As a long time fan of Tibor Kalman, he not only represented to me a great source of design inspiration but also hope that I too could be a designer one day. Untrained as a designer, Tibor simply tackled each project with a rare wit that has managed to keep his work fresh even before his untimely death in 1999. But it was his unashamed lack of design training that gives me hope to this day that anyone with enough determination and good taste can make a difference.
For more info on Tibor Kalman check the wiki page
Mini-design factoid—Stefan Sagmeister (another designer hero of mine) worked for Tibor at his small studio, M&Co in NYC before starting his own inspiring studio.