List of Polish Americans

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

Helena Modjeska actress who specialized in Shakespearean roles.
Ralph Modjeski 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 promotor, millionaire and 2-time World Heavyweight Champion.

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Television, radio and film actors[edit]

  • Nick Adams (1931–1968), film actor; mother was of Polish descent[1]
  • Grant Aleksander (born 1959), film and daytime actor, Guiding Light
  • Pico Alexander (born 1991), actor; parents are Polish immigrants
  • Stanley Andrews (1891–1969), TV/radio actor
  • David Arquette (born 1971), actor, director, screenwriter; mother (née Nowak) was of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Rosanna Arquette (born 1959), actress, director, producer; mother (née Nowak) was of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Jacob Artist (born 1992), actor, singer, and dancer; mother is of Polish descent
  • Joe Augustyn (born 1952), screenwriter, movie producer
  • Jake T. Austin (born 1994), actor; father is of part Polish descent
  • Carroll Baker (born 1931), film actress and author; father of Polish ancestry[2][verification needed]
  • Christine Baranski (born 1952), actress
  • Kristen Bell (born 1980), film/television actress (Veronica Mars), mother is of Polish descent[3]
  • Maria Bello (born 1967), actress (A History of Violence, Thank You for Smoking, The Cooler); mother is of Polish descent
  • Brian Benben (born 1956), television actor; father was of Polish descent
  • Jack Benny (1894–1974), comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television, and film; of Polish Jewish descent
  • Carlos Bernard (né Carlos Bernard Papierski; born 1962), actor (24)[4]
  • Craig Bierko (born 1964), actor and singer; father has Polish ancestry
  • Marc Blucas (born 1972), actor; paternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Jon Bon Jovi (born 1962), singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and philanthropist; maternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Alex Borstein (born 1971), actress, voice actress, writer, and comedian; of Polish Jewish descent
  • Lisa Boyle (born 1968), actress and model; of part Polish descent[5]
  • Andrew Bryniarski (born 1969), actor and bodybuilder; father of Polish descent
  • Amanda Bynes (born 1986), actress and comedian; paternal grandmother was of Polish descent
  • Liz Cackowski (born 1975), comedy writer and actress; of part Polish descent
  • Nicolas Cage (born 1964), actor; maternal grandmother was of Polish descent (surname Siputa)
  • Bobby Campo (born 1983), actor; paternal grandmother of Polish descent
  • Steve Carell (born 1962), actor; mother of Polish descent
  • Jessica Cauffiel (born 1976), actress and singer; paternal grandmother of Polish ancestry
  • Jennifer Connelly (born 1970), Academy Award-winning actress; her mother was of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent[6]
  • Robert Conrad (born 1935; né Conrad Robert Falk), film and television actor; Polish on father (Leonard Falkowski)'s side
  • D.J. Cotrona (born 1980), actor; mother of half Polish descent
  • Elżbieta Czyżewska (1938–2010), Polish-born award-winning theater, film and TV actress[7]
  • Jenna Dewan-Tatum (born 1980), actress, model, and dancer; paternal grandmother of Polish descent
  • Janice Dickinson (born 1955), model/reality television star; mother was of Polish descent
  • Dagmara Dominczyk (born 1976), Polish-born American actress;[8] sister of Marika Dominczyk
  • Marika Dominczyk (born 1980), Polish-born American actress; sister of Dagmara Dominczyk
  • Anne Dudek (born 1975), television actress (Mad Men, House M.D.)
  • David Duchovny (born 1960), actor, paternal grandmother of Polish ancestry
  • Alexis Dziena (born 1984), film and television actress (When in Rome), of part Polish descent
  • George Dzundza (born 1945), actor, of part Polish descent
  • Zac Efron (born 1987), actor, paternal grandfather was the son of Polish Jewish parents
  • Jesse Eisenberg (born 1983), actor, of Polish Jewish and Ukrainian Jewish descent
  • Linda Emond (born 1959), actress; paternal grandmother was of Polish descent
  • Briana Evigan (born 1986), actress; of part Polish descent
  • Peter Falk (1927–2011), actor; of Polish Jewish descen
  • Jason David Frank (born 1973), actor and mixed martial artist; mother of half Polish descent
  • Johnny Galecki (born 1975), actor; father of Polish descent
  • Arlene Golonka (born 1936), actress
  • Katerina Graham (born 1989), actress (Vampire Diaries), mother of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Gilda Gray (1901–1959), actress and dancer[9]
  • Ari Graynor (born 1983), actress; father of Polish descent
  • Alice Greczyn (born 1986), actress
  • Kim Greist (born 1958), actress; Polish maternal grandmother
  • Zach Grenier (born 1954), actor; mother of Polish descent
  • Sasha Grey (born 1988), actress; maternal great-grandfather of Polish descent
  • Chelsea Handler (born 1975), actress and comedian; maternal great-grandmother of Polish origin
