9 People You Didn’t Know Were From Cincinnati
Have you ever thought about how many notable people were born or raised in Cincinnati, Ohio? Whether they were born in the city or found their passion here, all of these people made their mark in the world. You might be surprised at a few people on this list. Find out more about nine people you probably might not have known were from the third-largest city in Ohio.
Known as the “Cincinnati Cobra,” boxer Ezzard Charles was born in Georgia in 1921 but is known as a Cincinnatian because he grew up in the city. He was known for his precision and slick moves, which helped him earn 20 five-star fights, including eight at heavyweight. He won the World Championship title in the heavyweight division. During his career, he defeated many Hall of Fame boxers in the three different weight classes. Before he retired, Charles won more fights than any other heavyweight champion in boxing history as he accumulated a 95-25-1 record. He died in 1975 from ALS.
A singer and actress who attended several Cincinnati-area high schools during the 1940s, Rosemary Clooney hit the charts in the early 1950s with her song “Come On-a My House.” She also sang several other hits, including “Mambo Italiano,” “This Ole House,” and “Hey There.” In 1954, she starred in the movie “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen. She often appeared with Crosby on television shows after starring with him in the movie. Clooney received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 and passed away later that year.
Actress and singer Doris Day was born in Cincinnati in 1922. She began her career in 1939 with two No. 1 hits: “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.” She recorded those songs with Les Brown & His Band of Renown. After her success with those two songs, she embarked on a solo career, recording more than 650 songs during a 20-year span. She also starred in numerous movies, beginning with “Romance on the High Seas.” She co-starred with Rock Hudson in some of her best-known movies, including “Pillow Talk,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination. She passed in 2019.
A former professional baseball player, Barry Larkin was born in Cincinnati in 1964 and spent his entire childhood in the city. After playing collegiate ball and completing a brief stint in the minor leagues, Larkin made his major-league debut in 1986. He won the role of shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, playing for them until 2004. During his tenure, he won three Gold Gloves, nine Silver Slugger awards, and one MVP. He was also named to the All-Star team 12 times. In 2012, Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati in 1946 but grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He moved to California while in college to study film, and after directing several small films for Universal Studios, he hit it big by directing “Jaws” in 1975. He went on to direct several blockbuster movies, including “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the entire “Indiana Jones” series, and “Schindler’s List. ” As one of the most successful directors, Spielberg has received two Academy Awards for Best Director and the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his contributions to entertainment. He also co-founded Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks.
William Howard Taft
Born in Cincinnati in 1857, William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States. He was elected to office in 1908 as the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, serving from 1909 through 1913. Taft lost his reelection campaign to Woodrow Wilson. After his presidency ended, he returned to Yale, his alma mater, where he worked as a professor. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft as the 10th Chief Justice of the United States. This made him the first person to hold both offices. He resigned in 1930 due to poor health, just one month before he passed.
Producer and philanthropist Ted Turner was born in Cincinnati in 1938. His career in media began in 1963 when he took over his father’s billboard business, Turner Outdoor Advertising. At the time, the company was worth $1 million. A few years later, he purchased an Atlanta UHF station, turning it into Turner Broadcast System. Turner also turned the Atlanta Braves baseball team into a popular team and launched the Goodwill Games. When it comes to philanthropy, Turner gifted $1 billion to the United Nations to create the United Nations Foundation.
Born in Cincinnati in 1988, Russell Wilson is a professional football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. While attending the University of Wisconsin, Wilson set the single-season record for passing efficiency and led the team to the 2012 Rose Bowl. During his time with the Seahawks, he has earned eight Pro Bowl nominations and started in two Super Bowls, winning one. Wilson also holds the record for most wins by a quarterback through nine seasons and is one of four quarterbacks to have a passing rating higher than 100. Wilson is co-owner of the Seattle Sounders major-league soccer team.
Actress Amy Yasbeck was born in Cincinnati in 1962. Her first claim to fame was being featured on the Easy-Bake Oven packaging. After both of her parents passed away, she moved to New York City to begin a career in entertainment. She had minor roles in television shows such as Magnum, P.I.” and “Murphy Brown” and movies including “Pretty Women” and “The Mask” before landing a recurring role on the television show “Wings.” Yasbeck is the widow of John Ritter, whom she worked with on “Problem Child 2.”
How many of these people did you know were from Cincinnati? We bet there are some on this list that you probably weren’t aware of. Or are there some notable people that spent time in Cincinnati that we neglected to mention? If so, drop us a line at Performance Kings Honda so we can make sure we add it to our list.