Every city has its renowned boulevards: the Champs-Elysées in Paris, Broadway or Fifth Avenue in New York. The most notable street in Los Angeles is Wilshire Boulevard, winding 15 miles from downtown to the Pacific Ocean and passing through such well-known areas as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, where many of America's rich and famous live. Henry Gaylord Wilshire would have fit right in; he was born to wealth. But the namesake for the boulevard was also an ardent socialist. Wilshire was born in 1861 in Cincinnati. His father was a prominent banker with extensive oil, gas and railroad interests. The family lived across the street from William Howard Taft, the future president.