one is advised to "stand tall" or "walk tall." And I once heard a physician say that his hospitals doctors were obviously better than those at a rival institution because most of them were six-footers.
The idea for this little book came to me after a flight in which an entire pro basketball team shared my section of the plane. Thanks to their gargantuan size, these young men didn't so much occupy the plane as own it. Yet aside from the fact that their height enables them to slam-dunk a ball into a basket, they might be otherwise inferior to any shorter person. Be that as it may, most of the world tends to lend greater importance to height.
Its time to change this misguided mind-set and pay homage to some of the many individuals who have made a name for themselves in spite of-and sometimes because of-their short stature. The men included here are all five feet four or under, and the women are five feet one or under.
In truth, my list of short people who made it big grew so long, some people whom you may have expected to see here will have to wait for a second volume to make an appearance. Or perhaps those people are not or were not as gloriously short as you thought them to be.