Omaha, NE

A Look at Six Celebrities From Omaha, Nebraska

James Logie
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

Whether they were born here, moved here, or just passed through, many famous people have called Omaha home at one point.

This will be a quick look at just five of those famous people. With so many talented people from this city, it's impossible to include everyone in a short article.

This is just to give you a quick sampling, and any missing names are unintentional. This will also be in no particular order, primarily focusing on those from sports and entertainment that you may or may not know come from the city.

Fred Astaire

One of the most famous entertainers in history was born in Omaha in 1899. Fred Astaire was one of the original "triple threats" in that he could sing, dance, and act.

His career lasted an astonishing 76 years. His dancing partnership with Ginger Rogers was one of the defining acts in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

He made TV specials, movies, and Broadway musicals. The American Film Institute named Astaire as the 5th greatest male star of the classic Hollywood era.

His awards are too many to mention but include Emmys, Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and his name is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Wade Boggs

The great Wade Boggs was born in Omaha in 1958. Boggs was born into a military family and, as a kid, moved around a lot.

Boggs went to high school in Florida, where he actually stood out as a football player. He was all-state in football while still playing baseball.

He was a quarterback, but then excelled in baseball. Boggs would be drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1976 MLB draft.

His Major League career brought him many accomplishments, including:

  • Batting .349 in his rookie year
  • 5 batting titles (including four straight)
  • Six seasons with 200 or more hits, 100+ runs, and over 40 doubles
  • Had his number retired by both the Red Sox and Devil Rays

Marlon Brando

One of the greatest actors of all time was born in Omaha in 1924. Brando was nicknamed "Bud" as a kid and had a natural ability to capture the personality of other kids and act it out.

Brando was a natural rebel and was expelled from high school for riding a motorcycle through the halls.

They sent him to military school and eventually ended up in New York. It was there that he finally studied acting. Brando learned to fully immerse himself into the character, which allowed him to give such deep and powerful performances.

It was in the 1950s that Brando would rise to fame. His role in "A Streetcar Named Desire" is still one of the most famous of all time. Other notable roles would include "Mutiny on the Bounty," and "On the Waterfront."

In what may be his most famous role, Brando would end up playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather, for which he would win an Oscar.

It's hard to summarize the astounding career of Marlon Brando in just a few paragraphs, but the easiest way is by mentioning he was listed in the Time 100: Most Important People of the Century, and also named one of the top ten icons of the century by Variety Magazine.

JoJo Siwa

Depending on your age, you may or may not be aware of JoJo Siwa. But for younger people, she is a megastar. And she comes from Omaha.

As our entertainment has moved online, the new era of celebrity often comes from the world of YouTube. Since so much of what we consume is on streaming services, the YouTube platform has created millionaire celebrities seemingly overnight.

JoJo Siwa also appeared in the show "Dance Moms," and is a recording artist and author. She was included in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2020.

Here is a look at just some of her remarkable YouTube stats:

  • Over 12 million subscribers
  • As of the time of writing this: 3.5 billion YouTube views
  • 13 million views a month
  • One single video with nearly 1 billion views

Warren Buffet

One of the wealthiest human beings on the planet comes from Omaha. The 91-year-old billionaire was born in Omaha in 1930.

Buffet started out life with an entrepreneurial mindset and was already making investments while in high school. It was a book he borrowed from the Omaha public library ("One Thousand Ways to Make $1000") that inspired his love of business.

During the 1950s, Buffet worked as an investment salesperson. He wanted to work on Wall Street but would come back to Omaha to work as a stockbroker.

By 1962, Buffer was already a millionaire. By 1990, he was a billionaire. He is now CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and is one of the most successful investors in the world. Buffet's net worth is around $100 billion and he has become a prominent philanthropist.

Bob Gibson

Another great baseball player from Omaha. Bob Gibson was born in Omaha in 1935.

Gibson went to Omaha Technical School, where he was a standout athlete in baseball, track, and basketball. He actually received a basketball scholarship to Creighton University.

It was while he was at Creighton that Gibson attracted attention from the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson was a pitcher and would end up joining them for the 1959 season.

Gibson's pitching dominance would lead him to a Hall of Fame career. Here's a quick look at some of his accomplishments:

  • 251 wins
  • 3,117 strikeouts
  • 2.91 ERA
  • 9-time all-star
  • two time Cy Young Award winner
  • National League MVP
  • Inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility

Final Thoughts

You can see in a short list like this the wide range of talent—young and old—that come from Omaha. It's a city that has provided so much to the world.

It's easy to think of extremely famous people as coming from New York or Los Angeles, but it's amazing to see how many influential people come from your own backyard.

As mentioned, in a quick article like this, it's easy to leave some people off, and you may have some of your own favorites from Omaha.

But it's an interesting look at some people that have had a profound impact on people all around the world.

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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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