Famous American Media Personalities

Who do you think are the most influential people in the world? No, not a ruthless tyrant, a wealthy tycoon, a movie hero or a statesman. Despite the infinite number of high-powered lot, the only people who hold the power to drive a national conversation and influence general opinion are media persons. Love them or hate them, there is no way you can turn a deaf ear to anything they say. In addition to their primary role of keeping viewers informed and entertained, they yield unparalleled influence on their audience’s lives. America has produced a steady stream of media persons — good, bad and ugly. Some of them we love to listen and follow others we clearly love to hate. Let us explore the biographies, timelines, trivia and facts on the lives of the newsmen, anchors, and media moguls who run the news cycle, drive the entertainment business, ferry us into the lives of all famous and infamous men and keep us abreast of the happenings in the world around us.

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 Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
28
Famous As: Media proprietor
Birthdate: January 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States

Oprah Winfrey is arguably one of the most iconic figures in America who broke many barriers to become one of the most influential women in the country. She is a role model for the black community and is also a fierce feminist. Her path-breaking The Oprah Winfrey Show mostly based on lives of common people catapulted her to unprecedented stardom.

 2 Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey
10
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Welch, West Virginia, United States

Comedian, businessman and entertainer Steve Harvey has been active in the entertainment world since 1985. Born to parents who were avid movie lovers, he developed an early love for performing. He began his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian and soon started performing in TV shows and films. Also an entrepreneur, he founded Steve Harvey Global (SHG).

 3 Bill Nye

Bill Nye
7
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Bill Nye is an American mechanical engineer, television presenter, and science communicator. He is known for hosting the live-action science program Bill Nye the Science Guy. He is credited with inventing a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube, which is used on the Boeing 747 airplanes. He also helped develop MarsDial, a sundial that became part of the Mars Exploration Rover missions.

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 4 Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon
13
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: September 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bay Ridge, New York, United States
Jimmy Fallon began as a stand-up comedian and an SNL cast member and then got his own show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He succeeded Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show. He has also starred in movies, written a few children’s books, and released two comedy albums.
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 5 Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh
16
Famous As: Radio personality
Birthdate: January 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States
Died: February 17, 2021
Mostly known for his controversial comments on the LGBT community, sexual consent, and climate change, Rush Limbaugh has hosted The Rush Limbaugh Show, one of the highest-rated in the U.S. He has also hosted a TV show, written several books, including two bestsellers, and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom

 6 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.

 7 Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers
10
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: March 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Latrobe, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 27, 2003

TV personality, musician, and author, Fred Rogers, is best remembered for hosting the preschool TV series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran for over 30 years, from 1968 to 2001. His work was widely lauded and he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. Besides his TV career, he was also an ordained Presbyterian minister.

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 8 Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Stephen Colbert is an American actor, comedian, political commentator, and television host. Over the years, Stephen Colbert has influenced popular comedians, such as James Corden, Billy Eichner, Mindy Kaling, Jordan Klepper, and Hasan Minhaj. He has been twice named on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

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 9 Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner
4
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: August 10, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
An elite socialite and fashion model, Kylie Jenner is the head of Kylie Cosmetics and creator of the hugely popular line of lipsticks, Kylie Lip Kit. Thrown into the limelight in her teens, courtesy the reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jenner has since gone on to become a highly successful businesswomen and social media influencer.

 10 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
5
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 Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

 12 John Cena

John Cena
5
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.

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 13 Hailey Baldwin

Hailey Baldwin
4
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: November 22, 1996
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Model and TV personality Hailey Baldwin is a major figure in the international fashion scene and modeled for brands like Ralph Lauren, Guess, and Tommy Hilfiger. Born into the famous Baldwin family, she started modeling early on. She has also appeared in a few TV shows and films. 

 14 Khloé Kardashian

Khloé Kardashian
4
Famous As: Media personality
Birthdate: June 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Best known for playing a key role in the popular TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloé Kardashian is one of the most popular American celebrities on the internet. Having launched many clothing collections, she is also involved in the fashion industry. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Khloé had a long-term memory loss but has recovered since.

