Tennessee trivia, facts, history, culture,
entertainment, sports, geography and more!
Largest and most complete list of Famous Tennesseans on the
Note: The people
listed below were either born in Tennessee, claim TN as their home
state, became famous while living in TN, or have strong ties to TN and
are considered Tennesseans.
Ochs- Born March 12, 1858 in Cincinnati, OH, Died April 8, 1935,
in Chattanooga, TN. Moved to Knoxville, TN with his family at a very
early age. Began newspaper career as printer's assistant on the
Knoxville Chronicle. Bought Chattanooga Times at age 19 and
transformed it into one of the South's leading newspapers. Bought a
struggling New York Times at age 36 with a commitment
to objective journalism, and transformed it into one of the greatest
newspapers in the Nation.
Gore Sr.- Born December 26, 1907 in Granville, TN. Died December
5, 1998. Tennessee State Representative and Senator, served in the
Democratic senate from 1953-1971.
Gore Jr.- Born March 31, 1948 in Washington, D.C. Raised in
Carthage, TN. US Senator 1985-1993, Was 45th Vice President of United
States in the Bill Clinton administration 1993-2001.
Alex Haley - Born
August 11, 1921 in Ithaca, N.Y., however, his family moved to Henning,
TN the year he was born and he lived there for 5 years before moving
out of state again. Haley moved back to Tennessee in 1987 and lived 5
years before he died from a heart attack in 1992. Haley is best known
for his best selling book "Roots." There is a lager than
statue of Haley in downtown Knoxville.
C. York- Born December
13, 1887 in Pall Mall, TN. Died September 2, 1964. Known as the
greatest hero of World War 1. Awarded the Medal of Honor for leading
an attack on a German machine-gun nest, killing 32 German soldiers and
capturing 132 others as well as knocking out 35 German machine guns,
completely overtaking a German controlled hill.
Jackson- Born: March 15, 1767 in Waxhaw,
South Carolina. Moved to Tennessee as a young man and became a lawyer.
Was the 7th US president, serving two terms from 1829 to 1837.
Nicknamed "Old Hickory" due to his rough and tough behaviour.
Andrew Jackson died on June 8th, 1845 in Nashville, TN at his home the
Johnson- Born: December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ran
away from home with his brother to Greeneville, TN at age 16 where he
became a tailor. He became the 17th President of the United States on
April 15, 1865, upon the death of Lincoln. Andrew Johnson died on July
31st, 1875 in Carter's Station, TN.
Dallas Dudley, Born in Nashville, TN 1876, died in 1955. A
national and state leader in the woman suffrage movement.
Annie Potts- Born
in Nashville, TN on October 28, 1952. Best known for her role in the
television series "Designing Women."
Anson Adams Mount
IV - Born February 25, 1973 in White Bluff, TN. Actor currently
starring in the AMC television show "Hell On Wheels."
Born November 7th, 1914 in Bulls Gap, TN. Country comedian and Grand
Ole Opry regular, best known for his writing and acting talents on the
hit television show "Hee Haw." Died from a heart attack on
August 29, 1987.
Born 1942 in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Queen of Soul".
Known for her big hits, "RESPECT," "Freeway Of
Love," and "I Knew You Were Waiting (for me)."
Ashley Monroe- Born in
Knoxville, TN. Country music singer and songwriter. Best known for her
hit song "I Don't Want To."
B.B.King (Riley B. King)- Born
September 16, 1925 in Indianola, Mississippi. Moved to Memphis, TN in
1946 and became known as the "The Beale Street Blues Boy"
which was later shortened to just B.B. King is known for his blues
guitar playing on his famous custom guitar named "Lucille"
Ben Garant- Born
September 14, 1970 in Cookeville, TN. Actor best known for his role as
"Deputy Travis Junior," in the television series "Reno
Lawson Hooks- Born January 31, 1925 in Memphis, TN. American Civil
rights leader, Baptist minister, and attorney. Former executive
director of the NAACP.
Born April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, TN, Died Sept. 26, 1937. Was
the most popular female blues singer in the 1920's and 1930's. Made
over 160 recordings in her career. Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1989. Died from injuries sustained in an automobile
accident in 1937.
Bettie Mae Page
(though listed "Betty" on her birth certificate) born April
22, 1923 in Nashville, TN. Former American model who became famous in
the 1950's for her fetish modeling and pin-up photos. While she faded
into obscurity in the 1960's after her conversion to Christianity, she
experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980's and now has a
significant cult following.
Big John Tate-
Born January 29, 1955 in Marion City, AK. Hometown Knoxville, TN.
World boxing association heavyweight champion of the world 1979-1980.
Bronze medal winner in the 1976 Olympics. Died April 9, 1998 as
results from a car accident in Knoxville.
- Born April 15, 1952 in Nashville, TN. American Football Head
Coach, currently with the NFL's New England Patriots.
Bill Frist- Born February 22,
1952, in Nashville, TN. Republican U.S. Senate Majority leader from TN
graduated from Princeton and Harvard was a heart surgeon for 17 years.
Billy Greer -
Born January 26, 1952 in Surgoinsville, TN. Bass guitarist and
vocalist in the rock band Kansas. Also owner, lead vocalist, and bass
player of the classic rock/jam band
Bill Landry- The voice, host,
narrator, and co-producer of "The Heartland Series on WBIR-TV
Channel 10. Also performs "Einstein The Man", his one-man
play based on the life and works of Albert Einstein.
Booker T. Jones- Born in Memphis, TN
on November 12, 1944. Known for his rock -n- roll group, "Booker
T. and the M.G.s." Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
Bradley Barron Renfro
Born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville, TN - Died January 15, 2008 in Los
Angeles, CA from a heroin overdose. Famous actor who starred in The Client, Tom &
Huck and other movies.
Bell- Born in Knoxville, TN on December 9, 1968. Guitarist and
backup vocal for the rock band "Weezer"
and the rock band "Space Twins."
Born in Knoxville, TN on November 6, 1971. Major League Baseball
player. Member of 2000 National League Champion New York Mets. Member
of American League Champion New York Yankees.
