For me, the most amazing rags to riches story isn't the story of any one individual but is our story in the West. The difference between who we were centuries ago and who we are now is stunning on every measure.
The simplest measure of our progress is probably measured in life span. One early bit of data from London in the early 1600s captured the probability that a person would make it to various ages. It's not just an infant who could so easily die in the first years of life. Anyone subject to an abscessed tooth or bout of diarrhea was vulnerable. The reliance on superstition rather than science was just one of many reasons it was so easy to die: it was a century after this data was collected that England executed its last witch.
The red shows the probability that a person would make it to 6, 26, etc., in London in the early 1600s. The blue shows the probability of making it to those ages in the US in 2008. You were 4X more likely to make it to 26 in this century, 68X more likely to make it to 76.
It's right to be amazed at spacecraft landing on the moon or computers in our pockets that can download more data than we could consume in a million lifetimes. But what's even more impressive are the odds that you can still enjoy such things well into the last half century of your life.