Famous African American Men Who Created History

Thousands of men of African American descent have made the United States proud with their incredible accomplishments. It is amazing as to how members of this community suffered from oppression, slavery and racial discrimination for a really long time, but eventually rose to become prominent figures of their country. Many legendary personalities of African American origin have earned places in books of history for their remarkable achievements. Legendary leader and activist Martin Luther King Jr. is one such man who hasn’t just made his community proud, but is also hailed by millions of people around the world for raising his voice against injustice. He is praised for his ‘Montgomery Bus Boycott’ and ‘Selma To Montgomery Marches’ even today, almost 5 decades after his assassination. The leader was also awarded a Nobel Prize for his contribution towards the betterment of American society. Former ‘Democrat’ party leader Barack Obama created history back in 2009 after being sworn in as the first African American president of the United States. Not just politics, African American men are making waves in different fields, such as sports, cinema and literature. Will Smith and Eddie Murphy are two famous Hollywood stars who have been applauded time and again for their acting prowess. Smith won the hearts of movie lovers with his outstanding performances in films like ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ and ‘Men In Black’. You will find below a list of famous African American men who are legends in their own right.

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 Barack Obama

Barack Obama.
50
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: 44th U.S. President
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawai, USA
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 2 Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant.
41
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 26, 2020
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)

 3 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan.
19
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)

 4 Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson.
65
Listed In: Dancers
Famous As: King of Pop
Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: June 25, 2009
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
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 5 LeBron James

LeBron James.
48
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: NBA Star
Birthdate: December 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)

 6 Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali.
18
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3, 2016
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 7 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur.
59
Listed In: Criminals
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996
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 8 Prince

Prince.
27
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: African-American Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 9 Will Smith

Will Smith.
17
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 10 Kanye West

Kanye West.
46
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: June 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 11 Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg.
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 12 Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson.
29
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 13 Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre.
9
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper, Record producer, and entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 14 Ice Cube

Ice Cube.
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Crenshaw, California, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 15 The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G..
15
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 9, 1997
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)

 16 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 17 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy.
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 18 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington.
11
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 19 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix.
12
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: September 18, 1970

 20 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
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 21 Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods.
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: December 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cypress, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player, Basketball Coach
Birthdate: April 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Height: 7'2" (218 cm)

 23 Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder.
7
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 24 Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson.
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Professional baseball player
Birthdate: January 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Georgia, United States
Died: October 24, 1972
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 25 Jay-Z

Jay-Z.
14
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 26 Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade.
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: NBA Basketball Star
Birthdate: January 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 27 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 28 Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye.
10
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: April 2, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: April 1, 1984

 29 Jon Jones

Jon Jones.
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: July 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 30 Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass.
2
Famous As: American orator
Birthdate: February 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Talbot County, Maryland, U.S
Died: February 20, 1895

 31 Ray Charles

Ray Charles.
9
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: September 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died: June 10, 2004

 32 Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain.
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 12, 1999
Height: 7'1" (216 cm)

 33 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 34 James Brown

James Brown.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Musician, recording artist, producer, dancer, bandleader
Birthdate: May 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barnwell, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2006

 35 Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oakville
Died: March 31, 1980

 36 DMX

DMX
12
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
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 37 Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat.
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: August 12, 1988
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 38 Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter.
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: June 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pequannock Township, New Jersey
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)

 39 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders.
8
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: August 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 40 Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones.
5
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Musician, Conductor, Producer, Arranger, Composer, Film Composer
Birthdate: March 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 41 James Baldwin

James Baldwin.
6
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: December 1, 1987

 42 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois.
9
Famous As: Civil Rights Activists
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

 43 George Foreman

George Foreman.
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Professional Boxer
Birthdate: January 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marshall, Texas, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 44 Malcolm X

Malcolm X.
11
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 21, 1965
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 45 Bill Russell

Bill Russell.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American basketball player
Birthdate: February 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe, Louisiana
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)

 46 Spike Lee

Spike Lee.
7
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)

 47 Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall.
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Birthdate: July 2, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: January 24, 1993

 48 Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Guitarist
Birthdate: October 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: March 18, 2017
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 49 Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas.
5
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Birthdate: June 23, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montgomery, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 50 Common

Common
1
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)