(real name: William Ansor) Born in Knoxville, TN on August 17, 1961.
NWA Wrestler also known as "Nature Boy." Had a brief career
in the WWF.
Buford Pusser- Born in
Finger, TN on December 12, 1937, Died August 21, 1974. Legendary
Sheriff of McNairy County, TN, Inspiration for the Hollywood movie
Carl Butler- Born
June 2nd, 1927 in Knoxville, TN. Country singer best known for his
number one hit "Don't Let Me Cross Over" which spent 11
weeks on top of Billboard magazine's country singles chart in 1963.
Perkins- Born April 9th, 1932 in Tiptonville, TN. Rock-a-billy
legend best known for his hit "Blue Suede Shoes". Died
January 19, 1998.
Born in Maynardville, TN on March 15, 1927. Country music star known
for his "honky tonk" style. Inducted in the Country Music
Hall of Fame in 2003.
Carl Stiner (General)-
Born September 7, 1936 in La Follette, TN. US Army Four-Star General.
Graduate of Tennessee Tech. Retired as Chairman of Joint Special Ops
Command. Frequent national media commentator on military
affairs. Co-Author of Tom Clancy' best seller "Shadow
Cas Walker (Orton
Caswell Walker) - Born March 23, 1902 in Sevierville, TN - Died
September 28, 1998. Famous business man, politician, and television
and radio personality. Started a chain of grocery stores which were
successful in Knoxville, Virginia, and Kentucky. Was known for helping
start the careers of Dolly Parton and the Everly Brothers on his Cas
Walker's Farm and Home Hour.
Casey Jones- Born
March 14, 1863 in KY moved to Jackson, TN as a young man. Legendary
railroad engineer that was killed in a train crash on April 30, 1900,
which inspired the famous folk song "The Ballad of Casey
Pennington- Born June 26, 1976 in Knoxville, TN. First round NFL
draft pick in 2000. Former Quarterback for the New York Jets NFL team.
Currently the starting Quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Two-time
winner of the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award.
Charlie Chase- Born in
Rogersville, TN on October 19, 1952. Best known for his hit TV series
"Crook & Chase."
Born November 21, 1956 in Paris, TN. Tony Award winning actress
starring on Broadway and in motion pictures.
Chet Atkins- Born June 20,
1924, in Luttrell, TN. Died June 30, 2001. Famous guitar player known
for his "finger pickin" style. Known as "Mister
Saunders- Born in Virginia on August 9, 1881, moved to Tennessee
as a young boy. Inventor of the first modern grocery store in 1916 in
Memphis, TN, "The Piggly Wiggly." Died October 15, 1953.
Clay Crosse- Born in Memphis,
TN. Contemporary Christian singer, winner of 3 Dove Awards.
Parnell- Born in Memphis, TN on February 5, 1967. Saturday Night
Live cast member from 1998 to 2006. Known for his impersonations of Tom
Brokaw, Newt Gingrich, Tom Hanks, and Eminem. Currently starring in
the NBC sitcom "Thick and Thin."
Born in Knoxville, TN on May 3rd, 1978. Actress that has starred in
numerous television programs including, "Firefly,"
"Without A Trace," and "Cold Case."
Born July 20, 1933 in Providence, RI. Moved with his family to
Knoxville, TN at the age of four. University of Tennessee graduate.
Pulitzer Prize (The Road) and National Book Award (All The
Pretty Horses) winning novelist considered by critics to be one
of the very best American novelists of all time. Lived in
East Tennessee until 1990s and wrote critically acclaimed
novels about the region, including The Orchard Keeper (Sevier
County) and Suttree( Knoxville).
Conard Logan Hunley-
Born April 9, 1945 in Knoxville, TN (Fountain City area). Soulful
country music singer, song writer, and musician. Best known for his
1982 hit "Oh Girl." Currently records on his independent
label IMMI Records. Visit his official website here, visit his Myspace
Born October 2nd, 1871 in Olympus, TN. Died July 23, 1955. US Senator
from 1931-1933. Appointed Secretary of State 1933, in the cabinet of
Franklin D. Roosevelt, where he served until 1944. Won Nobel Peace
Prize in 1945.
Craig Morgan- Country music
star born July 16, 1965, in Kingston Springs, TN. Known for his hit
songs, "Almost Home", "That's What I Love About
Sundays", and "Redneck Yacht Club".
Cybill Shepherd- Born in Memphis, is
best known for her hit television series Moonlighting.
Cylk Cozart -
Born in Knoxville, TN on February 1, 1957. Television and Film actor.
Also President and co-chairman of the production company P.O.V.
Rhodes- Born November 21, 1956 in Nashville, TN. Singer, dancer,
actress, best known for her roles in popular Hollywood films such as
Xanadu, Flashdance, Staying Alive, and Dirty Dancing.
Dale Dickey- Born in
Knoxville, TN, film and television actress currently has a starring
role as "Patty" on the hit NBC television series "My Name Is Earl."
Boone - Born
on November 2, 1734, in Oley, Berks County, Pennsylvania, died
September 26, 1820 in Missouri. Boone, perhaps best known for
exploring and settling the State of Kentucky and blazing the
Wilderness Trail through Cumberland Gap into upper East,
Born October 31, 1964 in Pyburn, TN. Country music star perhaps best
known for his number 1 hit songs "I Miss My Friend,"
"Have You Forgotten," and "Awful Beautiful
Dave Akeman- Born June 17,
1915 in Anville, KY. Lived most of his life in Ridgetop, TN. The 6
foot 5 Hee Haw regular known as "String Bean," was murdered
alongside his wife Estelle, in 1973 by burgulars in his home.
Cash- Born in Johnson City, TN on July 31, 1969. WWE wrestler also
known as "the Notorious K.I.D." or "Kid Kash."
Known for his trade mark wrestling move "The Moneymaker."
