clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big Ten Countdown: 38 - Nebraska Leaders Of A Different Kind

New, 6 comments

Ok. So when the Big Ten split into divisions, the conference named them Legends and Leaders. I thought we'd take a day and go over some of the Leaders (and later Legends) that have come from Nebraska. Now I can't possibly named them all, so I'll just give a brief run-down and if you think of any more, you can post 'em below. There will be some political figures, but this is not intended on be a political story, just an informative one.

Leader.  Webster's Dictionary defines this word as a "primary or terminal shoot of a plant". Well, I suppose the Big Ten did get it right by calling one of the divisions leaders because some states in the Big Ten conference "lead" in growing certain "plant shoots".

Ok, so this story isn't really about plants, it's about "a person who leads" and more specifically a person from Nebraska that has led. There are quite a few Nebraskans (or former Nebraskans) that have held high leadership positions or have lead in their industry or field. Some you will know and some you won't.

The 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, was born in Omaha, though he pretty much got the hell out of town shortly afterwards. He is better known as a "Michigan Man."

Dick Cheney was born in Lincoln, and Kay Orr was the first female Republican governor. In fact, in 1986 when Kay Orr won her governorship running against Helen Boosalis, it was the first time two women met in a race to become governor. 

Ernie Chambers (Omaha) isn't nationally know, but he is one of the few people that have tried to sue God.

William Jennings Bryan was a presidential nominee three times.

Chief Standing Bear brought civil rights to Native Americans.

There have also been some famous entertainers from Nebraska. Hollywood/Broadway actors include Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, and Hilary Swank.

Johnny Carson, Larry the Cable Guy, are two of the biggest entertainers from Nebraska.  And even former national newscaster Paula Zahn is from Omaha.

311 and Chip Davis also count Nebraska as home.

Probably the two most famous writers from Nebraska are Willa Cather (hooray!) and L. Ron Hubbard (cringe).

Clayton Anderson is our famous astronaut.

Malcom X was a civil rights leader from Omaha. Current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a huge Husker fan

There are quite a few famous athletes from Nebraska, but I will leave out anyone related to the football team (as you probably already know them). Baseball players include Wade Boggs, Grover Alexander Cleveland, and Joba Chamberlain. "Sting", Ted DiBiase, "Gorgeous George" Wagner are three former professional wrestlers from Nebraska

Andy Roddick, Gale Sayers, and Danny Woodhead are three other famous athletes.

And finally, what list of Leaders from Nebraska would be complete if it didn't have the "Oracle of Omaha", Warren Buffet on it.