The Memphis Thirty Five

Movers & Shakers of the Past Three Decades: A Special Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Photo Essay



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Erling Jensen

For more than two decades, Erling Jensen’s remarkable culinary talent has set the benchmark for fine dining in Memphis. A native of Denmark, Jensen honed his classical training in Washington, D.C., and Miami before moving to Memphis as the chef at La Tourelle. In 1996, he opened Erling Jensen in East Memphis, blending global influences with Continental cuisine to create such exceptional dishes as Atlantic salmon served over creamy roasted garlic and wild mushroom spatzle. Recognized locally with numerous awards, including many “Best Memphis Chef” honors from this magazine, Jensen has received national acclaim, including two invitations to cook at the James Beard House in New York City.

PHOTOGRAPHED IN 1999 BY BEN FINK

 

Gayle S. Rose

We’ll bet that no other University of Northern Iowa music student has ever been named by Business Tennessee magazine one of our state’s “100 Most Powerful People.” But then Gayle Rose isn’t like most people. After earning degrees in music and business from UNI, the accomplished clarinetist graduated from Harvard with a master’s in public administration. Ever heard of Deepak Chopra? Well, that’s because Rose spearheaded the self-help guru’s international publishing and TV ventures. Respected as a behind-the-scenes activitist, Rose co-founded 10,000 Women for Herenton (later 10,000 Women for Change), co-founded the Women’s Foundation, founded the Rose Family Foundation, became president of the data storage/retrieval firm EVS, and earned the national “Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award.” Recently she formed Max’s Team, a volunteer organization that honors the memory of her late son.

PHOTOGRAPHED IN 2011 BY MARIA BENTON

 

Ira Lipman

Himself the son of a private investigator, Ira Lipman is the founder and chairman of Guardsmark, one of the nation’s largest and most successful security-services companies. His Memphis-based firm — “The Tiffany’s of the security  business,” as one reporter described the company — operates in 400 cities worldwide and has over 19,000 employees.  A long-time civil rights advocate, Lipman is Honorary Life Chairman of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). While a student at Little Rock Central High School in 1957, he met NBC anchor John Chancellor; their long friendship led to his sponsorship since 1995 of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, presented annually by Columbia University.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHIP PANKEY

 

Justin Timberlake

Now that you-know-who has left the building, Timberlake is probably the most famous person from Memphis living today — it’s that simple. After making a name for himself in the immensely popular boy band ‘N Sync, Timberlake has embarked on a fabulously successful career as a musician and actor — most recently in the Oscar-nominated film, The Social Network. A pop culture icon, Timberlake gained a new measure of fame (and infamy) after his 2004 Super Bowl performance with Janet Jackson gave rise to the euphemism “wardrobe malfunction.” Never losing sight of his hometown, Timberlake released a line of tequila named 901, opened the Mirimichi Golf Course in Millington, and recently received a humanitarian award from the Grammy Association for his charitable endeavors in Tennessee.

PHOTOGRAPHED IN 2010 BY MONKABANG — COURTESY DREAMSTIME

 

A C Wharton

Growing up in Lebanon, Tennessee, listening to country music on the radio, and going on to both study and teach at the Ole Miss law school: That’s the unusual career path followed by Memphis’ current mayor, who looks to be able to hold the job as long as he wants to. Wharton’s GQ wardrobe and sunny disposition hide an earthy, hard-nosed character, and, as he faced re-election to his first full four-year term in 2011, the former longtime public defender (who doubled as a name-brand attorney in private practice) looked as in-control and invincible as any local chief executive ever has.

PHOTOGRAPHED IN 2011 BY BRANDON DILL

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