Missouri Famous People

Famous Americans: History and Biographies

Missouri Famous People: Greeting from Missouri

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

Famous People from Missouri

  • Maya Angelou (1928 - ) Born in St. Louis as Marguerite Johnson, she is the award winning author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She was the first African American woman to have a book on the New York Times Nonfiction best-seller list, and delivered a speech entitled "On the Pulse of Morning" at the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.
  • David Rice AtchisonDavid Rice Atchison  (August 11, 1807 - January 26, 1886) Atchison was born to William Atchison in Frogtown (later Kirklevington), which is now part of Lexington, Kentucky. In 1830 he moved to Liberty in Clay County in western Missouri and was a mid-19th century Democratic United States Senator from that state. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate for six years. He is best known for the claim that for one day (March 4, 1849) he may have been Acting President of the United States.Atchison, owner of many slaves and a plantation, was a prominent pro-slavery activist and Border Ruffian leader, deeply involved with violence against abolitionists and other free-staters during the "Bleeding Kansas" events.Atchison himself never claimed that he was technically President of the United States for one day- Sunday, March 4, 1849. Outgoing President James Polk's term ended at noon on March 4, which was a Sunday. His successor, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn into office on Sunday. As President pro tempore, and therefore Acting Vice President, under the presidential succession law in place at the time, Atchison was believed by some to be Acting President.
  • Scott Bakula (1955 - ) Actor of television's "Quantum Leap"; born in St. Louis.
  • Yogi Berra (1925 - ) New York Yankee catcher that won 10 World Series; born in St. Louis.
  • Chuck Berry (1926 - ) Singer known for "Johnny B. Goode"; born in Wentzville.
  • Susan Elizabeth Blow (1843 - 1916) Teacher and founder of the nation's first public kindergarten in St. Louis; born in St. Louis.
  • Omar N. Bradley (1893 - 1981) Commanded the 12th Army Group in World War II, the largest American force ever united under one man's command. Bradley served 69 years on active duty in the Armed Forces, longer than any other soldier in United States history; born near Clark.
  • Martha Jane Canary (Calamity Jane)Martha Jane Canary (Calamity Jane) (May 1, 1852 - August 1, 1903 age 51), better known as Calamity Jane, was an American frontierswoman, and professional scout known for her claim of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok, but also for having gained fame fighting Indians. She is said to have also exhibited kindness and compassion, especially to the sick and needy. Calamity Jane was born May 1, 1852, as Martha Jane Cannary (or Canary) in Princeton, within Mercer County, Missouri. Her parents, Robert W. and Charlotte Cannary, were listed in the 1860 census as living about 7 miles further northeast of Princeton in Ravanna. Martha Jane was the eldest of six children, having two brothers and three sisters.
  • George Washington Carver (1865) Born near Diamond Grove, Missouri, the son of a slave. He was raised by his owner, Moses Carver. George's owners realized that he had a remarkable mind and would benefit from going to school, but at that time, black children were not permitted to attend schools with white children. Instead, he left home to attend schools for black children. In 1891, he was admitted to Iowa State University and received degrees in Agriculture and Botany. After graduation, he became the first African American to teach at Iowa State. Eventually, Booker T. Washington, the founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes (later the Tuskegee Institute) convinced Carver to come and teach there, and he remained on the faculty until his death. Carver's dream was to give African Americans the ability to work and support themselves. He developed products from peanuts and sweet potatoes, common crops grown by black farmers in the south. He is credited with developing peanut butter.
  • Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835 - 1910) Born in Florida, Missouri, Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, grew up in nearby Hannibal. He began his career as a printer's apprentice, and eventually wrote for the Keokuk, Iowa Saturday Post. Soon thereafter, however, he abandoned his literary career and spent 18 months as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River. Writing called him back following the Civil War and he wrote for newspapers and magazines. He is probably best known for his novels about life on the Mississippi: Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965) Nobel Prize winning author of The Wasteland; born in St. Louis.
  • Jesse JamesJesse James (September 5, 1847 - April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Some recent scholars place him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of frontier lawlessness or alleged economic justice.
  • Rush Limbaugh (1951 - ) Radio and television talk show host; born in Cape Girardeau.
  • James Cash Penney (1875 - 1971) Founder of the J.C. Penney Company; born in Hamilton
  • Nellie Tayloe Ross In 1925 Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor in the United States. She later served four years as director of the United States Mint.
  • Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1972) The 33rd President of the United States; born in Lamar.
  • Kathleen Turner (1954 - ) Actress starring in Romancing the Stone; born in Springfield.
  • Roy Wilkins (1901 - 1981) Leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); born in St. Louis.

More Famous People of Missouri

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

  • Robert Altman film director, Kansas City
  • Burt Bacharach songwriter, Kansas City
  • Josephine Baker singer, dancer, Saint Louis
  • Wallace Beery actor, Kansas City
  • William Bent fur trader, pioneer, Saint Louis
  • Robert Russell Bennett composer, Kansas City
  • Thomas Hart Benton painter, Neosho
  • Bill Bradley basketball player, Crystal City
  • Grace Bumbry soprano, Saint Louis
  • William Burroughs writer, Saint Louis
  • Sarah Caldwell opera director, conductor, Maryville
  • Dale Carnegie teacher of public speaking, Maryville
  • Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) author, Florida
  • Walter Cronkite TV newscaster, Saint Joseph
  • Robert Cummings actor, Joplin
  • Jane Darwell actress, Palmyra
  • Charles Stark Draper inventor, Windsor
  • Jeanne Eagels actress, Kansas City
  • James Fergason inventor, Wakenda
  • Eugene Field author, poet, Saint Louis
  • Redd FoMissouri actor, comedian, Saint Louis
  • James W. Fulbright senator, Sumner
  • John Goodman actor, Affton
  • Betty Grable actress, Saint Louis
  • Dick Gregory comic, activist, Saint Louis
  • Jean Harlow actress, Kansas City
  • Edwin Hubble astronomer, Marshfield
  • Jack S. Kilby inventor, Jefferson City
  • James Langston Hughes poet, Joplin
  • William Lear aviation inventor, Hannibal
  • John Huston film director, Nevada
  • Bernarr MacFadden physical culturist, Mill Springs
  • Mary Margaret McBride TV hostess, Paris
  • Robert D. Maurer inventor, St. Louis
  • Marianne Moore poet, Saint Louis
  • Geraldine Page actress, Kirksville
  • Marlin Perkins TV host, zoo director, Carthage
  • John J. Pershing army leader, pershing rifles, Linn County
  • Vincent Price actor, Saint Louis
  • Ginger Rogers dancer, actress, Independence
  • Charles M. Russell painter, artist St. Louis
  • Ted Shawn dancer, choreographer, Kansas City
  • Casey Stengel baseball player, Kansas City
  • Gladys Swarthout soprano, Deepwater
  • Sara Teasdale poet, Saint Louis
  • Virgil Thomson composer, Kansas City
  • Dick Van Dyke actor, West Plains
  • Dennis Weaver actor, Joplin
  • Pearl White actress, Greenridge
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