Famous Knoxvillians


Indya Kincannon
[email protected]
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Here are a few folks and items with roots in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. 

This list is in no way complete but gives a general overview.


Roy Acuff, country singer
James Agee, Pulitzer prize winning writer 
Ebenezer Alexander, scholar and diplomat who assisted with the first modern Olympic Games in Athens
Lamar Alexander, TN Governor, U.T. President, U.S. Secretary of Education 
Paul Y. Anderson, Pulitzer-winning reporter
Anne Armstrong, novelist, business leader
Howard Armstrong, jazz/blues musician
Victor Ashe, Knoxville Mayor, Ambassador to Poland 
Chet Atkins, musician, songwriter, producer
Rodney Atkins, musician 
Marilou Awiakta, writer 


Bob Baird, MLB player 
Howard Baker Jr., U.S. Senator, U.S. Ambassador to Japan 
Howard Baker Sr., U.S. Congressman
Ava Barber, singer 
George Barber, nationally known Victorian architect
"Parson" W.B. Brownlow, journalist and politician, key figure in Reconstruction era
Charlotte Barr, poetry writer 
Trevor Bayne, NASCAR racer, 2011 Daytona 500 Winner
Polly Bergen, actress & singer
Brian Bell, Guitarist for music group "Weezer"
Eric Berry, NFL player and former UT football player 
William Blount, U.S. Statesman
Rebecca Brandewyne, romance writer 
Lloyd Branson, artist
Harvey Broome, conservationist, co-founder of the Wilderness Society
Clarence Brown, prolific MGM director
Ken Burkhart, MLB player and umpire
Frances Hodgson Burnett, novelist
Jake Butcher, banker
Carl Butler, musician 
Jerry Butler, musician 


Frank Callaway, MLB player
Julie Cannon, writer 
Brett Carroll, MLB player 
Tamika Catchings, WBNA player and former UT Lady Vol basketball player 
Col. David C. Chapman, Smokies conservationist, Mount Chapman named after him 
Kenny Chesney, country music singer 
Henry Cho, comedian 
Dustin Colquitt - NFL player 
Jimmy Colquitt - NFL player 
John Cooper, College Football Hall of Fame member 
Mary Costa, voice used in Disney movies 
Linda Cousins, writer 
Ida Cox, groundbreaking blues singer
Cylk Cozart, actor
John Cullum, actor, TV Series "Northern Exposure", Tony Award winner
Lowell Cunningham, comic book creator of "Men in Black" series
Clifford Curry, soul musician
Kid Curry, a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch 


Mark Davidson, MLB player
Anne May Davis, Smokies conservationist, Mount Davis named after her
Beauford Delaney, artist
Joseph Delaney, artist 
George Dempster, former Knoxville Mayor, Dempster Dumpster inventor
Ernest Dickerman, national conservationist
Dale Dickey, movie and television actress 
Eleanor Dickinson, artist 
Carl Doyle, MLB player 
Jess Doyle, MLB player 
Tom Dukes, MLB player 
Steve Duncan, member of Grand Ole opry 


Milton Estes, Grand Ole Opry star 
Roy Evans, MLB player 
Everly Brothers, singing duo 


Faith Fancher, first African American woman television reporter in Knoxville
David Glasgow Farragut, American Naval Hero during Civil War
Flatt & Scruggs, bluegrass singers/musicians
Dave Foster, writer 
Graham Foust, writer 
Weston Fulton, inventor/industrialist


Justin Gatlin, Olympic Medalist and former track star at UT
Nikki Giovanni, writer 
Daryl Green, writer 
Jack Green, musician
Ernie Grunfield, former NBA player who played college basketball at UT


Alex Haley, American biographer, scriptwriter, famous author of the novel "Roots"
Jack Hanna, zoo director & animal adventurer, guest on TV shows
George Washington Harris, humorist/author
 Christina Hendricks, television actress 
William Henry Hastie, first black federal judge 
Todd Helton, MLB's Colorado Rockies first baseman & former UT baseball player 
Nora Hendrix, grandmother of Jimi Hendrix 
Bruce Holloway, four-star general in charge of the Strategic Air Command
Homer & Jethro, parody singers 
Con Hunley, musician 
Dennis Hwang, designs special logos for Google.com


