Carl Sagan

Before Sagan was on Cosmos and Bill Nye was “the Science Guy”, Nye was a student of Sagan’s at Cornell University. As you’ll know if you watched Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos reboot, Sagan tried to recruit him for Cornell also. Tyson chose Harvard instead but other students of Sagan include David Morrison of the SETI Institute and Steve Squyres who, in addition to teaching astronomy at Cornell, is principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. And those are just (a very few of) the people he influenced before he was on Cosmos.