Every state — and most of the little towns around America — have that one famous person that they hold up as the most impressive to be born on their land. Whether it’s with a massive roadside sign, buildings or streets named for them, or a whole museum dedicated to their life, all 50 states love showing their pride in a notable native.
We looked around the country at the famous folks to come from every state and picked the one per state (who is still living) who we think is the most famous. We stayed away from politics, since many states were the birthplaces of former presidents and those are easy answers, and stuck with people mostly from the arts or sports.
Which person is your state’s most famous contribution to popular culture?
Alabama — Octavia Spencer
The state of Alabama has been home to some brilliant Olympic athletes, like Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, as well as some great entertainers, like Walton Goggins and Courteney Cox. But we went with the brilliant actor, Octavia Spencer, as the most famous celebrity to come out of The Heart of Dixie.
For more than 20 years, Spencer has been a magnet for praise due to her work on the screen, which has netted her an Academy Award win in three nominations and a Golden Globe Award in three nominations. She was born in Alabama’s capital, Montgomery, and went to college at the state’s Auburn University.
Alaska — Curt Schilling
The singer Jewel is arguably the celebrity most identified with Alaska but she was merely raised there after being born in Utah. So, that left a small number of notable celebs to hail from The Last Frontier, including football fan favorite Mark Schlereth, actor Annie Parisse and writer Valerie Plame. But controversial MLB pitcher Curt Schilling gets our nod as the state’s most famous native. The three-time World Series winner was born in Anchorage while his father was serving at Elmendorf Air Force Base. His family eventually settled in Arizona but the could-be Hall of Famer was born way up north.
Arizona — Stevie Nicks
This one was a close toss-up between Stevie Nicks and Emma Stone but the mysterious rock legend gets the nod. The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was born in Phoenix long before she led Fleetwood Mac. Nicks was apparently a “Gypsy” even prior to her time as a musician, because her family moved around a lot when she was a child, but she has said of Phoenix: “This is actually my home.” Other notable celebs to come from Arizona include WWE wrestling icon Shawn Michaels and singer Joe Jonas.
Arkansas — John Grisham
Many of his books are set in the South and it makes sense when you consider that John Grisham was born and raised in Arkansas. One of the best-selling authors in American history, Grisham’s novels include “A Time to Kill,” “The Firm” and “The Pelican Brief.” After leaving his native state to go to college in Mississippi, Grisham worked in that state as a lawyer and elected official before starting to write. You can read about his time living in Arkansas in the semi-autobiographical novel, “A Painted House.” Other famous people to come from The Natural State include country music icon Johnny Cash, NBA great Scottie Pippen and Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton.
California — Tom Hanks
OK, picking a most famous person that was born in California is a near-impossible task but stars don’t get much bigger than Tom Hanks. He was born in Concord and raised around the San Francisco Bay Area, making him a Golden State boy from day one. The beloved, Oscar-winning actor has called Northern California “the most beautiful place on Earth.” Other living celebs who were vying for the crown of California’s most famous native include Dwayne Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Tom Brady and Dr. Dre.
Colorado — Tim Allen
From one “Toy Story” star to the next, we think Tim Allen can make the claim of being Colorado’s most famous celebrity. He’s starred in countless beloved shows and movies, including “Home Improvement,” “Last Man Standing” and “The Santa Clause,” and remains a massive star decades after getting his start as a stand-up comic.
Allen was born in Denver and later lived in Michigan but apparently still loves his home state, as he had his wedding there in 2006. Some other notable Colorado natives include “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker, director David Fincher and late MLB Hall of Famer Roy Halladay.
Connecticut — Glenn Close
Glenn Close can’t buy herself an Oscar win but we’re happy to give her the title of Connecticut’s most famous star. The native of Greenwich has said The Constitution State means a great deal to her “because my childhood was literally running around the Connecticut countryside” on some wild property that was owned by her grandfather.
Close’s brilliant career can be easily compared to that of another Connecticut native, Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn. Other notable names to hail from this state include musician John Mayer, actor Meg Ryan and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane.
Delaware — Aubrey Plaza
The Blue Hen State doesn’t boast a wealth of massive stars but there have been some beloved celebs to call it home. While musician George Thorogood and actors Ryan Phillippe and Elisabeth Shue all make solid cases, Aubrey Plaza gets the trophy.
