Famous Media Personalities Of The 20th Century

From being a slave of a selected few to rising up as the most powerful medium, media has come a long way. And much credit for the same goes to the media personalities, TV presenters, journalists, editors, publishers and cartoonists who have taken it to great heights. 20th century witnessed an influx of great media personalities who created waves through their grit, determination and powerful willingness. They were a fearless bunch of people, who resolved to change the fate of media through their work. Talking about some of the greatest media personalities that lived during the 20th century, the first name that strikes the mind is that of Tom Wolfe. He was the man who was the frontrunner of ‘new journalism’ a transformation that the period of 20th century witnessed during the 1960s and 70s. Did you know that White House reporter Helen Thomas is considered as the first lady of print journalism? A veteran journalist, she is known for her relentless question and her ability to get into the heart of the matter. She gained prominence during George Bush reign. The list is long and comprises of several more renowned personalities who gave new meaning and a new definition to media. To know further about these famous media personalities of the 20th century, read on.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson.
8
Famous As: Journalist and Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 2 Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden.
13
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire

Amanda Holden is an English actress, TV personality, author, and musician. Her autobiography book No Holding Back was ranked first on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Apart from being a media personality, Amanda Holden is also known for her charity work; in 2018, she posed as a mermaid underwater as part of a PETA awareness campaign against the SeaWorld.

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 3 Matt Groening

Matt Groening.
4
Famous As: Cartoonist, Animator
Birthdate: February 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland
Matt Groening is best known as the creator of the iconic animated sitcom The Simpsons, which is the longest-running American primetime TV series and has won Groening 11 Emmys. He had initially gained fame for the comic strip Life in Hell and also created Futurama and the Netflix series Disenchantment.

 4 Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby.
4
Famous As: Comic Book Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1994
Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby, initially published comics under various other pseudonyms, such as "Jack Curtiss" and "Curt Davis." He worked with Marvel, where he co-created characters such as The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, along with Stan Lee. He then joined DC, where he created the Fourth World Saga
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 5 Dan Rather

Dan Rather.
10
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wharton, Texas
Dan Rather shot to fame when he saved thousands of people during Hurricane Carla through the first radar weather report. Subsequently, he had a 24-year stint on CBS Evening News. He was fired following the Killian documents controversy and then joined AXS TV, hosting shows such as Dan Rather Reports

 6 Truman Capote

Truman Capote.
6
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 25, 1984
Truman Capote is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, which was made into a movie that starred Audrey Hepburn, and the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. His short story Shut a Final Door won the O. Henry Award. He was a lifelong friend of author Harper Lee.
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 7 Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth.
6
Famous As: Television presenter, Actor, Comedian, Singer
Birthdate: February 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edmonton
Died: August 18, 2017
Bruce Forsyth soared to fame with the show Sunday Night at the London Palladium and later hosted shows such as The Price Is Right and The Generation Game. He also co-hosted Strictly Come Dancing. Forsyth holds a Guinness record for being the longest-tenured male entertainer on TV. 
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 8 Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite.
6
Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Joseph
Died: July 17, 2009
TV journalist Walter Cronkite, named “The most trusted man in America," is remembered for his 19-year association with CBS Evening News and his catchphrase "And that's the way it is.” His U.S. space program reports made him the only non-NASA person to receive the Ambassador of Exploration award.
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 9 Pat Sajak

Pat Sajak.
13
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: October 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Pat Sajak went from being a weatherman to the host of the cult game show Wheel of Fortune. His long stint on the show fetched him three Emmy Awards. He has also hosted The Pat Sajak Show and The Price Is Right, and has written columns for Human Events.

 10 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 11 George Orwell

George Orwell.
6
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Motihari, Bihar, India
Died: January 21, 1950

The king of dystopia and satire, George Orwell, the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair, was a well-known novelist and critic of the 20th century. A man with a strong mind of his own, Orwell never backed down from stating his views on the socio-political climate he lived in, which he expressed profusely through his influential essays and novels.

