As one of the oldest states in the nation, Connecticut has been home to many famous people. Here are a few that the state is most well-known for:
Nathan Hale was born in Coventry and later served as a soldier for the Continental Army during the revolutionary war. He volunteered to be a spy for the army but was captured by the British Regulars and executed. For his service and bravery, Hale was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut. The Hale homestead is open to visitors from May-October.
Born in Norwich, Benedict Arnold is well-known as a British spy during the revolutionary war. His treacherous acts took place in 1779, making him an epithet for “traitor” in the United States.
Although Mark Twain spent his early years in the midwest of the United States, he and his wife Olivia built an enormous 11,500 square-foot home in Hartford and lived there between 1874-1891. Twain said that his years spent in the home were the “happiest and most productive” of his life.
Best known for writing the first dictionary of American English in 1828, Noah Webster was born in West Hartford and lived his life in Connecticut. The dictionary contained 70,000 words of which 30,000-40,000 were unique – demonstrating the distinctive spelling and usage common in the United States.
Often referred to as “the father of Connecticut”, Thomas Hooker established one of the first major colonies in Hartford. He was among the Puritans who fled England to seek freedom to practice their religion and was also ahead of his time with his staunch support of universal Christian suffrage.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
The renowned author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book that’s believed to have sparked the American civil war, Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield. Although the author moved away from Connecticut in the middle of her life she returned to Hartford at the end.
American actress, Katharine Hepburn, was born on May 12, 1907 in Hartford. She was the second of six children and her career as a Hollywood actress spanned over sixty years. In her later years, Hepburn lived in her family’s summer home, an 8,000 square foot house, in Old Saybrook where she died in 2003.
America portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz was born in Waterbury, although her family moved frequently during her childhood due to her father’s work in the U.S. Airforce. Leibovitz is known for her engaging and intimate celebrity photos. The Library of Congress declared Leibovitz to be a Living Legend.
American financier and investment banker, John Pierpoint (J.P.) Morgan, was born in Hartford on April 17, 1837. He was a famous figure on Wall Street during the Gilded Age and was head of the banking firm that ultimately took on his name, J.P. Morgan and Co.
Other famous people from Connecticut:
- George W. Bush (New Haven)
- John Mayer (Bridgeport)
- Meg Ryan (Fairfield)
- Paul Newman (Westport)
- Michael Bolton (New Haven)
About Kerry Flatley
Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.