Even though Gates can get a meeting with almost anyone, he can't land a sit-down with Norman Borlaug, the late biologist and humanitarian who led the "Green Revolution" — a series of innovations that kept a huge chunk of humanity from starving.
"Although a lot of people have never heard of Borlaug, he probably saved more lives than anyone else in history," Gates says. "It's estimated that his new seed varieties saved a billion people from starvation," many of whom were in India and Pakistan.
Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts — and is one of only seven people to do so.
For Gates, Borlaug is a model in getting important work done in the world.
"Borlaug was one-of-a-kind," he says, "equally skilled in the laboratory, mentoring young scientists, and cajoling reluctant bureaucrats and government officials."
Hesser's "The Man Who Fed the World" lets you peer into the personality that saved a billion lives.