21 Famous People from Colorado You’ll Never Forget

Colorado is home to many famous people, from entrepreneurs to actors, singers, and athletes. If you’re looking for some interesting facts about Colorado’s notable residents, you’ve come to the right place! From Denver to Boulder, the Centennial State has produced some incredible individuals who have made a lasting impact on our culture.

Here are 21 famous people from Colorado you’ll never forget.

John Elway

John Elway is a renowned American football player who spent his entire 16-year career with the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. During his career, Elway was selected to nine Pro Bowls, was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1987, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Throughout his career, Elway was known for his clutch play and big-game performances. He led the Broncos to five Super Bowl appearances, winning back-to-back championships in his final two seasons in 1997 and 1998. He finished his career with an impressive 148-82-1 regular season record, the most wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history at the time.

Elway is also an accomplished businessman and philanthropist. He is the owner of several car dealerships in the Denver area, and is actively involved in numerous charities. He has become an icon in the Denver area, and his legacy continues to live on.

Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey was born in Manassa, Colorado in 1895 and went on to become one of the most famous boxers of all time. He started his professional career in 1914, and he quickly gained a reputation as a formidable fighter. In 1919, Dempsey won the world heavyweight title and held it until 1926. During his title reign, Dempsey fought some of the most legendary bouts in boxing history, such as his two fights with Luis Firpo and the famous battle with Gene Tunney.

Dempsey was known for his aggressive style of boxing, which made him a fan favorite. He was also known for his strength and stamina. He was one of the first boxers to use physical conditioning as part of his training regimen.

After retiring from boxing in 1927, Dempsey became a well-known celebrity, appearing in numerous films, television shows, and radio programs. He opened a restaurant in New York City in 1935 and was involved in several business ventures. In 1954, Dempsey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Dempsey passed away in 1983 at the age of 87. He is remembered as one of the greatest boxers of all time and his legacy lives on in the sport.

Thomas Hornbein

Thomas Hornbein is an accomplished mountaineer and physician who was born in Denver, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating from university, Hornbein joined an expedition to Mount Everest in 1963 that achieved something remarkable – they became the first successful team to ascend to the summit of the world’s highest mountain without using supplemental oxygen. This was a feat that had not been accomplished before, and Hornbein’s team made history that day. After their expedition, Hornbein went on to become a respected mountaineer and physician, and his legacy in the climbing and medical communities remains strong.

Tim Allen

Tim Allen, known for his role as Tim Taylor in the hit television show “Home Improvement” and for his roles in movies such as “The Santa Clause” franchise, was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Allen moved to Los Angeles where he began his successful career in entertainment.

In addition to his work in television and film, Allen has also been involved in stand-up comedy throughout the years and has hosted the hit show “Last Man Standing” since 2011. In addition to his on-screen work, Allen is also an avid outdoorsman and philanthropist. He has been involved with several charities and organizations throughout his career, most notably the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Don Johnson

Born in Flat Rock, Colorado, Don Johnson is an actor best known for his role on “Miami Vice” and more recently for his Golden Globe-winning performance in HBO’s “Watchmen.”

He began his career in the 1970s, appearing in television shows such as “The Magician” and “The Rockford Files.” He made his feature film debut in 1979’s “A Boy and His Dog,” and went on to appear in films like “Tin Cup” (1996), “Wild Palms” (1993) and “Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man” (1991).

In 1984, Johnson landed the role of Sonny Crockett on the hit television series “Miami Vice,” which ran until 1989. He then starred in two short-lived series, “Nash Bridges” (1996-2001) and “Just Legal” (2005-2006). In 2019, Johnson appeared as the mysterious Chief Judd Crawford in HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Watchmen.” For his performance, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In addition to his acting career, Johnson is also an accomplished musician. He has released seven albums over the years and is currently working on new music. He also owns a production company called Big Mamma Films and has directed several movies, including 2005’s “Door to Door.”