  • Marilu Henner (born 1952), television actress (Taxi) and health book author; father was of Polish descent[10]
  • John Hodiak (1914–1955), film actor
  • Bonnie Hunt (born 1961), Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated actress, comedian, writer, director, television producer and daytime television host, maternal grandparents were Polish
  • Ryan Hurst (born 1976), actor; mother of Polish descent
  • Scarlett Johansson (born 1984), actress (Lost in Translation); mother is of Polish and Polish Jewish descent
  • Jake Johnson (born 1978), actor; maternal grandmother, Lucille/Lucy Kopacz, was of Polish descent
  • JoJo (born 1990), singer and actress; maternal grandmother of Polish origin
  • Jane Kaczmarek (born 1955), actress (Malcolm in the Middle)
  • Nina Kaczorowski (born 1975), actress, stunt woman, model and dancer
  • Vincent Kartheiser (born 1979), actor; maternal great-grandmother was Polish, from Błonie
  • Harvey Keitel (born 1939), Academy Award-nominated actor, of Polish Jewish and Romanian Jewish descent
  • Ted Knight (1923–1986), Emmy Award–winning film and television actor (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Too Close for Comfort)[11]
  • Mitchell Kowal (1915-1971), film actor
  • Linda Kozlowski (born 1958), film actress (Crocodile Dundee)[12]
  • Jane Krakowski (born 1968), film, stage and television actress (Ally McBeal, 30 Rock); winner of the 2003 Tony Award; of three quarters Polish descent
  • John Krasinski (born 1979), TV and film actor (The Office);[13] of half Polish and half Irish descent
  • Lisa Kudrow (born 1963), actress, of Polish Jewish and Belarusian Jewish descent
  • Shia LaBeouf (born 1986), actor, voice actor, and comedian, mother is of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Lisa Lampanelli (born 1961), comedian and actress; maternal grandfather, Stanley Velgot, of Polish descent
  • Carole Landis (1919–1948), film actress; mother was of Polish descent and father of Norwegian descent[14]
  • Joe Lando (born 1961), TV and film actor (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman)[15]
  • Matt Lanter (born 1983), actor and model; of part Polish descent
  • Téa Leoni (born 1966), film and TV actress; paternal grandmother was of Polish descent[16]
  • Logan Lerman (born 1992), actor; his maternal grandfather was a Polish Jewish immigrant, and the rest of Logan's ancestry is Russian Jewish, Lithuanian Jewish, and other Polish Jewish
  • Justin Long (born 1978), film and television actor; his mother, former Broadway actress Wendy Lesniak, is of Polish descent
  • Josh Lucas (born 1971), actor
  • Eric Mabius (born 1971), TV and film actor (Ugly Betty, The Crow), mother is of Polish descent[17]
  • Rose Marie (born 1923), TV and film actress (The Dick Van Dyke Show); mother of Polish heritage and father of Italian descent [18]
  • Ross Martin (1920–1981), Polish Jewish immigrant, TV and film actor (Wild Wild West)[19]
  • Joseph Mazzello (born 1983), actor; maternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Jenny McCarthy (born 1972), actress and comedian; mother of part Polish descent
  • Izabella Miko (born 1981), Polish-American actress and dancer
  • Patrycja Mikula (born 1983), also known as Patricia Mikula, model and Playboy Cybergirl
  • Wentworth Miller (born 1972), actor, model, screenwriter, and producer; maternal great-grandmother, Florence Busczniewicz, of Polish descent
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse (born 1989), actor; paternal grandmother, Joan Stolarczyk, was of Polish descent
  • Helena Modjeska (1840–1909), Polish-born actress who specialized in Shakespearean roles[20]
  • Cameron Monaghan (born 1993), actor and model; mother of part Polish descent
  • Kyle Mooney (born 1984), actor and comedian; maternal great-grandfather of Polish descent
  • Zero Mostel (1915–1977), actor of stage and screen, of Polish Jewish descent
  • Pola Negri (1894–1987), Polish film actress who achieved notoriety as a femme fatale in silent films between the 1910s and 1930s
  • Paul Newman (1925–2008), actor; of Polish Jewish/Hungarian Jewish (paternal) and Slovak Catholic (maternal) descent
  • Jerry O'Connell (born 1974), TV and film actor; maternal grandfather was of Polish descent[21][22]
  • Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (born 1978), actress and model; of part Polish descent
  • Jerry Orbach (1935–2004), Tony Award-winning stage, film, musical theatre and television actor and singer; mother was of Polish-Lithuanian Roman Catholic background; father was a German Jewish immigrant[23]
  • Frank Oz (born 1944), British-born American film director, actor and puppeteer, father was a Polish Jew
  • Joanna Pacuła (born 1957), Polish-born actress[24]
  • Jared Padalecki (born 1982), actor (Gilmore Girls, Supernatural);[25] father is of Polish descent
  • Adrianne Palicki (born 1983), actress; paternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (born 1972), actress; paternal family were Jewish immigrants from Belarus and Poland; grandfather's surname was "Paltrowicz"
  • Annie Parisse (born 1975), actress; father of part Polish descent
