Minneapolis, MN

Famous Celebrities From Minneapolis, MN

James Logie

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Many famous people have called Minneapolis home at some point in their lives. Talent isn't limited to places like New York or Los Angeles; it can exist anywhere.

This is a quick look at just some of the talented people that come from Minneapolis. Some were born here, some lived here for just a short while, but the city was an important part of their development.

With a brief list like this, it's impossible to cover everyone, so some people will be unintentionally left off. So, here we go, in no particular order.

Prince

We can't begin a list like this and not start with arguably the most famous person to hail from Minneapolis.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born here on June 7th, 1958. It's hard to cover his legendary career in a few paragraphs, as he is one of the most famous musicians in history.

Prince was born to two musician parents, so music's been in his blood from the day he was born. And he didn't take long to get going. Prince wrote his first song when he was just seven years old.

Prince was also a surprisingly good athlete. While attending Bryant Junior High, and Central High School, he played basketball, football, and baseball.

Musically, things started to pick up for Prince in 1975. One of his first big releases was the album "Prince," which came out in 1979. Then, in 1980, came "Dirty Mind." Possibly his biggest album, "Purple Rain," would come out in 1984 and it won him an Acadamy Award.

From there, Prince would put out an incredible 39 records. He sold over 150 million albums, won multiple awards, and is considered one of the most successful artists in history.

Terry Gilliam

When we think of Monty Python, it's easy to associate it as just an English ensemble. The legendary comedy team actually has a member that was born in Minneapolis in 1940: Terry Gilliam.

Gilliam has done a lot over his career including, animation, directing, writing, and acting. He has directed some very big movies including:

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Brazil
  • 12 Monkeys
  • Time Bandits
  • The Fisher King

As mentioned, even though he wasn't born in England, he became the only non-British member of the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe.

He actually started in animation before joining Monty Python and was an important part of establishing the distinct animation style with the ensemble. The legendary comedy group created so much classic comedy, and one of the biggest was co-directed by Gilliam: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz is the creator of the beloved Peanuts. Charlie Brown and the gang are part of what's considered the most famous comic strip of all time. The Peanut gang has entertained people around the world for decades.

Schulz was in Minneapolis on November 22nd, 1922. Schulz found a love of drawing at an early age and would often draw the family dog called Spike. (You may remember Spike as Snoopy's brother.)

He was a sergeant during World War 2, and when he came home, he started doing lettering for a comic in Minneapolis. Schulz then created his own comic called "Li'l Folks."

One of the characters in Li'l Folks was named Charlie Brown. He ended up approaching United Feature Syndicate with Li'l Folks. They ended up being more interested in a four-panel version of the comic strip. This would become "Peanuts."

Peanuts would first appear on October 2nd, 1950. On that day, it was in only seven newspapers. Despite this slow start, the comic caught on rapidly and soon became one of the most popular comic strips of all time.

Jesse Ventura

There are two ways most people see Jesse Ventura: a politician, and a professional wrestler. Born in Minneapolis in 1951, Jesse "the Body" Ventura was an important part of pro wrestling in the 1970s and 80s.

He started out in the Navy before getting into wrestling. At 6 ft 2, and 245 pounds, he was an impressive specimen and a natural "heel." He worked for the AWA in Minnesota before finding his way to the then WWF.

It was there that he switched to commentary, and this is where he really left his mark on the wrestling world. He took his "heel" persona to commentary and was the perfect combatant to fellow commentators Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon.

For many people, Jesse Ventura was the voice of wrestling. He then got into acting appearing in notable films such as Predator and The Running Man.

After his work in pro wrestling, Ventura famously got into politics. In 1990, he became mayor of Brooklyn Park. Then, in 1998, he became the governor of Minnesota until 2003.

John S. Pillsbury

The name that everybody knows--even if they don't know the man behind it. John S. Pillsbury is of course the co-founder of the famous food company. But his life story is pretty incredible.

Pillsbury was born in 1827 in New Hampshire. In 1855, he relocated to Minnesota and settled in St. Anthony which is now a part of Minneapolis. Before getting into the food industry, Pillsbury tried out various careers including real estate and lumber.

Along with his nephew, Charles Pillsbury, they founded the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis in 1869. For the next century, and beyond, Pillsbury baked goods and products became part of life for people everywhere.

They also created one of the most famous commercial characters ever: the Pillsbury doughboy.

Due to the massive success of the company, Pillsbury got into politics and became the 8th governor of Minnesota. Pillsbury went on to donate a lot of his funds to causes he believed in and helped the University of Minnesota get out of debt.

One other amazing fact to finish with is that Pillsbury's grandson--John Pillsbury Snyder--was one of the survivors of the Titanic.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, in a short list like this, it's impossible to cover all the famous people from Minneapolis. This is to give you a quick sampling and you may have your own favorites.

The main thing is, there is a wide range of diverse talent that has called the city home at some point.

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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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