Famous American Public Speakers

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Find out more about the greatest American Public Speakers, including Jordan Belfort, Aron Ralston, Rudy Giuliani, Lizzie Velásquez and Randy Pausch.
Vote for Your Favourite American Public Speakers
 1 
Tony Robbins
(American Motivational Speaker, Author and Businessman)
Tony Robbins
6
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: North Hollywood, California, United States
Named one of Accenture’s Top 50 Business Intellectuals, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist Tony Robbins is best known for books such as Awaken the Giant Within. His workshop Unleash The Power Within features a fire-walking exercise. He owns the Anthony Robbins Foundation and co-owns the Robbins-Madanes Center for Intervention.
 2 
Michael Franzese
(Motivational Speaker, Former Mobster and Member of Colombo Crime Family)
Michael Franzese
4
Birthdate: May 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Michael Franzese's story of being an influential member of the Colombo crime family to becoming a motivational speaker and writer inspired several works of art, including Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas where he was played by actor Joseph Bono. In 1986, he was named in Fortune magazine's list of Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses.

 3 
Aron Ralston
(Outdoorsman, Motivational Speaker)
Aron Ralston
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marion, Ohio, United States
Rock climber Aron Ralston survived a canyoneering accident during a solo adventure in Utah. He escaped after remaining stuck for 5 days, by cutting off his right arm. He later related his tale in the autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which inspired the movie 127 Hours.
 4 
Stedman Graham
(American Educator, Author, Businessman Public Speaker and Long-Term Partner of Oprah Winfrey)
Stedman Graham
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Middle Township, New Jersey, United States
Stedman Graham is known to people as the partner of legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey. He owns the marketing firm S. Graham & Associates and has also authored many business and self-help books, taught at Full Sail University, and spoken at various events. He owns a non-profit, too.
 5 
Mike Farrell
(Actor & Public Speaker Known for His Role in the TV Series M*A*S*H)
Mike Farrell
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

Mike Farrell is an American actor known for playing, Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, in the popular war comedy-drama TV series, M*A*S*H. Farrell's journey from being born into a working-class family to becoming a famous Hollywood actor is quite inspiring. Also a political and social activist, Farrell has worked on several activist campaigns. In 2001, he was honored with PETA's Humanitarian Award.

 6 
Rhonda Ross Kendrick
(Actress and Singer, Best Known as the Daughter of Singer and Actress 'Diana Ross')
Rhonda Ross Kendrick
4
Birthdate: August 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Rhonda Ross Kendrick, daughter of singer Diana Ross and Motown founder Berry Gordy, is best known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Toni Burrell in the soap Another World. She has also appeared in series such as The Temptations and Cosby. She grew up believing Robert Ellis Silberstein was her father. 
 7 
Lizzie Velásquez
(Motivational Speaker)
Lizzie Velásquez
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States
Lizzie Velásquez is an American activist, author, motivational speaker, and YouTuber. Velásquez was subjected to bullying and cyberbullying due to Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome, a rare congenital disease, which prevents her from gaining weight. The hardship that she faced because of her condition inspired her to become a motivational speaker. Her story inspired the 2015 documentary film, A Brave Heart.
 8 
Rudy Ruettiger
(Motivational speaker)
Rudy Ruettiger
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States

Daniel Eugene Ruettiger, better known as Rudy Ruettiger, remains an icon of the football team of the University of Notre Dame. One of his parents’ 14 children, he suffered from dyslexia, before finding his calling in football. His life later inspired the film Rudy, with actor Sean Astin playing his role.

 9 
Bristol Palin
(Public Speaker)
Bristol Palin
6
Birthdate: October 18, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wasilla, Alaska, United States
Bristol Palin, the eldest daughter of Todd and Sarah Palin, is best known for her stint on the reality show Dancing with the Stars and her performance in the series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She is also a real-estate agent and has written a memoir. 
 10 
Kevin Mitnick
(Consultant)
Kevin Mitnick
4
Birthdate: August 6, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, United States

First a convicted hacker and then a computer security consultant, Kevin Mitnick’s life is all about how ingenuity can be used negatively and positively. Currently a security consultant for top-notch companies and the FBI, the American also teaches government agencies on social engineering. His sentencing for wire fraud is controversial and often considered excessive by some quarters.

 11 
Dale Carnegie
(Self-Help Writer, Motivational Guru, Public Speaker)
Dale Carnegie
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Maryville, Missouri, United States
Died: November 1, 1955
Writer and academic Dale Carnegie is best remembered for his work on courses in areas such as corporate training, self-improvement, and salesmanship. He started his career as a salesperson. He wrote many books, including the international bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, and was a successful lecturer, too.
 12 
Aimee Mullins
(First Amputee to Compete Against Able-bodied Athletes in NCAA Events)
Aimee Mullins
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States

Born without fibular bones, Aimee Mullins had to have her legs amputated below the knee as an infant. Undeterred, she grew up to be a Paralympic record-breaker, competing as a track and field athlete with prosthetic legs. She has walked the ramp for Alexander McQueen and has starred in films, too.

 13 
Dave Ramsey
(American Businessman, Radio Show Host and Author Known for His Book ‘The Total Money Makeover’)
Dave Ramsey
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Antioch, Tennessee, United States

Dave Ramsey is an American radio show host, personal finance advisor, businessman, and author. He is best known for hosting The Dave Ramsey Show. He is also famous for authoring many books, including The Total Money Makeover, which featured on the New York Times bestseller list. He is also credited with founding a financial counseling service called the Lampo Group.

