Famous People from Miami
by Jennifer Jordan
If you really researched it, chances are you could find someone famous who was born where you were. George Clooney, for example, was born in Lexington, Tim Allen was born in Denver, Whitney Houston was born in East Orange, and Claire Danes was born in a little known town called New York City. Odds are nearly every place in America has someone famous from there. To this notion, Miami is no exception.
The following is a list of famous (and some infamous) people born in what has become known as the “Magic City.”
Steve Carlton: One of the best pitchers in the history of the major leagues, Steve Carlton played professional baseball from 1965 to 1988. A left-hander called “Lefty” by fans, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the San Francisco Giants, the Cleveland Indians, and the Minnesota Twins in the span of his amazing career. A ten time All-star and the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards, Carlton was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994 with 96 percent of the overall vote, one of the highest approval percentages ever in hall of fame voting.
Sir Sidney Poitier: Not technically born in Florida, as he was born at sea on the way to Miami, Sidney Poitier’s birthplace was listed as the city in the closest proximity. A Bahamian American, Poitier is renown for being a breakthrough star, someone able to rise above racial stereotypes in a time when so many people fell beneath them. In addition to being the first male African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award (in 1958), he also became the first African-American to win one (in 1963). In 1974, he was knighted as Commander of the British Empire, an honor that bestows him with the title of “Sir.”
Janet Reno: Some people may hear the name Janet Reno and think of a Will Ferrell infamous spoof or a love interest on Ally McBeal. But, it turns out, she’s famous for some other stuff too. Named the Attorney General of the United States by President Clinton on February 11, 1993, Reno was the 78th person to hold this post and the first female. A title she held from 1993 until 2001, she was the longest serving Attorney General in US history only second to William Writ.
Marion Williams: As far as gospel singers go, Marion Williams was the cream of the crop. Born in 1927, she rose to great fame with one of the most powerful, soulful voices in the history of music. With a range like no other, Williams blessed gospel with her music and set the standards for jazz and blues. She also helped the Ward Singers, a group of gospel singers , rise to popularity when she became a member.
Ben Vereen: Ben Vereen is one of those actors with a face everyone has seen before. He, seemingly, has been in everything. Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Jesus Christ Superstar, and winning one for Pippin, Vereen made a name for himself on Broadway. This work has also led to appearances in a variety of television shows including Roots, Star Trek, the Love Boat, Webster, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He has also appeared in several films, including Funny Lady and All that Jazz.