From the website of NPR:
Edward Tufte has a big backyard that stretches for hundreds of acres near Cheshire, Conn. Over the years, he's filled that space with giant metal sculptures as big as the trees.
“I think it was Richard Serra who said that the market for big, outdoor landscape pieces is like the market for Canadian experimental poetry,” he says. “So I can never be accused of being market-driven in the art world.”
Tufte is an accomplished grand-scale sculptor, but he is perhaps more famous for making charts, graphs and diagrams beautiful. He's been called the “DaVinci of Design” and the “Minister of Information.” His books — with titles like The Visual Display of Quantitative Information — are widely read by Web architects, scientists and basically anyone else who's interested in presenting data creatively and clearly.
And, the new edition of Microsoft Office will include a Tufte creation: the “sparkline.” It's a small graphic, the size of two short words, which can be embedded in text to depict stock markets or baseball stats.
If that weren't enough, Tufte has also been recruited by the White House to join the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, to advise and devise ways to track how the $787 billion stimulus package is being spent.