Tim Irwin, NFL player, former UT football player 


JFG Coffee
Caledonia Johnson, a slave who became Knoxville's first millionaire
Glory Johnson, WBNA player and former UT Lady Vol basketball player 
Judybats, band 


Min Kao, inventor
Estes Kefauver, statesman/presidential candidate
David Keith, actor, won golden globe for "An Officer and a Gentlemen" in 1982 
Bernard King, former NBA player who played college basketball at UT 
Joseph Knaffl, photographer
General Henry Knox, military, city named after him
Johnny Knoxville (P.J. Clapp), actor and MTV funnyman
Charles Krutch, photographer 
Joseph Wood Krutch, writer 


Buddy Landel, NWA & WWF Wrester known as the "Nature Boy"
Jack Landry, television actor 
Kara Lawson, WBNA player and former UT Lady Vol basketball player
Phil Leadbetter, musician 
David Lilienthal, TVA director, head of the Atomic Energy Commisssion


Johnny Majors, UT football coach, runner up for Heisman Trophy in 1956
Peyton Manning, NFL player, former UT football player 
Carl Martin, jazz/blues musician
Lowell Mason, "World's Smallest Gospel Singer" 
Mayfield Dairy
Horace Maynard, Reconstruction Republican congressman and ambassador to Turkey
William Gibbs McAdoo, U.S. Secretary of Treasury, California senator, founder of United Artists
Cormac McCarthy, novelist
Harry McClintock, influential folksinger
Lee McClung, NFL player 
Walter "Brownie" McGhee, guitarist & songwriter 
Reggie McKenzie, NFL player, former UT football player 
Raleigh McKenzie, NFL player, former UT football player 
George McMillan, writer & reporter 
Scott Miller, musician for the "Blue Collar TV" series 
Ashley Monroe, musician and songwriter 
Arthur Morgan, well-known reformer, TVA chief
Mountain Dew, soft drink 
Ryan Murphy, creator "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee"


Patricia Neal, actress 
Lindsey Nelson, national sportscaster


Adolph Ochs, owned the New York Times


Candace Parker, WBNA player and former UT Lady Vol basketball player
Lara Parker, TV actress 
Dolly Parton, country music star, song writer, actress, author, owner of Dollywood
Chad Pennington, NFL football player 
Petro's Chili & Chips, restaurant began at 1982 Worlds Fair in Knoxville
James Pope, Idaho senator, worked for TVA
Dr. Jerry Punch, analyst on ESPN


Brad Renfro, movie actor, biggest movie "The Client"
John Rogers Sr., judge 
Mitch Rouse, comedian & tv actor 


Doris Sams, one of the first female baseball players 
Edward Terry Sanford, Supreme Court Justice 
John Sevier,
Bessie Smith, blues singer 
Michelle Snow, WBNA player and former UT Lady Vol basketball player 
Morgan Stevens, television actor 
Pat Summitt, all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history
Lynn Swann, NFL player 


Quentin Tarantino, actor & director of "Pulp Fiction" & "Kill Bill" 
John Tate, WBA Heavyweight Champion 
Bernard Taylor, One-Time Olympian and Former Top Featherweight Contender
Eddie Taylor, famous billiard player known as the "Knoxville Bear"
Robert Taylor, governor, US senator, fiddler, and motivational icon
Tennessee Marble, largely exported marble
Bob Thomas, actor, radio announcer, writer
Dave Thomas, Wendy's Restaurant creator, worked at Regas Restaurant
Jake Thomas, actor on "Lizzie McGuire" TV show 
Joyce Carol Thomas, writer 
Bubba Trammell, MLB player 


Cas Walker, City mayor, grocery store owner, television/radio personality
Joseph Reddeford Walker, founded Walker's Pass in Yosemite 
James Melvin Washington, writer 
Tina Wesson, won one million dollars on TV's "Survivor" in 2001
Hugh Lawson White, political leader 
Reggie White, NFL player, former UT football player
Don Whitehead, Pulitzer-winning reporter
Catherine Wiley, impressionist
Ralph Wiley, Sports Illustrated & ESPN sports journalist