List of people from Decatur, Illinois

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The following list includes notable people who were born or have lived in Decatur, Illinois. For a similar list organized alphabetically by last name, see the category page People from Decatur, Illinois.

Authors and academics[edit]

Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Givens, Charles J.Charles J. Givens Feb 5, 1941 Jul 12, 1998 Financial lecturer and author Born in Decatur
Loewen, James W.James W. Loewen February 6, 1942 Author, historian, and sociology professor Born in Decatur
Peck, RichardRichard Peck Richard peck 8872.JPG April 10, 1934 Children's author; 2001 Newbery Medal winner Born in Decatur
, Marvin A. SweeneyMarvin A. Sweeney July 4, 1953 Author, biblical scholar, and professor Grew up in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Millikin, JamesJames Millikin Aug 2, 1827 Mar 2, 1909 Founder of Millikin National Bank and Millikin University Lived in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Boles, Charles E.Charles E. Boles

(a.k.a. Black Bart)

Charles Bowles aka Black Bart.jpg 1829 1888 Western outlaw Lived in Decatur

Media and arts[edit]

Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Berry (broadcaster), ChrisChris Berry (broadcaster) Aug 11, 1960 Broadcasting journalist and management Born in Decatur
Carson, Jenny LouJenny Lou Carson Jenny Lou Carson.jpg Jan 13, 1915 Dec 16, 1978 Country singer-songwriter inducted in Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Born in Decatur
Christy, JuneJune Christy June Christy and Red Rodney at Club Troubadour, New York, ca. Sept. 1947, by William Gottlieb (LOC gottlieb.01251).jpg Nov 20, 1925 Jun 21, 1990 Jazz singer Grew up in Decatur
Coleman, LorenLoren Coleman Jul 12, 1947 Author, cryptozoologist, radio and television personality Grew up in Decatur
Connelly, DaleDale Connelly Oct 4, 1955 Host of Minnesota Public Radio's Radio Heartland [1]
Culbertson, BrianBrian Culbertson Brian Culbertson.jpg Jan 12, 1973 Jazz musician Born in Decatur
Doe, JohnJohn Doe John Doe, born John Nommensen Duchac.jpg Feb 25, 1954 Founder of L.A. punk band X Born in Decatur
Frey, CeCeCeCe Frey Jun 26, 1991 Pop singer featured on season 2 of The X Factor From Decatur
Given, ThelmaThelma Given ThelmaGiven1919.tif Mar 9, 1896 Dec 25, 1977 Concert pianist Raised in Decatur
Gray, ChadChad Gray Chad Gray - 9-30 Club.jpg Oct 16, 1971 Singer of alternative metal band Mudvayne Born in Decatur
Hunter, SteveSteve Hunter Steve Hunter Guitar Player.JPG Jun 14, 1948 Guitarist with Mitch Ryder, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, and Peter Gabriel Born in Decatur
Krauss, AlisonAlison Krauss Alison Krauss MerleFest 2007 01.jpg Jul 23, 1971 Country/Bluegrass singer and songwriter; most-awarded singer in history of Grammy Awards[2] Born in Decatur
Lee, RonReacoRonReaco Lee Aug 27, 1977 Actor (The Good Guys; Let's Stay Together) Born in Decatur
Martin, JudyJudy Martin Jul 23, 1917 Nov 17, 1951 Country and gospel singer; wife of Red Foley Born in Decatur
Martin, NanNan Martin Jul 15, 1927 Mar 4, 2010 Actress (Mr. Sunshine, The Thorn Birds, Santa Barbara, The Drew Carey Show) Born in Decatur
Mason, StephenStephen Mason Stephen Mason.jpg Jul 8, 1975 Guitar player for Jars of Clay Grew up in Decatur
Randolph, BootsBoots Randolph WIKI BOOTS RANDOLPH 2.jpg Jun 3, 1927 Jul 3, 2007 Jazz saxophonist; composer of Yakety Sax Played with Dink Welch's Kopy Kats in Decatur (1948 to 1954)
Rhodes, EmittEmitt Rhodes Feb 25, 1950 Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and recording engineer Born in Decatur
Ryman, HerbertHerbert Ryman June 28, 1910 February 10, 1989 Artist and Disney Imagineer Grew up in Decatur
Spinner, JackieJackie Spinner Author, journalist, college professor; Fulbright Scholar Grew up in Decatur
Willis, Edwin B.Edwin B. Willis January 28, 1893 November 26, 1963 Academy Award winning motion picture set designer & decorator Born in Decatur


Name Image Founded Disbanded Music Association Reference
Icon For Hire Icon For Hire.jpg 2007 present Rock band Formed in Decatur
V Shape Mind 1999 2004 Alternative rock band Formed in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Lieb, HermannHermann Lieb May 24, 1826 Mar 5, 1908 Union Army officer Lived in Decatur
Hagen, Loren D.Loren D. Hagen February 25, 1946 August 7, 1971 United States Army first lieutenant - awarded Medal of Honor 1964 Graduate of MacArthur High School [3]
Holland, Lemuel F.Lemuel F. Holland Jul 28, 1840 Jan 13, 1914 Union Army sergeant – awarded Medal of Honor Buried in Decatur (Greenwood Cemetery)
Pugh, Isaac C.Isaac C. Pugh Nov 23, 1805 Nov 19, 1874 Union Army general Born in Decatur
Schenck, Benjamin W.Benjamin W. Schenck Aug 12, 1837 Feb 19, 1916 Union Army private – awarded Medal of Honor Buried in Decatur (Greenwood Cemetery)


