Famous Native Americans You Had No Clue About!

Thanks to movies, books and pictures on the internet, the image of people wearing feathers on their heads is what conjures up in the minds of most people on hearing ‘native Americans’. Several movies in recent times, including the critically and commercially acclaimed ‘The Revenant’ has revolved around Americans and their conflicts with the US military. Warriors like Red Cloud, Geronimo and Crazy Horse, ballerina Maria Tall Chief, actor Will Rogers and Pocahontas are a few famous native Americans, who have great historic significance. Pocahontas is a famous figure who has got many people around the world curious. According to legends, Pocahontas was a kind-hearted woman who saved an Englishman who almost died at the hands of her American father. Red Cloud, Geronimo and Cloud Horse are warriors who revolted against the US military forces and gave the sophisticated army troops nightmares. Will Rogers is an actor who has essayed several roles in almost 71 films and has penned several articles. Here are the names of other famous yesteryear Americans the history books probably didn’t tell you.
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 1 
Jim Thorpe
(American Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Jim Thorpe
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Oklahoma, United States
Died: March 28, 1953

Jim Thorpe was an American athlete who was counted among the most versatile athletes of the modern era. Jim Thorpe won two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics and became the first Native American to give the United States an Olympic gold. He also played American football, professional baseball, and basketball. He was memorialized in the 1951 film Jim Thorpe – All-American.

 2 
Vivica A. Fox
(Actress)
Vivica A. Fox
26
Birthdate: July 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 3 
Sitting Bull
(Warrior)
Sitting Bull
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1831 AD
Birthplace: Grand River
Died: December 15, 1890
Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull is symbolic of the Native American resistance against the U.S. government. After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he surrendered and performed at Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. The U.S. government, fearing he might join the Ghost Dance Movement, killed him during an attempted arrest.
 4 
Crazy Horse
(Military Leader, Folk Hero)
Crazy Horse
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Rapid City, South Dakota
Died: September 5, 1877

Nineteenth-century Lakota war lord Crazy Horse, of the Oglala subtribe, is remembered as a legendary hero who fought against white encroachment of Native American territories. He was part of the Black Hills War and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He died fighting at Camp Robinson, in modern-day Nebraska.

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 5 
Sam Bradford
(American football player)
Sam Bradford
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 6 
Sara Evans
(Singer-Songwriter)
Sara Evans
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boonville, Missouri, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
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 7 
Evo Morales
(President of Bolivia)
Evo Morales
22
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 26, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orinoca Canton
Evo Morales was the Bolivian president from 2006 to 2019. Known for his campaign for coca plantations, which some attribute to the growth of illegal cocaine production, he earned the nickname World Hero of Mother Earth. He leads the Movement for Socialism party and is a champion for indigenous rights.
 8 
Charles Curtis
(Former Vice President of the United States)
Charles Curtis
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 25, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Topeka
Died: February 8, 1936
Charles Curtis served as the U.S. vice president from 1929 to 1933, becoming the first Native American person and the first person of color to hold the post. A qualified attorney, he served as the senate majority leader from 1924 to 1929. He also helped pass the 1898 Curtis Act.
 9 
Edmonia Lewis
(First African-American and Native American Sculptor to Achieve International Prominence)
Edmonia Lewis
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1844
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rensselaer County, New York, United States
Died: September 17, 1907

Edmonia Lewis was an American sculptor who worked in Rome for most of her career. The first African-American sculptor to gain international prominence, Lewis was also the only Black female artist to have participated and recognized by the American artistic mainstream until the end of the 19th century. Molefi Kete Asante included Lewis in his 100 Greatest African Americans list.

 10 
Joe Medicine Crow
(Native American Writer, Historian and War Chief of the Crow Nation)
Joe Medicine Crow
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 27, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lodge Grass, Montana, United States
Died: April 3, 2016

The last Crow war chief, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow was part of the Whistling Water clan of Native Americans. The legendary indigenous hero was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A published historian, too, he is remembered for his research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

 11 
Ira Hayes
(Military Leader)
Ira Hayes
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sacaton, Arizona, United States
Died: January 24, 1955
 12 
Russell Means
(Activist)
Russell Means
7
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: November 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Porcupine, South Dakota, United States
Died: October 22, 2012
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 13 
Chief Joseph
(Nez Perce leader)
Chief Joseph
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 3, 1840
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wallowa River
Died: September 21, 1904

Chief Joseph, a leader of the Nez Percé tribe of Native Americans, had initially agreed to the U.S. demand of them moving into a reservation in Idaho. However, fearing retaliation after his men killed a few whites, he attempted an escape to Canada, leading his people through an arduous trek.

