What are some famous people from Arkansas?

famous people from Arkansas

What are some famous people from Arkansas?

Arkansas has produced several notable individuals across various fields. one of the most famous people from Arkansas are:

  • Bill Clinton – The 42nd President of the United States, Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas. He served as President from 1993 to 2001 and was also Governor of Arkansas before his presidency.
  • Johnny Cash – A legendary country music singer-songwriter, Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas. His contributions to music are vast, and he is known for songs like “I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire.”
  • Maya Angelou – An acclaimed author, poet, and civil rights activist, Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but spent a significant portion of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas. She is known for her autobiographical work “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and her contributions to literature and activism.
  • Scottie Pippen – A former professional basketball player, Pippen was born in Hamburg, Arkansas. He is best known for his time with the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s, where he won six NBA championships alongside Michael Jordan.
  • Sam Walton – Founder of Walmart Inc., Walton was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, but established the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. He built Walmart into one of the world’s largest retail chains.
  • Mary Steenburgen – An Academy Award-winning actress, Steenburgen was born in Newport, Arkansas. She has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “Melvin and Howard,” “Back to the Future Part III,” and “The Last Man on Earth.”

List of other famous people based of their area of fame;

Famous Actors

  • Joey Lauren Adams (born 1968), actress
  • Katherine Alexander (1898–1981), actress
  • Bronco Billy Anderson (1880–1971), vaudeville actor
  • Wes Bentley (born 1978), actor
  • Rodger Bumpass (born 1951), actor, best known for voicing Squidward Tentacles from the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Miriam Byrd-Nethery (1929–2003), actress
  • Natalie Canerday (born 1962), actress, Sling Blade, October Sky
  • John Carter (1927–2015), actor, originally from Conway County
  • Daniel Davis (born 1945), actor, best known as “Niles the butler” on television series The Nanny
  • Gail Davis (1925–1997), film actress, best known as Annie Oakley from 1950s television series
  • Clark Duke (born 1985), actor, Greek, Hearts Afire
  • Kimberly Foster (born 1961), actress, Dallas
  • Gauge (born 1980), adult film actress
  • Gil Gerard (born 1943), actor
  • Norris Goff (1906–1978), actor, best known as Abner of Lum and Abner
  • Elizabeth Gracen (born 1961), actress, Highlander: The Raven
  • Tess Harper (born 1950), actress
  • Georgia Holt (1926–2022), actress, singer; mother of Cher
  • Arthur Hunnicutt (1910–1979), actor, known for his portrayal of wise, grizzled, old rural characters
  • Brent Jennings (born 1969)
  • Brandon Keener (born 1974), actor
  • Donnie Keshawarz (born 1969), actor
  • Alan Ladd (1913–1964), actor
  • Chester Lauck (1902–1980), actor, best known as Lum of Lum and Abner
  • Marjorie Lawrence (1907–1979), actress, Metropolitan Opera diva
  • Jacob Lofland (born 1996), actor
  • Josh Lucas (born 1971), actor
  • Laurence Luckinbill (born 1934), actor
  • Rudy Ray Moore (1927–2008), actor
  • Ben Murphy (born 1942), actor, Alias Smith and Jones, Lottery!
  • Corin Nemec (born 1971), actor
  • George Newbern (born 1964), actor
  • Dick Powell (1904–1963), actor and director; founder of Four Star Television
  • William Ragsdale (born 1961), actor, Herman’s Head, Grosse Pointe
  • Leon Russom (born 1941), actor, Prison Break
  • Wonderful Smith (1911–2008), actor and comedian
  • Norman Snow (1950–2022), actor
  • Mary Steenburgen (born 1953), Oscar-winning actress
  • Kobe Tai (born 1972), adult film actress
  • Billy Bob Thornton (born 1955), actor, Oscar-winning screenwriter
  • Karri Turner (born 1966), actress
  • Karmyn Tyler (born 1974), actress
  • Sheryl Underwood (born 1963), actress, comedian, radio host
  • Jerry Van Dyke (1931–2018), actor, comedian, brother of Dick Van Dyke; resided on his ranch near Malvern