The “Parks and Recreation” breakout star has become one of Hollywood’s go-to actors for deadpan sarcasm, showing her skills in popular works like FX’s “Legion,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and the recent “Child’s Play” reboot. Plaza was born and raised in Wilmington and was actually voted the state’s most famous person in 2018 by readers of Delaware Online.
Florida — Sidney Poitier
Florida has a reputation for being a bit offbeat but we’ve chosen one of the classiest people in cinema history as its most famous child. Sidney Poitier was born in Miami and raised in the Bahamas before going on to have an incredible career and being arguably Hollywood’s first black leading man and one of its greatest, regardless of race. The Oscar winner and 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom earns his title over other famous living Floridians like actor Faye Dunaway, musician Pitbull and two-sport athlete Deion Sanders.
Georgia — Julia Roberts
If you think of famous people from Georgia, you might think of music legends like Little Richard, Alan Jackson or Andre 3000 and Big Boi from Outkast. But one of the most famous actors in history came from a small town in the Peach State.
Julia Roberts was born and raised in Smyrna, which is on the outskirts of Atlanta, as a member of a theatrical family. She went on to win an Oscar and become one of the highest-earning stars ever with work in films like “Pretty Woman” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Apologies to other Georgia natives like Luke Bryan, Spike Lee and Ryan Seacrest, but Roberts is the peachiest.
Hawaii — Bette Midler
For being somewhat small and very remote, Hawaii has given us a good number of beloved celebrities, but Bette Midler rules them all. The legendary entertainer is just an Oscar away from winning the fabled EGOT, which also consists of Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.
Midler was born and raised in Honolulu, going to high school and even studying drama at the University of Hawaii before launching to stardom. Other stars who came from Hawaii include “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham, singer Jack Johnson and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, who was born there before growing up in Australia.
Idaho — Marilynne Robinson
Idaho was a tough one because there aren’t many glamorous living celebs who were born in the state. Titans like Ezra Pound, Lana Turner and Harmon Killebrew all called the Gem State home but they’re all long gone, so we are giving the honor to author Marilynne Robinson.
The Pulitzer Prize winner and National Humanities Medal honoree’s best books, like 2004’s “Gilead,” are modern classics for millions of readers. Robinson was born and raised in Sandpoint, which served as the inspiration for the fictional Idaho town where she set her acclaimed first novel, “Housekeeping.”
Illinois — Bill Murray
It was tough to deny Chicago native Harrison Ford this title but Bill Murray is so identified with Illinois that he has to get the title of the state’s most famous living child. Before breaking out on “Saturday Night Live,” Murray was born in Evanston, raised in Wilmette and earned laughs as a member of Chicago’s Second City comedy group. He’s now most often spotted at Wrigley Field in autumn, rooting on the Cubs in full blue attire. Among the late icons that Illinois has given us are Miles Davis, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and John Belushi.
Indiana — David Letterman
Indiana has given us beloved celebs like Michael Jackson and James Dean but David Letterman stands as the state’s most famous living native. The television legend was born and raised in Indianapolis, went to school at Muncie’s Ball State University and worked at a TV station back in his hometown before going on to superstardom at CBS. Letterman always showed pride in his Indiana roots, even when he was at the height of his power as a late-night talk show host. A few other major stars who were born Hoosiers are singer Janet Jackson, NBA icon Larry Bird and author John Green.
Iowa — Ashton Kutcher
Sports fans will probably be mad we didn’t go with football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner or WWE star Seth Rollins but Ashton Kutcher has to be the most mainstream celebrity to be born in Iowa. The “That ’70s Show” breakout star spent his entire early life in the Hawkeye State, being born and raised in Cedar Rapids. He studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa and remains so proud of his home state that he’s apparently kept an Iowa phone number to this day! Among Iowa’s departed heroes are John Wayne and Johnny Carson, giving it a pretty strong roster of stars.
Kansas — Barry Sanders
While NFL legend Barry Sanders is most tied to the states of Oklahoma and Michigan for his on-field work, he was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Before he was a star at Oklahoma State University and became arguably the best rusher in football history with the Detroit Lions, Sanders was running the field at Wichita North High School, the same school from which both of his parents graduated. Sanders edged out actor Annette Bening for our choice as the state’s most famous living native, while some notable dead ones include Amelia Earhart and Hattie McDaniel.
