Detroit, MI

Some Famous People From Detroit Who Aren't Household Names

James Logie

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The city of Detroit has produced so much. Some quick names that come to mind are Henry Ford, Rosa Parks, Eminem, Madonna, Francis Ford Coppola (who got his middle name because of his father's association with the carmaker), and Christie Brinkley.

But what about those who aren't necessarily household names? Detroit is the home of some very important people that have contributed a lot to the world.

Just because we may not see them on TV doesn't make their accomplishments any less impressive.

Here's a list—in no particular order—of some famous people from Detroit that you may not know of.

Steve Ballmer

The name may sound familiar. Even if you don't directly know him, you know his work. Ballmer is an important business owner who served as CEO of Microsoft. Their products helped to change the world and revolutionize the world of computing.

He was first hired by Bill Gates all the way back in 1980. He didn't immediately begin with Microsoft, however. His journey would take him to places like Stanford until he joined forces with the computer giant in 1998.

Today, he also owns the L.A. Clippers and has a reported net worth of over $100 billion.

William E. Boeing

You probably already recognize this name. Many are unaware that Boeing was a person and not just a plane. Born in Detroit in 1881, Boeing is a true pioneer in the world of flight.

He first worked in the timber industry and had an interest in boat design. This evolved into an interest in the emerging field of aircraft when he saw his first plan in 1909. He soon took flying lessons and bought a plane of his own.

The Boeing Aircraft Company was founded in 1916. From there, he helped to transform the world of commercial flight and opened up more people to the world.

William J. Keep

A name that most of us don't know, but his work is in all our homes. Keep was born in Detroit in 1842. He was a mechanical engineer who developed an interest in working with molten metals.

He experimented with different substances such as aluminum to see what would happen when mixed with things like iron. All of his experimentation led him to develop new forms of alloys.

These alloys allowed us to create heaters and stoves. Keep was able to figure out how to allow something to get hot--but still keep it safe. This transformed our lives as his techniques improved how indoor heaters and stoves were constructed.

His advancements allowed these devices to be mass-produced and brought convenience to our lives that we still enjoy today.

John DeLorean

A name that's instantly recognizable--but you may not know that DeLorean was a man, and not just a car. We all know the DeLorean from Back to the Future, but the car's development was pretty interesting.

DeLorean was born in Detroit in 1925 and spent years working for General Motors. (He helped developed the famous Ford GTO). He decided to branch out to create his own sportscar.

The DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) began back in 1973. It took years--and a lot of headaches--to get the DeLorean released, and this didn't happen until 1981. But there were so many production issues that the DeLorean was considered a failure.

It wasn't until a time travel movie came out in 1984 that the whole world would know of the DeLorean.

C. Howard Crane

If you've ever driven around Detroit, you've seen the work of C. Howard Crane. Born in 1885, Crane is originally from Hartford but moved to Detroit in 1904. Here, he set up his home base and became a world-renowned architect.

Some of his famous works include the Fox Theatre and also the old Olympia Stadium. The Olympia was home to the Detroit Red Wings until they moved to the Joe Louis Arena after 1979.

These are two of the most important buildings in the history of Detroit. Despite being built back in 1928, the Fox Theatre still remains in use to this day.

Carolyn Cassin

Cassin has done more in her life than seems humanly possible. Besides working in business, Cassin has helped forward woman's rights and also spent countless hours working for non-profits.

Her background in the healthcare industry helped to change our approach to dealing with the sick. Her work with hospice happened before many people knew what that word even was.

A hospice helps focus on quality of life for people with advanced illnesses and provides compassionate care. They have been around since the 60s but weren't that well known. It wasn't until the 1980s that Cassin helped to revolutionize how they could work.

Final Thoughts

The amount of famous people and celebrities from Detroit is endless. But instead of just looking at the famous musicians and actors, it's worth taking a look at a few lesser-known names who have contributed a lot to the world.

This list can go a lot longer but just gives you a taste of all the talent that comes from Detroit.

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Personal trainer, podcaster, Amazon best-selling author. Writing about some health, a little marketing, and a whole lot of 1980s.

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