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Famous People from North Carolina

Luke Appling (1907 - 1991) Born Lucius Benjamin Appling. An American shortstop in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox (1930-1950). Born in High Point, NC (1190)

William Blount (1749 - 1800) He was a member of the North Carolina delegation at the Constitutional Convention and was a signer of the United States Constitution. He served as the only governor of the Southwest Territory and played a major role in the creation of the State of Tennessee. Born in Windsor, NC (1083)

Randy Boone (1942 - ) Born Clyde Randall Boone. A former actor and country music singer. Best known for appearing in the television shows The Virginian, Wagon Train and Cimarron Strip. Born in Fayetteville, NC (1095)

Caleb Bradham (1867 - 1934) An American pharmacist who created the first Pepsi-Cola for dyspepsia, or indigestion. In 1902 Bradham began bottling the soft drink in the back room of his drugstore. Born in Chinquapin, NC (420)

Braxton Bragg (1817 - 1876) A career United States Army officer, and then a General in the Confederate States Army, and a principal commander in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Born in Warrenton, NC (1084)

David Brinkley (1920 - 2003) An American newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career spanning from 1943 to 1997. Born in Wilmington, NC (1124)

Levi Coffin (1798 - 1877) An American Quaker, abolitionist, and businessman. Coffin was deeply involved in the Underground Railroad in Indiana and Ohio and his home is often called "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad". Born in Guilford County, NC (1085)

John Coltrane (1926 - 1967) An American jazz saxophonist and composer. He is one of the most significant saxophonists in music history. Born in Hamlet, NC (415)

Howard Cosell (1918 - 1995) Born Howard William Cohen. An American sports journalist. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1125)

Josephus Daniels (1862 - 1948) A newspaper editor and publisher. He was secretary of the Navy during World War I and Ambassador to Mexico from 1933-1941. Born in Washington, NC (1086)

Chris Daughtry (1979 - ) An American musician and the guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for the band Daughtry. He was the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. Born in Roanoke Rapids, NC (1120)

Elizabeth Dole (1936 - ) Born Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford Dole. Secretary of Transportation (1983-1987) and Labor (1989-1990), President of the American Red Cross (1990-1999) and U.S. Senator. Wife of Bob Dole. Born in Salisbury, NC (416)

Jennifer Ehle (1969 - ) An American actress of stage and screen. She is probably best known for her starring role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 mini-series Pride and Prejudice. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1097)

Samuel James Ervin Jr. (1896 - 1985) A Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina from 1954 until 1974. Born in Morganton, NC (1087)

Ava Gardner (1922 - 1990) An American actress. She acted in more than 20 films by the age of 28. Some of her films include Show Boat, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and The Barefoot Contessa. Born in Brogden, NC (426)

Richard Jordan Gatling (1818 - 1903) An American inventor best known for his invention of the Gatling gun, the first successful machine gun. Born in Hertford County, NC (1088)

Kathryn Grayson (1922 - 2010) An American actress and operatic soprano singer. Some of her films include Anchors Aweigh, Show Boat and Kiss Me Kate. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1098)

Pam Grier (1949 - ) An American actress. Some of her films include The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Sheba Baby and Jackie Brown. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1099)

Rhoda Griffis (1965 - ) An American actress, perhaps best known for playing supporting roles both in independent and mainstream films and television. Born in Raleigh, NC (1100)

Andy Griffith (1926 - 2012) An American actor, television producer, gospel singer and writer. Best known for his roles in television shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. Born in Mount Airy, NC (417)

George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. (1928 - 2007) An American actor of film and stage. He appeared in more than 40 films, dozens of television programs and a number of Broadway plays. Born in Roanoke Rapids, NC (1101)

Julianna Guill (1987 - ) An American actress. Best known for her role as Bree in Friday the 13th. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1102)

Michael C. Hall (1971 - ) An American actor. Known for his roles as Dexter Morgan on Dexter and as David Fisher in the series Six Feet Under. Born in Raleigh, NC (1103)

O. Henry (1862 - 1910) Born William Sydney Porter. An American writer. He has written over 400 short stories that are known for their wit and surprise endings. Born in Greensboro, NC (423)

Ed Hinton (1919 - 1958) Born Edgar Latimer Hinton, Jr. An American actor known particularly for guest-starring roles on television westerns. Born in Wilmington, NC (1104)

Andrew Johnson (1808 - 1875) 17th President of the United States following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Born in Raleigh, NC (425)

Darwin Joston (1937 - 1998) Born Francis Darwin Solomon. An American actor. He appeared in many television shows such as Lassie, The Virginian, The Rat Patrol, Ironside and McCloud. Born in Winston-Salem, NC (1105)

William R. King (1786 - 1853) Born William Rufus DeVane King. He was the 13th Vice President of the United States for 6 weeks in 1853 before his death. He was also a U.S. Representative from North Carolina and a Senator from Alabama. Born in Sampson County, NC (1722)

