Some, of many, Prominent Missourian's
(too numerous too include all)
John was born 20 June 1952, a native son of Afton in St. Louis County. He studied drama at Southwest Missouri State and later made his mark with distinctive, often hilarious character performances in films such as "True Stories" and "Raising Arizona." Drawing on his St. Louis roots for inspiration, Goodman starred from 1988-97 as Dan, the lovable, working-class husband on the acclaimed television series "Roseanne." Also a talented stage actor, Goodman moved to leading roles in films such as "The Babe" and "The Flintstones." Admired by his peers and immensely popular with his fans, John Goodman's work reveals a gifted, down-to-earth actor with tremendous range. He was inducted into the St Louis Walk of Fame in 1997. He continues in movies with films completed and planned for release, 2 each in 2007 and 2008.
Thomas Hart Benton
Thomas Hart Benton – Benton was born 15 April 1889 in Neosho Missouri, the son of a US Congressman, grandnephew of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. He is famous for his paintings of American rural life including notable murals. He taught at the Art Students League in NYC and at the Kansas City Art Institute. His most famous student was Jackson Pollock who later became noted for “Modern Art” that Benton despised. He died 19 January 1975 and is buried in Bellfontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. Benton was the first artist to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
David Rice Atchison
David Rice Atchison - (1807-1886) Atchison will always be known as the guy who was President of the United States for just one day and he slept through much of it. He served as a US senator from Missouri from 1843 to 1855. As president pro tem of the Senate in 1849, Atchison was shoved into the highest office in the land in a constitutional cusp between James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor. Because Polk's term ended on a Sunday at noon, and Taylor's inauguration wasn't until the next day Atchison was in charge of the presidency. He was also, as President Pro Tempore of the senate, the acting Vice President for two terms when the position was vacant, from 20 October 1852 to 4 March 1853 and from 18 April 1853 to 4 December 1854. Atchison County in Missouri and the city Atchison Kansas bear his name. He was a very influential businessman and one of the co- founders of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. A statue of him is located near the Plattsburg town hall. A Bronze bust of Atchison is included in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda Hall of Famous Missourians. He was elected to the hall in 1991.
Molly Brown – Margaret Tobin Brown - The Unsinkable Molly Brown, one of the “Titantic” survivors was born in Hannibal Missouri 18 July 1867. Her early life in Hannibal was hard because her father was a poor Irish immigrant who dug ditches for a gas company and Molly, one of 6 children, had to work 12 hours per day and 6 days a week to help support the family. At age 18 she went west to Colorado to seek her fortune and was determined to marry a rich man, J. J. Brown. She settled for love and married a self-educated poor man in 1886. He shortly after struck it rich in the gold mine and Molly was Rich! Molly and JJ had two children; the first was born in Hannibal and the second in Colorado. A suffragette, a crusader for unions and many social causes she didn’t forget the struggles she had when young. She was in Europe in April 1912 when she received word that her grandson was ill and booked passage on the ill-fated Titantic. After her rescue by the RMS Carpathia she headed the “Titantic Survivors Committee” that assisted less fortunate passengers and crew. She was awarded the French Legion of Honour shortly before her death for her "overall good citizenship" including her relief work in France, her efforts for Titanic survivors, and her activism and philanthropy at home in America. Molly died of a brain tumor 26 October 1932 in New York City.
John David Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft – Born 9 May 1942 in Chicago Illinois, John was raised and educated in Springfield, Missouri and Yale University. He became Missouri’s Governor (1985-1993), U.S. Senator (1995-2001) and U.S. Attorney General (2001-2005). John is also a member of the Assembly of God Church, an accomplished pianist, songwriter and a founding member of the Singing Senators in the U.S. Congress in 1995. Ashcroft sang bass in a quartet with 3 other senators. Their most memorable performance was with the Oak Ridge Boys at the Charlie Pride Theater in Branson Missouri, 22 April 1995. John was elected to the Rotunda of Famous Missourians in 2006.
Walter Elias Disney
Walt Disney - Born 5 December 1901 in Chicago Walt was raised in Marceline Missouri. He moved with his family to Kansas City in 1910 (when he was 9) and established his “Laugh-O-Gram studio” in 1923. Walt was an artist, producer, director, film writer, animator, actor, voice actor and Co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, now known as the Walt Disney Company. Walt and the Disney Empire is so well known little needs to be recounted here. He is a member of “The William Randolph Hearst Cartoon Hall Of Fame” in New York City. A Bronze bust of Walt Disney is included in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda Hall of Famous Missourians. He was elected to the hall in 1993.
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Ulysses Simpson Grant - Upon graduating from West Point in 1843, Grant was assigned to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. There he married Julia Dent, whose family estate, White Haven, was nearby. He left the army in 1854 to work his wife's farm, which he called "Hard Scrabble." He left after four years to open a real-estate agency in St. Louis. Appointed brigadier general by President Lincoln early in the Civil War, Grant captured Forts Donelson and Henry in February 1862. After further successes he was named commander of the Union army, which he led to victory. On 25 July 1866 he became the first “General of the Army” and became the 18th president of the United States in 1869. Grant was inducted into the St Louis Walk of Fame in 1990.
Joseph Pulitzer - A native of Hungary, Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. in 1864 and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He moved to St. Louis in 1868 to work as a reporter for a German-language newspaper. He bought the bankrupt St. Louis Dispatch in 1878 and soon merged it with the Evening Post to form the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Pulitzer, an exponent of high journalistic standards, endowed the Columbia School of Journalism. His greatest legacy is his annual award for excellence in journalism - The Pulitzer Prize. He was inducted into the St Louis Walk of Fame in 1989.
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman – The “S” in Truman’s name stands for “S”... He did not have a middle name. When he was born he was named “Harry” after Harrison Young. The “S” was added as a middle initial and was taken from his maternal and paternal grandfathers name. Born 8 May 1884 in Lamar Missouri, Truman was the Thirty-Third President succeeding to the presidency upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He had scarcely seen Roosevelt during his time as VP and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. He told reporters, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” Well, he was from Missouri and strong enough to hold the weight of the universe, was elected President in 1948 serving until 1953. Earlier Truman had served in France as a captain in the Field Artillery during WWI. Harry died 26 December 1972 in Kansas City.
Adolphus Busch – “Beer made St. Louis and Adolphus Busch made the beer.” This quote was part of the lead paragraph in a 1929 article in “The American Mercury” magazine titled “King of Beer”. Busch was born in Germany 10 July 1839 and immigrated to America in 1857. In 1861 he married Lily Anheuser, daughter of Eberhard Anheuser, who eventually became his partner. The story of Anheuser Busch and its growth to international prominence is legendary and needs no augmentation here. Adolphus Busch died in Germany 10 October 1913 after nearly a half-century at the head of the brewing enterprise that he built. His funeral was probably the largest and most extraordinary one in the history of St. Louis. The cortege included 6,000 marching employees and 25 trucks were required for floral tributes.