Who has made your state proud?

I currently live in NJ but I am not a native.

People who have done the state proud include Allan Ginsberg, Meryl Streep, Bruce Springstein, Philip Roth, Alfred Kinsey, Judy Blume and Thomas Edison.

Gaylord Nelson


Jack Kevorkian
General Custer

Louisiana - There are a bunch of famous people but the one I pick is Louis Armstrong and his influence on music.

7 U.S. Presidents (more than any other state), plus:
Neil Armstrong
Clarence Darrow
Thomas Alva Edison
Clark Gable
John Glenn
Toni Morrison
Paul Newman
Tyrone Power
William Tecumseh Sherman
Steven Spielberg
Gloria Steinem
The Wright Brothers
Cy Young

While I live in New Jersey, I’m half NYC-er. Notoby will ever equal the post-9/11 Rudy Giuliani.

New York. Too many people to completely list, but for me, the top spot belongs to Teddy Roosevelt.


Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Molly Ivins.

West Virginia

Chuck Yeager, Kathy Mattea, Henry Louis Gates, Homer Hickam (Rocket Boys), Chris Sarandon

Thomas Jefferson. Jim Webb.

Same as the other thread: 'nuff said.

Illinois. Jesse Jackson falls in both this thread and the “who embarrasses your state the most” thread. Kind of like a thermos!


Sandra Day O’Conner
William Rehnquist
Lori Piestewa
Don Bolles
Barry Goldwater (?)
Bruce Babbit
And, of course, the USS Arizona

And Fightin’ Bob La Follette.

A few Hoosier writers:

Ernie Pyle
Booth Tarkington
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Lew Wallace
James Whitcomb Riley

Seconded. Also, some personal favorites:
Willie Nelson
Waylon Jennings
Roy Orbison
Buddy Holly
Bob Wills
Janis Joplin
Michael Lee “Meat Loaf” Aday
Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Robert E. Howard
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Audie Murphy
The Butthole Surfers
ZZ Top
13th Floor Elevators
Van Cliburn (born LA, moved TX age six)
Dwight Eisenhower (born TX, moved KS age two)
Chester Nimitz
Jack Johnson
George Foreman
Wes Anderson
Jamie Foxx
Mike Judge
Kris Kristofferson
Randy & Dennis Quaid
Thomas Haden Church
Richard Linklater
Gene Rodenberry
Lance Armstrong
Michael Johnson
Nolan Ryan
Ilya Prigogine
Dr. Denton Cooley
Dr. Michael DeBakey
Matthew McConaughey
Luke & Owen Wilson
Renée Zellweger
Kinky Friedman
Steve Martin
Bill Hicks
Tex Avery
Danny Elfman


Harriet Tubman
Thurgood Marshall
Edgar Allen Poe
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Billie Holliday
Frederick Douglass
Eubie Blake
Jim Henson


Ethan Allen
Fred Tuttle
Jim Jeffords
M. Emmet Walsh
Ben & Jerry
Calvin Coolidge
Howard Dean
Luis Guzman
Justin Morgan
E. Annie Proulx
Jodi Picoult

Gerald Ford for Michigan. For years we’d never had any presidents to compare to our rival Ohio with several.

Al Gore, (environmentalist, elected President by popular vote in 2000)

Jasper Newton (better known as Jack Daniel)

Alex Haley (Pulitzer Prize winning author)

Davey Crockett (Congressman, martyr)

Alvin York (war hero)

Cordell Hull (Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

Bettie Page (pinup, movie star)

Admiral Farragut

Edward E. Barnard, astronomer

Senator Estes Kefauver (fought the mob)

Sen. Fred Thompson (future candidate for President)

James Agee, Pulitzer Prize winning writer

Sir John Marks Templeton (philanthropist, now a British subject)

Nancy Ward (warrior and prophet of the Cherokee nation)

Oprah Winfrey

Peter Taylor (Pulitzer Prize winning short story writer)

Quintin Tarantino

Robert Penn Warren (multi-Pulitzer prize winning poet, novelist, literary critic)

Sequoyah (invented Cherokee alphabet)

T.S. Stribling (Pulitzer Prize winning author)

That’s so that you won’t think that all our famous people are in the music business like:

Greg Allman
Isaac Hayes
Aretha Franklin
Tina Turner
Carl Perkins
Dinah Shore
and that guy from Graceland

Seems like I’m leaving some musicians out…I live in Nashville and I don’t get out much.

We have some actors or movie people you may have heard of:

Reese Witherspoon
Quinton Farantino
Samuel L. Jackson
Morgan Freeman
Kathy Bates
Cherry Jones
Dixie Carter
Cybil Shepherd
Patricia Neal
Olivia Cole
Polly Bergen
Nichole Kidman lives around here now, but she’s a newcomer. Married some singer.

It is possible to list famous Tennesseans without focusing on banjo and fiddle players. (Pardon this chip on my shoulder…)

Jim Tressel for one.

If I beat DrainBead to this one as well, she might never forgive me.