  • James Penzi (born 1952), playwright, screenwriter, poet; mother is Polish
  • Mary Kay Place (born 1947), actress and singer; Polish maternal great-grandmother
  • Stefanie Powers (born 1942), actress and singer; mother was of Polish descent[26][27]
  • Beata Pozniak (born 1960), Polish-born actress, film director, painter, fashion model and activist who is now based out of the United States (Babylon 5, JFK)[28]
  • Robert Prosky (1930–2008), TV and film actor (Hill Street Blues)[29]
  • Danny Pudi (born 1979), TV actor; mother is of Polish descent[30][31][32]
  • Maggie Q (born 1979), model and actress (Nikita, Mission: Impossible III, Die Hard 4.0); father is of Irish and Polish descent
  • Jack Quaid (born 1992), actor; maternal grandfather of Polish ancestry
  • Emily Ratajkowski (born 1991), actress and model; paternal grandfather was of Polish (Catholic) descent, maternal grandfather was a Polish Jewish immigrant
  • John Ratzenberger (born 1947), TV actor (Cheers), mother was of Polish descent[33]
  • Dana Reeve (1961–2006), actress, singer, and activist for disability causes; paternal grandmother of Polish descent
  • Ronda Rousey (born 1987), MMA fighter and actress; of part Polish descent
  • Eli Roth (born 1972), film director, producer, writer and actor, of Polish Jewish, Russian Jewish, and Austrian Jewish descent
  • Paul Rudd (born 1969), actor, of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Amy Ryan (born 1969), actress, born Amy Beth Dziewiontkowski; of part Polish descent
  • Meg Ryan (born 1961), née Hyra, actress, Polish ancestry on her father's side
  • Thomas Sadoski (born 1976), actor; paternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Jonathan Sadowski (born 1979), actor of Polish and Italian descent
  • Fred Savage (born 1976), actor (The Wonder Years), of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Rob Schneider (born 1963), actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director; father was of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent
  • Liev Schreiber (born 1967), film and stage actor, mother is of Polish Jewish descent
  • Chloë Sevigny (born 1974), film actress and model;[34] mother is of Polish descent
  • Atticus Shaffer (born 1998), actor; maternal grandmother, Wanda Mary Jankowski, of Polish descent
  • Casey Siemaszko (born 1961), film/television actor, Polish father[35][36]
  • Nina Siemaszko (born 1970), film/television actress, Polish father[37]
  • Joseph Sikora (born 1976), Polish-American actor (Boardwalk Empire, The Heart, She Holler, Power)
  • Bill Smitrovich (born 1947), actor
  • Leelee Sobieski (born 1982), actress, father is of partial Polish descent
  • Olga Sosnovska (born 1972), Polish-born TV and soap opera actress (All My Children)[38]
  • Martin Starr (born 1982), actor; maternal great-grandmother, Mary H. Krzyzanowski, of Polish descent
  • Ben Stiller (born 1965), actor, father is of Polish Jewish descent
  • Gloria Swanson (1899–1983), actress (best known for Sunset Boulevard);[39] mother, Adelaide Klainowksi, was of part Polish descent
  • Loretta Swit (born 1937), musical theatre and television actress (M*A*S*H)[40]
  • Keith Szarabajka (born 1952), TV and film actor
  • Eric Szmanda (born 1975), TV actor (CSI), of part Polish descent[41]
  • Carly Tamborski (born 1989), actress; father of Polish descent
  • Christine Taylor (born 1971), actress; of part Polish descent
  • Miles Teller (born 1987), actor; paternal great-grandmother, Catherine Stancavage, was of Polish descent
  • Meghan Trainor (born 1993), singer and actress; maternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Alan Tudyk (born 1971), TV, film and stage actor; father of Polish descent[42]
  • Liv Tyler (born 1977), actress and model; paternal great-grandfather was a Polish immigrant
  • Tom Tyler (1903–1954), film actor (Adventures of Captain Marvel)[43]
  • James Urbaniak (born 1963), film, television and theatre actor
  • Travis Van Winkle (born 1982), actor; maternal grandmother of Polish descent
  • Michael Vartan (born 1968), film and television actor; mother is a Jewish immigrant from Poland[44]
  • Jean Wallace (1923–1990), film actress
  • Eli Wallach (1915–2014), actor, of Polish Jewish descent
  • Devon Werkheiser (born 1991), actor; maternal great-grandmother was of Polish descent
  • Paul Wesley (born 1982), actor, born Paul Wasilewski to Polish parents (Fallen, The Vampire Diaries)
  • Alicia Witt (born 1975), actress, singer, songwriter, and pianist (paternal great-grandfather of Polish ancestry)
  • Pia Zadora (born 1954), actress and singer; mother was of Polish descent[45]
  • Maddie Ziegler (born 2002), actress and dancer; of partial Polish descent
  • Madeline Zima (born 1985), actress; maternal grandfather of Polish ancestry
  • Vanessa Zima (born 1986), actress; maternal grandfather of Polish ancestry
  • Yvonne Zima (born 1989), actress; maternal grandfather of Polish ancestry
  • Sheri Moon Zombie (born 1970), actress; mother of Polish descent
  • Daphne Zuniga (born 1962), actress; maternal grandfather of Polish descent
  • Chris Zylka (born 1985), actor; maternal grandfather of Polish descent



