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Hot Times, Cool Places

Minnesota Vacation Fun Facts

Famous Minnesotans

These are just a few of the famous people who were either born in Minnesota or spent some important time in Minnesota.

Rick Aguilera, baseball player

Grady Alderman, football player

Paul Allen, sports announcer

Bob Allison, baseball player

Morten Andersen, football player

C. Elmer Anderson, Minnesota governor

Dennis Anderson, sports writer

Elmer Anderson, Minnesota governor

Gary Anderson, football player

Loni Anderson, actress

Louie Anderson, comedian

Richard Dean Anderson, actor

Wendell Anderson, Minnesota governor

LaVerne, Maxene, and Patti Andrews, singers

Kofi Annan, UN secretary general

James Arness, actor

Jeanne Arth, tennis player


Earl Bakken, founder, Medtronic

Tammy Faye Bakker, religious singer

Balsom, Fond du Lacs tribal leader

Ann Bancroft, polar explorer, first female to reach both the North Pole (1986) and South Pole (1993)

Margaret Banning, author

Marion Barber III, football player

Chuck Barta, football trainer

Earl Battey, baseball player

Todd Bauman, football player

John Beasley, football player

Charles Albert Bender, baseball player

Michael Bennett, football player

Elmer A. Benson, Minnesota governor

Juan Berenguar, baseball player

Patty Berg, golfer

Mitch Berger, football player

Berry Hunter, Mississippi River band tribal leader

Jessica Biel, actress

Big Thunder, Dakota tribal leader

Brian Billick, football coach

Matt Birk, football player

Henry Blackman, U.S. Supreme Court judge

Matt Blair, football player

Carol Bly, short story writer

Robert Bly, poet

Bert Blyleven, baseball player

Eduard Boeckmann, doctor, develops better method for preparing catgut for surgery

Norman Borlaug, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Lyman Bostock, baseball player

Henry Charles Boucha, hockey player

Réné Boucher, the Sieur de La Perrière, founder of first Christian mission in Minnesota

Edward G. Bremer, kidnap victim

Jack Brewer, football player

Edward A. Bromley, first regular newspaper staff photographer

Herb Brooks, hockey coach

Neal Broten, hockey player

Aaron Brown, TV news anchor

Bill “Boom-Boom” Brown, football player

Joey Browner, football player

Browns Valley Man, 10,000-year-old skeleton discovered in Brown County

Bob Bruer, football player and coach

Tom Brunansky, baseball player

Bobby Bryant, football player

Warren Burger, U.S. Supreme Court chief justice

Nate Burleson, football player

Jerry Burns, football coach

Pierce Butler, U.S. Supreme Court judge


Kelly Campbell, football player

Rod Carew, baseball player

Arne Carlson, Minnesota governor

Herb Carneal, baseball announcer

Anthony Carter, football player

Chris Carter, football player

Amelia Hyde Center, designer of Minnesota state flag

Byron Chamberlain, football player

Corey Chavous, football player

Brad Childress, football coach

Theodore Christianson, Minnesota governor and historian

Jeff Christy, football player

Joel and Ethan Coen, movie producers, directors, and screenwriters

Norm Coleman, U.S. senator

Marty Cordova, baseball player

Ted Cottrell, football coach

Sam Cowart, football player

Fred Cox, football player

Betty Crocker, food brand character

Crooked Arm, Ojibwe tribal leader

Irv Cross, football player and coach

Michael Cuddyer, baseball player

Daunte Culpepper, football player

Randall Cunningham, football player

Gary Cuozzo, football player


H. David and Dotty Dalquist, founders of Nordic Ware and inventors of the Bundt cake pan

Edward W. Davis, developed and perfected taconite process

Jack Del Rio, football player

William Demarest, actor

John Dillinger, criminal

Dave Dixon, football player

Chris Doleman, football player

William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court judge

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth, explorer

Tony Dungy, football player and coach

Bob Dylan (Zimmerman), singer and songwriter


Paul Edinger, football player

Grete Eliassen, superpipe X-games star

Kimberly Elise, actress

Carl Eller, football player

Louise Erdrich, novelist

Scott Erickson, baseball player


Jim Fahnhorst, football coach

Alexander Faribault, fur trader

Mike Farrell, actor

Ciatrick Fason, football player

George Featherstonhaugh, explorer, author of A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor

Jay Fiedler, football player

Jim Finks, football manager

Francis Scott Fitzgerald, novelist

Dan Ford, baseball player

Chuck Foreman, football player

Al Franken, political humorist, author, radio commentator

Don Fraser, UN delegate

James Earle Fraser, sculptor

Orvil Freeman, Minnesota governor and U.S. secretary of agriculture

Thomas Friedman, columnist and political commentator


Gary Gaetti, baseball player

Wanda Gag, children's book author and illustrator

Greg Gagne, baseball player

Neil Gaiman, novelist and comic book author

Rich Gannon, football player

Augie Garcia, singer

Ron Gardenhire, baseball coach

Judy Garland, singer and actress

Jean Paul Getty, philanthropist, founder of Getty Oil Company

Cass Gilbert, architect

John Gilliam, football player

Terry Gilliam, actor, writer, director

Dan Gladden, baseball player

Tony Glover, musician

Adam Goldberg, football player

Horace Goodhue Jr., founder of Carleton College

James Madison Goodhue, publisher of first newspaper in Minnesota, the Minnesota Pioneer

Genevieve Gorder, designer

Michele Gran, co-founder of Global Volunteers

Mary GrandPre, illustrator

Harry Peter “Bud” Grant, football coach

Jim “Mudcat” Grant, baseball player

Peter Aurness Graves, actor

Denny Green, football coach

Steven Greenberg, disco music writer and producer

Grey Iron, Dakota tribal leader

Robert Griffith, football player

Joan Growe, Minnesota secretary of state

Cristian Guzman, baseball player


Theodore Hamm, founder of Hamms Brewery

Duane Hanson, sculptor

Brian Harper, baseball player

Napoleon Harris, football player

Sid Hartman, sports writer

Josh Hartnett, actor

John Hassler, novelist

Joe Hauser, baseball player

Steve Heiden, football player

E. J. Henderson, football player

Father Louis Hennepin, explorer, wrote the first book about Minnesota, Description de la Louisane

Wally Hilgenberg, football player

James J. Hill, railroad tycoon, founder of Great Northern Railway

Larry Hisle, baseball player

Leroy Hoard, football player

Tami Hoag, novelist

Hole-in-theDay, Mississippi River band tribal leader

Bill Holm, poet

George Hormel, founder of Hormel Foods

Aaron Hosack, football player

Phil Housley, hockey player

Kent Hrbek, baseball player

Don Hultz, football player

Hubert Humphrey, U.S. senator, vice president, and presidential candidate

Muriel Humphrey, U.S. senator

Skip Humphrey, Minnesota attorney general

Torii Hunter, baseball player


John Ireland, archbishop

Ken Irvin, football player

Tim Irwin, football player


Jimmy Jam (James Harris III), songwriter, co-founder of Flyte Tyme Productions

Erasmus James, football player

Whoopee John, polka king

Brad Johnson, football player

John A. Johnson, Minnesota governor

Marcus Johnson, football player

Spencer Johnson, football player

Lance Johnstone, football player

Father Joliet, explorer

Jolly Green Giant, food brand character

Jacques Jones, baseball player

Steve Jordan, football player


Jim Kaat, baseball player

Joe Kapp, football player

Rich Karlis, football player

Karl Kasulke, football player

Garrison Keillor, radio humorist and author

Frank Kellogg, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, Kellogg-Briand Pact

Tom Kelly, baseball coach

Sister Elizabeth Kenny, nurse, discovered a revolutionary treatment for polio

Linda Kelsey, actress

Walt Kiesling, football player

Craig Kilbourn, TV host and comedian

Harmon Killebrew, baseball player

Jim Kleinsasser, football player

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator

Jim Klobuchar, newspaper columnist

Chris Kluwe, football player

T. R. Knight, actor

Chuck Knoblauch, baseball player

Coya Knutson, U.S. representative

John Koerner, musician

Charlie Korsmo, actor

Corey Koskie, baseball player

Tommy Kramer, football player

Paul Krause, football player

Peter Krause, actor

John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Celebrate Today, and The Biology of Business; founder and member of the Self-Publishing Hall of Fame; maintainer of this web site; self-promoter


Lorna Landvik, author

Jessica Lange, actress

Gary Larsen, football player

Matt Lawton, baseball player

Carl Lee, football player

Tom Lehman, golfer

Brock Lesnar, wrestler

Pierre Charles Le Sueur, explorer

Harold LeVander, Minnesota governor

Sinclair Lewis, Nobel Prize-winning novelist

Terry Lewis, songwriter, co-founder of Flyte Tyme Productions

Like a Reindeer, Grand Portage tribal leader

C. Walton Lillehei, doctor who performed first open heart surgery

Charles Lindbergh Jr., aviator, first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean

Scott Linehan, football coach

Lipps, Inc., rock group

Little Crow, Dakota tribal leader

Little Englishman, Grand Portage tribal leader

Little Rock, Ojibwe tribal leader

Little Shell, Ojibwe tribal leader

Chris Liwienski, football player

Loon's Foot, Fond du Lacs tribal leader

Maud Hart Lovelace, author

Kirk Lowdermilk, football player

Edward Lowe, inventor

Bob Lurtsema, football player

Mike Lynn, football executive


Charles Macalester, business executive (Macalester College named after him)

Shane Mack, baseball player

Cornell MacNeil, singer

John Madden, football coach and sportscaster

Roger Maris, baseball player

Father Marquette, explorer

Frank Mars, founder of Mars, Inc., creator of Milky Way candy bar

Forrest Mars, CEO, Mars, Inc., creator of M&Ms

E. G. Marshall, actor

Jim Marshall, football player

Billy Martin, baseball coach

Doug Martin, football player

Glen Mason, football coach

Tommy Mason, football player

Gene Mauch, baseball manager

Joe Mauer, baseball player

Charles Mayo, doctor, founder of Mayo Clinic

William J. Mayo, doctor, founder of Mayo Clinic

William W. Mayo, doctor, head of St. Mary's Hospital

Joe Mays, baseball player

Eugene McCarthy, U.S. senator and presidential candidate

Ed McDaniel, football player

Randall McDaniel, football player

Hugh McElhenny, football player

Bobby McFerrin, reggae singer

Max McGee, football player

Kevin McHale, basketball player

Audray McMillian, football player

Bryant McKinney, football player

Johnny McNally, football player

Doug Mientkiewicz, baseball player

Keith Millard, football player

Kate Millett, feminist

Don Mincher, baseball player

Minnesota Man, 20,000-year-old skeleton discovered in Otter Tail County

Theodore Mitau, professor

Mother Alfred Moes, founder of St. Mary's Hospital

Paul Molitar, baseball player

Walter Mondale, U.S. senator, vice president, and presidential candidate

Warren Moon, football player

Mary Tylor Moore, TV character

Mewelde Moore, football player

Moose Dung, Ojibwe tribal leader

Justin Morneau, baseball player

Jack Morris, baseball player

Randy Moss, football player

Mark Mullaney, football player


Bronco Nagurski, football player, wrestler

Joe Nathan, baseball player

LeRoy Neiman, sports artist

Cindy Nelson, downhill skier

Darrin Nelson, football player

George “Pinky” Nelson, astronaut

Prince Rogers Nelson, singer and songwriter

Pat Neshek, baseball player

Graig Nettles, baseball player

Ernie Nevers, football player

Next, rock group

Chris Niskanen, sports writer

Lauris Norstad, general, commander of NATO forces


Tim O'Brien, novelist

Willie Offord, football player

Justus Ohage, doctor, performs first successful gall bladder surgery in the U.S.

Olof Ohman, discover of Kensington Ruins

Tony Oliva, baseball player

Floyd Olson, Minnesota governor

Scott and Brennan Olson, inventors of rollerblades

Norman Ornstein, the King of Quotes

Dave Osborn, football player

Ozawindib, co-discover of the source of the Mississippi River


Alan Page, football player and Minnesota Supreme Court judge

David Palmer, football player

Anthony Parker, football player

Gordon Parks, photographer and director

Camilo Pascual, baseball player

William S. Pattee, law school professor and dean

Gary Paulson, author

Jeno Paulucci, founder of Jeno's Frozen Pizza, Chun King Corporation, and Luigino's

Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota governor

Rudy Perpich, Minnesota governor

Jim Perry, baseball player

Bud Philbrook, co-founder of Global Volunteers

Zebulon Montgomery Pike, explorer, led first U.S. expedition through Minnesota

John Pillsbury, founder of Pillsbury, Minnesota governor

Pillsbury Doughboy, food brand character

Vic Power, baseball player

Tom Powers, sports columnist

Kirby Puckett, baseball player


Al Quie, Minnesota governor and U.S. representative

Frank Quilici, baseball player


Brad Radke, baseball player

Pedro Ramos, baseball player

Alexander Ramsey, territorial governor, Minnesota governor, and U.S. senator

John Randle, football player

Ahmad Rashad, football player

Dave Ray, musician

Jeff Reardon, baseball player

Mike Redmond, baseball player

Jake Reed, football player

Oscar Reed, football player

Rich Reese, baseball player

Patrick Reusse, sports writer

Faud Reviez, football player

Korel Robinson, football player

Marcus Robinson, football player

Joe Rolette, legislator who saved St. Paul as the capital of the state

Rich Rollins, baseball player

Karl Rolvaag, Minnesota governor

Ole Rolvaag, novelist

Mike Rosenthal, football player

Marion Ross, actress

Dwayne Rudd, football player

Jane Russell, actress

Winona Ryder, actress


Harrison Salisbury, journalist

Ralph Samuelson, inventor of water skiing, first water ski jumper and speed skier

Bob Sansevere, sports columnist

Johan Santana, baseball player

Charles Schulz, Peanuts cartoonist

August Schell, founder of August Schell Brewing Company

Henry Schoolcraft, co-discover of the source of the Mississippi River

Dred Scott, slave (Dred Scott Decision)

Seann William Scott, actor

Todd Scott, football player

Briana Scurry, soccer player

John Henry Seadlund, criminal

Richard Sears, co-founder of Sears

Don Seeholzer, sports writer

Jeff Seiman, football player

Semisonic, rock group

Joe Senser, football player

Eric Sevareid, broadcaster

Darren Sharper, football player

Henry Sibley, first Minnesota governor

Roy Smalley, baseball player

Onterrio Smith, football player

Raonall Smith, football player

Robert Smith, football player

Fred Smoot, football player

Josiah Snelling, founder of Fort Snelling (originally Fort St. Anthony)

Jesse Solomon, football player

Kevin Sorbo, actor

Jon Souhan, sports writer

Soul Asylum, rock group

Sounds of Blackness, Gospel choir

LaVyrle Spencer, romance novelist

Maurice Stans, U.S. secretary of commerce

Harold Stassen, Minnesota governor and presidential candidate

Will Steger, Arctic explorer

Korey Stringer, football player

Todd Steussie, football player

Scott Studwell, football player

Faith Sullivan, author

Milt Sunde, football player


Tahtapesaah, Dakota tribal leader

Lawrence Taliaferro, first U.S. Indian agent at Fort Snelling

Kevin Tapani, baseball player

Tapes 'N Tapes, rock group

Fran Tarkenton, football player

Travis Taylor, football player

Dontarrious Thomas, football player

Henry Thomas, football player

David Thompson, first mapper of Minnesota

Leah Thompson, actress, dancer

Mike Tice, football coach

Cheryl Tiegs, actress

Mick Tinglehoff, football player

Michael Todd, movie producer

Susan Allen Toth, novelist

Rose Totino, founder of Totino's frozen pizza, first female inducted into the Frozen Food Hall of Fame

Cesar Tovar, baseball player

The Trashmen, rock group

Anne Tyler, novelist


Kenechi Udeze, football player

Brenda Ueland, journalist and author


Norm Van Brocklin, football coach

Thorstein Veblen, economist, sociologist, author

Jesse Ventura, wrestler and Minnesota governor

Zoilo Versalles, baseball player

Frank Viola, baseball player


Rosalie Wahl, first woman judge on Minnesota Supreme Court

DeWitt Wallace, publisher, founder of Reader's Digest, philanthropist

Charley Walters, sports columnist

Lonnie Warwick, football player

Gene Washington, football player

Ed White, football player

Sammy White, football player

Jermaine Wiggins, football player

Laura Ingalls Wilder, novelist

Zygi Wilf, football team owner

Roy Wilkins, civil rights leader

Brian Williams, football player

Kevin Williams, football player

Moe Williams, football player

Pat Williams, football player

Troy Williamson, football player

August Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright

Wade Wilson, football player

Antoine Winfield, football player

Dave Winfield, baseball player

Roy Winston, football player

Max Winter, football team owner

Cory Withrow, football player

Kathleen Woodiwiss, romance novelist

Al Worthington, baseball player


Yanni, new age musician

Ron Yary, football player

Rickey Young, football player

Luther Youngdahl, Minnesota governor


Steve Zahn, actor

Fred Zamberletti, football trainer

Gary Zimmerman, football player

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