Wichita – Air Capital of the World

Wichita Network

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Famous Persons from Wichita

The city of Wichita, Kansas is a diverse and bustling metropolitan full of interesting things to see and do. Though every Wichita native is a unique person, a few have risen above the rest to gain national and global fame. Recognized for their creativity, perseverance, and over all talent, these famous Kansans all got their start in Wichita.

Born in 1895, Hattie McDaniel was one of the first Wichita natives to earn her place in history. The renowned actress, who got her start in a minstrel show and also in vaudeville acts, was first known as a singer at a night club in Milwaukee. She then moved to Los Angeles, and after becoming the main attraction for a popular radio show, she started her film career with a role in the movie „Judge Priest.“ That role found her singing a duet with Will Rogers. Many other film parts followed, including one with Shirley Temple in „The Little Colonel,“ and the part of Queenie in „Show Boat.“ But perhaps her most famous role was that of Mammy in „Gone With the Wind,“ for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was the first black woman to win an Academy Award.

Also hailing from the great city of Wichita is Robert D. Ballard. As one of the world’s most well-known deep-sea divers, Mr. Ballard shot to fame after his discovery of the R.M.S. Titanic. Known as a pioneer for the early use of deep-sea submarines, Mr. Ballard has conducted more than 120 expeditions with the help of cutting-edge technology. Mr. Ballard was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

Another well-loved Wichita native is actress Kirstie Alley. Kirstie caught the world’s attention after playing Lt. Saavik in „Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.“ Then she was welcomed into the homes of many across the nation as she played the role of barkeeper Rebecca Howe on the wildly popular sitcom „Cheers.“ Kirstie has starred in several other movies and television shows.

This is just a small sample of note-worthy people from Wichita. With so many famous people born and raised in Wichita, it is obvious that this city has a deep well of creativity and talent. It is no wonder that Wichita continues to turn out residents who grace the world with their distinctive skills and abilities. Great things (and people) come from Wichita.