USA Famous People of New Mexico

New Mexico Biographies

Robert O. Anderson (1917 - ) Founder of ARCO Oil & Gas; lives in Roswell.

This is an excellent overview of the industry touching on many facets: history, geology, technology, chemistry and economics. Without burdening the reader with excessive technical jargon, it still manages to convey a wealth of information. I would also recommend "Our Industry: Petroleum" put out by BP in 1977. It is even more detailed in terms of all the aspects of exploring, drilling, transporting, refining, etc. Excellent color diagrams and charts.

If you are looking for a very basic, non-technical introduction to the oil and gas industry, this is it. It covers history, politics, chemistry and mechanics all in one book. Although I would like to know more about the chemical compositions, however this is a great book for general aspects of the industry. • Robert O. Anderson Books

William Bonney "Billy the Kid" (1859 - 1881) New Mexico's most infamous outlaw.

There have been so many books written about Billy the Kid, that at times, it becomes almost impossible to separate fact from fiction. Some books appear to be factual, but when closely examined, you will see that many of them become more fiction than fact. And, if an extreme analysis is performed, you will see many contradictions by authors within their own book and even between their own books. There is said to have been as many as twenty-six different Billy the Kid claimants across the world. Two of the most popularized were Brushy Bill Roberts of Texas and John Miller of Texas/Oklahoma. I have completed hours upon hours of research proving that these two men were phonies. The authors of books supporting these two claimants were very convincing, but in the end, their books turned out to be fictitious. Neither man was Billy the Kid and I have documented the truth about them with supporting proof to backup my statements. • Billy the Kid Books

Ralph Bunche (1903 - 1971) Nobel Peace Prize winner; lived in Albuquerque.

The first full-dress biography of Bunche--and one that brings to life the many achievements of a remarkable diplomat. Drawing on access to Bunche's private papers and to knowledge gained during his stint as Bunche's assistant at the UN, Urquhart (A Life in Peace and War, 1987; Hammarskjold, 1972) offers a nuanced portrait of an exceptional man who began as a militant critic of white America and ended as a member of its establishment. Bunche, the grandson of a former slave, graduated from UCLA in 1927, earned a doctorate at Harvard, and helped Gunnar Myrdal research his landmark study, An American Dilemma. During WW II, the future UN undersecretary general served with the OSS, moving in 1944 to the State Department, where--in his capacity as head of the section dealing with colonial affairs--he participated in the founding of the UN and the drafting of its charter. In the wake of his appointment to the UN Secretariat, Bunche negotiated the 1949 armistice between Israel and its Arab neighbors, a feat that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. • Ralph Bunche Books

Bruce Cabot actor, Carlsbad (April 20, 1904 – May 3, 1972) was an American film actor. Tall and athletic looking, he is best remembered as Jack Driscoll in King Kong (1933).

Cabot was born Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bujac in Carlsbad, New Mexico, to French Army Colonel Etienne de Bujac and his wife Julia Armandine Graves, who died shortly after giving birth to him. Leaving the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee without graduating, Cabot worked at a many jobs, including as a sailor, an insurance salesman, and in a slaughterhouse.

Cabot appeared in nearly one hundred feature films. He made his debut in 1931 in "Heroes of the Flames". He tested for the lead role of The Ringo Kid in John Ford's popular Western Stagecoach (1939), but John Wayne got the part.

He was prominently featured in the blockbuster King Kong in 1933, but he was not able to maintain his career as a lead actor. He usually played a villain, appearing as a gangster boss in "Let 'Em Have It" (1936) and as the Huron warrior Magua opposite Randolph Scott in The Last of the Mohicans (1936). He co-starred with Spencer Tracy as the leader of a lynch mob in "Fury" (1936). A freelancer, Cabot appeared in movies at many studios before leaving Hollywood to serve in World War II. • Bruce Cabot books • Bruce Cabot Movies

Dennis Chavez senator, Los Chavez • Dennis Chavez Books
Mangus Coloradas apache leader  • Mangus Coloradas Books
Edward Condon physicist, Alamogordo • Edward Condon Books
Robert Crichton author, Albuquerque • Robert Crichton Books
John Denver (1943 - 1997) Famous Singer/songwriter; born in Roswell.