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






Television personalities[edit]

Theater and dance[edit]

Business and economics[edit]


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


  • 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[116]
  • 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
  • Jan Karski (1914–2000), Polish World War II resistance fighter and scholar[117]
  • Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746–1817), Polish and Lithuanian national hero, general and a leader of 1794 uprising (which bears his name) against the Russians
  • Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski (1824–1887), Polish military leader and a Union general in the American Civil War[118]
  • 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 (1746–1779), 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.
  • Hyman G. Rickover (1900–1986), U.S. Navy Admiral; known as the "father of the Nuclear Navy"; first Director of Naval Reactors
  • Edward Rowny (born 1917), 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[119]




  • Henryk Arctowski (1871–1958), scientist, oceanographer and Antarctica explorer[130]
  • Julius Axelrod (1912–2004), biochemist
  • Paul Baran (1926–2011), Internet pioneer, one of the developers of packet-switched networks along with Donald Davies and Leonard Kleinrock
  • Mieczysław G. Bekker (1905–1989), engineer and scientist; inventor of the lunar rover [131]
  • Eric Bender (born 1984), exercise scientist; doctor of physical therapy
  • Karol J. Bobko (born 1937), former NASA astronaut[132]
  • Elonka Dunin (born 1958), game developer, writer, and amateur cryptographer; maintains a website dedicated to the Kryptos sculpture/cipher located at the CIA's headquarters[133]
  • Andrzej Ehrenfeucht (born 1932), mathematician and computer scientist; formulated the Ehrenfeucht–Fraïssé game and Ehrenfeucht–Mycielski sequence
  • Kazimierz Fajans (1887–1975), pioneer in the science of radioactivity; created Fajans' rules; discovered the element protactinium
  • Christopher Ferguson (born 1961), former NASA astronaut
  • Richard Feynman (1918–1988), physicist; 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics[134]
  • Casimir Funk (1884–1967), biochemist, generally credited with the first formulation of the concept of vitamins in 1912[135]
  • Walter Golaski (1913–1996), engineer[136]
  • Joanna Hoffman, part of the original Apple Macintosh developer team; acted as the team's only marketing person for more than a year; wrote the first draft of the Macintosh User Interface Guidelines
  • Josef Hofmann (1876–1957), inventor of windshield wipers, shock absorbers for vehicles, and oil burning furnace
  • Roald Hoffmann (born 1937), chemist and writer, Nobel Prize winner (1981)[137]
  • Leonid Hurwicz (1917–2008), economist, Nobel Prize winner (2007)[138]
  • Christopher Jargocki (born 1944), physicist and author[139]
  • Hilary Koprowski (born 1916), virologist and immunologist[140]
  • Alfred Korzybski (1879–1950), developed the theory of general semantics[141]
  • Stephanie Kwolek (born 1923), inventor nylon and kevlar[142]
  • Gerhard Lenski (born 1924), sociologist known for contributions to the sociology of religion, social inequality, and ecological-evolutionary social theory
  • Richard Lenski (born 1956), evolutionary biologist, proved evolution with the E. coli long-term evolution experiment
  • Cass Lewart, electrical engineer and author
  • Janusz Liberkowski (born 1953), winner of the first season of the show American Inventor; his invention was the Anecia Safety Capsule
  • Henryk Magnuski (1909–1978), inventor of the first walkie talkie the SCR-300
  • Bronislaw Malinowski (1884–1942), one of the most important 20th-century anthropologists
  • Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (1950), polymer chemist best known for the discovery of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
  • Albert Abraham Michelson (1852–1931), Polish-born American physicist; awarded the Nobel Prize in physics (1907) for work done on the measurement of the speed of light; the first American to receive the Nobel in the sciences
  • Ralph Modjeski (1861–1940), engineer and bridge builder[143]
  • Jan Moor-Jankowski (1924–2005), primatologist; Polish independence fighter during World War II[144]
  • Stanisław Mrozowski (1902–1999), worked on the Manhattan Project