Kentucky — George Clooney
Kentucky has given us some huge stars over the years, especially in the field of acting. While Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Shannon all hail from the Bluegrass State, George Clooney has to be its most famous child. The Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker was born in Lexington, went to high school in Augusta and college at Northern Kentucky University, mostly while his father was working as a TV broadcaster in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio. Clooney’s parents still live in Augusta and he’s known to stop at the local spots when he comes to town for a visit.
Louisiana — Ellen DeGeneres
Before she was being welcomed into millions of living rooms every day, Ellen DeGeneres was just a kid growing up in Louisiana. She was born in Metairie, which is near New Orleans, and would end up going to college at the University of New Orleans.
The comedy icon still speaks fondly about her home state and is happy to give back to it, like in 2018 when she helped raise $20,000 for a New Orleans high school. Other famous natives of the Pelican State include NFL star Peyton Manning, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and filmmaker Tyler Perry.
Maine — Stephen King
It’s safe to say that no celebrity has put Maine on the map quite like Stephen King. The beloved author has set the majority of his books in his home state. He was born in Portland and educated at the University of Maine and, despite earning untold millions from book sales and movie deals, he’s continued to live in Maine, even turning one of his houses in that state into a non-profit retreat for other writers. Other famous Mainers include actor Anna Kendrick and sports broadcaster Erin Andrews.
Maryland — Michael Phelps
Maryland gave us titans like Babe Ruth and Tom Clancy but its most famous living native has to be swimmer Michael Phelps. The Olympic legend, whose nickname of “The Baltimore Bullet” is a nod to his hometown, has the most total medals and gold medals of any athlete in the long history of the games.
Phelps was born and raised in Baltimore, going to school at the city’s Towson High School before becoming an international sensation in the water. Actors Julie Bowen and Anna Faris also share Phelps’ home state and hometown.
Massachusetts — Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg is one of those celebrities whom you immediately associate with his native area. He was born and raised in Boston and still reps the town every chance he gets, especially come baseball season. He grew up in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood and even went back to visit his family’s old apartment when he was shooting a film near there in 2018. Other huge stars who were born in Massachusetts include Matt Damon, Steve Carell, Allison Janney and Matt LeBlanc, giving it a wealth of famous children.
Michigan — Serena Williams
Rapper Lizzo and NBA legend Magic Johnson gave her a run for this title, but Serena Williams gets our crown as Michigan’s most famous native. The tennis titan was born in Saginaw but only spent a few years there before being raised in California and Florida.
In 2012, Williams was inducted into the Michigan Women Forward Hall of Fame, which is a foundation celebrating groundbreaking women born in the state. Music icons Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder also hail from Michigan but the greatest tennis player in history simply can’t be topped.
Minnesota — Bob Dylan
Minnesota has given us some serious musical royalty, including Judy Garland and Prince, but how can you top Bob Dylan? The Nobel Prize winner was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth and raised in Hibbing before going to school at the University of Minnesota. If you visit Hibbing, you can take a walking tour of Dylan-related sites, including a stroll by his childhood home. Other living celebs who called Minnesota home include Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and actors Chris Pratt and Winona Ryder.
Mississippi — Oprah Winfrey
It could easily be argued that Oprah Winfrey is the most famous celebrity, period, but we’ll at least give her the title of Mississippi’s biggest star. The television icon was born in the small town of Kosciusko, located right in the center of the state. She didn’t live in Mississippi for too long, as she moved around several times during her childhood, but she reportedly gave her first public performance inside a church in Kosciusko when she was a girl. The Magnolia State also gave us late legends like Elvis Presley, Tennessee Williams and Walter Payton.
Missouri — Eminem
You probably think of Michigan when Eminem comes to mind but before the rapper repped Detroit, he was born in the Show Me State. He came from St. Joseph, which is pretty close to Kansas City, on Missouri’s western border. Despite spending much of his childhood and adolescence in Detroit, the Grammy winner still has family that lives in Missouri and plenty of fans there who are proud of his connections. Other stars to come from Missouri include Dick Van Dyke, Sheryl Crow and Don Cheadle.
