Famous American Critics & Connoisseurs

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 1 Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce
5
Famous As: Standup Comedian
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States
Died: August 3, 1966

Regarded as one of the best American stand-up comedians of all time, Lenny Bruce was renowned for his critical form of comedy. His conviction for obscenity played a major role in redefining freedom of speech in the US. He is also credited with inspiring several comedians of the counterculture era. His life and career have inspired several works of art.

 2 Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert
4
Famous As: Film critic
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois, United States
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.

 3 T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 26, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: January 4, 1965
American-born British poet T. S. Eliot is best remembered for his poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, and Ash Wednesday, and his plays such as Murder in the Cathedral. He won the Nobel Prize for literature and became a prominent figure of Modernist poetry.  

 4 Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

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 5 Lewis Black

Lewis Black
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

 6 Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 15, 2021

 7 Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory
4
Famous As: American critic
Birthdate: October 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
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 8 Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel
4
Famous As: Film critic. Journalist
Birthdate: January 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: February 20, 1999

 9 John Updike

John Updike
4
Famous As: Poet, Novelist
Birthdate: March 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 2009

 10 Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader
4
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

 11 Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 12 Kurt Loder

Kurt Loder
4
Famous As: Film critic
Birthdate: May 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ocean City, New Jersey, U.S.

 13 George Plimpton

George Plimpton
4
Famous As: Journalists
Birthdate: March 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 26, 2003

 14 Andre Aciman

Andre Aciman
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt

 15 Robert Christgau

Robert Christgau
4
Famous As: Journalist, Reporter, Essayist, Writer, Music critic
Birthdate: April 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Greenwich Village

 16 Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar
4
Famous As: Comics artist, Autobiographer, Writer, Music critic, Journalist
Birthdate: October 8, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland
Died: July 12, 2010

 17 Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi
4
Famous As: Winegrower
Birthdate: June 18, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Virginia
Died: May 16, 2008

 18 Leonard Maltin

Leonard Maltin
4
Famous As: Journalist, Art historian, Film critic, Screenwriter, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: December 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

 19 Rex Reed

Rex Reed
4
Famous As: Actor, Film actor, Journalist
Birthdate: October 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fort Worth

 20 Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States

 21 Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City New York, New York, US

Known for his science-fiction novels such as Dhalgren, Babel-17, and the Nèverÿon series, author Samuel R. Delany often touches upon themes of sex, race, and language. A descendant of civil rights activists, he dropped out of college to write. Though gay, he was once married to lesbian poet Marilyn Hacker.

 22 Charles John Klosterman

Charles John Klosterman
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Breckenridge, Minnesota, United States

 23 Fredric Jameson

Fredric Jameson
4
Famous As: Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Sociologist, Journalist
Birthdate: April 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland

Fredric Jameson is an American philosopher, literary critic, and Marxist political theorist. Jameson is renowned for his analysis of capitalism and postmodernity. He is credited with authoring influential books like The Political Unconscious and Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. In 2012, Fredric Jameson was honored with the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award by the Modern Language Association.

 24 Tom Verlaine

Tom Verlaine
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morristown

 25 Ruth Graves Wakefield

Ruth Graves Wakefield
4
Famous As: Chef, Patent inventor, Teacher, Businessperson, Food critic, Dietitian
Birthdate: June 17, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Walpole
Died: January 10, 1977

 26 Isabella Stewart Gardner

Isabella Stewart Gardner
4
Famous As: Art collector
Birthdate: April 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 17, 1924

 27 Harry Knowles

Harry Knowles
4
Famous As: Actor, Journalist
Birthdate: December 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Austin

 28 Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 24, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Richland, Washington, United States

American author, playwright and script-writer Orson Scott Card is best-known for writing the series’ Ender's Game and The Tales of Alvin Maker. First two novels of the Ender's Game series are counted among the most influential novels of the 1980s and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, while The Tales of Alvin Maker series won the Locus Fantasy Award.

 29 John Hammond

John Hammond
4
Famous As: Record producer, Activist
Birthdate: December 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 10, 1987

 30 James Agee

James Agee
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 27, 1909
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Died: May 16, 1955

 31 Armond White

Armond White
4
Famous As: Film critic
Birthdate: April 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 32 A. O. Scott

A. O. Scott
4
Famous As: Journalist, Film critic
Birthdate: July 10, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Northampton

 33 Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom
4
Famous As: Most famous literary critic in the English-speaking world 2017
Birthdate: July 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 14, 2019

 34 Frederick R. Koch

Frederick R. Koch
5
Famous As: Former philanthropist, Founder of Koch Industries
Birthdate: August 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: February 12, 2020

 35 Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter
3
Famous As: Writer, Officer
Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gainesville

 36 George Steiner

George Steiner
4
Famous As: Literary critic, Essayist, Philosopher, Novelist
Birthdate: April 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: February 3, 2020

 37 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: October 15, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: February 28, 2007

 38 Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
0
Famous As: Inventor of the 'Detective Fiction' Genre
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 7, 1849

American writer Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the architect of modern short story, the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and a major contributor towards science fiction genre. The influential writer is recognised for his tales of mystery and macabre. His notable works include The Raven (poem), The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (short stories).

 39 Pauline Kael

Pauline Kael
4
Famous As: Film critic, Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: June 19, 1919
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Petaluma
Died: September 3, 2001

 40 Clement Greenberg

Clement Greenberg
4
Famous As: Art collector, Art historian, Art critic, Journalist
Birthdate: January 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 7, 1994

 41 Mimi Gardner Gates

Mimi Gardner Gates
5
Famous As: curator
Birthdate: 1943 AD

 42 Richard Roeper

Richard Roeper
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 17, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 43 John Irving Bloom

John Irving Bloom
4
Famous As: Film critic
Birthdate: January 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 44 Wesley Morris

Wesley Morris
3
Famous As: writer, film critic, journalist
Birthdate: 1975 AD
Birthplace: Philadelphia

 45 Lionel Trilling

Lionel Trilling
3
Famous As: Literary critic, Writer, Novelist, University teacher, Journalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1905
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Queens
Died: November 5, 1975

 46 Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
3
Famous As: Journalist, Writer, Musicologist, Music critic
Birthdate: June 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Michigan

 47 William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 1, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Martins Ferry, Ohio, U.S.
Died: May 11, 1920

 48 Janet Maslin

Janet Maslin
3
Famous As: Journalist, Best Known as a Film & Literary Critic for 'The New York Times'
Birthdate: August 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 49 Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish
3
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: April 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States

 50 Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 16, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan