USA Famous People of Utah

Utah Biographies

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Karl Malone (1963 - ) Utah Jazz Basketball Star. Karl Malone, an awesome, super star basketball player. In high school, he was a slacker that did not care for his grades. By his sophomore year he decided to work hard and get good grades. He was tired of practicing with the team and not playing in any games. By the middle of his sophomore year he had accomplished this and was practicing and playing. By the end of his senior year, he had two colleges fighting over him with scholarships. He decided to go with Louisiana Tech. Karl had started working on his grades a little late and had an average of 2.7 and he needed to have a 3.0 average. I believe any person could read this book, because it is easy to understand and read. I really like this book because it has a great theme, that theme is that if you work hard and want something work for itand you most likely will get it. • Karl Malone Books
J. Willard Marriott - Founder of the Marriott restaurant and hotel chain.  Also founded the A&W restaurant chain. John Willard Marriott (September 17, 1900 – August 13, 1985) was an American entrepreneur and businessman. He was the founder of the Marriott Corporation (which became Marriott International in 1993), the parent company of one of the world's largest hospitality, hotel chains and food services company. His company rose from a small root beer stand in Washington D.C. in 1927 to a chain of family restaurants by 1932, to his first motel in 1957. By the time he died, the Marriott company operated 1,400 restaurants and 143 hotels and resorts worldwide, including two theme parks, earned USD $4.5 billion in revenue annually with 154,600 employees. The company's interests even extended to a line of cruise ships and theme parks.

Marriott was born at Marriott Settlement near Ogden, Utah, and was raised on his father's farm. His father gave him considerable responsibility at an early age: he was sent to San Francisco on his own with 3,000 sheep in a railcar at the age of 14.

At the age of 19 and as a devout Mormon, he undertook the traditional missionary work of the church for two years, being assigned to New England. On his way home after completing his mission, he passed through Washington D.C. during the sweltering summer months of 1921. While there: • J. Willard Marriott Books

David McKay - David Lawrence McKay (30 September 1901 – 27 October 1993) was the eighth general superintendent of the Sunday School of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1966 to 1971. McKay was a member of the general superintendency of that organization from 1949 to 1971.

McKay was born in Ogden, Utah, the oldest son of future LDS Church Apostle and President of the Church David O. McKay. David Lawrence McKay became the second assistant to George R. Hill, the general superintendent of the Deseret Sunday School Union in 1949. In 1952, he became Hill's first assistant, a position McKay held until 1966 when he succeeded Hill and became the eighth general superintendent of the Deseret Sunday School Union. McKay was released in 1971 and was succeeded by Russell M. Nelson.

In the late 1960s, when his father was president of the LDS Church and ill, David Lawrence McKay often read his father's sermons in general conference. He also served as a mission president in the church in the eastern United States, specifically of the Eastern States Mission, based in New York City. While in this capacity he represented the church at a hearing on a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade, expressing the Church's support for the amendment.McKay died in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 92. He was married to Mildred Dean Calderwood. • David McKay Books

Dale Murphy - Dale Bryan Murphy (born March 12, 1956, in Portland, Oregon) is a former outfielder and first baseman in Major League Baseball, most notable for his years with the Atlanta Braves. During his career, Murphy won consecutive National League Most Valuable Player Awards (1982-1983), the National League's Silver Slugger Award four straight years (1982-1985), and the National League's Gold Glove award five straight years (1982-1986).

Murphy is regarded by many as one of the premier players during the 1980s. His best years were with the Atlanta Braves, appearing in the All-Star Game seven times, and leading the National League in home runs and RBI twice; he also led the major leagues in home runs and runs batted in over the 10-year span from 1981 to 1990. He led the National League in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, RBIs, runs created, total bases, and plate appearances in the 1980s. He also accomplished a 30-30 (30 home runs with 30 stolen bases) season in 1983, at the time only the 6th player since 1922 to do so. His 1983 MVP year is the only time in major-league history a player has compiled a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, 120 runs batted in, 130 runs scored, 90 bases on balls, and 30 stolen bases - with fewer than 10 times caught stealing. • Dale Murphy Books

Peter Skene Ogden fur trader, trapper (alternately Skeene, Skein or Skeen), (baptised 12 February 1790 – September 27, 1854) was a fur trader and a Canadian explorer of what is now British Columbia and the American West. During his many expeditions he explored parts of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and despite early confrontations with the Hudson' Bay Company during his time with the North West Company, later became a senior official in the operations of the HBC's Columbia Department, serving as first Chief Trader of Fort Simpson and similar posts.

