Who has made your state proud?

Don Ameche actor, Kenosha
Roy Chapman Andrews naturalist and explorer, Beloit
John Bardeen inventor, Madison
Carrie Catt woman suffragist, Ripon
Ellen Corby actress, Racine
William Defoe actor, Appleton
Tyne Daly actress, Madison
August Derleth author, Sauk City
Jeanne Dixon seer, Medford
Chris Farley actor, Madison
Zona Gale author, Portage
Eric Heiden speed skater, Madison
Woody Herman band leader, Milwaukee
Loretta Sell Hildegarde singer, Adell
Harry Houdini magician, Appleton
Thomas Hulce actor, Whitewater
Pee Wee King singer, Abrams
George F. Kennan diplomat, Milwaukee
Robert La Follette politician, Primrose
Liberace pianist, West Allis
Allen Ludden tv host, Mineral Point
Alfred Lunt actor, Milwaukee
Frederic March actor, Racine
Jackie Mason comedian, Sheboygan
Charles and John Ringling circus entrepreneurs, Baraboo
Pat O’Brien actor, Milwaukee
Georgia O’Keeffe painter, Sun Prairie
Amy Pietz actress, Oak Creek
Charlotte Rae actress, Milwaukee
William H. Rehnquist jurist, Milwaukee
Gena Rowlands actress, Cambria
Tom Snyder newscaster, Milwaukee
Spencer Tracy actor, Milwaukee
Thorstein Veblen economist, Cato Township
Orson Welles actor and producer, Kenosha
Laura Ingalls Wilder author, Pepin
Thornton Wilder author, Madison
Charles Winninger actor, Athen
Frank Lloyd Wright architect, Richland Center
Bob Uecker baseball player, Milwaukee
Les Paul musician, Waukesha

Source: Famous Wisconsin People – 50states

Aldo Leopold (Although born in Iowa, his greatest contributions and legacy came while living in Wisconsin)
John Muir (Although born in Scotland, his attendance and learning at the University of Wisconsin is thought to be the catalyst for his entire environmental thinking)

Pennsylhoovia, so the list has to include:

Joe Paterno-perhaps the last bastion of supporting education in collegiate sports
Louisa May Alcott
Samuel Barber
John Barrymore
Daniel Boone
James Buchanan
Rachel Carson
Mary Cassatt
Bill Cosby
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
W. C. Fields
Stephen Foster
Robert Fulton
Alexander Haig
Lee Iacocca
Reggie Jackson
Gene Kelly
George C. Marshall
Margaret Mead
Andrew Mellon
Tom Mix
Arnold Palmer
B. F. Skinner
Jimmy Stewart
John Updike
Honus Wagner
Fred Waring
Ethel Waters
Andrew Wyeth
Betsy Griscom Ross

Huzzah for the Buckeye State! I would add:

Ambrose Bierce, author
Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson
Dorothy Dandridge, singer and actress
Halle Berry, who later played her
Cass Gilbert, architect
Lillian Gish, actress
Zane Grey, author
Kennesaw Mountain Landis, first baseball commissioner
Maya Lin, architect
Salmon P. Chase, chief justice of the United States
Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s secretary of war
Dean Martin, actor and singer
Jack Nicklaus, golfer
Annie Oakley, sharpshooter
Judith Resnik, astronaut
Eddie Rickenbacker, WWI flying ace
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., historian
Ted Turner, media baron
Tecumseh, Indian chief
Lowell Thomas, commentator
James Thurber, humorist
Erma Bombeck, humorist

Garrett Morgan, inventor, and Elliot Ness, crimefighter, were born elsewhere but achieved some measure of fame here.

Bill Clinton (debateable for some, but believe me, I don’t think anybody from Arkansas ever thought somebody from Arkansas would be president until he came along).

Dale Bumpers

David Pryor

James Lee Witt (personal friend bias here)

Johnny Cash

Al Green

Levon Helm

Louis Jordan

Charlie Rich
…just off the top of my head (with a little help from Wikipedia)

Huh. I had no idea either of those were from Tennessee. Neat. For what it’s worth, though, that guy from Graceland’s actually from Mississippi.

And for the WV folks, I’d like to add Brad Paisley. One helluva nice guy and excellent musician.

