Behold the most comprehensive listing of famous people from Indiana in the world!!!

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Amaze your friends with this famous Hoosier knowledge. Who knows? Maybe they will like you after you tell them these facts.

  • Angela Ahrendts– Born in New Palastine, IN. Angela was CEO of luxury brand Burberry before taking a high level position at Apple.
  • Dick Barnett– Dick was a standout player in the NBA for 14 years and won two championships as a player for the New York Knicks.  Before that he led Tennessee State to three consecutive NAIA championships.
  • Larry Bird– Born in West Baden on December 7,1956. Bird is the man.
  • Bill Blass– This internationally famous fashion designer was born in Fort Wayne on June 22nd.
  • Stephan Bonnar– Stephan Bonnar first gained nation popularity while competing in the first season of the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter. His first fight with former UFC champ Forrest Griffin is considered one of the best MMA matches of all time.
  • Frank Borman– Chicagoans will recognize his namesake stretch of highway, but Frank was actually born in Gary.  He is only of the only astronauts who have orbited the moon.
  • Avery Brooks– Born October 2nd in Evansville, Avery is most famous for playing Captain Sisko on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
  • John Chapman– Many people know him as Johnny Appleseed.  Learn all about him from one of our webisodes on the video page. Go on…do it.
  • Jimmy Clabby– 1941 World Middleweight Boxing Champ. Jimmy was born in Connecticut on July 14th, 1899 but grew up in Hammond,IN.
  • Irv Cross– Anyone watching CBS sports in the 80s has seen this guys smiling face.  Irv was a great athelete at Hammond High before playing college ball for Northwestern and then 10 years in the NFL.  He was also the first African-American anchor on a national sports show.
  • Jay Cutler– The Bears QB was born April 29th in Santa Claus Indiana.
  • Jim Davis– The writer and creator of Garfield was born in Marion on July 28, 1945.  Garfield’s headquarters is still in Indiana. Go read a garfield comic at www.garfield.com, then come straight back here.
  • James Dean– The original Hollywood rebel was born in Marion on Feburary 8th, 1931. He has a museum dedicated to him in Fairmount.
  • John Dillinger– One of the world’s most notorious gangsters of the 20’s and 30’s was born June 22, 1903 in Indianapolis.
  • Joyce Dewitt– Known most for her role as Janet on Three’s Company, Joyce was born in West Virgina on April 23, 1949 but grew up in Speedway, Indiana.  After getting a degree in Theater from Ball State she moved to California where somebody knocked on her door. She was waiting for them though. Joyce has also had an illustrious career on the stage as well, starring in comedies, dramas and musicals.
  • Dave Duerson- Forever a legend as a safety for the 85 Bears. Dave was born on Nov 28,1960 in Muncie and played football and basketball at Northside High School and then played football for Notre Dame. Dave suffered from CTE, an infliction caused by playing football and committed suicide at the age of 50.
  • Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds–  Babyface is a grammy award winning singer, song writer and record producer. To say he is just a musician is an understatement. Edmonds is a musical institution. He was born on April 10th in Indianapolis.
  • Mike Epps– Day Day on Friday. Nuff said. He’s funny yo. Born in Indianapolis on November 18th.
  • Charlie Finley– Charlie O grew up in Gary, later became a millionaire selling insurance and bought the Kansas City A’s and moved them to Oakland.
  • Carl Fisher–  Founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Lincoln Highway, The Dixie Highway and Miami Beach.
  • Jenna Fisher– The actress most known for her role as Pam in The Office was born March 7th in Fort Wayne.
  • Jared Fogle– Born in Indianapolis on Dec 1,1977.  Jared gained fame as the poster boy for Subway sandwiches but has recently plead guilty on charges of child pornography. Should we take him off the list now? Let us know.
