List of people from the Louisville metropolitan area

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list of people from the Louisville metropolitan area. Included are notable people who were either born or raised there, or have maintained residency for a significant period of time.

Name Description
Terry Adams Musician, founding member of NRBQ.[1]
James S. Albus Engineer and Senior NIST Fellow, developer of Digital Solar Aspect Sensor, Real-time Control System, Robocrane.
Muhammad Ali Multiple heavyweight boxing champion and one of the most iconic figures in 20th-century American sports.
Martha-Bryan Allen Broadway actress, aunt of Elizabeth Montgomery.
Derek L. Anderson Former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player, played on the 1996 NCAA Championship team. Former 12-year NBA basketball player drafted by Cleveland in 1997. Won an NBA Championship with Miami in 2006.
Major Robert Anderson[2] Union Army officer in the Civil War, known for his command of Fort Sumter at the start of the war.
John James Audubon Ornithologist, naturalist and painter. Lived in Louisville for about two years.
James Gilbert Baker Astronomer and designer of optics systems, president of the Optical Society of America, helped found the Louisville Astronomical Society. Born and raised in Louisville and attended the Louisville duPont Manual High School and the University of Louisville.
Mickey Baker Blues guitarist and singer; had million-seller hit in 1956 with "Love Is Strange" with wife Sylvia.
Marty Bass Television news reporter, weatherman, and presidential candidate. Born and raised in Louisville.
Matt Battaglia Actor and producer in more than 100 films. TV and producer of such projects as Brothers with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman; co-founder of Derby Eve cancer benefit The Mint Jubilee.
Ralph Beard Born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, attended Louisville Male High School. Former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player, played on the 1948 and 1949 NCAA Championship teams. Won gold medal with Team USA Basketball in the 1948 Summer Olympics.
Ned Beatty Character actor in films, TV and on stage, has appeared in a wide variety of roles ranging from dramatic to comedic in movies such as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Deliverance, Superman (1978), Network and 1941.
Morris Burke Belknap businessman with Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company and the Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky.
William Burke Belknap philanthropist, breeder of American saddlebred horses, and owner of Land O' Goshen Farms.
William Richardson Belknap President of W. B. Belknap Company, also called Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company.
James Best Character actor, best known for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard.
Barry Bingham, Jr. Publisher of The Courier-Journal.
Barry Bingham, Sr. Publisher of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, and led both papers to national prominence.
Larry Birkhead American entertainment photojournalist.
Rob Bironas Professional football player for Tennessee Titans of NFL.
Phil Bond Professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets.
Anne Braden Civil rights activist.
Carl Braden Civil rights activist.
Louis Brandeis Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Namesake of the University of Louisville School of Law.
Ulysses "Junior" Bridgeman Louisville businessman. Basketball star at the University of Louisville who went on to a long NBA career, mostly with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Brian Brohm Buffalo Bills quarterback.
Foster Brooks Actor and comedian. Renowned for his "Lovable Lush" character, Brooks was a long-time Las Vegas headliner and appeared on numerous TV programs from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s, as well as appearing in cameo roles in such films as The Villain and Cannonball Run II. He was perhaps best known for his frequent appearances on the Dean Martin "Celebrity Roasts", and on the Dean Martin Show.
Odell Brown Jazz organist.
Pete Browning[3] 19th century Major League Baseball player, first to use custom bats, uncle of Tod Browning.
Tod Browning Film actor and director. Directed several films starring silent screen legend Lon Chaney Sr., among them The Unholy 3 (1925) and West of Zanzibar (1928). Best known for directing the horror classic Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi as well as the cult classic Freaks (1932).
John W. Bubbles Half of the black comedic song and tap dance team "Buck & Bubbles" with his partner Ford Lee "Buck" Washington. Appeared in films A Star Is Born ('37) and Cabin in the Sky ('43). Originated the role of the character "Sportin' Life" in George Gershwin's musical Porgy and Bess. First black entertainer to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Lance Burton Stage magician.
