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Hall of Fame for Great Americans

Hall of Fame for Great Americans

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The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is the original hall of fame
Hall of Fame
A hall of fame, wall of fame, walk of fame, walk of stars or avenue of stars is a type of attraction established for any field of endeavor to honor individuals of noteworthy achievement in that field...

 in the United States. "Fame" here means "renown" (rather than today's more common meaning of "celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

"). Its originator, Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken, acknowledged inspiration from the Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame) in Munich, Germany.

It is a secular national shrine on the grounds of the Bronx Community College
Bronx Community College
The Bronx Community College of The City University of New York is a community college in the City University of New York system located in the University Heights neighborhood of The Bronx.- History :...

 of the City University of New York located in The Bronx, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Though the Hall's renown has itself faded, its glorious architecture remains, and the hall stands as a shrine not just to great men, but to Roman ideals of fame favored at the beginning of the 20th century.

Completed in 1900, as part of the original New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 campus at the site, the building was donated by Helen Gould and was formally dedicated on May 30, 1901.

The Hall of Fame stands on the heights occupied by the British army in its successful attack upon Fort Washington
Fort Washington (New York)
Fort Washington was a fortified position near the north end of Manhattan Island and was located at the highest point on the island. The Fort Washington Site is listed on the U.S...

 in the autumn of 1776. Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, originator of The Hall of Fame and Chancellor of New York University once said:
Lost to the invaders of 1776, this summit is now retaken by the goodly troop of 'Great Americans', General Washington their leader. They enter into possession of these Heights and are destined to hold them, we trust, forever.

Origin and inspiration

Other monuments of a similar purpose had been built earlier. King Ludwig I of Bavaria actually built two: a Walhalla Ruhmes- und Ehrenhalle
Walhalla temple
The Walhalla temple is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished Germans, famous personalities in German history — politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue". The hall is housed in a neo-classical building above the Danube River, east of Regensburg, in...

 near Regensburg, Germany, completed in 1842, and a Ruhmeshalle auf der Anhöhe (Bavarian Hall of Fame), in Munich, completed in 1853.
Chancellor Henry Mitchell McCracken described the evolution of the idea for the Hall of Fame:

The Hall of Fame... owes its inception in large part to hard facts of physical geography. After the three buildings which were to form the west side of the quadrangle of the New York University College of Arts and Science at University Heights had been planned, it was decided, in order to enlarge the quadrangle, to push them as near as possible to the avenue above the Harlem River. But since the campus level is 170 feet above high tide, and from 40 to 60 feet above the avenue, it was seen at once that the basement stories would stand out towards the avenue bare and unsightly. In order to conceal their walls, a terrace was suggested by the architect, to be bounded at its outer edge by a parapet or colonnade.

But while aesthetics compelled the architect to invent the terrace with its parapet of colonnade, the university's necessity compelled the discovery of an educational use for the architect's structure. Like most persons who have visited Germany, the chairman was acquainted with the "Ruhmes Halle," built near Munich by the King of Bavaria. Like all Americans, he admired the use made of Westminster Abbey, and of the Pantheon in Paris. But the American claims liberty to adopt new and broad rules to govern him, even when following on the track of his Old-World ancestors. Hence it was agreed that admission to this Hall of Fame should be controlled by a national body of electors, who might, as nearly as possible, represent the wisdom of the American people.


The memorial structure is an open-air colonnade
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building....

, 630 feet in length with space for 102 bronze sculptures
Bust (sculpture)
A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, as well as a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. These forms recreate the likeness of an individual...

, designed in the neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 style by architect Stanford White
Stanford White
Stanford White was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the frontrunner among Beaux-Arts firms. He designed a long series of houses for the rich and the very rich, and various public, institutional, and religious buildings, some of which can be found...

. The library is comparable to Low Library at Columbia, designed by White's partner Charles McKim. The colonnade also runs behind (west of) the Hall of Languages to the south, and the Hall of Philosophy to the north.

