With the popularity of Fresno, California, it should come as no surprise that a lot of influential people in all areas of life have come from this city. Since there are so many, we will choose a few to highlight for you.

Entertainment Industry

  • Kevin Federline
    • Dancer, rapper, fashion model, and actor
  • Steven Zaillian
    • Screenwriter, director, producer, and founder of Film Rites Production Company.
    • Famous for his screenplay, Schindler’s List and much more.
    • Winner of various awards including Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Oscar Winner.
  • Phil Roman
    • American animator most famous for his work on How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
    • Founder of Film Roman and Phil Roman Entertainment.
  • Frank Thomas (1912-2004)
    • American animator for Walt Disney Productions.
  • Timmy T
    • Timmy T is a freestyle performer and musician. He is best known for his 1991 #1 single “One More Try.”
  • DeWitt Bodeen (1908-1988)
    • The screenwriter who wrote the production, “Cat People.”
  • Freddie Fender
    • Singer and Songwriter
  • Joanna Kerns
    • Actress – Growing Pains
  • Jordan Knight
    • Singer – New Kids on The Block
  • FaShawn
    • American rapper who gained major attention with his album release in 2010, Boy Meets World.

Sports

  • Frank Chance
    • Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.
    • Many people call Mr. Chance, “The greatest First baseman of all times.”
  • Tom Seaver
    • Major League Baseball player and pitcher
    • Pitches for 4 different teams throughout a 20-year career
    • Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Anthony McCoy
    • Robert Anthony McCoy is an American football tight end for the Seattle Seahawks.
  • Robert Kendrick
    • Robert Kendrick is a tennis player from Fresno, California.
    • His singles ranking is 69 in the world
    • Suspended for 1 year for a drug infraction and was reinstated after 8 months with much support from other players and his fans.
  • DeShawn Stevenson
    • Professional basketball player who played for 13 years in the NBA
    • Well known for his athletic ability and his defense
  • Bruce Furniss
    • American champion swimmer
    • Winner of an Olympic Gold Medal
    • Holder of world records in 4 events
  • Mel Gray
    • Wide Range Receiver for the National Football League
    • In high school, Mel stood out for his abilities in football,and in track and field. He held the world record for the 100-yard dash from CIF California State Meet between 1967 and 1974.

The list of famous sports people goes on and on. There are champions from every sport and every position.

Other Notable People

  • Milo Rowell (1902 – 1977)
    • Attorney and politician
    • Drafted the Constitution of Japan
  • James van Hoften
    • NASA Astronaut
  • Bill Jones
    • California Inspector of State
  • Victor Davis Hanson
    • Scholar, historian, author
  • David Harris
    • Vietnam War draft resistance leader
  • William A. Sutherland
    • Lawyer, author, politician
  • Ashley Swearengin
    • Mayor of Fresno
  • John Shegerian
    • Co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International
  • Kirk Kerkorian
    • Billionaire businessman; owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino

This list is just a small portion of a very long list of people who influenced our lives in American culture. From movie stars to sports giants, to educators, and scientist, Fresno began as their home.