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Alabama Famous People

Famous Americans: History and Biographies

Alabama Famous People: Greeting from AlabamaLinks to histories and biographies of the famous people of Alabama. Many famous people of Alabama have made significant contributions to the history of our nation and the state of Alabama. These famous Americans, famous entertainers, famous players, famous scientist, famous singers, famous statesmen, famous women, heroes, great explorers, and others Alabama famous Americans have all made Alabama their home. This list includes Alabama historical figures, celebrities and those individuals of Alabama who have influenced the lives of others.

Famous People from Alabama

  • Henry Louis (Hank) Aaron (1934 - ) Born Henry Louis Aaron in Mobile, Alabama, he first played semi-pro baseball when he was 15 years old. He played shortstop for two seasons with the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro Leagues, and then joined the Milwaukee Braves in 1952. He finished his career with the all-time home run record (755) and was tops in RBIs. He won three Gold Gloves as a right fielder, and was an All-Star in each of the 23 seasons he played.
  • George Washington Carver (1864 - 1943), educator and agricultural chemist at Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute.
  • Nathaniel Adams "Nat King" Cole (1917 - 1965) Nathaniel Adams Coles (he later dropped the "s") was the son of a Baptist minister and was born in Montgomery, Alabama. His mother taught him to play the piano, and by age 12, he was playing organ and singing in his father's church. When his family moved to Chicago, he became interested in jazz music and formed the group "Royal Dukes" in 1935. After signing with Capital Records, he became the first black man to top the record charts as an independent vocalist. By the 1950s, his popularity had crossed racial boundaries, and he became the first black man to have a weekly television series--"St. Louis Blues."
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) Famous minister and civil rights leader; lived in Montgomery.
  • Mae Jemison (1956 - ) First African-American woman in space; born in Decatur.
  • Helen Keller  (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.
  • Harper LeeHarper Lee  (born April 28, 1926) is an American novelist and author of the classic 1960 Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that the author observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama." Harper Lee, known as Nelle, was born in the Alabama town of Monroeville, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. Her father, a former newspaper editor and proprietor, was a lawyer who served on the state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader, and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote.
  • Carl Lewis (1961 - ) Olympic Gold Medallist in track and field; born in Birmingham.
  • Joe Louis (1914 - 1981) Famous boxer; born in Lexington.
  • Willie Howard Mays (1931 - ) Famous baseball player; born in Westfield.
  • James Cleveland (Jesse) Owens (1913 - 1980) Track & Field athlete. Winner of four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics; born in Oakville.
  • Rosa Parks (1913 - ) Civil rights leader who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, born in Tuskegee.
  • Heather Whitestone (born February 24, 1973 in Dothan, Alabama) is a former beauty queen who was the first deaf Miss America title holder, having lost most of her hearing at the age of 18 months.
  • Hiram "Hank" Williams (1923 - 1953) Country western singer, born in Georgiana.
  • Tuscaloosa, (aka Tuskalusa, Tastaluca, Tuskaluza) (died 1540) was a paramount chief of a Mississippian chiefdom in what is now the U.S. state of Alabama. His people were possibly ancestors to the several southern Native American confederacies (the Choctaw and Creek peoples) who later emerged in the region. The modern city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama is named for him.

    Tuskaloosa is notable for leading the Battle of Mabila at his fortified village against the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto. After being taken hostage by the Spanish as they passed through his territory, Tuskaloosa organized a surprise attack on his captors at Mabila, but was ultimately defeated.
  • Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Booker T. Washington founded Tuskeegee Institute - the first college for African Americans - in 1881 in Alabama. He was a leader in helping African Americans begin gaining equality with white people.

More Famous People of Alabama

  • Ralph Abernathy civil rights activist, Linden
  • Tallulah Brockman Bankhead actress, Huntsville
  • Hugo LaFayette Black jurist, Harlan
  • Marva Collins educator, Monroeville
  • Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald born in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of an Alabama State Supreme Court Justice. Although she was from a conservative family, she became known as a rebel, especially once she left home for the University of Alabama, where she became a stereotypical "flapper" of the 1920s. Zelda married young writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and the two became the epitome of the high living, wild, Jazz age couple. Zelda published numerous essays and short stories before her mental health deteriorated and she spent the remainder of her life in and out of institutions.
  • Bobby Goldsboro entertainer, Dothan
  • William Crowford Gorgas army officer, physician, Mobile
  • Lionel Hampton jazz musician, Birmingham
  • William Christopher Handy composer, Florence
  • Emmy Lou Harris singer, Birmingham
  • Zora Neale Hurston Although author Zora Neale Hurston was actually born in Alabama, she considered Florida her home. She attended Howard University and had her first manuscript published there. Later, she moved to New York and became part of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s along with other African American writers like Langston Hughes. Her most powerful work is usually considered to be "Their Eyes are Watching God."
  • Kate Jackson actress, Birmingham
  • Percy Lavon Julian inventor, Montgomery
  • Coretta Scott King civil rights leader, Marion
  • Jim Nabors actor, Sylacauga
  • Osceola (1804 – January 30, 1838), born as Billy Powell, became an influential leader of the Seminole in Florida. Of mixed parentage, Creek, Scots-Irish, and English, he was raised as a Creek by his mother, as the tribe had a matrilineal kinship system. They migrated to Florida when he was a child, with other Red Stick refugees, after their defeat in 1814 in the Creek Wars.
  • Jimmie Rodgers singer, Geiger
  • David Satcher surgeon general, Anniston
  • Waldo L. Semon inventor, Demopolis
  • George Wallace governor, Clio
  • William Weatherford (Red Eagle) Creek indian leader
US Famous People
Learn history through the biographies of the famous people from your state.


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