Vermont might be one of the least populated states in the U.S. but it’s been home to a number of famous people.
Politicians, authors, actors, musicians, Olympic athletes, and many others are included on the list of famous people from Vermont. In fact, there are hundreds of people who could make the list, but we’ve narrowed it down for you to the top 23 most famous.
Here you’ll find some of the most-recognized famous people from Vermont. How many do you recognize?
Politician Bernie Sanders is most well-known for his run in the 2020 and 2016 presidential elections. But he’s also served Vermont in Congress since 1990 and was mayor of Burlington from 1981 to 1989. Sanders is known for his progressive politics including fighting for workers’ rights and reversing climate change.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
Few other brands say “Vermont” like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. And this delectable line of frozen treats was created by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 1978 in Burlington. While the pair sold the business to Unilever in 2000, they are still connected to the company through Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, a non-profit that supports various social and environmental causes and is funded through a portion of the company’s profits.
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States and was born in Plymouth Notch, VT in 1872. In addition to being president, Coolidge was also the vice president of the U.S., the 48th governor of Massachusetts, and served in numerous other political offices in Massachusetts.
Among the most famous people from Vermont is Ethan Allen, an American Revolutionary War hero, and a political leader. He is best known for his leadership of the Green Mountain Boys, a group of militia fighters who helped secure Vermont’s independence from Britain. He is also known for being one of the founders of Vermont, establishing it as an independent state separate from New York and New Hampshire.
Billy Kidd is a former alpine ski racer who was born in Burlington. Kidd was a member of the U.S. Ski Team in the 1960s and 1970s, and he was the first American skier to win an Olympic medal in alpine skiing. After retiring from competitive skiing, Kidd became a T.V. commentator and coach, and he has continued to be involved in the skiing community.
John Dewey was a philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer who was born in Burlington in 1859. Dewey believed that education should be grounded in real-world experiences and focused on the needs and interests of the learner. He also advocated for a holistic approach to teaching that emphasized creativity and critical thinking.
Orson Bean was an actor, comedian, and writer who was born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1928. He had a long and varied career in film, television, and theater, and he was a familiar face to audiences for decades. Bean appeared in numerous T.V. shows and movies, and he was also a prolific stage actor who appeared in many plays on and off-Broadway.
Grace Potter is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Waitsfield, Vermont. She formed the group Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in 2002. Potter is known for her powerful vocals and her blend of rock, pop, and blues influences. Potter has released several albums and has collaborated with a variety of other artists including Kenny Chesney.
Poet Robert Frost is considered among the famous people from Vermont even though he was born in San Francisco, California in 1874. For many years Frost lived in rural Vermont, and his time in the state inspired some of his most well-known work. He is known for his simple yet profound poetry, which explores themes of nature, the human condition, and rural life. Frost won four Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry, and he is considered one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century.
Norman Rockwell was a painter and illustrator who was born in New York City in 1894. He is known for his detailed and realistic depictions of American life and culture, which often appeared on the covers of popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont in 1938 and it was here that his works began to depict small-town life.
Rudyard Kipling was a British author and poet who was born in Bombay, India in 1865. He owned a home in Dummerston in the late 19th century where he wrote some of his most famous works including “The Jungle Book” and “Captains Courageous.” In 1907, Kipling won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Patty Sheehan is a professional golfer who was born in Middlebury. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1980 and won six major championships and thirty-five LPGA Tour events. She is also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Chester Alan Arthur
Among the famous people from Vermont is Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st president of the United States, serving from 1881 to 1885. Arthur was born in Fairfield, VT, grew up in upstate New York, and practiced law in New York City.
Joseph Smith was a religious leader and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. He was born in Sharon, VT in 1805. Smith is known for his claims of receiving divine revelations and for translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, which he regarded as an additional testament of Jesus Christ.
It might surprise you that among the famous people from Vermont is Brigham Young, another prominent figure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the Mormon church. Young was born in Whitingham, Vermont in 1801. He is best known for his role in the early history of the Mormon church, which he led after the death of its founder, Joseph Smith.
The rock band Phish formed in Burlington in 1983. All three members of the band, Jon Fishman, drummer, Mike Gordon, bassist, Page McConnell, keyboardist, and Trey Anastasio, guitarist were students at the University of Vermont when they met and came together.
Howard Dean is a politician and physician who served as the 79th governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003. Dean is perhaps best known for his 2004 presidential campaign, during which he became a prominent advocate for progressive policies and popularized the “50-state strategy” for the Democratic Party.
John Deere was a blacksmith and manufacturer who founded the John Deere Company, one of the largest agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Born in Rutland, Vermont, Deere moved to Illinois and invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837.
Among the famous people from Vermont is Matt Salinger, an actor, and producer born in Windsor, Vermont in 1960. He’s the son of the famous author J.D. Salinger, who wrote The Catcher in the Rye and other works of fiction. Matt Salinger has appeared in a number of films and T.V. shows, including Revenge of the Nerds and What Dreams May Come, and has been involved in producing and directing projects for the screen.
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.