Famous People from Pennsylvania

Edward Goodrich Acheson (1856 - 1931) Notable chemist and inventor who invented the Acheson process which is still used to make carborundum. He also received 70 patents during his lifetime. Born in Washington, PA (494)

Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) An American novelist best known as author of the classic novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Born in Germantown, PA (252)

Richard Allen (1760 - 1831) He was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America's most active and influential black leaders and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born in Germantown, PA (80)

Kevin Bacon (1958 - ) An American film and theater actor whose notable roles include Animal House, Footloose, Flatliners, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, Mystic River, The Woodsman, Friday the 13th, Hollow Man, and Tremors. Born in Philadelphia, PA (903)

John Barrymore (1882 - 1942) Born John Sidney Blyth. An American actor of stage, screen and radio. He first gained fame as a stage actor in light comedy, then high drama and culminating in groundbreaking portrayals in Shakespearean plays Hamlet and Richard III. During the silent film era he had roles in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes and The Sea Beast. After silent films his movie roles included Grand Hotel, Twentieth Century and Midnight. Born in Philadelphia, PA (1690)

Donald Barthelme (1931 - 1989) An American author known for his short fiction. He also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston and a professor at various universities. Born in Philadelphia, PA (1691)

Joseph "Joe" Biden (1942 - ) Born Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. He served 6 terms in the Senate. In 2008, he became the 47th Vice President of the United States serving with Barack Obama. Born in Scranton, PA (738)

John Billingsley (1960 - ) An American actor, known for his role as Doctor Phlox on the television series Star Trek: Enterprise. Born in Media, PA (910)

Peter Lawrence Boyle (1935 - 2006) An American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. He also played a comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein. Born in Norristown, PA (808)

James Buchanan (1791 - 1868) The 15th president of the United States. He was the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president to never marry. Born in Mercersburg, PA (501)

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) An American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile. He received his degree in mechanical engineering. He designed a miniature circus and several kinetic wooden push and pull toys for children. Born in Lawnton, PA (495)

Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964) She was an American Marine Biologist and conservationist. She is the author of the book Silent Spring which started the environmental movement. Born in Springdale, PA (496)

Ted Cassidy (1932 - 1979) An American actor and voice actor who performed in television and films. Extremely tall at 6 feet 9 inches, he tended to play unusual characters in offbeat or science-fiction series. He is best known for playing the part of Lurch on The Addams Family. Born in Pittsburgh, PA (1405)

Pete Conrad (1930 - 1999) Born Charles Conrad, Jr. An American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, astronaut and engineer. During the Apollo 12 mission he became the third person to walk on the Moon. Born in Philadelphia, PA (810)

Bill Cosby (1937 - ) Born William Henry Cosby, Jr. An American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in several television series. Born in Philadelphia, PA (802)

George M Dallas (1792 - 1864) The 11th Vice President of the United States from 1845-1849, serving under President James K. Polk. The city of Dallas is named after him because he created the first local trading post which was the first known settlement in what is Dallas today. Born in Philadelphia, PA (1726)

Richard Tiffany Gere (1949 - ) An American actor and activist. Some of the movies he has starred in include An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and Primal Fear. Born in Philadelphia, PA (805)

Martha Graham (1894 - 1991) Dancer and choreographer. She choreographed and danced for over 70 years. She was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in Allegheny, PA (493)

Orrin Hatch (1934 - ) U.S. Senator for Utah. As of 2015, he is the most senior Republican Senator and the President pro tempore of the United States Senate. Born in Pittsburgh, PA (569)

Robinson Jeffers (1887 - 1962) Poet who is known for his narrative, epic, and short verse types of poems. He is considered an icon in the environmental movement. Born in Pittsburgh, PA (499)

Russell David Johnson (1924 - 2014) An American television and film actor best known for his role as "The Professor" on the television show Gilligan's Island. Born in Ashley, PA (1042)

Shirley Mae Jones (1934 - ) An American singer and actress of stage, film and television. She played the role of Shirley Partridge on the television series The Partridge Family. Born in Charleroi, PA (809)

Bil Keane (1922 - 2011) An American cartoonist best known for his work on the long-running newspaper comic The Family Circus, which began its run in 1960 and continues in syndication. Born in Philadelphia, PA (795)

Gene Kelly (1912 - 1996) Born Eugene Curran Kelly. He was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer. Best known for his performances in films like An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh and Singin' in the Rain. Born in Pittsburgh, PA (806)

Tara Lipinski (1982 - ) Figure skater who won the 1998 women's figure skating gold medal at the Olympics in Nagano, becoming the youngest in history (15 yrs., 7 mos.). Born in Philadelphia, PA (500)

Joe Namath (1943 - ) A former American football quarterback and actor. He played in the American Football League and the National Football League during the 1960s and 1970s. Born in Beaver Falls, PA (1674)

Arnold Palmer (1929 - ) A retired American professional golfer. Generally regarded as one of the greatest players in men's professional golf history. Born in Latrobe, PA (419)

Man Ray (1890 - 1976) Born Emmanuel Radnitzky. An American visual artist who spent most of his career in France. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media and considered himself a painter above all. He was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Born in Philadelphia, PA (1692)

Betsy Ross (1752 - 1836) Born Elizabeth Phoebe Griscom. She was reported to have made the first American Flag. Born in Philadelphia, PA (497)

Leon Schlesinger (1884 - 1949) An American film producer, most noted for founding Leon Schlesinger Productions, which later became the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio, during the Golden Age of American animation. Born in Philadelphia, PA (1689)

Will Smith (1968 - ) Born Willard Christopher Smith II. An African American actor and rapper. He is one of few people who has enjoyed success in the three major entertainment media in the United States: movies, television, and the music industry. Born in Philadelphia, PA (774)

Jimmy Stewart (1908 - 1997) Born James Maitland Stewart. An American film and stage actor. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards. He was also a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve. Born in Indiana, PA (770)

Ethel Waters (1896 - 1977) An American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She was one of the most popular African-American singers and actresses of the 1920s. Born in Chester, PA (1693)

Johnny Weir (1984 - ) An American figure skater. He is a three-time U.S. National Champion (2004-2006), the 2008 Worlds bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, and the 2001 World Junior Champion. Born in Coatesville, PA (989)

Andrew Wyeth (1917 - 2009) Famous realist painter of the 20th century. His most well-known work is Christina's World which is on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Born in Chadds Ford, PA (502)