  • Jan Mycielski (1932), mathematician whose work includes the Ehrenfeucht–Mycielski sequence, The Mycielskian, The Mycielski–Grötzsch graph and Mycielski's theorem
  • Bohdan Paczyński (1940–2007), astronomer, leading scientist in theory of the evolution of stars[145]
  • Scott E. Parazynski (born 1961), NASA astronaut, performed a dangerous EVA never performed before to repair a live solar array on the International Space Station[115]
  • James A. Pawelczyk (born 1960), astronaut, Associate Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology at Penn State; the first Pole in outer space (1980)
  • Sidney Pestka (born 1936), geneticist and biochemist who discovered how mRNA is translated into proteins through a small ribosomal subunit
  • Frank Piasecki (born 1929), aviation engineer, developed vertical lift aircraft
  • Piotr Piecuch (born 1960), physical chemist, best known for his work in theoretical and computational chemistry, particularly ab initio quantum-mechanical methods based on coupled-cluster theory
  • Marek Pienkowski (born 1945), medical researcher and clinician known for innovations in diagnosis and treatment of immunological deficiencies and asthma/allergic disorders.
  • Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898–1988), emigrated to the U.S. in 1899; awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (1944) for work on molecular-beam magnetic-resonance detection method.
  • Wojciech Rostafiński (born 1921), worked for NASA; contributed to the theory of aeronautics and applied mathematics; listed in Scientific Citation Index
  • Albert Sabin, Polish-born medical scientist, discovered oral vaccine for poliomyelitis
  • Andrew Schally (born 1926), endocrinologist and Nobel Prize winner in 1977 in Medicine for research work[146]
  • Tadeusz Sendzimir (1894–1989), engineer and inventor of international renown with 120 patents in mining and metallurgy, 73 of which were awarded to him in the United States[147]
  • Maria Siemionow, Polish surgeon who performed the first face transplant surgery in the U.S.
  • Igor Sikorsky (1889–1972), helicopter engineer who founded the first helicopter industry in the U.S.
  • Jack W. Szostak (born 1952), Nobel Prize–winning biologist; his work helped us to understand telomeres and helped create the human genome project
  • Alfred Tarski (1902–1983), mathematician and philosopher[148]
  • Joseph Tykociński-Tykociner (1877–1969), patent and invention of sound film on motion pictures
  • Adam Ulam (1922–2000), historian and political scientist at Harvard University, one of the world's foremost authorities on Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Stanisław Ulam (1909–1984), mathematician who participated in the Manhattan Project and proposed the Teller–Ulam design of thermonuclear weapons[149]
  • Andrzej Walicki (born 1930), economist; in 1998 he won Balzan Prize for his contribution to the study of the Russian and Polish cultural and social history, and also the study of European culture in the 19th century
  • Frank Wilczek (born 1951), physicist, Nobel Prize 2004[150]
  • Anne Wojcicki, biotech analyst, biologist, and businesswoman; co-founder of 23andMe (genetics testing)
  • Stanley Wojcicki, professor and former chair of the physics department at Stanford University in California
  • Aleksander Wolszczan (born 1946), astronomer, discoverer of the first extrasolar planets and pulsar planets[151]
  • Maria Zakrzewska (1829–1902), pioneering female doctor in the United States[152]
  • Edmund Zalinski (1849–1909), invented pneumatic dynamite torpedo-gun, invented an electrical fuse, Other inventions included a modified entrenching tool, a ramrod-bayonet, and a telescopic sight for artillery and the Zalinsky boat, one of the earliest submarines in the United States
  • George D. Zamka (born 1962), NASA astronaut
  • Casimir Zeglen (1869–19??), invented the bulletproof vest in 1897; a Catholic priest of St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Chicago
  • Florian Znaniecki (1882–1958), sociologist and philosopher[153]
  • Wojciech H. Zurek (1900–1992), pioneer in information physics; co-author of a proof stating that a single quantum cannot be cloned; coined the terms "einselection" and "quantum discord"
  • Antoni Zygmund (1900–1992), mathematician, "trigonometric series"[154]




