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Celebrities - Famous People From Oklahoma ~ Popular Oklahomans
If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change.— Will Rogers
This hub is fun and interesting for me because...I'M AN OKLAHOMAN! As I did the research for this article I learned a lot that I didn't know...such as Brad Pitt's hometown is just about 25 minutes from my front door. Other things I already knew, such as the basketball team, THUNDER, is based in Oklahoma City also about 25 minutes from my front door - except in the opposite direction.
I am part Cherokee so my roots are probably found in the very soil of this great state. How many Native Oklahomans are reading this? Please let me know in the comment box below. If I missed someone, by all means feel free to share!
Who do you recognize?
Troyal Garth Brooks, well-known country artist made his first appearance into the world in Tulsa, OK. He was born to Troyal R. Brooks and the late Colleen Brooks on February 7, 1962.
His mother Colleen passed the country music heritage to her son as she was a singer herself with recordings in the 1950s even though she never matched her son's success.
Garth attended the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on a scholarship as a javelin thrower. He graduated from the University in 1984 with a degree in advertising.
He married Sandy Mahl of Owasso, OK in 1986 and the couple had three little girls, Taylor Mayne Pearl, (born 1992), August Anna (born 1994), and Allie Colleen (born 1996).
He and Sandy divorced in 2001. He remarried on December 10, 2005 to Trisha Yearwood.
Garth's first three albums...
- FIRST ALBUM Garth Brooks (1989)
- SECOND ALBUM No Fences (1990)
- THIRD ALBUM Ropin' The Wind (1991)
Will Rogers was one Oklahoman with many identities. He was a very well-paid Hollywood movie star, a loving husband and father, a cowboy and expert roper. He was very down to earth and witty, yet prominent enough to have been in the presence of people of great importance such as Presidents and Royalty.
William Penn Adair Rogers was born in 1879 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma around the place that is now know as Oologah, Ok.
He married and fathered 4 children with his wife, Betty. Unlike many Hollywood couples, Will and Betty remained faithful and in love.
His eldest son, Will Rogers Jr, was a Congressman and an actor, He even starred playing the role of his father in two feature films. His daughter, Mary Rogers was a talented actress for Broadway. Jim Rogers, was a cowboy and rancher and even played the role in some movies as a young man. He lived to see the 21st century, dying in the year 2000. The youngest Rogers son, Fred, died when he was only two years old resulting from a case of diphtheria.
Will was a Broadway and movie star.and has the credit of being in 71 movies back in the 1920s and 1930s.
He was an exceptional roper and even earned honors in the Guinness Book of World Records for his triple lasso abilities.
He was a humorist and has been quoted several times on several things.
He died in August of 1935 in Alaska as a result of a small plane crash.
Here are a few of his well-known quotes:
- Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
- Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
- Buy land. They ain't making any more of the stuff.
- Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
- Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.
- There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Mickey Charles Mantle famous baseball player for the New York Yankees, made his first appearance in this world on October 20, 1931, in Spavinaw, OK. His parents were Elvin or (Mutt) and Lovell Mantle. His father was a semi-pro baseball player himself and he named his son after Mickey Cochrane, catcher for the Detroit Tigers.
He was a quick rise in his baseball victories and he earned several honors including Triple Crown, 3 MVP awards, and won four home-run championships.
He married and he and his wife, Merlyn had four sons.
He was a heavy drinker that resulted in hepatitis and liver cancer. Although he had a liver transplant, the cancer had spread and ultimately took his life on August 13, 1995
Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'
Toby Keith, actor, music singer and songwriter and record producer, was born in Clinton Oklahoma on July 8,1961. He is the son of Carolyn Joan and Herbert K. Covel Jr. He has one sister (Tonni) and one brother (Tracy). Although he was born in Clinton, the family moved to Moore, OK when Toby was very young. Keith graduated from Moore High School where he played football.
Keith married his wife, Tricia in 1984. Keith has also fathered three children, Shelley (1980), Krystal (1985) and Stelen (1997).
When he was young, his grandmother owned a supper club. He became very interested in the musicians who played there and at the age of eight years he received his first guitar. Now Toby owns his own restaurant in downtown Oklahoma City, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.
Keith has released multiple albums including compilation and Christmas albums.
Paul Harvey Aurandt, radio personality, was born September 4, 1918 in Tulsa, OK.
He married Lynne Cooper in June of 1940 who became fondly known as "Angel" after Harvey nicknamed her. The name stuck and others have come to know her by this name as well.
He is known for his radio and news commentaries and his famous line, "Now you know the rest of the story."