 15 Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton
4
Famous As: Media personality
Birthdate: February 17, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Paris Hilton comes from an affluent family and is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. A leaked 2001 sex tape with her then boyfriend, Rick Salomon, had created quite a scandal in 2003, which led her to act in the reality television series, The Simple Life. She’s also an actress, singer, model, author, socialite and businesswomen.

 16 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst
4
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 17 Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
4
Famous As: Writer
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).

 18 Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel
7
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: November 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jimmy Kimmel is an American TV host and writer. He is credited with creating one of the most popular American late-night talk shows of all time, Jimmy Kimmel Live! He is also credited with co-founding The Feast of San Gennaro. In 2018, he was named in Time magazine's list of The World's 100 Most Influential People.

 19 Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby
6
Famous As: Comic Book Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, 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

 20 Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart
7
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: August 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

The founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Martha Stewart has found success with several business ventures. She is also the publisher of a magazine called Martha Stewart Living and has written many bestselling books. Although she was convicted of charges pertaining to the ImClone stock trading case, she made a comeback and became chairwoman of her company.

 21 Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters
8
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Barbara Walters is an American retired television personality and broadcast journalist. Renowned for her popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as the host of several popular TV shows. A pioneer for women in broadcasting, Walters became the first woman to co-host shows like Today and ABC Evening News. In 1996, she was named in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars list.

 22 Mark Twain

Mark Twain
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florida, Missouri, United States
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

 23 Lizzo

Lizzo
9
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 27, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
Three-time Grammy-winning rap and hip-hop sensation Lizzo is also a queer and body-positivity icon. She began singing with groups such as The Chalice and Grrrl Prty, and graced the Billboard 200 with the album Cuz I Love You. Time’s 2019 Entertainer of the Year, Lizzo is also a talented flute-player.

 24 Matt Groening

Matt Groening
6
Famous As: Cartoonist, Animator
Birthdate: February 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
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.

 25 Kimberly Guilfoyle

Kimberly Guilfoyle
31
Famous As: News Anchor
Birthdate: March 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States

One of the prominent speakers at the Republican National Convention 2020 and a vocal supporter of American President, Donald Trump, Kimberly Ann Guilfoyle is a senior advisor and top fundraiser at Trump’s re-election campaign. A former deputy district attorney, prosecutor, legal analyst at CNN and TV host at Fox News, Guilfoyle is rumoured to be the Donald Trump Jr.’s partner.  

 26 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.

 27 Larry King

Larry King
5
Famous As: Television and Radio Host
Birthdate: November 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 23, 2021

Regarded as one of the most popular American TV and radio hosts, Larry King was famous for hosting the successful and popular TV program, Larry King Live. The recipient of several awards, King was an iconic figure on American television. Also known for his charitable works, he founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to help poor people undergo cardiac procedures.

 28 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.

 29 Dan Rather

Dan Rather
11
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

 30 David Spade

David Spade
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Michigan, United States

David Spade is an American comedian and actor. Also a well-known philanthropist, David Spade helped the Phoenix Police Department buy 300 firearms by making a donation of $100,000. In 2013, he donated $200,000 to rebuild Oklahoma after it was hit by a tornado. In 2018, he donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 31 Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro
26
Famous As: Political Commentator
Birthdate: January 15, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States

A strong conservative political commentator, author, media host and lawyer, Ben Shapiro became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the US at the age of seventeen and at twenty published his first book. The host of a daily political podcast ,The Ben Shapiro Show, he has frequently invited criticism for his views on various issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.

 32 Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
6
Famous As: Founder of Playboy Magazine
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
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.

 33 Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: January 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Rainn Wilson is an actor and writer who used his popularity to make his YouTube channel, SoulPancake, a success. Also a climate change advocate, Wilson made a documentary titled The Idiot’s Guide to Climate Change, based on his trip to Greenland. He is known for his charitable works and has adopted a vegan diet since adopting Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.