 14 
Kim Peek
(Megasavant)
Kim Peek
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: December 19, 2009

Kim Peek was a savant who suffered from the rare genetic syndrome, FG syndrome. Often called a “megasavant,” he had an exceptional memory and appeared in many documentaries. He was the inspiration for the character of Raymond Babbitt in the film Rain Man. He was born with macrocephaly and damage to the cerebellum and experienced considerable social difficulties. 

 15 
Glennon Doyle Melton
(American Author and Public Speaker)
Glennon Doyle Melton
3
Birthdate: March 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Burke, Virginia, United States

The author of New York Times bestsellers such as Untamed and Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton was once described as the patron saint of female empowerment by People magazine. She is also an avid philanthropist, who heads the all-woman non-profit Together Rising, which caters to women and children.

 16 
Apolo Ohno
(Short track speed skater)
Apolo Ohno
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington (state) Washington
 17 
Steve Schmidt
(Politician)
Steve Schmidt
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
 18 
Kyle Carpenter
(Retired U.S Marine Who is the Youngest Living 'Medal of Honor' Recipient)
Kyle Carpenter
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
 19 
Stephen Covey
(Educator, Author)
Stephen Covey
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: July 16, 2012
 20 
Rudy Giuliani
(Former Mayor of New York City)
Rudy Giuliani
2
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

American politician Rudy Giuliani, who served as the Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, received major attention and praise for his handling of crisis in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in his city. He was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in December 2001 for his efforts. However, there have also been allegations of corruption against him.

 21 
Esther Hicks
(Writer)
Esther Hicks
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalville, Utah, U.S.
 22 
Zig Ziglar
(Writer)
Zig Ziglar
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coffee County, Alabama, United States
Died: November 28, 2012
 23 
Rodney Mullen
(Skateboarder)
Rodney Mullen
3
Birthdate: August 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, USA
 24 
Naomi Wolf
(Political writer)
Naomi Wolf
5
Birthdate: November 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.
 25 
Robert Greene
(Writer, Playwright)
Robert Greene
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Robert Greene is best known for his international bestsellers such as The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, and The Art of Seduction. Some of his books have been banned in American prisons and have been described as manipulative, while some have been mentioned in popular songs.

 26 
Richard Marcinko
(Navy officer)
Richard Marcinko
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lansford, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: December 25, 2021
 27 
Iyanla Vanzant
(Motivational speaker)
Iyanla Vanzant
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 28 
Les Brown
(Author)
Les Brown
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liberty City, Miami, Florida, United States
 29 
Marc Randolph
(Entrepreneur)
Marc Randolph
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chappaqua, New York, United States
 30 
Jo Anne Worley
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lowell, Indiana, United States
 31 
Buck Angel
(Adult Film Stars)
Buck Angel
3
Birthdate: June 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
 32 
Deepak Chopra
(Indian-American Author and Alternative Medicine Advocate Known for His Book: ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’)
Deepak Chopra
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American alternative-medicine advocate and author. After emigrating to the United States in 1970, Chopra went on to become an important figure in the New Age movement. Credited with co-founding the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Chopra is one of the wealthiest personalities in alternative medicine. He has also drawn criticisms, thanks to his tall and ridiculous claims.

 33 
Kathy Garver
(Actress)
Kathy Garver
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA
 34 
Greg Valentine
(Wrestlers)
Greg Valentine
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
 35 
Larry Csonka
(American footballer)
Larry Csonka
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stow, Ohio, USA
 36 
Jim Abbott
(Baseball Player)
Jim Abbott
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan, USA
 37 
Thomas Beatie
(Public speaker)
Thomas Beatie
0
Birthdate: January 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
 38 
Chris Herren
(Basketball player)
Chris Herren
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
 39 
Michael Porter
(Economist, Researcher, Author, Advisor, Speaker and Teacher)
Michael Porter
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor
 40 
Ilyasah Shabazz
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Queens
 41 
Anita Sarkeesian
(Feminist Media Critic and Founder of 'Feminist Frequency' Website)
Anita Sarkeesian
0
Birthdate: August 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada

Born to Iraqi immigrants to Canada, Anita Sarkeesian later moved to the U.S. and soared to fame as a feminist media critic and YouTuber. Her site Feminist Frequency explores the treatment of women in socio-cultural scenarios. Her Tropes vs Women project invited serious sexist and racist attacks online.

 42 
Donna Rice
(Author)
Donna Rice
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Miguel A. Núñez Jr.
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 44 
Jayne Kennedy
(Actress)
Jayne Kennedy
2
Birthdate: October 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA
 45 
Mel Robbins
(Television host)
Mel Robbins
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: America
 46 
Suleika Jaouad
(Writer, advocate, and motivational speaker)
Suleika Jaouad
1
Birthdate: July 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 47 
Erin Gruwell
(Teacher)
Erin Gruwell
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: California
 48 
Tucker Max
(Writer)
Tucker Max
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 49 
Eric D. Thomas
(Businessperson)
Eric D. Thomas
2
Birthdate: September 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
 50 
Jairek Robbins
(Motivational speaker)
Jairek Robbins
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA