Famous Oklahoman's Past and Present


NAME

PROFESSION

BORN OR LIVED IN

Troy Aikman

Football

Henryetta

Carl Albert

Former Speaker, US House

McAlester, Bugtussle

Suzy Amis

Actress

Oklahoma City

Maxie Anderson

Geologist, Entrepreneur, Renowned Balloonist

Okeene, Fittstown

Gene Autry

Actor, musician

Gene Autry, Sapulpa

Mae Axton

Songwriter

Roff

Lou Ballard

Composer

Miami, Tulsa

Russell Bates

Author

Anadarko

Standing Bear

Ponca Chief

Ponca City

Johnny Bench

Baseball

Binger, Oklahoma City

John Berryman

Poet, Pulitzer Prize Winner

Anadarko, McAlester

Black Beaver

Indian Scout

Anadarko

Black Kettle

Cheyenne Chief

Cheyenne

David L. Boren

President, Univ. of Okla., Statesman

Seminole

Sam Boyd

Casino/hotel owner

Enid

William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd

Actor

Tulsa

Paul & Thomas Braniff

Aviation pioneers

Oklahoma City

Garth Brooks

Musician

Yukon

Allison Brown

Miss Teen USA

Edmond

Anita Bryant

Entertainer

Tulsa

Greg Burns

Artist

Oklahoma City

Gary Busey

Actor

Tulsa

Joe Carter

Baseball Player

Oklahoma City

Tony Casillas

Football Player

Tulsa

Jeremy Castle Singer and Songwriter Blanchard

Lon Chaney

Actor

Oklahoma City

Lon Chaney, Jr.

Actor

Oklahoma City

Kristin Chenowith Singer and Actor Broken Arrow

C. J. Cherryh

Author

Norman, Oklahoma City

Jesse Chisholm

Pioneer trader

Geary

Yvonne Chouteau

Ballerina

Norman, Vinita

Charles Christian

Musician

Oklahoma City

Joseph "Jocko" Clark

US Navy admiral, WWII hero

Pryor

Roy Clark

Musician

Tulsa

Bill Cleaver

Author

Hugo

Jerrie Cobb

Aviator

Oklahoma City

Bart Conner

Gymnast

Norman

Ancel Cook

Actor

Oklahoma City

Danny Cooksey

Actor

Midwest City

Gordon Cooper

Astronaut

Shawnee, Tecumseh

Joan Crawford

Actress

Lawton

Walter Cronkite

Broadcast journalist

Oklahoma City

Admiral William J. Crowe

Statesman, author

Oklahoma City

Bill Dalton

Outlaw

Ardmore, Ingalls

Alvin Dark

Baseball

Comanche

Gail Davies

Singer

Broken Bow

Steve Davis

Football/ABC announcer

Sallisaw

Jerome "Dizzy" Dean

Baseball

Holdenville

Paul Dean

Baseball

Holdenville

John Denver

Musician

Corn, Clinton

Joe Diffee

Musician

Hinton

Larry Drake

Actor

Tulsa

Ronnie Dunn

Musician

Tulsa

Candice Early

Actress

Lawton

Blake Edwards

Film producer

Tulsa

Douglas Edwards

Reporter

Ada

Ralph Ellison

Author

Oklahoma City

Gary England

Weatherman and author

Oklahoma City

Tom Ferguson

Rodeo

Miami

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd

Outlaw

Akins, Sallisaw

Scott Ellsworth

Historian, writer

Tulsa

Jane Fancher

Author

Oklahoma City

Dennis T. Flynn

Civic Leader

Guthrie/OKC

Grant & Carolyn Foreman
Steve Powell "Foreman Scotty"

