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Indianapolis Famous People, Celebrities & Notable People

Architects & Builders

  Michael Graves is an Indianapolis born American architect, known for his designs all over the world.
  Avriel Shull, from Carmel, Indiana, became widely known as an architectural innovator during what is now referred to as the Mid-Century Modern period.

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Artists: Painters, Sculptors, Mixed-Media

  Marianne Glick – Here is an active member of Indianapolis society whose time is fairly divided between her art and her philanthropic causes. A well-known artist, Ms Glick is also recognized as a businesswoman and champion of various charities around Indy, and her parents, Eugene and Marilyn Glick, have consistently been among Indy’s most generous humanitarians.
  Carol Mickett and husband Robert Stackhouse are responsible for one of the most beautiful contributions to the ARTSPARK and the Indianapolis Art Center.

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Business Leaders

  Colonel Eli Lilly was a distinguished veteran of the U.S. Civil War, with a stunning monument in the center of downtown Indianapolis bearing his name, the Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. This extraordinary man was also, however, a gifted entrepreneur who founded the now-global powerhouse called Eli Lilly and Company Pharmaceuticals.
  Madame C.J. Walker created her own line of hair care and beauty products. She became the first female who was a millionaire through her own achievements. The Madame C.J. Walker Theatre is named for her.

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Media: Film, Television, Anchors, Announcers, Broadcasters, Press, Publishers, Personalities, Reporters

  Ted Allen rose to famedom first as a food and wine expert in journalism, and then as a star on television’s Food Network.
  David Letterman, superstar comedian and late night television talk show host, is one of the most famous people who have resided in Indy. He also made his mother and her pies famous. Dorothy Mengering, AKA “Dave’s Mom,” is now one of the most notable people in Carmel, Indiana.

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Musicians: Singers, Bands, Composers, Performers, Recording Artists

  Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is a mega-superstar in the modern pop music industry. This incredibly successful singer-performer-producer is one of the most famous of the many famous musicians from Indianapolis.
  Wes Montgomery – This jazz guitarist extraordinaire’s unusual, haunting style has influenced guitarists for generations. A native of Indianapolis, Montgomery is considered by many in the jazz world to be the best of the best in his field.

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Politicians & Community Leaders

  Benjamin Harrison, U.S. President – Indy’s own Benjamin Harrison was born in Ohio but spent the bulk of his life in the capitol of Indiana. A forward-looking, dynamic man and public servant, he was not only the 23rd president of the United States, but a Brigadier General during the American Civil War. The city honors their most famous resident by maintaining the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Home as a public museum. A visit there is always a favorite of the many things to do in Indianapolis.
  May Wright Sewall championed female rights in Indianapolis during the turn of the twentieth century; she is one of the most influential feminists of her time.

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Sports: Basketball Players, Football Players, Coaches and More

Indiana Pacers – NBA Basketball Team

  Larry Bird – CEO of the Pacers, this distinguished mover and shaker of Indianapolis basketball was also a star player for the Boston Celtics.
  Mike Dunleavy – Forward for the Pacers.

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Colts – NFL Football Team

  Jim Irsay – Owner of the Colts and one of the wealthiest people in Indy, famous among the many famous people of the Indianapolis.
  Peyton Manning – Future Hall of Famer and former quarterback of the Colts. Peyton is also an actor and an endorsement tycoon. He is probably the most notable sports figure of all the famous people who have resided in Indy.

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Indiana Sports Figures: Baseball, College Athletes, Racing Celebrities

  John Wooden – College basketball scion and legendary coach for the UCLA Bruins, this remarkable man is tops on the list of famous people from Martinsville, Indiana.
  John Andretti, a member of the globally-famous Andretti family, has nevertheless made a permanent name for himself among Indianapolis celebrities in the world of auto racing.
John Andretti video

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Writers, Journalists & Poets

  Rex Stout – Author of the incredibly popular series of Nero Wolfe detective novels, Rex Stout is a famous authoer from Noblesville, Indiana. Until his death in 1975, Stout wrote a new Nero Wolfe novel each year, an impressive feat.
  James Whitcomb Riley was born in Greenfield, Indiana. Greenfield residents celebrate his birth with the annual Riley Festival. Later he moved to the Circle City and lived in what is now the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. Riley Children’s Hospital was named after him.

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Miscellaneous Famous People from Indianapolis

  Dr. David A. Wolf is one of the most respected top-echelon astronauts ever to walk in space. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Dr. David Wolf is Indy’s own “rocket scientist” astronaut.

Infamous Residents of Indianapolis

  John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis and died outside a Chicago movie theater, shot by police. Now a super-star among bad guys and commemorated in the media, Dillinger was, in fact, a dangerous man who committed multiple murders without so much as looking back.
  D.C. Stephenson – Perhaps one of the most infamous residents of Indiana, D.C. Stephenson was the Grand Dragon of the KKK for Indiana and twenty two other states. His trial and subsequent conviction became so high-profile and his crime was so noxious that some 140,000 members of the Klan changed their minds, dropped their membership, and melted into a less objectionable society.

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Many of Indianapolis’ famous people are buried in Indy’s Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, the third largest cemetery of its kind in the United States and the highest geographical point in the grand city.


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