Ohio may be home to Cedar Point, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but don’t forget about these remarkable people from the “Birthplace of Aviation.”
Annie Oakley (1860-1926)
Oakley was born in what is now referred to as Willowdell, Ohio, and began shooting and hunting at age eight to support her family. When she was only 15, she won a shooting match against Frank E. Butler, a traveling-show marksman. She became an international star after joining Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, and she is remembered in the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Irving Berlin Broadway musical, Annie Get Your Gun, that is loosely based on her life.
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
Armstrong is famously known as the first person to walk the moon and was quoted saying, “That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and was an American astronaut, aeronautical engineer, naval aviator, test pilot and university professor. In 1962, he became NASA’s first civilian astronaut to fly in space and was awarded (along with Collins and Aldrin) the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Nixon.
Toni Morrison (1931-2019)
This American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor was born in Lorrain, Ohio. She wrote Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon and became the first black female editor in fiction at Random House in New York City in the 1960s. Morrison’s notable awards include the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize in Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Steven Spielberg (1946-present)
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spielberg is an American filmmaker that is considered one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. Spielberg claimed fame for directing what is considered to be the first summer blockbuster, Jaws. His modern Hollywood escapist filmmaking can also be seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Ready Player One.
Simone Biles (1997-present)
Columbus, Ohio, is the home of Biles, the most-decorated American gymnast. Biles’ first experience with gymnastics was at the age of six, and since then, she has won a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.