  • Vivica A. Fox– This foxy actress was born in South Bend on July 30th and Graduated from Arlington High School in Indianapolis. A fox.
  • Brendan Fraser– George of the Jungle was born in Indianapolis on Dec 3.
  • Jim Gaffigan– Jim was born on July 7, 1966 in Illinois. Eventually his parent’s got smart and moved his family to Northwest Indiana. He actually calls out Giovanni’s in Munster in his best selling book “Dad is Fat.”
  • Freddie Gibbs– Gary Native Gibbs was featured in XXLs Freshman Class and has since been a notable rapper. Check out Gibbs’ gangsta beats at https://soundcloud.com/gangstagibbs
  • Richard Gordon Hatcher– Hatcher was the first African American Mayor of Gary and as such became the first African American Mayor of an American city larger than 100,000 people.  Born July 10th, 1933 in Michigan City.
  • Florence Henderson– America’s favorite mom was born in Dale on February 14, 1934.
  • Shannon Hoon–  The lead singer of Blind Melon was born in Lafayette on Sept 26th and grew up in Dayton Indiana.  His sister was friends with fellow Hoosier rocker Axl Rose.
  • Michael Jackson– Born August 29, 1958 in Gary, IN.  Hee hee. Shamon!
  • Janet Jackson– No her name ain’t baby, it’s Janet…you know the rest.  Born May 16, 1966.
  • Doug Jones– This Hollywood actor was born on May 24th in Indianapolis.  You’ve seen him in many roles on tv and film but his most recognizable roles were in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie) and Hellboy.  Doug worked as Ball State’s mascot Charlie Cardinal.
  • Jim Jones- This infamous cult leader was born in Crete, IN on May 13th, 1931.
  • Alex Karas–  Alex was born July 15th and grew up in Gary.  He played defensive end for the Detroit Lions before tackling our hearts as Webster’s dad.  Alex died in 2012.
  • Greg Kinnear–  This star of Little Miss Sunshine and As Good As It Gets was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport.
  • Ron Kittle– Any White Sox fan knows Kittle as 1983 Rookie of the year.  That year he had 35 home runs and 100 RBIs. The Gary native was born Jan 5th 1958 and remained a region resident after his MLB career was completed. He is now part owner of the Whiting Oilmen.
  • Joan & Jayne Knoerzer– You might not recognize their names but these sisters were the original Doublemint twins.  They lived in Hammond and were hired by Wrigley to promote the gum.
  • Bob Kuechenberg– Bob is a six time Pro-Bowl linemen. He was born in Gary on Oct 14, 1967 and played for the Hobart Brickies before playing college ball for Notre Dame and 13 years for the Miami Dolphins.
  • Don Larsen–  This major league pitcher was born on Aug 27, 1929 in Michigan city. His family moved to San Francisco when he was in his teens.  He played for many MLB teams including the Orioles and Yankees.
  • David Letterman– Dave was born April 12, 1947.  He is known affectionately as “Uncle Dave” to Ball State students and alumni,
  • Abraham Lincoln– Abe was born on Feb 12, 1809 in Kentucky but grew up in Spencer County, Indiana. Now those Illinoisians try to tell you different, ABE IS AN INDIANA BOY.
  • Kenny Lofton– The six time all-star for the Cleveland Indians was born in East Chicago on May 31, 1967.
  • Carole Lombard– The famous Hollywood actress was born on Oct 6th, 1908 in Ft. Wayne.
  • Shelley Long– Best known as Diane on Cheers. Shelly was born on Aug 23rd in Fort Wayne and crossed the border to attend college at Northwestern in Chicago.  She joined the Second City comedy troupe before becoming a big and small screen star.  The Money Pit was pretty excellent.
  • Angel Manfreddy– Angel was born in Gary on October 30, 1974 and grew up in East Chicago.  He won an impressive 23 profession boxing matches in a row and was a major draw for boxing fans in the 1990s.
  • Strother Martin– Born in Kokomo and most remembered for his line in Cool Hand Luke: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
  • Don Mattingly– Don spent 14 years as an all-star player for the New York Yankees. He is currently the manager for the Dodgers. He was born in Evansville on April 20, 1961.