LaVerne Butler Pastor of 9th & O Baptist Church in Louisville, 1969-1988; president of Mid-Continent University, 1988-1997[4]
Paul Byrd Professional baseball player for the Boston Red Sox
Harry Carter Silent film actor. Appeared in the 1921 serial The Hope Diamond Mystery and numerous other films.
Jennifer Carpenter Actress best known for work on Showtime's Dexter as the character Debra Morgan.
Charley Chase Pornographic actress.
George Rogers Clark The preeminent military leader on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War.
Joseph Clayton Former Kentucky Derby celebrity turned recycling industry leader and innovator. Best known for calling out woodpeckers in sawdust piles.
William Conrad Actor and narrator in radio, film and television from the 1930s through the 1990s. Provided the voice for Marshal Matt Dillion in the radio version of Gunsmoke. Later starred as TV detective Frank Cannon.
Jim Cornette Professional wrestling manager and promoter.
Joe Creason Journalist for The Courier-Journal, most famous for his columns on the everyday lives of Kentuckians.
Bernie Crimmins University of Notre Dame football player and head football college football coach at Indiana University, as well as assistant football coach at Notre Dame and Purdue University.
Iman Crosson Actor, Internet celebrity and Obama impersonator who became an example of professional promotion using the Internet.
Tom Cruise Actor (born in Syracuse, New York, lived in Louisville until his mid-teens). Star of the films Risky Business, Top Gun, A Few Good Men, and Mission: Impossible, among others.
Denny Crum University of Louisville men's basketball head coach; member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.
Vadim Dale Australian reality television personality (Outback Jack); officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Roger Davis Actor in Dark Shadows and Alias Smith and Jones; custom home designer and builder in Los Angeles.
Frederick Detweiler American sociologist, born in Louisville in 1881
George Devol Inventor of the first industrial robot.
David Dick WHAS (AM) radio and WHAS-TV newscaster in Louisville prior to joining CBS News as reporter and correspondent
Irene Dunne Actress, starred in 1931 Academy Award Best Picture Cimarron.
Reuben T. Durrett Lawyer, jurist, writer, and historian. A founder of the Louisville Free Public Library.
Thomas Alva Edison Inventor and businessman. Before fame lived in Butchertown during 1866–1867 around the age of 19. A house near where he lived is now a museum in his honor.
Bob Edwards Broadcaster for National Public Radio.
Jimmy Ellis Heavyweight boxing champion.
Pervis Ellison Basketball player. Born in Savannah, Georgia. "Never Nervous Pervis" was the starting center for the University of Louisville for four years, including the 1986 national championship year. Ellison was the second freshman ever to be named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four and the first overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.
Norris Embry Expressionist painter.
Abraham Flexner American educator.
Simon Flexner Pioneer of scientific medicine.
Pat Forde Sportswriter; reporter and columnist for The Courier-Journal,, and Yahoo! Sports.[5]
Dian Fossey Nurse at Kosair Children's Hospital. Ethologist interested in gorillas.
Fontaine Fox Nationally syndicated cartoonist, creator of "The Toonerville Trolley" (aka "Toonerville Folks"), one of the most popular strips of the World War I era.
Richard Frymire Kentucky State Representative (1962–1964), State Senator (1966–1968), Adjutant General (1971–1977)
Gertrude Ganote All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player from 1944 through 1945.
Billy Gilbert Film actor during the 1930s and 1940s, appeared in supporting roles in Laurel & Hardy shorts The Music Box and County Hospital, also the model and voice for Sneezy in Disney's Snow White.
Sam Gilliam Abstract expressionist painter.
William Girdler Director/producer of 1970s B-grade films such as Abby, Asylum of Satan and Grizzly.
C. W. Grafton Author.
Sue Grafton Author
Petey Greene American television and radio talk show host, two-time Emmy Award-winner.
D. W. Griffith Film director and innovator. Credited with originating many camera techniques that are still commonly used in films today. Directed numerous films, among them The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance and Way Down East. Lived several years in the Brown Hotel, until his death in 1948.
Darrell Griffith Basketball player. Won 1980 NCAA basketball championship and John R. Wooden Award; 1980 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player; 1981 NBA Rookie of the Year Award; played 11 seasons with the Utah Jazz; nicknamed "Dr. Dunkenstein" for aerial exploits.
