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.

Pioneer colonists[edit]

  • Joachim Gans[1] from Prague, a metallurgist, a member of the first English colonization effort in America (Roanoke, 1585)
  • Augustine Herman[2][3][4][5][6] one of the earliest immigrants in America from Bohemia; creator of first accurate map of MD & VA
  • Frederick Philipse[7][8][9] a descendant of Bohemian aristocratic family, wealthiest person in New Amsterdam (New York)


  • Joseph Bulova,[10] 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, 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,[11] 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.
  • Ray Kroc,[12] founder of McDonald Empire
  • Sigmund Mandl,[13] Czech immigrant, founded Husky Wrench Company in Wisconsin in 1924.
  • Frank Vlchek,[14][15] 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.


Government & politics[edit]


  • Louis D. Brandeis, son of Czech immigrant, Justice of US Supreme Court.
  • Paul Freund, of Bohemian ancestry, 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.,[53] Chief Justice of US Supreme Court


Dramatic art[edit]

  • Adrien Brody, film actor. His maternal grandmother was of Czech Jewish background
  • Frank Daniel, film producer, writer, director and first dean of the American Film Institute.
  • Miloš Forman, film director.
  • Karl Freund, cinematographer and director.
  • Bruce Glover, film actor (of part Czech descent)
  • Crispin Glover, film producer, writer, director and actor, both parents of part Czech descent
  • Fanny Janauschek, a famed character actress, who became famous acting in great Shakespearean parts and other famous parts.
  • Jim Jarmusch, independent filmmaker.
  • Ashton Kutcher, motion picture actor, of 5/8ths Czech descent
  • Francis Lederer, b. Prague, Czech., actor, leading man in Hollywood from 1933, after European stage and film experience.
  • Karl Malden, Czech mother, an actor, whose career that spanned more than seven decades, he performed in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Corin Nemec, film actor. Parents, also film professional, are both of Czech descent.
  • Eva Novak, b. St. Louis, MO, of Bohemian ancestry, an actress, a silent screen lady; she starred as Tom Mix's love interest in ten of his westerns, including "Sky High" and "Trailin".
  • Jane Novak, b. St. Louis, MO, of Bohemian ancestry, an actress; the celebrated blond beauty and a leading lady to such stars as W. S. Hart, Tom Mix, Harold Lloyd, Hobart Bosworth, W. D. Taylor, Charles Ray, etc.
  • Kim Novak, motion picture actress.
  • Ivan Passer, film director.
  • Paulina Porizkova, actress and supermodel (featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition).
  • Walter Slezak, film actor.
  • Sissy Spacek, actress, her father was of Czech origin.
  • Rip Torn, film actor, first cousin of Sissy Spacek (mother of Czech descent)
  • George Voskovec, actor, writer.
  • Blanche Yurka (orig, Jurka), of Czech immigrant father, an American theatre and film actress until the late 1960s. In addition to her many stage roles, including Queen Gertrude opposite John Barrymore's Hamlet, she was also a director and playwright.
  • William Zabka, actor, producer, screenwriter, and martial artist.
  • Robert Urich, actor

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

Creative writing[edit]

Media and publishing[edit]

  • Meyer Berger, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and columnist for The New York Times.
  • Edward Bloch, founder of the Bloch Publishing Company, the first Jewish publishing house in US.
  • Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski, of Czech mother, TV news journalist at MSNBC, co-host of MSNBC's weekday morning program Morning Joe.
  • 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.
  • Edward Rosewater, founder of the daily The Omaha Daily Bee which developed into the largest and most influential newspaper on the mid-west.
  • Jim Svejda, announcer for KUSC radio in Los Angeles, a nationally-known classical music station.
  • Rosa Sonneschein,[55] born in Prostejov, Moravia, founder and editor of The American Jewess magazine - the first English-language periodical targeted to American Jewish women.

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.

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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Karl Landsteiner, of Bohemian mother, a physician, noted for having first distinguished the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups.
  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.

Sports & acrobatics[edit]



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  2. ^ Thomas Capek, Augustine Herrman of Bohemia Manor. Praha: State Printing Office, 1930
  3. ^ Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., "Augustine Herman Bohemiensis", Kosmas, Journal of Czechoslovak and Central European Studies 3 (Summer 1984), p. 139-146
  4. ^ Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., "Descendants of Augustine Herman, the First Lord of Bohemia Manor: The First Three Generations and Beyond." Maryland Genealogical Bulletin 29, No. 3 (Summer 1988): 276-99.
  5. ^ The First Czech Settler in America, in: Czech Embassy-Culture-Articles
  6. ^ Descendants of Augustine Herman Bohemiensis: Rootsweb Entry
  7. ^ Thomas Capek, Ancestry of Frederick Philipse: First Lord and Founder of Philipse Manor at Yonkers, N. Y. New York: The Paebar Co., 1939; William Jay, The Life of John Jay : with selection of his correspondence and miscellaneous papers. New York: J. & J Harper, 1833
  8. ^ Frederick Philipse Family Tree. An Aristocratic Family from Bohemia: Rootsweb Entry
  9. ^ Czech Pioneers in Colonial America
  10. ^ "Bulova". 
  11. ^ Charles Fleischmann: People of Krnov
  12. ^ Ray Kroc, in: CzechmateDiary
  13. ^ Husky Tools:
  14. ^ "VLCHEK TOOL CO.". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 
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  33. ^ Thomas Francis Bayard, Jr. in: Bio Guide at
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  40. ^ John Kerry in: Research by William Addams Reitwiesner
  41. ^ Wikipedia-Horni Benesov
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  45. ^ Robert Mrazek in: Bio Guide at
  46. ^ Edmund Jennings Randolph in: CS America-US Legislators
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  48. ^ Adolph J. Sabath in: Bio Guide at
  49. ^ Adolph J. Sabath in: CS America-US Legislators
  50. ^ Judy Baar Topinka in: AFOCR-Biographies
  51. ^ Robert Vanasek in: LEG State MN
  52. ^ Caspar Weinberger in: THE INDEPENDENT, UK: Obituaries
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  54. ^ International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Émigrés 1933-1945. New York – London – Paris: K. G. Saur, 1983, Vol. II/Part 1: A-L-, p. 1148.
  55. ^ Rosa Sonneschein in: Jewish Women's Archive
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  57. ^ Jack Root on BOX REC


  • 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.