Famous People From West Virginia

West Virginia is a state of great historic importance. The presence of mountains and several hilly terrains has made this a popular haven for mining since many years. The state is also known for being a home to several renowned celebrities of today. TV host and writer Steve Harvey, Confederate Leader Thomas Jackson as well as actor and voiceover artist Brad Dourif are eminent personalities from West Virginia. It is believed that these personalities and several yesteryear celebs shared a special bond with their hometown – West Virginia. Steve has hosted several acclaimed television shows such as ‘The Steve Harvey Morning Show’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Little Big Shots’ as well as many others. He is also the writer of the bestseller ‘Act Like A Lady. Think Like A Man’. People who still remember their history lessons would probably be aware of Confederate General Thomas Jackson’s role in the American Civil War. For those of you who don’t know, here are the names of other distinguished personalities from West Virginia.
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 1 
Steve Harvey
(Comedian, Actor and TV Host)
Steve Harvey
68
Birthdate: January 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn

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 
Randy Moss
(One of the Greatest and Most Talented Football Wide Receivers of All Time)
Randy Moss
25
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
NFL wide receiver Randy Moss set a record for the highest number of receiving touchdowns in a season. The Minnesota Vikings player became the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 and retired after playing with the San Francisco 49ers. He gave rise to the term “getting mossed.”
 3 
Jerry West
(American Basketball Executive and Former Player)
Jerry West
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini

Basketball player Jerry West, also known as Mr. Clutch, for his ability to snatch games in clutch situations, is known for his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He was part of the US squads that won an Olympic gold in 1960 and a Pan American Games gold in 1959.

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 4 
John Forbes Nash Jr.
(Mathematician)
John Forbes Nash Jr.
42
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: June 13, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: May 23, 2015
The inspiration behind the movie A Beautiful Mind, John F. Nash was a legendary mathematician whose work in the area of game theory earned him the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In his later years, he was riddled with mental illness. He later died in a car crash.
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 5 
Katherine Johnson
(Mathematician and One of the First African-American Women to Work as a NASA Scientist)
Katherine Johnson
90
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 26, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female NASA scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the Apollo program and won a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her achievements.
 6 
Stonewall Jackson
(One of the Best-Known Confederate Commanders During the American Civil War)
Stonewall Jackson
24
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 21, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: May 10, 1863

Stonewall Jackson was a commander of the Confederate States Army. He played a major role as a Confederate general in the American Civil War, winning several significant battles in the Eastern Theater of the war. Considered one of the most tactically sound commanders in the history of the US, Jackson was idolized by George Patton, Chesty Puller, and Alexander Vandegrift.

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 7 
John Corbett
(Actor and Country Music Singer)
John Corbett
16
Birthdate: May 9, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus

John Corbett is an American actor. Widely recognized for his distinctive hairstyle, Corbett himself is a licensed hairstylist as he attended hairdressing classes before becoming an actor. Apart from being an actor, John Corbett is also a successful singer whose debut self-titled album peaked at number 45 on Top Country Albums chart.

 8 
Chuck Yeager
(American Test Pilot and the First Air Force Officer to Exceed the Speed of Sound in Flight)
Chuck Yeager
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: December 7, 2020
U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager was the first human to break the sound barrier, when he flew the Bell X-1 in 1947. He was a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot in World War II and also fought in the Vietnam War. He inspired the novel and movie The Right Stuff.
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 9 
Mary Lou Retton
(American Retired Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medallist)
Mary Lou Retton
22
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 24, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Retired gymnast Mary Lou Retton, known for her trademark, The Retton Flip, made history by becoming the first American female gymnast to win an individual Olympic gold medal and was the first gymnast named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. She later became a motivational speaker.

 10 
Nick Saban
(One of the Greatest College Football Coaches of All Time)
Nick Saban
19
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 31, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio

Nick Saban is an American football coach who is currently serving as the head coach for the University of Alabama. He has also served as the head coach for the NFL team Miami Dolphins. Widely regarded as the greatest coach in the history of college football Saban was made an inductee of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

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 11 
Brad Dourif
(Actor)
Brad Dourif
13
Birthdate: March 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 12 
Brad Douglas Paisley
(Country Music Singer and Songwriter)
Brad Douglas Paisley
17
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 28, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio

Brad Douglas Paisley is an American singer-songwriter. One of the most decorated male country music singers of the current generation, Paisley has won multiple American Music Awards, Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, and Academy of Country Music Awards. Brad Paisley is also known for his skills as a guitarist and one particular model of guitar is named after him.

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 13 
Conchata Ferrell
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Berta’ in the TV Series ‘Two and a Half Men’)
Conchata Ferrell
21
Birthdate: March 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: October 12, 2020
Emmy-nominated actor Conchata Ferrell was best known for her portrayal of housekeeper Berta in Two and a Half Men. She began her career with the off-Broadway show The Sea Horse, which won her a Drama Desk and an Obie award. She had also appeared in Krampus and Erin Brockovich.
 14 
Chris Sarandon
6
Birthdate: July 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo

Chris Sarandon is an American actor best known for voicing the popular Disney character Jack Skellington in the film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Apart from voicing the character in the movie, Sarandon has also voiced Skellington for many Disneyland Halloween attractions, such as Halloween Screams and Haunted Mansion Holiday. He has also voiced Skellington in many video games.

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 15 
Lou Holtz
( Former American Football Player, Coach, and Analyst)
Lou Holtz
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Lou Holtz has been the head football coach of teams such as the New York Jets. He led Notre Dame to be the national champions. Holtz became the only coach to guide four programs to the final top 20. The College Football Hall of Famer later became an ESPN analyst.