Don Johnson is a multi-faceted entertainer with a career that spans four decades. From his early work on popular television shows to his more recent success on HBO’s “Watchmen,” Johnson has proven himself to be an enduring talent in the entertainment industry. He continues to act, sing and direct, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Ann Moses, is an iconic sharpshooter and performer who rose to fame at the turn of the 20th century. She was born in 1860 near North Park, Colorado and spent much of her youth living in Ohio. As a young adult, she began traveling with her expert shooting skills and found success in various small-town competitions. Her skills soon caught the attention of Buffalo Bill Cody, who invited her to join his Wild West Show.

In 1885, Annie made her debut with the show and quickly became a star attraction. Audiences were amazed by her accuracy and skill as she shot targets from horseback, even splitting cards and shooting the ash off of a cigarette held between someone’s lips; she performed tricks that no other shooter could master. Annie also had a strong sense of style, often performing in bright costumes that made her stand out from the other performers. Her fame grew over the years and she eventually became a well-known figure across America.

Annie Oakley had a successful career with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for 17 years until 1902 when she retired from show business due to health problems. After retirement, Annie continued to serve as an ambassador for shooting sports and was inducted into both the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and National Rifle Association Hall of Fame. She died at the age of 66 in 1926 but her legacy continues to inspire people today.

Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known as a member of the folk rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He was born in Dallas, Texas on January 3rd 1945. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Colorado Springs where he attended high school. After graduating from high school, Stills went on to pursue a career in music.

In 1967, Stills joined forces with David Crosby and Graham Nash to form the folk rock band Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) and later the same year Neil Young joined them to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). The band was one of the most successful bands of its time and released several hit singles such as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Helplessly Hoping,” and “Our House.”

Throughout his musical career Stephen Stills has released eight solo albums and has worked with a variety of different musicians including Manassas, Buffalo Springfield, Electric Flag, David Gilmour, and Ringo Starr. In addition to his solo career he continues to tour with CSNY as well as performing occasional solo shows. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 for his work with CSNY.

Hunter S Thompson

Hunter S Thompson was an American author and journalist who achieved fame in the 1960s and 1970s with his unique style of “Gonzo” journalism, which blended subjective storytelling and poetry with hard-hitting news reporting. Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1937, Thompson moved to Woody Creek near Aspen when he was 22 years old and remained there until his death in 2005 at age 67.

Thompson is best known for his novel “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas”, a semi-autobiographical work that was adapted into a feature film in 1998. He also wrote several other works, including the nonfiction book “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” about the notorious motorcycle gang. Other notable works include “The Rum Diary” and “The Curse of Lono”, both semi-autobiographical novels, as well as collections of essays such as “Generation of Swine” and “Songs of the Doomed”.

Thompson’s work has been heavily influential on popular culture, inspiring movies, music videos, art projects, video games and more. He is remembered as a legendary figure of counterculture and a champion of free expression.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 18th, 1963. At a young age he and his family moved to Springfield, Missouri where he would spend much of his childhood. When he was 14, his family made another move; this time to Boulder, Colorado. After graduating from high school in 1982, Brad Pitt began to take acting classes and audition for roles. His hard work certainly paid off, as he soon became one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. Pitt has had an incredibly successful career spanning over 30 years with dozens of memorable roles in blockbuster movies such as Fight Club (1999), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Troy (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and many more. He has been nominated for a plethora of awards and is considered one of the most influential actors and producers of our time.

Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan, the former head coach of the Denver Broncos, is widely regarded as one of the most successful coaches in the history of the NFL. He spent more than two decades with the Broncos organization, leading them to two consecutive Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998. During his tenure from 1995 to 2008, Shanahan was able to build a team that became one of the most dominant forces in the league. He is credited with bringing together a strong collection of talent on both sides of the ball that allowed the Broncos to become a consistent championship contender. After leaving Denver in 2008, Shanahan moved on to a short stint with the Washington Redskins before retiring from coaching in 2013. He remains an iconic figure among Broncos fans and is remembered fondly for his success during his time at the helm.

