USA Famous People of Oregon

Oregon Biographies

Beverly Cleary (1916 - ) Children’s novelist who wrote the Ramona Quimby books; born in McMinnville. Grade 6 Up The author's name rather than the title of her partial autobiography will catch the eyes of her army of loyal readers who grew up with Cleary's great books for children. Then, there are always those special few readers who dream of becoming writers themselves, and Cleary has some information on how this was for her and more about the hunger for reading that often starts writers on their way. It's bootless to compare and contrast autobiographical books, since each memorists' experiences and those they select to share are unique. Cleary's selection is acute, especially for some growing up pains and problems often scanted in books intended for younger readers, i.e., an uncle who was a potential danger to young girls and the fear and confusion his attentions caused; the possessive, devoted mother whose fierce love was never affectionate; the first, nearly unshakable boyfriend; and much more about each stage of growing up as an only child in Portland, Oregon, when the Great Depression moved in as the unseen, all-powerful villain in every working-class household. It ends with Cleary off to college in California without anything but determination and the ability to work hard and find her own way. As with her fiction, readers are likely to want her memoir to go on when they read her last page. Lillian N. Gerhardt • Beverly Cleary Books
Abigail Scott Duniway (October 22, 1834 – October 11, 1915) Journalist and woman-suffrage leader; lived in Lafayette.  was an American women's rights advocate, newspaper editor and writer, whose efforts were instrumental in gaining voting rights for women. Duniway was born Abigail Jane Scott near Groveland, Illinois, one of eleven children of John Tucker Scott and Anne Roelofson. She grew up on the family farm, and in 1852 she traveled the Oregon Trail with her family. As a young woman, she taught school in Cincinnati (now Eola), Oregon before marrying Benjamin C. Duniway on August 2, 1853. They had six children: Clara, Willis, Hubert, Wilkie, Clyde and Ralph.

After her husband's severe injury in 1862, Duniway supported the family by teaching and running a millinery in Albany, Oregon. She moved the family to Portland in May 1871 and began publishing a weekly newspaper The New Northwest. The paper was promoted as a human rights advocate, supporting education and women's suffrage. The National Women's Suffrage Association recognized Duniway as a leading women's advocate in the American West in 1886. • Abigail Scott Duniway Books

Dick Fosbury (1947 - ) Invented the “Fosbury Flop” move in high jumping, flipping over the bar backwards.  Set an Olympic record in 1968; born in Portland. Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury (born March 6, 1947 in Portland, Oregon) is a former track and field athlete who revolutionized the high jump event, using a back-first technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop. His method was to sprint diagonally towards the bar, then curve and leap backwards over the bar. He continues to be involved in athletics as President of the World Olympians Association Fosbury, who was born in Portland, first started experimenting with this new technique at age 16, while attending high school in Medford.

He disliked the dominant style of the day, the "straddle method," and began experimenting with the outdated "upright scissors method", which he developed until he was jumping face-up with his legs together. His high-jump technique was named the "Fosbury Flop" by an Oregon reporter. While unorthodox, high jump rules stipulate only that competitors may only jump off one foot at takeoff: there is no rule governing how a competitor crosses the bar, so long as he or she goes over it. • Dick Fosbury Books

Matt Groening Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening (pronounced /ˈgreɪnɪŋ/, GRAY-ning; born February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, screenwriter and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell and the television series The Simpsons and Futurama.

Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. The cartoon is still carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, The Simpsons, and named the members after his own parents and sisters — while Bart was an anagram of the word brat. The shorts would be spun off into their own series: The Simpsons, which has since aired 445 episodes in 21 seasons. In 1997, Groening got together with David X. Cohen and developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999. After four years on the air, the show was canceled by Fox in 2003, but Comedy Central commissioned 16 new episodes from four direct-to-DVD movies. In June 2009, Comedy Central ordered 26 new episodes of Futurama, to be aired over two seasons.

Groening has won 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and one for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. • Matt Groening Books • Matt Groening Films

Ursula LeGuin (1929 - ) Author.  She has written science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy and The Left Hand of Darkness lives in Portland. • Ursula LeGuin Books
Edwin Markham (1852 - 1940) Famous poet born in Oregon City who is frequently called the “Dean of American Poetry.” Works include The Man with the Hoe, and Lincoln, Man of the People. • Edwin Markham Books
John McLoughlin (1784 - 1857) Built Fort Vancouver and is known as the “Father of Oregon.” • John McLoughlin Books
Ahmad Rashad (1949 - ) Played 11 years in the NFL.  He is currently an NBC Sportscaster; born in Portland. • Ahmad Rashad Books
Doc Severinsen - Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen (born July 7, 1927) is an American pop and jazz trumpeter. He is best known for leading the NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Severinsen was born in Arlington, Oregon, the son of Minnie Mae and Carl Severinsen, who was a dentist. He was nicknamed "Little Doc" after his father, and had originally wanted to play the trombone. But the senior Severinsen, a gifted amateur violinist, urged him to study the violin. The younger Severinsen insisted on the trombone, but had to settle for the only horn available in Arlington's small music store — a trumpet. A week later, with the help of his father and a manual of instructions, the seven-year-old was so good that he was invited to join the high school band.

At the age of twelve, Little Doc won the Music Educator's National Contest and, while still in high school, was hired to go on the road with the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. However, his stay with the group was cut short by the draft. He served in the Army during World War II. He made his broadcasting debut playing live popular music on radio station KODL in The Dalles, Oregon. • Doc Severinsen Books • Doc Severinsen Discography

Lindsay Wagner  Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is an American actress. She is probably most widely known for her portrayal of Jaime Sommers in the 1970s television series The Bionic Woman (for which she won an Emmy award), though she has maintained a lengthy career in a variety of other film and television productions since.

Wagner was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Marilyn Louise (née Thrasher) and William Nowels Wagner. When she was seven years old, her parents divorced and her mother moved with her to the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, near Pasadena. Another move with her mother and stepfather (Ted Ball) brought her to Portland, Oregon, where she attended David Douglas High School and appeared in a number of school plays. She studied at the University of Oregon.

Wagner worked as a model in Los Angeles, and gained some television experience by appearing as a hostess in Playboy After Dark. However, it was not until she contacted a friend at Universal Studios and was cast in a small part in Marcus Welby, M.D. that her acting career took off. Her appearances helped her win roles in the films Two People and The Paper Chase. Wagner played a total of four different roles on the Marcus Welby, M.D. series between 1971-75, as well as a recurring guest role in The Rockford Files. • Lindsay Wagner Books • Lindsay Wagner Films