List of Swiss Americans
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This is a list of notable Swiss Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.
|Lists of Americans|
|By U.S. state|
|By ethnicity or nationality|
- 1 Pioneers
- 2 List by occupation
- 2.1 Business
- 2.2 Arts and entertainment
- 2.3 Law and politics
- 2.4 Military
- 2.5 Religion
- 2.6 Scientists and engineers
- 2.7 Sports
- 2.8 Other
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
- Theobald (Diebold) von Erlach (1541–1565), first Swiss person known to have settled in North America.
- John Joachim Zubly (1724–1781) of St. Gallen, pastor, planter, and statesman during the American Revolution
- Hans Peter and Christian Tritt, Swiss-French who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1739.
- John Sutter (1803–1880), born in Germany of a Swiss father, Californian famous for his association with the California Gold Rush (in that gold was discovered by James W. Marshall in Sutter's Mill) and for establishing Sutter's Fort in an area that would later become the capital of California, Sacramento
- Peter Luginbill (1818–1886), born in France as the son of Mennonite parents exiled from the Emmental, early settler in Indiana and founder of the city of Berne
List by occupation
- Robert Abplanalp (1922–2003), businessman, inventor of the aerosol valve
- Steve Ballmer (born 1956), businessman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation
- Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919), industrialist and art patron, once known as "America's most hated man". as per CNBC one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time".
- Meyer Guggenheim (1828–1905), statesman, patriarch of Guggenheim family
- Simon Guggenheim (1867–1941), businessman, politician, and philanthropist
- Milton Hershey (1857–1945), confectioner, philanthropist, and founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company
- Otto Frederick Hunziker (1873–1959), pioneer in the American and international dairy industry
- S. S. Kresge (1867–1966), merchant, philanthropist and founder of the S. S. Kresge Company, now Sears Holdings Corporation.
- Robert Lutz (born 1932), General Motors Vice Chairman of Product Development and Chairman of GM North America, the world's largest automaker
- Mark Spitznagel (born 1971), hedge fund manager
- James G. Sterchi (1867–1932), furniture store magnate
- Bruce Tognazzini (born 1945), usability consultant in partnership the Nielsen Norman Group
- Steve Jobs, information technology entrepreneur and inventor
Arts and entertainment
Actors and directors
- René Murat Auberjonois (born 1940), film actor
- Theda Bara (1885–1955), silent film actress and sex symbol
- Wallace Beery (1885–1949), film actor
- Berry Berenson (1948–2001), photographer, actress, and model, mother of part Swiss descent
- Amy Brenneman (born 1964), film and TV actress, father of part Swiss descent
- Yul Brynner (1920–1985), actor, father of part Swiss descent
- James Caviezel (born 1968), film actor, paternal grandfather of Swiss descent
- Billie Dove (1903–1997), film actress
- Tyler Hoechlin (born 1987), film actor, father of part Swiss descent
- Q'Orianka Kilcher (born 1990), singer and actress, of part Swiss descent
- George Lucas (born 1944), film director, of part Swiss descent
- Bridget Marquardt (born 1975), model, actress
- Victor Mature (1913–1999), film actor
- Jeremy Maxwell (born 1973), film actor
- Jodi Ann Paterson (born 1975), model, actress and former beauty queen
- Michelle Pfeiffer (born 1958), film actress, maternal grandfather of Swiss descent
- Kelly Rohrbach (born 1990), model and actress
- Ryan Seacrest (born 1974), television and radio host, television producer, and entrepreneur, of part Swiss descent
- August Schellenberg (born 1936), actor
- Liev Schreiber (born 1967), film actor, father of part Swiss descent
- Meryl Streep (born 1949), film actress, father of part Swiss descent
- William Wyler (1902–1981), film director 
- Darryl F. Zanuck (1902–1979), film producer and director
- Renée Zellweger (born 1969), film actress, Swiss-born father
- Jeremiah Theus (1716–1774) of Chur, painter
- Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862–1947), portrait and impressionistic still-life painter
- Herbert Matter (1907–1984), photographer and graphic designer
Writers and publicists
- Fernand Auberjonois (1910–2004), journalist, foreign correspondent of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade
- William Frank Buckley (1925–2008), writer
- Henry J. Eyring, author, educator, president of Brigham Young University-Idaho
- A. C. Frieden (born 1966), novelist
- Lorin Morgan-Richards, author and illustrator
- Wendy Watson Nelson, Canadian-American, author, lecturer, educator, associate professor at University of Calgary
- Tessa Gräfin von Walderdorff (born 1994), writer and socialite
- Eudora Alice Welty (1909–2001), writer; ancestry can be traced to Emmental Valley of Switzerland; Swiss ancestral name Wälti
- Melissa Auf der Maur (born 1972), singer
- Rudolph Ganz (1877–1972), pianist, conductor and composer
- Jewel (born 1974), singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and author
- Cyndi Lauper (born 1953), singer-songwriter and actress
- Karina Lombard (born 1969), singer and actress
- Elvis Perkins (born 1976), singer-songwriter
- Mary Katherine Campbell (1905–1990), only Miss America winner to hold beauty title twice, 1922 & 1923; mother was of partial Swiss ancestry
- Gary Gygax (1938–2008), writer and game designer, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons
Law and politics
Governors and presidents
- Anthony G. Brown (born 1961), Governor of Maryland
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969), 34th President of the United States
- Herbert Hoover (1874–1964), 31st President of the United States
- Robert B. Meyner (1908–1990), Governor of New Jersey
- Barack Obama (born 1961), 44th President of the United States, (Swiss distant ancestors).
