Photo by E. F. Cooper – Wikimedia

Top 10 Famous people from the state of New York


New York is one of the most famous cities in the United States and the world. This state, whose capital city goes by the same name, is often referred to as the Big Apple.

It has high-class shops, the United Nations Headquarters, flamboyant Broadway performances, and top business magnates. It this no wonder the city has attracted people from all over the world.

There are several attractions in this state including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, hiking trails, Times Square, Niagara Falls among many others.

Being a famous state and city, there are, without a doubt, people who are well known from this state on the east coast.

This is one of the American states that is the most culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse. A good example is that there are more Jews in New York than they are in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Let us now look at the top 10 famous people from the state of New York.  

1. Edith Wharton – Author

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Edith Wharton used her insider’s knowledge of the upper-class New York “upper classes” to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age.

Edith came from a distinguished and established New York family. She had private tutors and governesses at home and in Europe.

Her family lived in Europe for six years after the American Civil War, and she read avidly.

Wharton made her debut in 1879 and married Edward Wharton, a wealthy Boston banker, in 1885.

She pushed herself to become one of the leading English writers in the early 20th century. She defied the odds of becoming a society wife.

2. Michael Jordan – Professional Basketball Player

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was also known by his initials MJ. He earned a majority of his current wealth from endorsements.

In more than four decades, Jordan earned $1.7 billion before tax from brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wheaties, Chevrolet.

Jordan’s tributes and accomplishments include 6 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both records), five MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, and nine All-Defensive First Team honours (a joint record).

3. Olivia Wilde – Actress

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Olivia Wilde played Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on the medical drama television series House.

She also appeared in the films Tron: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, and The Lazarus Effect.

Her mother is an American producer on 60 Minutes and a journalist while her father is also a journalist.  

In 2008, Wilde campaigned with actors Justin Long and her House castmate Kal Penn in support of the Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

As a feminist, she has a campaign that aims to raise awareness and funds of women’s issues in terms of education, health, and justice.

4. Tupac Shakur – Rapper

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Tupac Amaru Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac was an American rapper and actor.

He is regarded as one of the most influential rappers of all time. 2Pac is also among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Born in 1971 in Harlem, New York, he grew up with one other sibling. Her mother moved often and sometimes they stayed in shelters.

After they moved to Baltimore, Tupac registered at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts.

To date, Tupac Shakur is an icon symbolizing noble struggle.

5. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – Book Editor

Jacqueline worked as a photographer and reporter at the Washington Times-Herald.

She met and married John F Kennedy in the early 1950s. He was then a congressman who eventually became the president of the United State

Jacqueline was a famous first lady. She became even more popular and loved by the American people after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

After her husband’s funeral, she moved to Manhattan where she worked in publishing.

In 1968 she married Aristotle Onassis, her long-term friend and a Greek shipping tycoon.

In 1999, Jacqueline was listed as one of Gallup’s Most-Admired Men and Women of the 20th century.

She died in 1994 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside President Kennedy.

6. Mark Zuckerberg – Meta CEO

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Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is known for co-founding Meta Platforms Inc. and serves as its chairman, chief executive officer, and controlling shareholder.

He co-founded the social-networking website Meta, formerly known as Facebook, out of his college dorm room at Harvard University.

Soon after his sophomore year, he dropped out of college to concentrate on the site. Today, this social networking site has grown to more than two billion people, making Zuckerberg a billionaire.

Zuckerberg has been featured in films and he voiced himself on an episode of The Simpsons titled “Loan-a Lisa” in 2010.

7. Mike Tyson – Retired Professional Boxer

Mike Tyson is famous for his vicious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behaviour inside and outside the ring.

He was ranked 16th on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Additionally, he was first on ESPN’s list of The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History.

At the height of his fame and career in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Tyson was among the most recognized sports personalities in the world.

Tyson and Tupac spent a lot of time together and were very close pals. He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

8. Theodore Roosevelt – Former President

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Theodore Roosevelt Jr., often referred to as Teddy served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He remains the youngest person to become president of the United States.

Roosevelt was also the leader of the progressive movement. He championed domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, and pure food and drugs.

During his presidency, he passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. This established the Food and Drug Administration to regulate food safety.  

In addition, he was a prolific author, writing with passion on foreign policy and the importance of the national park system.

9. Eddie Murphy – Actor

Edward Regan Murphy rose to fame on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, for which he was a regular cast member from 1980 to 1984.

In movies, he has received accolades for his performance such as Golden Globe Award.

In 2007, Murphy won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor as well as received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Murphy was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in 2015.

His first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting Saturday Night Live was in 2020.

10. Neil deGrasse Tyson – astrophysicist

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Neil deGrasse Tyson studied at Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University.

Having gone to public schools, he eventually graduated from Harvard with a BA in Physics.

He later went to Princeton University for his postdoctoral research associate from 1991 to 1994. Neil graduated with a PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia University. 

Dr Tyson has several professional publications in form of journals and books. He published Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, which was a New York Times bestseller.