"Davy" Crockett- "King of the wild frontier",
Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Trapper, Explorer, State Legislator,
Glasgow Farragut- Born July 5, 1801 at Campbell's Station near
Knoxville, TN. Died August 14, 1870. Senior officer of the U.S. Navy
during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice
admiral, and full admiral of the Navy. He is remembered in popular
culture for his famous order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, "Damn
the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
David Keith- Born in
Knoxville, TN on May 8th, 1954. Actor, won a golden globe for his role
in the 1982 film "An Officer and a Gentlemen." Currently
co-stars on the CBC television series "The Class."
Weathers- Borin in Lawrenceburg, TN on September 25, 1969. Major
league baseball pitcher and currently plays for the Cincinnati Reds.
He bats and throws right-handed.
Deana Carter- Born January 4th,
1966 in Nashville, TN. Country music singer best known for her hit
album "Did I Shave My Legs For This?"
Deborah Allen- Born in Memphis,
TN on September 30, 1953. Singer and songwriter, best known for her
country and pop crossover hit "Baby I Lied."
Dennis Haskins- Born
November 18, 1950 in Chattanooga, TN. Actor best known for his role as
Mr. Belding in the 90's hit television series "Saved by the
Born May 25th, 1939 in McLemoresville, TN - Died April 10, 2010 in
Houston, TX. Sultry southern actress
best known for her role as "Julia Sugarbaker" on the hit
television series "Designing Women." Was married to actor Hal
Dinah Shore (Frances Rose
Shore)- Born February 29, 1916 in Winchester, TN. Famous singer,
actress, and talk show host. Won 9 Emmys, a Peabody Award, and a
Golden Globe Award. Shore died from Ovarian cancer on February 24,
Born June 12, 1978 in Nashville, TN. Actor best known for his geeky
role as "Kyle" in the 2000 cult film "Road
Dolly Parton- Born in Locust
Ridge near Sevierville, country music star, song writer, actress,
author, and owner of Dollywood theme park.
Colquitt- Born May 6, 1982 in Knoxville, TN. Third round NFL draft
pick by Kansas City Cheifs, plays in the Punter's position.
Arnold- Born May 15, 1918 in Henderson, TN. Country singer known
for his smooth sounded love songs. Nicknamed the Tennessee Plowboy. Is
in the number 2 position for number of individual hits on the country
charts with 145 chartes songs.
Bailey - Born April 15, 1931 in Strawberry Plains, TN. Died March
23, 2007. Major League Baseball player. Hit 28 home runs in 1956 for
Cincinnati, including three in one game. Also won the major leagues'
Sophomore of the Year honor that year. Played professional ball for 17
years. Was inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
Was also Field Representative to U.S. Congressman John Duncan Sr. and
Knoxville City Council member for 12 years.
Ed Bruce- Born December 29, 1939
in Keiser, Arkansas. Moved to Memphis, TN when he was a young boy and
he claims Tennessee as his home. Singer, songwriter, and actor, has
had numerous number one hit songs recorded by big name country music
stars. In the late 70's he represented the state of Tennessee as the
"Tennessean." Well known for his anti-litter Public Service
Announcements for the state of TN, titled, "Tennessee
Ed "Too Tall" Jones-
Born in Jackson, TN on February 23, 1951. Number one draft choice of
the NFL in 1974. Played 15 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Jones
stands 6 foot 9 inches tall.
E. Barnard- Born December 16th, 1857 in Nashville, TN. American
astronomer and pioneer in photography noted for the discovery of
Jupiter's fifth satellite (1892) and Barnard's star (1916), the
second-nearest star system to the sun. Barnard died February 6th,
Born March 14, 1970 in Memphis, TN. African American actress known for
her film roles in "Scream 2," "Paid In Full," and
"Hustle & Flow."
The "King of Rock and Roll." Born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo,
MS. Moved to Memphis, TN in 1948.
Jr. - Born November 13, 1923 in Dyersburg, TN - Died November 29,
2006 in Sierra Vista, AZ from pneumonia. Was one of the "Worlds Most
Famous Clowns." Known for his circus clown character, "Weary Willie."
Kefauver- Born in Madisonville, TN, July 26, 1903. Democrat that
served in the US House of Representatives for 10 years and in the US
Senate for 14 years. Well known for his fight against organized crime,
was the author of the famous "Kafauver Report" which listed
the names of high-profile crime bosses and members of the Mafia. Ran
for office of US Vice President for Adlai Stevenson in 1956.
Died August 10th, 1963 after suffering a massive heart attack on the
floor of the US Senate.
Maxwell Andrews- Born February 3, 1884 in Nashville, TN. Died May
3, 1943. General officer in the United States Army and one of the
founding fathers of the United States Air Force.
Frank Sutton- Born
October 23, 1923 in Clarksville, TN. Television actor best known from
his role on the "Gomer Pyle, USMC" television series, as the
tough drill Sgt. "Sergeant Vincent Carter." Sutton died on
June 28, 1974, from a sudden heart attack, he was only 50 years old.
Dalton Thompson- Born August 19, 1943 in Sheffield, AL, moved to
Lawrenceburg, TN as a child. Former U.S. Senator (1994-2003), also
movie actor known for his roles in the movies "Hunt for Red
October," "Days of Thunder," "Die Hard 2,"
and currently starring in televisions Law & Order.
George Hamilton: Born August
12. 1939 in Memphis, TN. Actor starred in many major motion pictures.
Well known for his perpetual dark suntan and his flamboyount
Goodwin- Born May 22, 1978 in Memphis, TN. Beautiful actress known
for her performances in several movies including "Walk the
Line," "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," "Mona Lisa
Smile," and "Porn 'n Chicken."
Grace Moore- Born December 5,
1898 in Cocke County, TN and raised in Jellico, TN. Famous opera
singer, and actress, was known as the "Tennessee
Nightingale." Moore died on January 26, 1947 in a terrible plane
crash after performing in Stockholm, Sweden.
Born November 1st, 1880. Died July 13, 1954. Legendary sport writer
best known for coining the phrase "It's not whether you win or
lose, but how you play the game."
