List of Polish Americans

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This is a list of notable Polish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained citizenship and their American descendants.

Helena Modjeska, an actress who specialized in Shakespearean roles.
Ralph Modjeski, the son of Helena Modjeska bridge designer in the United States.
Engineer Casimir Gzowski deported to USA from Austrian Partition creator International Railway Bridge the first railway connection between USA and Canada.
Casimir Zeglen inventor the first bulletproof vest.
Erazm Jerzmanowski founder of gas companies in Chicago, Baltimore and Indianapolis. The richest Pole in USA in the 19th century.
Stanislaus Zbyszko Polish strongman, U.S. sport promoter, millionaire and 2-time World Heavyweight Champion.

Academics[edit]

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Actors and personalities – TV, radio and film[edit]

Architects[edit]

Artists[edit]

Władysław T. Benda Polish painter, illustrator, and designer, naturalized American in 1911.

Authors[edit]

Filmmakers[edit]

Journalists[edit]

Models[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Theater and dance[edit]

Business and economics[edit]

Explorers[edit]

  • John Scolvus (15th century), aka John of Cologneo, navigator (possibly the first Pole in the Americas)

Military[edit]

  • Sylvester Antolak (1916–1944), US Army sergeant, posthumously received the Medal of Honor
  • Alexander Bielaski (1811–1861), Captain of the Union Army
  • Leo J. Dulacki (1918–2019), U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general whose last assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower[119]
  • Gabby Gabreski (1919–2002), Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski was a U.S. Army Air Corps and later U.S. Air Force officer who was a fighter ace in World War II, and again in Korea[120]
  • Stephen R. Gregg (1914-2005), US Army T/Sgt, received the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II
  • Ralph Ignatowski (1926–1945), awarded the Purple Heart with Gold Star, Presidential Unit Citation with Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal
  • Appolonia Jagiello (1825–1866), Polish-Lituainian revolutionary during the 1846 Kraków uprising and Hungarian Revolution, later immigrated to the United States.[121]
  • Jan Karski (1914–2000), Polish World War II resistance fighter and scholar[122]
  • Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746–1817), Polish and Lithuanian national hero, general and a leader of 1794 uprising (which bears his name) against the Russians
  • James Kowalski (born 1957) high ranking air force commander.
  • Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski (1824–1887), Polish military leader and a Union general in the American Civil War[123]
  • Donald J. Kutyna (born 1933), General, commander in chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Space Command from 1990 to 1992, and commander of Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado from 1987 to 1990
  • Robert J. Modrzejewski (born 1934), U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor Recipient for conspicuous gallantry in Vietnam
  • Richard F. Natonski (born 1951), U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general whose last assignment was as the Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command.
  • Kazimierz Pułaski (1745–1779), Polish soldier and politician; has been called "the father of American cavalry"; from 1777, until his death, he fought in the American Revolutionary War for the independence of the U.S. Awarded honorary U.S. citizenship in 2009.
  • Hyman G. Rickover (1900–1986), U.S. Navy Admiral; known as the "father of the Nuclear Navy"; first Director of Naval Reactors
  • Edward Rowny (1917–2017), U.S. Army General and ambassador Chief U.S. Negotiator for Arms Control
  • John Shalikashvili (1936–2011), U.S. Army general and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; born in Warsaw, Poland and emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager; became the first draftee to rise to rank of General and first JCS Chairman after General Colin Powell
  • Frank P. Witek (1921–1944), U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor recipient[124]

Politics[edit]

Religion[edit]

Scientists[edit]

Sports[edit]

Athletic[edit]

Baseball[edit]

