Famous Illinoisans

Famous People Born in Illinois

See our top list of the most famous people from Illinois. We’ve chosen people like athletes, actors, civil rights activists, scientists and people from other walks of life that have come from the “Prairie State”.

Franklin Pierce Adams author, Chicago
Jane Addams social worker, Cedarville
Gillian Anderson actress, Chicago
Mary Astor actress, Quincy
Arnold O. Beckman inventor, Cullom
Jack Benny comedian, Chicago
Black Hawk Sauk Indian chief
Harry A. Blackmun jurist, Nashville
William E. Borah public official, Fairfield
Ray Bradbury author, Waukegan
William Jennings Bryan orator, politician, Salem
Edgar Rice Burroughs author, Chicago
Marvin Camras inventor, Chicago
Jennie Garth actress, Urbana
Gower Champion choreographer, Geneva
John Chancellor TV commentator, Chicago
Raymond Chandler writer, Chicago
Jimmy Connors tennis champion, East St. Louis
James Gould Cozzens author, Chicago
Cindy Crawford model, DeKalb
Richard J. Daley mayor, Chicago
Miles Davis musician, Alton
Walt Disney film animator, producer, Chicago
John Dos Passos author, Chicago
James T. Farrell author, Chicago
Harrison Ford actor, Chicago
Betty Friedan feminist, Peoria
Benny Goodman musician, Chicago
John Gunther author, Chicago
George E. Hale astronomer, Chicago
Dorothy Hamill ice skater, Chicago
Ernest Hemingway author, Oak Park
John M. Harlan jurist, Chicago
Charlton Heston actor, Evanston
Wild Bill Hickok scout, Troy Grove
William Holden actor, O’Fallon
Rock Hudson actor, Winnetka
Burl Ives singer, Hunt City
James Jones author, Robinson
Quincy Jones composer, Chicago
Walter Kerr drama critic, Evanston
Archibald MacLeish poet, Glencoe
David Mamet playwright, Chicago
Homer Z. Martin inventor, Chicago
Stanley Mazor inventor, Chicago
Robert A. Millikan physicist, Morrison
Sherrill Milnes baritone, Downers Grove
Bill Murray actor, Wilmette
John G. Neihardt poet, Sharpsburg
Bob Newhart actor, comedian, Chicago
Frank Norris author, Chicago
William S. Paley broadcasting executive, Chicago
Drew Pearson columnist, Evanston
Richard Pryor comedian, actor, Peoria
Ronald Reagan U.S. president, actor, Tampico
Carl Sandburg poet, Galesburg
Lewis Hastings Sarett inventor, Champaign
Sam Shepard playwright, Fort Sheridan
William L. Shirer author, historian, Chicago
McLean Stevenson actor, Bloomington
Preston Sturges director, Chicago
Clyde W. Tombaugh astronomer, Streator
Gloria Swanson actress, Chicago
Carl Van Doren writer, educator, Hope
Melvin Van Peebles playwright, Chicago
Irving Wallace author, Chicago
Alfred Wallenstein conductor, Chicago
Raquel Welch actress, Chicago
Florenz Ziegfield theatrical producer, Chicago