Plinky.com asked me who I consider the greatest hero of all time.
I had written about this philosophically in Sparrows (http://vincet.net/my-novels/do-sparrows-eat-butterflies-2003/ ), so thought I had better get a more concrete definition before answering this prompt. From wiktionary.org:
hero (plural heroes)
1. A real or mythical person of great bravery who carries out extraordinary deeds.
2. A role model.
3. The main protagonist in a work of fiction.
4. A champion.
5. An unwilling sufferer of an act of terrorism, terminal disease, or other tragedy.
6. A large sandwich made from meats and cheeses; a hero sandwich
7. Someone who possesses supernatural powers (in fiction) such as Superman.
So, here's the short-list:
1. I always kind of liked the biblical tale of Samson, so we'll go with him.
2. Mother Theresa of Calcutta
3. John Smith from The Dead Zone (http://vincet.net/2010/08/30/the-dead-zone-an-unexpected-tear-jerker/ )
4. Nelson Mandela
5. My friend, Jo Short, and my Dad, Jack Tuckwood
6. Italian Meatball
7. Daredevil (Marvel Comics, particularly the 'Born Again' series)
And the winner is… (rips envelope)
My greatest hero of all time is my Dad who has, this year, stared two terminal illnesses in the face with a stoic 'up yours, I'm not ready yet'. His strength and will to survive have been stunning.
More impressive still is the outpouring of love and support he has received from around the world; the love we find in our darkest hours is the mark of us as people – I am humbled and honoured to have this man as my father.