Amy Van Dyken

Amy Van Dyken is an American Olympic swimmer from Englewood, Colorado. She is a six-time Olympic gold medalist, having won four gold medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics. This earned her the distinction of becoming the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single games, setting a record for most gold medals won by a female athlete at one Olympics.

Van Dyken’s four gold medals at the 1996 Olympics were in the 50 meter freestyle, 100 meter butterfly, 4×100 meter medley relay and 4×100 meter freestyle relay. She also won two silver medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia in the 4×200 meter freestyle and 4×100 meter medley relays.

Van Dyken retired from swimming in 2002 and went on to become an analyst for Fox Sports Net and ESPN. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2014, she was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.

Neil Peart

Neil Peart, the iconic drummer for the Canadian rock band Rush, was born on September 12th, 1952 in Hamilton, Ontario. When he was 10 years old, Peart moved to Boulder, Colorado where he lived until 1973. That year, he joined the already established Rush and helped the band propel to even greater heights of fame. Throughout his time in Boulder, Peart had been playing drums since the age of 13 and continued to hone his craft until he was ready to join a professional band. After joining Rush in 1973, Peart soon developed a reputation as one of the most innovative and respected drummers in the world. His unique style and technique have influenced countless other drummers over the years, helping to make him an integral part of rock music history.

John Denver

John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. on December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. He became a multi-platinum selling artist and an international star thanks to his signature folk sound and heartfelt lyrics. He is best known for his two biggest hits, “Take Me Home Country Roads” and “Rocky Mountain High”, which were inspired by his love for the state of Colorado.

He began his music career in the 1960s but didn’t start to gain popularity until his third album “Poems, Prayers & Promises” was released in 1971. This album featured some of his most famous songs including “Take Me Home Country Roads”, “Annie’s Song”, and “Rocky Mountain High”. These songs helped establish him as a leading folk musician and he went on to have a successful career with over 300 songs recorded throughout his lifetime.

John Denver was an active advocate for environmental causes throughout his life. He was the United Nations’ first environmental messenger of peace and dedicated much of his time and energy to the preservation of the environment.

John Denver’s legacy continues to live on long after his death in 1997 when he was killed in a plane crash at the age of 53. His music continues to be loved by fans all around the world and in 2007 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Rocky Mountain Jim

James Nugent, better known as Rocky Mountain Jim, was born in 1845 near present day Estes Park, Colorado. He first became well known when he worked as a guide for explorer Edwin James during an expedition to Pikes Peak. The expedition was successful, and Jim’s skill and knowledge of the area made him an iconic figure in Colorado. After the expedition, he settled down in the area and continued to serve as a guide for travelers from all over the country. He also became known for his knowledge of the local flora and fauna, which he shared with anyone who asked. He quickly earned a reputation for being friendly and generous, often taking people into his home or providing them with food and shelter. His fame grew and soon he was featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. Rocky Mountain Jim passed away in 1880 at the age of 35, but his legacy lives on through his heroic story of courage and adventure.

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is an acclaimed author and former CU Boulder student. He was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado, where he attended high school before going on to college. Eggers is best known for his books “A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius” and “What Is The What?”, which have both been praised for their unique narrative style and engaging stories. Eggers has also been involved in several philanthropic endeavors, such as his nonprofit organization 826 National, which helps young people develop writing and publishing skills. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the TED Prize, the National Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Eggers’ work continues to inspire readers of all ages and has become a staple in American literature.

Wilbur Wright

Wilbur Wright, one half of the famous Wright Brothers who are credited with inventing powered flight, had humble beginnings growing up on a ranch near Grand Junction, Colorado. Born in 1867, Wilbur and his brother Orville moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1884 to pursue their dreams of creating a successful flying machine. After years of study and experimentation, their efforts finally paid off in 1903 when they were able to fly the first successful powered airplane. Wilbur went on to become an aviation pioneer and one of the most influential figures in the development of modern aircraft. His legacy lives on today as a symbol of innovation, determination, and perseverance in the face of incredible odds.