Ogden was a son of Chief Justice Isaac Ogden of Quebec and his wife Sarah Hanson. After a brief time with the American Fur Company, he joined the North West Company in 1809. His first post was at Ξle-α-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan in 1810, and by 1814 was in charge of a post at Green Lake, Saskatchewan, 100 miles south.

Ogden had frequent run-ins with the rival Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) employees and engaged in physical violence on several occasions. In 1816, HBC clerks reported that Ogden killed an Indian who had traded with the Hudson's Bay Company. The Indian was "butchered in a most cruel manner," according to HBC officer James Bird. Although many in the North West Company viewed this as a necessary part of living in the Northwest. • Peter Skene Ogden Books

Merlin Olsen, Logan Merlin Jay Olsen (born September 15, 1940) is a former American football player in the National Football League and an actor. He played his entire 15-year career with the Los Angeles Rams and was elected to the Pro Bowl in 14 of those seasons, a current record shared with Bruce Matthews. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Born to Lynn Jay and Merle Barrus Olsen in Logan, Utah, Sep 15, 1940, Olsen is the second of nine children. He attended Utah State University, is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, and was a three-year letterman in football as a defensive tackle. In football, as a senior, he was a consensus All-American selection (making the vast majority of All-America teams) and was the winner of the Outland Trophy. After Olsen's junior year of 1960 he was also named All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and Newspaper Enterprise Association. He was also All-Conference in both 1960 and 1961. Olsen and Utah State were in the 1960 Sun Bowl, losing to New Mexico State, 20-13. Led by Olsen, the Aggie defense held the New Mexico State Aggies to just 44 rushing yards on 32 carries. • Merlin Olsen Books

Donny Osmond  and Marie Osmond (1959 - ) Singers and dancers that starred in the Donny and Marie Show, brother and sister; both born in Ogden.Donald Clark "Donny" Osmond (born December 9, 1957) is an American singer, musician, actor and former teen idol. Osmond has also been a talk show and game show host, record producer, race car driver, and author. He is known for being half of the brother-sister singing act Donny & Marie and a member of the "Osmond Brothers" singing group. From 1991-1997 he played Joseph in the Canadian production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, impressed by his talents and the show's long run, chose Osmond to do the film version in 1999. On November 24, 2009, he was crowned Dancing with the Stars champion. • Donny Osmond Books • Donny Osmond Discography
Robert LeRoy Parker “Butch Cassidy”  Famous outlaw that robbed banks and trains of the Old West; born in Beaver. Butch Cassidy (April 13, 1866 – ca. November 7, 1908), born Robert LeRoy Parker, was a notorious American train robber, bank robber and leader of the Hole in the Wall Gang.

Parker was born in Beaver, Utah in Beaver County, to Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies, English and Scottish Mormon immigrants, respectively, who came to the Utah Territory in the late 1850s. His parents had been residents of Victoria Road, Preston, Lancashire. He was the first of 13 children born to the Parkers. He grew up on his parents' ranch near Circleville, Utah, 215 miles (346 km) south of Salt Lake City, Utah. Parker left home during his early teens, and while working at a dairy farm, he fell in with Mike Cassidy, a horse thief and cattle rustler. He subsequently worked at several ranches in addition to a brief stint as a butcher in Rock Springs, Wyoming, when he acquired the nickname "Butch", to which he soon appended the surname Cassidy in honor of his old friend and mentor. • Butch Cassidy Books

Ivy Baker Priest U.S. treasurer, Kimberley (September 7, 1905 – June 23, 1975) was an American political figure. Born in Kimberly, Utah, she was a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Priest ran for Congress in Utah on the Republican ticket in 1934 and 1950, losing both times. However, she became nationally known by serving as United States Treasurer under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from January 28, 1953 to January 29, 1961, at which time her signature appeared on all U.S. currency. She was later elected as a Republican to the office of California State Treasurer, serving two terms from 1967 until her death in 1975.

