Learn about the most famous person from Kansas and what made them so famous.
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Kansas is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. The state is named after the Kansas River, which flows through it. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska to the north, Missouri to the east, Oklahoma to the south, and Colorado to the west.
As of 2019, the population of Kansas was estimated at 2.9 million people. The state’s capital is Topeka, and its largest city is Wichita.
Some of the most famous people from Kansas include inventor Nikola Tesla, aviator Amelia Earhart, president Dwight D. Eisenhower, and musician Charlie Parker.
Early Life and Family
John Joseph Pershing was born in Laclede, Missouri, on September 13, 1860, the third child and only son of John Fletcher and Ann Elizabeth (Thornbrough) Pershing. His father was a merchant who operated a general store in Laclede, and his mother was a schoolteacher. He had two older sisters: Belle (born 1858) and Jennie (born 1859). When Pershing was four years old, his father moved the family to nearby Larsen’s Grove (later renamed Laclede), where he opened another general store. The young Pershing attended the rural elementary school Larsen’s Grove Academy.
Kansas is not typically thought of as a hotbed of celebrities, but the state has actually produced a number of famous actors. Take a look at some of the most famous people from Kansas who have made it big in Hollywood.
Paul Rudd – Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Rudd’s family moved to Overland Park, Kansas when he was ten years old. He got his start in acting at Kansas City’s Coterie Theatre and then went on to study drama at the University of Kansas. He made his film debut in “Clueless” and has since appeared in a long list of films including “Anchorman,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “This is 40.” He will soon be seen reprising his role as Scott Lang / Ant-Man in the upcoming film “Captain America: Civil War.”
Eric Stonestreet – Stonestreet was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and attended Piper High School. After graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in sociology, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He landed his breakout role as Cameron Tucker on the ABC comedy series “Modern Family.” His performance has earned him two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Jason Sudeikis – Sudeikis was born in Fairfax, Virginia but grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. He began his comedy career as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live.” He has also starred in such films as “We’re the Millers,” “Horrible Bosses” and “Hall Pass.”
The most famous person from Kansas is Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States. He was born in Denison, Texas, but moved to Abilene, Kansas when he was a child. Eisenhower served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was later elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He ran for president in 1952 and won, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower served two terms as president, from 1953 to 1961. After he left office, he retired to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Later Life and Death
In his later life, Capone became increasingly reclusive. He suffered a stroke in January of 1947, which left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. He spent the last years of his life at his Palm Island estate in Florida, where he died of a heart attack on January 25, 1947.
The most famous person from Kansas is undoubtedly Dorothy Gale, the heroine of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is a young farm girl who is transported to the magical land of Oz by a tornado. Along with her dog Toto, Dorothy sets out on a journey to find the Wizard of Oz, who she believes can help her return home. Along the way, she meets some memorable characters, including the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. Although Dorothy is eventually able to find her way home, she learns that there is no place like Kansas along the way.