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Celebrities: Famous People From Maine ~ Popular Mainers

Updated on March 2, 2018

There are approximately 1,274,923 people who call the lovely state of Maine their home. Although the state is relatively small compared to many other states, Maine has never been left behind. The state has produced many wonderful people - some known and some unknown. But there are several names that you may recognize. Read on to see how many people you may have heard of whose roots are buried in the soil of Maine!

Walter Van Tilburg Clark

Walter Van Tilburg Clark was born August 3, 1909 and lived in East Orland, Maine. He was a well-known writer and was inducted into the Nevada Writer's Hall of Fame in 1988.

He was the author of the cowboy novel The Ox-Bow Incident which is believed to have been the most realistic book of its kind.

He died on November 10, 1971 from cancer.

For more on Walter Van Tilburg Clark and for a list of his writings, click here.

John Hay Whitney

John "Jock" Hay Whitney, newspaper publisher and movie producer, was born August 17, 1904 in Ellsworth, Maine. His parents were William Payne Whitney and Helen Hay Whitney.

He had a noble heritage and was the descendant of William Bradford who came over on the Mayflower and of the John Whitney who was a Puritan. His two grandfathers were both presidential cabinet members although one was Republican and the other was Democrat.

Whitney attended Yale College following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great- grandfather. After graduating from Yale, Whitney attended Oxford but it was cut short because of his father's death. After his father's death, Whitney inherited $20,000,000. Which would be more like $210,000,000 in more modern times. Whiteny would later inherit four times more from his mother than from his father.

He became the editor in chief of the New York Herald Tribune and founded the John Hay Whitney foundation in 1946.

John Hay Whitney passed away on February 8, 1982.

Cyrus Curtis

Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis, publisher, was born June 18,1850 in Portland, Maine. His parents were Cyrus Libby Curtis and Salome Ann Cummings.

Curtis purchased a total of six different publications and kept them going. He also founded just as many publications of his own including such works as Tribune and Farmer, Country Gentlemen and Public Ledger. He married Louisa Knapp in 1875 and permitted her to write a one page article in his magazine Tribune and Farmer. This eventually became a full-length magazine - Ladies' Home Journal.

Cyrus Curtis passed away on June 7, 1933. His daughter, Mary Louise Bok Zimbalist has helped to carry on her father's legacy.

John Ford

John Ford, film director, was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine on February 1, 1894. His birth name was said to be John Martin Feeney and also Sean Aloysius O'Feeney. He also had several nicknames including, Pappy, Coach and The Admiral.

He married and had one son and one daughter.

Ford was a well respected director coming to Hollywood in the footsteps of his brother, who was an actor. He was well known for his production of Westerns. He won six Oscars and ranked high in Hollywood before he passed away on August 31, 1973.

His grandson, Dan Ford, wrote his grandfather's biography.

Stephen King

Stephen King, famous writer, was born in Portland, Maine on September 21, 1947 to Donald King and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury. He has one brother, David King, who was born in 1945.

King married Tabitha Spruce and the couple have three children, Joe, Owen and Naomi.

King earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono.

King was a teacher for awhile while writing on nights and weekends. One by one his works were rejected for publication. Finally the novel Carrie was published thanks to King's wife who saved it from the garbage after her distraught husband trashed it. Carrie helped to bring the financial freedom King needed to pursue his career and leave teaching. Today he has a host of novels and works that have earned him the title of "famous."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, great and well-known poet, was born February 27, 1807 in Portland, Maine. (At that time, it was a district of Massachusetts). He was one of seven children,

In school, Longfellow studied several languages. He was also talented in music and played the flute and the piano.

He began college at Bowdoin College at the age of fourteen years old and graduated at age nineteen the fourth in his class of thirty-eight students. Among his classmates was Nathaniel Hawthorne.

After graduating, Longfellow was offered the position of the first Professor of Modern Languages in which he accepted. He was also allowed to go to Europe for further study. In 1834, he was appointed a professorship at Harvard.

Longfellow married Mary Storer Potter on September 14, 1831. They were married for four years and Mary died as a result of complications from a miscarriage. He later married Francis Appleton July 13, 1843.

Longfellow published over 20 books before he died on March 24, 1882.