Artists

  • Larry D. Alexander (born 1953), artist and writer
  • Danielle Bunten Berry (1949–1998), video game designer
  • John Braden (1949–2004), writer, producer, director
  • Roy Buchanan (1939-1988), guitarist, singer, songwriter
  • Carl Ward Dudley (1910–1973), filmmaker and producer
  • George Fisher (1923–2003), political cartoonist
  • David Gordon Green (born 1975), filmmaker
  • Kenneth Johnson (born 1942), screenwriter, director
  • E. Fay Jones (1921–2004), architect and designer
  • Oliver Lake (born 1942), jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, poet, and visual artist
  • Evan Lindquist (born 1936), artist, printmaker, Artist Laureate of Arkansas
  • Nate Powell (born 1978), comic book artist
  • Effie Anderson Smith (1869–1955), impressionist landscape painter, educator, feminist
  • Harry Thomason (born 1940), television producer
  • Edward Washburn (1831–1860), painter of The Arkansas Traveler
  • Donald Roller Wilson (born 1938), painter
  • Symone (drag queen) (born 1995), Model, actress & Winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race
  • Amy Lee (born 1981), lead singer of Evanescence
  • Jason Truby (born 1973), ex lead guitarist for Living Sacrifice and ex member of P.O.D.

Authors

  • Margot Adler (1946–2014), journalist and correspondent
  • Brian Biggs (born 1968), author, illustrator, graphic artist
  • Dee Brown (1908–2002), author, historian, novelist
  • Helen Gurley Brown (1922–2012), author, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine
  • Nancy A. Collins (born 1959), author
  • John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950), poet
  • John Grisham (born 1955), novelist
  • Dave Grossman (born 1956), author
  • Laurell K. Hamilton (born 1963), horror/fantasy author
  • Deborah Mathis (born 1953), journalist and author
  • Peter McGehee (1955–1991), novelist
  • Qui Nguyen, playwright and screenwriter
  • Charles Portis (1933–2020), novelist
  • Leora Bettison Robinson (1840-1914), writer
  • John Robert Starr (1927–2000), journalist
  • Gina Wilkins (born 1954), novelist
  • Miller Williams (1930–2015), poet
  • C. Vann Woodward (1908–1999), historian
  • Carolyn D. Wright (1949–2016), poet

Business people

  • William T. Dillard (1914–2002), head of Dillard’s Department Stores
  • Max Frauenthal (1836–1914), Civil War hero, leading Conway merchant, and founding father of Heber Springs
  • Walter E. Hussman Jr. (born 1947), founder of WEHCO Media, Inc.
  • Johnelle Hunt (born 1932), co-founder of J. B. Hunt Transportation Services
  • Johnnie Bryan Hunt (1927–2006), co-founder of J. B. Hunt Transportation Services
  • John Harold Johnson (1918–2005), founder of Johnson Publishing Company
  • Jerry Jones (born 1942), owner of the Dallas Cowboys since 1989
  • Stephen Jones (born 1964), executive vice president/COO of the Dallas Cowboys
  • James Smith McDonnell (1899–1980), founder of McDonnell Aircraft
  • Charles Phillips (born 1959), CEO of Infor Global Solutions
  • Jackson T. Stephens (1923–2005), oilman and investment banker
  • Warren Stephens (born 1957), president, chairman, and CEO of Stephens Inc.
  • Don Tyson (1930–2011), Tyson Foods Poultry processing
  • John H. Tyson (born 1953), former CEO of Tyson Foods
  • Alice Walton (born 1949), daughter of Sam Walton, founded Llama Company
  • Jim Walton (born 1948), son of Sam Walton, chairman of Arvest Bank
  • John T. Walton (1946–2005), son of Sam Walton, former chairman of True North Venture Partners
  • Rob Walton (born 1944), son of Sam Walton, former chairman of Walmart
  • Sam Walton (1918–1992), founder of Wal-Mart Inc.
  • Kemmons Wilson (1913–2003), Holiday Inn hotel founder
  • Forrest L. Wood (1932–2020), founder of Ranger Boats

