Famous 21st Century American Sportspersons

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century American Sportspersons, including Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, John Cena, Dwayne Johnson and Kobe Bryant.

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 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson.
39
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hayward

A renowned former wrestler with numerous titles under his belt, Dwayne Johnson initially wanted to be a football player but an injury turned him towards wrestling. He soon entered the world of acting, experienced phenomenal success in television and films and became the highest earning male actor in the world.

 2 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan.
46
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

A superstar, a legend and the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan is all this and much more. Very few athletes can match up with his level of popularity and impact. And if that is not enough, he is also the richest former professional athlete in the world.

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 3 Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant.
31
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 26, 2020

The former professional basketball player, Kobe Bryant, was drafted into NBA immediately after his school and went on to become one of the most successful basketball players of his generation. During his career of two decades, the Los Angeles Lakers player created numerous new records. He authored a book and one of his poems even inspired an animated short film.

 4 Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali.
33
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3, 2016

Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali was a major figure of the 20th century. He was an inspirational figure for African-Americans during the civil rights movement. Because of his opposition to Vietnam War and his refusal to be drafted into military, Muhammad Ali became an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

 5 John Cena

John Cena.
55
Famous As: Wrestler, Actor
Birthdate: April 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Newbury, Massachusetts, United States

One of the biggest WWE stars of all time, John Cena has bagged 25 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion since his professional career began two decades back. Apart from wrestling, Cena has also carved a career as an actor and rapper. His significant projects include films The Marine, Trainwreck and Sisters and rap album You Can't See Me.

 6 Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry.
24
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 14, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States

American professional basketball player, Stephen Curry, plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association and is considered to be one of the greatest shooter in NBA history. His three-point shot is said to have revolutionised the basketball game. He has many records to his credit and his team has won couple of NBA championships.

 7 Serena Williams

Serena Williams.
30
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: September 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States

With 39 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, Serena Williams is clearly amongst the greatest female tennis players in the history. With 23 Grand Slam singles win, she is just a win away from equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles. She has bagged the top spot in WTA’s world ranking numerous times.

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 8 Tom Brady

Tom Brady.
37
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: August 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Mateo, California

A record six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady is regarded by many as the greatest quarterback ever. At the age of 41, he became the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl in NFL history. Thanks to his good looks, he has also appeared in some television programs and commercial campaigns.

 9 The Undertaker

The Undertaker.
59
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: March 24, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, The Undertaker is currently signed to WWE. In a career spanning over three decades, he has clinched the world heavyweight championship seven times. He has appeared in a few films and TV shows as well. In 2004, he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

 10 Shaquille O’ Neal

Shaquille O’ Neal.
7
Famous As: Former Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Shaquille O'Neal is an American former basketball player who currently works as a sports analyst. Considered one of the greatest basketballers ever, O'Neal was also one of the heaviest and tallest players of all time. One of the most important players in the history of LA Lakers, O'Neal helped the team win three consecutive NBA championships between 2000 and 2002.

 11 Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson.
8
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Greene, New York, United States

A former professional boxer who reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion for three years, Mike Tyson is considered a colossal figure in boxing. Claiming his first heavyweight title at the young age of 20, he went on to become one of the best heavyweights of all time. Also a controversial person, he was once imprisoned on rape charges.

 12 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr..
8
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: February 24, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

One of the most remunerative pay-per-view (PPV) attractions of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has had a glorious boxing career. One of the most decorated boxers ever, Floyd is regarded as the best pound for pound boxer by many websites. During his career, he had his share of controversies and made brief appearances in shows like WWE and Dancing with the Stars.

 13 Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant.
24
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: September 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Kevin Durant is regarded as one of the best basketball players of his generation. He is known for his phenomenal scoring ability and is hailed as an excellent playmaker. He currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets of National Basketball Association (NBA). He was part of the US men’s national team which won the Olympic gold medal in 2012 and 2016.

 14 Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps.
6
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: June 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

The most decorated and successful Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps is a former competitive swimmer who has won a total of 28 Olympic medals. He is widely considered one of the greatest athletes ever and the greatest swimmer of all time. He has several world records and Olympic records under his belt.

 15 Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning.
17
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: March 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

American football quarterback Peyton Manning played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos, winning a Super Bowl with each, thus becoming the only person to achieve the feat. Also known as “The Sheriff,” the talented player has NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns.

 16 Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers.
18
Famous As: American football quarterback
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chico, California, United States

Aaron Rodgers, who has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the history of the National Football League (NFL), is regarded by many as one of the greatest football quarterbacks ever. Also known for his humanitarian and charitable efforts, Aaron Rodgers is an ardent supporter of the MACC Fund, which is a fund-raising organization.

 17 Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey.
6
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: February 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riverside, California, United States

A professional WWE wrestler, Ronda Rousey was the first UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion and also the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Earlier, she became the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo. Amongst the greatest female MMA fighter, Ronda has also appeared in films like The Expendables 3 and Furious 7.

 18 Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson.
9
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: August 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States

Magic Johnson, the now retired American basketball player was one of the most powerful players of the 1980s and led NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers to five championships during his thirteen years career. His real name is Earvin Johnson and he earned his nickname Magic during his high school days. He retired after testing positive for HIV and currently heads Magic Johnson Enterprises.