Greg Allman- Born
in Nashville, TN on December 8, 1947. Best known for his famous rock
n' roll band, "The Allman Brothers." Also has a son with
Cher, Elijah Blue Allman.
Caraway- Born February 1st, 1878 in Bakerville, TN. The first
woman elected to serve as a United States Senator. Died December 21,
1950 from complications of a stroke.
Henry Cho- Born December
30, 1962 in Knoxville, TN. Actor, comedian, rancher, TV credits
include Bob Hopeís Young Comedians, MTVís Ĺ Hour Comedy Hour, and
several appearances on The Tonight Show. Film credits include Material
Girls, McHaleís Navy and the Farrelly Brothersí Say It Isnít So.
Rodeheaver - Born October 4, 1880 in Ohio, moved to Jellico, TN as
a child - Died December 18, 1955 in Winona Lake, IN. American
evangelist, music director, music publisher, composer of Gospel songs,
and pioneer in the recording of sacred music.
Howard Armstrong (Louie Bluie) - Born March 4, 1909 in Dayton, TN
- Died July 30, 2003. African American string band and country blues
musician who played fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, and sang.
Baker Sr.- Born in Sommerset, KY in 1902. Moved to Knoxville, TN
in 1918. Was US Congressman representing the second district in
Congress from his election in 1950 until his unexpected death by heart
attack on January 8, 1964
Baker Jr.- Born November 15, 1925 in Huntsville, TN. Was US
Senator from 1967-1985. Is currently US Ambassador to Japan.
Isaac Hayes- Born in Covington,
TN on August 20, 1942. Multi talented composer, singer, and arranger,
best known for his Academy Award for winning Best Original Song for a
Motion Picture for the "Them from Shaft."
Jack Daniel (Jasper Newton)-
Born September, 1850. Originator "Jack Daniel's Distillery,"
in Lynchburg, TN, the largest Tennessee Whiskey maker in the world.
Daniel's died in 1911 of blood disease from a toe injury.
Green - Born in Maryville, TN. Grand Ole Opry star perhaps best
known for his hit singles, "There Goes My Everything," and
"Statue of a Fool."
Jack Hanna- Born in
Knoxville, TN on January 2, 1947. Also known as "Jungle
Jack." Widely known for his television series "Jack Hanna's
Animal Adventures" and appearances with wild animals on the
television show "Late Show with David Letterman."
Jack Landry- Born in
Knoxville, TN on October 6, 1978. Actor best known for his role as
"Jared" in the television NBC television series
Butcher- Born in 1936 in Union County, TN. American banker who
along with his brother C.H. Butcher, was involved in the 4th largest
bank failures in U.S. history. Plead guilty to Federal charges of bank
fraud in 1985 and was given a 20-year prison term. He was paroled in
Jake Thomas- Born in
Knoxville, TN on January 30, 1990. Best known for his role as
"Matt McGuire" in the hit Disney movie and television show
Pulitzer prize winning writer of "Death In the Family" was
born in Knoxville in 1909.
Born in Nashville, TN on January 20, 1963. Best known for his role as
Mike Delfino in the ABC hit television series "Desperate
Carroll Napier - Born in Nashville, TN on June 9, 1845 - Died
April 21, 1940 in Nashville, TN. Successful business man, politician,
and civil rights leader. Was appointed the Register of the Treasury
under President William Howard Taft. Was president of the Washington
National Negro Business League.
Polk- Born: November 2, 1795 in Mecklenburg County,
North Carolina. Moved to Nashville, TN with his family when he was 11
years old. In 1845 at age 49, he became the youngest man to assume the
presidency up to his time. He was the 11th US President and only
served one term. Polk died on June 15th, 1849 at home in
Nashville, just 3 months after leaving office.
Robertson- Co-founder of Nashville, TN (first called Fort
Nashborough) in 1779. Was born in Brunswick County, VA on June 28,
1742, died 1814.
James (Little Man) Stewart - Born December 27, 1971 in Morristown,
TN. Professional football player (running back). Played for University
of Tennessee. Was first round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Played 9 NFL seasons 1995-2003.
Witten- Born May 6, 1982 in Elizabethton, TN. Professional
football player. All-American linebacker and USA Today Player of the
Year. Currently is starting Tight End for the NFL's Dallas
Born April 14, 1967 in Hendersonville, TN. Professional wrestler,
winner of numerous championships including a one time record 6 WWF
Intercontinental Championship titles.
Jerry Butler- Born in
Knoxville, TN. Gibbs High School graduate. Country, bluegrass singer,
musician. Currently with the traditional bluegrass band, Lorraine Jordon &
Carolina Road. Is a founding member of Knoxville Newgrass Boys.
Also performed with Lynwood Lunsford and the Misty valley boys, The
Joe Isaacs Band, the Blue Valley Boys, and Pine Mountain Railroad.
"Uncle Jimmy" Thompson- Born 1848, in Smith County, TN.
Died February 17, 1941. Fiddle player, best remembered as being the
first performer on the Grand Ole Opry in 1925.
Born 1934 in Memphis, TN. Best known as lead singer and emcee of the
Kingsmen Quartet. Was inducted in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of
Fame in 2004.
Ralston-Arlen- Born November 21, 1899, in South Pittsburgh, TN.
Silent film actress, starring in over 70 different films. Considered
to be one of the most beautiful actresses of her time. Died January
- February 27, 1978 in Memphis, TN. American Novelist and
Entertainment Journalist, best known for her 2005 Novel, "The Next Big
Bell- Born February 15, 1797 in Nashville, TN. Tennessee lawyer,
Senator, served as Speaker of the House from 1834 to 1835. Was U.S.
Secretary of War in 1841. Died on September 10, 1869.
John Cooper - Born July 2, 1937 in Knoxville, TN. Former football
player and head coach of several colleges. Inducted into the College
Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2008.
John Cullum- Born in
Knoxville, TN on March 2, 1930. Perhaps best remembered for his role
as Holling Vincoeur in the television series "Northern
Donelson- Co-founder of Nashville, TN (first called Fort
Nashborough) in 1779. Hometown was in Pittsylvania County,VA, born in
1718, died 1785.
(Sleepy John)- Born January 25, 1899 or 1904 in Ripley, TN. Died
June 5, 1977. Famous Blue vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter.
John J. Duncan
Sr. - Born March 14, 1919 in Scott County, TN - Died June 21,
1988. Attorney, Mayor, Republican Politician, elected 12 terms in the
U.S. House of Representatives.
J. Duncan Jr. (Jimmy) - Born July 21, 1947 in Lebanon, TN. U.S.
Representative for Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, serving
since 1988. Member of the Republican party, district based in
John Richard Locke: Born
April 11, 1945, in Canton, OH, moved to Covington, TN with his
family in 1952. Has been in over 25 television commercials since 1982 and
is best known for his role as Elvis's Uncle Vester in the 1990
ABC television mini-series, "Elvis." Also
known for playing Mr. French in the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
movie by the Cohen brothers.
Ross (Kooweskoowe)- Born October 3, 1790 in Turkeytown, AL, along
the Coosa River, near Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, TN. Was the
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Native American Nation. Died on August
1, 1866 in Washington, D.C.
Born near Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Va., September 23, 1745,
died September 24, 1815. First Governor of Tennessee. Pioneer,
Statesman, and one of the founders of the republic, Governor of the
state of Franklin, six times Governor of Tennessee, four times elected
Templeton- Born November 29, 1912 in Winchester, TN. Financial
manager and investor, and philanthropist. Founded the Templeton family
of mutual funds. Also established the Templeton Prize for Progress in
Religion in 1972. For his religious and philanthropic works, Templeton
was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1987. Renounced his US
citizenship in 1968 and has dual naturalized Bahamian and British
citizenship. He lives in The Bahamas.
Johnny Knoxville.- Real name
P.J. Clapp (Phillip John) was born March 11, 1971, in Knoxville,
best known from his MTV hit series "Jackass" and
"Jackass the Movie". Also known for his role in the 2005
film, "The Dukes of Hazzard"
Born May 31, 1935 in Lynchburg, TN. Head coach of the University of
Tennessee for 16 years. Was runner up for the 1956 Heisman Trophy.
Inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Justin Timberlake- Pop
star born in Memphis, TN on January 31, 1981. Former lead singer of
boy band NSYNC.
Kathy Bates- Born
June 28th, 1948 in Memphis, TN. Popular actress starred in many movies
including, The Stand, Dolores Claiborne, Titanic, The Waterboy, Fried
Green Tomatoes, and perhaps best known for her portrayal as the
obsessed axe wielding psycho in the Steven King film
Kellye Cash- Born in
Memphis, TN. Former Miss America 1987, now lives in Milan, TN and is a
singer, teacher, and theater performer.
Ken Mellons- Born July 10, 1965
in Kingsport, TN. Country music singer and songwriter. Best known for
his hit songs "Juke Box Junkie," "Looking in the Same
Direction," and "I Can Bring Her Back." Visit Ken's
website here, and his Myspace
Kenny Chesney- Born March 26, 1968 in Knoxville, raised in Luttrell, TN, Country music
currently the biggest concert performer in country music. Best known
for his hits "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem," "When
The Sun Goes Down," and "Big Star."
Yates Rockwell - born Sep 20, 1892 in Newport Tennessee was
first American aviator to shoot down an aircraft in aerial combat on
May 18, 1916, a founding member of the Lafayette Escadrille he was killed
in aerial combat on Sep 23, 1916..He is buried in France
Born July 3, 1940, Maryville, TN. Was governor, university
president, and U.S. secretary of education.
Lara Parker- Born Oct.
27, 1937 in Knoxville, TN, grew up in Memphis, TN. Actress best known
for her role as Angelique the witch, in the gothic television
soap opera, Dark
Lark Voorhies- Born March 24,
1974 in Nashville, TN. Actress best known for her role as "Lisa
Turtle" in TV's "Saved By the Bell".
Larry Carrier - Born in 1923 in Bristol, TN - Died June 7, 2005.
Founder of Bristol International Speedway and IHRA Drag Racing. More
information can be found on the
Death Notice posted on MotorSport.com.
Talley- Southern Gospel singer from Morristown, TN. Sings as a
soloist and also with her family group the Talley Trio.
Lester Flatt- Born in
Overton County, TN on June 28, 1914. Best known as member of the
popular bluegrass duo "Flatt and Scruggs."
Born in Campbellsville, TN on May 25, 1919, Died June 10, 1995.
Nationally famous sportscaster. Began Vol Network, announced 25 Cotton
Bowl games for CBS; longtime voice of Notre Dame football on the
nationally distributed Notre Dame playback; first voice of NY Mets.
Won prestigious Frick awards from Baseball Hall of Fame. University of
Tennessee baseball stadium is named for him.
Lisa Marie Presley- Born in
Memphis, TN on February 1, 1968. Pop singer and song writer. Daughter
of Elvis Presley.
Lloyd H. Carr -
Born July 30, 1945 in Hawkins County, TN. Former football player and
head coach. Was head coach at the University of Michigan from
Lynn Swann- Born in
Alcoa, TN on March 7, 1952. Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee (2001).
Was wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1982).
Mack Brown -
Born on August 27, 1951 in Cookeville, TN. Football player and head
coach at several colleges. Currently head coach of University of Texas
at Austin. Was first Texas coach to achieve 200 career wins.
Margaret Keane- Born in
Tennessee in 1927. Illustrator and
painter, mainly draws women and children in oil or mixed media. Her
works are instantly recognizable (although often imitated) from the
doe-eyed children that are depicted in the drawings.
Mark Collie- Born
in Waynesboro, TN on January 18, 1956. Country music star and
television actor. Best known for his big country music hit "Even
The Man In The Moon Is Crying."
Mary Costa- Born in
Knoxville, TN on April 5, 1930, actress and singer best known as the
voice of Princess Aurora/Briar Rose in the original 1959 Film,
Disney's "Sleeping Beauty."
