Introduction - Famous American IndiansHistory has produced many famous Native American Indians; including chiefs, warriors, politicians, scientist, actors, athletes, and doctors. In this section we list facts about famous Native Americans including some that you have probably heard of and others you may not have. Below is a list of many of these famous people along with an interesting fact or two about each one. Many on the list have links to a page with more information about that individual. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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Early Famous Native Americans
- Pocahontas (1595 - 1617) - She was made famous by the Disney movie about her interactions with the early American settlers of Jamestown, Virginia. Her marriage, in 1614, to settler John Rolfe was the first interracial marriage in American history.
- Squanto (1581 - 1622) - He is famous for helping the Pilgrims survive their first winter in the New World.
- Pontiac (1720 - 1769) - He is known for resisting the British occupation of the Great Lakes Region of North America.
- Black Hawk (1767 - 1838) - A leader of the Sauk tribe he led many war parties including a group of Indians during the Black Hawk War (1832).
- Tecumseh (1768 - 1813) - This famous Native American Indian was a Shawnee leader who urged Native Americans to resist the expansion of the United States into their territories. He fought the United States in the Tecumsehs War and the War of 1812. He was killed in the War of 1812.
- Sacajawea (1788 - 1812) - She served as an interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark during their exploration of the Western areas of North America. She appears on the United States dollar coin.
- Cochise (1815 - 1874) - A famous Apache leader who led an uprising that began in 1861.
- Red Cloud (1822 - 1909) - He was a great Sioux warrior and a leader of his people during the Red Clouds War.
- Sitting Bull (1831 - 1890) - He is perhaps the most famous Native American Indian ever. This Sioux warrior is famed for his victory over the United State Army, lead by General Custer, at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
- Geronimo (1829-1909) - He is a famous Apache military and spiritual leader. For several decades he fought Mexican and United States forces looking to expand into Apache territory.
- Crazy Horse (1840 - 1877) - He was a great Sioux warrior and a leader in the Great Sioux War of 1876.
Modern Day Famous Native Americans
- Charles Curtis (1860 - 1936) - He was the first person with significant Native American heritage (enrolled in the Kaw tribe) to serve in the United States senate and to become Vice President of the U.S.
- Jim Thorpe (1888 - 1953) - Jim Thorpe is one of the most famous athletes of all time. He is of Native American and European ancestry. He won gold medals in the 1912 Olympics for both the pentathlon and decathlon, and played professional football, baseball, and basketball.
- Maria TallChief (born 1925) - She is a famous ballerina who danced with the New York City Ballet for nearly two decades. Upon her retirement in 1965 she founded the Chicago City Ballet.
- John Herrington (born 1958) - With his space shuttle mission in 2002 he became the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to venture into space. In 2002 he was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.