List of Czech Americans

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This is a list of notable Czech Americans.

Many people on this list are not ethnically Czech but rather born in Bohemian/Moravian territory, of German and/or Jewish extraction.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Czech American or must have references showing they are Czech American and are notable.

Business[edit]

  • Joseph Bulova,[1] arrived in New York from Bohemia in 1870 at the age of 19. Opened a jewelry store, J. Bulova, in Lower Manhattan. Bulova Watch Company became an iconic American watch and clockmaking company.
  • Richard N. Cabela, of Czech ancestry,[citation needed] an entrepreneur, known as a founder in 1961 of Cabela's one of the world's leading outfitters of outdoor sporting and recreational goods.
  • Charles Louis Fleischmann,[2] a Moravia-born innovative manufacturer of yeast and other consumer food products during the 19th Century; founder of the Fleischmann Yeast Co.
  • Wanda Jablonski, Czech immigrant, journalist that founded ``Petroleum Intelligence Weekly´´ in 1961, journal which came to be known as the "bible of the oil industry", and ran it until 1988.
  • Travis Kalanick,[3][4][5][6] Founder of network transportation company Uber.
  • Ray Kroc,[7] founder of McDonald Empire
  • Sigmund Mandl,[8] Czech immigrant, founded Husky Wrench Company in Wisconsin in 1924.
  • Frank Vlchek,[9][10] Czech immigrant, started out with a small blacksmith shop in Cleveland that grew into Vlcheck Tool Co. that went on to become the largest automotive hand-tool manufacturer and a pioneer in plastics technology.

Creative writing[edit]

  • Miles J. Breuer, trained as physician, an early science fiction writer.
  • Theodore Dreiser, of Moravian mother, a notable American writer in the naturalism movement.
  • James Thomas Flexner, of Bohemian ancestry, one of American foremost men of letters, especially noted for his four-volume Biography of George Washington.
  • Patricia Hampl, writer; one of the founding members of the Loft Literary Center.
  • Arnost Lustig, a notable writer of the Holocaust.
  • Frederic Prokosch, a novelist and poet.
  • Charles Sealsfield (pseudonym of Karl Anton Postl), author of romantic novels with American backgrounds and travelogues.
  • Clifford Donald Simak, an American science fiction writer of Czech ancestry.
  • Nicholas Sparks, an internationally-bestselling American novelist and screenwriter of Czech ancestry.
  • Joseph Wechsberg, a free-lance writer associated with the New Yorker magazine.
  • Franz Werfel, a famous novelist, playwright, and poet, known especially for his novel, Song of Bernadette.

Dramatic art[edit]

Exploration[edit]

  • Eugene Cernan, of Czech mother, Astronaut; was last man of Apollo to leave his footprints on the moon.
  • George John Dufek, Rear Admiral; first American at geographic South Pole in 1956.
  • Anthony Fiala, of Czech parents, explorer and photographer, who, from 1903 to 1905, was in command of the Ziegler Polar Expedition.
  • John Fabian (1939‑), astronaut; mission specialist abroad two shuttle flights STS-7 in June 1983 and Mission 51‑G in June 1985.
  • Andrew J. (Drew) Feustel, geophysicist and astronaut; took part in STS-125 flight, lasting almost 13 days, to repair the Hubble Space Telescope; his send mission, on STS-134 flight, was the second last Space Shuttle flight.
  • Jim Lovell, astronaut; was command module pilot of Apollo 8, man's first flight around the moon.

Government & politics[edit]

Humanities & Social Sciences[edit]

  • Francis Dvornik, Moravia-born, authority on Byzantine history, Slavic history and civilization.
  • Saul Friedländer, Prague-born, award-winning historian, currently a professor of history at UCLA.
  • Ales Hrdlicka, founder of American physical anthropology.
  • Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, of Moravian ancestry, founder of modern empirical sociology.
  • Richard Neustadt, of Bohemian ancestry, political scientist at Harvard; first director of J.F. Kennedy Inst. of Politics.
  • Beardsley Ruml, of Czech immigrant father, economist, devised plan to collect taxes at their source by means of a payroll deduction system, on a pay as you go basis.
  • Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Moravia-born, notable economist at Harvard University.
  • Jan Švejnar, Prague-born, notable economist.
  • Frank William Taussig, of Czech ancestry, economist and educator, credited with creating the foundations of modern trade theory.
  • René Wellek, of Czech father, founder of literary criticism and comparative literature.
  • Max Wertheimer, a Czech-born psychologist who was one of the founders of Gestalt psychology.

Law[edit]

  • Louis D. Brandeis, son of Czech immigrant, Justice of US Supreme Court.
  • Paul Freund, of Bohemian ancestry,[citation needed] lawyer; professor of law at Harvard University; authority on public law and understanding the Supreme Court.
  • Hans Kelsen, Prague-born jurist and legal philosopher; one of the most important legal scholars of the 20th century.
  • John Glover Roberts, Jr.,[52] Chief Justice of US Supreme Court

Music[edit]

Media and publishing[edit]

Medicine[edit]

  • Jan Klein, immunologist, best known for his work on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC).
  • Karl Koller, Bohemia-born ophthalmologist, a discoverer of using cocaine as a local anesthetic for eye surgery.
  • Bohdan Pomahač, plastic surgeon, he led the team that performed the first full face transplant in United States and the third overall in the world
  • Peter Safar, Austrian physician of Czech descent, who is credited with pioneering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Helen Taussig, granddaughter of Czech immigrant, medical researcher at Johns Hopkins University who alerted physicians of the dangers of thalidomide

