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List of notable people from Oklahoma facts for kids

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The following are people who were either born/raised or have lived for a significant period of time in Oklahoma.

Native Americans

Political/Military Figures





  • The All-American Rejects
  • The Arnold's, Southern Gospel trio based in Tulsa
  • Aqueduct (born 1992), indie pop band
  • Hoyt Axton (1938–1999), country music singer/songwriter, wrote "I've Never Been to Spain" (but I've been to Oklahoma).
  • Chet Baker (1929–1988) - jazz trumpeter who helped popularize the 1950's cool jazz style
  • Norma Jean (b. Norma Jean Beasler January 30, 1938) is an American country music singer
  • Earl Bostic (1913–1965), R&B and jazz musician
  • Garth Brooks (born 1962), country music singer/songwriter
  • Don Byas (1912-1972) jazz tenor saxophonist and one of the leading saxophonists of the swing and bebop eras
  • J. J. Cale (born 1938), country rock (see Tulsa sound)
  • Jerry Cantrell, musician, lead guitarist/vocalist, Alice in Chains
  • The Chainsaw Kittens, alternative rock band
  • Charlie Christian (1916–1942), jazz guitarist, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, considered the father of jazz guitar
  • Roy Clark (born 1933), country musician
  • Eddie Cochrane, rockabilly musician
  • Color Me Badd, R&B vocal group
  • Ronnie Dunn (born 1953), half of the country music duo Brooks and Dunn
  • Gail Farrell (born 1947), singer/songwriter, featured performer from The Lawrence Welk Show
  • The Flaming Lips, indie rock band featuring Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd and Michael Ivins
  • The Gap Band (born 1967), R&B, funk and soul group
  • David Gates (born 1939), singer/songwriter associated with the band Bread
  • Vince Gill (born 1957), country musician
  • Earl Grant (1933–1970), easy listening pianist
  • Woody Guthrie (1912–1967), folk singer
  • Hanson (born 1992), pop band
  • Glen Hardin (born 1939), musician, piano player
  • Roy Harris (1898–1979), classical composer
  • Richard Hart (born 1955), Jazz guitarist, composer/arranger, published artist
  • Lee Hazlewood (born 1929), singer/songwriter, record producer
  • Michael Hedges (December 31,1953December 2, 1997) acoustic guitarist born in Enid, Oklahoma
  • Hinder, rock band
  • Wanda Jackson (born 1938), rockabilly singer
  • Toby Keith (born 1961), country musician
  • Merle Kilgore (1934–2005), singer/songwriter, manager
  • Mel McDaniel (born 1942), country music singer/songwriter
  • Reba McEntire (born 1955), country singer
  • Roger Miller, singer/songwriter
  • Leona Mitchell (born 1948), famed African American soprano, member Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
  • The Nixons, 90's hard rock band
  • Patti Page (born 1927), traditional pop music and country music singer
  • Sandi Patty (born 1957), Contemporary Christian music singer
  • Tom Paxton (1937-), singer, singer-songwriter
  • Pillar (born 2001), christian rock band
  • Restless Heart band members Paul Gregg and Greg Jennings
  • Sam Rivers (born 1923) jazz tenor saxophonist with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie,Herbie Hancock, and Quincy Jones
  • Joe Don Rooney (born 1975), country music singer, one-third of the group Rascal Flatts
  • Leon Russell (born 1942), singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist
  • Neal Schon (born 1954), lead rock guitarist of Journey
  • Blake Shelton (born 1976), country musician
  • Starlight Mints, indie pop band
  • B. J. Thomas (born 1942) singer/songwriter
  • Carrie Underwood (born 1983), American Idol winner 2005
  • Maci Wainwright (born 1990), country music singer-songwriter
  • Jimmy Webb (born 1946), popular music composer
  • Claude Williams (musician) (1908–2004), jazz musician with the Count Basie band
  • Mason Williams (born 1938), composer (Classical Gas), recording artist, comedy writer (Smothers Brothers)
  • Bob Wills (1905–1975), country music singer/songwriter, leader of the band The Texas Playboys
  • Sheb Wooley (1921–2003), actor and singer (Purple People Eater)


