Famous American Media Personalities

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 1 
Steve Harvey
(Comedian, Actor and TV Host)
Steve Harvey
23
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).

 2 
Oprah Winfrey
(Best Known for Her Daytime Syndicated Talk Show 'The Oprah Winfrey Show')
Oprah Winfrey
43
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.

 3 
Alex Trebek
(Game Show Host & Television Personality)
Alex Trebek
14
Birthdate: July 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greater Sudbury, Canada
Died: November 8, 2020

An eminent television personality, Alex Trebek is best known for hosting the popular game show Jeopardy since it was revived in 1984. He has also hosted many other game shows, both in America and Canada. In February 1991, he became the first person to host three American game shows at the same time. He is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

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 4 
Bill Nye
(Best Known as the Host of the Science TV Show ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’)
Bill Nye
10
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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 5 
Jimmy Fallon
(Actor, Comedian and Host of the Late-Night Talk Show ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’)
Jimmy Fallon
20
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.
 6 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist, Author and Founder of the Gonzo Journalism Movement)
Hunter S. Thompson
12
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
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 
Rush Limbaugh
(Conservative Political Commentator and Host of 'The Rush Limbaugh Show')
Rush Limbaugh
23
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
 8 
Fred Rogers
(Television Host and Creator of the Preschool Television Series 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood')
Fred Rogers
12
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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 9 
Barbara Walters
(Pioneering U.S. Television Journalist)
Barbara Walters
13
Birthdate: September 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 30, 2022

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.

 10 
David Letterman
(Television Host and Producer Best Known for His Long-Running Talk Show ‘Late Show with David Letterman’)
David Letterman
13
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.

 11 
Stephen Colbert
(Host of the Satirical Comedy Central Show 'The Colbert Report')
Stephen Colbert
8
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.

 12 
Dr. Seuss
(Children's Author And Illustrator)
Dr. Seuss
6
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.

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 13 
Joe Rogan
(Podcaster, Sports Commentator)
Joe Rogan
8
Birthdate: August 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 14 
Mark Twain
(Lauded as the 'Greatest Humorist' the United States Has Produced)
Mark Twain
5
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.

 15 
Ben Shapiro
(Political Commentator)
Ben Shapiro
30
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.

 16 
William Randolph Hearst
(Newspaper Baron)
William Randolph Hearst
6
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 
Jack Kirby
(Co-Creator of The Superhero 'Captain America' in 1940 with Joe Simon)
Jack Kirby
8
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
 18 
Alyson Hannigan
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Sitcom 'How I Met Your Mother' & the 'American Pie' Film Series)
Alyson Hannigan
5
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.

 19 
Khloé Kardashian
(Talk Show Host, Socialite, Model)
Khloé Kardashian
7
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.

 20 
Matt Groening
(Cartoonist, Writer and Producer Known for His TV Series ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Futurama’ and ‘Disenchantment’)
Matt Groening
8
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.
 21 
John Madden
(Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders)
John Madden
6
Birthdate: April 10, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Austin, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 28, 2021
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 22 
Jon Stewart
(Best Known for Hosting The Satiric Television News Program 'The Daily Show')
Jon Stewart
10
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.

 23 
Rainn Wilson
(Best Known for His Role as 'Dwight Schrute' on the NBC sitcom 'The Office')
Rainn Wilson
6
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.

 24 
Jimmy Kimmel
(Best Known as the Host of the Late-Night Talk-Show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’)
Jimmy Kimmel
10
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.

 25 
Larry King
(The Host of The Nightly Interview Television Program 'Larry King Live')
Larry King
7
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.

 26 
Martha Stewart
(Businesswoman)
Martha Stewart
12
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.

 27 
Julia Child
(American Chef, Author and Television Personality)
Julia Child
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: August 13, 2004
Julia Child gained fame with her culinary show The French Chef and her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also founded The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. She received several Emmys and the Peabody Award for her work, and had a rose named after her.
 28 
Dan Rather
(Journalist and News Anchor of the ‘CBS Evening News’)
Dan Rather
14
Birthdate: October 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wharton, Texas, United States
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
 29 
Jim Henson
(Puppeteer)
Jim Henson
6
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.

 30 
Louis Theroux
(Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist, Broadcaster and Podcaster)
Louis Theroux
7
Birthdate: May 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Singapore

Renowned British-American documentary filmmaker, Louis Theroux began his career as a journalist with Metro Silicon Valley, Spy magazine and TV Nation series. He gained recognition with his documentary series When Louis Met..., and Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends. The two time BAFTA Award winner has also received appreciation for his documentaries The Most Hated Family in America and My Scientology Movie.

