Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

Initiative – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations


If Leonardo DaVinci (1452-1519) were alive today, he would be called the product of a broken home. He was an illegitimate child who never saw his mother. His father later married a sixteen-year-old girl. For twelve years, he was brought up first by his grandmother, then by two aunts. After that, he went to live with his father and stepmother. Because of his father’s legal profession, Leonardo was considered better than the village children, so he was never allowed to play with them. His early life, therefore, was very unsettled, and he never knew what it was to enjoy the fun associated with childhood.

With that bad start, we would expect that Leonardo would have become a dull, sullen boy with strong anti-social attitudes. But Leonardo was a boy with initiative and an active curiosity. As soon as he was old enough to walk, he would hike all over the countryside, with his eyes, ears, and mind wide open. The open fields, the woods, the birds and animals surrounding the Florentine village of Vinci fascinated him.

There was no limit to his interests. Plants, fossils, stars, and all other aspects of nature interested him. In fact, he observed everything so carefully that he became an authority on dozens of scientific and artistic subjects. Today, it amazes us how one man could have possessed so many remarkable talents.

Leonardo could have gained fame in several different professions. He was a “Wright brother” in the field of aeronautics. He was also the Thomas Edison of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. He was a leading astronomer, geologist, engineer, botanist, and anatomist, as well as a famous author, illustrator, and psychologist. Perhaps some reader is saying, “But I know Leonardo de Vinci only as the renowned painter of the well-known and intriguing ‘Mona Lisa’-that Florentine mystery lady with the most discussed smile in history.”

This is the story of the boy with the bad start! He became one of the most remarkable and famous men of all time!

– George H. Clement

[Adapted with permission from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan, Bible Communications, Inc., Dallas, TX, 1998, #11803]


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.