Kobe Bryant (1978-2020) was one of the most accomplished and celebrated athletes of all time. Over the course of his twenty-year career—all played with the Los Angeles Lakers—he won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, eighteen All-Star selections, and four All-Star Game MVP awards, among many other achievements before retiring in 2016.
In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film as writer of Dear Basketball, which he also narrated. He was the first African American to win the award as well as the first former professional athlete to be nominated and win an Oscar in any category.
As a philanthropist, Bryant founded the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) and the Kobe Bryant China Fund, organizations dedicated to providing resources for educational, social, and sports programs to improve the lives of children and families in need, and encourage cultural exchanges between Chinese and U. S. middle school children. He was also an official ambassador for After-School All-Stars (ASAS), a nonprofit organization that offers after-school programs to low-income children in more than a dozen U. S. cities.
With entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, Bryant co-founded Bryant Stibel, a company designed to offer businesses specializing in technology, media, and data strategies, capital, and operational support.
Throughout his post-professional basketball career, Bryant claimed he’d never been beaten one-on-one.