1972: Bobby Fischer
Today, "Bobby Fischer" is nearly synonymous with chess. But who was Bobby Fischer really? Born in 1943, he became a Grandmaster at just 15 years old, the youngest ever at the time. He quickly began dominating the chess tournament scene, including an unprecedented and never repeated perfect 11/11 score! But Fischer's most famous moment was wrestling the title from Russian Boris Spassky in the most followed chess event in world history. But a mere 3 years later he virtually disappeared only to reappear nearly 20 years later for a rematch with Spassky, which Fischer again won, only to then slip away into hiding once more until his death in 2008 (at age 64 - the number of squares on a chessboard!). While Fischer's later personal life and views became regrettable, his contribution to the game and its popularity will never be forgotten.