By: Sheri Staak
Leadership & Motivation
For Emma Spencer Living
Did you know that American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars was born in Honolulu? Yes, Peter Gene Hernandez, stage name Bruno Mars, was born on Oahu in 1985. He is an accomplished, award winning musician, entertainer and song writer. Bruno Mars is not only a underkind, but an example of a WOW Hawaiian person.
Bethany Meilani Hamilton was born on Kauai in 1990 and overcame a shark attack that resulted in her losing her left arm. Amazingly, she returned to surfing on a competitive level. A movie was made about her life a couple
years ago. She is an inspiration to everyone.
Famous singer and actress Bette Midler was born on Oahu in 1945. While the movie Beaches may have been the pinnacle of her career, she can still be seen performing frequently on Hawaii’s remote island of Las Vegas. Other
movie successes include: The Rose, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and other campy type movies. Johnny Carson, a famous talk show host, saw Midler as a WOW performer and guest.
The modern sport of surfing owes much to Duke Paoa Kahanamoku who was born in Waikiki in 1890. He was
Hawaii’s first Olympic medalist in swimming. Today, his success and popularity still lives around the islands. His
WOW abilities live on long after his death.
Nicole Mary Kidman is an Academy Award-winning actress who was born on Oahu in 1967 to Australian parents. Her 1989 role in Dead Calm accelerated her career. She is also well known for being married to Tom Cruise for slightly over a decade.
Several other WOW individuals were born in Hawaii or call Hawaii home. We will look at other famous, infamous
and WOW people with ties to Hawaii in future newsletters.