Famous St. Louisans
St. Louis is proud of its rich history of individuals from the region who have made major national contributions to our cultural heritage. Some are native to the region, while others lived in St. Louis long enough to call it home, but they have all had a taste fame. A few famous St. Louisans are listed below.
Native to St. Louis
Chuck Berry - A Rock & Roll superstar hailed as the "Father of Rock & Roll," Chuck Berry's signature guitar work, poetic songwriting, and inspired showmanship has influenced every Rock & Roll musician who has since followed. His recorded hits such as "Maybellene," "Johnny B. Goode," and "Roll Over Beethoven" defined the standards of the Rock & Roll genre.
Berry was born in St. Louis in 1926 in a north St. Louis neighborhood, where many middle class St. Louis families lived at the time. His middle class upbringing allowed him to pursue his musical interests from an early age, and his first performance took place at Sumer High School in St. Louis.
After decades of pioneering Rock & Roll music, Berry entered the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1985. One year later he became the first person to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
While Berry still tours the world with his performances, he performs at least once a month at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, located in the Delmar Loop neighborhood.
Writer Maya Angelou - Poet, memoirist, actress and playwright, Maya Angelou has served as a leading literary voice of the African-American community. She has penned six autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), and more than a dozen books of prose and poetry, earning Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations. Angelou's screenplay Georgia, Georgia was the first original script by a black woman to be produced.
Today Angelou is a professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, where she has been an eminent lecturer since 1981.
T.S. Eliot - Poet and critic, his most influential works include The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Portrait of a Lady, Ash Wednesday and Four Quartets. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.
Fontella Bass - Two-time Grammy-nominated artist who started her solo career in 1965 with the song "Rescue Me," which ranked as a #1 U.S. R&B and #4 U.S. Pop hit.
Irma Rombauer - Publisher of The Joy of Cooking, one of the nation's most popular cookbooks ever written.
Vincent Price - Film actor best known for his villainous roles in more than 100 films, as well as many stage and television productions, earning him the nickname "The King of Horror."
Miles Davis - American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer.
Yogi Berra - Widely considered as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, Yogi was a fifteen-time All-Star who won the American League's Most Valuable Player three times and played in 14 World Series. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Joe Garagiola, Sr. - Major League Baseball catcher turned broadcaster who was known for his folksy, sometimes self-deprecating humor. Garagiola was a broadcaster for the Yankees for 27 years, and he entered the broadcasters' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Kevin Kline - Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning stage and film actor, known for roles in The Pirates of Penzance, Hal Prince's On The Twentieth Century, and A Fish Call Wanda.
John Goodman - Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor, perhaps best known for his roles on the television series Roseanne and as Dan Aykroyd's partner in the popular Blues Brothers Band, which first appeared on Saturday Night Live in March 1995.
Joséphine Baker - World famous entertainer and U.S. civil rights activist.
Mary Engelbreit - Artist and entrepreneur, well-known for her unmistakable illustration style found on greeting cards and in children's books.
Raised/Lived in St. Louis
Ulysses S. Grant - victorious Civil War general who saved the Union and the 18th President of the United States.
Joseph Pulitzer - native of Hungary, Joseph Pulitzer moved to St. Louis in 1868 to work as a reporter. He later formed the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, setting high journalistic standards. Pulitzer's greatest legacy is his annual award for excellence in journalism - the Pulitzer Prize.
Tennessee Williams - twentieth century playwright most known for Streetcar Named Desire, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Glass Menagerie and Night of the Iguana.
Charles Lindbergh - an American aviator who made aviation history in May 1927 when he was the first to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean.
Tina Turner - three-time Grammy Award winner known for her powerful voice and raw intensity of her stage shows rocked the Pop, Rock and R&B charts for decades with songs like Record of the Year "What's Love Got to Do with It." Turner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
Phyllis Diller - American comedienne, entertainer, and author; considered one of the pioneers of female stand-up comedy. Her television routines featuring "Fang," her imaginary husband, brought national acclaim.
Scott Joplin - musician and composer of ragtime music and is regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime in history.
Stan Musial - one of the greatest baseball players in history, "Stan the Man" played his entire 22 year professional career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He held numerous records when he retired, won seven league batting titles, and helped the Cardinals win three world championships. Musial was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Bob Costas - Sportscaster for NBC since the early 1980s who has earned multiple National Sportscaster of the Year awards (from the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association) and nearly 20 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing.
Jack Buck - Major League Baseball sportscaster for the St. Louis Cardinals who coined the phrases "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!" and "That's a winner!" Buck received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
Joe Buck - Sportscaster whose premier play-by-play announcing earned him six Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2001-2005. Buck was the youngest announcer to ever call a Super Bowl and the first play-by-play announcer to call a Super Bowl and a World Series in the same season. He is the son of the late Major League Baseball sportscaster, Jack Buck.