Megan Fox- Born in
Oak Ridge, TN on May 16, 1986, grew up in nearby Rockwood, TN. Popular
actress best known for her starring role as Mikaela Banes, in the 2007
hit live-action film, Transformers.
Born in Maryville, TN. Actress best known for her stint as a cast
member on the NBC television comedy show Saturday Night Live.
Michael Jeter- Born in
Lawrenceburg, TN on August 26, 1952, Died March 30, 2003, actor
starred in over 60 Hollywood motion pictures and numerous television
shows. Perhaps best remembered from the 1999 Stephen King film, The Green Mile, where
he played a death row inmate with a pet mouse named "Mr.
Jingles." Also well known by children as Mr. Noodles brother, Mr.
Noodles, from the PBS television show Sesame Street.
Miley Cyrus- Born in Nashville,
TN on November 23, 1992. Singer, songwriter, actress, best known for
her starring role as "Hannah Montana" on the hit Disney
Channel television series. Daughter of country super star Billy Ray
Cyrus. Miley is currently on a singing tour as the opening act for the
Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley
Cannon)- Born October 25, 1912 in Centerville, TN. Famous country
comedian best known for her stint on TVs "Hee Haw." Also
known for her famous "price tagged hats," and her big
"HOWDY" greetings. Minnie Pearl died on March 4, 1996 from
complications from a stroke.
Morgan Freeman- Born in
Memphis, TN on June 1, 1937. Award winning actor best known for his
role as a convict in the film "Shawshank Redemption".
- Born June 20, 1954 in Ripley, TN. Television and film actor best
known for his starring role in the 1981 movie, Tarzan, the Ape Man.
Ward (Nanye-hi) - Born 1738 in the Cherokee town of Chota (Monroe
Co.,TN). Warrior, prophetess and "Beloved Woman" of the
Cherokee nation. Died 1822 at Benton, TN.
Nathan Bedford Forrest-
Born July 13, 1821 in Bedford County, TN. Confederate US Civil War
General nicknamed "Wizard of the Saddle." Was the first
Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Died October 29, 1877 from
complications of Diabetes.
Cole- Born November 26, 1942 in Memphis, TN. Emmy Award winning
African American actress has starred in numerous television and film
roles. Best known for her Emmy winning role as "Matilda" in
the 1977 ABC mini-series "Roots."
January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, moved to Nashville,
TN at age 14. Actress, talk show host, entertainment executive,
graduated from Tennessee State University and was selected as Miss
Tennessee in her freshman year of college. According to
Forbes magazine, she was the richest African American of the 20th
century and the world's only Black billionaire for three straight
Palmer Robertson (The Big O)- Born November 24, 1938 in Charlotte,
Tennessee. Olympic Gold Medallist in 1960. Considered by many as the
greatest basketball player in NBA history. Nicknamed "The Big
Park Overall: Born March 15,
1957 in Greeneville, TN. Actress best known for her role as nurse
"Laverne," in the 90's television sitcom "Empty
Pat Boone: Born June
1, 1934 in Jacksonville, FL, moved to Tennessee with his family in
1936, and grew up in Nashville. Extremely popular pop singer in the
1950's. Known for his smooth style and religious beliefs. Made
numerous top selling albums and starred in over 15 motion
Patricia Neal: Born January
30, 1926 in Packard, KY. Grew up in Knoxville, TN. Academy Award
winning actress, won an Oscar for best actress in the 1963 film
"Hud." Starred in numerous movies, Broadway shows, and
television shows. In 1965 was stricken by 3 cerebral aneurisms and was
in a comma for 3 weeks. In 1978, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
in Knoxville dedicated the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in her
honor. The center serves as part of Neal's paralysis victim advocacy.
Currently Neal lives in New York City, NY.
"Pat" Sue Head Summitt- Born on June 14, 1952, in
Henrietta, TN. UT Lady Vols Head Basketball coach. Summit is the
all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women)
with 913 victories.
Hillsman Taylor- Born on January 8, 1917 in Trenton, TN. Famous
American short story writer. Taylor's novel A Summons to Memphis
won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; his collection The Old
Forest and Other Stories (1985) won the PEN/Faulkner Award. Taylor
taught literature and writing at Kenyon College and the University of
Virginia. He died in Charlottesville, VA, on November 2nd, 1994.
Bredesen - Born November 21, 1943 in Ocean Park, NJ, grew up in
Shortsville, NY, moved to Nashville, TN in 1975. Founded the
successful Health America Corp. in 1980 making him one of Tennessee's
millionaire residents. Was mayor of Nashville from 1991-1999. Became
the 48th Governor of Tennessee on January 18, 2003. Bredesen is
currently serving his second term as Governor.
Born September 1, 1950 in Winchester, TN. Was University of Tennessee's
head football coach from 1992-2008.
Born March 31, 1962 in Knoxville, TN. Gibbs High School graduate.
Bluegrass Dobro player. Was 2005 "Dobro Player of the Year"
at The International Bluegrass Music Awards. Was founding member of
the Knoxville Newgrass Boys. Has been in numerous bluegrass groups.
Currently plays in the acoustic/bluegrass group "Grasstowne." Visit
his official website here, and his
Myspace page here.
Peyton Manning- Born
March 24, 1976 In New Orleans, Louisianna. NFL superstar
for the Indianapolis Colts, former University of Tennessee
Polly Bergen- Famous
film actress currently starring in a recurring role as "Kate
Allen" on ABC's "Commander in Chief". Was born in
Knoxville, TN on July 14th, 1930.
Ralph Emery- Born in McEwen, TN
on March 10, 1933. Best known for his hit television series
Raliegh McKenzie- Born in
Knoxville, TN on February 8th, 1963. Twin brother to Reggie McKenzie.
Played fullback and inside linebacker for the Roadrunners of Austin
East High School in Knoxville. Former UT football player, 11th
round draft pick for the Washington Redskins in the 1985 NFL draft.
Earned a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XXII. Played 10 years for the
Redskins, 2 years for the Eagles, and 2 years for the Chargers.