Margaret Chase Smith

Margaret Chase Smith, politician, was born in Skowhegan, Maine on December 14, 1897.

Margaret Smith married her husband, Clyde Smith in 1930. Clyde helped pave the way for her entrance into politics when he became elected into the Untied States House of Representatives in 1936. At first, Smith served as her husbands secretary but after his death in 1940, she replaced him in office. She served four terms in the House before being elected to the United States Senate in 1948. She made history by becoming the first woman to be elected to both houses of Congress. She spent four terms in the Senate and a total of thirty-two years in Congress before losing the re-election in 1972.

She returned to her hometown and began working on the plans for the library that bears her name. She enjoyed being at the facility for many years.

Margaret Chase Smith passed away May 29, 1995, at her home after living a full life.

Walter Piston

Walter Piston, composer, was born January 20, 1894 in Rockland, Maine.

Piston graduated from Harvard in 1924 and also traveled to Paris for studies. Piston also taught at Harvard from 1926 to 1960. He wrote three significant textbooks on music as well.

He produced orchestra and chamber work and earned several awards for his efforts.

Walter Piston passed away in 1976

Marston Morse

Marston Morse, mathmetician, was born March 24, 1892 to Ella Marston and Howard Morse. His birthplace was Waterville, Maine.

In 1914, Morse receive his B.A. from Colby College. He then enered Harvard to do research in mathematics. He obtained his Master's Degree in 1915, a PhD in 1917. He taught briefly at Harvard and then entered into military service.

Later he was Benjamin Pierce instructor at Harvard from 1919-1920 and then obtained professorsihps and assistant professorships at various higher education facilities.

He married Céleste Phelps on June 20, 1922. They had one son and one daughter before themarriage ended in divorce in 1930.

Morse passed away in 1977.

More Famous Mainers ~ Click On the Name To Read Bios

Dorothea Dix - Hampden, Maine

Melville Fuller - Augusta, Maine

Marsden Hartley - Lewiston, Maine

Sarah Orne Jewett - South Berwick, Maine

Linda Lavin - Portland, Maine

Frank Munsey - Mercer, Maine

Edwin Arlington Robinson - Head Tide, Maine

Maine, USA

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I ripped a nasty fart in maine it was sick! ..... pheerp..

    • profile image

      gabriel story 

      6 years ago

      I am related to sephen king

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      im from mattawamkeag maine i absolutely am so blessed to have been from this state :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i am a true mainer born and raised in a small town millinocket i love it here its absocluty amazing anyone who is looking to visit you will love it! i was on an island called islebrough its amazing and john travolta and kirstie allie was on it i was so thrilled and i have also met stephen king he is a true writer..! i highly recommend people to visit maine its georgous and lovely and absolutly amazing..! theres so much history here!..!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Actress Rachel Nichols is from Augusta

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      niCE PEOPLE

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i like it cuz it gives me more information for my project

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I live in Maine, and this was very interesting. I have actually been in Henry Longfellow's house and it was pretty cool.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      this is a good sit for information

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      main has a very great people i always vacation there in the summer and see all of the great things in main and i really like the way u write and main is a great place to research things

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      hub is a good site to look for stuff

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      How about (I'm having a brain fart) the gentelman who invented a fe board games.......I cant remember his name

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      10 years ago from New England

      Thank you for the information. Maine is my favorite place to vacation.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      also the person who invented donuts!

    • girly_girl09 profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      Don't forget Patrick Dempsey! :)

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I visit Maine frequently so I'm familiar with Portland (Curtis, King and Longfellow) and Brunswick (Bowdoin College.) Good hub.

    • Israelj profile image


      11 years ago from California

      You write so well, great work!

    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      11 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Thanks for visiting my page, jj. You are now declared famous :0) LOL

    • jjbreunig3 profile image


      11 years ago from Lyman, ME

      A lovely hub page; I'm a true Maineiac. Maybe some day I'll qualify for your page!

      --Joe Breunig

    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      11 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Well, you never know, jbcat! If she ever does then you knew her first! But be sure to let me know so I can add her name LOL

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • jbcat profile image


      11 years ago from Santa Fe

      Great Hub some very interesting famous people from Maine, My sister in-law is also from Maine. She not famous yet!


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