There have been many great Americans over the years, so many that it would be impossible to list them all. But on this July 4th of 2012, I did my best to list 100 of my favorites to ever represent the red, the white, and the blue.
So here are 100 great Americans, unnumbered and in no particular order to prevent controversy. Each one is equally as great as the next.
John F. Kennedy
JFK did more in his short term as President than many have done in four years. His accomplishments include establishing the Peace Corps, diverting a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, removing missiles from Cuba, proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and sleeping with Marilyn Monroe.
If not for Jack Bauer, every single American would’ve died in one of the many terrorist attacks he single-handedly prevented while running from corruption at CTU and in the White House and protecting his family from enemies, foreign and domestic.
He’s also #TeamNoSleep
Pamela Anderson is on this list for two reasons, both artificial.
Bill Samuels, Sr.
Many great Americans have had a hand in the production of bourbon, the nectar of the Gods, but none like Bill Samuels, Sr. He purchased a distillery in 1954 in Loretto, Ky, and four years later, Kentucky had its first bottle of Maker’s Mark.
Tell me when to stop…
Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, his mustache, Striptease, The Longest Yard, Boogie Nights, Deliverance…
Okay, I could’ve gone without seeing Deliverance.
He won the Congressional Medal of Honor; returned kicks for the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he was a First Team All-American; represented America in China on the All-American ping-pong team, using his Flexolite ping-pong paddle; founded the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.; invested early in Apple Computers; taught Elvis Presley how to move his hips; taught Jenny how to dangle; drank 15 Dr. Peppers in The White House (he wasn’t hungry); inspired the “Shit Happens” bumper sticker and “Have A Nice Day” t-shirt; and because he liked doing it, he mowed that grass for free.
I could go on forever.
The wife of America’s second President, Abigail Adams wrote letters to her husband while he was away in Philadelphia during the Continental Congress. The letters serve as eyewitness accounts of the American Revolutionary War home front.
John Vincent Calipari was born the grandson of a Pennsylvania coal miner and he turned those humble beginnings into a hall of fame NCAA basketball coaching career. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell once told him, “WOW! You’re making more millionaires than a Wall Street firm!”
He also runs a thriving frozen yogurt business.
Anna Nicole Smith
If the American Dream is posing nude and sleeping with wealthy old men, Anna Nicole Smith lived it. She lived it to the fullest.
Cliff Huxtable doesn’t make this list, but if you throw in the sweaters and the puddin’ pops, Bill Cosby cannot be ignored.
Sexual harassment is pretty American, too.
God bless America. Land that I love.
No explanation needed.
Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones
One college professor of archaeology you don’t want to mess with, especially when he teams up with a young Asian boy.
Get within 8 to 10 ft. of him and feel the wrath of his bullwhip.
Before Magic Mike, it was Chris Farley dancing topless on SNL’s Chippendale’s stage.
” I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it.”
Without Gordon Bombay, there is no Charlie Conway and the Mighty Ducks. Without Charlie Conway and the Mighty Ducks, my childhood is empty.
Honorable Mention: Hans
George Herman Ruth
“The Babe” / “The Sultan of Swat” / “The Bambino”
Baseball’s biggest name.
Armstrong made one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind… in a private Hollywood studio somewhere.
He opened books. He opened minds.
Reading Rainbow shaped the future of America.
The 3 Ninjas
Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum made visiting the grandparents each summer cool. If only everyone had a grandfather that was a master of martial arts, America would be a much safer place.
“Wilt the Stilt” may or may not have scored 100 points in a basketball game. If true, he is a great American. If not true, he still slept with over 20,000 women, so he is a great American with more diseases than a Third World country.
“Oh, both engines are disabled???
And the left one is on fire???
I’ll just set this U.S. Airways Airbus A230 with 155 passengers down safely in the middle of the Hudson River.
Like a boss.”
Francis Scott Key
I like to believe “The Star-Spangled Banner” was a freestyle. One take.
America’s favorite chemistry teacher turned drug dealer.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
How can we forget a man who chants “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” while carrying a 2×4 in one hand and an American flag in the other????
It’d be treason to leave Hacksaw Jim Duggan off this list.
He changed the Internet forever while putting fear into all the rapists in Lincoln Park.
You’re a great American, Antoine Dodson. A great American.
Let’s turn on Rudy right now and I bet half of you start crying.
Am I wrong???
The one from the 1980s, not the current one.
The real one, not the hologram one.
This list needed a Native American (gotta keep NARF off my back) and Sitting Bull is the first one that came to mind. I don’t remember exactly what he achieved, but I know he shot arrows and painted his face.
Michael Jackson (Black)
White Michael Jackson is an honorable mention.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
If you were a young man with a television in the 90s, then you know exactly who this is and why she is on the list. If you fall in any other category, she was Kelly Kapowski in Saved By The Bell and Valerie Malone in Beverly Hills, 90201.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen is the reason behind many a nocturnal emissions for 80s babies.
“Shitter was full.”
Dick Clark was on television before the television was invented, ringing in the new year and dancing the night away.
He’ll be missed this NYE 2013.
Hootie & The Blowfish
“Cracked Rear View” will forever hold a place in my CD changer.
Editor’s note: Darius Rucker doesn’t count.
Not only was it a great song by Outkast, but Rosa Parks was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement.
Parks was a true pioneer in calling “shotgun.”
An American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet, best known for Moby Dick.
He paved the way for another author you’ll find further down this list.
“The Minister of Defense” was the meanest, nicest guy to ever play football.
He holds 2nd place all-time amongst career sack leaders with 198.5.
She made the first American flag with her bare hands. And some sewing utensils, of course.
Her craftsmanship is unparalleled in the flag sewing industry.
