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1. Walt Whitman
The greatest goddamn editor the Brooklyn Eagle
ever had, Whitman moved to Brooklyn when he was four. He left at 16, bounced in and out for the rest of his life, at the end of which he could look back and say, "I gave the world Leaves of Grass
, thus I am one of the most important people who ever lived." To us Brooklynites, he gave us specifically "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," which we think about once a day, roughly. Obviously, he's the greatest Brooklynite of all time, a source of eternal pride and joy and wonder, not only for our borough, not only for our country, but for humanity itself.