Rhode Island Symbols
American Folk Art
, Flagship & Tall Ship
, Sailing Educational Vessel
Rhode Island Famous People
Famous Americans: History and Biographies
Links to histories and biographies of the famous people of Rhode Island. Many famous people of Rhode Island have made significant contributions to the history of our nation and the state of Rhode Island. These famous Americans, famous entertainers, famous players, famous scientist, famous singers, famous statesmen, famous women, heroes, great explorers, and others Rhode Island famous Americans have all made Rhode Island their home. This list includes Rhode Island historical figures, celebrities and those individuals of Rhode Island who have influenced the lives of others.
Harry Anderson (1951 - ) Actor and magician. He starred in the sit-com Night Court; born in Newport.
Nicholas Brown (1729 - 1791) An instrumental figure in convincing leaders to ratify the US Constitution; Rhode Island College was renamed Brown University after him.
- George Michael Cohan (July 3, 1878 – November 5, 1942), known professionally as
George M. Cohan, was an American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer.
- Jabez Gorham was a silversmith and founder of the family silver business that represents one of the most respected makers of silver today. The
business is still based in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Bobby (Robert Leo) Hackett (1915-1976) Jazz trumpeter; born and raised in Providence.
- Julia Ward Howe
(May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, poet, and the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Julia was born in New
York City. She was the fourth of seven children born to a Wall Street stockbroker, Samuel Ward III and his wife, occasional poet Julia Rush Cutler. Her eldest brother was
Samuel Cutler Ward. Samuel Ward III was a well-to-do banker and was a strict Calvinist. Julia Rush Cutler was related to Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" of the American
Revolution. ulia Ward Howe’s accomplishments mostly reside in her contribution to women’s rights. She laid the foundation for women’s rights groups both in her own home
and in the public eye. Howe died of pneumonia October 17, 1910, at her home, Oak Glen, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island at the age of 91
- Napoleon (Larry) Lajoie (1874 - 1959) Baseball player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937; born in Woonsocket.
H.P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft (1890 - 1937) Author. He wrote the book Necronomicon and was interested in science fiction and supernatural stories; born in Providence
Mr. Potato Head - The first toy to be advertised on television, Mr. Potato Head is the product of Rhode Island-based Hasbro Toys. He has recently seen
new popularity in the Disney Toy Story movies, and as official "spudsperson" of the state's tourism efforts.
- Horace Mann (1796 - 1859) Known as the father of American public education and served as the first head of the Massachusetts state board of education; graduated from Brown University.
- Samuel Slater (1768 - 1835) English manufacturer who built the first water-powered textile mill in 1791 in Pawtucket; migrated to Rhode Island in 1780.
- Gilbert Stuart (1755 - 1828) Artist that painted the George Washington that appears on the dollar bill; born in Saunderstown.
Roger Williams (1604 - 1683) He was a Puritan leader and the founder of Rhode Island.
More Famous People of Rhode Island
- George M. Cohan actor, dramatist, Providence
- Eddie Dowling actor, stage producer, Woonscocket
- Nelson Eddy baritone, actor, Providence
- Peter Farrelly writer, director, Cumberland
- Jabez Gorham silversmith, Providence
- Robert Gray sea captain, Tiverton
- Spalding Gray writer, performance artist, Barrington
- David Hartman TV newscaster, Pawtucket
- Ruth Hussey actress, Providence
- Thomas H. Ince film producer, Newport
- Van Johnson actor, Newport
- Galway Kinnell poet, Providence
- Irving R. Levine news correspondent, Pawtucket
- Ida Lewis lighthouse keeper, Newport
- Dana C. Munro educator, historian
- Matthew C. Perry naval officer, Newport
- Oliver Hazard Perry naval officer, South Kingstown
- Stephen Wilcox inventor, Westerly
- Jemima Wilkinson religious leader, Cumberland
- Leonard Woodcock labor union official, Providence
US Famous People
Links to histories and biographies of
famous people from each of the 50 states
. Learn history through the biographies of the famous people from your state. These famous Americans have influenced the lives of others and all have made the US their home. People listed are almost always native to the state. We do (on occasion) include those that have
either lived within a state for most of their adult life, or have made a significant
contribution to the state in their personal endeavors.