 31 
Candace Owens
(Conservative Author, Political Commentator & Activist)
Candace Owens
8
Birthdate: April 29, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut, United States

A political activist of color, Candace Owens first gained visibility as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Having changed her political stance since then, she is now known for her increasingly pro-Trump activism. Her support for Trump and criticism of Black Lives Matter have made her a controversial figure.

 32 
Laura Ingraham
(Conservative Television Host of ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on Fox News Channel)
Laura Ingraham
7
Birthdate: June 19, 1963
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.

 33 
Stacey Dash
(Actress)
Stacey Dash
4
Birthdate: January 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 34 
Walter Cronkite
(Broadcast Journalist and Longtime Anchor of the ‘CBS Evening News’)
Walter Cronkite
10
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States
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.
 35 
Pat Sajak
( Host of the American Television Game Show 'Wheel of Fortune')
Pat Sajak
17
Birthdate: October 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
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.
 36 
Gloria Steinem
(American Feminist Journalist and Co-Founder of ‘Ms,' Magazine)
Gloria Steinem
10
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.

 37 
Carmen Electra
(Actress, Model and Singer Known for Her Role as ‘Lani McKenzie’ in the TV Series ‘Baywatch’)
Carmen Electra
6
Birthdate: April 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sharonville, Ohio, United States

Carmen Electra is an actress, TV personality, and singer. One of the leading figures of glamour modeling, Carmen Electra gained popularity as a sex symbol. She is also one of the most popular Playboy models of all time. Apart from being a prominent media personality, Carmen also works with various non-profit organizations, such as Elevate Hope and HollyRod Foundation.

 38 
Jerry Springer
(Broadcaster, 56th Mayor of Cincinnati)
Jerry Springer
5
Birthdate: February 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Highgate, London, England
Died: April 27, 2023

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. 

 39 
Mike Judge
(Actor, Cartoonist, Director, Musician)
Mike Judge
7
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.
 40 
Craig Ferguson
6
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.

 41 
Richard Dawson
(Actor, Comedian and Game Show Host)
Richard Dawson
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gosport, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 2, 2012

English-American actor and comedian, Richard Dawson, is best known for playing Corporal Peter Newkirk in the TV series Hogan's Heroes. He grew up during World War II and had a difficult childhood. As a young man, he began his career as a stand-up comedian and started getting acting roles as well. He also gained fame as a game show host.

 42 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
8
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.
 43 
Kimberly Guilfoyle
(American Television Personality and Advisor to the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump)
Kimberly Guilfoyle
33
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.  

 44 
Conan O’Brien
(Host of TV Show 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' (1993-2009))
Conan O’Brien
12
Birthdate: April 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States

Conan O’Brien is an American comedian, writer, television host, podcaster, and producer. Over the years, he has played an important role in NBC, hosting the network's successful shows like The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and writing for Saturday Night Live. His work has influenced comedians like Mindy Kaling, Seth Meyers, and Kumail Nanjiani.

 45 
Mia Khalifa
(Media Personality, Former Pornographic Actress & Webcam Model)
Mia Khalifa
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 46 
David Muir
(Journalist)
David Muir
12
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. 
 47 
Seth Meyers
(Host of 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' and Former Cast Member of 'Saturday Night Live;)
Seth Meyers
5
Birthdate: December 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Seth Adam Meyers is best known as the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers. He was a writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live and won several awards for his work, including a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He also hosted SNL’s Weekend Update segment.
 48 
Erin Andrews
(Sportscaster and Co-Host of the Show 'Dancing with the Stars')
Erin Andrews
5
Birthdate: May 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine, United States

Erin Andrews is an American television personality and sportscaster. She is the lead sideline reporter for Fox Sports' NFL broadcasting team. Also known for her charitable work, Andrews played a key role in the Huddle to Fight Hunger campaign, which aimed to raise funds for Feeding America, a non-profit organization. She also serves as an inspiration to those fighting cancer.

 49 
Henry Rollins
(Lead Vocalist of Los Angeles Hardcore Group 'Black Flag')
Henry Rollins
4
Birthdate: February 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Henry Rollins is an American musician. Rollins is credited with forming the Rollins Band, which was active from 1987 to 2006. He is also credited with founding the publishing company and record label 2.13.61, Inc. Also a well-known activist, Henry Rollins has campaigned for various causes, including the promotion of peace movement and LGBT rights.

 50 
Walt Whitman
(One of the Most Influential Poets in the American Canon, Regarded as the 'Father of Free Verse')
Walt Whitman
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Hills, New York, United States
Died: March 26, 1892

Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist. Also a humanist, Whitman played a crucial role in the shift between transcendentalism and realism. Often referred to as the father of free verse, Whitman is one of the most influential American poets of all time. Several decades after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry remains influential.