Carved in stone on pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

s of The Hall of Fame are the words "By wealth of thought, or else by mighty deed, They served mankind in noble character. In worldwide good they live forever more."

The base to each sculpture holds a bronze tablet bearing the name of the person commemorated, significant dates, achievements and quotations. Each bronze bust must have been made specifically for The Hall of Fame and must not be duplicated within 50 years of its execution.


To be eligible for nomination, a person must have been a native born or naturalized (since 1914) citizen of the United States, must have been dead for 25 years (since 1922; from 1900 through 1920, a nominee had to be dead only 10 years) and must have made a major contribution to the economic, political, or cultural life of the nation. Nominees were elected by a simple majority vote, except from 1925 through 1940, when a 3/5 majority was required, and in 1976 when a point system replaced the majority vote. Two nominees, Constance Woolson (nominated in 1900) and Orville Wright (elected in 1965), were considered, being dead only 6 and 17 years respectively.
MacCracken wanted to make sure that the people enshrined in his Hall of Fame were truly famous, not just memorable. So he established a board of electors, composed of men and women who were themselves possessed of some measure of renown, ostensibly people of great character and sound judgment. Over the years that body would include the most respected writers, historians, and educators of their day, along with scores of congressmen, a dozen Supreme Court justices, and six Presidents; seven former electors have themselves been elected to the Hall of Fame. To ensure that nominees would be evaluated with adequate sobriety and perspective, it was decided that no one could be elected who had not been dead for at least twenty-five years. Everyone thought that was just fine; after all, as the old maxim holds, "Fame is a food that dead men eat".

The Hall of Fame soon became a focal point for US national pride:
It was a truly democratic institution — anyone could nominate a candidate, admission would be free, and although NYU served as a steward, raising funds and running the elections, the whole thing was technically the property of the American people.
...and people took it very, very seriously. Newspaper publishers used their editorial pages to lobby for or against nominees, and groups like the American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy
United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Daughters of the Confederacy is a women's heritage association dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served in the military and died in service to the Confederate States of America . UDC began as the National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1894 by...

 (helped elect "Stonewall" Jackson in 1955 and, without success, Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

) waged extensive, expensive campaigns to get "their" candidates elected. Installation ceremonies were elaborate events. For a while the term "Hall of Famer" carried greater cachet than "Nobel laureate", and a hilltop in the Bronx seemed, to many, the highest spot in the country, if not the world.

Classification of honorees

The first 50 names were required to include representatives of a majority of 15 classes:
  • authors and editors
  • business men
  • inventors
  • missionaries and explorers
  • philanthropists and reformers
  • clergymen and theologians;
  • scientists
  • engineers and architects
  • lawyers and judges
  • musicians, painters, and sculptors
  • physicians and surgeons
  • rulers and statesmen
  • soldiers and sailors
  • teachers
  • distinguished men and women outside of these classes

First group

The first 29 people to be elected in the year 1900 were:
  • George Washington
    George Washington
    George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

  • Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

  • Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests...

  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

  • Ulysses S. Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

  • John Marshall
    John Marshall
    John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

  • Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

  • Robert Fulton
    Robert Fulton
    Robert Fulton was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat...

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

  • Washington Irving
    Washington Irving
    Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works...

  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Samuel F. B. Morse
    Samuel F. B. Morse
    Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American contributor to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, co-inventor of the Morse code, and an accomplished painter.-Birth and education:...

  • David G. Farragut
  • Henry Clay
    Henry Clay
    Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

  • George Peabody
    George Peabody
    George Peabody was an American-British entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the Peabody Trust in Britain and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and was responsible for many other charitable initiatives.-Biography:...

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

  • Peter Cooper
    Peter Cooper
    Peter Cooper was an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States...

  • Eli Whitney
    Eli Whitney
    Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South...

  • Robert E. Lee
    Robert E. Lee
    Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

  • Horace Mann
    Horace Mann
    Horace Mann was an American education reformer, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833. He served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837. In 1848, after serving as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education since its creation, he was...