 16 
George Brett
(Baseball Player)
George Brett
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
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 17 
Joyce DeWitt
(Actress and Comedian Known for Her Role as ‘Janet Wood’ in the TV Series ‘Three's Company')
Joyce DeWitt
11
Birthdate: April 23, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Three’s Company being her best-known television series, Joyce DeWitt has been a regular on the small screen since her debut in Baretta. The seasoned American actress, who also appeared in plays including Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, co-produced a television film. She has hosted a number of charity programmes. She was caught on the wrong side of the law when she was arrested for drunken driving in California in 2009.
 18 
Katie Lee
(American Cookbook Author, Television Food Critic and Novelist)
Katie Lee
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
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 19 
Jason Williams
(Former Basketball player at point guard)
Jason Williams
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 20 
Deron Williams
(Basketball player)
Deron Williams
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 26, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
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 21 
Jessica Lynch
(Soldier)
Jessica Lynch
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 26, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
 22 
Pearl Buck
(Winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Pearl Buck
20
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: March 6, 1973

Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Pearl Buck was raised in China by her missionary parents. She grew up to teach English literature in Chinese universities and later penned books such as East Wind, West Wind and The Good Earth, which were based on her experiences in China.

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 23 
Cynthia Germanotta
(American Philanthropist, President of the ‘Born This Way Foundation’ and Mother of Singer Lady Gaga)
Cynthia Germanotta
10
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo

Cynthia Germanotta is an American activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is credited with co-founding Born This Way Foundation, for which she also serves as the president. She also plays an important role as an advocate for mental health; in 2019, she served as the World Health Organization's ambassador for mental health.

 24 
Carwood Lipton
(United States Army Officer)
Carwood Lipton
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: December 16, 2001

Carwood Lipton was a United States army officer who served during World War II. Lipton, who played a major role in the Battle of Normandy and Battle of the Bulge, was honored with three Purple Hearts and two Bronze Star medals. In the popular TV war drama miniseries Band of Brothers, Carwood Lipton was portrayed by actor Donnie Wahlberg.

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 25 
T. D. Jakes
(American Non-Denominational Christian Preacher)
T. D. Jakes
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini

Known for his baritone voice and his signature goatee, T. D. Jakes is a bishop at The Potter's House and a filmmaker, too. He has produced and appeared in films such as Jumping the Broom and Not Easily Broken, the latter being based one of his novels.

 26 
Homer Hickam
(Aerospace Engineer)
Homer Hickam
2
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: February 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
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 27 
Hal Greer
(Basketball player)
Hal Greer
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: April 14, 2018
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 28 
Jimbo Fisher
(American Football coach)
Jimbo Fisher
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
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 29 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Literary Critic and Scholar Who Became Popular for His Pioneering Theories of African and African-American Literature)
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
7
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 30 
Joanne Dru
(Actress)
Joanne Dru
7
Birthdate: January 31, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: September 10, 1996
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
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 31 
Bernie Casey
(American Poet, Actor, and Professional Footballer)
Bernie Casey
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 8, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: September 19, 2017
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 32 
Paul Dooley
(Actor)
Paul Dooley
4
Birthdate: February 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
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 33 
Morgan Spurlock
(Film director)
Morgan Spurlock
6
Birthdate: November 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 34 
Gino Marchetti
(American Football Player)
Gino Marchetti
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 2, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: April 29, 2019
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 35 
Joe Manchin
(United States Senator from West Virginia)
Joe Manchin
26
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 36 
Bob Huggins
(Basketball coach)
Bob Huggins
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 37 
Josh Stewart
(Best Known for His Roles in the TV Series ‘Dirt’, ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Third Watch’)
Josh Stewart
8
Birthdate: February 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Josh Stewart is best known as Holt McLaren from Dirt and as William LaMontagne, Jr. from Criminal Minds. Fans also loved him in Third Watch, the film The Dark Knight Rises, and the Netflix series The Punisher. He also wrote and directed the found footage film The Hunted.

 38 
Ryan Switzer
(American football player)
Ryan Switzer
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 4, 1994
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 39 
O. J. Mayo
(Basketball Player)
O. J. Mayo
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 5, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 40 
Peter Marshall (Entertainer)
Peter Marshall (Entertainer)
1
Birthdate: March 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 41 
Thomas Massie
(Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky's 4th District )
Thomas Massie
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Conservative libertarian Republican Thomas Massie is the US Representative from Kentucky's 4th district. Born to a beer distributor, he studied mechanical engineering at MIT and also co-owned a start-up. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he earned Donald Trump’s ire when he opposed a stimulus package to boost the American economy.

 42 
Heath Slater
(American Professional Wrestler)
Heath Slater
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 43 
Randy Barnes
(American Former Shot Putter)
Randy Barnes
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 16, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 44 
Basil L. Plumley
(Military personnel)
Basil L. Plumley
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 1, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: October 10, 2012
 45 
Bobby Campo
6
Birthdate: March 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 46 
Kathy Mattea
(Singer-songwriter)
Kathy Mattea
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 47 
Mike D'Antoni
(Basketball player)
Mike D'Antoni
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 48 
Aaron Staton
6
Birthdate: August 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 49 
Jimmy Dickens
(Singer)
Jimmy Dickens
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 19, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: January 2, 2015
Height: 4'11" (150 cm)
 50 
Harry R. Truman
(Businessman)
Harry R. Truman
7
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: October 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: May 18, 1980

Initially a bootlegger, Harry R. Truman later leased a 50-acre plot in the woods near the active volcano Mount St. Helens and opened the Mount St. Helens Lodge. He became famous after refusing to evacuate the place after warnings that the volcano would erupt, and was later presumed dead.