Red Grooms- Born
June 7, 1947 in Nashville, TN. Multimedia artist, painter, sculptor,
printmaker, filmmaker, and theatrical showman. Awarded the Lifetime
Achievement Award by the National Academy of Design in 2003.
Reggie McKenzie- Born in
Knoxville, TN on February 8th, 1963. Twin brother to Raliegh McKenzie.
A two-way football star at Austin East High School in Knoxville,
McKenzie was valedictorian of his 1981 graduating class. A 10th-round
draft choice out of the University of Tennessee in 1985 by the
then-Los Angeles Raiders. Played 4 years for the Raiders, 2 years for
the Phoenix Cardinals, and one year with the San Francisco 49ers. Is
currently the director of Pro Personnel for the Green Bay Packers.
Also is the president of the "McKenzie Foundation."
Reese Witherspoon- Born
in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 22, 1976, at 5 years old moved to
Nashville, TN with her family, where she still owns a home. Actress
known for her starring roles in movies including "Sweet Home
Alabama," "Legally Blonde," and in 2006, she took home
the best actress Oscar for her role as June Carter Cash in the Johnny
Cash biopic "Walk the Line."
Born in Chattanooga, TN on December 19, 1961. Also known by his
nickname "Minister of Defense." All time leader for sacks in
a career at the University of Tennessee. Signed with the Green Bay
Packers NFL team in 1993. Won a Super Bowl ring in 1996 season.
Retired from NFL in 1998, later came out of retirement in 2000 to play
for the Carolina Panthers. Reggie died from a heart attack on December
Ric Flair- Wrestling
super star born February 25, 1949, in Memphis, TN. Known as "The
Rita Coolidge- Born May 1st,
1944 in Nashville, TN. Jazzy rock singer best known for her huge hit
"Higher and Higher." Was married to Kris Kristofferson for 7
Church Sr.- Born on June 18, 1839 in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Settled in Memphis, TN after the Civil War, became the South's first
African American Millionaire.
Clay Allison- Born on September 2, 1840 in Waynesboro, TN. Old
West Gunslinger. Also known as the "Colfax County Bad Boy"
and the "Wolf of the Washita." Died July 3, 1887 from
injuries in a wagon accident.
Downey Sr.- Born on June 1, 1936 in Tennessee. Actor, Writer,
Director, best known for his cult classic feature film Putney Swope.
Father of actor/former Saturday Night Live cast-member Robert Downey
Jr. and brother of SNL writer/feature player Jim Downey.
Neyland (General)- Born February 17, 1892 in Greenville, TX, Died
March 28, 1962. Is the all-time winningest coach in
Volunteer history with 173 wins in 213 games, 6 SEC championships, and
4 national championships. The university of Tennessee football stadium
is named in his honor. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
Warren- Born April 24, 1905, in Guthrie, KY. Died Sept. 15, 1989.
Graduate of Clarksville high school in TN and Vanderbilt University in
Nashville, TN. Poet, novelist, and literary critic, and was one of the
founders of The New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the
Fellowship of Southern Writers. While most famous from the success of
his novel All the King's Men (1946) in which won a Pulitzer
Prize, Warren also won two Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry.
Rodney Atkins- born March 28,
1969, in Knoxville, TN. Country music singer best known for his hit
singles "Honesty," and "If You're Going Through
Acuff- Born September 15, 1903 in Maynardville, TN.. Died November
23, 1992. Country music legend and Grand Ole Opry regular. Best known
for his hit song "The Great Speckled Bird." Lost his run for
office of Governor of Tennessee in 1948.
Born in Maryville, TN. Best known as former commissioner of the South
Eastern Conference football league and the originator of the BCS Bowl
Rufus Thomas- Born
March 26, 1917 in Cayce, Mississippi, soon moved to Memphis, TN and
became a world renown blues singer and ambassador to Memphis. His
blues career spanned over 70 years. Thomas died December 15, 2002 from
a heart attack.
Sam Davis- Born 1842
in Smyrna, TN. Called "Boy Hero of the Confederacy."
Confederate soldier captured with Union battle plans. Charged with
espionage and sentenced to death by a Union court martial for refusing
to name his informer. Impressed his captors with his serenity and
courage. As he stood on the gallows, he refused a final offer to name
his accomplice in exchange for his life: "I would rather die a
thousand deaths than betray a friend." His words became a
Confederate rallying cry. Davis's boyhood home in Smyrna and the place
of his execution in Pulaski are historic sites. His statue stands on
Capitol Hill in Nashville, TN.
Born in Rockbridge Co.,VA, March 2nd, 1793. Moved to Maryville, TN
with his family at age 14. Spent some time with the Cherokee Indians on
Hiawassee Island and was adopted by the Cherokee nation. Was a
school teacher in Maryville for 6 months, then joined the US Army to
fight in the War of 1812. Opened a legal practice in Nashville and was
made attorney general. Was a US congressman for 4 years and governor
of TN for one year. Later moved to Texas and became governor of TX in
1859. Is the only person in US history to be governor of two different
states. Died July 26, 1863.
Jackson: Born December 21, 1948 in Washington, D.C. Moved to
Chattanooga, TN as a young child with his family. Actor nominated for
an Oscar for his role as a Bible quoting hit man in the film
"Pulp Fiction". Starred in many other major motion pictures
including the 2006 cult favorite "Snakes On A Plane."
Born January 5, 1923 in Florence, AL, Died June 30, 2003 in Memphis,
TN. Founded the Memphis Recording Service. From 1950 to 1954 Phillips
recorded the music of black rhythm and blues artists such as James
Cotton, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon, Little Milton, Bobby Blue Bland,
and others. Blues legends such as B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf made
their first recordings at his studio. Phillips recorded what some
consider the first rock and roll record: "Rocket 88" by
19-year old Ike Turner's group Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, for
release by the Chess/Checker record label in Chicago (1951). On his
own Sun Record label, recorded "rockabilly" artists Elvis
Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins,
all became superstars. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
Country Music Hall of Fame, and Blues Hall of Fame.