Historians
Local TV Personality

Muskogee
Oklahoma City 

Jay Fox

Director

Purcell

Kay Francis

Actress

Oklahoma City

John Hope Franklin

Black historian

Rentiesville

James Garner

Actor

Norman

Owen K. Garriott

Astronaut

Enid

David Gates

Musician

Tulsa

Edward L. Gaylord

Newspaper publisher, Owner, Grand Ole Opry

Oklahoma City

Geronimo

Apache Warrior

Fort Sill

Father Gregory Gerrer

Artist

El Reno, Shawnee

J. Paul Getty

Financier

Tulsa

Alice Ghostley

Actress

Henryetta, Norman

Vince Gill

Musician

Oklahoma City

Jack Ging

Actor

Alva, Norman

S. N. Goldman

Inventor of shopping cart

Ardmore, Oklahoma City

Chester Gould

Cartoonist

Pawnee

Curt Gowdy

Sports Reporter

Oklahoma City

Alan Greenburg

Financier

Tulsa

Frank Greer

Newspaper Editor

Guthrie

Terry L. Griffith

Author

OKC

Jane A. Knipe Gubelin

Author

OKC

Clu Gulager

Actor

Tahlequah, Muskogee

Woody Guthrie

Singer/Songwriter

Okemah

Rosa Lee "Aunt Jemima" Hall

Advertising

Oklahoma City

Argus Hamilton

Comedian

Ardmore

Enoch Kelly Haney

Artist

Seminole

Jon Hansen

Former Asst. Okla. City Fire Chief & author

Oklahoma City

The Hansons

Musicians

Tulsa

Roy Harris

Composer

Lincoln City

Sam Harris

Singer/Writer

Cushing, Sand Springs

Carolyn Hart

Author

OKC

Mary Hart

TV anchorwoman

Oklahoma City

Jim Hartz

TV news reporter

Tulsa

Paul Harvey

Broadcast journalist

Tulsa

Wade Hayes

Musician

Bethel

Van Heflin

Actor

Walters, Oklahoma City

Brad Henry

Governor

Shawnee

Tony Hillerman

Author

Sacred Heart

S. E. Hinton

Author

Tulsa

Tim Holt

Actor

Harrah

Darla Hood

Actress

Leedy

Temple Houston

Attorney

Woodward

Clint Howard

Actor

Duncan

Ron Howard

Actor/Director

Duncan

Carl Hubbell

Baseball

Meeker

Patrick J. Hurley

Statesman

Tulsa

Henry P. Iba

Basketball

Stillwater

Wanda Jackson

Musician

Oklahoma City

Marquis James

Author

Enid

Jane Ann Jayroe

Miss America

Laverne, Oklahoma City

Ferguson Jenkins

Baseball

Guthrie, Oklahoma City

Ben Johnson

Actor

Pawhuska

Jennifer Jones

Actress

Oklahoma City

Larry Jones

Evangelist, "Feed the Children"

Oklahoma City

Cathy Keating

Author and First Lady

Tulsa

Frank Keating

Governor

Tulsa

Harold Kieth

Author

Lambert

Toby Keith

Musician

Moore

Maybelle Kennedy

US Treasurer

Pawhuska

Robert S. Kerr

Oilman, senator

Ada, Oklahoma City, Poteau

Barney Kessel

Musician

Muskogee

Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick

Stateswoman

Duncan

Henry Kravis

Financier

Tulsa

Mercedes Lackey

Author

Tulsa

R. A. Lafferty

Author

Tulsa

Louis L'Amour

Author

Oklahoma City

Nancy Lamb

Author

Oklahoma City

Stephen LaPorte

Make-up artist

Oklahoma City

Steve Largent

Football/U.S. Congressman

Oklahoma City

Gordon William "Pawnee Bill" Lillie

Wild West Show

Pawnee

Clevon Little

Actor

Chickasha

Nancy Lopez - Knight

Golf

Tulsa

Shannon Lucid

Astronaut

Oklahoma City

Wilma Mankiller

Indian Chief, Author

Tahlequah

Mickey Mantle

Baseball

Commerce

E. W. Marland

Oilman

Ponca City

Leon McAuliffe

Musician

Tulsa

Rue McClanahan

Actress

Healdton, Ardmore

David McCurdy

Statesman

Norman

Mel McDaniel Grand Ole Opry Star Okmulgee

Reba McEntire

Musician

Chockie, Durant

Carl McGee

Newsman, inventor of parking meter

Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Dean McGee

Oilman

Oklahoma City

Frank McGee

Broadcast journalist

Oklahoma City

Phillip C. McGraw  "Dr. Phil"

