Thursday, January 30, 2014

Famous People From Kentucky

In 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is one of four states known as Commonwealths. Kentucky is also known as the Bluegrass State. The state is located in the Mid-West, a beautiful place surrounded by natural wonders. Kentucky is known for the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Cave and the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I have been to all of these places, lived in Kentucky and loved my stay. Kentucky is also the birthplace of the following fifteen famous people and more.

Muhammad Ali-Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942. He was born with the name Cassius Clay. Muhammad Ali became World Heavyweight boxing champion in 1964 at the age of 22. He beat Sonny Liston in a big upset. Just four years prior, he won Olympic Gold in the summer Olympics as a light heavyweight. Muhammad Ali was considered the greatest heavyweight champion by many and one of boxing’s greatest champions by most boxing fans. Sadly, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Syndrome in 1984, a disease that is common to head trauma from activities such as boxing. Ali beat some great fighters including Archie Moore, Joe Frazier, Sonnie Liston, George Foreman, Floyd Patterson,  and Ken Norton.

Kit Carson-Kit Carson was born on Christmas Eve, 1809 in Madison County, Kentucky. Christopher "Kit" Carson was his full name, including nickname.. Kit Carson was an American frontiersman and Indian fighter. Carson left home in rural Missouri at age 16 and became a mountain man and trapper in the West. Carson explored the west to California, and north through the Rocky Mountains. Kit Carson died in 1868 in Fort Lyon, Colorado

Rosemary Clooney-Rosemary Clooney was born on May 23, 1928 in Maysville, Kentucky. She died in Beverly Hills, California in 2002. Rosemary Clooney was a famous singer, believed to be the best female singer of all time by some. She starred in White Christmas with Bing Crosby, she became the star of The Rosemary Clooney Show in 1956 and was close friends to Bobby Kennedy. She had problems with drugs after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. It took her eight years to get things back together and resume her career. She died from lung cancer in 2002.

Jefferson Davis- Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808 in Kentucky and died on December 6, 1889. He was a United States soldier and statesman, famous for being the President of Confederate States of America during the entire Civil War. He fought a good fight, but the Union army was too large and powerful for him to defeat. Abraham Lincoln was considered to be a much greater war leader than Jefferson Davis.

Crystal Gayle-Crystal Gayle was born on January 9, 1991 in Paintsville, Kentucky. She is an Award-Winning Country Music Singer who is famous for her hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"  and 20 number one country music hits. She has a famous sister, Loretta Lynn and also a distant cousin Patty Loveless.

Abraham Lincoln-Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He was assassinated on April 15, 1865 at the age of 56. Abraham Lincoln is famous for being the 16th President of The United States, commander of The Union during the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves in 10 states, The Gettysburg Address, and among other great things as himself, Honest Abe.

Loretta Lynn-Loretta Lynn was born on April 14, 1932 in Butcher Hollow, KY. She is a famous Country Music singer for over 40 years. Her sister is Crystal Gayle and she is also related to Patty Loveless.  Loretta Lynn is actually a coal miners daughter, which she wrote an album and title song with that same name. The album went gold.

Diane Sawyer-Diane Sawyer was born on December 22, 1945 in Glasgow, Kentucky. Diane Sawyer is a famous television anchor. She in the anchor for ABC NEWS and ABC World NEWS. I remember her from Good Morning America.

William Floyd Collins-William Floyd Collins was born in 1887 in the Mammoth Cave are of Kentucky. – Explorer whose entrapment and death in a cave became one of the most widely reported stories in the 1920’s. He died in 1925 after becoming trapped in a cave in Kentucky. He is noted for discovering Crystal Cave in 1917.

Randolph McCoy-Randolph McCoy was born on October 20, 1825 in Tug River Valley, Kentucky and he died in 1914 in Pikeville, Kentucky. Randloph McCoy was the patriarch in the Hatfield-McCoy fued, which lasted for nearly thirty years. He lost five children to the feud. He lost another to what was believed a broken heart. Good thing Randolph and his wife had 16 children. Randolph served in the Confederate Army and was a POW from 1863-1865.

George Clooney-George Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky on May 6, 1961. He is a famous actor, producer and political activist, who has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since 2008. Rosemary Clooney was his aunt.

Ned Beatty-Ned Beatty was born in Louisville, Kentucky on May 17, 1036.  Beatty has appeared in more than 100 films, best-remembered for his role in “Deliverance” in 1972.

Billy Ray Cyrus-Billy Ray Cyrus was born on August 25, 1961 in Flatwoods, Kentucky. He is a Grammy Award-nominated American country music singer, songwriter and actor, Best selling debut album of all time for a solo male artist. He is best known for being the father of Miley Cyrus.

Johnny Depp- Johnny Depp was born on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, KY.  Johnny Depp is an actor and musician known for his portrayals of offbeat, eccentric characters such as Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series. The characters he portrays are often wacky and/or crazy.

Naomi Judd. Naomi Judd was born on January 11, 1946 in Ashland, KY.  As country music’s most famous mother/daughter team, The Judd’s scored twenty top-10 hits and fifteen #1s. The duo won 5 Grammy Awards. Their other ventures are TV, movies and author of several self-help books.
Wynonna Judd-Wynonna Judd was born on May 30, 1964 in Ashland, KY. She is the daughter of Wynonna Judd and was born Christian Claire Ciminella. Country music singer. Daughter Wynonna and mother Naomi rose to fame in the 1980's group “The Judds.” Wynonna began a solo career in 1991.

Pee Wee Reese- Pee Wee Reese was born on July 23, 1918 in Ekron, Kentucky and he died in Louisville, Kentucky in 1999.  Pee Wee Reese was a  Professional baseball player, Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984 and won two World Series Championships with the Dodgers.

Wes Unseld-Wes Unseld was born on March 14, 1946 in Louisville, KY.  He was an American former NBA basketball player, won an NBA Championship with The Washington Bullets and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.


These are the fifteen most famous people from Kentucky. It is a chore to pick and choose from all the many famous people from a particular state. I chose these famous people because most are well-known and they are very important pieces of the history of Kentucky. If you have been to Kentucky, you would know it is a beautiful place to visit and a great place to live. The capital city is Frankfurt and the largest city is Louisville. Louisville is known for the Kentucky derby and the Louisville Slugger Museum to name a couple of the many places to visit. Kentucky is one of our fifty great states and worth a visit from you and your family.

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