Famous American Public Speakers

Find out more about the greatest American Public Speakers, including Jordan Belfort, Aron Ralston, Rudy Giuliani, Lizzie Velásquez and Randy Pausch.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Public Speakers

 1 
Tony Robbins
(Writer)

Tony Robbins
4
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 

Sugar Ray Leonard
4
Birthdate: May 17, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Sugar Ray Leonard is a former boxer and motivational speaker. Having won world titles in five different weight divisions during his boxing career, Leonard is widely considered one of the greatest boxers ever. Leonard was part of a group of boxers dubbed The Fabulous Four, which is credited with popularizing the lower weight classes in the post-Muhammad Ali era.

 3 
Nick Vujicic
(Evangelist)

Nick Vujicic
6
Birthdate: December 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Nick Vujicic is an Australian American motivational speaker and Christian evangelist. Born with a rare disorder called tetra-amelia syndrome, which is characterized by the privation of arms and legs, Vujicic founded an international non-profit organization called Life Without Limbs in 2005. In 2007, he established a motivational speaking company named Attitude is Altitude.

 4 
Stedman Graham
(Educator)

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 
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.

 6 

Fran Lebowitz
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Morristown, New Jersey, United States

Author and public speaker Fran Lebowitz is best known for her book The Fran Lebowitz Reader, which combined the two books Metropolitan Life and Social Studies. She also gained fame with her 2021 Netflix docuseries Pretend It's a City. Openly lesbian, she has often spoken about feminism, politics, and AIDS.

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. 
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 8 
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.

 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 
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.

 11 
Brene Brown
(Researcher)

Brene Brown
4
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Apart from being a University of Houston research professor, Brene Brown has also been a successful author of New York Times bestsellers such as Braving the Wilderness, and a podcast host. She also has a lecture featured on Netflix, while her Ted Talk is one of the world’s top-five most-viewed. 

 12 
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.

 13 
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.

 14 

Jonathan Lipnicki
4
Birthdate: October 22, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westlake Village, California, USA

Jonathan Lipnicki soared to fame as a child actor, rubbing shoulders with top-notch stars in movies such as Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little. He has also been part of several hit series and the indie When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. He boasts of a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

 15 
Lisa Whelchel
(Actress)

Lisa Whelchel
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Littlefield, Texas, United States

Best remembered as rich and spoiled Blair Warner on NBC sitcom, The Facts of Life, actress Lisa Whelchel is also a well-known singer and songwriter. She reached No. 17 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian music charts with her Christian pop album, All Because of You. Founder of Momtime Ministers and author of ten books, she is also known for her motivational speeches.

 16 
Dave Ramsey
(Radio host)

Dave Ramsey
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Antioch, Nashville, 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.

 17 

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.

 18 
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. 

 19 
Van Jones
(Motivational speaker)

Van Jones
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee Jackson, Tennessee, United States U.S.

Especially known for his honest and poignant commentaries, Van Jones is an award-winning political contributor, commentator, and the host of popular CNN programs like Van Jones Show and The Redemption Project. Also a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than twenty-five years, he has founded number of non-profit organizations and authored several best-selling books.

 20 
Apolo Ohno
(Short track speed skater)

Apolo Ohno
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington (state) Washington

 21 
Steve Schmidt
(Politician)

Steve Schmidt
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

 22 

Jennifer O'Neill
3
Birthdate: February 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Born to an English mother and a Brazilian father, actor Jennifer O'Neill had begun modeling at 15. She later became part of films such as Summer of '42. She had attempted suicide at 14 and had later got married nine times to eight men. She was also a promising equestrienne.

 23 
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.

 24 
Kyle Carpenter
(Military Officer)

Kyle Carpenter
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

 25 
Rodney Mullen
(Skateboarder)

Rodney Mullen
3
Birthdate: August 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, USA

 26 
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

 27 
Esther Hicks
(Writer)

Esther Hicks
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalville, Utah, U.S.

 28 
Zig Ziglar
(Writer)

Zig Ziglar
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coffee County, Alabama, United States
Died: November 28, 2012

 29 
Anita Sarkeesian
(Feminist Media Critic, Blogger)

Anita Sarkeesian
3
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.

 30 
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
(Writer, Clergyman)

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bowersville, Ohio, United States
Died: December 24, 1993

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was an American author and minister best known for his efforts to popularize the concept of positive thinking. His book The Power of Positive Thinking is a great testimony to his efforts. Peale influenced several US presidents, including President Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. Artist and cartoonist Scott Adams has cited Peale as a major influence.

 31 
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.

 32 
Iyanla Vanzant
(Motivational speaker)

Iyanla Vanzant
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 33 
Dave Pelzer
(Autobiographer)

Dave Pelzer
3
Birthdate: December 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Daly City, California, United States

Best known for his 1995 memoir, A Child Called "It", David James Pelzer is an American author of four autobiographical work and three self-help books. Raised by abusing parents until the age of twelve, he has described his childhood, adolescence and adulthood in the first three books. Also a motivational speaker, his message is all about triumph of human spirit.

 34 
Naomi Wolf
(Political writer)

Naomi Wolf
5
Birthdate: November 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.

 35 
Les Brown
(Author)

Les Brown
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liberty City, Miami, Florida, United States

 36 
Marc Randolph
(Entrepreneur)

Marc Randolph
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chappaqua, New York, United States

 37 
Thomas Beatie
(Public speaker)

Thomas Beatie
0
Birthdate: January 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

 38 

Jo Anne Worley
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lowell, Indiana, United States

 39 
Richard Marcinko
(Navy officer)

Richard Marcinko
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lansford, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: December 25, 2021

 40 
Victoria Arlen
(Television personality)

Victoria Arlen
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1994
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Victoria Arlen is an American television personality currently working for ESPN. Apart from being a television personality, Arlen is also an actress, model, speaker, and former Paralympian swimmer. She is best known for overcoming two rare conditions that stripped her of her ability to walk, speak, eat, and move. In 2012, she participated in the Summer Paralympics, representing the USA.

 41 
Kathy Garver
(Actress)

Kathy Garver
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA

 42 
Chris Herren
(Basketball player)

Chris Herren
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, USA

 43 
Donna Rice
(Author)

Donna Rice
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 44 
Jim Abbott
(Baseball Player)

Jim Abbott
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan, USA

 45 

Ilyasah Shabazz
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Queens

 46 
Michael Porter
(Economist, Researcher, Author, Advisor, Speaker and Teacher)

Michael Porter
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor

 47 
Larry Csonka
(American footballer)

Larry Csonka
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stow, Ohio, USA

 48 

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.

 49 
Jayne Kennedy
(Actress)

Jayne Kennedy
2
Birthdate: October 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 50 
Greg Valentine
(Wrestlers)

Greg Valentine
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA