Top 10 Famous people from Vermont


Vermont is a land locked state in the northeastern region of the United States bordered by Canada to the north, New York to the west, Massachusetts to the south and New Hampshire to the east. It derives its name from the French, “montagne verte” which perfectly describes its Green lush Mountain landscape. Montpelier is its capital city.

The Green Mountain State not only boosts of its sweet renowned maple syrup but also being the birthplace of well-renounced celebrities, politicians, philanthropists, writers and entrepreneurs. Here is a list of the top 10 famous people from Vermont;

1. Chester Alan Arthur

Chester A. Arthur by Ole Peter Hansen Balling – Wikipedia

Chester A. Arthur was the 21st President of the United States, serving from 1881 to 1885. He was born on October 5th 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont to a Baptist preacher. As an adult, he practiced law in New York City.

He rose to prominence as a skilled public administrator, first during the American Civil War and then as a powerful Collector of the Port of New York. Then in 1880, James A. Garfield won the Republican nomination for president and Chester A. Arthur was nominated for vice president. Four months into his term, James A. Garfield was shot by an assassin and Chester A. Arthur assumed the presidency.

During his three years in office, Chester A. Arthur fought the spoils patronage system he supported in New York, advocated tariff relief for businesses, and demanded breaks for taxpayers.

He passed away at the age of 56 from Bright’s disease.

2. Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge – Wikipedia

Calvin Coolidge served as the 30th President of the United States from 1923 to 1929. He was born on July 4th 1872 as John Calvin Coolidge Jr. in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

In 1897 Calvin Coolidge was admitted to the Massachusetts bar and due to his reputation as a hardworking and diligent attorney local banks and other businesses began to retain his services. In 1898, he was elected to the Northampton, Massachusetts, city council and this launched his political career.

During the 1920 U.S. presidential election, Calvin Coolidge was elected to be the vice president candidate to Warren G. Harding. Calvin Coolidge took over the presidency on 2nd August 1923 upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. He was then elected as president in 1924. However, during the 1928 election he did not run for re-election despite his growing popularity.

Calvin Coolidge is remembered for his strong support for women’s suffrage, signing into law the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, which granted US citizenship to the indigenous peoples of the United States, and oversaw a period of rapid and expansive economic growth in the country, known as the “Roaring Twenties”.

He passed away on 5th January in 1933 at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack.

3. Damon Wayans Jr.

Damon Wayans Jr. – Wikipedia

Damon Wayans Jr. is a young and talented multi-hyphenate member of the renowned Wayans Family. He is a celebrated actor, comedian, and writer.

He was born in Huntington, Vermont on 18th November 1982 as Demon Kyle Wayans Jr. to Lisa Thorner and actor, producer, writer and stand-up comedy Damon Wayans. Damon attended Otis School for Art and Design.

Following in his family’s footsteps, he made his film debut at age 11 in the 1994 film “Blank Man” playing the role of young Kevin. He featured in a few bit roles on ”My Wife and Kids” and landed a staff writer job in the series at 20, becoming the youngest staff writer on television.

Today he continues performing in comedy clubs across the country while still pursing his crafts of acting and writing.  

4. Jojo

Jojo – Wikipedia

“Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little, Too Late” are the hit songs that launched Jojo’s career. Born Joanna Noelle Levesque on December 20th 1990 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Jojo her childhood nickname and stage name listened to her mother practice hymns and by the age of two she had started to sing. By her early teens, she was at the top of the Billboard charts, being the youngest solo artist to hit number one. Jojo has also pursed an acting career, making her first on-screen debut in Aquamarin and R.V.

However, due to a complex legal battle with her record company, Blackground Entertainment, she was relatively on the down low for seven years. However, in 2014 she was released from her contract with Blackground Entertainment. She then signed a new contract with Atlantic Record, giving her the freedom to release new songs.

5. Thomas Davenport

Thomas Davenport – Wikipedia

Thomas Davenport is an American inventor of a battery-powered electric motor that served as a prototype for the electric streetcar many years later.

Born in Williamstown, Vermont on 9th July 1802. At the age of fourteen he apprenticed to a blacksmith and seven years later he was able to start his own blacksmith business. In 1831 Davenport travelled to Penfield and Taft Iron Works at Crown Point, New York, where Joseph Henry had set up the first commercial electromagnet. He bought an electromagnet and took it apart to see how it worked.

He then forged a better iron core and redid the wiring, using silk from his wife’s wedding gown, converting the electromagnetic force into mechanical power. By 1834 he had built his first electric motor. The next year, he used an electric motor to propel a small car around a circular track, the first recorded instance of an electric railway. In 1837, he received a patent for “Improvements in propelling machinery by magnetism and electromagnetism.” He further went to invent an electric printing press (which he used to print his newsletter Electro-Magnet and Mechanics Intelligencer), electrictelegraph and electric piano.

He died on July 6, 1851. His sons claimed the cause of his death was a broken heart after Samuel Morse was given credit for inventing the telegraph.

6. John Dewey

John Dewey – Wikipedia

John Dewey is a philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer considered to be a cofounder of the philosophical movement known as pragmatism, a pioneer in functional psychology, an innovative theorist of democracy, and a leader of the progressive movement in education in the United States.

Born on October 20, 1859, in Burlington, Vermont. In 1879, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the university of Vermont. After in 1884 he received a doctorate in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.  He then began teaching philosophy at the University of Michigan.

The most prevailing theme on Dewey’s woks is democracy. As Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, “Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous.”

Before his death on June 1st 1952 Dewey published more than 700 articles in 140 journals and approximately 40 books.

7. Justin Morrill

Justin Morrill – Wikipedia

Also called “Father of the Agricultural Colleges,” Justin Morril was a politician and entrepreneur who is remembered today for the Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862 that established federal funding for establishing many of the United States’ public colleges and universities.

Born on 14th April 1810 as Justin Smith Morrill in Strafford, Vermont. He served in the United States House of Representatives (1855–1867) and United States Senate (1867–1898) for Vermont. His 43 years and 299 days of continuous Congressional service was the longest in U.S. history at the time of his death in 1898. He has since been surpassed, but still ranks 26th as of March 2021.

8. Elisha Graves Otis

Elisha Graves Otis – Wikipedia

Elisha Graves Otis was born on 3rd August 1811 in Halifax, Vermont. He is remembered as inventing a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails, thus making the present-day skyscrapers a reality.

At 40 years, as he was cleaning up the factory, he wondered how he could get all the old debris up to the upper levels of the factory. He had heard of hoisting platforms, but these often broke, and he was reluctant to take the risks. He and his sons, who were also tinkerers, designed their own “safety elevator” and tested it successfully. Likewise, he also developed a three-way steam valve engine, which could transition the elevator between up and down, and quickly stop it.

Otis contracted diphtheria and died on April 8, 1861, at the age of 49.

9. Jody Williams

Jody Williams, 2001 – Wikipedia

Jody Williams was born on 9th October 1950 in Rutland, Vermont. She is a political activist known for her work in banning anti-personnel landmines, her defense of human rights (especially those of women), and her efforts to promote new understandings of security in today’s world. In 1997 she and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines were named corecipients of the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines was formed after Jody spent eleven years involved in aid work in war-torn El Salvador. Where landmines were a persistent threat to the civilian population, and she was charged with the responsibility for providing artificial limbs for children who had lost arms and legs.

The Ottawa Convention, which was signed by 120 states and entered into force in 1999, will always be associated with the names of Jody Williams and the ICBL.

10. Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy – Wikipedia

Taking a deep for the worst, Ted Bundy was a serial murderer, rapist and necrophiliac who was one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century, known to have killed at least 20 women in the 1970s.

Born Theodore Robert Bundy on 24th November 1946 in Burlington, Vermont. He was executed in Florida’s electric chair in 1989. His case has since inspired many novels and films about serial killers.