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The Academy of Achievement is like no other organization in the world. For 50 years, this unique non-profit foundation has sparked the imagination of students across America and around the globe by bringing them into direct personal contact with the preeminent leaders of our times. The Academy was founded by Brian Blaine Reynolds, an acclaimed photographer best known for his contributions to Life magazine and Sports Illustrated. Reynolds established the Academy of Achievement to bring aspiring young people together with real-life heroes -- the kind of achievers he met every week on assignment. The Academy's first annual Banquet of the Golden Plate program was held at Monterey, California in September of 1961.