  • Rick Ankiel (born 1979), former professional baseball outfielder and pitcher
  • Mike Bielecki (born 1959), former professional baseball player
  • Joe Borowski, Cleveland Indians closing pitcher
  • Dave Borkowski (born 1977), former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Stan Coveleski (1889–1984), Major League Baseball player during the 1910s and 1920s[155]
  • 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[156]
  • 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
  • Steve Gromek (1920–2002), pitcher in Major League BaseballBaseball[157]
  • Mark Grudzielanek (born 1970), second baseman in Major League Baseball, plays for the Kansas City Royals[158]
  • Mark Gubicza (1962–present), 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[159]
  • 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 [160]
  • 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[161]
  • 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[162]
  • Barney McCosky (1917–1996), center fielder/left fielder in Major League Baseball[163]
  • Doug Mientkiewicz (born 1974), former first baseman for the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and several other MLB teams[164]
  • 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[165]
  • 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[166]
  • Phil Niekro (born 1939), former pitcher in Major League Baseball and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame[167]
  • 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[168]
  • Freddie Patek (born 1944), Major League Baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, and California Angels[169]
  • Ron Perranoski (born 1936), Major League pitcher [170]
  • A. J. Pierzynski (born 1976), Major League catcher [171]
  • Johnny Podres (1932–2008), Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher
  • Jack Quinn (1883–1946), Major League pitcher [172]
  • Ron Reed (born 1942), Major League pitcher [173]
  • Al Simmons (1902–1956), player in Major League Baseball over three decades[174]
  • Marc Rzepczynski (born 1985), Major League pitcher
  • Bill "Moose" Skowron (born 1930), Major League Baseball player, primarily a first baseman[175]
  • Matt Szczur, active Major League outfielder for the Chicago Cubs[176]
  • Frank Tanana (born 1953), former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball[177]
  • Alan Trammell (born 1958), baseball shortstop for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 to 1996[178]
  • Troy Tulowitzki (born 1984), Major League Baseball shortstop
  • Helen Walulik (1929–2012), All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player[179]
  • 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[180]
  • Richie Zisk (born 1949), Major League Baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners from 1971 to 1983[181]