Miss America

  • Jennifer Berry (born 1983), Miss America 2006
  • Jane Anne Jayroe (born 1946), Miss America 1967
  • Lauren Nelson (born 1987), Miss America 2007
  • Susan Powell (born 1959), Miss America 1981
  • Norma Smallwood (1909–1966), Miss America 1926, first Miss America of Native American Heritage (Cherokee)
  • Shawntel Smith (born 1971), Miss America 1996


  • Clay Bennett, Chairman of Dorchester Capital, Professional Basketball LLC
  • Edward K. Gaylord (1873–1974), Founder of the Daily Oklahoman
  • Edward L. Gaylord (1919–2003), late Editor of the Daily Oklahoman, founder of TNN & CMT, owner of Grand Ole Opry
  • Sylvan Goldman (1898–1984), Businessman and inventor of the shopping cart
  • Waite Phillips (1883–1964), oil industry businessman
  • T. Boone Pickens, Jr. (born 1928), oil industry businessman
  • Sam Walton (1918–1992), founder of Wal-Mart
  • Tom L. Ward, oil industry businessman

Art and Literature

  • Roger Eric Davis, (1962-2013), Artist of Oil Paintings
  • Charles Bell (painter), (1935-1995), photorealist painter
  • William Bernhardt (born 1960), novelist
  • John Berryman (1914–1972), poet
  • Jim Thompson (born 1906), novelist
  • Ralph Ellison (1914–1994), writer and scholar
  • Chester Gould (1900–1985), creator of the Dick Tracy comic strip
  • Tony Hillerman (born 1925), journalist, historian, professor, and novelist
  • Josh Shipp (born 1981), author and motivational speaker
  • S.E. Hinton (born 1948), author and novelist
  • Bill Moyers (born 1934), journalist and public commentator
  • Jeff Rowland, cartoonist, author of WIGU
  • Bill Wallace, author
  • Jason Nelson (born 1970), pioneering net artist and digital poet