- Emanuel L. Philipp (1861–1925), Governor of Wisconsin
Congressmen and senators
- James L. Buckley (born 1923), Senator of New York
- Albert Gallatin (1761–1849), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Senator of Pennsylvania, diplomat
- James William Good (1866–1929), Congressman Iowa
- Amy Klobuchar (born 1960), Senator of Minnesota
- James S. Negley (1826–1901), Congressman Pennsylvania
- Robert Portman (born 1955), Senator of Ohio
- Benjamin F. Welty (1870–1962), Congressman from Allen County, Ohio; ancestry traced back to Emmental Valley, Switzerland; Swiss ancestral name Wälti
- J. Edgar Hoover (1935–1972), first Director of the FBI
- Warren E. Burger (1907–1995), Chief Justice of the United States from 1969 to 1986
- August Claessens (1885–1954), politician, best known as one of the five New York Assemblymen
- Albert Gallatin (1761–1849), politician, ethnologist, linguist, founder of New York University, diplomat, and United States Secretary of the Treasury
- Fred Iklé (1924–2011), Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
- Wally Schirra (1923–2007), astronaut, only person to fly in all of America's first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo)
- Samuel F. Snively (1859–1952), Mayor of Duluth, Minnesota
- Peter Staub (1827–1904), Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee
- William Wirt (1772–1834), author and statesman who is credited with turning the position of United States Attorney General into one of influence; Swiss father.
- Henry Wisner (1720-1790), patriot leader during the American Revolution and New York representative in the Continental Congress.
- Dan Zumbach (born 1960), Iowa Senator
- Henry Bouquet, prominent Army officer in the French and Indian War and Pontiac's War
- Edward Walter Eberle (1864–1929), admiral in the United States Navy, served as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy and third Chief of Naval Operations
- Felix Zollicoffer (1812–1862), newspaperman, three-term US Congressman from Tennessee, officer in the United States Army, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War
- Henry Wirz (1822–1865), only Confederate soldier executed in the aftermath of the American Civil War for war crimes
- Henry B. Eyring (born 1933), educator, Stanford University professor, Presiding Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Daniel Kumler Flickinger (1824–1911), Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ
- Martin Marty (1834–1886), Benedictine priest
- Philip Schaff (1819–1893), Protestant theologian and a historian of the Christian church
Scientists and engineers
- Alexander Emanuel Agassiz (1835–1910), geologist and zoologist
- Louis Agassiz (1807–1873), zoologist, glaciologist, and geologist, the husband of educator Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, and one of the first world-class American scientists
- Berni Alder (born 1925), physicist
- David Alter (1807–1881), inventor, almost discovered spectroscopy
- Othmar Ammann (1879–1965), civil engineer
- Adolph Francis Alphonse Bandelier (1840–1914), archeologist
- Felix Bloch (1905–1983), physicist
- Armand Borel (1923–2003), mathematician
- Hans R. Camenzind (1934–2012), inventor of the 555 timer IC
- Florian Cajori (1859–1930), mathematician
- Robert Frank (born 1924), important figure in American photography and film
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955), theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century and one of the greatest physicists of all time
- Henry Eyring (1901–1981), Mexican born American, theoretical chemist, associate of Albert Einstein
- Edmond H. Fischer (born 1920), biochemist
- Walter Gautschi (born 1927), mathematician
- Otto Frederick Hunziker (1873–1959), dairy educator and technologist
- Josias Joesler (1895–1927), architect
- John Kruesi (1843–1899), inventor and close associate of Thomas Edison
- Adolf Meyer (1866–1950), psychiatrist
- Jean Piccard (1884–1963), scientist and high-altitude balloonist
- Louis François de Pourtalès (1824–80), naturalist
- Max Theiler (1899–1972), virologist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for developing a vaccine against yellow fever
- Robert Julius Trumpler (1886–1956), astronomer
- Etienne Wenger (born 1952), educational researcher
- Orville and Wilbur Wright, Orville (1871–1948) and Wilbur (1867–1912), aviation pioneers, inventors
- Fritz Zwicky (1898–1974), astronomer
- Adolph Rickenbacker (1886–1976), pioneer of the electric guitar; founder of the Rickenbacker guitar company, whose products would be an important influence on 1960s music through, among others, The Beatles, The Who and The Byrds
- Eddie Rickenbacker (1890–1973), automobile race car driver and automotive designer, hero of World War I, government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation
- Martin Buser (born 1958), champion of sled dog racing
- Louis Chevrolet (1878–1941), racing driver; founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, now the most famous brand of General Motors
- Phil Dalhausser (born 1980), Olympic beach volleyball champion; born in Baden to German father and Swiss mother
- Bobby Fischer (1943–2008), controversial world chess champion
- William "Pudge" Heffelfinger (1867–1954), first professional football player
- Jeff Hostetler (born 1961), quarterback in the NFL for the New York Giants, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, and Washington Redskins.