Paul Harvey on Larry King Live Jan. 30th, 2003
I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist.— Paul Harvey
Jim Thorpe, famous athlete and Pottawatomie Indian, was said to be born near Prague, OK on May 8, 1887, His parents were Hiram Thorpe and Mary James who was Pottawatomie. She was the descendant of Chief Black Hawk. Jim had a twin brother Charlie, who died at the age of nine years. Thorpe's Indian name was Wo-Tho-Huk, meaning "Bright Path."
Thorpe married three times and fathered a total of eight children.
Thorpe started out running track and playing football. At the age of 24 he sailed to Belgium for the 1912 Olympic games, He trained while on the ship and was awarded with two gold medals from the pentathlon and decathlon.
After the Olympics, Thorpe signed on to play baseball with the New York Giants where he played for three seasons before joining the Cincinnati Reds. He played seventy-seven games for the Reds then returned to the Giants for another twenty-six games. He wrapped up his final season of his baseball career with the Boston Braves in 1919.
Thorpe died of a heart attack on March 28, 1953.
Carrie Underwood, 2005 American Idol winner, went from the farm to fame in just a matter of months. Carrie was born in Muskogee, OK on March 10, 1983 although she grew up in nearby Checotah, OK. She is the daughter of Stephen and Carole Underwood and has 2 sisters, Shanna and Stephanie.
Underwood started singing at church at the age of three years old. In school she sang solos for plays.
After winning American Idol she continued to tour and signed advertising deals for Hershey's chocolate and Skechers shoes.
She seems to lean toward country music as her main taste. She continues to increase in popularity even though it has been years since her win.
Carrie Underwood American Idol Audition - Her Beginning
Successful people have a social responsibility to make the world a better place and not just take from it.— Carrie Underwood
Famous actor, Brad Pitt was born William Bradley Pitt on December 18, 1963. Pitt was born in Shawnee, OK and raised in Springfield, MO. His parents are Jane Etta Hillhouse and William (Bill) Pitt. He has two siblings, a brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt and a sister, Julie Neal Pitt.
Some of his former jobs before acting included drivng a limo and even as dressing as a giant chicken when he worked for a place called "el Pollo Loco" (the Crazy Chicken).
Pitt met actress Jennifer Aniston on a blind date that had been arranged by their agent. The couple eventually married on July 29, 2000. The couple separated and then divorced in October of 2005.
After separation, Pitt began dating actress Angelina Jolie. The couple had a baby girl in 2006, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. The have also adopted three children and had twins, a boy (Knox Leon) and a girl, (Vivienne Marcheline), on July 12, 2008.
Pitt has made numerous multi-million dollar films and has been featured several times in People Magazine. Of his accomplishments, Pitt seems to credit being a father one of his greatest. As he says in his own words, "Having children takes the focus off yourself, which I'm really grateful for. I'm so tired of thinking about myself. I'm sick of myself. You feel you want to be there and not miss out on anything. It's a true joy and a very profound love. You can write a book, you can make a movie, you can paint a painting, but having kids is the most extraordinary thing I've ever taken on."
Reba Nell McEntire, country music singer and part-time actress, was born in McAlester, OK on March 28,1955 to Clark Vincent McEntire and Jaqueline (Smith) McEntire. She has three siblings, Alice, Pake and Susie.
She married Charlie Battles and the couple divorced in1987. She remarried on June 3, 1989 to Narvel Blackstock, a steel guitarist. They have one son, Shelby Steven McEntire Blackstock born February 23, 1990.
She began her career through Mercury Records in the 1970s. Her popularity began to accelerate in the 1980s and in the early 1990s she was at the top of her success when her eight band members were all tragically killed in a plane crash. Her world was rocked but she pulled herself up quickly and began again. She also began making some films in the new century.
To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.— Reba McEntire
Country music singer, Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12,1957 in Moore, OK and grew up in Oklahoma City, OK. His parents are Stan and Jerene Gill.
He married Janis Oliver on April 12, 1979, and had a daughter, Jenny. The couple divorced in 1999 and he was remarried to contemporary Christian music artist and pop singer Amy Grant on March 10, 2000. He then became the father of Corrina and the step-father of Amy's three other children.
Gill played in a bluegrass band, Mountain Smoke, before he sang country and can play numerous instruments including guitar, banjo, fiddle, dobro, mandolin and bass. Among his personal interests, golf ranks among the highest.
Gill has won multiple Grammy Awards and which exceeds the numbers one by other popular singers such as Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.
Astronaut, Gordon Cooper, birth name, Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr., was born on March 6, 1927.
Cooper was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. On May 15th and 16th, Cooper orbited the Earth 22 times in Faith 7. On August 21, 1965, Cooper and fellow astronaut Pete Conrad were launched in Gemini 5 and they orbited the Earth for eight days thus proving to the world that man could live in space long enough to fly to the moon and back. Altogether Cooper logged a total of 222 hours in space.
Gordon Cooper passed away on October 4, 2004 at age 77. He died from natural causes.