  • Carol Blazejowski (born 1956), women's professional basketball player
  • Vince Boryla (born 1927), pro basketball player, coach, and executive
  • Frank Brickowski (born 1959), retired basketball player
  • Dan Dickau (born 1978)
  • Mike Gminski (born 1959), former college and professional basketball player
  • Tom Gola (1933–2014), one of Philadelphia's most famous basketball players[182]
  • Marcin Gortat (born 1984), professional basketball player in the NBA. Washington Wizards.
  • Bobby Hurley (born 1971), Duke and NCA basketball player [183]
  • Frank Kaminsky (born 1993), basketball player
  • Thomas Kelati (born 1982), professional basketball player for the Polish national team
  • Mike Krzyzewski (born 1947), head coach of the Duke University men's basketball team and the 2008 gold medal-winning U.S. men's Olympic basketball team
  • Mitch Kupchak (born 1954), former professional basketball player and current general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2017 after Jerry West moved to the Memphis Grizzlies organization
  • Bob Kurland (born 1924), 7-foot basketball center
  • Red Mihalik (born 1916), NCAA and Olympic official/referee [184]
  • Paul Mokeski (born 1957), former basketball player
  • Eric Piatkowski (born 1970), National Basketball Association player with the Phoenix Suns
  • Joe Proski (born 1940), first trainer of Phoenix Suns; inducted into Phoenix Ring of Fame in 2001
  • Joel Przybilla (born 1979), professional basketball player in the NBA
  • A.J. Slaughter (born 1987), professional basketball player for the Polish national team
  • Kelly Tripucka (born 1959), National Basketball Association player for the Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, and Charlotte Hornets from 1981 to 1991
  • Steve Wojciechowski (born 1976), assistant coach of the Duke University men's basketball team


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


  • 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
  • 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


Figure skating[edit]

  • Tara Lipinski (born 1982), Olympic gold medalist figure skater and celebrity
  • Janet Lynn (born 1953), figure skater and Olympic bronze medalist[186]