  • Troy Aikman, quarterback, OU, UCLA and Dallas Cowboys champion, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • Johnny Bench (born 1947), MLB catcher Cincinnati Reds, member Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Brian Bosworth (born 1965), Oklahoma Sooners football and NFL player
  • Josh Brown (born 1979), kicker Seattle Seahawks
  • Mikey Burnett UFC fighter
  • Joe Carter, Major League Baseball player, right fielder
  • Larry Coker (born 1948), former football coach at University of Miami
  • Bart Conner, Olympic gold medal gymnast
  • Bill Goldberg, professional wrestler
  • Kelly Gregg, Oklahoma Sooners football and National Football League player
  • Charlie Haas, WWE professional wrestler
  • Mat Hoffman, World Champion BMX biker
  • Matt Holliday, Outfielder for the Colorado Rockies.
  • Henry Iba, basketball coach, Basketball Hall of Famer
  • Bob Kalsu (1945–1970), Oklahoma Sooners football and Buffalo Bills player, only active professional football player killed in the Vietnam War
  • Steve Largent, Seattle Seahawks Pro Football Hall of Famer and politician
  • Abe Lemons, Oklahoma City University, Pan American University, and Texas Longhorns basketball coach
  • Mickey Mantle (1931–1995), New York Yankees Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Pepper Martin (1904–1965), St. Louis Cardinals baseball player
  • "Jumping Jack" McCracken (1911–1958), Basketball Hall of Famer
  • Shannon Miller, Olympic gold medal gymnast
  • Ryan Minor, Oklahoma Sooners baseball & basketball player
  • Dr. Gil Morgan (born 1959), professional golfer
  • Tommy Morrison, Former World Heavyweight Champion boxer
  • Bobby Murcer (1946–2008) Professional baseball player and sportscaster
  • Lance Norick (born 1968), NASCAR driver.
  • Steve Owens, Oklahoma Sooners football player and 1969 Heisman Trophy winner
  • Brad Penny, Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers MLB pitcher
  • Beth Phoenix, professional wrestler
  • Darrell Porter (1952–2002), MLB baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Mark Price (born 1964) basketball player; Enid H.S., Georgia Tech, and Indiana Pacers
  • Bryant Reeves attended Gans high school in eastern Oklahoma, attended OSU, and retired from the Vancouver Grizzlies in the NBA.
  • Allie Reynolds (1917–1994), Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Crystal Robinson, New York Liberty WNBA basketball player
  • Bullet Rogan (1893–1967), Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Matt Roney (born 1980), MLB baseball player, relief pitcher
  • Jim Ross, WWE announcer
  • Darrell Royal (born 1924), football coach at University of Texas
  • Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State Cowboys Heisman Trophy winner, Football Hall of Famer
  • Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma Sooners football player and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • Jeremy Shockey (born 1980), professional football player
  • Billy Sims (born 1955), running back Oklahoma Sooners football and Detroit Lions, Heisman Trophy winner
  • John Smith (born 1965), Olympic gold medalist and wrestling coach
  • Warren Spahn (1921–2003), Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Willie Stargell (1940-2001), Baseball Hall of Famer with the Pittsburgh Pirates, known for his ability to hit home runs completely out of stadiums.
  • Eddie Sutton, Arkansas Razorbacks and Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball coach
  • Barry Switzer (born 1937), football coach, Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys
  • Jim Thorpe (1887–1953), Olympic gold medalist, played professional football and Major League Baseball
  • Spencer Tillman, All-American running back for the Oklahoma Sooners and CBS TV football analyst
  • Wayman Tisdale (born 1964), professional basketball player and jazz bass guitarist
  • Bob Tway (born 1959), professional golfer and PGA Championship winner in 1986
  • Lloyd "Little Poison" Waner (1906–1982), Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Paul "Big Poison" Waner (1903–1965), Baseball Hall of Famer
  • J.C. Watts, Oklahoma Sooners football quarterback and later U.S. Congressman
  • Jason White, Oklahoma Sooners football quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner
  • Bud Wilkinson (1916–1994), famed Oklahoma Sooners football coach, member of the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Matt Wiman (Born 1983), UFC fighter



  • Thomas and Paul Braniff, airline entrepreneurs, founders of Braniff International Airways
  • Gordon Cooper (1907-2006)
  • Owen K. Garriott (born 1930), astronaut
  • John Herrington (born 1958), astronaut
  • James Jabara (1923-1966) world's first jet ace, and Korean War triple ace with 15 kills
  • Shannon Lucid (born 1943), astronaut
  • William R. Pogue (born 1930), astronaut
  • Wiley Post (1898–1935), first pilot to fly solo around the world, (born in Texas but grew up in Oklahoma)
  • Thomas Stafford (born 1930), astronaut
  • Clarence L. Tinker (1887-1942), U.S. Army Air Corps general and supreme commander of the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific during World War II

Religious Figures

  • Oral Roberts (1918-2009), evangelist
  • Bill Majors (born 1960), missionary
  • Yahweh ben Yahweh born and legally named Hulon Mitchell Jr. (October 27, 1935 - May 7, 2007), was the leader of the religious group Nation of Yahweh

Infamous Oklahomans

  • Belle Starr (1848–1889), Queen of the outlaws, a female Jesse James
  • Pretty Boy Floyd (1904–1934), Depression era gangster
  • Cameron Willingham (1968–2004), convicted arsonist, whose case spawned a controversy over use of forensic evidence in capital trials


  • Bill G. Chapman (1928–2007), advocate for the blind, author
  • Tom Colbert (born 1949), first African-American Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice
  • Stephen Jones (July 1, 1940 -), attorney best known as Timothy McVeigh's lead defense lawyer during his trial for the Oklahoma City bombing
  • Joe Redington (1917–1999), "Father of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race"
  • Bass Reeves (1838-1910), first African-American U.S. Marshal and one of the chief law enforcement agents during the first years of Oklahoma's statehood.
  • Cornel West (born 1953), scholar
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