  • John James Audubon
    John James Audubon
    John James Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats...

  • James Kent
    James Kent
    James Kent was an American jurist and legal scholar.-Life:...

  • Henry Ward Beecher
    Henry Ward Beecher
    Henry Ward Beecher was a prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist, and speaker in the mid to late 19th century...

  • Joseph Story
    Joseph Story
    Joseph Story was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845. He is most remembered today for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and The Amistad, along with his magisterial Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first...

  • John Adams
    John Adams
    John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

  • William Ellery Channing
    William Ellery Channing
    Dr. William Ellery Channing was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century and, along with Andrews Norton, one of Unitarianism's leading theologians. He was known for his articulate and impassioned sermons and public speeches, and as a prominent thinker...

  • Gilbert Stuart
    Gilbert Stuart
    Gilbert Charles Stuart was an American painter from Rhode Island.Gilbert Stuart is widely considered to be one of America's foremost portraitists...

  • Asa Gray
    Asa Gray
    -References:*Asa Gray. Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928–1936.*Asa Gray. Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.*Asa Gray. Plant Sciences. 4 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2001....

Later groups

Added in 1905:
  • John Quincy Adams
    John Quincy Adams
    John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

  • James Russell Lowell
    James Russell Lowell
    James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

  • Mary Lyon
    Mary Lyon
    Mary Mason Lyon , surname pronounced , was a pioneer in women's education. She established the Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts, . Within two years, she raised $15,000 to build the Mount Holyoke School...

  • William T. Sherman
  • James Madison
    James Madison
    James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

  • John Greenleaf Whittier
    John Greenleaf Whittier
    John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets...

  • Emma Willard
    Emma Willard
    Emma Hart Willard was an American women’s rights activist who dedicated her life to education. She worked in several schools and founded the first school for women’s higher education, the Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York...

  • Maria Mitchell
    Maria Mitchell
    Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer, who in 1847, by using a telescope, discovered a comet which as a result became known as the "Miss Mitchell's Comet". She won a gold medal prize for her discovery which was presented to her by King Frederick VII of Denmark. The medal said “Not in vain do...

Added in 1910:
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom...

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat...

  • Edgar Allan Poe
    Edgar Allan Poe
    Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

  • James Fenimore Cooper
    James Fenimore Cooper
    James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo...

  • Phillips Brooks
    Phillips Brooks
    Phillips Brooks was an American clergyman and author, who briefly served as Bishop of Massachusetts in the Episcopal Church during the early 1890s. In the Episcopal liturgical calendar he is remembered on January 23...

  • William Cullen Bryant
    William Cullen Bryant
    William Cullen Bryant was an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post.-Youth and education:...

  • Frances E. Willard
  • Andrew Jackson
    Andrew Jackson
    Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

  • George Bancroft
    George Bancroft
    George Bancroft was an American historian and statesman who was prominent in promoting secondary education both in his home state and at the national level. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of the Navy, he established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845...

  • John Lothrop Motley
    John Lothrop Motley
    John Lothrop Motley was an American historian and diplomat.-Biography:...

Added in 1915:
  • Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

  • Mark Hopkins
    Mark Hopkins (educator)
    Mark Hopkins was an American educator and theologian.-Life and career:Great-nephew of the theologian Samuel Hopkins, Mark Hopkins was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts...

  • Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his...

  • Louis Agassiz
    Louis Agassiz
    Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was a Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, geologist and a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth's natural history. He grew up in Switzerland and became a professor of natural history at University of Neuchâtel...

  • Elias Howe
    Elias Howe
    Elias Howe, Jr. was an American inventor and sewing machine pioneer.-Early life & family:Howe was born on July 9, 1819 to Dr. Elias Howe, Sr. and Polly Howe in Spencer, Massachusetts. Howe spent his childhood and early adult years in Massachusetts where he apprenticed in a textile factory in...