Born in Kingsport, TN 1816, died 1878. Famous Portrait Artist during
the American Civil War. Founder of East Tennessee Art Association. Was
commissioned to paint portraits of 15 Confederate leaders and
generals, none of which has ever been found.
Sequoyah (George Gist)- Born
in the 1770s in the Cherokee village of Tuskegee on the Tennessee
River. Native American Cherokee, inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.
Died in Mexico, in August, 1843.
Born May 28, 1947 in Shelbyville, TN. Actress best known for her
co-starring roles in six different Clint Eastwood films, Any Which Way
You Can, Bronco Billy, Every Which Way But Loose, The Gauntlet, The
Outlaw Josey Wales, and Sudden Impact.
Williamson (John Lee Curtis Williamson)- Born March 30, 1914 near
Jackson, TN. Famous American Blues harmonica player. Was the first to
use the name "Sonny Boy Williamson." Died June 1,
NASCAR driving legend, won back to back Daytona 500 winner hails from
Steve Gulley- Born September
20, 1962 in Middlesboro, KY, raised in and still resides in Cumberland
Gap, TN. Musician, Singer/Songwriter. Was music director and featured
performer on the popular Renfro
Valley shows. Past member of the award-winning bluegrass groups Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver,
and lead/tenor vocalist in the group Mountain Heart. Is founding
member, guitarist/vocalist of new bluegrass group Grasstowne.
Born April 20, 1945 in Miami Beach, FL, moved with family to Johnson
City, TN at the age of 12. The only Tennessee high school athlete to
go on to win the Heisman Trophy as the nation's outstanding college
football player, Steve Spurrier is best known today as the head
football coach of the University of Florida, a fierce rival of the
University of Tennessee. Sports Illustrated magazine ranked Spurrier
fifth in its list of the fifty greatest sports figures from Tennessee
in the twentieth century. He also is a member of the College Football
Hall of Fame.
Stribling (Thomas Sigismund)- Born on March 4, 1881 in Clifton,
TN. Famous short story writer and novelist. Well known for his
trilogy: The Forge, The Store, and Unfinished Cathedral. The Store
earned Mr. Stribling the Pulitzer Prize in 1933. Stribling died July
Tennessee Ernie Ford (Ernest Jennings
Ford)- Born February 13, 1919 in Bristol, TN. Country music
legend, recording artist, and television host. Best remembered for his
famous rendition of the song "Sixteen Tons." Ford died from
a serious fall on October 17, 1991.
"Ted" Rhodes- Born 1913, died 1969. The first African
American professional golfer, grew up in Nashville
Thomas "Hitman" Hearns-
Born in Memphis, TN on October 18, 1958. Former U.S. welterweight,
light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, cruiser weight,
world class boxing champion.
Born in Memphis, TN on October 16, 1941. Attended Christian Bros High
School. Was All-Star and World Series catcher for the St. Louis
Cardinals. Is currently a MLB commentator for Fox broadcasting. Is a 3
time Emmy Award winner.
Tina Turner- Rock and Roller
born in Nutbush, best remembered by her hit album "Private
Tina Wesson- Knoxville
native, won one million dollars on televisions "Survivor" in
Helton- MLB's Colorado Rockies first baseman was a two-sports star
at the University of Tennessee, born in Knoxville.
"Wildfire" Rich- Born July 26, 1956 in Hendersonville,
TN. Professional wrestler, winner of numerous championship titles,
mostly in the NWA Georgia Championship Wrestling league.
Trevor Bayne -
Born in Knoxville, TN February 19, 1991. Professional race car driver,
currently races full-time in NASCAR Nationwide series for Roush Fenway
Racing and part time in the Sprint Car Series for Wood Brothers
Racing. Won the 2011 Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Race on Feb. 20, 2011, in
his first ever Cup race at Daytona. Also currently holds the record as
the youngest driver to ever win at Daytona.
Usher Raymond- Born in
Dallas, TX on October 14, 1978, moved to Chattanooga, TN when he was 1
year old and grew up there. Cut his teeth on Gospel Music before being
discovered on Star Search in 1991. Grammy award winning R&B/Rap
performer. Best known for his hit songs, "U Got It Bad"
Blount- Born near Windsor, Bertie County, N.C., March 26, 1749.
First US Senator representing the state of Tennessee. Delegate to the
convention that framed the Federal Constitution in 1787. Named the
city of Knoxville in honor of President Washington's War Secretary,
Henry Knox. Died in Knoxville, Tenn., March 21, 1800.
Handy (W.C. Handy) - Born in Florence, AL on November 16, 1873 -
Died March 28, 1958 in New York City, NY. Talented songwriter and
blues musician widely known as the "Father of the Blues." Moved his
band to Memphis, TN in 1909 where he played music on
popularizing the Memphis Blues and solidifying Memphis as the "Home of
Hometown Clarksville, TN, born on June 23, 1940. Suffered from Polio
as a child. Was a star member of the Tennessee State University track
team and on September 7th, 1960, in Rome, she became the first
American woman to win 3 gold medals in the Olympics. Governor Don
Sundquist proclaimed June 23 as Wilma Rudolph day in Tennessee.
Wilma Winifred Wyatt
(Dixie Lee) - Born November 4, 1911 in Harriman, TN - Died of
Ovarian Cancer on November 1, 1952 in Los Angeles, CA. American
actress, dancer, and singer. Was married to Bing Crosby.
Sanderson- Born January 10, 1948 in Memphis, TN. Actor has starred
in over 20 motion pictures, 30 Broadway plays, and dozens of
Wink Martindale- Born in
Jackson, TN on December 4, 1934. Best known as the host of the
popular game show "Tic Tac Dough." Wink has hosted over 14
different game shows and also has been a radio DJ and a brief stint as
Woody Wright- Born in
Cleveland, TN on October 10, 1957. Gospel and Country performer, producer and singer/songwriter. Well
known as a member of the popular Southern Gospel trio Ponder Sykes
& Wright. Also is a featured artist on the Gaither Homecoming
concert and video series. Currently performs as a solo artist.