Famous North Dakotans

  • Angie Dickinson is a famous actress. She was born in 1931 in Kulm, North Dakota. She has appeared in several movies and had her own TV show called "Police Woman".  Angie Dickinson grew up in Edgeley, ND. In the 1970's she starred in the TV series called "Police Woman". She has also been in many movies such as "Dressed To Kill", "Charlie Chan", and "The Curse of the Dragon Queen." 


    Phil Jackson has become well known as a basketball coach. He hahad resigned as the coach of the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. Under his leadership, the Bulls have won 6 world championships. Recently (2005), he was named as the new head coach of the LA Lakers. returning to a team that he has coached in the past. Jackson reached 200 wins faster than any NBA coach in history. In the 1990-91 season, the Bulls finished their season beating the L.A. Lakers in the NBA finals. In the 1993 season they didn't have Michael Jordan, but Jackson still got a very good record of 55 wins. Jackson was born in Montana, but considers his home Williston, ND. 


    Lawrence Welk was known as a musician and band leader. He had his own television show for many years. He was born in Strausburg, ND. Lawrence Welk is often called North Dakota's favorite son. Born and raised in Strasburg, ND, Welk learned how to play the accordian from his father. He began his music career by playing at radio stations in the 1920's. In the 1930's and 40's he had a series of popular dance orchestras. He eventually became nationally famous with his television show called "The Lawrence Welk Show". He made popular a kind of music called "champagne music". He died in 1992. 


    Roger Maris grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and attended high school at Shanley High.He later went on to play baseball for the New York Yankees. For many years he held the record for the most homeruns hit in one season. In 1961, he slugged out 61 round trippers. He was the American Leagues M.V.P. in 1960 and 61'. Maris broke the record for homeruns in one season. He hit 61 homers in the year 1961. Maris held that record until the end of the 1998 baseball season when it was broken by Mark McGwire, and then again by Barry Bonds in 2001 (73). In 1985, Maris died of cancer. In his honor, there is a celebrity golf tournament held in Fargo every summer. It is called the Roger Maris Open. Proceeds from the tournament go to The Roger Maris Cancer Institute in Fargo and to Shanley High School. 

    Maris  Maris

    Virgil Hill, from Grand Forks, ND, is well known as a boxer. Virgil Hill is a boxer who grew up in Grand Forks . Hill has the Golden Gloves Award and other North American boxing titles as well. He also won a silver medal in the 1984 olympics. In 1987 he won the World's Boxing Association light heavy weight championship. He defended his title until 1990. After a short period of time, he again regained the championship. 


    Marquis de Mores is famous for his meat industry in Western North Dakota. His meat business lasted for only a few years. Marquis deMores founded the town of Medora and named it after his wife. Before he moved to North Dakota he was a second lieutenant in the French Calvary. He established the first meat processing plant in North Dakota that shipped meat to the Eastern markets. He believed that processing the meat where it was being raised would be cheaper than shipping the entire animal back East to be processed. Due to drought, his meat packing industry failed three years later and he moved back to France. 


    Richard Edlund, from Fargo, is a special-effects technician for the film industry. Richard Edlund, born in 1940, has made special-effects for the motion picture industry his life's work. He has won six Academy Awards for his work. He was responsible for special effects in the following motion pictures: Poltergeist, Ghostbusters, and Fright Night. 


    James Buchli , from Fargo, has flown on several space missions. James Buchli, born in 1945, was an astronaut. In 1985 he flew as the flight engineer on the Discovery and Challenger Space Shuttles. Buchli grew up in Fargo. 


    Peggy Lee, from Jamestown, was a famous singer and actress. Peggy Lee was born in 1920 in Jamestown. As a singer, she toured with Benny Goodman and recorded with Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante. She also starred in two movies; The Jazz Singer and Pete Kelly's Blues. 


    Louis L'Amour, from Jamestown, was a famous writer. Louis L'Amour wrote more million-copy bestseller books than any other American writer of fiction. He was famous for his novels and screen plays that depicted the life of the Old West. 


    Eric Sevareid, from Velva, was a well known face on television. Mr. Sevareid was a well known news journalist. He was a correspondent for CBS during WWII, and later was the anchor for the CBS Evening News. 


    Darin Erstad, from Jamestown, has become a major contributor to the Angels baseball team. He is a graduate of Nebraska St. U. and was drafted by the Angels. He has been playing with the Angles since 1996. 


    Shadoe Stevens, also from Jamestown, is a TV/radio celebrity and is a regular on the series "DAVE." He has also been a regular on the show Hollywood Squares. You can learn more about Shadoe at his web site, www.shadoe.com 


    Rick Helling, graduate from Shanley High School in Fargo, was a first round draft pick (pitcher) in 1992 by the Texas Rangers. In 1996 he was traded to the Florida Marlins and then back to the Texas Rangers in 1997. In 2002 he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then again to the Minnesota Twins in 2004. Shortly after being traded to the Twins, he was injured and sent down to the minor leagues. He currently (2005) pitches in the minor leagues for the Nashville Sounds. Near the end of the 2005 season, Helling was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers.


    Travis Hafner is from Sykeston, ND. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers (31st round) in 1996. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2003. He is a 1st baseman/DH, and a terror at the plate, becoming known for hitting the long ball.