Cleveland 101 – People

Cleveland is home to many famous and even infamous people from the world of movies, TV, music, politics, sports, science, politics, history and more.  Here are a few Cleveland People you should know about.

Sara Lucy Bagby. Sara Lucy Bagby, a slave who had escaped to Cleveland, was the last person in the US forced to return to slavery in the South under the Fugitive Slave Act.

Jim Brown. The greatest running back in football history and arguably the greatest NFL player ever.

John Brown. Abolitionist from Hudson Ohio who led the raid at Harper’s Ferry which led to the US Civil War.

Thomas Edison. Born just west of Cleveland, Edison’s GE bought Cleveland’s National Electric Lamp Company.

Bob Feller.  Greatest right-handed pitcher in baseball history, this record-breaking Hall of Famer was the first US athlete to enlist after Pearl Harbor and gave up 4 prime years.

Alan Freed was a Cleveland disc jockey who has been called the “Father of Rock and Roll.” He coined and popularized the term “rock and roll” and produced the nation’s first rock concert in 1952.  A jukebox monument is at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

Dorothy Fuldheim. The First Lady of Television News was the first woman in the United States to anchor a television news broadcast as well to host her own television show.

President James Garfield. The 20th president of the US, Garfield was from Cleveland and assassinated in office.  The tomb of President Garfield is located inside a huge (180′ high) memorial at Lake View Cemetery that includes a 12′ tall marble statue of President Garfield.

Marcus Alonzo Hanna. Republican US Senator from Ohio credited with the invention of the modern presidential campaign. Used his money and business skills to successfully manage William McKinley’s presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900.

Judge Sara J. Harper. Sara Harper is an African-American Republican politician who grew up in the Cleveland projects with Mayor Carl Stokes and Rep Louis Stokes.

John Hay. John Hay was an American statesman, diplomat, author, journalist, and private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln. He lived on Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue on “Millionaire’s Row” and is buried in Lake View Cemetery.

John W. Heisman.  The football player and coach who is best known for the Heisman Trophy that bears his name.

Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Johnson was called the best Mayor of the best-governed city in the United States. His ideas transformed the growing city of Cleveland to world-class status.

Rear Admiral Kidd. The highest ranking casualty at Pearl Harbor, he became the first U.S. Navy flag officer killed in action in World War II as well as the first killed in action against any foreign enemy.

Arch Klumph. Creator of the Rotary Foundation which has helped millions and served as a model for Bill Gates foundation.

Frank Lausche. Lausche served as the 47th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, as the 55th and 57th Governor of Ohio and as a United States Senator from Ohio for two terms (1957–1969). Proud Catholic and Slovenian he championed ethnic Democratic politics.

President William McKinley. The 25th President of the US was assassinated six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War which yielded Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. He was very closely tied to Canton Ohio, just south of Cleveland.

Garrett Morgan.  African American inventor and community leader.

Eliot Ness – The Untouchable served as Cleveland’s Safety Director, ran for Mayor of Cleveland and is buried here.

Jesse Owens. Greatest track and Field athlete of all time.  His 4 gold medals in Berlin in 1936 shamed Adolph Hitler.

Frank Robinson. The first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. Cleveland Indians.

Carl Stokes. Carl Stokes was the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

Louis Stokes. 15 term Congressman was the first black congressman elected in the state of Ohio and the first black on the House Appropriations Committee.

Amasa Stone. Amasa Stone was an American engineer, bridge builder, and railroad owner. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, colleague of John D. Rockefeller and his gift led to the foundation of what became known as Case Western Reserve University.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio.

Archibald Willard. This Cleveland (Bedford) native painted one of the most famous paintings of all time – the Spirit of ’76 which hangs in Cleveland City Hall.  His museum is one county west of Cleveland.

Charles Young. Charles Young was the third African-American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. national park superintendent, first black military attaché, first black to achieve the rank of colonel, and highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army.

Coming Soon

  • Celebrities – Tim Conway, Bob Hope, Paul Newman, Halle Berry, Wes Craven,
  • Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson)
  • Harvey Pekar
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Notorious – Danny Greene, Anthony Sowell, Ariel Castro,
  • and many more

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