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Buffett, Howard WarrenHoward Warren Buffett Howard Warren Buffett.jpg Oct 14, 1983 Faculty member at Columbia University; trustee of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Lived in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Moore, Jesse HaleJesse Hale Moore JesseHaleMoore.jpg Apr 22, 1817 Jul 11, 1883 U.S. Representative from Illinois Buried in Decatur (Greenwood Cemetery)
McMillen, Rolla C.Rolla C. McMillen Oct 5, 1880 May 6, 1961 U.S. Representative from Illinois Lived in Decatur
Oglesby, Richard JamesRichard James Oglesby Richard James Oglesby - Brady-Handy.jpg Jul 25, 1824 Apr 24, 1899 U.S. senator and the 14th governor of Illinois Grew up in Decatur
Westfall, Thomas D.Thomas D. Westfall May 14, 1927 Mar 7, 2005 Mayor of El Paso, Texas Born in Decatur



Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Beck, Walter "Boom-Boom"Walter "Boom-Boom" Beck Boom-BoomBeckGoudeycard.jpg Oct 16, 1904 May 7, 1987 Pitcher for six Major League Baseball teams Born in Decatur
Dressen, ChuckChuck Dressen Chuck Dressen 1951.png Sep 20, 1894 Aug 10, 1966 Manager and coach for six Major League Baseball teams, 2-time World Series champion Born in Decatur
East, HarryHarry East 1862 1905 Infielder for Baltimore Orioles Born in Decatur
Innis, JeffJeff Innis Jul 5, 1962 Pitcher for New York Mets Born in Decatur
Koslofski, KevinKevin Koslofski Sep 24, 1966 Outfielder for Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers Born in Decatur
Landrith, HobieHobie Landrith Hobie Landrith 1954 Bowman.jpg Mar 16, 1930 Catcher and coach for seven Major League Baseball teams Born in Decatur
Long, Fred T.Fred T. Long Jan 22, 1896 Mar 23, 1966 Baseball player in Negro Leagues; college football coach Born in Decatur
Madlock, BillBill Madlock Jan 12, 1951 Third baseman for Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, 4-time NL batting champion Grew up in Decatur
McGinnity, JoeJoe McGinnity Mar 20, 1871 Nov 14, 1929 MLB pitcher from 1899-1908, won 246 games, inducted 1946 in Baseball Hall of Fame Grew up in Decatur
Porter, DanDan Porter Oct 17, 1931 Outfielder for Washington Senators Born in Decatur
Roberson, KevinKevin Roberson Jan 29, 1968 Outfielder for Chicago Cubs and New York Mets Born in Decatur
Scharein, ArtArt Scharein Jun 30, 1905 Jul 2, 1969 Infielder for St Louis Browns Born in Decatur
Scharein, GeorgeGeorge Scharein Nov 21, 1914 Dec 23, 1981 Shortstop for Philadelphia Phillies Born in Decatur
Sheridan, JackJack Sheridan 1862 Nov 2, 1914 Umpire (1890–1914), worked at four World Series including Cubs' victory of 1908 Born in Decatur
Skidmore, RoeRoe Skidmore Oct 30, 1945 Pinch-hitter for Chicago Cubs, rare MLB player with batting average of 1.000 Born in Decatur
Snitker, BrianBrian Snitker BrianSnitker2012.JPG Oct 17, 1955 Current Manager of Atlanta Braves Born in Decatur
Unser, DelDel Unser Dec 9, 1944 Center fielder for Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies Born in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Bond, LaToyaLaToya Bond Feb 13, 1984 Guard for the Indiana Fever (WNBA) Born in Decatur
Day, ToddTodd Day Jan 7, 1970 Shooting guard for five National Basketball Association teams Born in Decatur
Harangody, LukeLuke Harangody Luke Harangody's head.png Jan 2, 1988 Forward for the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers Born in Decatur


Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Avant, JasonJason Avant Jason Avant.JPG Apr 20, 1983 Wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs Attended MacArthur High School in Decatur
Fairchild, SteveSteve Fairchild Jun 21, 1958 Head football coach at Colorado State University Born in Decatur
Halas, GeorgeGeorge Halas Pete Rozelle and George Halas.jpg Feb 2, 1895 Oct 31, 1983 Founder of the Decatur Staleys, which became the Chicago Bears Lived in Decatur
Long, HarryHarry Long Dec 28, 1897 Dec 8, 1945 College football coach and Wiley College biology professor Born in Decatur
Miller, BritBrit Miller Brit Miller.JPG Sep 15, 1986 Fullback for the St. Louis Rams Born in Decatur
Ridgeway, DanteDante Ridgeway Apr 18, 1984 Wide receiver for the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints Grew up in Decatur, MacArthur High School graduate

Other sports[edit]

Name Image Birth Death Known for Association Reference
Chizevsky-Nicholls, KimKim Chizevsky-Nicholls Apr 23, 1968 IFBB bodybuilder Grew up in Decatur
Hammel, PennyPenny Hammel Mar 24, 1962 Golfer on the LPGA Tour Born in Decatur


  1. ^ Health Science Librarians of Illinois News Letter, Vol. 22, Issue ¾, page 6 [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fallstrom, Bob (November 8, 2010). "Honoring 'a natural born leader'". Herald & Review. Retrieved December 11, 2016.