Famous People from Louisville

A list of famous figures, well-known and assorted other notable people from Louisville, Kentucky
(including some marginal, second-rate celebrities that people from Louisville think are famous in other places.)


Ned Beatty, Deliverance, Superman
James Best, The Dukes of Hazzard
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
William Conrad, Gunsmoke
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Lawson, Pleasantville, Nancy Drew
William Mapother, Lost
Victor Mature, My Darling Clementine
Rob Riggle, The Daily Show
Jack Warden, All the President’s Men


Muhammad Ali, heavyweight boxing champion
Jimmy Ellis, heavyweight boxing champion
Mary T. Meagher, multiple Olympic gold medal swimmer
Bobby Nichols, winner of PGA Tournament
Pee Wee Reese, baseball
Phil Simms, NY Giants quarterback
Johnny Unitas, football


CW Grafton, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Sue Grafton, A is for Alibi
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


DW Griffith, The Birth of a Nation
Gus Van Sant, Milk, Good Will Hunting


Lionel Hampton, jazz
Mildred J. Hill & Patty S. Hill, writers of the song “Happy Birthday
My Morning Jacket, rock
Joan Osborne, pop
Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), indie/country
Wilson Pickett, R&B
Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls), pop
Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary), folk

Performers and Broadcasters

Foster Brooks, comedian
Lance Burton, stage magician
Bob Edwards, radio broadcaster
Tom Kennedy, host of Name That Tune
Jack Narz, host of Concentration and To Beat the Clock
Diane Sawyer, co-anchor of Good Morning America

Public Figures, Scientists, Entrepreneurs

Larry Birkhead, photojournalist, father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter
Anne Braden, civil rights activist
Louis Brandeis, first Jewish Supreme Court justice
George Devol, inventor of the industrial robot
Abraham Flexner, educator
Heather French, Miss America 2000
Edwin Hubble, astronomer
Jack McCall, assassin of Wild Bill Hickok
Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza
Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States
Jeffrey Wigand, tobacco industry whistle blower
York, participant of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

Notable Temporary Residents of Louisville

John James Audubon, orinthologist and painter
Tom Cruise, actor
Thomas Edison, inventor

Notable Fictional Characters

Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby (book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, film 1974)