List of Famous people born in Kansas, United States of America
Robert Joseph Dole is an American retired politician, statesman, and attorney who represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996. He was the Republican Leader of the United States Senate during the final 11 years of his tenure, including three nonconsecutive years as Senate Majority Leader. Prior to his 27 years in the Senate, he served in the U.S House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969. Dole was also the Republican presidential nominee in the 1996 election and the vice presidential nominee in the 1976 election.
Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, known professionally as Joe Exotic, is an American former zoo operator and convicted felon. The former owner and operator of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Maldonado-Passage had claimed to be the most prolific breeder of tigers in the United States. Before working with animals, he was a police officer, briefly serving as the chief of police in Eastvale, Texas. Maldonado-Passage has had three unsuccessful runs for public office: for President of the United States in 2016 as an independent and for Governor of Oklahoma in 2018 as a Libertarian; in 2017, before officially entering the race for Governor, he filed as a candidate seeking the Libertarian nomination for President.
Cassandra Peterson is an American actress, writer and singer. She is best known for her portrayal of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Peterson gained fame on Los Angeles television station KHJ-TV wearing a revealing, black, gothic, cleavage-enhancing gown as host of Elvira's Movie Macabre, a weekly B movie presentation.
Thomas Brent Venables is an American college football coach. He is the defensive coordinator for Clemson Tigers football.
Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer known as BTK or the BTK Strangler or the BTK Killer. Between 1974 and 1991, Rader killed ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and sent taunting letters to police and newspapers describing the details of his crimes. After a decade-long hiatus, Rader resumed sending letters in 2004, leading to his 2005 arrest and subsequent guilty plea. He is serving ten consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Prospect Township, Butler County, Kansas.
Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.
Janelle Monáe Robinson is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, actress, and record producer. Monáe is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokesperson. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monáe Day" in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and social leadership.
Gary Allen Patterson is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at Texas Christian University and the winningest coach in Horned Frogs' history. Patterson has led the TCU Horned Frogs to six conference championships—one Conference USA title in 2002; four Mountain West Conference titles in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and one Big 12 Conference title in 2014—and nine bowl game victories—including victories in the 2011 Rose Bowl and 2014 Peach Bowl. His 2010 squad finished the season undefeated at 13–0 after a 21–19 Rose Bowl victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on New Year's Day 2011, and ranked second in the final tallying of both major polls. He is currently the second longest tenured coach with one FBS program, only behind Kirk Ferentz of the University of Iowa.
R. Lee Ermey
Ronald Lee Ermey was an American film, television and voice actor, and Marine drill instructor. He achieved fame for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Ermey was also a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant.
Eddie Asner, is an American actor, voice artist, and a former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is primarily known for his role as Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, making him one of the few television actors to portray the same character in both a comedy and a drama. He is the most honored male performer in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, having won seven – five for portraying Lou Grant. His other Emmys were for performances in two of the most significant mini-television series of the 1970s: Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), where he won for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Performance in a TV series, and Roots (1977), for which he won for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a TV series.
Annette Carol Bening is an American actress. She began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and played Lady Macbeth in 1984 at the American Conservatory Theater. She was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Coastal Disturbances and for the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for All My Sons. She is a four-time Academy Award nominee for the films: The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004), and The Kids Are All Right (2010). In 2006, she received a film star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Robert Michael Gates is an American intelligence analyst, and university president who served as the 22nd United States secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011. He was originally appointed by President George W. Bush and was retained for service by President Barack Obama. Gates began his career serving as an officer in the United States Air Force but was quickly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Gates served for 26 years in the CIA and the National Security Council, and was Director of Central Intelligence under President George H. W. Bush. After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. Gates served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton, that studied the lessons of the Iraq War.
Erin Brockovich is an American legal clerk, consumer advocate, and environmental activist, who, despite her lack of education in the law, was instrumental in building a case against the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Her successful lawsuit was the subject of a 2000 film, Erin Brockovich, which starred Julia Roberts. Since then, Brockovich has become a media personality as well, hosting the TV series Challenge America with Erin Brockovich on ABC and Final Justice on Zone Reality. She is the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting. She also works as a consultant for Girardi & Keese, the New York law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, which has a focus on personal injury claims for asbestos exposure, and Shine Lawyers in Australia.
Charles "Charlie" Parker Jr., nicknamed "Bird" and "Yardbird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker was a highly influential soloist and leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and advanced harmonies. Parker was a blazingly fast virtuoso and introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas into jazz, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. Primarily a player of the alto saxophone, Parker's tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber.
Stanley Ann Dunham was an American anthropologist who specialized in the economic anthropology and rural development of Indonesia. She was the mother of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Dunham was known as Stanley Ann Dunham through high school, then as Ann Dunham, Ann Obama, Ann Soetoro, a.k.a. Ann Sutoro, and resumed her maiden name, Ann Dunham, later in life.
Mark Leo Turgeon is an American college basketball coach. He is currently the head men's basketball coach at the University of Maryland, College Park, a position he has held since 2011. Turgeon served as the head men's basketball coach at Jacksonville State University from 1998 to 2000, Wichita State University from 2000 to 2007, and Texas A&M University from 2007 to 2011.
Barry Sanders is an American former professional football player who was a running back for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). A Pro Bowl invitee in each of his ten NFL seasons and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Sanders led the league in rushing yards four times and established himself as one of the most elusive runners in pro football with his quickness and agility. In 2007, he was ranked by NFL Network's NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and was also voted the greatest short player of all time as well as being placed #1 on the list of the greatest players never to play in a Super Bowl. He is often regarded as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.
Joseph Fidler Walsh is an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he has been a member of three successful rock bands: James Gang, Eagles, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Walsh was also part of the New Zealand band Herbs. In the 1990s, he was a member of the short-lived supergroup The Best.
Kirstie Louise Alley is an American actress. Her breakout role was as Rebecca Howe on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1987–1993), receiving an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991 for the role. From 1997 to 2000, she starred on the sitcom Veronica's Closet, earning additional Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Gary Warren Hart is an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He was the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until he dropped out amid revelations of extramarital affairs. He represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1975 to 1987.