Montana — Phil Jackson
Montana is one of those beautiful states that plenty of wealthy celebrities move to for some peace and quiet but Phil Jackson has been there for life. The NBA legend, who won an unprecedented 13 championships as a player and coach, was born in Deer Lodge, in the western part of the state. The “Zen Master” has continued to live in Montana since then, owning a home on Flathead Lake where he’s spent every summer for more than 40 years. Other living stars to come from Big Sky Country are filmmaker David Lynch and actor Michelle Williams.
Nebraska — Gabrielle Union
The city of Omaha has given us one of the world’s richest people in Warren Buffett, but it also gave us the great Gabrielle Union, who gets our nod as the state’s most famous child. The actor eventually spent her adolescence in California and went to school at UCLA but she’s incredibly proud of her Nebraska roots and returns to the state often.
Many of her family members still live there and she’s a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers football fan, going to at least one home game a year and even turning husband Dwyane Wade, an Illinois boy, into a fan. You can also thank Nebraska for tennis great Andy Roddick and Oscar winner Hillary Swank.
Nevada — Andre Agassi
Apologies to NASCAR favorite Kyle Busch and adult film legend Jenna Jameson but Andre Agassi is our pick for the most famous star to come from Nevada. He is the only man in tennis history to win the career grand slam, an Olympic gold medal and the ATP World Tour Finals. Agassi was born in Las Vegas and still lives there today and is a huge presence in the community, even opening a public charter school for at-risk kids there in 2000.
New Hampshire — Mandy Moore
A legitimate double threat, actor and singer Mandy Moore has come a long way since being born in Nashua, New Hampshire. After starting her music career in her early teens and selling millions of records, she has since become an in-demand performer in Hollywood, thanks to her starring roles in movies like “A Walk to Remember” and “Tangled,” as well as NBC’s hit show, “This Is Us.”
She may have spent most of her childhood in Florida, but Moore remains proud of her roots in the Granite State, representing New Hampshire in a 2018 event to raise awareness for voter rights. She shares her home state with author Dan Brown and comedian Sarah Silverman.
New Jersey — Bruce Springsteen
Was there any doubt who would represent The Garden State? Perhaps no other celebrity is as identified with their home state as Bruce Springsteen. Before he was “The Boss,” the Grammy-winning rock legend was born in Long Branch and raised in Freehold, a city that still proudly honors him with tours of his old haunts. Springsteen’s music is filled with references to New Jersey and his debut album was even called “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” showing he never shied away from his roots. Other proud Jersey natives include legendary actor Meryl Streep, musician Jon Bon Jovi and author George R.R. Martin.
New Mexico — Neil Patrick Harris
It’s funny that the world’s two most famous Demis — Demi Lovato and Demi Moore — both came from New Mexico, but they can’t top Neil Patrick Harris for fame. The former child star has conquered television and Broadway and become an icon for LGBTQ rights after being born in Albuquerque.
He was raised in Ruidoso and went to high school in Albuquerque, graduating with honors even while working on ABC’s “Doogie Howser, M.D.” In 2010, he even returned home to help raise money for a theater he had performed in while growing up that had been destroyed in a fire.
New York — Robert De Niro
Like California, the state of New York has produced an insane number of big stars but it’s tough to think of any that is as identified with it as Robert De Niro. The Oscar-winning screen legend was born and raised in Manhattan, getting his education at the borough’s Elisabeth Irwin High School. He’s continued to live in New York City and is very involved in the community, especially in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, where he owns several restaurants and founded the annual Tribeca Film Festival.
Other massive stars born in New York City include Michael Jordan, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson, while Tom Cruise can probably claim to be the most famous celeb born outside the city, as he came from Syracuse.
North Carolina — Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The crown prince of NASCAR has been a proud resident of North Carolina ever since his birth. He emerged in Kannapolis and eventually studied automotive technology at Mitchell Community College in Statesville. Even after winning 50 NASCAR races, including two at the Dayton 500, Earnhardt still calls North Carolina home, owning a massive property near Mooresville. Aside from that famous driver, Oscar winner Julianne Moore and WWE star Charlotte Flair also came from the Tar Heel State.
