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Famous People From South Dakota

Updated January 9, 2019 17.8k views545 items

List of famous people from South Dakota, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in South Dakota, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from South Dakota you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in South Dakota, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

These people, like Myron Floren and Shawn Colvin include images when available.

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from South Dakota?" or "Which celebrities were born in South Dakota?" then this list is a great resource for you.
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  • BirthplaceWebster, South Dakota, United States of America

    Brock Edward Lesnar (; born July 12, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, and former mixed martial artist and professional football player currently signed to WWE, where he performs on its Raw...  more

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  • George McGovern

    Dec. at 90 (1922-2012)

    BirthplaceAvon, South Dakota, United States of America

    George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012) was an American historian, author, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential...  more

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  • Sparky Anderson

    Dec. at 76 (1934-2010)

    BirthplaceBridgewater, South Dakota, United States of America

    George Lee "Sparky" Anderson (February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) player, coach, and manager. He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to the...  more
  • BirthplaceRapid City, South Dakota

    Rebecca Lynn Hammon (born March 11, 1977) is a Russian-American assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and a retired professional basketball player....  more
  • Russell Means

    Dec. at 73 (1939-2012)

    BirthplaceUSA, South Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Russell Charles Means (November 10, 1939 – October 22, 2012) was an Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of American Indian people, libertarian political activist, actor, writer and musician who...  more

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  • BirthplaceRapid City, South Dakota, United States of America

    Lester Lawrence Lessig III (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the...  more
  • Joseph Hansen

    Dec. at 81 (1923-2004)

    BirthplaceAberdeen, South Dakota

    Joseph Hansen (July 19, 1923 – November 24, 2004) was an American crime writer and poet, best known for a series of novels featuring private eye Dave Brandstetter....  more
  • Hubert Humphrey

    Dec. at 67 (1911-1978)

    BirthplaceWallace, South Dakota, USA

    Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978) was an American politician who served as the 38th vice president of the United States from 1965 to 1969. He twice served in the United...  more
  • Crazy Horse (Lakota: Tȟašúŋke Witkó in Standard Lakota Orthography, IPA: /tχa'ʃʊ̃kɛ wit'kɔ/, lit. 'His-Horse-Is-Crazy'; c. 1840 – September 5, 1877) was a Lakota war leader of the Oglala band in the...  more

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  • Dorothy Provine

    Dec. at 75 (1935-2010)

    BirthplaceUSA, Deadwood, South Dakota

    Dorothy Michelle Provine (January 20, 1935 – April 25, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and comedian....  more
  • Joseph H. Bottum

    Dec. at 81 (1903-1984)

    BirthplaceFaulkton, South Dakota, United States of America

    Joseph Henry Bottum (August 7, 1903 – July 4, 1984) was an American politician. He served as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota and as a member of the United States Senate from South Dakota....  more
  • Ernest Lundeen

    Dec. at 62 (1878-1940)

    BirthplaceBeresford, South Dakota, United States of America

    Ernest Lundeen (August 4, 1878 – August 31, 1940) was an American lawyer and politician. Lundeen was born and raised on his father's homestead in Brooklyn Township of Lincoln County near Beresford,...  more
  • Billy Robinson

    Dec. at 32 (1884-1916)

    BirthplaceRedfield, South Dakota

    William C. "Billy" Robinson (September 24, 1884 in Redfield, South Dakota – March 11, 1916 in near Grinnell, Iowa) was an early American aviator. Robinson moved to Grinnell in 1896 at age 12. He was...  more
  • Cindy Preszler (born 1960) is a broadcast meteorologist for WeatherSTL.com, a dynamic, interactive site delivering up-to-date weather information for the Greater St. Louis metro area. She was a...  more
  • BirthplaceYankton, South Dakota

    Charles Donald "Sam" Gemar (born August 4, 1955) is an American former astronaut with NASA and a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army. Gemar has flown on three Space Shuttle missions (STS-38,...  more
  • Allen Benson

    Dec. at 94 (1905-1999)

    BirthplaceHurley, South Dakota

    Allen Wilbert Benson (July 12, 1908 – November 16, 1999), nicknamed "Bullet", was a professional baseball player who played pitcher in the Major Leagues in 1933. He would play for the Washington...  more
  • Cash Asmussen

    Age: 58

    BirthplaceAgar, South Dakota

    Cash Asmussen (born March 15, 1962 in Agar, South Dakota) is an American thoroughbred horse racing jockey. Born Brian Keith Asmussen, in 1977 he legally changed his name to "Cash". From a Texas horse...  more
  • Earl Caddock

    Dec. at 62 (1888-1950)

    BirthplaceHuron, South Dakota

    Earl Caddock (February 27, 1888 – August 25, 1950) was an American professional wrestler and World Heavyweight Champion who was active in the early portion of the twentieth century. As the first man...  more
  • BirthplaceFlandreau, South Dakota

    Gene Myron Amdahl (November 16, 1922 – November 10, 2015) was an American computer architect and high-tech entrepreneur, chiefly known for his work on mainframe computers at IBM and later his own...  more
  • Kris Krug

    Age: 43

    BirthplaceSioux Falls, South Dakota

    Kris Krug is a 2009 Shorty Awards nominee for the Photography....  more
  • BirthplaceWatertown, South Dakota

    Judith Ann (J. A.) Jance (born October 27, 1944) is an American author of mystery novels. She writes at least three series of novels, centering on retired Seattle Police Department Detective J. P....  more
  • BirthplaceDeadwood, South Dakota

    Cris Williamson is an American feminist singer-songwriter, who achieved fame as a recording artist, and who was a pioneer as a visible lesbian political activist, during a time when few who were not...  more

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  • Gary Owens

    Age: 86

    BirthplaceMitchell, South Dakota, USA

    Gary Owens (born Gary Bernard Altman; May 10, 1934 – February 12, 2015) was an American disc jockey, voice actor, radio announcer and personality. His polished baritone speaking voice generally...  more
  • BirthplaceSouth Dakota

    Mary GrandPré (born February 13, 1954) is an American illustrator best known for her cover and chapter illustrations of the Harry Potter books in their U.S. editions published by Scholastic. She...  more
  • Alvin Hansen

    Dec. at 88 (1887-1975)

    BirthplaceViborg, South Dakota

    Alvin Harvey Hansen (August 23, 1887 – June 6, 1975), often referred to as "the American Keynes", was a professor of economics at Harvard, a widely read author on current economic issues, and an...  more