Denver's popularity peaked in the 1970s with such hits as "Rocky Mountain High" and "Annie's Song." He was a far cry from the long-haired rock and disco acts of the time, and his clean-cut activism on behalf of the environment helped make him a popular TV performer. Here, Denver outlines his life, describing his birth into a military family, his conflicts with his stern father, and his burgeoning interest in music as a way to express his otherwise shy self. He goes on to talk about life on the road as a performer; his eventual involvement in self-help groups, such as EST; and his infidelities to his wife, Annie. But, just as Denver's stage persona contrasted with those of John Phillips (Papa John, LJ 6/1/86) and David Crosby (Long Time Gone, LJ 11/15/88), so does his autobiography. Adultery and EST aside, this confessional's weakness lies in a lack of openness. Denver doesn't paint a pretty picture of himself, but behind the story he tells, there is no depth and no details. For celebrity mavens and those who want to know the "why" about a person, this makes for unsatisfying reading. Not recommended unless demand is great. Rosellen Brewer, MOBAC Lib. System, Montery, Cal. • John Denver Films • John Denver Discography

Pete Domenici senator, Albuquerque • Pete Domenici Books
Harvey Fergusson author, Albuquerque • Harvey Fergusson Books
William Hanna (1910 - 2001 ) Created ?Yogi Bear? and ?The Flintstones? cartoons; born in Melrose.

Hanna was born in New Mexico in 1910 and as a child moved to Southern California. During the Depression, when he was forced to drop out of college and look for work, the only thing that came his way was a job as a janitor for a studio that made Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. Moving through the ranks quickly, he learned the skills of writing, animating and timing and went on to create his own projects. When the studio folded, he moved to MGM as a director. There he met Barbera and they conceived the famous cat-and-mouse cartoon team of Tom and Jerry.

Writing with freelancer Ito, Hanna tells wonderful stories about the industry, about how he hooked up with Gene Kelly to create the acclaimed animated dancing sequence in Anchors Aweigh and then about winning his first Academy Award in 1943 for Yankee Doodle Mouse. In 1957, MGM closed its animated studio, and Hanna and Barbera formed their own business and were soon producing such classical cartoon shows for TV as Ruff and Reddy, Huckleberry Hound and The Flintstones • William Hanna Books • William Hanna Films

Neil Patrick Harris actor, Albuquerque (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor. Prominent roles of his career include the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D., the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold & Kumar series, and the title role in Joss Whedon's Emmy Award-winning musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. He also hosted the 63rd Tony Awards on June 7, 2009, and the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20, 2009.

Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His parents, Sheila and Hugo ran a restaurant. He has an older brother named Brian, and it was by following his brother to an audition in fourth grade that he first began acting—as Toto in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque and was active in school plays and musicals there. Harris was an honors student and graduated with honors in 1991. He was three years ahead of fellow La Cueva student, Freddie Prinze, Jr. • Neil Patrick Harris Books • Neil Patrick Harris Movies

Conrad Hilton (1887 - 1979) Founded the Hilton hotel chain; born in San Antonio.

I discovered "Be My Guest" at the Hilton San Francisco and couldn't put it down again until I had read the entire book. It's an absolutely riveting read, full of adventure and lessons learned over the course of many years. I was completely surprised that such a special book (really a testament to a hard working man with great ideas and an ability to execute them) isn't more widely distributed. It's choc full of humor and pathos, drama and innocence. More like a novel than an autobiography. From now on, I'm going to position Hilton Hotels as my first choice when traveling. Read this wonderful book if you want to be inspired! • Conrad Hilton Books

Peter Hurd artist, Roswell • Peter Hurd Books
Val Kilmer Val Edward Kilmer (born December 31, 1959) is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! (1984), then the cult classic Real Genius (1985), as well as blockbuster action films, including a role in Top Gun and a lead role in Willow.

During the 1990s, Kilmer gained critical respect after a string of films that were also commercially successful, including his roles as Jim Morrison in The Doors, Doc Holliday in 1993's Tombstone, Batman in 1995's Batman Forever, Chris Shiherlis in 1995's Heat and Simon Templar in 1997's The Saint. During the early 2000s, Kilmer appeared in several well-received roles, including The Salton Sea, Spartan, and supporting performances in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Alexander and as the voice of KITT in Knight Rider. Actor, famous for roles in The Saint, Top Gun and Tombstone.

Kilmer, the second of three sons, was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Gladys (née Ekstadt) and Eugene Kilmer, an aerospace equipment distributor and real estate developer. Kilmer's grandfather was a gold miner in New Mexico; the poet Joyce Kilmer is a second cousin of Kilmer's. Kilmer grew up in the San Fernando Valley with his two siblings, older brother Mark and younger brother Wesley, but says that even as a child growing up in California he did not like it there. Kilmer, who was raised a Christian Scientist, attended Chatsworth High School — where his classmates included Kevin Spacey and Mare Winningham. • Val Kilmer Books • Val Kilmer Movies

Ralph Kiner baseball player, sportscaster, Santa Rita • Ralph Kiner Books
Demi Moore Demi Guynes Kutcher, professionally known as Demi Moore (born November 11, 1962) is an American actress. After minor roles in film, and a role in the television drama series, General Hospital, Moore established her career in films such as St. Elmo's Fire (1985) and Ghost (1990), and in the early 1990s became one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood following her successes in A Few Good Men (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993) and Disclosure (1994). By the end of the decade her films were less successful, but she returned to prominence with her role in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