  • Rick Ankiel (born 1979), former professional baseball outfielder and pitcher
  • Mike Bielecki (born 1959), former professional baseball player
  • Dave Borkowski (born 1977), former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Joe Borowski, Cleveland Indians closing pitcher
  • Stan Coveleski (1889–1984), Major League Baseball player during the 1910s and 1920s[161]
  • Jim Czajkowski (born 1963), Major League Baseball starting pitcher
  • Doug Drabek (born 1962), former professional baseball player
  • Moe Drabowsky (1935–2006), right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball[162]
  • Dave Dombrowski (born 1956), baseball executive
  • Tim Federowicz (born 1987), catcher for the Chicago Cubs
  • Mark Fidrych (1954–2009), pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Jason Grabowski (born 1976), pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Johnny Grabowski (1900–1946), catcher in Major League Baseball
  • Steve Gromek (1920–2002), pitcher in Major League BaseballBaseball[163]
  • Mark Grudzielanek (born 1970), second baseman in Major League Baseball, plays for the Kansas City Royals[164]
  • Kevin Gryboski (born 1973), right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Mark Gubicza (born 1962), former pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Ray Jablonski (1926–1985), third baseman in Major League Baseball with an eight-year career from 1953 to 1960[165]
  • Scott Kamieniecki (born 1964), former professional baseball player
  • Matt Kata (born 1978), Major League Baseball infielder
  • Ryan Klesko (born 1971), Major League Baseball player
  • Ted Kluszewski (1924–1988), Major League first baseman[166]
  • Paul Konerko (born 1976), former professional baseball first baseman
  • Tony Kubek (born 1936), baseball player and television broadcaster[citation needed]
  • Whitey Kurowski (1918–1999), third baseman in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals (1941–49)
  • Mat Latos (born 1987), professional baseball pitcher
  • Eddie Lopat (1918–1992), Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Stan Lopata (1925–2013), Major League Baseball player[167]
  • Mark Lukasiewicz (born 1973), former professional baseball player who played two seasons for the Anaheim Angels
  • Greg Luzinski (born 1950), former left fielder in Major League Baseball
  • Joe Maddon (born 1954), Major League Baseball manager, currently serving as manager of the Chicago Cubs
  • Gary Majewski (born 1980), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Phil Mankowski (born 1953), former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets
  • Brian Matusz (born 1987), professional baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball
  • Bill Mazeroski (born 1936), former Major League baseball player[168]
  • Barney McCosky (1917–1996), center fielder/left fielder in Major League Baseball[169]
  • Doug Mientkiewicz (born 1974), former first baseman for the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and several other MLB teams[170]
  • Dave Mlicki (born 1968), former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Stan Musial (1920–2013), Major League Baseball player who played 22 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941 to 1963[171]
  • Joe Niekro (1944–2006), starting pitcher in Major League Baseball; younger brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro; father of first baseman Lance Niekro[172]
  • Phil Niekro (1939–2020), former pitcher in Major League Baseball and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame[173]
  • C. J. Nitkowski (born 1973), left-handed former professional baseball pitcher
  • Tom Paciorek (born 1946), Major League outfielder and first baseman for 18 seasons between 1970 and 1987[174]
  • Freddie Patek (born 1944), Major League Baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, and California Angels[175]
  • Ron Perranoski (1936–2020), Major League pitcher[176]
  • A. J. Pierzynski (born 1976), Major League catcher[177]
  • Johnny Podres (1932–2008), Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher
  • Jack Quinn (1883–1946), Major League pitcher[178]
  • Ron Reed (born 1942), Major League pitcher[179]
  • Marc Rzepczynski (born 1985), Major League pitcher
  • Art Shamsky (born 1941), outfielder in Major League Baseball and Israel Baseball League manager
  • Ryan Sherriff (born 1990), pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Al Simmons (1902–1956), player in Major League Baseball over three decades[180]
  • Bill "Moose" Skowron (1930–2012), Major League Baseball player, primarily a first baseman[181]
  • Matt Szczur, active Major League outfielder for the Chicago Cubs[182]
  • Frank Tanana (born 1953), former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball[183]
  • Alan Trammell (born 1958), baseball shortstop for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 to 1996[184]
  • Troy Tulowitzki (born 1984), Major League Baseball shortstop
  • Helen Walulik (1929–2012), All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player[185]
  • Ted Wilks (1915–1989), relief pitcher (aka "The Cork") with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians; coach of the Kansas City A's (now Oakland)
  • Carl Yastrzemski (born 1939), Major League Baseball player[186]
  • Richie Zisk (born 1949), Major League Baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners from 1971 to 1983[187]

Basketball[edit]