David Grissom Guitarist for Storyville (band), Joe Ely, The Allman Brothers Band, John Mellencamp and others.
Scott Harrington Racing driver. Indianapolis 500 veteran and Indy Car Rookie of the Year.
Lionel Hampton Bandleader and jazz musician.
Heather French Henry Miss America 2000.
John Hensley TV and film actor, regular cast member on the cable TV program Nip/Tuck.
Mildred & Patty Hill Composers of the song "Happy Birthday to You".
Charles T. Hinde Railroad executive, founder of the Hotel del Coronado and businessman.
Doan Hoang Movie director, movie producer, documentary Oh Saigon (2007) and short film Hard Times (2012). Graduate of Seneca High School (1990) in Louisville.
Audrey Hollander Pornographic actress.
Telma Hopkins Singer and actress, member of the 1970s pop music trio Tony Orlando and Dawn
James Horan Television and film actor.
Paul Hornung Football player with the National Football League's Green Bay Packers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Allan Houston NBA player, most notably with the New York Knicks. Son of Wade Houston.
Wade Houston Louisville businessman; player and assistant coach at the University of Louisville; head men's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. Also father of Allan Houston.
Edwin Hubble Astronomer/Astrophysicist, Basketball Coach at New Albany, IN High School and namesake of the Hubble Space Telescope. Lived in the Highlands.
Henry Hull Stage and film actor, star of the 1935 film Werewolf of London.
Lewis Craig Humphrey Editor of Louisville newspapers The Evening Post and The Herald-Post.
Thomas MacGillivray Humphrey Economist, historian of economic thought, author, Federal Reserve Bank editor.
Anna Mae Hutchison All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player from 1944 through 1949.
Joe Jacoby Football player for the Washington Redskins.
Jim James Musician, lead singer of My Morning Jacket. Birth name: Jim Olliges.
Ken Jenkins Stage and film actor, co-founder of Actors Theatre of Louisville and acted in Scrubs, Gone in 60 Seconds, and I Am Sam.
Tom Kennedy Game show host.
Wesley Korir Kenyan marathoner; winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon and member of the National Assembly of Kenya. Ran track at, and graduated from, the University of Louisville. Before his election to the National Assembly, he kept one of his three homes in Louisville.
James Kottak Drummer for legendary metal band Scorpions, Yamaha drums endorser/clinician and drummer for Kingdom Come, Warrant and Wild Horses.
Tim Krekel Musician, recording artist, hit songwriter, member of Jimmy Buffett's band.
Paul Laird Musicologist, professor at University of Kansas, with interests in Spanish villancicoes, Leonard Bernstein, the Broadway musical theatre, and the Baroque cello.
Increase A. Lapham Surveyor, Naturalist, helped found the U.S Weather Bureau.
Jennifer Lawrence Film actress best known for her Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook and Oscar-nominated performance in Winter's Bone, and as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Maggie Lawson TV actress famous for her role as Juliet on the detective drama/comedy Psych.
Stefan LeFors Quarterback for University of Louisville, and in the NFL and CFL. Head football coach for the high school team of the Christian Academy of Louisville.
Tom London Bit player and stunt performer in numerous films, primarily westerns, began film career in early silent era and later transitioned to TV roles in the early 1950s. Listed in Guinness World Records as Hollywood's most prolific actor, with over 600 film appearances.
Static Major American record producer who gained fame posthumously for featuring in Lil Wayne's Lollipop.
William Mapother Film and television actor. Roles in Lost and In the Bedroom.
Herbert Marcus Co-founder and CEO of Neiman Marcus.
Joe E. Martin Olympic boxing coach who trained World Heavyweight Champions Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Ellis, and several National Golden Gloves champions.
Oksana Masters Paralympic medalist in both rowing and cross-country skiing; graduate of Atherton High School.[6]
A'dia Mathies WNBA player for (Los Angeles Sparks).
Victor Mature Actor. Starred in a wide range of films, including My Darling Clementine, Kiss of Death, Samson and Delilah and The Robe.