Priest was the mother of Pat Priest, an actress best known for playing Marilyn Munster in the 1960s television show The Munsters. Pat Priest also appeared as a contestant on What's My Line?. • Ivy Baker Priest Books

Robert Redford (1937 - ) Actor and founder of the Sundance Institute Charles Robert Redford, Jr. (born August 18, 1936),[2] better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, model, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He received two Oscars: one in 1981 for Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime Achievement in 2002.

Redford was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Martha W. (nιe Hart) and Charles Robert Redford Sr. (November 19, 1914 – April 2, 1991), a milkman-turned-accountant from Pawtucket, Rhode Island.] He has a half-brother, William, from his father's re-marriage. Redford is of English and Scots-Irish ancestry.

He attended Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California where he was classmates with Natalie Wood and Don Drysdale, and was a teammate on the Van Nuys High School baseball team with Don Drysdale. He graduated in 1954, and received a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado, where he was a pitcher. He lost the scholarship due to excessive fratting, possibly fueled by the death of his mother, which occurred when Redford was 18. He later studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and took classes in theatrical set design at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. • Robert Redford Books • Robert Redford Movies

 Lee Greene Richards painter, Salt Lake City (July 27, 1878 – February 20, 1950)[1] is a famous Utah portrait artist. Many of his works can be found at the City and County Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. Richards was the son of Levi W. and Lula Greene Richards. He was actually named Levi after his father but went by Lee. Levi W. Richards was the son of Levi Richards who was Joseph Smith's physician in Nauvoo, Illinois. Levi W. Richards, and his mother Sarah Griffith Richards had been painters.

Lee Richards was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and in 1895 he served as an LDS missionary in England. Richards went to Paris in 1901 where he studied at the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1904 he returned to Utah where he started an art studio. In 1908 Richards married Mary Jane Eldredge, whose father was a wealthy banker. They spent over a year on their honeymoon in Paris. Richards painted portraits of many presidents and leaders of the LDS Church, many of which now displayed in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Richards also painted murals for the Cardston Alberta Temple.[2] He also did a mural for the Mesa Arizona Temple.[3] Richards also received a WPA commission to do the murals on the Utah Capitol Rotunda. In 1921 Richards was the only American to serve as a judge at the Salon d'Automne. From 1938-1947 Richards was an art professor at the University of Utah. • Lee Greene Richards Books

Richard Richards GOP chairman, Ogden Richard (Dick) Richards was born in Ogden, Utah. He was active in the Republican party and politics from the late 1960s until the 1980s, and served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1981 to 1983.

He served in the United States Army from 1952 until 1955, finishing his service as an officer with the 7th Cavalry Regiment.

Before being drafted he had been active in politics, organizing the Junior Republican League while studying at Weber State College in Ogden, Utah. He was also active in the political campaigns of Douglas R. Stringfellow and Dr. Aldous Dixon, organizing a bi-partisan youth group that helped Dr. Dixon win election to the United States Congress. He now resides near Ogden, Utah with his wife.

The Richard Richards Institute of Weber State University is named in honor of Mr. Richards. • Richard Richards Books

Virginia Sorensen author, Provo (February 17, 1912, in Provo, Utah – December 24, 1991) was the author of the 1957 John Newbery Medal winning Miracles on Maple Hill. Her first novel, A Little Lower Than the Angels, was written and published in 1942 while she resided in Terre Haute, Indiana, with her first husband Frederick C. Sorensen, a professor at Indiana State Teachers College, now Indiana State University. She later married Alec Waugh, son of Arthur Waugh and brother of Evelyn Waugh, in 1969. Her books are usually Mormon-themed. • Virginia Sorensen Books
Wallace Stegner (1909 - 1993) Author. Wallace Earle Stegner (February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993) was an American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, often called "The Dean of Western Writers". He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972.