  • Carol Blazejowski (born 1956), women's professional basketball player
  • Vince Boryla (1927–2016), former NBA player for the New York Knicks, first ever NBA All-Star player of polish descent, coach, and Denver Nuggets executive
  • Frank Brickowski (born 1959), 12 year NBA veteran
  • Dan Dickau (born 1978), former professional basketball player
  • Phil Farbman (1924–1996), basketball player
  • Mike Gminski (born 1959), former college and professional basketball player, 14 year NBA veteran
  • Tom Gola (1933–2014), one of Philadelphia's most famous basketball players[188] 5-time NBA All-Star and NBA Champion
  • Marcin Gortat (born 1984), professional basketball player born in Łódź, Poland. 12 year NBA veteran for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers
  • Joe Graboski (1930–1998), 13 year NBA veteran
  • Bobby Hurley (born 1971), former Duke and NBA basketball player[189]
  • Frank Kaminsky (born 1993), current NBA player
  • Joe Kopicki (born 1960), former NBA player
  • Thomas Kelati (born 1982), professional basketball player for the Polish national team
  • Len Kosmalski (born 1951), former NBA player
  • Ronald Kozlicki (born 1944), former ABA basketball player
  • Larry Krystkowiak (born 1964), 10 year NBA veteran
  • Mike Krzyzewski (born 1947), legendary head coach of the Duke University men's basketball team and the 2008 gold medal-winning U.S. men's Olympic basketball team
  • Steve Kuberski (born 1947), former NBA player and NBA Champion, last ever Boston Celtic to wear no 33 jersey before the arrival of Larry Bird
  • Bruce Kuczenski (born 1961), former basketball and NBA player
  • Leo Kubiak (born 1926/1927), former BAA and minor league baseball player
  • Mitch Kupchak (born 1954), former 9 year NBA veteran, NBA Champion and former general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Bob Kurland (1924–2013), 7-foot basketball center
  • Christian Laettner (born 1969), 13 year NBA veteran, NBA All-Star and a member of the 1992 Olympics Dream Team
  • John Laskowski (born 1953), former Chicago Bulls player, nicknamed 'Super Sub'
  • Hank Lefkowitz (1923–2007), former BAA player
  • Red Mihalik (1916–1996), NCAA and Olympic official/referee[190]
  • Paul Mokeski (born 1957), 12 year NBA veteran
  • Mike Peplowski (born 1970), former NBA player
  • Eric Piatkowski (born 1970), former 14 year NBA veteran with the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns
  • Walt Piatkowski (born 1945), former ABA player, Eric Piatkowski's father
  • Stan Pietkiewicz (born 1956), former NBA player
  • Dave Piontek (1934–2004), former 7 year NBA player
  • Tom Piotrowski (born 1960), former NBA player
  • Joe Proski (born 1939), first trainer of Phoenix Suns; inducted into Phoenix Ring of Fame in 2001
  • Joel Przybilla (born 1979), former 13 year NBA veteran
  • Ray Radziszewski (born 1935), former professional basketball player
  • George Ratkovicz (1922–2008), former 6 year NBA player
  • Jim Rowinski (born 1961), former NBA player
  • Ed Sadowski (1917–1990), former BAA and NBA player
  • Ed Stanczak (1921–2004), former NBA player
  • Wally Szczerbiak (born 1977), former 10 year NBA veteran, NBA All-Star. Although his father claimed the family is of Ukrainian descent, Szczerbiak is a 100% polish surname. Considering the fact, that the most of western part of today's Ukrainian terrority was for centuries a part of polish empire, polish roots of Szczerbiak's family are obvious.
  • Walter Szczerbiak (born 1949), Wally Szczerbiak's father, former ABA player
  • A.J. Slaughter (born 1987), professional basketball player for the Polish national team
  • Kelly Tripucka (born 1959), former 10 year NBA veteran for the Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, and Charlotte Hornets, 2 time NBA All-Star
  • Dave Twardzik (born 1950), former NBA and ABA player, ABA All-Star and 1977 NBA Champion
  • Steve Wojciechowski (born 1976), former head coach of the Marquette University men's basketball team
  • Dennis Wuycik (born 1950), former ABA player

Bowling[edit]

  • Eddie Lubanski, considered one of the greatest bowlers of all time; in the Guinness book of World Records

Boxing[edit]

  • Bobby Czyz (born 1962), boxer
  • Andrew Golota (born 1968), professional boxer from Poland who has been involved in many controversial fights
  • Stanley Ketchel (1886–1910), boxer who became one of the greatest world middleweight champions
  • Adam Kownacki (born 1989), heavyweight boxer born in Poland, and lived in the United States since 1996[191]
  • Stanley Poreda (1909–1983), Jersey City boxer considered a top heavyweight contender in the early 1930s
  • Paweł Wolak (born 1981), former WBC USNBC Light Middleweight Champion
  • Teddy Yarosz (1910–1974), NBA Middleweight Boxing Champion
  • Tony Zale (1913–1997), two-time Middleweight World Champion Boxer

Fencing[edit]

Figure skating[edit]

Football[edit]

Golf[edit]

  • Billy Burke (1902–1972), prominent golfer of the 1930s
  • Jim Furyk (born May 12, 1970), professional golfer, 2003 U.S. Open winner, FedEx Cup Champion, PGA Tour Player of the Year, Ryder Cup captain
  • Betsy King (born 1955), professional golfer[207]
  • Paul Stankowski (born 1969), professional golfer with two PGA Tour wins; finished tied for 5th at the 1997 Masters as well as a tie for 17th at the 1997 U.S. Open
  • Bob Toski (born 1926), golf player and teacher
  • Al Watrous (1899–1983), PGA Champion[190]
  • Walt Zembriski (born May 4, 1935), former ironworker; played on both the PGA and Senior PGA tour

Hockey[edit]

Media[edit]

Olympic athletes[edit]

  • Alyson Dudek (born 1990), short track speed skater at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics; won bronze in 2010
  • Mark Gorski (born 1960), track cyclist; gold medal
  • Bob Gutowski (1935–1960), pole vaulter; won silver at 1956 Summer Olympics[214]
  • Jeffrey Klepacki, rower in 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics; won Rowing World Championship titles in 1994, 1998 and 1999
  • Christopher Liwski, rower in 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams (alternate); won Rowing World Championship title in 2007
  • Norbert Schemansky (1924–2016), gold, silver and bronze Olympic m in weightlifting[215]
  • Jenn Suhr (née Stuczynski), pole vaulter, won silver at 2008 Summer Olympics
  • Stanisława Walasiewicz (a.k.a. Stella Walsh) (1911–1980), athlete and Olympic champion

Soccer[edit]

Wrestling[edit]

Rob Van Dam

Other sports[edit]

Other[edit]

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