Links to histories
and biographies of the famous people of Illinois. Many famous people of Illinois have made significant contributions to the history of our nation and
the state of Illinois. These famous Americans, famous entertainers, famous players, famous scientist, famous singers, famous statesmen, famous women,
heroes, great explorers, and others Illinois famous Americans have all made Illinois their home. This list includes Illinois historical figures, celebrities
and those individuals of Illinois who have influenced the lives of others.
Famous People from Illinois
Jane Addams (1860 - 1935) Earned
a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in helping the inner city poor; born in Cedarville.
Ray Bradbury (1920 - ) the author of Fahrenheit
451, The Martian Chronicles, and the Illustrated Man, was born in Waukegan, Illinois. Bradbury has published more than 500 works of science fiction
and fantasy including short stories, plays, novels, screenplays, television scripts and verse. In 2000 he was awarded the National Book Foundation's
Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Black Hawk (1767 - 1838) Sauk leader who led the
Indians in the black Hawk War; born near Rock Island.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 - 2000) The first African-American
woman to win a Pulitzer Price; grew up in Chicago.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947 - ) Lawyer,
politician, First Lady to President Bill Clinton, First Lady elected to the United States Senate; born in Chicago.
Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 - September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Davis was born on
May 26, 1926, to an affluent African American family in Alton, Illinois. His father, Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist. In 1927 the family moved to
East St. Louis, Illinois. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at
the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.
John Deere (1804 - 1886) Invented
the first successful steel plow; born in Vermont lived in Grand Detour.
Walt Disney (1901 - 1966) the creator of Mickey
Mouse and founder of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Theme Parks was born in Chicago, Illinois. One of the world's most creative pioneers and
innovators in graphic arts, Disney received more than 950 honors and citations from every nation in the world, including 48 Academy Awards and seven
George Ferris (1859 - 1896) Inventor of the Ferris
wheel; born in Galesburg.
Marshall Field (1834-1906) Established the Marshall
Field & Company store that became the largest retail business in the world at that time; lived in Chicago.
Harrison Ford (1942 - ) Actor made famous in Star
Wars and as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels; born in Chicago.
Eve "Jennie" Garth (born April 3, 1972 in Urbana, Illinois) is an American actress and film director, best known for
starring as Kelly Taylor throughout the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise and Valerie Tyler on the sitcom What I Like About You. In
2012, she starred in her own reality show, Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country on CMT. Garth landed her first role in the television sitcom
Growing Pains. She also appeared in six episodes on A Brand New Life as Erica McCray.
Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962 in East St. Louis, Illinois, and was named after Jackie Kennedy.) is a retired American athlete, ranked
among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze
Olympic medals, in those two events at four different Olympic Games. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female
Athlete of the 20th century, just ahead of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. After retiring as a competitive athlete, Joyner-Kersee has been involved with
many philanthropic efforts and has joined the Board of Directors for USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body of the sport.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) The 16th
President of the United States; moved from Kentucky to New Salem at the age of 21.
Marlee Matlin (1965 - ) The youngest recipient (21) to win
an Oscar for an acting role; born in Morton Grove.
Bill Murray (1950 - ) Actor made famous in Saturday
Night Live and movies such as Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day; born in Evanston.
Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967) was born in Galesburg,
Illinois. Sandburg was a poet and biographer who won Pulitzer Prizes for his biography Abraham Lincoln: The War Years and for his Completed Poems
in 1951. He was also a novelist, journalist, children's author, and folksong anthologist.
Shel Silvertstein (1932 - 1999 ) Author of
children's books such as Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree; from Chicago.
Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (February 23, 1915 - November 1, 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force, best known for being
the pilot of the Enola Gay (named for his mother), the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare. The bomb, code-named Little
Boy, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr., was born in Quincy, Illinois, the son of Paul Warfield Tibbets, Sr.,
and his wife, Enola Gay Tibbets. When he was five years old, the family moved to Davenport, Iowa, and then to Iowa's capital, Des Moines, where he
was raised, and where his father became a confections wholesaler.
Robin Williams (1952 - ) Actor made famous in
the television show Mork and Mindy and movies such as Patch Adams and Toys; born in Chicago.
More Famous People of Illinois
Find more more Illinois famous people below. You
may not even realize many of these famous people were born in Illinois or notable associated with Illinois, including actors, actresses, explorers,
historical figures, inventors, musicians, novelists, professional athletes, important politicians, singers, sport stars and more.
Robert A. Millikan (1868-1953) was born in Morrison, Illinois. As a scientist, Millikan made numerous momentous discoveries, chiefly in
the fields of electricity, optics, and molecular physics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his work in demonstrating the existence
Sherrill Milnes baritone, Downers Grove
John G. Neihardt poet, Sharpsburg
Bob Newhart actor, comedian, Chicago
Frank Norris author, Chicago
William S. Paley broadcasting executive, Chicago
Drew Pearson columnist, Evanston
Richard Pryor comedian, actor, Peoria
Lewis Hastings Sarett inventor, Champaign
Sam Shepard playwright, Fort Sheridan
William L. Shirer author, historian, Chicago
McLean Stevenson actor, Bloomington
Preston Sturges director, Chicago
Clyde W. Tombaugh astronomer, Streator
Gloria Swanson actress, Chicago
Carl Van Doren writer, educator, Hope
Melvin Van Peebles playwright, Chicago
Irving Wallace author, Chicago
Alfred Wallenstein conductor, Chicago
Raquel Welch actress, Chicago
Florenz Ziegfield theatrical producer, Chicago
US Famous People
Learn history through the biographies of the famous people from your state.