There are several different people that inspire me, for different reasons.
The first that comes to mind has a lot to do with the field of study that I wish to pursue, Max Perutz.
Despite injustice and early resistance in his education (he was being educated in Vienna when World War II was beginning and was exiled for Jewish heritage). While still studying and working for England in the war, he made groundbreaking discoveries into the molecular structure of hemoglobin (inspired himself by the methods with which he was creating an ice platform in the Atlantic), which earned him a Nobel Prize in chemistry. His technique is still used to determine the structure of proteins and the pharmaceutical industry relies on work done by Perutz in the 1980s.
My mom inspires me. Whenever I think I've got it hard, I always think about her. Raising three kids, working all the time, that couldn't be easy. So she really makes me want to do better and stuff, y'know?
Eminem inspires me too. People don't like him (mainly because he swears so much), but there are songs of his that are just... I don't know how to describe it. ^^
NO ONE inspired me while I was growing up, which made for a very sad existence... but I guess also made me want to BE inspiring for others...? It's turbo egocentric for me, but I always felt that If I wanted to be a better person, I needed to inspire myself and not compare myself to other people or try to do what other people were doing. I never met or connected to someone that really gave me those inspirational feelings. (Totally different from people that I -admire- which I have a nice list of. 8D)
THESE DAYS, I find myself inspired by The FlyLady. XD She teaches a great message about how to control your personal chaos. How we are so wrapped up in trying to be "perfect" that we dig ourselves these holes we can't get out of. I've been attempting to apply her lessons to my real life, so I can better manage stuff more responsibly! She's not a famous person, or renowned philanthropist, but her messages really hit home with some of my personal problems. o___o It's helped me a lot!
My family isn't the greatest in the world but they've went through a lot of hardships before coming to America. During the Vietnam War they had to witness losing friends and family, endure their homes being bombed, and just live through a war. My grandparents left China for Vietnam when WWII started. They lived close to Nanking so they heard the horror stories about the raping of the city. (This is why my grandmother is paranoid about all of the young women in our family.) Then both my grandparents and my parents had to escape Vietnam during the war. My mother was one of the Boat people, and not too long ago I stumbled upon her Refugee card. My father's side of the family almost lost their ticket into America because my grandmother fell gravely ill during their passage into States. (My grand uncle was my grandmother's sponsor. My grandfather was in no way related to him so if she were to have passed on, their passage would have been terminated.)
Growing up I never heard of these horror stories but I got glimpses of their PTSD and experienced their paranoia. My uncle would hide against the wall sometimes when there was a loud noise, my grandmother would always jump at anything that scared her. My family isn't wonderful at raising kids. Their form of discipline isn't something I'd want any child to experience but because of their strength and courage through the war it has inspired me to look at a bad day in a different light. I developed a sort of, "Well at least it isn't that bad..." mentality. I try harder in everything I do whether it be work or school because when they lived in Vietnam it didn't matter how much work or effort they put into something, it could easily be taken away at gunpoint. Because of them I've learned that I am very blessed.