Jane Mayhall Poet.[7]
William E. McAnulty, Jr. First African American to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell U.S. Senate Minority Leader.
Brian McMahan Rock musician known for work in Squirrel Bait, Slint, Palace Brothers, The For Carnation, and King Kong.
Mary T. Meagher Olympic gold medalist and multiple world record holder in swimming. Sister of Anne Northup.
Terry Meiners Radio and television personality .
Milton Metz Radio and television personality.
Alexandria Mills Miss World 2010.
Beverle Graves Myers Author.
First Sergeant James J. Nash Medal of Honor recipient for his service during the Spanish–American War
Jack Narz Game show host.
Carrie Marcus Neiman Co-founder and Chair of Neiman Marcus.
Carl Nett Kentucky State Representative (1970–1990)
Frank Neuhauser Winner of the first National Spelling Bee (held in 1925)[8]
Bobby Nichols Professional golfer, best known for winning the 1964 PGA Championship, one of the Majors in men's golf.
Marsha Norman American playwright who won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Anne Northup U.S. Representative from Louisville, 1997–2007; Member of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Sister of Mary T. Meagher.
Grady Nutt Humorist and television personality (Hee Haw); lived in Louisville from 1960 until his death in 1982; graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Will Oldham Songwriter and musician.
Joan Osborne Singer-songwriter.
Jimmy Osting Major League Baseball player.
ZZ Packer Writer, born in Chicago but lived in Louisville in her teens and graduated from Seneca High School in 1990.
Greg Page Heavyweight boxing champion.
Scott Padgett Former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player, played on the 1996 and 1998 NCAA Championship teams. Former 7-year NBA basketball player drafted by Utah in 1998. Now head men's basketball coach at Samford University.
David Pajo Indie musician known for work in Slint, Tortoise, and Zwan.
Bubba Paris Graduate of Louisville's DeSales High School, offensive tackle for the 1982 Super Bowl-winning San Francisco 49ers.
Clarence M. Pendleton, Jr.[9] Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1981 until his death in 1988), born in Louisville in 1930
Fred Pfeffer[3] Major League Baseball player.
Rick Pitino Men's basketball coach at University of Louisville. Previously head coach at Providence College, the University of Kentucky and the Boston Celtics.
Bill Plaschke Los Angeles sports columnist, panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn.
Marty Pollio (aka Marty Polio), stand-up comic and mime. Has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and has performed his semi-autobiographical one-man show "Prisoners Of Cheese" at The Montreal Fringe Festival.
George Dennison Prentice American newspaper editor and journalist for the Louisville Journal.
Artimus Pyle Drummer for the Southern Rock and Roll band Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Steve Raible NFL Player for the Seattle Seahawks and co-anchor of local KIRO News in Seattle, Washington.
Wes Ramsey TV and film actor, appearing in episodes of the daytime serial Guiding Light and star of the independent film Latter Days.
Jimmy Raney Jazz guitarist.
Jon Rauch Professional baseball player for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Pee Wee Reese Hall of Fame shortstop for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Also noted for his acceptance of Jackie Robinson when the latter broke baseball's color line.
Marco Reguzzoni Italian politician and entrepreneur, owner of Biocell Center, honorary citizen.
Rob Riggle Actor[10] on The Daily Show, The Office, and Saturday Night Live
Martha Rofheart née Jones Model, Actress and Author. Born in Louisville 1917, moved to New York City in late 1930s. Actress Lynn Fontanne's protege, appeared on Broadway. Six historical novels published in 1970s & 80s.
Rajon Rondo Former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player. Current NBA player for the Sacramento Kings, won an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, and has participated in several NBA All-Star games.
Don Rosa Illustrator of Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and other Disney characters.
Rudy Rucker Computer scientist and science fiction author.
Colonel Harland Sanders Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, born, raised, and lived in Henryville, Indiana until adulthood.
Diane Sawyer Television journalist, anchor of ABC World News and former co-anchor of ABC's Good Morning America.
Nicole Scherzinger Actress, singer and dancer best known for her work as the lead vocalist for the Pussycat Dolls.