 34 Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
4
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: June 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glastonbury, Connecticut, United States

Laura Ingraham is a well-known American journalist and television host. She holds a conservative position, is called a nationalist and has often generated controversy for her stand on various issues. She is the host of The Ingraham Angle on Fox News television channel, which is a high-rated opinion-based show. She hosted The Laura Ingraham Show on radio from 2001 to 2018.

 35 Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Fernando, California, United States

Starting her career as a cheerleader, Paula Abdul went on to choreograph music videos for Janet Jackson. She then tried her hand at singing-songwriting and released a highly successful debut studio album. Also an award-winning actress, Paula was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has also appeared in TV shows like American Idol.

 36 Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Alyson Hannigan is one of the most recognized celebrities, thanks to her role in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother and her role in one of the most popular sex comedy film series of all time - American Pie. She has been presenting the television show, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, since 2016.

 37 Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart
8
Famous As: Comedian, Writer, Producer
Birthdate: November 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Jon Stewart is an American actor, writer, political commentator, television host, and filmmaker. He is credited with popularizing Comedy Central's satirical news program The Daily Show. Also a prominent comedian, Jon Stewart has influenced and inspired several other comedians like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Larry Wilmore, Hasan Minhaj, Jordan Klepper, Samantha Bee, and Bassem Youssef.

 38 Jim Henson

Jim Henson
5
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.

 39 Lisa Ann

Lisa Ann
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Easton, Pennsylvania, USA

 40 Mike Judge

Mike Judge
6
Famous As: Actor, Cartoonist, Director, Musician
Birthdate: October 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Animator and filmmaker Michael Judge is best known for creating the iconic animated series Beavis and Butt-Head. Fans also loved his Emmy- and Annie Award-winning work in King of the Hill, one of the longest-running U.S. animated series, and his Critics' Choice Award-winning work in Silicon Valley.

 41 David Letterman

David Letterman
10
Famous As: TV Presenter, TV Host
Birthdate: April 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Starting off as a radio weatherman, David Letterman has come a long way. He has been the longest-serving American late-night talk-show host and ranked 45th on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list. He later dabbled in production, with hit sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond.

 42 Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite
7
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.

 43 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
5
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 44 Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver
6
Famous As: Journalist, First Lady of California (2003-2011)
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous American journalist, Maria Shriver, is recognised for her long association with NBC. Her documentary series The Alzheimer’s Project earned rave reviews and she later founded the nonprofit organization, 'The Women's Alzheimer's Movement'. As the former First Lady of California– she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor of California– she involved herself in numerous charity works.

 45 Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Springburn, Glasgow, Scotland

Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American comedian, television host, and author. He helped popularize The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which he hosted and received the prestigious Peabody Award for the same. A recovering alcoholic, Craig Ferguson has stayed sober since 1992 and is an inspiration to those trying to quit drinking.

 46 Gloria Steinem

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

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.

 47 Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 48 Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray
5
Famous As: TV Personality, Celebrity Cook
Birthdate: August 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glens Falls, New York, United States
Celebrity chef Rachael Ray is best known for her Food Network show 30 Minute Meals. She also made waves with her talk show Rachael Ray and her culinary shows such as Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. She has also authored several cookbooks and launched the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray.

 49 David Muir

David Muir
12
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York
Multiple Emmy- and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning anchor David Muir is best known as a co-host of 20/20 and ABC's World News. His coverage of the 9/11 attacks earned him a National Headliner Award. One of the most-watched U.S. journalists, he was named to People's 2014 Sexiest Men Alive list. 

 50 Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart
4
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Elizabeth Smart is a child safety activist who gained national attention when she was kidnapped from her home at the age of 14. She was held captive for nine months before she was rescued by the cops. Smart went on to become an activist and works against human trafficking and abduction. In 2011, she became the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.