You already know that Chicago is full of rich history (just ask some of the local businesses), but what about the people?
Chicago has been home to many famous (and infamous) people, from social workers to politicians to authors and more. In this post, we are sharing five famous Chicagoan- three who were born here, and two who relocated here later in life.
Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list by any means- rather this is a sample of some of the people who came from, or moved to, the city:
Jane Addams, 1860- 1935
Known For: Being a pioneer in social work in Chicago. Jane was one of the founding members of The Hull House (a social settlement, where middle/upper class people would live in a poor urban area and help people by providing day care services, libraries, supporting music and arts, and more. Addams was a also known for being a pacifist, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. The Hull House is now a museum that you can visit and learn more about social settlements and Chicago’s history: www.hullhousemuseum.org/
Quote: “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
Harrison Ford, 1942-Present
Known For: Being one of Hollywood’s most famous actors with a career spanning decades. Ford began his career hoping to do radio voice-overs, and instead landed a few acting gigs (that were uncredited). He went on to well-known roles including Han Solo in Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and appearances over 70 other movies. He is also a philanthropist Ford is vice-chair of Conservation International, an American nonprofit environmental organization and also champions other political, archeological, and environmental causes.
Quote: “To me, success is choice and opportunity.”
Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012
Known for: Being a famous author, primarily in “speculative fiction” (source). Bradbury’s most well-known work is the novel Fahrenheit 451, but he also authored many short stories and essays. Some of his works were adapted for screenplays and shows, like The Twilight Zone’s 100th episode (“I Sing the Body Electric“). Bradbury also acted as a screenplay consultant for movies such as It Came from Outer Space and is considered one of the greatest authors of the century.
Quote: “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
Walt Disney, 1901-1966
Known for: Being the creator of Mickey Mouse, and later, the pioneer for animation in the U.S. Before Disney ever made Mickey, there were other attempts at characters including Oswald, and other animated shorts prior to Steamboat Willie that were unsuccessful. Although Disney is known for successes in the film industry and theme parks (and more), he had to persevere before reaching success.
Quote: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Sue the T-Rex, 67 Million Years Ago (Discovered 1990)
Known for: While we don’t know a lot about the life of Sue, she’s the largest, most complete skeleton in the world. She currently lives in the Field Museum of Natural History right here in Chicago, where she is on display at 12 feet tall and 40 feet long (source). Research shows that Sue was about 28 years old when she died.
Quote: “Rarrr!” (Kidding, Sue clearly didn’t say anything we know of but she did change the scientific understanding of dinosaurs)
We know there are much more famous Chicagoans than we have here (perhaps another blog post), but here’s to local pride, not just in our landmarks and history but in our people as well!