Redstone Rocket

Richard Fiske, better known as “The Redstone Rocket,” was born in Denver, Colorado on August 1st 1927. He became a well-known figure in the aeronautical engineering field after serving as an engineer for NASA. His most notable accomplishment was helping launch America’s first satellite into orbit, earning him his nickname. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in mechanical engineering, he began working for the Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland. There, he worked on the development of the Redstone rocket and helped design guidance systems.

In 1960, he was recruited by NASA to help launch America’s first satellite into orbit. This was the beginning of Project Mercury, or the first human spaceflight program of the United States. He worked closely with Wernher von Braun and other engineers at NASA to design and build the rocket that would become known as the Redstone rocket. Richard Fiske and his team successfully launched Explorer 1 into space on January 31st 1958, thus becoming the first satellite launched by an American into orbit.

Richard Fiske’s contribution to aeronautical engineering was significant and his pioneering work with rockets has impacted generations since. His legacy lives on through his nickname – The Redstone Rocket – and his accomplishments have been immortalized in books and movies about space exploration.

Judy Collins

Judy Collins is an American folk singer and songwriter, born Judith Marjorie Collins on May 1st 1939 in Seattle, Washington. She moved to Denver, Colorado at the age of 8 and began playing piano by ear. Her career as a folk music icon began in 1961 when she released her debut album A Maid of Constant Sorrow. Throughout her career, Judy Collins has gone on to release several albums and has had numerous hit singles including “Both Sides Now”, “Send In The Clowns” and “Someday Soon”. In addition to her singing career, Judy Collins is also an author and social activist who has been involved in a variety of causes including civil rights, anti-war and environmentalism. She has been honored with many awards throughout her career including a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her song “Amazing Grace” in 1975. Recently, Judy Collins celebrated her 80th birthday with a special concert event in honor of her musical legacy.

Holly Holm

Holly Holm, born on October 17th 1981 in Colorado, is a professional mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) bantamweight division. Prior to joining UFC, she held various titles with organizations such as Invicta Fighting Championships and Legacy Fighting Championships. With a record of 14 wins, 5 losses and 4 draws, she is considered one of the most successful female MMA fighters of all time. She is well-known for her boxing background and her ability to utilize her strong striking skills during fights. Holm has already earned multiple awards such as Fighter of the Year in 2008 and Knockout of the Night in 2016. Her latest fight was on April 13th 2019 at UFC Fight Night 148 where she won against Raquel Pennington by split decision.

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney, one of the most recognizable faces in Star Trek: The Next Generation, was born on May 30th 1953 in Boulder, Colorado. His family soon moved back to Ireland when he was 11 years old but his time spent in Colorado as a young boy had a lasting impact on him. After leaving Ireland he returned to the United States to pursue his career in Hollywood and has been based there ever since. Meaney is best known for his role as Chief Miles O’Brien, which he played from 1991-1995 and then again from 1998-1999. He has also appeared in many other films and television shows such as The Commitments, Get Him To The Greek, and Layer Cake. Meaney’s career has spanned four decades, earning him numerous awards and nominations along the way. It all started with his formative years spent growing up in Boulder, Colorado.

Sam Gary

Sam Gary, born January 12th 1910, was an incredibly influential figure in Colorado and its African American community. He served as president of the United Bank & Trust Company (now US Bank) from 1954 to 1972, and was heavily involved in civil rights efforts throughout the state.

Gary was an active member of various organizations and clubs that sought to improve the civil rights of African Americans in Colorado, including the Urban League of Denver and the Denver Chapter of the NAACP. During his time as president at United Bank & Trust Company, he opened up lending opportunities to African American business owners, which helped to create economic stability for many within the community.

In addition to his banking career and civil rights work, Gary also worked with the Denver City Council during their integration process and was a member of the Denver Post’s Task Force on Fair Employment Practices. He was also heavily involved with organizations such as the Denver Symphony Orchestra and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Through his tireless efforts towards civil rights progress, Gary helped to shape much of Colorado’s history over the course of his lifetime. He is remembered by many as a leader in advocating for equal rights and economic opportunity for all people in his home state.

Originally posted 2022-12-25 21:03:57.