TV Host

Oklahoma City

Mike McQuay

Author

Oklahoma City

Clem McSpadden

Pro rodeo announcer

Chelsea

Perle Mesta

Washington, DC hostess

Oklahoma City

Augusta Metcalfe

Artist

Durham

Vera Miles

Actress

Boise City

George W. Miller

Founder, 101 Ranch

Lamont

Jody Miller

Singer

Blanchard

Joe Miller

101 Ranch Wild West Show

Lamont

Roger Miller

Musician

Erick

Shannon Miller

Gymnast

Edmond

Zack Miller

101 Ranch Wild West Show

Lamont

Dale Mitchell

Baseball

Cloud Chief

Leona Mitchell

Singer

Enid

Tom Mix

Cowboy, actor

Dewey, Guthrie

Al Momaday

Indian artist

Mountain View

N. Scott Momaday

Author

Lawton

Hon. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

US Senator from NY

Tulsa

Gil Morgan

Golf

Wewoka

Tommy Morrison

Boxer, Actor

Jay

Bill Moyers

Journalist, statesman

Hugo

Lucille Mulhall

First show cowgirl

Mulhall

Zack Mulhall

Wild West Show

Mulhall

Meg Mullally Actress Oklahoma City

Bobby Murcer

Baseball

Oklahoma City

William "Alfalfa Bill" Murray

Politician

Tishomingo

Russell Myers

Cartoonist

Tulsa

Carrie Nation

Prohibitionist

Guthrie, Seiling

Justin Nimmo

Actor

Lexington

Chuck Norris

Actor

Wilson, Ryan

Mel Odom

Author

Oklahoma City

Joseph Oklahombi

World War I Hero

Wright City

Henry Overholser

Philanthropist

OKC

Steve Owens

Football

Miami, Norman

Clarence Page

Aviator

Oklahoma City

Patti Page

Musician

Claremore, Tulsa

Quannah Parker

Comanche Chief

Fort Sill

John L. Peters

Founder, World Neighbors

Oklahoma City

Dorothea Petrie

Film Producer

Lawton, Oklahoma City

Frank & Watie Phillips

Oilmen

Bartlesville, Tulsa

T. Boone Pickens

Oil Industry

Holdenville

Bill Pickett

Inventor, bulldogging

Ponca City

Brad Pitt

Actor

Shawnee

Mary Kay Place

Actress

Tulsa

William Reid Pogue

Astronaut

Okemah

Darrell Porter

Baseball

Oklahoma City

Wiley Post

Aviator

Maysville

Susan Powell

Miss America

Elk City

Paula Prentiss

Entertainer

Tulsa

Tony Randall

Actor

Tulsa

Wilson Rawls

Author

Scraper

Joe A. Rector

Native American Indian Artist, Champion Weightlifter

Muskogee

Donna Reed

Actress

Tulsa

Allie Reynolds

Baseball

Bethany, Stillwater

Lynn Riggs

Author

Claremore

Oral Roberts

Evangelist

Tulsa

Alice Mary Robertson

1st US Congresswoman, Founder Tulsa University

Muskogee

Dale Robertson

Actor

Harrah

Will Rogers

Humorist/entertainer

Claremore, Oologah

Stuart Roosa

Astronaut

Claremore

Dan Rowan

Comedian

Beggs

Darrell Royal

Football

Hollis

Leon Russell

Musician

Tulsa

Troy Ruttman

Race Car Driver

Mooreland

Gaylard Sartain

Actor

Tulsa

Bill Scott (Weldon Hill)

Author

Purcell, Skeedee

Bert Seabourn

Artist

Oklahoma City

Joe Sears

Playwright/Actor

Bartlesville

Sequoyah

Inventor, Cherokee alphabet

Sallisaw

Blake Shelton

Musician

Ada

Jackie Shipp

Football Player

Muskogee

Jim Shoulders

World champion cowboy

Henryetta

Billy Sims

Football

Norman

William Skelly

Oilman

Tulsa

Norma Smallwood

Miss America

Tulsa

Shantel Smith

Miss America

Muldrow

Warren Spahn

Baseball

Hartshorne

Thomas P. Stafford

Astronaut

Oklahoma

Belle Starr

Outlaw

Eufaula

Kay Starr

Musician

Dougherty

Robert Stemmons

Professional Whistler

Tulsa

Willard Stone

Sculptor

Locust Grove

Hon. Juanita Kidd Stout

Jurist

Wewoka

George M. Sutton

Artist

Norman

Ross Swimmer

Statesman

Tahlequah

Barry Switzer

Football

Norman

Maria Tallchief

Ballerina

Fairfax

Marjorie Tallchief

Ballerina

Fairfax

Bertha Frank Teague

Basketball coach, 1st woman in National Basketball Hall of Fame.

Byng

Henry "Heck" Thomas

Lawman

Lawton, Guthrie

Joyce Carol Thomas

Author

Ponca City

Hank Thompson

Musician

Sand Springs

Jim Thorpe

Athlete

Yale

Jerome Tiger

Indian artist

Muskogee

Johnny Tiger

Indian artist

Eufaula, Muskogee

Bill Tilghman

Lawman

Chandler, Cromwell

Clarence Tinker

US Army General, aviator

Pawhuska

Wayman Tisdale

Basketball, Musician

Tulsa

Melvin B. Tolson

Poet

Langston

Truman "Pinky" Tomlin

Actor, musician

Durant, Norman

Jeanne Tripplehorn

Actress

Tulsa

Conway Twitty

Musician

Oklahoma City, Norman

Billy Vessels

Football

Cleveland, Norman

Uwe von Schamann Football Norman
Brig. Gen. Stand Waite, CSA Cherokee Statesman Honey Creek, IT

