Famous People from
West Virginia
The Mountaneer State


Many important people have come from West Virginia. The people include scientists, historical figures, explorers, politicians, athletes and entertainers. Read this page to find out about some of the most important people who came from West Virginia!


Daniel Boone (1734-1820)

Boone was an explorer and scout who lived at Clendenin's Settlement which became present day Charleston. He served in the county militia and opened up the west to other settlers by establishing the Wilderness Road through the Appalachian Mountains.




Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson ( 1824-1863)

Jackson was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He was a Confederate general and won at the First Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War. He was accidentally killed by one of his own men at Chancellorsville.




Anna Jarvis (1864-1948)

Jarvis was born in Grafton, West Virginia. She was a promoter who worked to make Mother's Day a nationally celebrated holiday.



Morgan Morgan (1688-1766)

Morgan was a pioneer and the first white settler in West Virginia. He built a log cabin near Bunker Hill.



Mary Lou Retton (1968- )

Retton was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, and
was a gymnast. She won the gold medal for the best all-around gymnastics performance in the 1984 Olympics and was the first American gymnast to win a medal since 1948.




Cyrus Vance (1917- )

Vance was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and was a diplomat. He represented President Johnson in Panama, Cyprus and in urban riot centers. He negotiated the release of the USS Pueblo and its crew. Vance was the United States secretary of state from 1977-1981.




Booker T. Washington ( 1856-1915)

Washington grew up in Malden, West Virginia, and
was and educator and reformer. He thought that blacks should work for education and employment instead of fighting for social equality with whites. He founded the Tuskegee Institute and the National Negro Business League. He wrote a book called Up
From Slavery
in 1915.




Jerry West ( 1938- )

West was born in Cabin-Creek, West Virginia. He was a professional basketball player and won all-American honors at West Virginia University. He played many years for the Los Angeles Lakers and was the first player to score more than 4,000 playoff points. He was named to the NBA's all-time all-star team in 1981.




Chuck Yeager (1923- )

Yeager was born in Myra, West Virginia. He was an air force officer and the first pilot to break the sound barrier. He did so in 1947 in a plane nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis".


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