Military figures

  • John Hanks Alexander (1864–1894), pioneering African-American naval officer
  • James “Mo” Alley, World War II veteran and member of the famed “Easy Company”
  • Nicky Daniel Bacon (1945–2010), First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor recipient, Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts; director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, United States delegate to normalize relations with Vietnam, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Chair Emeritus of the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, Military Police Hall of Fame
  • William N. R. Beall (1825–1883), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Raynal Bolling (1877–1918), first high-ranking U.S. Army casualty in WWI
  • Solon Borland (1808–1864), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Maurice “Footsie” Britt (1919–1995), World War II soldier, Medal of Honor recipient, Distinguished Service Cross recipient, Silver Star recipient, first American soldier to receive the three highest medals for bravery; NFL player; Lt. Governor of Arkansas
  • William L. Cabell (1827–1911), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Thomas J. Churchill (1824–1905), Confederate Major General
  • Wesley Clark (born 1944), U.S. Army general, NATO Commander
  • Patrick Cleburne (1828–1864), Confederate Major General
  • James Conway (born 1947), US Marine Corps Lieutenant General
  • William Orlando Darby (1911–1945), first commander of the US Army Rangers
  • Herman Davis (1888–1923), Distinguished Service Cross recipient and World War I sniper
  • Thomas P. Dockery (1833–1898), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Edward Walter Eberle (1864–1929), U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations
  • James F. Fagan (1827–1893), Confederate Major General
  • Nathan G. Gordon (1916–2008), USN PBY pilot, received Medal of Honor for rescuing 15 downed aircrew members by landing his aircraft under enemy fire
  • Daniel C. Govan (1829–1911), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Carlos Hathcock (1942–1999), Marine sniper
  • Alexander T. Hawthorn (1825–1899), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Thomas Hindman (1828–1868), US Congressman and Confederate Major General
  • Lucius Roy Holbrook (1875–1952), US Major General
  • George Izard (1776–1828), US Army General, War of 1812
  • Field E. Kindley (1896–1920), World War I flying ace
  • Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964), US General of the Army, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Ewell Ross McCright (1907–1990), US Air Force Captain, World War II, Prisoner of War and Legion of Merit recipient
  • Pierce McKennon (1919–1947), World War II fighter ace veteran of RAF Eagle Squadron, 335thFS/4thFG, 20 German aircraft destroyed
  • Evander McNair (1820–1902), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Dandridge McRae (1829–1899), Confederate Brigadier General
  • Albert Pike (1809–1891), Confederate General, Freemason
  • John S. Roane (1817–1867), Brigadier General
  • Albert Rust (1818–1870), Confederate Brigadier General
  • James C. Tappan (1825–1906), Confederate Brigadier General
  • John Thach (1905–1981), US Navy Admiral, World War II flying ace
  • Frank Glasgow Tinker (1909–1939), Spanish Civil War volunteer fighter pilot
  • Corydon M. Wassell (1884–1958), U.S. Navy physician and medical missionary
  • Archibald Yell (1797–1847), brigadier general, killed at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican–American War

