This book is a comprehensive look at the people whose life's work shaped the state during the most dynamic period since colonial times. The changes that transformed North Carolina between 1900 and 2000 are richly chronicled in individual stories against the backdrop of an overview by the state's official historian, Dr. Jeffrey Crow, deputy secretary of the Office of Archives and History. Many of the persons in these pages are well known. For instance, the names of Aycock, Hodges, Jordan, Graham, Cannon, Alexander, Sanford, Green, and Helms are associated with very visible accomplishments in public life. But still others whose contributions may have been obscured by the passage of time are also here; their legacy undiminished. Within the limits of one volume, this collection provides as balanced and complete a picture as possible. The subjects of the full profiles in this collection were chosen during months of consideration by a panel of distinguished historians and other expert observers, led by former University of North Carolina President William Friday. The panel solicited nominations from all across the state as well as seeking public comment. Celebrity or notoriety alone was insufficient for inclusion. Authors of the profiles were carefully chosen for their experience, expertise, knowledge of the subject, and their writing and research ability. To enable readers to easily identify and locate additional resources, a photograph and a bibliography accompanies each of the major entries.