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Maryland Famous People

Famous Americans: History and Biographies

Maryland Famous People: Greeting from Maryland

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

Famous People from Maryland

  • Spiro T. Agnew November 9, 1918 - September 17, 1996) was an American politician who served as the 39th Vice President of the United States from 1969 to 1973, serving under President Richard Nixon.
  • Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" BartonClarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton (December 25, 1821 - April 12, 1912) born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, U.S. was a pioneer nurse who founded the American Red Cross, with headquarters located in a home in Glen Echo, Maryland. In addition to being a nurse, she worked as a teacher, patent clerk, and humanitarian. At a time when relatively few women worked outside the home, Barton built a career helping others. She was never married, as she knew the restrictions of a married women at the time, but had a relationship with John J. Elwell. During the end of the American Civil War, Barton worked at a hospital she made helping the people at the Anderson prison camp where 13,000 people died. (December 25, 1821 - April 12, 1912) born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, U.S. was a pioneer nurse who founded the American Red Cross, with headquarters located in a home in Glen Echo, Maryland. In addition to being a nurse, she worked as a teacher, patent clerk, and humanitarian. At a time when relatively few women worked outside the home, Barton built a career helping others. She was never married, as she knew the restrictions of a married women at the time, but had a relationship with John J. Elwell. During the end of the American Civil War, Barton worked at a hospital she made helping the people at the Anderson prison camp where 13,000 people died.
  • Eubie Blake (1883 - 1983) Ragtime musician and composer who wrote "The Charleston Rag," in 1899; born in Baltimore.
  • John Wilkes Booth (1838 - 1865) Born near Bel Air, Maryland in 1838, John Wilkes Booth was a prominent actor of mid-19th century America. But he gained the infamous title of assassin when he killed the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, 1865.
  • Tom Clancy (1947 - ) Author of many best-selling books, including The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games; born in Baltimore.
  • Frederick Douglass (1817 - 1895) Abolitionist leader who was born a slave in Maryland
  • Matthew Henson (1866 - 1955), one of the world's greatest explorers, was born in Charles City, Maryland in 1866. Arctic explorer Robert W. Peary hired Hanson as a personal assistant in 1888. Together they made many expeditions to the Arctic, eventually becoming the first people to reach the North Pole in 1909.
  • Billie Holiday born Eleanora FaganBillie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 - July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Billie Holiday was born as Eleanora Fagan, on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Sarah Julia "Sadie" Fagan.  Fagan had moved to Philadelphia at the age of nineteen, after being rejected from her parents' home in Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore for becoming pregnant. With no support from her parents, Holiday's mother arranged for the young Holiday to stay with her older married half sister, Eva Miller, who lived in Baltimore. Holiday, who was of African American ancestry, was also said to have had Irish ancestors through her mother's mixed heritage.
  • Johns Hopkins (1795 - 1873), Merchant, banker, and philanthropist, who founded the hospital and university that bear his name; born in Anne Arundel County.
  • Francis Scott Key (1779 - 1843) born in 1779 in Frederick, Maryland. During the war of 1812, while on a ship in the Baltimore harbor, he witnessed the British attack on the city and the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces moved him to write a poem which later became our national anthem in 1931: The Star-Spangled Banner.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807) born in Portland, Maine, Longfellow became one of the best-loved American poets of the 19th century. Longfellow used distinctly American themes in his many works that include "Hiawatha," "The Courtship of Miles Standish," and "Evangeline."
  • Thurgood Marshall (1908 - 1993) First African-American justice of the US Supreme Court.
  • Christa McAuliffe NASA selected Christa McAuliffe to be the first teacher in space. She died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded just after lift-off in 1986.
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) Famous author and poet; born in Massachusetts, spent writing years in Baltimore and died there.
  • Cal Ripken Jr. (1960 - ) One of the best shortstops in baseball history that holds the record for the most consecutive games played, at 2,632; born in Havre de Grace and a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
  • George Herman "Babe" Ruth (1895 - 1948) One of the greatest players in baseball history that held the record for the most home runs in a single season; born in Baltimore.
  • Harriet Tubman (1820 - 1913) Born into slavery in Dorchester City, Maryland around 1820. At the age of thirty, Tubman escaped but returned frequently to the South, risking her own life to rescue others. During a 10-year span, she is believed to have escorted approximately 300 slaves to freedom in the North.
  • Upton Beall Sinclair (1878 - 1968), novelist, essayist, playwright, and short story writer, was born in Baltimore in 1878. He is best known for his novel The Jungle which exposed the appalling conditions in the meat packing plants of Chicago. The book launched a government investigation, changed the food laws in America, and eventually led to led to implementation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. eforms in the meat-packing industry; born in Baltimore.

More Famous People of Maryland

Find more more Maryland famous people below. You may not even realize many of these famous people were born in Maryland or notable associated with Maryland, including actors, actresses, explorers, historical figures, inventors, musicians, novelists, professional athletes, important politicians, singers, sport stars and more.

  • Benjamin Banneker mathematician, astronomer, Oella/Ellicott City
  • John Barth writer, Cambridge
  • Francis X. Bushman actor, Baltimore
  • James M. Cain writer, Annapolis
  • Samuel Chase jurist, Sumerset Cty
  • John Dickinson statesman, Talbot Cty
  • Christopher Gist frontiersman, Baltimore
  • Philip Glass composer, Baltimore
  • Reverdy Johnson lawyer, statesman, Annapolis
  • Thomas Johnson political leader, Calvert Cty
  • H. L. Mencken writer, Baltimore
  • Charles Willson Peale painter, naturalist Queen Annes Cty
  • Roger B. Taney jurist, Calvert Cty
  • Leon Uris author, Baltimore
  • Frank Zappa singer, Baltimore
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