Here in Cincinnati, we have a long list of people who did awesome things in this city and further. Some date back over a hundred years, and some are still alive today, but when it comes to amazing people from this area, we have plenty. We’re proud of these people, what they accomplished, and the fact that we get to live in the same city they called home at one point or another. Cincinnati, here are the badasses that we love, and you should too.
1. Neil Armstrong
What could possibly be more badass than being the first man to walk on the moon? Neil Amrstrong was born a few hours north of Cincinnati, but he chose this city as his home after the first lunar landing. He taught at the University of Cincinnati in the Department of Aerospace Engineering for almost a decade, and lived in Indian Hill when he died in 2012. Neil Armstrong is a hero to us all, and in Cincinnati, we’re proud to claim him as our own.
2. Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was, and still is, one of the most influential pieces of American literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe was inspired by her time in Cincinnati to write the novel, which was published through small installments in National Era from 1851-1852. Though controversy still surrounds elements of the novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a landmark piece of literature for the Civil War as well as women writers. Allegedly, when President Lincoln met Stowe after the start of the Civil War, he greeted her by saying, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” You can still visit The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Walnut Hills.
3. Roy Rogers
People refer to him as King of the Cowboys, so that kind of says it all. He was born in Cincinnati in 1911, and in 1912 his family traveled up the Ohio River in a houseboat made of salvaged lumber. What did you do before your first birthday? Roy Rogers went on to be one of the best known Western stars of his time. He sang, acted, and even had his own show, The Roy Rogers Show. Even after leaving Cincinnati, he still spoke fondly of his hometown, and after his 2nd Street home was demolished for Riverfront Stadium he joked that he “was born at second base.”
4. Pete Rose
Pete Rose will always be a controversial figure in baseball history, but here in Cincinnati, we love him regardless. Remember his insane records? Just a reminder, this guy holds a long list of Major League records, including 4,256 career hits. When he finally admitted that he had, in fact, bet on the Reds in 2004, many were upset, but at the very least, he never bet against our favorite team. Will his ban ever be lifted? Who knows, but at least Cincinnati still loves him.
5. & 6. William Procter And James Gamble
One October 31st, 1837, brothers-in-law William Procter and James Gamble paired together and started a business with $7,192.24. 177 years later, Procter & Gamble is worth $217.84 billion and is still headquartered in Cincinnati. Simply put, our city wouldn’t be what it is today if weren’t for these two.
7. Carl Lindner, Jr.
Cincinnati native Carl Lindner, Jr. dropped out of school at age 14 to help with his family’s dairy business during the Great Depression. He helped to expand that dairy business into what is now United Dairy Farmers, and his successes only went on from there. In 2006, Forbes said he was worth approximately $2.3 billion. Carl Lindner, Jr. donated to multiple charities and foundations both in Cincinnati and internationally. If there’s anyone who shows us that hard work goes a long way, it’s this guy.
8. Ezzard Charles
Nicknamed the Cincinnati Cobra, Ezzard Charles was a professional boxer, and held the title of World Heavyweight Champion from 1949-1951. In a 2002 list from The Ring magazine, 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years, Ezzard Charles was ranked #13. He’s also the only person to last 15 rounds against Rocky Marciano. Yep, definitely a badass.
9. Theda Bara
One of the most successful completely silent film stars of all time, Theda Bara, was born and raised in Cincinnati. She graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1903, and attended the University of Cincinnati for two years. Only six complete prints of her films still exist, due to a fire that ruined the original copies of many of her films. You can now find her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
10. Ruth Lyons
A pioneer for women broadcasters, Ruth Lyons is definitely a Cincinnati badass. During it’s reign, tickets to her daily live show, 50-50 Club, were sold out three years in advance. She founded the Ruth Lyons Children’s Fund, which still provides hospitalized children in the Cincinnati area with toys for Christmas. She also seemed to have a pretty great sense of humor.
11. Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
Though his life began and ended in Alabama, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth spent over forty years leading Revelation Baptist Church here in Cincinnati. He is considered to be one of the top three leaders of the civil rights movement. After multiple attempts at his life, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth vowed to “kill segregation or be killed by it.”
Featured Image Credit: USA Today Sports