North Dakota — Josh Duhamel
Rapper Wiz Khalifa was born in North Dakota on a military base but since he identifies more with Pennsylvania, we decided the very tall Josh Duhamel was North Dakota’s most notable native. The Transformers series actor and former soap opera star was born and raised in Minot, in the northern part of the state. He went to school at Minot State University and was even the quarterback of the college’s football team. Duhamel is extremely proud of his North Dakota roots, promoting the state in tourism ads since 2013. Actor Leslie Bibb was also born in North Dakota.
Ohio — LeBron James
The Buckeye State has produced some massive stars but it’s hard to top “The King.” NBA star LeBron James traces his roots back to Akron, where he was born and raised, becoming a national star while playing basketball at the city’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. James would then go on to play twice for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, helping that city win its first professional sports championship in more than 50 years, and he has given back to Akron in plenty of ways, including opening a school there in 2018. Other celebs to come from Ohio include director Steven Spielberg, actor Halle Berry, NBA star Stephen Curry and gymnastics legend Simone Biles.
Oklahoma — Garth Brooks
The Sooner State has given us an embarrassment of country music royalty but Garth Brooks is the cream of the crop. Before he moved to Nashville and helped make country music a mainstream obsession, Brooks was born in Tulsa, raised in Yukon and educated at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Even after decades of performing for crowds around the world, Brooks said in 2017 that he was particularly nervous for concerts in Oklahoma because he always wants to make the people in his home state proud. Other huge country stars to come from that state include Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood.
Oregon — Ty Burrell
Before he became one of America’s favorite dads in ABC’s “Modern Family,” Ty Burrell spent his youth in Oregon. The Emmy-winning actor was born in Grants Pass and even went to high school in the same city before attending college at both the University of Oregon and Southern Oregon University. Burrell is a huge fan of Oregon Ducks football, regularly appearing in the stands at the team’s biggest games, which goes back to when his mother had season tickets during his childhood. Other influential Oregonians include “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, Nike founder Phil Knight and UFC star Paige VanZant.
Pennsylvania — Will Smith
It’s mighty tough to top Taylor Swift, who was born in Reading, in terms of fame, but Philadelphia native Will Smith can do it. After all, how can you beat the guy who gave us the lyric, “In West Philadelphia, born and raised”? Whether it’s as an actor or a musician, Smith has dominated the entertainment world for decades. He went to school at Philadelphia’s Overbrook High School, an institution which has since honored him with a plaque on its grounds. To show his pride in his old neighborhood, Smith even named his production company Overbrook Entertainment. Other notable Pennsylvania natives include comedians Tina Fey and Kevin Hart.
Rhode Island — Meredith Viera
As expected, the smallest state in the nation has a smaller roster of big stars to claim but broadcaster Meredith Viera is certainly one of the most recognizable people on TV. The former host of “The View” and NBC’s “Today” was born in Providence, raised near Rumford and got her education at Providence’s all-girls Lincoln School. She eventually went to college in Massachusetts but has remained proud of her home state, recently returning to her old school to let the girls at the student newspaper interview her. You can also count author Cormac McCarthy and filmmaker Bobby Farrelly as famous living Rhode Island natives.
South Carolina — Viola Davis
Oscar winner Viola Davis actually was raised and went to college in Rhode Island but can count South Carolina as the state where her journey started. She was born in St. Matthews in a house she has described as a “one-room shack.” However, South Carolina’s The State newspaper reported that her birthplace was even more dire than she made it sound, located on a former plantation with no running water. Davis isn’t the only big star to have come from South Carolina, as fellow actor Chadwick Boseman and comedian Chris Rock were both born there, too.
South Dakota — Tom Brokaw
He’s arguably the most famous anchor in TV news history and Tom Brokaw is also the most famous person from South Dakota. Not only was Brokaw born in Webster, located in the northeastern part of the state, he went to high school in Yankton and eventually graduated from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
Brokaw isn’t the only member of his household who has proud roots in The Mount Rushmore State, as his wife since 1962, Meredith, was the former Miss South Dakota. Other stars to come from South Dakota include WWE star Brock Lesnar and actor January Jones.