Moore took her professional name from her first husband, Freddy Moore, and is the mother of three daughters from her marriage to Bruce Willis. She has been married to actor Ashton Kutcher since 2005 and later took his last name in 2009. Moore was born Demetria Gene Guynes in Roswell, New Mexico; she was named Demetria after a beauty product her mother saw in a magazine. As a child she had a difficult and unstable home life. Her biological father, Charles Harmon, left her mother, Virginia King (November 27, 1943 – July 2, 1998), after a two-month marriage, before Moore was born. As a result, Moore had the surname of her stepfather, Danny Guynes (March 9 1943 – October 1980), on her birth certificate. Danny Guynes, who committed suicide in 1980, frequently changed jobs; as a result the family moved a total of forty times, once living in a small town called Rogers Manor, Pennsylvania. Moore's parents were alcoholics and often fought and beat each other. Moore was cross-eyed as a child, and wore an eye patch in an attempt to correct the problem until it was eventually corrected by two surgeries. She also suffered from kidney dysfunction. Demi Moore has heterochromia; she has one green eye, and the other hazel.  • Demi Moore Books • Demi Moore Movies

John Madden sportscaster, Austin

A former American Professional Football player in the National Football League, a former head coach with the Oakland Raiders in the American Football League and later the NFL, and a former color commentator for NFL telecasts. In 2006, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career. He is also widely known for the long-running Madden NFL video game series he has endorsed and fronted since 1988.

Madden broadcast with Pat Summerall in the 1980s and 1990s, on CBS and later Fox. He was also the last color commentator for ABC's Monday Night Football before it moved to ESPN in 2006. His last regular role was as a commentator for NBC Sunday Night Football.• John Madden Books

William Henry Bill Mauldin political cartoonist, Mountain Park • William Henry Bill Mauldin Books
Michael Martin Murphey - Western singer; lives on a ranch in Taos.(born March 14, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter. He is best known for writing and performing Western music as well as country and pop. Murphey has become a prominent musical voice for the Western horseman, rancher, and cowboy. A Western Music Association Hall of Fame inductee, Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since the career of Marty Robbins. He has recorded the hit singles "Wildfire", "Carolina in the Pines", "What's Forever For", "A Long Line of Love", "What She Wants", "Don't Count the Rainy Days", and "Cowboy Logic". Murphey is also the author of New Mexico's state ballad, "The Land of Enchantment". Nowadays, he is recognized in parts of the continent as "America's singing cowboy poet". • Michael Martin Murphey Books • Michael Martin Murphey Discography
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887 - 1984)Well-known artist; lived in Abiquiú.

While reading this book, one obviously is tempted to take occasional breaks from Lisle's gorgeously plain, non-effusive prose to google O'Keeffe's paintings. After I read about O'Keeffe's initiation into the jet age, where she was surprised to peer down from her airplane window and "see so many rivers, tributaries, and deltas undulating through the earth's deserts" ("Chapter 13: Clouds"), I just had to view "It Was Red and Pink." However, this book clearly is not an art critique.

Paintings are discussed insofar as they provide insight into O'Keeffe's mind, heart, and soul. Most of the time, while reading, I stayed far away from the computer. I was riveted by tales about family, femininity, marriage, the artist's apparent struggle between remaining dedicated to painting and perhaps having a baby, the conflict between how she and the public perceived her work, intimations of mortality, and a devotion to the splendors of New Mexico even after her eyesight failed.

I would recommend this book to anyone who relishes art, history, New Mexico, femininism, humanity, or just would love to read a great book. • Georgia O'Keeffe Books

Harrison Schmitt politician, Santa Rosa • Harrison Schmitt Books
Kim Stanley actress, Tularosa (February 11, 1925 – August 20, 2001) was an American actress, primarily in theatre but with occasional film performances.

Stanley began her acting career in theatre, and subsequently attended the The Actors Studio. She received the 1952 Theatre World Award for role in The Chase (1952), and starred in the Broadway productions of Picnic (1953) and Bus Stop (1955). She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her roles in A Touch of the Poet (1959) and A Far Country (1962).

During the 1950s, Stanley was a prolific performer in television, and later progressed to film, with a well received performance in The Goddess (1959). She was the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and starred in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), for which she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was less active during the remainder of her career; two of her later film successes were as the mother of Frances Farmer in Frances (1982), for which she received a second Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress, and as Pancho Barnes in The Right Stuff (1983). She received an Emmy Award for her performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1985). • Kim Stanley Books • Kim Stanley Movies

Al Unser auto racer, Albuquerque • Al Unser Books
Bobby Unser auto racer, Albuquerque • Bobby Unser Books
Victorio Apache chief • Victorio Books
Thomas Weaver anthropologist, author Greenville • Thomas Weaver Books
Linda Wertheimer NPR correspondent, Carlsbad • Linda Wertheimer Books