Four score and seven yards to go.
Yes, that's right, Abraham Lincoln and Brett Favre stand shoulder to shoulder pad among the Greatest Americans in history. Not to mention Tom Hanks and The Wright Brothers, Dr. Phil and Tom Edison, Michael Jackson and Ben Franklin, Madonna and Mark Twain.
They, and 90 others (the Wright brothers count as one, we think), culled from over half a million on line submissions will battle it out for "Greatest American" honors according to cable channel Discovery, which will whittle them down in a seven-hour, summer "event" series beginning June 5. On that premiere episode, the list will be reduced to 25 and another online poll taken.
The winner will be unveiled June 26 at 9 p.m.
In addition to Dr. Phil and Edison, media mavens on the list included Walt Disney, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and, somewhat surprisingly, radio pioneer Nikola Tesla.
Following is a list of the 100 top on line vote getters, which alphabetized alphebetized by first names for some reason ("We thought that looking people up by their first name makes the list a little more casual and friendly," said a Discovery spokeswoman). Bios can be found AOL aol.com/greatestamerican and Keyword: Greatest American.
Alexander Graham Bell
Bill Cosby (William Henry Cosby, Jr.)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eleanor Roosevelt (Anna Eleanor Roosevelt)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Washington Carver
Harriet Ross Tubman
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jackie Robinson (Jack Roosevelt Robinson)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
John F. Kennedy
Johnny Carson (John William Carson)
Jonas Edward Salk
Joseph Smith Jr.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Madonna (Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone)
Malcolm X (Malcolm Little)
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.)
Neil Alden Armstrong
Dr. Phil McGraw
Rudolph W. Giuliani
Susan B. Anthony
Wrights Brothers (Orville & Wilbur Wright)
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.