I’d want to add (Texas):

Gen. Claire Chennault
Mary Kay Ash
Ben Hogan
Byron Nelson
O Henry
Alan Bean
Tex Avery
Forrest Whittaker
Beyonce Knowles
Babe Didrikson Zaharias

…among many others

NJ guy here (though I was born in the Bronx)
I will start with adding: Frank Sinatra

Kevin Smith (Director and awesome Raconteur)
Jon Stewart
Jack Nicholson grew up in Asbury, but like me was born in the City.
Danny DeVito
Abbot & Costello
Count Basie (There is still a great theater named after him in Red Bank)
Sarah Vaughan
Charles Addams of Addams family fame.
Alan Alda: again born in the City but made NJ his home.
James Gandolfini (of course)
Janeane Garofalo
Steven Van Zandt
John Travolta
Bruce Willis
Christina Ricci
Kal Penn (of Harold & Kumar fame)
Jon Bon Jovi
Joe Pesci
Kirsten Dunst is a Jersey Girl.
So is Laura Prepon, Laura San Giacomo & Queen Latifah
Jason Biggs, Zach Braff, Ray Liotta, Andrew McCarthy

There are many other actors and singers.

Allen Ginsberg

Derek Jeter
Shaquille O’Neal

I take pride that Albert Einstein called NJ home, smartest guy in the world and he chose to live here.


John Gorrie (father of refrigeration) – not a native Floridian, but we put his statue in the US Capitol
Faye Dunaway
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (author)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas (author)
Zora Neale Hurston (author)
Janet Reno
Jim Morrison
Sidney Poitier
Ben Vereen
Tony Jannus (first scheduled commercial passenger flights)
Tom Petty
Dave Barry
Carl Hiaasen
This is tough for Floridians – we just don’t have that many natives. For instance, as far as I’m concerned, Gloria Estefan is a Floridian. She was born in Cuba but she grew up in Miami. Our native-born population is growing, but 50 years ago, there just weren’t that many.

Am I really going to be the first person for mention Honest Abe?

Born in Kentucky; rose to prominence in Illinois.

And What Exit?, my mom and dad saw Einstein bicycling around Princeton in the '50s when they lived there (forgive me if I’ve told you that before, as I may have).

Doug Llewellyn
Mr. Green Jeans
Vanna White
Caitlin Upton

I don’t think you did tell me that. Very cool, he is easily one of the men I admire most in the history of the world.


Helen Keller (though her liberal views on race alienated her from her family here)

Fannie Flagg

Harper Lee

Virginia Durr (white female, one of the least sung heroines of the civil rights era)

Truman Capote (not born here, but he spent his formative years here)

Hank Williams (Sr.)

Nat King Cole

Rosa Parks

Martin Luther King, Jr. (not born here, but came to prominence here)

Coretta Scott King (native)

The Tuskegee Airmen

William Crawford Gorgas (found the cure to Yellow Fever)

Hugo Black (former KKK member turned super liberal SCotUS judge- the joke was that “as a young man he put on white robes to scare black folks and as an old man he put on black robes to scare white folks”)

Kate Jackson

Louise Fletcher

E.O. Wilson

(I’d mention Courtney Cox but by most accounts I’ve heard she’s a byotch, and way too skinny)
controversial, but still notable:

Joseph Wheeler (only Confederate general to later serve as a general in the U.S. Army)

George Wallace (one of the first of the great segregationists to openly and [I think] sincerely repent for his former actions

It’s sad & telling how many of these people only became great after leaving Bama, but c’est la vie.

Dave Chapelle
Duke Ellington
Marvin Gaye
Al Gore Jr.
Helen Hayes
William Hurt
Samuel L. Jackson
Ian MacKaye
Henry Rollins
John Philip Sousa

Oh good a Tennessean already took care of this for me. I’ll add Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk to the list. I went to high school with Reese Witherspoon although she was in high school while I was in the middle school and I wouldn’t say I feel all that much pride personally. I’m sure someone is proud.

Abraham Lincoln and Hunter S. Thompson. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of a better pair.

I forgot Norman “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, Jr. successful general in charge of Desert Storm. His father was the first person in charge of the NJ State Police and was involved in investigating the Lindbergh kidnapping.


Upton Sinclair
H.L. Mencken
Babe Ruth
Frank Zappa
Maryland is just a pretty cool state.


George W. Bush