Stegner was born in Lake Mills, Iowa and grew up in Great Falls, Montana, Salt Lake City, Utah and southern Saskatchewan, which he wrote about in his autobiography Wolf Willow. Stegner says he "lived in twenty places in eight states and Canada". While living in Utah, he joined a Boy Scout troop at a Mormon church (although he himself was a Presbyterian) and earned the Eagle Scout award. He received a B.A. at the University of Utah in 1930. He also studied at Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

"In 1934, Stegner married Mary Stuart Page. For 59 years they shared a 'personal literary partnership of singular facility,' wrote Arthur Schlesinger Jr.", reports a short biography on the San Francisco Public Library Web site by James Hepworth.

A son, Page Stegner, is a nature writer and professor emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz. Page is married to Lynn Stegner, a novelist.  Page edited the 2008 Collected Letters of Wallace Stegner.  • Wallace Stegner Books

Reed Smoot,  Reed Owen Smoot (January 10, 1862 – February 9, 1941) was a native-born Utahn who served in the United States Senate. Smoot was also a prominent leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), serving as an apostle and as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1900 until his death in 1941. At the time of his death, Smoot was third in the line of succession to lead the LDS Church.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, Smoot was the son of Mormon pioneer and former mayor of Salt Lake City, Abraham O. Smoot and Anne Kristina (Morrison) Smoot. Reed Smoot attended public schools and the University of Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University) in Provo, Utah in 1879. After graduation, he served as a Mormon missionary in England. He married Alpha M. Eldredge of Salt Lake City on September 17, 1884. They were the parents of seven children.

On April 8, 1900, Smoot was ordained as an apostle of the LDS Church and became a member of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. • Reed Smoot Books

Robert Walker actor, Salt Lake City Robert Hudson Walker (October 13, 1918 – August 28, 1951) was an American actor. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Zella (nιe McQuarrie) and Horace Walker, he was the youngest of four sons. Emotionally scarred by his parents' divorce when he was still a child, he subsequently developed an interest in acting which led to his maternal aunt Hortense (McQuarrie) Odlum (the president of Bonwit Teller) to offer to pay for his enrollment at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1937. Walker lived in her home during his first year in the city.

Walker stared in the film The Clock opposite Judy Garland in her first straight dramatic film that proved to be a critical success. Although Walker continued to work steadily in Hollywood, he was distraught over the divorce and was soon prone to drinking, emotional outbursts and eventually, a nervous breakdown. He spent time at the Menninger Clinic in 1949 where he was treated for a psychiatric disorder.

In 1946, Walker starred in Till the Clouds Roll By, where he played the lead as the song writer Jerome Kern in a role that required him to age from a young man to a middle-aged one. He starred as composer Johannes Brahms in Song of Love (1947), which co-starred Katharine Hepburn and Paul Henreid. In 1948, Walker starred with Ava Gardner in the film One Touch of Venus, directed by William A. Seiter. The movie was a non-musical comedy adapted from a Broadway show with music by Kurt Weill. • Robert Walker Books • Robert Walker Movies

Marie Windsor actress, Marysville (December 11, 1919 - December 10, 2000). Born as Emily Marie Bertelson in Marysvale, Piute County, Utah, Windsor was called "The Queen of the Bs" because she appeared in so many film noirs and B-movies like Cat-Women of the Moon (1953). However, other actresses, such as Fay Wray, Lucille Ball, and others have garnered the title as well.

Windsor, a former Miss Utah, trained for the stage under Maria Ouspenskaya, and after several years as a telephone operator, a stage and radio actress, and a bit and extra player in films, she began playing feature and lead parts in 1947.

