Famous People From Iowa

Located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America is the state of Iowa. Iowa is also popularly referred to as ‘The Hawkeye State’ and has been regarded as one of the safest states to live in the United States of America. With Des Moines as its capital and largest city, Iowa is surrounded by the Mississippi River, the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River, the former on the east and the two latter rivers on the west. Iowa is a state wherein so many distinguished personalities started their humble journey from. One of the most notable celebrities from Iowa has to be actor and human rights activist, Ashton Kutcher. The legendary John Wayne was also born in Iowa, wherein his birthplace is still preserved as a historic site. The state has also given rise to actors such as Elijah Wood, Danai Gurira, Johnny Carson and Brandon Routh. Athlete’s such as Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, Lolo Jones and upcoming professional wrestler Seth Rollins were also born in this state. Keep reading the list to know more celebrated individuals who are from Iowa.
Vote for Your Favourite People From Iowa

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

 1 
John Wayne
(American Actor Who was a Popular Icon During Hollywood's Golden Age)
John Wayne
77
Birthdate: May 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: June 11, 1979

Famous for his roles in Western films in the mid-20th century, actor John Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. In a career spanning over half a century, he starred in 142 motion pictures. Upon his death, he came to be recognized as “an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals.”

 2 
Seth Rollins
(One of the Greatest Professional Wrestlers of His Generation)
Seth Rollins
52
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Colby Lopez, better known as "Seth Rollins," previously wrestled in ROH as "Tyler Black." He is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion. He competed as part of The Shield in the Survivor Series and is the only wrestler to win all three top WWE titles: the WWE, Universal, and NXT Championships.
 3 
Ashton Kutcher
(Actor, Producer, Entrepreneur)
Ashton Kutcher
113
Birthdate: February 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Actor and producer, Ashton Kutcher, began his career as a model and soon ventured into acting, where he found success appearing in a string of romantic comedies. Besides acting, he is a venture capitalist and has successfully invested in several high technology start-ups. He is also actively involved in humanitarian work.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Joe Burrow
(American football player)
Joe Burrow
51
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 10, 1996
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
Recommended Lists:
 5 
Elijah Wood
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Frodo Baggins’ in ‘The Lord of the Ring’ Film Trilogy)
Elijah Wood
44
Birthdate: January 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius

American actor Elijah Wood is credited with bringing the iconic character Frodo Baggins to life with his portrayal of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He is also the founder of the production company SpectreVision, which predominantly produces horror films. Wood touched the lives of many when he visited Curepto after it was struck by an earthquake.

 6 
Herbert Hoover
(31st President of the United States (1929 – 1933))
Herbert Hoover
45
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: October 20, 1964

The 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, was sworn into the office in 1929, the year the Great Depression struck the American economy. Earlier, Hoover was a successful mining engineer and had earned a reputation of a humanitarian who fed numerous Europeans during and after WWI. His policies during the depression, though, could not provide relief to people.

Recommended Lists:
 7 
Shawn Johnson
(American Former Artistic Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medallist)
Shawn Johnson
30
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 19, 1992
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Shawn Johnson is a former artistic gymnast who won the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal. She is a five-time Pan American Games gold medalist and a three-time U.S. all-around champion as well. She retired from gymnastics in  2012. She was the winner of season eight of the dance competition show Dancing with the Stars.  

 8 
Johnny Carson
(Comedian and Producer Best Known as the Host of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’)
Johnny Carson
17
Birthdate: October 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: January 23, 2005

Six-time Emmy Award-winner Johnny Carson was known for hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After serving in World War II, Carson started hosting radio shows and then graduated to TV. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is said to have inspired David Letterman.

Recommended Lists:
 9 
Michelle Monaghan
27
Birthdate: March 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 10 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
42
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.
Recommended Lists:
 11 
Halston
(Fashion Designer)
Halston
14
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: April 23, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: March 26, 1990

Designer Halston began his career designing hats for American milliner Lilly Daché. He is primarily remembered for pioneering cashmere, or Ultrasued, in the mid-1970s. Known for his party-loving personality, he popularized the halter dress for women. He was also known for his homosexual relationship with Victor Hugo.

 12 
Cloris Leachman
(Actress and Comedienne Known for Role as ‘Phyllis Lindstrom’ in the TV Sitcom ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’)
Cloris Leachman
14
Birthdate: April 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: January 27, 2021

Cloris Leachman is an actress and comedian. One of the most decorated American actresses of all time, Cloris Leachman has won several prestigious awards in an illustrious career spanning more than seven decades; she is the most awarded actress in the history of Emmy Awards, along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She has also received an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.

