Nebraska Famous People

Famous Americans: History and Biographies

Nebraska Famous People: Greeting from Nebraska

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

Famous People from Nebraska

  • Grace Abbott (1878 - 1939) Social reformer that helped to write the Social Security Act; born in Grand Island.
  • Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887 - 1950) One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history; born in Elba.
  • Fred Astaire (1899 - 1987) Born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, he and his older sister Adele showed the ability to dance at a very early age. In 1904, Fred's mother moved both children to New York City where they enrolled in a school for the performing arts and became involved in the vaudeville circuit. Because of World War I, they changed their Austrian name to "Astaire." Adele retired from the stage in 1932 following her marriage, but Fred continued, and is most well known for his work with Ginger Rogers. He appeared in countless movies and continued working on the stage and on television until he was well over 70 years of age.
  • Marlon Brando (1924 - ) Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Marlon Brando moved to New York to study acting after he was expelled from military school. He is best known for one of his earliest roles as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, although younger fans may best remember his portrayal as Mafia chief Don Corleone in The Godfather, a role for which he received the Academy Award.
  • Warren BuffettWarren Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Buffett was born in 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska, the second of three children and only son of U.S. Representative Howard Buffett, a fierce critic of the interventionist New Deal domestic and foreign policy, and his wife Leila. Buffett's DNA report revealed that his paternal ancestors hail from northern Scandinavia, while his maternal ancestors hail from Iberia (present-day Spain) or Estonia. Buffett is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 and as the third wealthiest person in 2011. In 2012, American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world. Buffett is called the "Wizard of Omaha", "Oracle of Omaha", or the "Sage of Omaha" and is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation. On April 11, 2012, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, for which he successfully completed treatment in September 2012.
  • Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005) Johnny Carson is best known for hosting The Tonight Show for over thirty years, but began his "show business" career doing magic tricks at the local Elks Lodge. He served in the Navy during World War II, and then graduated from the University of Nebraska before working in local radio and television. His first national television project was a daytime quiz show on ABC called "Who Do You Trust?"
  • Susette La Flesche, (later Susette LaFlesche Tibbles)Susette La Flesche, (later Susette LaFlesche Tibbles) also called Inshata Theumba (Bright Eyes) (1854 - 1903), was a well-known Native American writer, lecturer, interpreter and artist of the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. La Flesche was a progressive who was a spokesperson for Native American rights. She was of Ponca, Iowa, French and Anglo-American ancestry. In 1983 she was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Susette, also called Inshata Theumba (Bright Eyes), was one of five children born to Joseph LaFlesche and his wife Mary Gale. Joseph was the son of the French fur trader Joseph La Flesche, a wealthy immigrant from France, and his Ponca wife, Waoowinchtcha, reportedly a relative of the Omaha chief Big Elk
  • Henry Fonda (1905 - 1982) Actor who won an Academy Award for On Golden Pond; born in Grand Island.
  • Gerald R. Ford (1913 - ) 38th President of the United States; born in Omaha.
  • Joyce C. Hall Born in 1891 in David City, Nebraska, the son of Nancy Dudley Houston and George Nelson Hall, a traveling minister who provided sparingly for his wife and children. When Hall was seven, his father abandoned the family. Hall worked odd jobs, mostly involving sales, from age 8 on. Hall's response to his father's mantra, "the Lord will provide," was, "It's a good idea to give the Lord a little help." In 1905, Hall and his brothers invested US$540 to buy picture postcards to sell to store owners and other dealers around their area. They also convinced some of the traveling salesmen who came into the Halls' bookstore, which Joyce Hall's older brothers bought with a partner in 1902, to add the postcards to their sales territories. Hall conceived the Norfolk Post Card Company in 1908 in Norfolk, Nebraska.
  • Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 - January 24, 1986), Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, born in 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska was better known as L. Ron Hubbard and often referred to by his initials, LRH, was an American pulp fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology.
  • Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, he saw his childhood home in Lansing, Michigan burned by the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly afterwards, his father was murdered and his mother was placed in a mental institution. He spent much of his childhood in juvenile detention homes. In 1946, while serving time in prison for burglary, he converted to the Black Muslim faith, and when he was released, went to work with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad. At that time, he changed his name to Malcolm X using the "X" to signify his belief that his last name had been chosen for him by white slaveholders. Malcolm X quickly became a leader in the radical black power movement, calling for black separatism, and supporting the use of violence when necessary to accomplish the movement's goals. However, after a trip to Mecca in 1964, Malcolm X began to moderate his views, and eventually left the Nation of Islam and converted to orthodox Islam. He was murdered by a group of Black Muslims in 1965.
  • J. Sterling Morton (1832 - 1903) Secretary of Agriculture and founder of Arbor Day; from Nebraska City.
  • Kay Orr - (born January 2, 1939), is an American Republican politician from Nebraska. She served as the 36th governor of Nebraska from 1987 to 1991
  • Red Cloud (1822 - 1909) Oglala Sioux leader who defeated the US Army in many battles; born in Nebraska.

More Famous People of Nebraska

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

  • Max Baer boxer, Omaha
  • Bil Baird puppeteer, Grand Island
  • George Beadle geneticist, Wahoo
  • Dick Cavett TV entertainer, Gibbon
  • Montgomery Clift actor, Omaha
  • James Coburn actor, Laurel
  • Sandy Dennis actress, Hastings
  • Mignon Eberhart author, Lincoln
  • Harold Edgerton inventor, Fremont
  • Ruth Etting singer, actress, David City
  • Jay W. Forrester inventor, Climax
  • Bob Gibson baseball player, Omaha
  • Hoot Gibson actor, Tememah
  • Howard Hanson composer, conductor, Wahoo
  • Leland Hayward producer, Nebraska City
  • David Janssen actor, Naponee
  • Francis La Flesche ethnologist, Omaha
  • Frank W. Leahy football coach, O'Neill
  • Irish McCalla actress, Pawnee City
  • Dorothy McGuire actress, Omaha
  • Nick Nolte actor, Omaha
  • Roscoe Pound educator, legal scholar, Lincoln
  • Mari Sandoz author, Sheridan Cty
  • Standing Bear Indian rights advocate, leader
  • Inga Swenson actress, Omaha
  • Robert Taylor actor, Filley
  • Paul Williams singer, composer, actor, Omaha
  • Don Wilson announcer, Lincoln
  • Julie Wilson singer, actress, Omaha
  • Darryl F. Zanuck film producer, Wahoo
US Famous People
Learn history through the biographies of the famous people from your state.