Famous – and infamous – people come from all over the world. Whether they rise to staTardom in the arts, politics, sports, or other areas, even the most humble of towns can produce a superstar or two. Illinois is no different. It’s the birthplace of quite a number of famous people.
- Two first ladies have come from Illinois. Hilary Clinton was born in Chicago in 1947, and Michelle Obama was also born in Chicago in 1964.
- One president was born in Illinois. That distinction goes to Ronald Reagan, who was born in Tampico, Illinois, in 1911. Tampico is located in the northwest part of the state.
- Illinois was the home state of several actors and actresses. Robin Williams was born in Chicago in 1951. Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, is Betty White’s hometown. She was born there in 1922. Harrison Ford hails from Chicago, having been born there in 1942.
- A number of musicians call Illinois home, including clarinet player and band leader Benny Goodman, who was born in Chicago in 1909, and country singer Alison Krauss, who was born in Decatur in 1971.
- Illinois gave the world such sport stars as figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who was born in Chicago in 1956, track star Jackie Joyner Kersee, who was born in East St. Louis in 1962, baseball player Kirby Puckett, born in Chicago in 1960, and football player Ray Nitschke, born in Elmwood Park, suburban Chicago, in 1936.
- And a few that fall in the miscellaneous category. Game show host Pat Sajak was born in Chicago in 1946, and though you’ll find his theme parks in Florida, California, and other places in the world, Walt Disney was born in the Hermosa area of Chicago in 1901.
What famous people were born in your state?