Recommended Lists:
 13 
Adam DeVine
(Actor, Singer, Screenwriter)
Adam DeVine
34
Birthdate: November 7, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Adam DeVine created the sketch-comedy group Mail Order Comedy. He appeared as Adam DeMamp in the sitcom Workaholics, co-created by him, and as Andy Bailey in Modern Family. He has also appeared in the Pitch Perfect movies and voiced characters in Ice Age: Collision Course and other animation films.
 14 
Corey Taylor
(Lead Vocalist and Lyricist of the Bands ‘Slipknot’ and ‘Stone Sour’)
Corey Taylor
32
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Corey Taylor is a heavy metal singer and the lead vocalist of Stone Sour and Slipknot. He has also been associated with bands such as Apocalyptica, Anthrax, and Soulfly. He has struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction in the past and has released a tell-all autobiography named Seven Deadly Sins.
Recommended Lists:
 15 
Kurt Warner
(Former football quarterback)
Kurt Warner
18
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 16 
Brandon Routh
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Superman’ in the Film ‘Superman Returns’)
Brandon Routh
12
Birthdate: October 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Brandon James Routh started off as a model and later soared to fame as Superman in Superman Returns. Fans also loved him as The Atom in DC series such as Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. He also appeared in the film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night and the series Chuck.
Recommended Lists:
 17 
Donna Reed
(American Actress Known for Her Portrayal of 'Mary Hatch Bailey' in 'It’s a Wonderful Life')
Donna Reed
12
Birthdate: January 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: January 14, 1986

Donna Reed was an American actress whose career spanned over four decades. She is best remembered for her performance in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Donna Reed is also remembered for her TV work and received the Golden Globe Award for her role in The Donna Reed Show.

 18 
Julia Michaels
(Singer-songwriter)
Julia Michaels
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 13, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Three-time Grammy nominee singer-songwriter Julia Michaels has written many chartbusting songs, including the Billboard Hot 100-topping tracks Sorry by Justin Bieber and Lose You to Love Me by Selena Gomez. Julia’s debut single, Issues, was a hit, too. She has also won multiple BMI Pop Awards.
Recommended Lists:
 19 
Kate Mulgrew
(Actress and Author)
Kate Mulgrew
16
Birthdate: April 29, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus

Kate Mulgrew is an American actress known for her contribution across all three major acting mediums. An opponent of capital punishment and abortion, Kate Mulgrew was honored with an award from an anti-abortion feminist group called Feminists for Life. She is also a member of the Alzheimer's Association's National Advisory Committee.

 20 
Buffalo Bill
(American Showman, Bison Hunter and One of the Most Famous Figures of the American Old West,)
Buffalo Bill
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 26, 1846
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: January 10, 1917
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was a legendary showman and bison hunter who had also been a Union soldier. He began working as a freight carrier at 11 and later performed in Wild West-themed shows. He later formed Buffalo Bill's Wild West and toured across the U.S. and Europe.
Recommended Lists:
 21 
Andy Williams
(American Singer, Actor and Record producer)
Andy Williams
10
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 3, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: September 25, 2012
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 22 
Ron Livingston
(Actor)
Ron Livingston
9
Birthdate: June 5, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Recommended Lists:
 23 
Glenn Miller
(Trombonist)
Glenn Miller
36
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 1, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: December 15, 1944
 24 
Adam Young
(American Singer and Songwriter Known for His Electronic Music Project ‘Owl City’)
Adam Young
25
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer

Adam Young is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for creating Owl City, an electronic music project, which gained popularity in 2009 after the release of the album Ocean Eyes, which was certified platinum in the US. Apart from Owl City, Adam Young has also created several other music projects.

Recommended Lists:
 25 
Terry Farrell
(Actress and Fashion Model Best Known for Her Role in the TV Series ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’)
Terry Farrell
12
Birthdate: November 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio

Terry Farrell is an American fashion model and actress whose modeling journey began in her junior year of high school when she submitted her photograph to the Elite modeling agency, which led to a contract with Mademoiselle. She then studied acting with Stella Adler before appearing in popular TV series like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Becker.

 26 
Nate Ruess
(Founder and Lead Singer of the Indie Pop Band 'Fun' & 'The Format')
Nate Ruess
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 26, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces

Nate Ruess is best known as the lead vocalist of the Grammy-winning indie-pop band Fun and of the indie-rock band The Format. He is part of the labor-oriented non-profit organization Democratic Socialists of America. He was featured on Pink’s multi-platinum track Just Give Me a Reason and Eminem’s hit Headlights.

Recommended Lists:
 27 
William Frawley
9
Birthdate: February 26, 1887
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: March 3, 1966
William Frawley is best remembered as Fred Mertz from the iconic sitcom I Love Lucy and as "Bub" O'Casey from My Three Sons. He had started his career as a vaudeville entertainer and later performed as part of the comedy duo Frawley and Louise, with his wife, Edna Louise Broedt. 
 28 
Zach Johnson
(American Professional Golfer)
Zach Johnson
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces

Zach Johnson has been one of the most consistent players in the history of golf and first came to prominence with his victory over Tiger Woods at the 2007 Masters Tournament. The 12-time PGA Tour winner also co-owns the charity Zach Johnson Foundation, which aids underprivileged children in Iowa.