 12 Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil McGraw.
8
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: September 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vinita, Oklahoma
Phil McGraw, or Dr. Phil, is a well-known psychologist and TV personality. He gained fame with his frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and then launched his advice show Dr. Phil. He owns the charity Dr. Phil Foundation and has a “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 13 Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour is best known as the anchor of the CNN interview show Amanpour. She has also hosted PBS’s Amanpour & Company. She was criticized for her biased and pro-Muslim coverage of the Bosnian War. She has also been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression.

 14 Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson.
6
Famous As: Television Personality, Gourmet, Food Writer
Birthdate: January 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Daughter of Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigella Lawson has written several bestselling cookbooks and hosted many culinary shows. Winner of the British Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award, Nigella has previously worked as an editor and freelance journalist and also owns a cookware range.

 15 Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner.
6
Famous As: Founder of Playboy Magazine
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: September 27, 2017

As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.

 16 Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz.
4
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: November 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: February 12, 2000

Charles M. Schulz was an American cartoonist. He is credited with creating the popular comic strip, Peanuts, which featured world-renowned characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Considered one of the most influential cartoonists ever, Schulz's works have influenced other cartoonists like Dav Pilkey, Matt Groening, and Jim Davis. In 1996, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 17 Mary Berry

Mary Berry.
11
Famous As: Food Writer, TV Presenter
Birthdate: March 24, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bath, Somerset

Author of over 75 cookbooks, Mary Berry has also hosted several culinary shows, such as Mary Berry Cooks. The Guardian ranked her the second-best-dressed person over 50. A CBE and DBE recipient, she has also received the Guild of Food Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary degree.

 18 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver.
4
Famous As: Chef and Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clavering, U.K.

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

 19 Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings.
8
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: August 7, 2005

Canadian-American journalist Peter Jennings is best remembered for his stint on ABC World News Tonight, as its sole anchor. A high-school drop-out, Jennings became one of the U.S.’s Big Three news anchors, along with Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. He was known for his meticulous coverage of breaking news stories.

 20 Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke
4
Famous As: Actor, Songwriter, Composer, Television presenter, Voice actor, Comedian
Birthdate: March 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kirkland Lake
Died: December 13, 2016

 21 Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 25, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio

Hailing from a humble background, Gloria Steinem went on to become a celebrated journalist and an iconic feminist. Founder of the New York magazine and Ms Magazine, her life has been dedicated to writing, talking and fighting for women’s rights, gender equality, legalisation of abortion, among other things. She brought issues like female genital mutilation to the forefront in America.

 22 Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Active in Hollywood for over two decades, actress Sasha Alexander began her career in theater. Soon, she moved on to TV and appeared in a few shows before gaining popularity. She has also acted in many short films and feature films and is the winner of one People's Choice Award. One interesting fact about her is that she is multilingual.

 23 Jim Henson

Jim Henson.
4
Famous As: Puppeteer
Birthdate: September 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Greenville, Mississippi, United States
Died: May 16, 1990

Jim Henson was an American animator, puppeteer, cartoonist, inventor, actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, and composer. He is credited with creating The Muppets, an ensemble cast of puppet characters, for which he achieved worldwide popularity. He is also credited with co-founding Muppets, Inc. in 1958, which eventually became The Jim Henson Company. In 2011, Jim Henson was named a Disney Legend.

 24 Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly.
9
Famous As: Talk Show Host & Radio Personality
Birthdate: September 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City

Bill O'Reilly is an American author, journalist, and former TV host. The host of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly played a major role in the success of Fox News Channel during his time at the channel. He is also credited with founding the No Spin News podcast, which he has been hosting since 2017.

 25 Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford.
6
Famous As: TV Host, Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris

Kathie Lee Gifford achieved celebrity status by working as a television presenter. She then became a singer-songwriter and author, cementing her place in the entertainment industry. Also known for her charity work, Kathie serves as an ambassador for Childhelp, a non-profit organization working towards preventing child abuse.

