Andie MacDowell

Some of the most influential individuals in American life from South Carolina include:

• Rudolf Anderson, Jr. (1927-1962), born in Greenville, U.S. Air Force major and U-2 pilot shot down during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was awarded the first Air Force Cross, posthumously.

• Andie MacDowell (born April 21, 1958) is an American model and actress, from Gaffney, winner of two Golden Globe Awards.

• Mary McLeod Bethune (born July 10, 1875 in Maysville, South Carolina, died May 18, 1955), African American educator and civil rights leader.

• James Butler Bonham (born February 20, 1807 in Saluda, South Carolina, died March 6, 1836), 19th century American lawyer and soldier, defender at the Alamo.

• James Brown (born May 4, 1933 in Barnwell, died December 25, 2006), "Godfather of Soul", legendary singer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

• John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), born near Abbeville, statesman and political philosopher, who from 1811 until his death served in the federal government successively as congressman, secretary of war, vice president, senator, secretary of state and again as senator.

• Chubby Checker, singer, born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley, on October 3, 1941.

• Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central since 2005; previously correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show. A native of Charleston, he attended Porter Gaud School. Colbert also ran as a favorite son candidate for the 2008 presidential election in his native South Carolina.

• Danny!, recording artist for Definitive Jux Records, grew up in Columbia and graduated Richland Northeast High School in 2001.

• John Edwards, former N.C. Senator & 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, born in Seneca in 1953.

• Joe Frazier, 1964 Olympic heavyweight champion and the world heavyweight champ 1970-73; fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title three times. He is most remembered for the fight at Madison Square Garden in March 1971, where he defeated Ali to become the undisputed heavyweight champ. Frazier was born in Beaufort on January 12, 1944.

• David du Bose Gaillard, (1859-1913) U.S. Army engineer instrumental in the construction of the Panama Canal, born in Manning.

• Althea Gibson (1927-2003), first black female player to win the Wimbledon singles tennis title, born in Silver.

• Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie, considered by some to be the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time, was born in Cheraw.

• Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809) Signer of the Declaration of Independence, born In St. Luke's Parish.

• Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), President of the United States, born near Lancaster but emigrated to Tennessee as an adult. He was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and 7th President, from 1829 to 1837.

• Jesse Jackson, famous political and social figure, originally from Greenville, South Carolina, born on October 8, 1941.

• 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson (1887–1951), considered one of the most outstanding hitters in the history of baseball, his career .356 batting average is the third highest in history, after Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby; born in Brandon Mills.

• Jasper Johns, considered one of the greatest post-World War II American artists, was raised in Allendale and attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York City.

• Eartha Kitt (1927–2008), from North, South Carolina, American actress, singer, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her role as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series Batman.

• Thomas Lynch, Jr. (born August 4, 1749 in South Carolina, died 1779) Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

• Barton MacLane (1902-1969) born in Columbia, SC. Actor in The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

• Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) born in Charleston, signer of the Declaration of Independence, later Governor (1810-1812), Representative (1815-1819) and Minister to Russia (1820-1830).

• Kary Mullis (1944-), 1993 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, grew up Columbia and graduated from high school there.

• Bill Pinkney (1925-2007) born in Dalzell, was a pitcher in the Negro League, served in World War II, but remembered most for singing role in The Drifters, influencing many artists in blues and soul music.

• William C. Westmoreland, (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) born in Spartanburg County, commanded American military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak from 1964 to 1968 and served as U.S. Army Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972.

• Melvin Purvis (1903-1960), born in Timmonsville, FBI agent responsible for ending the criminal careers of Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and John Dillinger; died in Florence, South Carolina.

• Edward Rutledge (1749-1800), youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, later governor of South Carolina.

• William Barret Travis (1809-1836), born in Saluda County, lawyer and soldier, at 26 Lieutenant Colonel in the Texian Army, defender at the Alamo.

• Aziz Ansari (born February 23, 1983) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known as one of the stars of the critically acclaimed sketch comedy series Human Giant on MTV, for which he is also a writer and executive producer. Ansari now appears in a new NBC series, Parks and Recreation, from producers of The Office. Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Indian Tamil parents.

• Robert Remus (born August 27, 1948) professional wrestler (aka, Sgt.Slaughter).

• Darius Rucker, born in Charleston, SC, frontman for popular rock band Hootie and the Blowfish. He is now a country music act with several No. 1 singles.

• Shawnee Smith, actress and musician. Well known for her roles as Amanda Young in Saw I-VI and Linda in the TV series Becker. Also the other half of the country-rock band Smith & Pyle alongside fellow actress Missi Pyle. Born in Orangeburg, SC on July 3, 1970.

• Jim Rice, baseball Hall of Famer, hails from Anderson.

• Chad Wolf, lead singer and songwriter of popular American-Swedish band Carolina Liar.

Luciano Mende

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