Famous Greater Indianapolis People

Dated: 01/27/2016

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The Greater Indianapolis area has been the home to some of the United States’ most influential and well-known people in history. While some of Central Indiana’s most notable residents past and present are notorious, most have left genuinely good marks on history.

David Letterman

David Letterman, former long-time host of The Tonight Show, was born on April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis. His father Harry was a florist, and his mother Dorothy was a church secretary. Letterman traveled a few miles up the road to attend Ball State University in the late 60s, where he studied television and radio. Letterman’s first big break came in the 70s, when he started making appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Letterman will be remembered for his unique sense of humor well past his retirement, which occurred in 2015.

Brad Stevens

Born in Zionsville, Indiana, Brad Stevens is the current coach of the Boston Celtics. A 1999 graduate from DePauw University, Brad has an educational background in economics, but he has an exceptional basketball mind. He left a marketing association position at Eli Lilly and Company to take a volunteer coaching job at Butler University. He eventually became the head coach of the Butler Bulldogs, and he took them to back-to-back championship appearances. Stevens accepted the prestigious job with the Celtics in the summer of 2013, becoming the 17th head coach in franchise history. 

John Dillinger

One of the most famous criminals in history, John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis on June 22nd, 1903. Dillinger began his life of crime in 1924 when he committed petty theft, robbing a grocery store. He was convicted and sent to jail, but he would later escape. He retreated to Chicago and created the one of the most notorious and dangerous organized crime groups in the entire country. His group, which included notorious fellow gang members such as Lester Gillis, who is more commonly known as Baby Face Nelson, is responsible for multiple bank robberies in various states across the United States. Dillinger’s crime spree would end in 1934 when he was fatally shot by the FBI outside of a theater in Chicago. Following his death, Dillinger was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio, but he would later die in his Indianapolis home in 1901. Harrison was one of the earliest members of the Republican Party, joining shortly after its formation in 1856. Before beginning a serious career in politics, he served under William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War. Following the war, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1880. He was eventually sworn in as president on March 4, 1889. During his presidency, he faced issues such as Civil War pensions, civil service reform and tariff regulation. He would die of pneumonia at the age of 67, and, like John Dillinger, he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.   





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Lisa Witsken-Gearhart

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