Recommended Lists:
 29 
Lara Flynn Boyle
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Donna Hayward’ in the TV Series ‘Twin Peaks’)
Lara Flynn Boyle
14
Birthdate: March 24, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries

Lara Flynn Boyle is an American actress best known for playing Donna Hayward in the cult TV series Twin Peaks. Boyle serves as an inspiration to those suffering from dyslexia as she was diagnosed with the condition before she went on to establish herself as a successful actress.

 30 
Dan Gable
(One of the Greatest Wrestlers of All Time)
Dan Gable
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Considered to be the greatest amatuer in the history of the United States, Dan Gable is a world gold medalist, an Olympic gold medalist and a two-time NCAA Division I national champion. He is the thrid wrestler to be inducted in the Legend category in United World Wrestling's Hall of Fame. He also earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020.
Recommended Lists:
 31 
Danielle Colby
(Reality Television Personality Known for His Show ‘American Pickers’)
Danielle Colby
14
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: December 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Danielle Colby is best known for her stint on the antiques-themed History Channel reality show American Pickers. She was earlier part of the Burlesque Le'Moustache troupe under the stage name “Dannie Diesel.” She has also designed clothes for her brand 4 Miles 2 Memphis and owned a roller derby team.
 32 
Jerry Mathers
17
Birthdate: June 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Former child actor Jerry Mathers is best known as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver from the sitcom Leave It to Beaver. He earned his first commercial at 2. He later also experimented with music and led the band Beaver and the Trappers, before growing up to become a banker and an investor. 
Recommended Lists:
 33 
Tom Arnold
(American actor)
Tom Arnold
20
Birthdate: March 6, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Tom Arnold is best known for his role in True Lies. He has also appeared in Austin Powers and Nine Months. He was also part of The Best Damn Sports Show Period and The Jackie Thomas Show. He once recorded a call with Michael Cohen, related to the Falwell scandal.
 34 
Lolo Jones
(American Hurdler and Bobsledder Who Specializes in the 60-meter and 100-meter Hurdles)
Lolo Jones
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo

While she believes missing out on the gold medal at the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was her most painful experience, American hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones is still quite a star. She has penned a memoir and has also appeared on shows such as Celebrity Big Brother.

Recommended Lists:
 35 
Michael Emerson
(Actor)
Michael Emerson
5
Birthdate: September 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
 36 
Hill Harper
(Actor)
Hill Harper
6
Birthdate: May 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 37 
Harrison Barnes
(Basketball player)
Harrison Barnes
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 30, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
 38 
Katie Porter
(U.S. Representative from California's 45th Congressional District)
Katie Porter
15
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Currently a member of the House of Representative from the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, California, American politician Katie Porter practiced law before taking up teaching as her full time profession. Eventually she won the 2018 election to the House and is now a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

 39 
Bob Feller
(Baseball player)
Bob Feller
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 3, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: December 15, 2010
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 40 
Mamie Eisenhower
(First Lady of the United States as the Wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Mamie Eisenhower
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: November 1, 1979

Mamie Eisenhower was the First Lady of the U.S. through her marriage to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her love for elegant attires got her featured on the New York Dress Institute’s list of the best-dressed women. She gave rise to the Mamie Look and the Mami Pink shade.

Recommended Lists:
 41 
Norman Borlaug
(American Agronomist and Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1970)
Norman Borlaug
12
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 25, 1914
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: September 12, 2009

Norman Borlaug was an American agronomist who played a key role in the Green Revolution, a set of research technology transfer initiatives that increased agricultural production, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. Nicknamed the Father of the Green Revolution, Borlaug was also honored with the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.

 42 
Sara Haines
(Television host)
Sara Haines
11
Birthdate: September 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 43 
Bobby Driscoll
5
Birthdate: March 3, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: March 30, 1968
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 44 
Tionne Watkins
(Singer-Songwriter who rose to Fame as Member of the Girl-Group 'TLC')
Tionne Watkins
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 45 
Gary Webb
(Journalist)
Gary Webb
11
Birthdate: August 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: December 10, 2004
 46 
Grant Wood
(Former painter particularly well known for American Gothic (1930), which has become an iconic example of early 20th-century American art)
Grant Wood
5
Birthdate: February 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: February 12, 1942
 47 
Jane Elliott
(Educator Known for Her ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise)
Jane Elliott
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Jane Elliott is an American schoolteacher best known for inventing and popularizing the Blue eyes/Brown eyes exercise. The exercise, which was first conducted on April 5, 1968, with her third-grade class, aims at helping people understand the ill-effects of racial discrimination. The classroom exercise has inspired a couple of documentaries namely The Eye of the Storm and The Angry Eye.  

 48 
Robin Lord Taylor
(Actor)
Robin Lord Taylor
5
Birthdate: June 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 49 
Richard Beymer
7
Birthdate: February 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 50 
Sue Lyon
(Actress)
Sue Lyon
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: December 26, 2019
Sue Lyon began her career as a model at 13. She then soared to fame with her controversial and Golden Globe-winning titular role in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 version of Lolita. She had also been part of cult films such as The Night of the Iguana and Alligator.