  • Joseph Henry
    Joseph Henry
    Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

  • Charlotte Cushman
  • Rufus Choate
    Rufus Choate
    Rufus Choate , American lawyer and orator, was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, a descendant of an English family which settled in Massachusetts in 1643. His first cousin, physician George Choate, was the father of George C. S. Choate and Joseph Hodges Choate...

  • Daniel Boone
    Daniel Boone
    Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman whose frontier exploits mad']'e him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of...

Added in 1920:
  • William Thomas Morton
    William T.G. Morton
    William Thomas Green Morton was an American dentist who first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. The promotion of his questionable claim to have been the discoverer of anesthesia became an obsession for the rest of his life.- Life and work :Born in...

  • Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain
  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens
    Augustus Saint-Gaudens
    Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the Irish-born American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the "American Renaissance"...

  • Roger Williams
    Roger Williams
    -People:* Roger Williams , Welsh soldier of fortune* Roger Williams , English theologian, co-founder of Rhode Island* Roger Williams , US actor...

  • Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

  • Alice Freeman Palmer
    Alice Freeman Palmer
    Alice Freeman Palmer was an American educator.She was born Alice Elvira Freeman in Colesville, New York and brought up in Windsor, New York. Her parents both came from well-to-do families with interests in lumber, dairy farming and land...

  • James Buchanan Eads
    James Buchanan Eads
    Captain James Buchanan Eads was a world-renowned American civil engineer and inventor, holding more than fifty patents.-Early life and education:...

Added in 1925:
  • Edwin Booth
    Edwin Booth
    Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

  • John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

Added in 1930:
  • James McNeill Whistler
    James McNeill Whistler
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger...

  • James Monroe
    James Monroe
    James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

  • Matthew Fontaine Maury
  • Walt Whitman
    Walt Whitman
    Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

Added in 1935:
  • William Penn
    William Penn
    William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

  • Simon Newcomb
    Simon Newcomb
    Simon Newcomb was a Canadian-American astronomer and mathematician. Though he had little conventional schooling, he made important contributions to timekeeping as well as writing on economics and statistics and authoring a science fiction novel.-Early life:Simon Newcomb was born in the town of...

  • Grover Cleveland
    Grover Cleveland
    Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

Added in 1940:
  • Stephen Foster
    Stephen Foster
    Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

Added in 1945:
  • Booker T. Washington
    Booker T. Washington
    Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915...

  • Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine
    Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

  • Walter Reed
    Walter Reed
    Major Walter Reed, M.D., was a U.S. Army physician who in 1900 led the team that postulated and confirmed the theory that yellow fever is transmitted by a particular mosquito species, rather than by direct contact...

  • Sidney Lanier
    Sidney Lanier
    Sidney Lanier was an American musician and poet.-Biography:Sidney Lanier was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia, to parents Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson; he was mostly of English ancestry. His distant French Huguenot ancestors immigrated to England in the 16th century...

Added in 1950:
  • William C. Gorgas
    William C. Gorgas
    William Crawford Gorgas KCMG was a United States Army physician and 22nd Surgeon General of the U.S. Army...

  • Woodrow Wilson
    Woodrow Wilson
    Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

  • Susan B. Anthony
    Susan B. Anthony
    Susan Brownell Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President...

  • Alexander Graham Bell
    Alexander Graham Bell
    Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

  • Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

  • Josiah W. Gibbs

Added in 1955:
  • Wilbur Wright
  • Thomas J. Jackson
  • George Westinghouse
    George Westinghouse
    George Westinghouse, Jr was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system...

Added in 1960:
  • Thomas Alva Edison
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry David Thoreau
    Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

  • Edward A. MacDowell
    Edward MacDowell
    Edward Alexander MacDowell was an American composer and pianist of the Romantic period. He was best known for his second piano concerto and his piano suites "Woodland Sketches", "Sea Pieces", and "New England Idylls". "Woodland Sketches" includes his most popular short piece, "To a Wild Rose"...

Added in 1965:
  • Jane Addams
    Jane Addams
    Jane Addams was a pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace...

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932...

