Famous Nevadans | Print |

The following is a partial list of well-known people who were either born in Nevada or lived here for an extended period.

Eva Bertrand Adams, born in Wonder, Nevada in 1908. Ms. Adams was appointed Director of the U.S. Mint by President Kennedy in 1961 and remained in that post until 1969. Before this appointment, she served as Administrative Assistant to Senators Pat McCarran, Ernest Brown, and Alan Bible. Eva Adams died in Reno, NV on August 23, 1991.

Andre Agassi, born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1970 - A tennis player, he turned pro in 1986 and has won over 45 singles titles and almost $20 million in earnings.

Ben Alexander, born in Goldfield, Nevada - An actor, he played Officer Frank Smith on the television series "Dragnet " from 1953 to 1959.

Henry Fountain Ashurst, born in Winnemucca, Nevada in 1874 - Politician

Raymond T. Baker, born in Eureka, Nevada.  Former director, U.S. Mint, 1917-22; candidate for U.S. Senator from Nevada, 1926. Died April 28, 1935. 

Art Bell, born in Pahrump, NV on June 17, 1945. Radio Host.

Helen Delich Bentley, born November 28, 1923 in Ruth, Nevada. Newspaperwoman. Ms. Bentley went on to become a Congresswoman for the state of Maryland, holding office from 1985-1995. She currently lives in Maryland.

James Hubert Bilbray, born in Las Vegas, Nevada - Politician

Kurt Busch. Born August 4, 1978 in Las  Vegas, Nevada. NASCAR Driver. Awards include 2000 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year and 2003 IROC champion

Kyle Busch Born May 2, 1985, in Las Vegas, Nevada. NASCAR Driver. Awards include 2004 Busch Series Rookie of the Year and 2005 NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year

Charisma Carpenter, was born July 23, 1970 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  An actress, she has had roles on a number of popular television series including Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.

James E. Casey, Born in the tiny mining town of Candelaria, NV on March 29, 1888, Mr. Casey became the founder of the United Parcel Service. He died June 6, 1983 in Seattle, WA.

Hobart Cavanaugh, born in Virginia City in 1887 - Actor (Border Town, Black Angel)

Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of The City of Trembling Leaves, The Ox-Bow Incident, and other books.  Mr. Clark was born in East Orland, Maine in 1909, but his family moved to Nevada when he was eight years old. He died in Reno on November 10, 1971.

Henry Paige Comstock, born in 1820, a trapper, prospector.  His name became attached to the world famous Comstock Lode. 

Abby Dalton, born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1932 - An actor, she played Lt. Martha Hale on Hennesey (1959) and Julia Cumson on Falcon Crest (1981-86).

Dat-So-La-Lee, born about 1829 in Nevada's Carson Valley.  She is known as one of the most famous weavers of Native American baskets.

James A. (Jim) Gibbons, born in Sparks, Nevada. Current Nevada Governor.

Michele Greene, born in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 3, 1962 - An actor (Abby Perkins on LA Law)

Curtis Hanson, was born in Reno, Nevada on March 24, 1945.  Screenwriter and director, he is best known for his work on the films The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The River Wild and L.A. Confidential.

Velma Bronn Johnston, also known as "Wild Horse Annie," was born March 5, 1912 in Reno, Nevada. For many years, she fought for the protection of the wild horse and burro population. It was through her efforts that laws were passed protecting these animals. Part of the "Wild Horse Annie" law states that "wild and free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West. . . .  and it is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death" [Public Law 92-195, December 15, 1971].  She died in Reno, NV on June 27, 1977.

Jack Kramer, born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1921 - Tennis Player

Paul Laxalt, Reno, Nevada, - Former governor and U.S. senator

Robert Laxalt, was a well known Nevada writer.  Author of Sweet Promised Land, A Cup of Tea in Pamplona, A Basque Hotel, and many other works. 

Liberace (Wladziu Valentino Liberace), was an important twentieth century pianist and entertainer.  He spent much of his later career in Las Vegas, Nevada where the Liberace Museum is located.

Emma Nevada (Emma Wixom), was an important nineteenth century opera singer.  She spent a majority of her childhood in Austin, Nevada.

Wayne Newton, nicknamed "Mr. Las Vegas," has long been associated with the City of Las Vegas and the State of Nevada.  Newton is one of only two people in Las Vegas history to be given the city's Medal of Honor.  In addition, the city renamed a major street the Wayne Newton Boulevard.  Newton was named Ambassador of  Goodwill for the State of Nevada.  He was also honored in Washington DC with an American Legend Award, given to the few individuals who have made a mark on the twentieth century.  Newton was named one of the top three entertainers of the century "in Nevada and around the world" by the Reno Gazette Journal.

Thelma Pat Nixon, born in Ely, Nevada - Wife of the 37th President of the United States Richard M. Nixon.

Harry M. Reid, born in Searchlight, Nevada - U.S. Senator & Majority Leader.

Siegfried and Roy (Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn), are world famous illusionists who have made Las Vegas, Nevada their home for over 30 years.

David Derek Stacton, Born on April 25, 1925 in Minden, Nevada. Author.

Dawn Wells, was born in Reno, Nevada on October 18, 1938.  She was Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America Pageant.  She is best known for her role as Mary Ann Summers on the popular television show Gilligan's Island.

Jack Wilson "Wovoka," born in Esmeralda County, Nevada in 1856. Wovoka was a Paiute Indian prophet who created the Ghost Dance religion in the 1880s and 1890s. He died in September of 1932.

Sarah Winnemucca (Hopkins), born near the Humboldt River in Nevada - She was an author, Paiute interpreter, peacemaker

Dolora Zajick, known affectionately as "La Dolora" in opera-loving Italy, currently sings mezzo-soprano with the New York Metropolitan Opera, along with other internationally acclaimed opera companies. This world famous mezzo was born in Oregon, but raised in Nevada. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and studied singing with Mr. Ted Puffer. Ms. Zajick makes Reno, NV her home part of the year.