 26 Mia Khalifa

Mia Khalifa
2
Famous As: Adult Film Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

 27 Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity.
4
Famous As: Talk Show Host
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City

Sean Hannity is a conservative political commentator and talk show host. As one of the most-watched and most-listened-to hosts, he has played a key role in shaping American politics in the last decade or so. Due to his closeness to President Donald Trump, he is characterized as the shadow Chief of Staff.

 28 Bar Refaeli

Bar Refaeli.
6
Famous As: Fashion Model, TV Host, Businesswoman
Birthdate: June 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hod HaSharon
One of the highest-paid Israeli models, Bar Refaeli topped Maxim’s Hot 100 in 2012 and has worked for GQ and Elle. She has also hosted Germany's Next Top Model, The X Factor Israel, and the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. She faced criticism for avoiding Israel’s mandatory military service recruitment.

 29 Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking.
4
Famous As: Journalist, Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: November 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Lucy Hawking, daughter of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, has been a journalist with New York Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph. She has also authored several children's books, such as George's Secret Key to the Universe. She is the VP of National Star College and also works for autism research.

 30 Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams.
4
Famous As: TV Host, Actress, Fashion Designer, Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey

Wendy Williams is an American media personality, businesswoman, television host, and author. She was the subject of a TV series titled The Wendy Williams Experience, which chronicles her work as a radio show host and her on-air spats with celebrities. As a businesswoman, Williams has created several product lines, including a jewelry collection, a fashion line, and a wig line.

 31 James May

James May.
9
Famous As: TV Presenter
Birthdate: January 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bristol, United Kingdom

James May is an English journalist and television presenter. May is known for co-presenting the popular factual television show Top Gear alongside Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson. James May is credited with co-founding the independent TV production company W. Chump and Sons.

 32 Jay Leno

Jay Leno.
11
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: April 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Rochelle
Emmy-winning stand-up comedian Jay Leno is best known for his shows The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Jay Leno Show, both on NBC. The Television Hall of Fame inductee is also an avid car collector and is associated with several charitable initiatives, such as the Love Ride.

 33 Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw.
9
Famous As: Former NFL Star & TV Analyst
Birthdate: September 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport
Drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970, Terry Bradshaw went on to become a dominant NFL quarterback and led the Steelers to four Super Bowl championships. His career halted after an injury, but Bradshaw soon established himself as a prominent television football analyst for Fox NFL Sunday. Later, he ventured into acting, writing and music.

 34 Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond.
4
Famous As: Blogger
Birthdate: January 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Ree Drummond is an American author, blogger, food writer, television personality, and photographer. In 2010, she was named in Forbes magazine's Top 25 Web Celebrities list. Riding on the success of her blog The Pioneer Woman, which was adjudged Weblog of the Year for three consecutive years at the Weblog Awards, Drummond went on to present her own television program.

 35 Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter.
7
Birthdate: December 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Ann Coulter is a political commentator and has written countless bestselling books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, which enumerated the reasons why Bill Clinton should have been impeached. She assisted Paula Jones’s attorneys for free. Her columns are featured on various conservative websites. She opposes same-sex marriage and hate-crime laws.

 36 Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert.
4
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois, U.S.
Died: April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert was an American journalist, author, screenwriter, film historian, and film critic. While working as a film critic for the daily newspaper Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, becoming the first film critic to be honored with the prestigious award. He was often described as America's most influential and prominent film critic of all time.

 37 Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
7
Famous As: Talk Show Host
Birthdate: May 28, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cranston

Retired TV personality and talk show host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, first gained fame as a contestant on the American version of the TV show, Survivor, in 2001. In the ensuing years, she became a co-host on the daytime talk show, The View, which further added to her popularity and earned her a  Daytime Emmy Award. She is also a published author.

 38 Lauren Sánchez

Lauren Sánchez.
6
Famous As: News Anchor
Birthdate: December 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lauren Sánchez is a news anchor who has won an Emmy Award for her work. Apart from being a news anchor, Sánchez is also an actress, pilot, and entrepreneur. She is credited with founding the first female-owned aerial production company, Black Ops Aviation. Also known for her good looks, Sánchez has been featured in lists like People's 50 Most Beautiful.

