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.

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


List by occupation[edit]


  • 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".[4] as per CNBC one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time".[5]
  • Meyer Guggenheim (1828–1905), statesman, patriarch of Guggenheim family[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • Robert Lutz (born 1932), General Motors Vice Chairman of Product Development and Chairman of GM North America, the world's largest automaker[8]
  • 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 (1955–2011), information technology entrepreneur and inventor

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Actors and directors[edit]

Visual artists[edit]

Writers and publicists[edit]



Law and politics[edit]

Governors and presidents[edit]

Congressmen and senators[edit]



  • Henry Bouquet, prominent Army officer in the French and Indian War and Pontiac's War[27]
  • 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[28]
  • 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[29]


  • 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[edit]



  • Helen Keller (1880–1968), author, political activist and lecturer; first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Christoph Meili (born 1968), whistleblower[45]
  • 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[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Swiss Americans - History, Modern era, Swiss in British north america". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  2. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia: John J. Zubly (1724-1781)
  3. ^ [1][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."
  4. ^ "American Whiskey". Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  5. ^ [2] "Portfolio's Worst American CEOs of All Time." April 30, 2009.
  6. ^ [3] "Meyer, though a native speaker of German, was Swiss-German."
  7. ^
  8. ^ "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."
  9. ^ a b Swiss Roots: Renee Zellweger Archived 2006-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [4][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)
  11. ^ "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."
  12. ^ Swiss Roots: Film Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ [5] "...and my mother is Swiss and Swede."
  14. ^ Biography for William Wyler on IMDb "Born Willi Wyler ... to a Swiss father and a German mother"
  15. ^ - Blade's man in Europe brought world to Toledo
  16. ^ Swiss Roots: Jewel Kilcher Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "An American of 10 Generations". New York Times. 1907-05-12.
  18. ^ Swiss Roots: Herbert Hoover Archived 2007-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ [6]
  20. ^ a b c d [7] "Swiss ancestry."
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ [9] "Ethnicity Swiss/German"
  23. ^ "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."
  24. ^ [10] "Swiss and German ancestry."
  25. ^ Robert Parkinson, Peter Staub. Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002. Retrieved: 5 August 2010.
  26. ^ [11] mentioned as one of several "Swiss Americans"
  27. ^ [12] "Bouqet as a free born Switzer..."
  28. ^ Mueller Science - Specialities: Switzerland
  29. ^ Swiss Roots: Henry Wirz Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Louis Agassiz - Britannica Student Encyclopaedia
  31. ^ (in German) Structurae [en]: Othmar Herrmann Ammann (1879-1965)
  32. ^ CERN Scientific Information Service
  33. ^ NOAA Central Library Archived 2006-02-08 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ [13] "Though Swiss by birth, Frank traveled the world before settling in the United States in 1953."
  35. ^ [14] "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."
  36. ^ Edmond Fischer
  37. ^ [15] "Swiss-born U.S. psychiatrist"
  38. ^ Swiss Roots: Eddie Rickenbacker Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ [16] "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."
  40. ^ [17]
  41. ^ de:William Heffelfinger
  42. ^ "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."
  43. ^ [18] "The Wanderones were German-Swiss"
  44. ^ [19] "Zobrist Name Meaning Swiss German: topographic name for someone who lived at the highest or furthest point of a settlement."
  45. ^ [20] "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."
  46. ^ ""Held vom Hudson" stammt aus Wynigen" (in German). Berner Zeitung. 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20.

External links[edit]