USA Famous People of South Dakota

South Dakota Biographies

George Lee Sparky Anderson (born February 22, 1934 in Bridgewater, South Dakota) baseball manager, a former Major League Baseball manager. He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League.

Anderson has resided for many years in Thousand Oaks, California. He was known as "Sparky" during his time in baseball, but in private life goes by his given name of "George."

 If statistics alone were the measure of a man's worth, it would be impossible to set a value on Sparky Anderson's accomplishments. He managed two teams, the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds, for 26 Major League seasons; only Connie Mack, John McGraw, and Bucky Harris managed longer, and only Mack and McGraw posted more lifetime wins. He is the only manager to pilot World Series championship teams in each league, the only one to win 100 games during a season in each, and the only manager to lead two different franchises in total victories. • George Lee Sparky Anderson Books

Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa) (1876 - 1938) Sioux writer and pan-Indian activist. Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (February 22, 1876 - January 26, 1938), better known by her pen name, Zitkala-Sa (Lakota: pronounced zitkαla-ša, which translates to Red Bird), was a Native American writer, editor, musician, teacher and political activist. She published in national magazines. With William F. Hanson, Bonnin co-composed the first American Indian Grand opera, The Sun Dance (composed in romantic style based on Ute and Sioux themes), which premiered in 1913. She founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926, which she served as president until her death.[2]. Writings by Zitkala-Sa Old Indian Legends. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985 American Indian Stories. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985. Zitkala-Ša, Fabens, Charles H. and Matthew K. Sniffen. Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes, Legalized Robbery. Philadelphia: Office of the Indian Rights Association, 1924. Zitkala-Sa. Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems, and The Sun Dance Opera. Edited by P. Jane Hafen. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001. ISBN 0803249187. • Gertrude Bonnin Books
Norm Van Brocklin (March 15, 1926 – May 2, 1983),  Football player; born in Eagle Butte. nicknamed "The Dutchman", was an American football player and coach. He was also a first rate punter in college and in the NFL. Van Brocklin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Van Brocklin was drafted in the fourth round (37th overall) of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He joined a team that already had a star quarterback, Bob Waterfield. Beginning in 1950, new Rams coach Joe Stydahar solved his problem by platooning Waterfield and Van Brocklin. The 1950 Rams scored an (at that time) NFL record 466 points (38.8 per game) with a high octane passing attack featuring Tom Fears and Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch. Fears led the league and set a new NFL record with 84 receptions. Van Brocklin and Waterfield finished 1-2 in passer rating as well. They were defeated by the Cleveland Browns in the 1950 title game, 30-28. • Norm Van Brocklin Books

Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw (born February 6, 1940)  News anchor that hosts NBC Nightly News; born in Webster. is an American television journalist and author. Brokaw is best known as the former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. His last broadcast as anchor was on December 1, 2004, after which he was succeeded by Brian Williams. In the latter part of Brokaw's tenure, NBC Nightly News became the most watched cable or broadcast news program in the United States. Brokaw also hosted, wrote, and moderated special programs on a wide range of topics. Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

In his earlier books, TV news anchor Tom Brokaw has leaned heavily on the experiences of others to remember and define what he calls "the Greatest Generation"--those who came of age during World War II and its aftermath. In A Long Way Home Brokaw turns inward to focus on his own experiences growing up in South Dakota, his early years a broadcaster working in a then-novel medium, and his still-deep connection to the Midwestern people, places, and values that shaped him. In this bluntly effective and homespun memoir, Brokaw argues that, no matter how far one may travel--say, to New York and through five decades of a successful broadcast journalism career--it's possible to remain a true creature of the heartlands.  --David Bombeck --This text refers to an alternate • Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw Books

Tom Daschle (born December 9, 1947)  Senator; born in Aberdeen. is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. He is a member of the Democratic Party. A South Dakota native, Daschle obtained his university degree there, and served in the United States Air Force. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1978 and served four terms. In 1986 he was elected to the Senate, becoming minority leader in 1994. Defeated for re-election in 2004, he took a position as a policy advisor with a lobbying firm, and also became a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He co-authored a book advocating universal health care. • Tom Daschle Books
Myron Floren accordionist, Roslyn (November 5, 1919 – July 23, 2005) was an American musician best known as the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show between 1950 and 1982. Myron Floren came to prominence primarily from his regular appearances on the weekly Lawrence Welk Show, where Lawrence often referred to him as "the happy Norwegian."

He was highly regarded by bandleader Lawrence Welk, who was an accomplished accordion player in his own right. Floren functioned as Welk's principal assistant and second-in-command. In Floren's autobiography, Accordion Man, he recalled handling road manager duties when the band traveled, including making hotel arrangements and handling other logistics. He has been seen in a hosting role of repeats of The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS. • Myron Floren Books • Myron Floren Discography