  • Lloyd McClendon- Born January 11th, 1959.  People knew Lloyd was good at baseball when he played for the Gary, IN team in the Little League World Series.  In the MLB he played for the Reds, Cubs and Pirates.  He is now the manager of the Seattle Mariners.  He is one of Valparaiso University’s famous alumni.
  • Ralph McQuarrie– Here’s Indiana’s Star Wars connection. Ralph was born in Gary, IN on June 13, 1929 and years later was hired by George Lucas as a conceptual artist for Star Wars.  He designed Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3PO.
  • Steve McQueen– The star of Bullet and The Magnificent Seven was born March 24, 1930 in Beach Grove.
  • John Mellencamp– Born October 7th, 1951 in Seymour.  Well he was born in a small town…..
  • Brandon Moore– A Gary native, Moore played for the Jets in the NFL for 10 years.
  • Hal Morris– Hal was born in Alabama but lived in Munster and attended Munster High School before going to U of Michigan and then playing professional baseball for the Yankees, Reds and Tigers.
  • Ferid Murad– Dr. Murad, a DePauw alum,  was a recipient of a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1998. He grew up in Whiting.
  • Jane Pauley– Jane was born on Halloween in 1950 in Indianapolis.
  • Cole Porter– The famous American composer and songwriter in the 20s and 30s was born in Peru in 1891.
  • Sydney Pollack– This accomplished actor and film director was born in Lafayette on July 1, 1934. His films included Academy Award winning Out of Africa, Tootsie, and The Firm.
  • Gregg Poppovich– This Region native is currently the coach of the San Antonio Spurs.  Gregg was born January 28, 1949 in East Chicago and went to Merrillville High School before joining the Air Force.
  • Ernie Pyle–  This Pulitzer Prize winning journalist died during the Battle of Okinawa. He was born in Dana, IN on August 30, 1900.
  • Dan Quayle– Vice President under George Bush was born in Indianapolis on February 4, 1957.
  • Orville Redenbacher– Orville was born in Brazil on July 16, 1907.  He went to Purdue University and worked in agriculture before going into the popcorn business in Valparaiso, IN
  • Oscar Robertson– This basketball legend was born in Indianapolis in 1930.
  • Glen Robinson– Glen was born in Gary on January 10, 1973, played for Purdue University and then in the NBA for the Bucks, Falcons, 76ers and Spurs. His son Glenn Robinson III plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • A.C. Roebuck– Alvah Roebuck partnered with a man named Sears to form the Sears, Roebuck & Co.  He was born January 9, 1864 in Lafayette and became a watchmaker in Hammond before partnering with Sears.
  • Bob Ross– Bob was not born or raised in Indiana, but he did produce the first national series of The Joy of Painting and almost 400 episodes of the show at WIPB in Muncie, IN.
  • Axl Rose– Bill Bailey was born in Lafayette on February 6, 1962. He then moved the jungle where they have fun and games.
  • David Lee Roth– The only good frontman of Van Halen was born in Bloomington on October 10, 1954.
  • Jeff Samardja– This Valparaiso High School grad has pitched for both the Cubs and White Sox.  His skills are currently in high demand and is now playing for the San Francisco Giants.
  • Colonel Sanders– The leader of the KFC Army was born in Henryville in 1890.  He lived 90 years thanks to 11 special herbs and spices.
  • “Papa” John Schnatter– Born in Jeffersonville on November 23, 1961.  this Ball State grad found Papa John’s, of course, which now has over 3,400 locations.
  • Jean Parker Shephard– Jean was born on the south side of Chicago but grew up in Hammond and graduated from Hammond High. Many of his great stories, including the movie A Christmas Story, were based in Northwest Indiana.
  • Kawann Short– A defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers, Kawann played football for E.C. Central and then college ball for Purdue.
  • Will Shortz– Crossword puzzle editor for the New York Times and puzzle legend. Will was born Aug 26, 1952 in Crawfordsville, IN.
  • Red Skelton– The famous comedian and namesake for the Red Skelton show was born in Vincennes in 1913.