Jimmy Wakely

Musician

Oklahoma City

Samuel Moore Walton Philanthropist Kingfisher

Loyd Waner

Baseball

Harrah

Paul Waner

Baseball Hall of Fame

Harrah

Dennis Weaver

Actor

Norman

Jimmy Webb

Musician

Elk City

Bryan White

Musician

Oklahoma City

Bud Wilkinson

Football

Norman

Mason Williams

Musician

Oklahoma City

Bob Wills

Musician

Tulsa

Johnnie Lee Wills

Musician

Tulsa

G. Clifton Wilser

Author

OKC

Charles Banks Wilson

Artist

Miami

Alfre Woodard

Actress

Tulsa

Shelby "Sheb" Wooley

Actor/musician

Plainview, Erick

Gretchen Wyler

Actress

Bartlesville

Raymond A. Young

Philanthropist & OKC Civic Leader

Kingfisher

Other Famous People
Who Claimed Oklahoma Heritage

Iron Eyes Cody, an American Indian actor who appeared in more than 100 films, is best known for standing beside a littered highway and shedding a tear in the "Keep America Beautiful" television advertisements in the 1970s. Cody's career began when a film crew came to his family's farm in the Oklahoma territory to shoot "Back to God's Country" (1919), and Cody got a job as an extra. His family then moved to Los Angeles, where Cody's father, Thomas Longplume Cody, worked as a technical advisor on Westerns.

During WWII, he quit Hollywood and found work as a shipyard welder. After the war he returned to the movies, working with directors like Cecil B. Demille and John Ford on many of the classic late westerns. He met Howard Hughes while working on "The Outlaw," the first western that was sold solely on the basis of sex. It starred Jane Russell. Hughes, a designer of aircraft, created a special aerodynamic garment for her heaving breasts. Cody retained a dislike for Hughes, who forced the dignified Cody to retrieve Hughes’ golf balls at a driving range.

By the 1950's Iron Eyes Cody was settling down and becoming more of a family man and a defender of his people. Cody got involved in the nascent Native American movement. He became a stickler for authenticity in the portrayal of Indians. He married Bertha (Birdie) Darkcloud, a Seneca Indian and the daughter of the anthropologist Arthur C. Parker.  He became relatively faithful to his long-suffering wife, who bore him two sons. He became an authority on Indian culture, building up his "Moosehead Museum" of artifacts based in part on his movie prop collection. He boasted that it was the largest private collection of Indian artifacts anywhere. He wrote a book on Indian sign language that became a text for the Boy Scouts. He introduced one of his sons to peyote and publicly defended its religious use in Native American ceremonies. He also worked for Walt Disney on a number of serials, including Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.

Iron Eyes Cody insisted that Indians should spurn separatism from American culture, while still retaining their ethnicity. He appeared as an Indian in several Bob Hope films and also in a Bowery Boys number. His career continued into the 1980's, with appearances in "A Man Called Horse" (1970) and "Ernest Goes to Camp" (1987).

By the time the "Crying Indian" PSA for Keep America Beautiful appeared, Cody was offended at all stereotypes of Indians whether as a brutal savage, a noble innocent, or a humorless stone wall. He insisted that Indians were diverse, fascinating people who deserved dignity and were given a raw deal in America.

Iron Eyes Cody appeared in nearly 100 films, starting in 1919. Here is just a sampling of his Western movies: Texas Pioneers (1932), Figting with Kit Carson (1933), Rustlers of Red Dog (1935), Ride Ranger Ride (1936), Wild West Days (1937), Wild Bill Hickok (1938), Union Pacific (1939), Kit Carson (1940), Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942), Under Nevada Skies (1946), The Paleface (1948), Tulsa (1949), Cherokee Uprising (1950), Fort Defiance (1951), The Big Sky (1952), Son of Paleface (1952), Sitting Bull (1954), The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), A Man Called Horse (1970) and Greyeagle (1978)Cody appeared in dozens of Westerns from the late 1920s through the 1940s, usually in small, often uncredited roles. By the late 1940s, Cody was appearing in larger roles in films, including "The Paleface" (1948), with Bob Hope and Jane Russell, and "Sitting Bull" (1954), in which he portrayed Chief Crazy Horse. Cody also often worked as a technical advisor on films, on issues related to American Indian culture and history. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Cody appeared in nearly every television Western series, including "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," "Rawhide," "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin," "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" and "Maverick." In 1996, a newspaper in Louisiana reported that Cody was not really an American Indian born in the Oklahoma territory, as he claimed, but was actually of Italian heritage, and was born in a small town in southern Louisiana. Cody denied the report. Cody is buried next to his wife, who is simply identified as, "Mrs. Iron Eyes Cody (1907 - 1978)." Her name was Bertha "Birdie" Parker Cody. Depending on which source you believe, Cody was either born Oscar Cody in 1904 on a farm in the Oklahoma territory, or Oscar DeCorti on April 3, 1907, in Gueydan, LA. Either way, he died on Jan. 4, 1999, in Los Angeles, CA.

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