  • Sylvanus Thayer
    Sylvanus Thayer
    Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Sylvanus Thayer also known as "the Father of West Point" was an early superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point and an early advocate of engineering education in the United States.-Biography:Thayer was born in Braintree, Massachusetts,...

  • Orville Wright

Added in 1970:
  • Albert A. Michelson
  • Lillian Wald
    Lillian Wald
    Lillian D. Wald was a nurse; social worker; public health official; teacher; author; editor; publisher; activist for peace, women's, children's and civil rights; and the founder of American community nursing...

Added in 1973:
  • George Washington Carver
    George Washington Carver
    George Washington Carver , was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864....

  • Louis D. Brandeis
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

  • John Philip Sousa
    John Philip Sousa
    John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King" or the "American March King" due to his British counterpart Kenneth J....

Added in 1976:
  • Clara Barton
    Clara Barton
    Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton was a pioneer American teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian. She is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross.-Youth, education, and family nursing:...

  • Luther Burbank
    Luther Burbank
    Luther Burbank was an American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science.He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 54-year career. Burbank's varied creations included fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables...

  • Andrew Carnegie
    Andrew Carnegie
    Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

The inductees voted on in 1976 (and Brandeis) do not have busts at the Hall.

Nominees | Not Elected

In addition to Constance Woolson and Jefferson Davis, the following people were nominated at least once but not elected:

John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley was an American newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery...

Ephraim McDowell
Ephraim McDowell
Ephraim McDowell was an American physician. He was the first to successfully remove an ovarian tumor.-Biography:...

Richard M. Hoe,


1) Adams, Samuel;
2) Alcott, Louisa May;
3) Appleseed, Johnny;
4) Arthur, Chester A.;
5) Bache, Sarah Franklin;
6) Barnard, Henry;
7) Beaumont, William;
8) Billings, John Shaw;
9) Bingham, George Caleb;;
10) Blackwell, Elizabeth;
11) Blavatsky, Elena Petrovna;
12) Bowne, Borden Parker;
13) Brewster, (Pilgrim) William;
14) Burt, William Austin;
15) Bushnell, Horace;
16) Calhoun, John C. [12];
17) Cary, Alice;
18) Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, popularly known as Chief Joseph, or Young Joseph was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other "non-treaty" Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho...

19) Church, Frederick Edwin;
20) Clark, George Rogers;
21) Cohan, George M.;
22) Coolidge, Calvin;
23) Copley, John Singleton;
24) Dix, Dorothea;
25) Dunbar, Paul;
26) Earhart, Amelia;
27) Earp, Wyatt;
28) Eliot, John (missionary);
29) Ford, Henry;
30) Garfield, James A.;
31) Garrison, William Lloyd;
32) Gehrig, Lou;
33) George, Henry;
34) Greeley, Horace [12];
35) Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell;
36) Harding, Warren G.;
37) Harrison, Benjamin;
38) Harrison, William Henry;
39) Hoe, Richard M. [12];
40) Hughes, Charles Evans;
41) Ireland, John (archbishop);
42) Jackson, Helen Hunt;
43) James, William;
44) Jay, John;
45) Johnson, Andrew;
46) Jolson, Al;
47) Judson, Adoniram;
48) Kilmer, Joyce;
49) La Guardia, Fiorello;
50) Landsteiner, Karl;
51) Lewis, Gilbert N.;
52) Long, Crawford;
53) Long, Huey;
54) McCormick, Cyrus;
55) McCormick, Robert;
56) McDowell, Ephraim [12];
57) McKim, Charles Follen;
58) McKinley, William;
59) Mergenthaler, Ottmar;
60) Mitchell, S. Weir;
61) Mott, Lucretia;
62) Peirce, Benjamin;
63) Phillips, Wendell;
64) Powers, Hiram;
65) Rogers, Will;
66) Ruth, Babe;
67) Sacagawea
Sacagawea ; was a Lemhi Shoshone woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western United States...