Musicians

  • Kris Allen (born 1985), singer-songwriter, winner of the 8th season of American Idol
  • Black Oak Arkansas (formed 1963), Southern rock hillybilly psycho-boogie band
  • Big Bill Broonzy (1903–1958), blues singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • Shirley Brown (born 1947), soul singer
  • Sonny Burgess (1929–2017), Sun recording artist
  • Sarah Caldwell (1924–2006), opera conductor and director, violinist
  • Glen Campbell (1936–2017), country singer-songwriter, and actor
  • Johnny Cash (1932–2003), country singer-songwriter
  • Floyd Cramer (1933–1997), musician, most known for his piano instrumental “Last Date”
  • Roscoe Dash (born 1990), rapper
  • Iris DeMent (born 1961), country/folk singer-songwriter
  • Jim Dickinson (1941–2009), musician and producer
  • Beth Ditto (born 1981), singer with The Gossip
  • Bob Dorough (1923–2018), jazz musician and voice of Schoolhouse Rock!
  • Jimmy Driftwood (1907–1998), folk musician/songwriter, wrote “The Battle of New Orleans”
  • Barbara Fairchild (born 1950), country and gospel singer
  • Tav Falco (born 1945), musical performer, performance artist, actor, filmmaker, and photographer
  • Sandford C. Faulkner (1803–1874), wrote fiddle tune “Arkansas Traveler”
  • Bankroll Freddie (born 1994), rapper
  • Lefty Frizzell (1928–1975), country music singer-songwriter
  • Al Green (born 1946), singer
  • Charles Christian Hammer (1953–2004), classical guitarist
  • Ronnie Hawkins (1935–2022), rock musician
  • Levon Helm (1940–2012), rock musician
  • Barbara Hendricks (born 1948), opera singer
  • John S. Hilliard (1947–2019), composer
  • Wayland Holyfield (born 1942), songwriter
  • Buddy Jewell (born 1961), country musician
  • Louis Jordan (1908–1975), jazz musician and bandleader
  • Tracy Lawrence (born 1968), country musician
  • Amy Lee (born 1981), rock musician
  • Robert Lockwood Jr. (1915–2006), blues musician
  • W. Francis McBeth (1933–2012), composer
  • Robert McFerrin (1921–2006), operatic baritone
  • Patsy Montana (1914–1996), country musician
  • Ben Moody (born 1980), rock musician
  • Justin Moore (born 1984), country musician
  • Charlotte Moorman (1933–1991), cellist, performance artist
  • Conlon Nancarrow (1912–1997), composer
  • Ne-Yo (born 1979), R&B musician, songwriter
  • Joe Nichols (born 1976), country music artist
  • Smokie Norful (born 1975), gospel singer (reared in Arkansas)
  • Walter Norris (1931–2011), pianist and composer
  • K.T. Oslin (1942–2020), country musician
  • Twila Paris (born 1958), gospel musician
  • Art Porter Jr. (1961–1996), jazz saxophonist
  • Art Porter, Sr. (1934–1993), jazz pianist
  • Florence Price (1887–1953), composer
  • Collin Raye (born 1960), country musician
  • Wilbur Stephen “Bill” Rice (born 1939), country musician
  • Charlie Rich (1932–1995), rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and gospel musician and pianist
  • Pharoah Sanders (1940–2022), jazz saxophonist
  • W. Stephen Smith (born 1950), baritone opera singer, voice teacher and author
  • William Grant Still (1895–1978), composer
  • Fred Tackett (born 1945), songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
  • Johnnie Taylor (1934–2000), vocalist
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915–1973), vocalist, guitarist, the first great recording star of gospel music, considered the “godmother of rock and roll”
  • Conway Twitty (1933–1993), rock and roll and country music singer
  • Michael Utley (born 1985), songwriter, actor, musician, bit actor, member of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band and Club Trini
  • Junior Walker (1931–1995), Motown saxophonist
  • William Warfield (1920–2002), vocalist
  • Lenny Williams (born 1945), singer
  • Otis Williams (born 1941), singer
  • Sonny Boy Williamson II (1899–1965), blues musician
  • Viper (rapper) (born 1971) rapper, producer
  • Shawn Camp Darrell DeShawn Camp (born 1966), Reprise recording artist, songwriter (Two Pina Coladas), “Sis Draper” series of songs written with Guy Clark, lead singer/guitarist for The Earls of Leicester