 19 Simone Biles

Simone Biles.
37
Famous As: Gymnast
Birthdate: March 4, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Simone Biles is an artistic gymnast. Having won a combined total of 30 World Championship and Olympic medals, Biles is the world's third-most decorated gymnast and the most decorated in America. Regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time by some, Simone Biles continues to inspire several aspiring gymnasts around the world, especially gymnasts from the black community.

 20 Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski.
28
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 14, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amherst, New York, United States

Widely regarded as the greatest tight end of all time, Rob Gronkowski is also considered one of the best American football players of his generation. Also one of the most popular players, thanks to his larger-than-life personality, Rob Gronkowski has set many National Football League (NFL) records as a tight end.

 21 Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard.
16
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: June 29, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

A four-time All-Star and six-time All-Defensive Team member, Kawhi Leonard has helped two teams win NBA championships while earning the Finals Most Valuable Player award on both THE occasions. In 2015 and 2016, he was named Defensive Player of the Year. Nicknamed the Claw for his amazing ball-hawking skills, Leonard is known for his quiet demeanor off-court.

 22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
7
Famous As: Basketball Player, Basketball Coach
Birthdate: April 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Retired basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary NBA champion and its all-time leading scorer. Known for his trademark skyhook shot, he achieved remarkable feats during his career. Later, he pursued a successful writing and acting career and was even selected U.S. global cultural ambassador. The NBA star is also the proud recipient of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 23 Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan.
34
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: August 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Former American professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, is one of the best-known wrestlers in the world. He had a very successful career from the 1970s to the 2010s and won many championships. He has also acted in several movies. However, he has been accused of being a racist and a homophobic and a leaked sex tape involving him created quite a stir.

 24 Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods.
7
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: December 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cypress, California, United States

Tiger Woods is considered as one of the greatest golfers of all time. He had a great run throughout the first decade of the 21st century. Later he had to deal with infidelity issues, marital problems and divorce and injuries, but was able to make a comeback. He holds numerous golf records and has won many World Golf Championship.

 25 Triple H

Triple H.
32
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: July 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nashua, New Hampshire, United States

Often considered the best wrestler in North America, Triple H played an important role in the World Wrestling Federation's Attitude Era as part of the influential D-Generation X stable. From being a professional wrestler, he went on to become a part of WWE's management team after marrying CEO Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie. Triple H is a WWE Hall of Famer

 26 Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade.
8
Famous As: NBA Basketball Star
Birthdate: January 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

With an Olympic gold medal and three NBA championships, Dwyane Wade is one of the most decorated former American basketball players of the 21st century. Also a well-known philanthropist, Dwyane Wade founded The Wade's World Foundation in 2003; the foundation helps community-based organizations promote education and social skills for children. He also supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

 27 Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris.
13
Famous As: Martial artist
Birthdate: March 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ryan, Oklahoma, United States

A black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo, Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, screenwriter and a popular action film star. He has won many martial arts championships. He later founded his own discipline, Chun Kuk Do. He has also written books on martial arts, philosophy, politics, Christianity, plus Western novels and biography.

 28 Venus Williams

Venus Williams.
14
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: June 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lynwood, California, United States

Regarded as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, Venus Williams is credited with introducing never seen before power and athleticism to women's tennis along with her sister Serena. She is also credited with changing the long-standing practice of paying male tennis players more than their female counterparts as she won the fight for equal prize money.

 29 Ric Flair

Ric Flair.
35
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: February 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee
Ric Flair, or The Nature Boy, is a 16-time wrestling world champion and has competed in NWA, WWF, and WCW. He became the first two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee and the first to compete in WCW's Triple Crown. He has been Wrestling Observer’s Wrestler of the Year eight times.

 30 Drew Brees

Drew Brees.
17
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: January 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States

After 5 years with the San Diego Chargers, NFL quarterback Drew Brees joined the New Orleans Saints. In 2010, he was the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Drew is considered one of the best passers in NFL.

 31 James Harden

James Harden.
12
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 26, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bellflower, California

James Harden is a basketball player, widely regarded as the best shooting guard in the history of the NBA. His prolific ability to score from difficult situations and positions has helped his team win many games. He was part of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

 32 Steve Austin

Steve Austin.
13
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: December 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Steve Austin, popularly known as Stone Cold Steve Austin, is an American television host, actor, producer, and retired professional wrestler. He is one of the most popular and influential WWE wrestlers of all time. He played an important role in popularizing WWE's Attitude Era, during which he was the face of the company.

 33 Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook.
12
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: November 12, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

Russell Westbrook is a professional basketball player. A nine-time NBA All-Star, Russell is only one of two players in the history of the NBA to average a triple-double for an entire season. An eight-time All-NBA Team member, Russell is one of the most athletic NBA players of all time. He also frequently appears in commercials for brands like Air Jordan.

