51 Famous People From West Virginia



    No, Larry the Cable Guy, the Beverley Hillbillies or Jeff Foxworthy are not from West Virginia, but here’s a list of 100 people who are!


    1. Jimbo Fisher (Head coach of Florida State Football, born in Clarksburg, WV)

    2. Lou Holtz (Former Notre Dame & South Carolina Football coach, sports analyst, born in Follansbee, WV)

    3. Jeff Hostetler (Former NFL quarterback, though born in Penn., Hostetler played for WVU and now lives in Morgantown, WV)

    4. Randy Moss (NFL wide receiver, born in Rand, WV)

    5. Rich Rodriguez (Head coach of Arizona Football, a native of Grant Town, West Virginia, Rodriguez graduated from North Marion High School in 1981)

    6. Nick Saban (Head coach of Alabama Football, born in Fairmont, WV)

    7. Bill Stewart (Former head coach of WVU Football, born in Grafton, WV)

    8. Jerry West (NBA Great, born in Chelyan, WV)

    9. George Preston Marshall (Founder of Washington Redskins, born in Grafton, WV)

    10. Bob Huggins (Head coach West Virginia basketball, born in Morgantown, WV)



    11. John T. Chambers (CEO of Cisco Systems, grew up in Kanawha City, WV)

    12. Carl D. Keith (Inventor of the 3-way catalytic converter, born in Stewart Creek, WV)

    13. Milan Puskar (Co-founded pharmaceutical company which became Mylan Inc., lived in Morgantown, WV)

    14. Alex Schoenbaum (Founder of Shoney’s Restaurants, grew up in Charleston, WV)

    15. Brad Smith (CEO of Intuit, born in Huntington, WV, grew up in Kenova, WV)

    16. Don Blankenship (Former CEO of Massey Energy Co., grew up in Mingo Co., WV)



    17. Little Jimmy Dickens (Country Music Singer, born in Bolt, WV)

    18. Jennifer Garner (Actress, grew up in Charleston, WV)

    19. Steve Harvey (Comedian, born in McDowell Co., WV)

    20. Don Knotts (Actor, born in Morgantown, WV)

    21. Kathy Mattea (Country music singer, born in Charleston, WV)

    22. Brad Paisley (Country music singer, born in Glen Dale, WV)

    23. Squire Parsons (Southern Gospel singer, born in Newton, WV)

    24. Michael W. Smith (Contemporary Christian Artist, born in Kenova, WV)


    Literature & Art

    25. Homer Hickam (Author, Vietnam veteran, NASA engineer, born in McDowell County, WV)

    26. Booker T. Washington (Educator, grew up in West Virginia)

    27. Pearl S. Buck (Writer and Nobel Prize winner, born in Hillsboro, WV)



    28. Frank Buckles (Last surviving WWI veteran, farmer in Gap View Farm, WV)

    29. Ruby Bradley (Most decorated woman in US military history, Spencer, WV, native)

    30. Jessica Lynch (Iraq War POW, born in Palestine, WV)

    31. Chuck Yeager (First pilot to break “sound barrier”, born in Myra, WV)

    32. Stonewall Jackson (Confederate General, born in Clarksburg, [W]VA)


    Politics & Government

    33. Cyrus Vance (US Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, born in Clarksburg, WV)

    34.  Robert C. Byrd (Longest serving US Senator in history, grew up near Beckley, WV)



    35. B.R. Lakin (Baptist preacher & Evangelist, born in Wayne County, WV)

    36. CT Townsend (Evangelist, from Charleston, WV)

    37. T.D. Jakes (Televangelist, born in South Charleston, WV)



    38. Katherine Johnson (African-American mathematician for NASA, born in White Sulphur Springs, WV)

    39. Mahlon Loomis (Inventor of radio/wireless communication, lived in Terra Alta, WV)

    40. Jon McBride (NASA astronaut, born in Charleston, WV)

    41. John F. Nash (American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations, born in Bluefield, WV)

    42. Eugene Aserinsky (Discovered “REM” rapid eye movement sleep, lived in Huntington, WV)



    43. Bill Blizzard (Union organizer, Logan County, WV)

    44. Devil Anse Hatfield (Patriarch of the Hatfield Clan, born in Logan County [W]VA)

    45. Sid Hatfield (Police Chief of Matewan, WV during the “Battle of Matewan”)

    46. John Henry (African-American folk hero, said to have lived in West Virginia)

    47. Anna Jarvis (Inventor of “Mother’s Day”, born Webster, WV)

    48. Charles Manson (Convicted mass murderer, lived in Charleston, WV)

    49. Harry Powers (Convicted serial killer, moved to West Virginia)

    50. Patsy Ramsey (Mother of JonBenet Ramsey, 1977 Miss West Virginia, born in Gilbert, WV)

    51. James J. Andrews (Union spy during Civil War, born Weirton [W]VA)

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    1. You missed a few(and I probably have as well):

      Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, born in Fairmont; John Corbett, actor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Sex and the City , Northern Exposure), born in Wheeling; brother and sister Peter Marshall(game show host, actor, singer) and Joanne Dru(actress), born in Huntington and Logan respectively; comedian Soupy Sales(graduated from high school in Huntington, attended Marshall University); novelists Denise Giardina(born in Bluefield), John Knowles(born in Fairmont) and Jayne Anne Phillips(born in Buckhannon).

    2. Personally I would strike Don Blankenship from the list. How about Bill Withers from Slab Fork? Mary Lou Retton?

    3. Some others:

      –Bill Withers, singer, from Slab Fork.
      –Soupy Sales, actor/comedian, lived in Huntington.
      –Peter Marshall, actor/TV host “The Hollywood Squares,” born in Huntington.
      –John Corbett, actor, born and raised in Wheeling.
      –Hota Kotb, TV host, grew up in Morgantown.

      –Sam Huff, NFL player, born in Edna Gas.
      –Chuck Howley, NFL player, born and raised in Wheeling.
      –Ken Kendrick, owner of Arizona Diamondbacks, born in Bluefield.
      –Ken Brett, MLB player, born in Glen Dale.

      Literature & Art
      –Jack Canfield, author “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” graduated from Linsly Military Institute in Wheeling.

    4. Kenny Kendricks, owner of Arizona baseball team, from Princeton, WV.
      Blind Al Reed, Country Music Hall of Fame, lived in Princeton.

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