Famous Iowans

Famous People Born in Iowa

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

Bess Streeter Aldrich author, Cedar Falls
Bix Beiderbecke jazz musician, Davenport
Norman Borlaug plant pathologist, geneticist, Cresco
Donald L. Campbell inventor, Clinton
Wallace Hume Carothers inventor, Burlington
Johnny Carson TV entertainer, Corning
William Buffalo Bill Cody scout, Scott Cty
Gardner Cowles Jr. publisher, Algona
Lee DeForest inventor, Council Bluffs
Simon Estes bass-baritone, Centerville
William Frawley actor, Burlington
George H. Gallup poll taker, Jefferson
Susan Glaspell writer, Davenport
Herbert Hoover U.S. president, West Branch
Ann Landers columnist, Sioux City
Cloris Leachman actress, Des Moines
William D. Leahy fleet admiral, Hampton
John L. Lewis labor leader, Lucas
Glenn L. Martin aviator, manufacturer, Macksburg
Elsa Maxwell writer, Keokuk
Glenn Miller bandleader, Clarinda
Harriet Nelson actress, Des Moines
Nathan M. Pusey educator, Council Bluffs
David Rabe playwright, Dubuque
Harry Reasoner TV commentator, Dakota City
Donna Reed actress, Denison
Lillian Russell soprano, Clinton
Wallace Stegner author, critic, Lake Mills
Billy Sunday evangelist, Ames
James A. Van Allen space physicist, Mount Pleasant
Abigail Van Buren columnist, Sioux City
Henry A. Wallace statesman, Adair Cty
John Wayne actor, Winterset
Andy Williams singer, Wall Lake
Meredith Willson composer, Mason City
Grant Wood painter, Anamosa