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Chattanooga Celebrities

Chattanooga has been home to some very famous and powerful people who have helped shape our world.  From those in sports like Jackie Mitchell, who was a female pitcher that struck out baseball great Babe Ruth while she was playing for the Lookouts, to media titans like Ted Turner who founded the CNN as the first 24-hour news television station.

While many pop culture icons and business leaders grew up, were raised, and live or have lived in Chattanooga, many have gone on to accomplish amazing things.

An interesting note is the similarities and ties between Chattanooga and Atlanta, Georgia.  There have been many people that have gotten their start in Chattanooga and moved on to Atlanta to inspire or touch a more global audience.  An example of this would be Ted Turner, who has CNN headquarters stationed in Atlanta and the many people on the list below who have an affiliation or roots with the Coca-Cola company (which is also currently headquartered in Atlanta.

Famous people from Chattanooga

  • Grant Adcox, race car driver
  • John Ankerberg, author, religious broadcaster
  • Kay Arthur, author, teacher and television host
  • Lovie Austin, jazz blues pianist, bandleader, and composer
  • Howard Baker, former U.S. Senator and White House Chief of Staff
  • Hugh Beaumont, actor
  • Charles K. Bell, politician
  • Jimmy Blanton, bass player
  • Rachel Boston, Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1999, actress
  • Adarius Bowman, CFL Player
  • Tony Brown, NFL player, Tennessee Titans
  • Daniel Bullocks, NFL player, Detroit Lions
  • Josh Bullocks, NFL player, New Orleans Saints
  • Archie Campbell, writer and star of Hee Haw, recording artist
  • Dixie Carter, actress
  • George S. Clinton, film score composer for the Austin Powers series
  • Will Marion Cook, African-American composer
  • Charles Coolidge, World War II Medal of Honor recipient
  • Bob Corker, former Chattanooga mayor and U.S. Senator
  • Bill Dedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  • Juliette Derricotte, African-American educator and political activist
  • Cal Ermer, former MLB manager for the Minnesota Twins
  • Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, African American writer, activist,and Black anarchist.
  • James B. Frazier, Governor of Tennessee, 1903-1905
  • Betty Lou Gerson, actress
  • Gibby Gilbert, professional golfer
  • George Gobel, comedian
  • Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Sam Gooden, African-American soul singer with The Impressions.
  • Terry Gordy, professional wrestler
  • Ray Gordy, professional wrestler for the WWE
  • Irvine W. Grote, chemist, inventor of Rolaids
  • Ben Haden, minister, author, religious broadcaster
  • Lee H. Hamilton (D-IN), United States House of Representatives, 1965-1999
  • Dennis Haskins, actor
  • Roland Hayes, tenor
  • Calvin C. Hernton, African American sociologist, poet and author.
  • Rick Honeycutt, L.A. Dodgers pitching coach and former MLB player
  • Henry H. Horton, Governor of Tennessee
  • Michael Houser, lead guitarist, Widespread Panic
  • George Hunter, Coca-Cola Bottling magnate, founder of the Benwood Foundation and the Hunter Museum of American Art
  • Samuel L. Jackson, actor
  • Leslie Jordan, actor
  • Estes Kefauver, U.S. Senator
  • Venus Lacy, gold medalist in basketball, 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Yusef Lateef, saxophonist and music educator
  • Cartter Lupton, Coca-Cola Bottling magnate and founder of the Lyndhurst Foundation
  • Peyton Manning, NFL player
  • Ralphie May, stand-up comedian
  • Lurlene McDaniel, popular YA author
  • William Gibbs McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury under Woodrow Wilson
  • Ralph McGill, editor of Atlanta Constitution
  • Ellis K. Meacham, author
  • Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine
  • Olan Mills, Sr., photographer, portrait studio founder
  • Jackie Mitchell (baseball player), female pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth while playing for the Lookouts
  • Grace Moore, soprano, actress
  • Scrappy Moore (football), football coach
  • Jim Nabors, actor, singer
  • Nevertheless, Christian alternative band
  • Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of the Chattanooga Times and New York Times
  • Terrell Owens, current NFL player, Dallas Cowboys
  • Lori Petty, actress
  • Ann Patton, African American recording artist and harpist.
  • Ishmael Reed, novelist
  • Pat Robertson, founder of the 700 club
  • Usher Raymond, rhythm and blues singer
  • Terdell Sands, Howard graduate, NFL Player
  • M.B. "Bud" Seretean, American businessman, philanthropist
  • Tracy Seretean, American filmmaker
  • T.G. Sheppard, country music singer
  • Danny Shirley, lead singer of Confederate Railroad
  • Margaret Sloan-Hunter, Black feminist, lesbian, civil rights advocate, and one of the founding editors of Ms. Magazine.
  • Bessie Smith, blues singer
  • Kurt Smith, NFL player, San Diego Chargers
  • Lewis Smith, actor
  • Valaida Snow, African-American jazz trumpet player
  • Mary Q. Steele, Newbery Honor-winning children's author
  • William O. Steele, Newbery Honor-winning children's author
  • Grady Sutton, actor
  • Roscoe Tanner, tennis player
  • Johnny Taylor, professional basketball player
  • Benjamin Thomas, co-founder of the first Coca-Cola Bottling Company
  • Ted Turner, founder of CNN
  • Roger Alan Wade,singer/songwriter
  • Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner, MLB player for the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians, among others
  • Reggie White, football player
  • Bart Whiteman, writer and critic