Scientists and physicians

  • Moses T. Clegg (1876–1918), bacteriologist noted for his work in Leprosy[2]
  • Joycelyn Elders (born 1933), former Surgeon General of the United States
  • Mary L. Good (1931–2019), former chair and first female member of the American Chemical Society board
  • Samuel L. Kountz (1930–1981), pioneer in organ transplant surgery
  • Trent Pierce, family practitioner; chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board
  • William L. McMillan (1936–1984), National Academy of Sciences physicist noted for his research on superconductors
  • Taylor Wilson (born 1994), nuclear physics prodigy; youngest person to achieve fusion, at the age of 14
  • Gazi Yaşargil (born 1925), named “Neurosurgery’s Man of the Century” by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Social figures

  • Daisy Bates (1914–1999), civil rights leader and activist
  • Melba Pattillo Beals (born 1941), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Minnijean Brown-Trickey (born 1941), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Eldridge Cleaver (1935–1998), activist
  • Elizabeth Eckford (born 1941), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Ernest Green (born 1941), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Robert L. Hill (1892–1963), black leader at Elaine Race Riot
  • Scipio Africanus Jones (1863–1943), attorney
  • Gloria Ray Karlmark (born 1942), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Carlotta Walls LaNier (born 1942), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Terrence Roberts (born 1941), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Adolphine Fletcher Terry (1882–1976), social activist
  • Louise Thaden (1905–1979), aviation pioneer
  • Jefferson Thomas (1942–2010), civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Cephas Washburn (1793–1860), Indian missionary