Tennessee — Dolly Parton
You might love Tennessee natives Quentin Tarantino, Tina Turner and Morgan Freeman with all your heart but nobody represents that state like Dolly Parton. The beloved country music icon is so tied into Tennessee culture that she even owns a successful amusement park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge. That’s located less than 20 miles from Pittman Center, where Parton was born, and close to Sevier County High School, where she went to school. The road that the school is located on has since been renamed Dolly Parton Parkway.
Texas — Beyoncé
Texas is another of those states that has produced a ton of notable people but it’s pretty tough to top Beyoncé when it comes to fame and power. The singer was born in Houston and spent her entire youth there, eventually attending the city’s Alief Elsik High School before taking the music world by storm. In 2017, she went back to her hometown in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to serve meals for people who’d been displaced and raise money to help them get back on their feet. Other major stars to come from the Lone Star State include country music legend Willie Nelson, Oscar winner Matthew McConnaughey and NFL star Drew Brees.
Utah — Julianne Hough
The state of Utah not only gave us Donnie and Marie Osmond, it also gave us a more recent pair of famous siblings, Derek and Julianne Hough. Since sis gets the lion’s share of the press in the family, we’ve chosen her as the state’s most notable celebrity. Julianne Hough was born in Orem and spent part of her childhood in London, England before moving back to Utah as a teen and eventually going to school at Alta High School in Sandy. She grew up in the Mormon church, like other Utah celebs the Osmonds and NFL star Steve Young.
Vermont — JoJo
The Green Mountain State has given us one of the youngest celebs on our list in JoJo. The singer was born in Brattleboro, located in the southeastern part of the state, before being raised in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In her words, she lived in the state for “maybe three weeks,” but she’s still a native! In 2004, JoJo became the youngest solo artist in history to top the Billboard pop chart and has sold millions of albums on top of that. We gave her the nod over fellow Vermont natives in golf icon Patty Sheehan, journalist Buster Olney and voice actor Susan Bennett.
Virginia — Sandra Bullock
One of those rare actors that everyone seems to like, Sandra Bullock’s rambling childhood began and ended in Virginia. She was born in Arlington but was mostly raised in Germany and other parts of Europe before her family returned to Arlington, where she went to school at Washington-Lee High School.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, she led the school’s pep club, appeared in theatrical productions and was voted “class clown” by her peers. Other Virginians who’ve made quite an impact include musician Pharrell Williams, actor Warren Beatty and broadcast journalist Katie Couric.
Washington — Bill Gates
Not only is Bill Gates one of the richest people in the world, he’s also our pick for the most famous living person to come from Washington. He was born in Seattle and eventually went to school at the city’s Lakeside Prep School, where he met Paul Allen, with whom he would co-found Microsoft.
However, the famous garage where the pair created the company was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If we were counting dead celebs, Gates would have a hard time topping fellow Washington natives Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain.
West Virginia — Steve Harvey
West Virginia has been responsible for giving us sports icons like Jerry West, Randy Moss and Nick Saban, as well as country music star Brad Paisley, but Steve Harvey is our pick for its most famous native. Before he conquered television and radio, Harvey was born in tiny Welch, located on the southern tip of the state. He was raised in Ohio but returned to his home state to be educated at West Virginia University. He seems to be very proud of his West Virginia roots, once going on a rant during his talk show about how sexy he considers the state to be after a poll had called it the least sexy state in the nation.
Wisconsin — Danica Patrick
You can thank the Badger State for giving us one of the most famous race car drivers in history. Danica Patrick was born in Beloit, which is located near the state’s southern border, before being raised in neighboring Illinois. However, her racing career first took off in Wisconsin, when she drove go-karts at Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead. Her long-term relationship with NFL star Aaron Rodgers only further solidifies her Wisconsin street cred, as she’s often seen rooting him on at Green Bay Packers games in her native state. The Badger State has also given us late stars like Chris Farley, Orson Welles and Spencer Tracy.
Wyoming — Travis Rice
If you know anything about snowboarding, then you know Travis Rice is one of the all-time legends of the sport. The Wyoming native has won four Winter X Games medals in his career, including two golds, and was one of the sport’s most recognizable figures in its early days of mainstream popularity. Rice was born in Jackson Hole and he continues to live there and be seen on the slopes at nearby Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The gorgeous state also gave the world sportscaster Curt Gowdy and artist Jackson Pollock.