 39 Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez.
4
Famous As: Film Actress & Show Host
Birthdate: September 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bushwick, New York City, New York, United States
Rosa Perez is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Carla Rodrigo in Fearless and her Emmy-nominated choreography in the series In Living Color. She has also appeared in Broadway plays such as The Ritz and has co-hosted The View. She is also associated with major HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.

 40 Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Biographer
Birthdate: February 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Livingston, New Jersey, United States

 41 Mark Labbett

Mark Labbett.
6
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: August 15, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tiverton, Devon, England
Mark Labbett gained fame as the “chaser” on the game show The Chase and its subsequent versions. He is known by his nickname “The Beast” on these shows. He has also appeared on several other shows, such as Mastermind, Countdown, SUDO-Q, Celebrity Juice, and The Radio 1 Breakfast Show.

 42 Graham Norton

Graham Norton.
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clondalkin

Irish television and radio presenter, comedian, and actor, Graham Norton, is an eight-time BAFTA TV Award winner. He is best known for his comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. His innuendo-laden dialogue and flamboyant presentation style have made him a fan favorite. He is openly gay and is the winner of one Gaytime Award.

 43 Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond
4
Famous As: Television presenter, Writer, Journalist, Autobiographer, Children's writer
Birthdate: December 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solihull

 44 Nicole Polizzi

Nicole Polizzi.
4
Famous As: Reality TV Personality & Dancer
Birthdate: November 23, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santiago

Nicole Polizzi took the entertainment industry by storm when she appeared in MTV reality series Jersey Shore. Distinguished as Snooki, she became a household name over the years with her acrobatic moves on the dance floor and bellwether hairstyle. She also starred in Snooki & Jwoww and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. 

 45 William Hanna

William Hanna
4
Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: July 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melrose, New Mexico, United States
Died: March 22, 2001
William Hanna was an American animator, best known for creating popular cartoon characters such as Tom and Jerry, the Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo. He co-founded the Hanna-Barbera company, along with his longtime partner Joseph Barbera. Their team had produced more than 3,000 half-hour shows for 150 television cartoon series that won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards.

 46 Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer.
4
Famous As: Talk Show Host, Former Politician, Former News Anchor
Birthdate: February 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London

English-born American television presenter, actor, politician, and musician Jerry Springer is a multifaceted man. A qualified lawyer, he shifted to politics from law as a young man. After a few years, he moved to journalism and found considerable success. As a TV presenter, he is best known for the tabloid talk show, The Jerry Springer Show. 

 47 Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec.
8
Famous As: Business People
Birthdate: September 14, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Varaždin, Croatia
Investor Robert Herjavec founded the internet security software BRAK Systems, which he later sold to AT&T. He also established the Herjavec Group and turned it into one of Canada’s biggest IT security firms. He has also appeared in Dragons' Den and Shark Tank, and has authored several business books.

 48 Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo.
4
Famous As: Journalist, Political Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hertfordshire
Former Conservative MP from Enfield Southgate, and Kensington and Chelsea, Michael Portillo, later hosted the BBC documentaries Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys. A Thatcherite and an EU-sceptic, he gave rise to the term "Portillo moment" when he lost the Conservative Enfield Southgate seat in 1997.

 49 Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem.
5
Famous As: Radio Jockey, Voice Actor
Birthdate: April 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: June 15, 2014
Legendary RJ and voice actor Casey Kasem is remembered as the host of several hit radio countdown shows, most notably American Top 40. He had also voiced countless characters in animated children’s programs, such as Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise. He was a vegan and took interest in American politics.

 50 Holly Madison

Holly Madison.
4
Famous As: Author, Model, Reality TV Star
Birthdate: December 23, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Astoria, Oregon, United States

Holly Madison is American model and television personality who made her presence felt on the small screen with roles in the TV shows,The Girls Next Door and Holly's World. A former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, Holly Madison has the credit of leading the then-largest bikini parade with the Las Vegas mayor in 2009. Her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole, briefly topped the bestseller list.