"Papa" John Schnatter Founder of Papa John's Pizza, born and raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana until founding his pizza chain.
Phil Simms Quarterback for the NFL's New York Giants and television sportscaster.
Donta Smith Professional basketball player for the South Dragons of the National Basketball League Australia.
James Breckenridge Speed Businessman and philanthropist.
James Speed Lawyer, politician, and professor.
Sergeant John C. Squires Medal of Honor recipient for his service during World War II
Rudell Stitch Welterweight boxer.
Danny Sullivan Racing driver and winner of the 1985 Indianapolis 500.
Gary J. Sullivan Electrical engineer that led the development of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC international standards for video coding and created the DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) API/DDI video decoding feature of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Hunter S. Thompson Journalist and author, long-time contributing writer for Rolling Stone magazine.
Mary Travers Folk singer with Peter, Paul and Mary.
Dan Uggla Infielder for the Atlanta Braves.
Johnny Unitas Quarterback at University of Louisville who went on to a Hall of Fame career, mainly with the Baltimore Colts.
Gus Van Sant Film Director, photographer, musician, and author.
Eugene Ulrich Chief editor for interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Wes Unseld Basketball player and coach in the NBA. Member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player.
Britt Walford Drummer for Slint.
Jeff Walz Women's basketball coach at the University of Louisville.
Jack Warden Film and television actor. Began his career in the early 1950s, performing on such TV shows as Playhouse 90 and Studio One, later appeared in such films as Run Silent, Run Deep, Shampoo and All the President's Men.
Henry Watterson Founder of The Courier-Journal and namesake of the Henry Watterson Expressway.
Brent Weedman Mixed martial artist
Todd Wellemeyer Major League Baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals)
Gus Weyhing MLB pitcher for 11 teams.
Jeffrey Wigand 60 Minutes tobacco industry whistleblower.
Evan Williams Early Kentucky settler and distiller.
Will Wolford Pro Bowl NFL offensive lineman, played for Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts. Head football coach at his alma mater of St. Xavier High School; radio color analyst for the Indianapolis Colts.
Keke Wyatt R&B singer, most prominent in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Enid Yandell Sculptor.
John Yarmuth U.S. Representative from Louisville, 2007–present. Also founder of the alt-weekly Louisville Eccentric Observer.
York William Clark's manservant and participant in Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Sean Young Film and television actress. Began career with supporting roles in such films as Blade Runner, Stripes and Dune.
Mia Zapata Murdered singer of the Seattle punk band The Gits.
John Ziegler Radio talk show host.
Fuzzy Zoeller Professional golfer; winner of two major championships (1979 Masters, 1984 U.S. Open). Born, raised, and lives on the Indiana side of the metropolitan area in Floyd County.
Jacek M. Zurada Professor of electrical engineering at the University of Louisville J. B. Speed School of Engineering, specializing in artificial neural networks.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Terry Adams". all music. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967. 
  3. ^ a b Reichler, Joseph L., ed. (1979) [1969]. The Baseball Encyclopedia (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-578970-8. 
  4. ^ Michael Foust, Obituary of LaVerne Butler, Baptist Press, December 21, 2010
  5. ^ Forde, Pat (February 26, 2013). "Forde Minutes: Who deserves a No. 1 seed?". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 28, 2013. The Minutes kept it local last week, but that doesn't mean there wasn't quality food to be had. When hungry in Louisville, try the peerless Jack Fry's (40), a famed local landmark that has nothing bad on the menu. 
  6. ^ Brownstein, Glenn (March 9, 2014). "Louisville's Oksana Masters wins milestone silver medal in Winter Paralympics skiing". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2014.  (soft paywall)
  7. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Jane Mayhall, Poet Who Gained Prominence Late in Life, Is Dead at 90", The New York Times, March 19, 2009. Accessed March 19, 2009.
  8. ^ Brown, Emma (2011-03-21). "Frank Neuhauser, winner of first national spelling bee, dies at 97". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  9. ^ "Notable Kentucky African Americans Database". Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Rob Riggle Story". Retrieved 2009-04-30.