List of Finnish Americans

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The following is a list of Finnish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

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


Academics, inventors, scientists[edit]

Arts and literature[edit]

  • Jean M. Auel (born 1936), author, wrote the Earth's Children books; her books have sold 34 million copies worldwide in many translations[4]
  • Rudy Autio (1926–2007), sculptor[5]
  • Max Dimont (1912–1992), historian; author of Jews, God and History, which received critical acclaim and has sold over a million and a half copies; has lectured on Jewish history throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Finland; author of The Indestructible Jews, The Jews in America, and Appointment in Jerusalem
  • Eino Friberg (1901–1995), Protestant Minister and English translator of The Kalevala, the Finnish national epic
  • Rick Hautala (1949–2013), writer
  • Tiina Nunnally, author and translator
  • Emil Petaja, author
  • Hannu Rajaniemi, science fiction author
  • Eero Saarinen (1910–1961), architect and product designer of the 20th century, famous for his simple, sweeping, arching structural curves[6]
  • Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), architect who became famous for his art nouveau buildings in the early 20th century[7]
  • Haddon Sundblom, artist
  • Wallace Wood, comics artist (EC Comics, Mad Magazine, Marvel Comics)[8]


  • Bill Aho (born 1957), businessman who is a partner with The SagePoint Group, a management consulting firm, served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for Darden Restaurants and was instrumental in turning around the Red Lobster business.
  • Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
  • Mike Markkula (born 1942), entrepreneur; angel investor and second CEO of Apple Computer, Inc.; provided early critical funding and managerial support; known as Apple employee #3
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and former Google executive[9]
  • Gustave Niebaum (1842–1908), established Inglenook Winery in Napa Valley, California, the first Bordeaux style winery in the US
  • Oscar Wirkkala (1880–1959), logger and inventor, developed the high lead method of logging, which revolutionized the industry; also invented important pieces of that industry's machinery used during the first half of the 20th century

Film and television[edit]

Military personnel[edit]

  • Johannes Anderson (1887–1950), Finnish-born U.S. Army soldier during World War I; Medal of Honor recipient
  • Reino Hayhanen (1920–1961), U.S. spy; Soviet Lt. Colonel who defected to the U.S. during the Cold War; helped break open the Hollow Nickel Case which led to the capture of top Soviet spies in the U.S. looking for atomic secrets
  • Timothy L. Kopra (born 1963), astronaut; flew missions on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Discovery; U.S. Army Colonel; Desert Storm veteran; Bronze Star recipient; West Point graduate
  • Lauri Törni (1919–1965), Finnish Army Captain who led an infantry company in Finnish Winter and Continuation Wars; moved to the United States after World War II and adopted the name Larry Thorne; served with the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam War; killed in Laos while on a clandestine mission
  • Dale Eugene Wayrynen (1947–1967), U.S. Army enlisted soldier; recipient of the Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration, for his actions in the Vietnam War







  1. ^ "Alfred Aho", Wikipedia, 2020-09-13, retrieved 2020-10-03
  2. ^ "Gmane Loom". Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  3. ^ Wirtasen vanhemmat olivat suomalaisia. [Wirtanen's parents were Finns.]
  4. ^ [1]"Finns in America"
  5. ^ [2] "Finnish was his first language and he didn't learn English until ..."
  6. ^ [3] "Finnish-born U.S. architect"
  7. ^ [4] "Eliel Saarinen (Finnish, 1873-1950)"
  8. ^ Steve Starger and J. David Spurlock: Wally's World, Vanguard Productions, 2006 [5]
  9. ^ "Marissa Mayer visits the land of her ancestors". Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  10. ^ "Iltalehti". June 22, 2007. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2022-03-21.
  11. ^ "Huhu, joka osoittautui todeksi - "MacGyverilla" suomalaiset sukujuuret". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 22 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  12. ^ a b c d e "See the list of Finnish artists". Archived from the original on 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
  13. ^ "FINN FILM ENTERTAINMENT provided by". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  14. ^ "Taina Elg". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  15. ^ [6] Finnish-born (Helsinki)
  16. ^ [7] "Finnish director Renny Harlin..."
  17. ^ "Selviytyjät-voittaja on puoliksi suomalainen". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  18. ^>
  19. ^ "The Finns in America (European Reading Room, Library of Congress)".
  20. ^ "The Truth About Vincent Kartheiser | BlackBook". Blackbook. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  21. ^ Born in Norway to a German father and a Finnish mother; describes herself as a "Finnish Girl" at [8]
  22. ^ "Finnish Americans - History, Modern era, The first finns in america". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  23. ^ Noted as one of several Finnish Americans at [9]; [10] notes that Lange is "the granddaughter of Finnish and Dutch-German migrants"
  24. ^ "Leslie Mann", Wikipedia, 2020-09-22, retrieved 2020-10-03
  25. ^ [11] born in Petsamo, Finland
  26. ^ Noted as one of several Finnish Americans at [12]; parents were Finnish immigrants
  27. ^ "Actress Vanessa Williams Explains How DNA Powers Her Family Tree". May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  28. ^ Described as "Finnish-American" at [13] Archived 2006-04-21 at the Wayback Machine; father was Finnish and mother was Jewish-American
  29. ^ "Dave Mustaine", Wikipedia, 2020-09-28, retrieved 2020-10-03
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-09-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)"Jaco's Grandmother on his Mom's side, Kaisa Eriika ISOJÄRVI, was born north of the Arctic Circle in Lappi, Finland, and married David Haapala from Minnesota, whose father, Andrew Haapala was from Oulu, Finland"
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-07-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Arthur Kylander, Finnish American Folksinger"; born in Kangasniemi, Finland
  32. ^ [14] "T-Bone Slim (the itinerant Finnish-American worker from Ashtabula, Ohio, Matt Valentine Huhta)"
  33. ^ Holland, Bernard (24 November 1985). "Music: Finnish Tribute". The New York Times.
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-10-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ [15] "Although a few younger Finns held notable positions in the party leadership (e.g. Gus Hall, the party general secretary)"
  36. ^ [16] "JOHN MORTON was an early Finnish-American"
  37. ^ [17]"William Alex Stolt"
  38. ^ "/volume7/countries/finland.html Welcome to... / Bienvenue à". Archived from the original on 2001-06-06. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
  39. ^ "Cleveland Athlete Seeks Discus Throw Honors at Los Angeles". Salt Lake Tribune. May 17, 1932. Retrieved October 31, 2014.