 34 Randy Orton

Randy Orton.
21
Famous As: Professional Wrestler, Actor
Birthdate: April 1, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Randy Orton is an American professional wrestler. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers ever, Orton has 14 world championship victories under his belt, only behind Ric Flair and John Cena. His bad boy image and distinctive wrestling style have inspired several young wrestlers all over the world.

 35 Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson.
10
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: June 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hampton, Virginia, United States

Former professional basketball player, Allen Iverson, is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential basketball players of all time. He retired after playing 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for various teams. At the time of his retirement, he was an 11-time NBA All-Star. A popular star, he has made a few cameo appearances in films.

 36 Brett Favre

Brett Favre.
21
Birthdate: October 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi

Brett Favre is a former American football player who spent the majority of his National Football League career with the Green Bay Packers. Apart from being a retired player with several achievements and records under his belt, Favre is also a philanthropist; in 1996, he set up the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, which has donated over $2 million to charities.

 37 Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer.
4
Famous As: Chess Grandmaster
Birthdate: March 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 17, 2008

Bobby Fischer began as a chess prodigy in his teens and went on to become the youngest "grandmaster," at 15. His participation in a politically controversial match in Yugoslavia led to the revocation of his U.S. passport and his arrest. He spent the final years of his life in Iceland.

 38 Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen.
8
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: September 25, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamburg, Arkansas, United States

Former professional basketball player, Scottie Pippen, is best known for his stint with the Chicago Bulls with who he won six NBA championships. Considered one of the greatest small forwards of all time, he played a key role in transforming the Bulls into one of the most formidable forces in NBA in the 1990s.

 39 Larry Bird

Larry Bird.
5
Famous As: Former Basketball Star
Birthdate: December 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West Baden Springs, Indiana, United States

Considered one of the greatest basketball players ever, Larry Bird was part of the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Bird helped his team Boston Celtics win three NBA championships. In 2018, MSN Sports named him the greatest Boston Celtics player ever.

 40 Big Show

Big Show.
21
Famous As: WWE Wrestler, Actor
Birthdate: February 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aiken, South Carolina

Big Show is a professional wrestler. Known for his large frame and athleticism, Show is one of the most popular WWE wrestlers of all time. He has won several world championships in WWE. Big Show's large frame is attributed to a condition called acromegaly, which he used to his advantage and established himself in the wrestling world.

 41 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders.
14
Famous As: American Football player, Baseball Player
Birthdate: August 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States

American football player Deion Sanders is considered one of the strongest pass defenders of the game. He was an electrifying athlete and played in the National Football League for 14 seasons. He played for teams like Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He is now a coach and a sports analyst. He’s also a rapper.

 

 42 CM Punk

CM Punk.
24
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: October 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

CM Punk is an American retired professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. CM Punk is one of the first independent wrestlers to have achieved tremendous success in WWE; his success served as a precedent for other independent wrestlers. Over the years, CM Punk has influenced and inspired popular wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Adam Cole, and Rhea Ripley.

 43 Vince Carter

Vince Carter.
5
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: January 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States

Widely regarded as the greatest dunker ever in basketball history, Vince Carter is an American former basketball player. His leaping ability during his playing career often entertained crowds, earning him nicknames like Half Man, Half Amazing and Vinsanity. Also a philanthropist, Carter set up the Embassy of Hope Foundation, which helps children in places like New Jersey, Florida, and Ontario.

 44 Chris Paul

Chris Paul.
9
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: May 6, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

Chris Paul is a professional basketball player and one of the highest-paid sportspersons in the world. Apart from earning from his career as a basketball player, he also earns by signing endorsement deals with companies like State Farm and Air Jordan. A religious person, Chris Paul attends church whenever possible.

 45 Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle.
12
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: December 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic gold-medal-winning wrestler Kurt Angle is a 13-time world champion. He became a Triple Crown champion and a Grand Slam champion with WWE before joining TNA. He has been named to the WWE, the TNA, and the International Sports Halls of Fame. He has also participated in Japanese wrestling championships.

 46 Randy Moss

Randy Moss.
11
Birthdate: February 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rand, West Virginia
NFL wide receiver Randy Moss set a record for the highest number of receiving touchdowns in a season. The Minnesota Vikings player became the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 and retired after playing with the San Francisco 49ers. He gave rise to the term “getting mossed.”

 47 Eddie Guerrero

Eddie Guerrero.
22
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: October 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Died: November 13, 2005

Eddie Guerrero was an American professional wrestler. At the time of his death at age 38, Guerrero left a legacy and impact as one of the most beloved wrestlers and an inspiration to several future wrestlers. Considered one of the greatest in-ring performers ever, Guerrero was renowned for his technical skills and ability to entertain the audience with his gimmicks.

 48 Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw.
11
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.

 49 Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez.
7
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: July 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York, United States

Former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez is considered one of the best baseball players in American baseball history. In his 22 years career, he created numerous records and won both awards and appreciation; however he also attracted a lot of controversies. Primary amongst them were his use of performance enhancing drugs. 

 50 Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman.
9
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: May 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States

Former professional basketball player, Dennis Rodman came to prominence in the 1980s as a power forward known for his defensive and rebounding abilities. Hailed as "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history," he earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times. He has a media presence as well and has appeared in many TV shows.