The 5'9" actress's first memorable role was opposite John Garfield in Force of Evil playing seductress Edna Tucker. Windsor also had large roles in film noirs including The Sniper, The Narrow Margin, City That Never Sleeps and Stanley Kubrick's heist movie The Killing playing Elisha Cook Jr.'s scheming wife. • Marie Windsor Books • Marie Windsor Movies

James Woods actor, Vernal James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American film, stage and television actor and comedian. Woods is known for starring in films such as Once Upon a Time in America, Ghosts of Mississippi, Salvador, Casino and as the Disney villain Hades in Hercules.

Woods was born in Vernal, Utah. His father, Gail Peyton Woods, was an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 following routine surgery. His mother, Martha A. (nιe Smith), operated a pre-school after her husband's death and re-married to Thomas E. Dixon. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School. Woods, an army brat, had been accepted to attend the United States Air Force Academy. But, several weeks before he was to depart, Woods suffered an accident involving a plate glass window which injured his hand tendons severely enough to result in his acceptance being retracted • James Woods Books • James Woods Movies

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the western United States. He was the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 until his death and was the founder of Salt Lake City and the first governor of Utah Territory, United States. Brigham Young University was named in his honor.

Young had a variety of nicknames, among the most popular being "American Moses," (alternatively the "Modern Moses" or the "Mormon Moses") because, like the Biblical figure, Young led his followers, the Mormon pioneers, in an exodus through a desert, to what they saw as a promised land. Young was also dubbed the "Lion of the Lord" for his bold personality, and was commonly called "Brother Brigham" by Latter-day Saints. However, Young's legacy is controversial, as he is perhaps best known outside of Mormon circles as the most prominent Mormon polygamist. He is also largely credited by historians for revoking the priesthood and the right to temple ordinances from black members of the church. Additionally, concerns persist about his role in the Utah War against the United States government and in the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Young was born to a farming family in Whitingham, Vermont and worked as a traveling carpenter and blacksmith, among other trades. Young first married in 1824 to Miriam Angeline Works. Though he had converted to the Methodist faith in 1823, Young was drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. He officially joined the new church in 1832 and traveled to Upper Canada as a missionary. After his first wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. • Brigham Young Books

Loretta Young actress, Salt Lake City (January 6, 1913 – August 12, 2000) was an American actress.

She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah as Gretchen Young, of Luxembourgian descent. At confirmation, she took the name Michaela. She and her family moved to Hollywood when she was three years old. Loretta and her sisters Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (screen name Sally Blane) worked as child actresses, of whom Loretta was the most successful. Young's first role was at the age of 3, in the silent film The Primrose Ring. The movie's star Mae Murray so fell in love with little Gretchen that she wanted to adopt her. Although her mother declined, Gretchen was allowed to live with Murray for two years. Her half-sister Georgiana (daughter of her mother and stepfather George Belzer) eventually married actor Ricardo Montalban. During her high school years, she was educated at Ramona Convent Secondary School. • Loretta Young Books • Loretta Young Movies

Steve Young (1961 - ) Football quarterback who helped the San Francisco 49ers win three Super Bowl championships; born in Salt Lake City. (born Jon Steven Young on October 11, 1961 in Salt Lake City, Utah), is a former American football quarterback, best known for his time on the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. He also played for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. Young was named the Most Valuable Player of the NFL in 1992 and 1994, the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, the first left-handed quarterback to be so honored. He holds the NFL record for highest career passer rating and won six NFL passing titles.

Young is a notable member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a descendant of one of the early presidents of the church, Brigham Young, for whom his alma mater Brigham Young University was named.

When the Buccaneers selected University of Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde first overall in the 1987 NFL Draft, Young was deemed a bust and traded to the San Francisco 49ers on April 24, 1987, to serve as a backup to Joe Montana. The Buccaneers received 2nd and 4th round draft picks in the trade, which they used to draft Miami linebacker Winston Moss, and Arizona State wide receiver Bruce Hill, respectively. Young would spend the final 13 years of his career with the 49ers, a stint which would help him become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and earn membership in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2005. • Steve Young Books

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