Public Radio’s Picks for Best Bostonians of All Time

PRI executive editor Dave Beard and WGBH senior editor Peter Kadzis weigh in.

We’re asking prominent locals who they think are the Best Bostonians of all time. Below, PRI’s Dave Beard and WGBH’s Peter Kadzis share their picks. Play along by voting in our online game.


Dave Beard
Executive Editor, Public Radio International

Bill Russell: “Eleven championships: Take that, Tom Brady. A leader during a tough time for the city. Wise, unselfish.”

Ernest Moniz: “He has sought to preserve our life (via the nuclear deal with Iran) and prolong it (via the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases). An ex-professor and department head at MIT, he still lives near Coolidge Corner.”

Tim Berners-Lee: “He invented the Web and brought its administration here.”

Mary Baker Eddy: “Mark Twain once called her the most interesting woman in the world. Her faith and her publications endure more than a century later. So does her focus on science and looking abroad.”

John Adams: “He created a modern democracy, first with a Massachusetts constitution and then helping with the nation’s. He defended opponents, promoting the commonweal, the rights of every person.”

Peter Kadzis
Senior Editor,

John Adams: Who lived in Quincy and Boston.

Charles Bulfinch: Architect of the Mass. State House and US Capitol dome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essayist.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Supreme Court justice.

Henry Lee Higginson: Businessman and philanthropist.


Whom would you choose? Help us pick the Best Bostonians of all time.