Military[edit]

  • Leopold Karpeles, a Color Sergeant, recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in 1864 during the Civil War.
  • William F. Lukes, US Navy sailor, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the 1871 Korean Expedition.
  • Coral Wong Pietsch, of Czech mother and Chinese father, a Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve; the first 'Asian' American woman to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army.
  • Apollo Soucek, a Vice Admiral in the US Navy, who was a record-breaking test pilot during 1929-1930.
  • Henry Svehla, Army Pfc., of Czech father, awarded posthumously by President Obama a Medal of Honor for his heroic action during Korean War.
  • Wilhelm D. Styer, of Bohemian ancestry, a commanding general of US Army Forces of the Western Pacific from 1945‑46, during the Pearl Harbor attack by Japanese.
  • Edward David Taussig, of Bohemian ancestry, Rear Admiral US Navy; took possession of Wake Island for the US and took charge of Guam in 1899; served in the Philippines and in North China.
  • Joseph Taussig, of Bohemian ancestry, Vice Admiral, participated in Spanish–American War, Philippine Insurrection, Boxer Campaign, Cuban Pacification, World War I, and Nicaraguan Campaign of 1927.

Pioneer colonists[edit]

Religion[edit]

Science & technology[edit]

  • Alfred Bader, son of Czech immigrant, founder of Aldrich Chemical Company, art collector, philanthropist.
  • Thomas Cech, of Czech ancestry, Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry.
  • Carl Cori, Prague-born Nobel Prize laureate.
  • Gerty Cori, Prague born Nobel Prize laureate.
  • John C. Dvorak, of Czech ancestry, columnist and broadcaster in the areas of technology and computing.
  • Abraham Flexner, son of Czech immigrant, reformer of American medical education, founder of Institute of Advanced study, Princeton.
  • Simon Flexner, son of Czech immigrant, pathologist, founder and first director of the Rockefeller Institute (now University).
  • Václav Hlavatý, a noted Czech-American mathematician, who solved some very difficult equations relating to Einstein's Unified field theory.
  • Lilli Hornig, scientist who worked on the Manhatten Project
  • Aleš Hrdlička, a physical anthropologist of note; founder and the first curator of physical anthropology of the U.S. National Museum.
  • Josef Allen Hynek, of Czech ancestry, astronomer, professor, and ufologist.
  • Karl Jansky, of Czech ancestry, discoverer of radio astronomy.
  • Frederick Jelinek, pioneer of statistical methods in computational linguistics.
  • Gustav Lindenthal, Brno-born, notable civil engineer who designed the Hell Gate Bridge (1917) among other bridges.
  • Frank Malina, of Czech parents, aeronautical engineer who designed the first U. S. rocket to break the 50-mile altitude mark, becoming the first sounding rocket to reach space.
  • Mila Rechcigl, biochemist who pioneered early studies on enzyme synthesis and degradation; one of the founders and long-time President of SVU.
  • Oldrich Vasicek, mathematician, author of several financial models including Vasicek model.
  • Paul Zamecnik, of Czech ancestry, a biochemist of note, who played a central role in the early history of molecular biology.
  • Charles Zeleny, a Czech-American zoologist, and professor at the University of Illinois, who made important contributions to experimental zoology, especially embryology, regeneration, and genetics.
  • John Zeleny, physicist.

Sports & acrobatics[edit]

Visual art[edit]

  • Charles Demuth, of Moravian ancestry, an artist; a notable painter who had major influence on American art by introduction of modern European movements, such as cubism.
  • Harrison Fisher, of Bohemian ancestry, a popular commercial artist and illustrator of the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine from the early 1900s through 1934; known as 'The Father of a Thousand Girls'.
  • Wanda Gág, a notable American illustrator and author of Bohemian descent.
  • Leo Holub, photographer.
  • Antonín Kratochvíl, Czech-born American photojournalist.
  • Jan Matulka, painter.
  • Mario Korbel, sculptor.
  • Albin Polasek, sculptor.
  • Antonin Raymond, a famed architect who explored traditional Japanese building techniques with the latest American building innovations.
  • Rudolph Ruzicka, a prominent Czech-born American wood engraver, etcher, illustrator, typeface designer, and book designer.
  • Charles Sindelar, illustrator and painter.
  • Peter Sis, writer and illustrator of children's books.
  • Paul Strand, of Bohemian immigrant parents, one of the most important figures in American twentieth-century photography.
  • Ladislav Sutnar, a graphic artist, considered one of the great pioneers of the modern period.
  • William Pachner, painter and illustrator

Recreation[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Charles Fleischmann: People of Krnov
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  7. ^ Ray Kroc, in: CzechmateDiary
  8. ^ Husky Tools:
  9. ^ "VLCHEK TOOL CO.". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 
  10. ^ The Story of Vlchek.:
  11. ^ "Karen Blanche Ziegler: Zellner Family Genealogy". Zellnerfamily.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
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  75. ^ Jack Root on BOX REC

Sources[edit]

  • Thomas Capek, The Čechs (Bohemians) in America. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1920.
  • Guido Kisch, In Search of Freedom. London: Edward Goldston, 1948.
  • Vera Laska, The Czechs in America 1633-1977. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1978.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., US Legislators with Czechoslovak Roots. Washington, DC, SVU Press, 1987.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Czechs and Slovaks in America. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 2005.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Czech American Bibliography. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011.