Sportspeople

  • James Anderson (born 1989), professional basketball player
  • Austin Reaves (born 1998), professional basketball player
  • Shawn Andrews (born 1982), professional football player
  • Stacy Andrews (born 1981), professional football player
  • Herbert (Geese) Ausbie (born 1938), professional basketball player with Harlem Globetrotters
  • Gene Bearden (1920–2004), professional baseball player
  • Alan Belcher (born 1984), professional MMA Fighter
  • Earl Bell (born 1955), Olympic pole vaulter
  • Mike Brisiel (born 1983), professional football player
  • Lou Brock (1939–2020), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Ray Brown (born 1962), professional football player, Arkansas State University alumnus
  • T.J. Brown (born 1990), professional mixed martial arts fighter
  • Paul “Bear” Bryant (1913–2016), football coach
  • Brandon Burlsworth (1976–1999), college football player
  • A. J. Burnett (born 1977), professional baseball player
  • Pat Burrell (born 1976), professional baseball player
  • Bill Carr (1909–1966), Olympic runner and 2-time gold medalist
  • Maurice Carthon (born 1961), professional football player
  • Charles Clay (born 1989), professional football player
  • Nathaniel Clifton (1922–1990), professional Hall of Fame basketball player
  • Mike Conley Jr. (born 1987), professional basketball player
  • John Daly (born 1966), professional golfer
  • Tank Daniels (born 1981), professional football player
  • Willie Davis (1940–2010), professional baseball player
  • Dizzy Dean (1910–1974), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Bill Dickey (1907–1993), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Sid Eudy (born 1960), professional wrestler
  • Jeremy Evans (born 1987), professional basketball player
  • Derek Fisher (born 1974), professional basketball player
  • Wes Gardner (born 1961), professional baseball player
  • Craig Gentry (born 1983), professional baseball player
  • Brett Goode (born 1984), professional football player
  • Charles Greene (1944–2022), Olympic sprinter
  • Ed Hamm (1906–1982), Olympic long-jump gold medalist
  • Dan Hampton (born 1957), professional football player, NFL Hall of Fame member
  • Dusty Hannahs (born 1993), basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Chris Harris (born 1982), professional football player
  • Cliff Harris (born 1948), professional football player, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Demetrius Harris (born 1991), professional football player
  • Dutch Harrison (1910–1982), professional golfer
  • Marcus Harrison (born 1984), professional football player
  • Red Hickey (1917–2006), professional football player and coach
  • Peyton Hillis (born 1986), professional football player
  • Jim Hines (1946–2023), track and field athlete
  • Zach Hocker (born 1991), professional football player
  • Cedric Houston (born 1982), professional football player
  • Don Hutson (1913–1997), professional football player, NFL Hall of Fame member
  • Travis Jackson (1903-1987), professional baseball player, Hall of Fame member
  • Joe Johnson (born 1981), professional basketball player
  • Wes Johnson, professional baseball coach
  • Matt Jones (born 1983), professional football player
  • Al Joyner (born 1960), track and field Olympian
  • Jakob Junis (born 1992), baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants
  • Ken Kavanaugh (1916–2007), professional football player and coach
  • George Kell (1922–2009), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Don Kessinger (born 1942), professional baseball player and manager
  • Greg Lasker (born 1964), professional football player
  • Cliff Lee (born 1978), professional baseball pitcher
  • Sonny Liston (1932–1970), professional boxer, World Heavyweight Champion
  • Sherm Lollar (1924–1977), professional baseball player
  • Ryan Mallett (born 1988), professional football player
  • Mark Martin (born 1959), championship NASCAR driver
  • Darren McFadden (born 1987), professional football player
  • Kevin McReynolds (born 1959), professional baseball player
  • Bryce Mitchell (born 1994), professional mixed martial arts fighter
  • Sidney Moncrief (born 1957), professional basketball player
  • Rick Monday (born 1945), professional baseball player, sportscaster
  • Malik Monk (born 1998), professional basketball player
  • Tommy Morrison (1969–2013), professional boxer, two-time heavyweight champion
  • Dustin Moseley (born 1981), professional baseball player
  • Larry Nixon (born 1950), professional sport fisherman
  • Houston Nutt (born 1957), collegiate football coach; quarterback; basketball player
  • Frank Okam (born 1985), professional football player
  • Blake Parker (born 1985), professional baseball player
  • Jermey Parnell (born 1986), professional football player
  • Joe Perry (1927–2011), professional football player
  • Mitch Petrus (1987–2019), professional football player
  • Scottie Pippen (born 1965), professional basketball player, Hall of Famer
  • Elijah Pitts (1938–1998), professional football player and coach
  • Bobby Portis (born 1995), professional basketball player
  • Anthony Randolph (born 1989), professional basketball player
  • Brooks Robinson (born 1937), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Preacher Roe (1916–2008), professional baseball player
  • Keena Rothhammer (born 1957), Olympic swimmer
  • Johnny Sain (1917–2006), professional baseball player
  • Elbert Shelley (born 1964), professional football player
  • Rod Smith (born 1970), professional football player
  • Drew Smyly (born 1989), professional baseball player
  • Drew Sutton (born 1983), professional baseball player
  • Barry Switzer (born 1937), football coach
  • Jermain Taylor (born 1978), professional boxer
  • Cedric Thornton (born 1988), professional football player
  • Charley Thornton (1937–2004), sports figure
  • Arky Vaughan (1912–1952), professional baseball player, Hall of Famer
  • Harry Vines (1938–2006), wheelchair basketball coach
  • Lon Warneke (1909–1976), professional baseball player
  • Sonny Weems (born 1986), professional basketball player
  • Corey Williams (born 1980), professional football player
  • Damian Williams (born 1988), professional football player
  • DeAngelo Williams (born 1983), professional football player
  • Kevin Williams (born 1980), professional football player
  • Corliss Williamson (born 1973), professional basketball player
  • Payton Willis (born 1998), basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Travis Wood (born 1987), professional baseball player

Summary

Arkansas has been home to many other notable figures in politics, entertainment, sports, and other fields.

What are some famous people from Arkansas
What are some famous people from Arkansas