Charles Kuralt (1934 - 1997) An award-winning American journalist. He was the first anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning and had the position for 15 years. Born in Wilmington, NC (1126)

Joseph Lane (1801 - 1881) An American general during the Mexican-American War and a United States Senator from Oregon. Born in Buncombe County, NC (1089)

Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence (1961 - ) An American actress, singer and dancer. She is best known for her role of Sylvia Costas Sipowicz in the TV series NYPD Blue. Born in Charlotte, NC (1106)

Herman Lay (1909 - 1982) An American businessman. He started the H.W. Lay Co. which is now part of the Frito-Lay corporation. Born in Charlotte, NC (421)

Beth Leavel (1955 - ) An American Tony Award winning, stage and screen actress. Born in Raleigh, NC (1107)

Chyler Leigh (1982 - ) Born Chyler Leigh Potts. An American actress, perhaps best known for her portrayals of Janey Briggs in Not Another Teen Movie and of Dr. Lexie Grey on the television show Grey's Anatomy. Born in Charlotte, NC (1108)

Barbara Loden (1932 - 1980) An American film and stage actress and film director. She was the first woman to write, direct and star in her own feature film, Wanda. Born in Marion, NC (1109)

Dolley Payne Todd Madison (1768 - 1849) The wife of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison, and First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Born in Guilford County, NC (1090)

Daniel Little McFadden (1937 - ) An econometrician who won (jointly with James Heckman) the 2000 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. McFadden's share of the prize was "for his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice". Born in Raleigh, NC (1091)

Eddie Mills (1972 - ) An American actor. Eddie did a number of movies including Heartwood (1998) and Sabrina Goes to Rome (1998), probably most notable for playing Vandy in the TV drama Wasteland. Born in Kannapolis, NC (1110)

Ronnie Lee Milsap (1943 - ) A Grammy Award-winning American country music singer and musician. He was one of country's most popular and influential artists in the 1970s and 1980s. He became country music's first blind superstar. Born in Robbinsville, NC (1121)

Julianne Moore (1960 - ) Born Julie Anne Smith. An American actress and children's author. She began her career as a regular on the soap opera As the World Turns. Some of her films include The Kids are All Right, the Hunger Games series, and Still Alice. Born in Fort Bragg, NC (1111)

Edward Roscoe Murrow (1908 - 1965) Born Egbert Roscoe Murrow. An American broadcast journalist. A pioneer of television news broadcasting. Born in Guilford County, NC (1127)

John Newton (1965 - ) An American actor. Best known for his roles on the TV show Superboy as Clark Kent and as Ryan McBride on Melrose Place. Born in Chapel Hill, NC (1112)

Lee Michael Norris (1981 - ) An American actor, best known for his roles as Stuart Minkus on Boy Meets World and Marvin "Mouth" McFadden on One Tree Hill. Born in Greenville, NC (1113)

Walter Hines Page (1855 - 1918) An American journalist, publisher, and diplomat. He was the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom during World War I. Born in Cary, NC (1092)

Kellie Dawn Pickler (1986 - ) An American country music artist and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, eventually finishing in sixth place. Born in Albemarle, NC (1122)

James K. Polk (1795 - 1849) Eleventh President of the United States. He served from 1845-1849 and was the last strong pre-Civil War president. Born in Mecklenburg County, NC (427)

Emily Mallory Procter (1968 - ) An American actress best known for her leading role as Calleigh Duquesne in CSI: Miami and her recurring role as Ainsley Hayes in The West Wing. Born in Raleigh, NC (1114)

Hiram R. Revels (1827 - 1901) A minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a politician and college administrator. He was the first African American to serve in the U.S. Senate and the first to serve in the U.S. Congress. Born in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, NC (311)

Soupy Sales (1926 - 2009) Born Milton Supman. An American comedian, actor, radio-TV personality and host, and jazz aficionado. Best known for his children's television show, Lunch with Soupy Sales. Born in Franklinton, NC (1115)

Nick Searcy (1959 - ) An American actor. He had a major role in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon as Deke Slayton. Born in Cullowhee, NC (1116)

Richard Dobbs Spaight (1758 - 1802) The eighth Governor of North Carolina from 1792 to 1795. Born in New Bern, NC (1093)

Randy Travis (1959 - ) Born Randy Bruce Traywick. An American country singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. Born in Marshville, NC (1123)

Robert Franklin Williams (1925 - 1996) An American civil rights leader, author, and the president of the Monroe, North Carolina NAACP chapter in the 1950s and early 1960s. Born in Monroe, NC (1094)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (1984 - ) An American actress and recording artist. Best known for her scream queen roles in horror films. Born in Rocky Mount, NC (1117)

Evan Rachel Wood (1987 - ) An American actress and singer. She appeared in several TV series including American Gothic and Once and Again. Born in Raleigh, NC (1118)