 14 
Sherman Alexie
(Novelist)
Sherman Alexie
13
Birthdate: October 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Spokane
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 15 
Pocahontas
(Native American)
Pocahontas
22
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1596 AD
Birthplace: Gloucester County, Virginia
Died: February 29, 1617

Pocahontas was a Native American woman born in the Powhatan tribal nation. She was embroiled in the hostility between the English colonial settlers and the natives in Virginia during the 1610s. Later she married an Englishman and was taken to England in 1616 for the world to see the example of the ‘civilised savage’. Her legacy continues in the US.

 16 
Hiawatha
(Orator)
Hiawatha
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1525 AD
Birthplace: United States
Died: 1595 AD
 17 
Charley Patton
(Musician)
Charley Patton
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hinds County, Mississippi, United States
Died: April 28, 1934
 18 
Susan La Flesche Picotte
(American doctor)
Susan La Flesche Picotte
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: June 17, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Omaha Reservation, Nebraska, United States
Died: September 18, 1915
 19 
Stand Watie
(General)
Stand Watie
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 12, 1806
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Calhoun, Georgia
Died: September 9, 1871
 20 
Tatanka
(American Retired Professional Wrestler)
Tatanka
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pembroke, North Carolina, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 21 
Black Kettle
(Leader)
Black Kettle
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 7, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Black Hills
Died: November 27, 1868
 22 
Pontiac
(Warrior)
Pontiac
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1720 AD
Birthplace: Great Lakes region
Died: April 20, 1769
 23 
Sylvester Graham
(American Presbyterian Minister and Dietary Reformer)
Sylvester Graham
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 5, 1794
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Suffield, Connecticut, United States
Died: September 11, 1851
 24 
Crispus Attucks
(First person killed during the Boston Massacre)
Crispus Attucks
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1723 AD
Birthplace: Framingham, Massachusetts, United States
Died: 1770 AD
 25 
Eugene Bennett Fluckey
(Navy Rear Admiral)
Eugene Bennett Fluckey
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: June 28, 2007
 26 
N. Scott Momaday
(Author)
N. Scott Momaday
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lawton, Oklahoma
 27 
Charles Bulfinch
(Architect)
Charles Bulfinch
0
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: August 8, 1763
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Massachusetts Bay Colony, United States
Died: April 15, 1844

Best known for designing government buildings, Charles Bulfinch was also the first American-born architect. Educated at Harvard, he was later influenced by Neoclassical art. His designs included the Massachusetts State House and the Maine Capitol. He was also one of the architects of the United States Capitol.

 28 
Bronson Koenig
(Basketball player)
Bronson Koenig
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 13, 1994
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 29 
Marjorie Tallchief
(Ballerina)
Marjorie Tallchief
1
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: October 19, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
 30 
R. C. Gorman
(Artist)
R. C. Gorman
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chinle, Arizona, United States
Died: November 3, 2005
 31 
Squanto
(Folk Hero)
Squanto
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 30, 1622
 32 
Paula Gunn Allen
(Poet)
Paula Gunn Allen
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Died: May 29, 2008
 33 
Joseph Yoakum
(Artist)
Joseph Yoakum
2
Birthdate: February 22, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Died: December 25, 1972
 34 
Nana
(Warrior)
Nana
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1800 AD
Birthplace: New Mexico, United States
Died: May 19, 1896
 35 
Yvonne Chouteau
(Ballerina)
Yvonne Chouteau
0
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: March 7, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: January 24, 2016
 36 
William Pogue
(Astronaut)
William Pogue
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Okemah, Oklahoma, United States
Died: March 3, 2014
 37 
Shabbona
(Chief)
Shabbona
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1775 AD
Birthplace: Ohio, United States
Died: July 17, 1859
 38 
Rosella Hightower
(Ballerina)
Rosella Hightower
4
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: January 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Durwood, Oklahoma, United States
Died: November 4, 2008
 39 
Cornplanter
(politician)
Cornplanter
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1750 AD
Birthplace: Genesee River
Died: February 18, 1836

John Abeel III, better known as Cornplanter, was a Dutch-Seneca war chief. He played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War, serving as a chief warrior. He also played a major role during the post-revolutionary war years, serving as a negotiator between the Seneca and the new Americans.

 40 
Louis W. Ballard
(Composer)
Louis W. Ballard
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oklahoma, United States
Died: February 9, 2007
 41 
Mildred Loving
(Civil Rights Activist)
Mildred Loving
0
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Central Point, Virginia, United States
Died: May 2, 2008