Joe Foss governor, 1st Commissioner of the American Football League, Sioux Falls • Joe Foss Books
Joseph Hansen author, Aberdeen • Joseph Hansen Books
Mary Hart (born November 8, 1950) is an American television personality and has been the host of the syndicated gossip and entertainment round-up program Entertainment Tonight since 1982. Co-host of Entertainment Tonight; born in Madison. Mary Hart was born Mary Johanna Harum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and lived there, as well as in Denmark, as a child and teenager. She speaks both Danish and Swedish fluently. Hart competed in the Miss America pageant in 1970 as Miss South Dakota, and finished in the top ten. Two years later, Hart graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls and produced and anchored her own cable TV talk show. That led to jobs on the air in Iowa and Oklahoma. She worked for WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV) in Oklahoma City where she stayed for a period of time. She was co-host on the television show Dannysday with Danny Williams. She was married to Terry Hart from 1972 to 1979. • Mary Hart Books
Crazy Horse (1849 - 1877) Oglala Indian chief that fought for Sioux land from the U.S. government; born east of the Black Hills. • Crazy Horse Books
Oscar Howe Sioux artist, Joe Creek • Oscar Howe Books
Hubert Humphrey (1911 - 1978) Served as vice-president of the United States from 1965-1969; born in Wallace. • Hubert Humphrey Books
David C. Jones U.S. Air Force general, Aberdeen • David C. Jones Books
Cheryl Ladd (1951 - ) Actress. She was famous for her role in the TV series Charlie's Angels; born in Huron. (born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor; July 12, 1951) is an American singer, author and actress, perhaps best known for her role as Kris Munroe in the 1970s television series Charlie's Angels.

Following Charlie's Angels, Ladd remained a familiar face on television and has starred in more than 30 made for television movies. She starred in feature films such as Millennium, Poison Ivy (coincidentally, featuring Drew Barrymore, who later starred in the film adaptions of Charlie's Angels) and Permanent Midnight. She also starred in the 1994–1996 series One West Waikiki. Her guest starring roles include The Rookies, The Partridge Family, Happy Days and more recently Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place and Charmed. From 2003 to the show's cancellation in 2008, Ladd played the lead character's wife, Jillian Deline, in 28 episodes of the television drama Las Vegas. In 1996, she published a children's book, The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship. Then, in 2005, she published Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide To Golfing With The Boys, an autobiographical book which focused on her love of golf. In September 2000, Ladd took over the role of Annie Oakley from Bernadette Peters on Broadway in the revival of Irving Berlin's musical, Annie Get Your Gun. She played the role until January 2001, when Reba McEntire took over. • Cheryl Ladd Books • Cheryl Ladd Movies

Ward L. Lambert basketball, Deadwood • Ward Lambert Books
Ernest O. Lawrence (1901 - 1958) Nobel prize winning scientist that built the first cyclotron, a machine that smashes atoms; born in Canton. • Ernest O. Lawrence Books
Russell Means American Indian activist, Pine Ridge • Russell Means Books
George McGovern politician, Avon • George McGovern Books
Dorothy Provine actress, Deadwood (born January 20, 1937) is an American singer, dancer, actress and comedienne.

Provine was born in Deadwood, South Dakota, USA. She appeared in many professional and amateur stage productions while attending the University of Washington. In Hollywood, she starred in The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959), which was Lou Costello's last screen appearance.

She guest starred on the unconventional western television series Man Without a Gun, starring Rex Reason. Provine starred in two series: The Alaskans with Roger Moore (1959-60) and The Roaring Twenties (1960-1962), both on ABC. In Roaring Twenties, she played the beautiful singer Pinky Pinkham. Rex Reason co-starred with her in the series, along with Donald May, John Dehner, Mike Road, and Gary Vinson.

She made a cameo appearance in Blake Edwards' The Great Race (1965). Probably her most recognizable film role is in Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). She plays Emmeline Marcus Finch, the only main character not obsessed with finding the $350,000 that forms the movie's premise. Provine also starred in Good Neighbor Sam (1964), Who's Minding the Mint? (1967), and Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (1966). • Dorothy Provine Books • Dorothy Provine Movies

Rain-in-the-Face Hunkpapa Sioux chief • Rain-in-the-Face Books
Red Cloud Oglala Sioux chief • Red Cloud Books
Sitting Bull (1831  - 1890) Chief of Hunkpappa Sioux. He defended Black HIlls, led the Teton Sioux to Canada, and was killed during arrest; born on the Grand River. • Sitting Bull Books
Norm Van Brocklin football player, Parade • Norm Van Brocklin Books
Mamie Van Doren actress, Rowena (born February 6, 1931) is an American actress and sex symbol.

Van Doren was born Joan Lucille Olander in Rowena, South Dakota, the daughter of Warner Carl Olander (March 30, 1908 - June 4, 1992) and Lucille Harriet Bennett (January 21, 1912 - August 27, 1995). She is of three-quarters Swedish ancestry; the remainder is mixed English and German. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford. In 1939, the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa. In May 1942, they moved to Los Angeles.

In early 1946, Joan began working as an usher at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The following year, she had a bit part on an early television show. She also sang with Ted Fio Rito's band and entered beauty contests. Van Doren was married for a brief time at seventeen. She and first husband, Jack Newman, eloped to Santa Barbara. The marriage dissolved quickly, upon her discovery of his abusive nature. In the summer of 1949, at age 18, she won the titles "Miss Eight Ball" and "Miss Palm Springs".

Joan was discovered by famed producer Howard Hughes on the night she was crowned Miss Palm Springs. The pair dated for several years. Hughes launched her career by placing her in several RKO films. • Mamie Van Doren Books • Mamie Van Doren Movies