He has no food, no job, and HIS PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!
You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Should Clint Eastwood be on this list? Well, should he, punk?
I say yes. And don’t even think about getting on his lawn.
By putting Oprah on this list, everyone reading it will receive a spa package valued at $65, a copy of 27 Dresses on DVD, and a brand new Ford Fusion.
The king of American literature.
I own the entire Goosebumps catalog, from Welcome To The Dead House to Monster Blood IV.
The greatest of great Americans, according to Kentucky Sports Radio listeners.
He’ll be at the Romany Road Kroger tomorrow from 10:00 to 2:00.
Founder of the Ford Motor Company. We’d still be riding horses, if not for him.
The Notorious B.I.G.
He used to read Word Up magazine.
If you don’t know, now ya know.
Creator of Instagram.
Yeah, I’m addicted to it. I’m not proud of it. Follow me: drew_franklin
Founder of Taco Bell.
Thank you for everything you’ve done.
Hogan is slowly working his way out of this list, but I’ll leave him for now.
He better eat his vitamins, say his prayers, and quit doing reality shows if he wants to make the list next year.
She slept with George Washington, which means she is more American than you and I could ever imagine being.
Or, Jay-Z as he is known in most circles.
He did it all. No, really. He did everything. I don’t even know where to start. He changed the game in all aspects of life.
I dare you to challenge this selection.
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Okay, this one is questionable.
Samuel L. Jackson
Name someone cooler than Samuel L. Jackson.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
Eastbound & Down continually got worse with each new episode, but that doesn’t mean season one wasn’t the best thing to ever hit television.
“Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I’m not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren’t as good. That used to be called Patriotism.”
General manager of Jack Demsey’s in New York City.
Even Bill Samuels would be impressed by the amount of Maker’s this guy gives out to customers.
Every time a girl walks by you wearing yoga pants, just know that Dick Cantrell made that beautiful scene you’re staring at possible.
Cantrell is the man behind the yoga pants revolution, and I’ll always be indebted to him for that.
He’s doing God’s work.
Father of Kate Upton.
Thank you, sir. Thank you.
Some have said he’s just another American who thinks he is John Wayne, but McClane insists he was always partial to Roy Rogers.
90% of you are using one of his products right now. The other 10% are saving up to buy one.
Tillman gave up his NFL playing career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan.
They just don’t make enough of ’em like Pat Tillman.
He slimed America as host of Double Dare and What Would You Do? on Nickelodeon in the late 80s and early 90s. Kids would kill to be on his show back then.
Former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs and mentor to Henry Rowengartner.
George Washington Carver
Born into slavery, later invented peanut butter.
What a story. What a delicious spread.
Co-founder and chairman of Nike.
Also on the “Biggest Asshole” lists in South Korea and Taiwan.
Fred B. Purnell
The man behind the creation of bacon isn’t American, so I went with the next best thing: The man behind Purnell’s Old Folks Country Sausage.
Abraham Lincoln is a top 5 pick for greatest Americans. He saved the Union, freed the slaves, and saw the better half of Our American Cousin live at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
If you thought regular Abraham Lincoln was a badass, just imagine how awesome the vampire hunting version of Abraham Lincoln was.
“The Man In Black” who sang “Folsom Prison Blues”
The real one, not the Frank Caliendo one.
I can’t stand Frank Caliendo.
President Thomas J. Whitmore
On July 4, 1996, while aliens approached planet Earth for attack, President Thomas J. Whitmore stood in the bed of an M34 truck on a U.S. Air Force base and delivered the most powerful speech this country has ever heard:
“In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences any more. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, ‘We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive.’ Today we celebrate our independence day!”
Stand-up comedian. Hilarious.
The first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era.
The NBA analyst, not the NBA player.
Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot.
American comedian and cocaine enthusiast.
Animal House will never get old.
Proud parent, loving husband, and sales associate at Gary’s Shoes and Accessories for Today’s Woman in Chicago.
The best golfer to never sleep with a Perkins waitress; nicknamed “The Golden Bear”
He won a record 18 PGA major championships.
Is he dead??? Is he alive???
Still mad about that ending.
The Fat Kid In Bad Santa
Anyone who has been to a Jimmy Buffett concert, or at least tailgated for one, knows exactly why Jimmy is on this list.
Nobody parties like Parrotheads. NOBODY.
The best thing to happen to Charlotte, North Carolina since NASCAR.
Rest in peace.
I request four songs every time I see a jukebox at a bar.
“Take Me Home Tonight” is three of them.
… Is America (And So Can You!)
The celebrity roasts on Comedy Central are America’s guilty pleasure and Jeffrey Ross is the mastermind that makes them funny.
“How is it possible that Courtney Love looks worse than Kurt Cobain?”
Smoother than silk. Cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Because he’s Morgan Freeman.
When his son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and then finds out he cannot receive a transplant because HMO insurance will not cover it, John Q takes a hospital full of patients hostage until his son’s name is on the recipient’s list.
Spoiler: His son lives.
The only reason you bought the Awesome Auger, Mighty Putty, and two Vidalia Slice Wizards.
The man could sell Orange Glo to stained wood.
He authored the Declaration of Independence, passed the statute of Religious Freedom in Virginia, and founded the University of Virginia.
Soon it’ll come out that he murdered zombies or slayed dragons in his spare time.
Some will argue that Lee Greenwood is a draft dodger — yeah, so what?
Listen to “God Bless The U.S.A.” one time and tell me his isn’t a great American.
It’s even hard for Yankees haters to ignore Derek Jeter.
He’s on here, but it wasn’t easy.
America’s favorite eater downed 68 hot dogs this year to win his sixth consecutive Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.
I want to stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above.
Happy Birthday, America!