- Fred Merkle (1888–1956), baseball player
- Ben Roethlisberger (born 1982), quarterback in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Rudolph "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone (1913–1996), perhaps the best known pool player in the United States
- Ben Zobrist, second baseman in Major League Baseball
- Helen Keller (1880–1968), author, political activist and lecturer; first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
- Christoph Meili (born 1968), whistleblower
- Chesley Sullenberger (born 1951), airline transport pilot who successfully carried out the emergency ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, saving the lives of the 155 people on the aircraft
- "Swiss Americans - History, Modern era, Swiss in British north america". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- New Georgia Encyclopedia: John J. Zubly (1724-1781)
- [permanent dead link] "German-born Swiss pioneer settler and colonizer in California; the discovery of gold on his land in 1848 precipitated the California Gold Rush."
- "American Whiskey". Retrieved 2008-06-28.
-  "Portfolio's Worst American CEOs of All Time." CNBC.com April 30, 2009.
-  "Meyer, though a native speaker of German, was Swiss-German."
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2006-07-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "The legendary Swiss manager has been tasked with bringing fresh momentum to the sputtering engine of the world's largest automobile group."
- Swiss Roots: Renee Zellweger Archived 2006-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
- [permanent dead link] "The actress, who's Alaskan/Swiss on her mother's side, was born in Schweigmatt, Germany.""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2006-05-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-06-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "His father had mainly Swiss and British roots."
- Swiss Roots: Film Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
-  "...and my mother is Swiss and Swede."
- Biography for William Wyler on IMDb "Born Willi Wyler ... to a Swiss father and a German mother"
- toledoblade.com - Blade's man in Europe brought world to Toledo
- Swiss Roots: Jewel Kilcher Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
- "An American of 10 Generations". New York Times. 1907-05-12.
- Swiss Roots: Herbert Hoover Archived 2007-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
-  "Swiss ancestry."
-  "Ethnicity Swiss/German"
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2006-04-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Born to an aristocratic Swiss family, Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) emigrated from Switzerland to America in 1780."
-  "Swiss and German ancestry."
- Robert Parkinson, Peter Staub. Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002. Retrieved: 5 August 2010.
-  mentioned as one of several "Swiss Americans"
-  "Bouqet as a free born Switzer..."
- Mueller Science - Specialities: Switzerland
- Swiss Roots: Henry Wirz Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Louis Agassiz - Britannica Student Encyclopaedia
- ‹See Tfd›(in German) Structurae [en]: Othmar Herrmann Ammann (1879-1965)
- CERN Scientific Information Service
- NOAA Central Library Archived 2006-02-08 at the Wayback Machine
-  "Though Swiss by birth, Frank traveled the world before settling in the United States in 1953."
-  "After his graduation in the spring of 1900, he became a Swiss citizen, worked for two months as a mathematics teacher, and then was employed as examiner at the Swiss patent office in Bern."
- Edmond Fischer
-  "Swiss-born U.S. psychiatrist"
- Swiss Roots: Eddie Rickenbacker Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
-  "Martin Buser, a long-time Swiss citizen, is scheduled to be sworn in today as a United States citizen by Judge Ben Esch after crossing the finish line yesterday as winner of the 2002 Iditarod."
- de:William Heffelfinger
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2006-04-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Swiss Roots: How much do you know about your Swiss heritage? Ben Roethlisberger: Honestly, I didn't know a whole lot until recently; then I started feeling it out a little more and hearing a little more about it. Now, when people ask me where I'm from, I'm quick to say, "Well, I'm Swiss." I'm sure I have a lot of things in me, but that's one of the things I tell people—that I'm Swiss."
-  "The Wanderones were German-Swiss"
-  "Zobrist Name Meaning Swiss German: topographic name for someone who lived at the highest or furthest point of a settlement."
-  "the name of the 30-year-old former Swiss bank guard is already being entered into the ranks of the righteous gentiles -- those persons who have taken risks to help Jews."
- ""Held vom Hudson" stammt aus Wynigen" (in German). Berner Zeitung. 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20.