  • Scott Skiles– In 1982, Skiles led Plymouth High to the Indiana State Championship. Since then he has been a player and coach in the NBA, coaching the Bulls, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic.  Most importantly though is his name is mentioned in a song by Tribe Called Quest.  Phife rhymes “Running mad game like your name was Scott Skiles, or better yet Magic or even Karl Malone, whatever game it is your aim is to bone.” Born March 5, 1964.
  • Tavis Smiley– Tavis is now a media icon with his hands in many areas of media. This great interviewer grew up in Bunker HIll.
  • Tony Stewart– Born May 20, 1971 in Columbus, IN.  He drives fast yo.
  • Joseph Stigltz– He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001.  He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers. In 2011 he was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Tim Stoddard– This E.C. native is the only athelete to garner a NCAA basketball championship and World Series ring. Stoddard pitched for MLB teams including the White Sox, Cubs, Padres and Yankees.
  • Izzy Stradlin– Cofounder of Guns and f’n Roses, man. Born in Lafayette on April 8, 1962.
  • Chuck Taylor- Creator of the most popular sneakers in the world was born in Columbus on June 24, 1901.
  • Ernest Lee Thomas– Ernest was born in Gary, IN and is most known for his role as Roger in “What’s Happening”
  • Jimmy “The Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant– Jimmy was born in Tennessee but grew up in Hammond, IN. He was one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the 70s.
  • Vee-Jay Records– Vee-Jay is not a person but this record label was “born” in Gary by Vivian Carter and James Bracken.  Vee-Jay was a major R&B label in the 50s and 60s and actually acquired the rights of some early recordings to a popular band known as the Bateles…wait I mean the Beatles.  Ever heard of em?
  • Kurt Vonnegut– One of the world’s most famous Sci-Fi writers was born in Indianapolis on November 11, 1922.
  • General Lewis “Lew” Wallace- Born April 10, 1827, Lew was a famous Union Civil War General and author of Ben Hur.
  • Bonzi Wells–  Bonzi was born September 28th in Muncie and played basketball for Ball State University before starting his NBA career.
  • Deniece Williams– The four time Grammy winner is probably most known for her song “That’s What Friends Are For.” Deniece, born in Gary on June 2, 1951, has had a long career in R&B and now focuses more on gospel music recordings.
  • Fred “The Hammer” Williamson– This OG from Gary (Born March 5, 1938) is known as a movie actor and director and also had a great NFL career,  Go rent Black Caesar of Dusk Til Dawn to see why they call him “The Hammer.”  Learn his story in our first podcast.
  • Rod Woodson– Rod played in the NFL for 17 years as a cornerback. He was born March 10th in Fort Wayne and played college ball at Purdue.
  • JoAnne Worley– You can close your eyes and still envision her on Laugh-IN. Jo was born in Lowell on September 6th, 1937.
  • Wilbur Wright– This aviation pioneer was born near Millville on April 16, 1867.
  • Tony Zale- Gary born two-time boxing middleweight champion.
  • Fuzzy Zoeller– Fuzzy won a total of PGA tournaments. Born in New Albany on Nov 11, 1951. He is known to younger golf enthusiasts as the guy who said the racist remarks about Tiger Woods’ championship dinner.

This list is constantly being updated and expanded so feel free to email suggestions.


  1. A member of the noted “Hoosier Group” of American Impressionist painters, T.C. Steele was attracted to Brown County by the scenery he encountered while hiking in the area. The area now known as the T.C. Steele State Historic Site includes 211 acres of wooded hills and ravines that inspired the artist to paint some of his most famous works. As Indiana’s premier portraitist of the late h and early h centuries, Steele also painted many of Indiana’s “rich and famous.” He became a nationally recognized painter in the 18.

  2. Bob Friend, professional baseball player, was born in Lafayette, Indiana but not mentioned on your website. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Friend.

  3. John Hiatt, folk singer, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. See… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hiatt

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