  • Danny Abramowicz (born 1945), wide receiver in the NFL who played for the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers
  • Pete Banaszak (born 1944), college and professional football player
  • Steve Bartkowski (born 1952), former NFL quarterback
  • Chuck Bednarik (1925-2015), former Hall of Fame NFL linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles [187]
  • Tom Brady (born 1977), 5 time Super Bowl champion, NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots; Maternal grandmother of Polish descent.
  • Zeke Bratkowski (born 1931), All-American quarterback at the University of Georgia in 1952 and 1953
  • Bryan Bulaga (born 1989), NFL offensive tackle
  • Frank Bykowski (1915–1985), football player
  • Brad Cieslak (born 1982), tight end in the NFL; currently plays for the Cleveland Browns.
  • Lou Creekmur (born 1927), NFL left offensive tackle/guard for the Detroit Lions from 1951–59
  • Frank Dancewicz (1924–1985), former NFL quarterback
  • Mike Ditka (born 1939), former NFL player, television commentator, and coach
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (born 1991), NFL quarterback for the San Fransisco 49ers
  • Frank Gatski (1919–2005), former NFL player
  • Tom Glassic (born 1954), former NFL player, guard for the Denver Broncos of the NFL from 1976 to 1983
  • Stephen Gostkowski (born 1984), placekicker for the New England Patriots of the NFL
  • Jim Grabowski (born 1944), football player and broadcaster
  • Bruce Gradkowski, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Chris Gronkowski (born 1986), fullback for the Denver Broncos
  • Dan Gronkowski (born 1985), tight end for the Cleveland Browns
  • Rob Gronkowski (born 1989), tight end for the New England Patriots
  • Jack Ham (born 1948), former linebacker who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Leon Hart (1928–2002), tight end and defensive end
  • Henry Hynoski (born 1988), fullback for the New York Giants
  • Jim Irsay (born 1959), owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts
  • Jeff Jagodzinski (born 1963), head coach of the Boston College Eagles football team
  • Sebastian Janikowski (born 1978), kicker for the Oakland Raiders[188]
  • Vic Janowicz (1930–1996), halfback for Ohio State University
  • Ron Jaworski (born 1951), former football player, NFL analyst on ESPN
  • Mike Kenn (born 1956), former offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons [189]
  • Joe Klecko (born 1953), former NFL defensive end
  • Gary Kubiak (born 1961), NFL coach and former player
  • Frank Kush (born 1929), football coach who most prominently served as head coach at Arizona State University for more than two decades
  • Joe Kowalewski (born 1982), tight end for the New York Jets
  • Glen Kozlowski (born 1962), wide receiver for the Chicago Bears
  • Joe Kulbacki (1938-2012), Buffalo Bills
  • Ted Kwalick (born 1947), former tight end in the NFL and World Football League
  • Chris Liwienski (born 1975), offensive guard who currently plays for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL
  • Johnny Lujack (born 1925), former quarterback for the University of Notre Dame and the Chicago Bears
  • Don Majkowski (born 1964), former NFL quarterback
  • Stas Maliszewski (born 1944), Princeton All-American 1964 and 1965, Baltimore Colts 1966 NFL Draft
  • Ted Marchibroda (born 1931), former quarterback and head coach in the NFL
  • Dan Marino, former quarterback for the Miami Dolphins[190]
  • John Matuszak (1950–1989), former defensive end with the Oilers, Chiefs, and Raiders; son of Marv Matuszak
  • Marv Matuszak (1931–2004), former linebacker; son of John Matuszak
  • Lou Michaels, former pro defensive lineman, 1958–1971, with the Colts, Steelers, Rams, and Packers [191]
  • Walt Michaels (born 1929), former player and coach, remembered for his six-year tenure as head coach of the New York Jets from 1977–1982
  • Dick Modzelewski (born 1931), former college and pro football player with the Redskins, Steelers, Giants and Browns; coach for the Cleveland Browns; member of the College Football Hall of Fame[192]
  • Mike Munchak (born 1960), former pro offense with the Houston Oilers; Pro Football Hall of Fame [193]
  • Gene Mruczkowski (born 1980), offensive lineman for the New England Patriots of the NFL
  • Scott Mruczkowski (born 1982), center, San Diego Chargers, Bowling Green
  • Bronko Nagurski (1908–1990), former NFL player and professional wrestler
  • Ray Nitschke (1936-1998), former Hall of Fame NFL linebacker for the Green Bay Packers [187]
  • Bill Osmanski (1915–1996), College and Pro Football Hall of Fame; former player with Chicago Bears[194]
  • Walt Patulski (born 1950), former defensive end for the University of Notre Dame, Buffalo Bills, and St. Louis Cardinals
  • Jason Pociask (born 1983), tight end for the New York Jets
  • Paul Posluszny (born 1984), linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Bill Romanowski (born 1966), former football player for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders
  • Tony Romo, NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys[195]
  • Ed Rutkowski (born 1941), former wide receiver and quarterback for the Buffalo Bills; later became County Executive of Erie County (Buffalo)
  • Mark Stepnoski, one of NFL's top linemen with the Dallas Cowboys [196]
  • Hank Stram (1923–2005), Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Mike Tomczak (born 1962), former NFL quarterback
  • Frank Tripucka (born 1927), former quarterback for the Broncos, Cardinals and Lions [197]
  • Steve Wisniewski, former Pro-bowler, offensive guard with the Oakland Raiders [198]
  • Alex Wojciechowicz (1915–1992), former offensive lineman and linebacker for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles
  • Tom Zbikowski (born 1985), safety for the Baltimore Ravens


  • Billy Burke (1902–1972), prominent golfer of the 1930s
  • Betsy King (born 1955), professional golfer[199]
  • 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 [184]
  • Walt Zembriski (born May 4, 1935), former ironworker; played on both the PGA and Senior PGA tour



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 [206]
  • 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 (born 1924), gold, silver and bronze Olympic m in weightlifting [207]
  • 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



Rob Van Dam

Other sports[edit]



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