68) Schiff, Jacob;
69) Seton, Elizabeth;
70) Sigourney, Lydia Huntley;
71) Simpson, Matthew;
72) Stevens, (inventor) John;
73) Stevens, Robert L.;
74) Tesla, Nikola (scientist | inventor extraordinaire | humanitarian);
75) Thompson, Benjamin;
76) Touro, Judah;
77) Warburg, Paul M.;
78) Washington, Martha;
79) Washington, Mary;
80) Wayland, Francis;
81) Webster, Noah;
82) Welch, William Henry;
83) Wheaton, Henry;
84) Woolsey, Theodore Dwight


1. Adoniram Judson
Adoniram Judson
Adoniram Judson, Jr. was an American Baptist missionary, who served in Burma for almost forty years. At the age of 25, Adoniram Judson became the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma...

2. Al Jolson
Al Jolson
Al Jolson was an American singer, comedian and actor. In his heyday, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer"....

3. Alice Cary
Alice Cary
Alice Cary was an American poet, and the sister of fellow poet Phoebe Cary .-Biography:Alice Cary was born on April 26, 1820, in Mount Healthy, Ohio near Cincinnati. Her parents lived on a farm bought by Robert Cary in 1813 in what is now North College Hill, Ohio. He called the Clovernook Farm...

4. Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean...

5. Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

6. Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

7. Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

8. Benjamin Peirce
Benjamin Peirce
Benjamin Peirce was an American mathematician who taught at Harvard University for approximately 50 years. He made contributions to celestial mechanics, statistics, number theory, algebra, and the philosophy of mathematics....

9. Benjamin Thompson
Benjamin Thompson
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford , FRS was an American-born British physicist and inventor whose challenges to established physical theory were part of the 19th century revolution in thermodynamics. He also served as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Loyalist forces in America during the American...

10. Borden Parker Bowne
Borden Parker Bowne
Borden Parker Bowne was an American Christian philosopher and theologian in the Methodist tradition. In 1876 he became a professor of philosophy at Boston University, where he taught for more than thirty years. He later served as dean of the graduate school. Bowne was an acute critic of positivism...

11. Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

12. Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , United States Secretary of State , a judge on the Court of International Justice , and...

13. Charles Follen McKim
Charles Follen McKim
Charles Follen McKim FAIA was an American Beaux-Arts architect of the late 19th century. Along with Stanford White, he provided the architectural expertise as a member of the partnership McKim, Mead, and White....

14. Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

15. Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, popularly known as Chief Joseph, or Young Joseph was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other "non-treaty" Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho...

16. Crawford Long
Crawford Long
Crawford Williamson Long was an American surgeon and pharmacist best known for his first use of inhaled diethyl ether as an anesthetic...

17. Cyrus McCormick
Cyrus McCormick
Cyrus Hall McCormick, Sr. was an American inventor and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which became part of International Harvester Company in 1902.He and many members of the McCormick family became prominent Chicagoans....

18. Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Lynde Dix was an American activist on behalf of the indigent insane who, through a vigorous program of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the first generation of American mental asylums...

19. Elena Petrovna Blavatsky,
20. Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States and the first on the UK Medical Register...

21. Elizabeth Seton,
22. Ephraim McDowell
Ephraim McDowell
Ephraim McDowell was an American physician. He was the first to successfully remove an ovarian tumor.-Biography:...

23. Fiorello La Guardia,
24. Francis Wayland
Francis Wayland
Francis Wayland , American Baptist educator and economist, was born in New York City, New York. He was president of Brown University and pastor of the First Baptist Church in America in Providence, Rhode Island. In Washington, D.C., Wayland Seminary was established in 1867, primarily to educate...

25. Frederick Edwin Church,
26. George Caleb Bingham
George Caleb Bingham
George Caleb Bingham was an American artist whose paintings of American life in the frontier lands along the Missouri River exemplify the Luminist style. Left to languish in obscurity, Bingham's work was rediscovered in the 1930s...

27. George M. Cohan
George M. Cohan
George Michael Cohan , known professionally as George M. Cohan, was a major American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer, and producer....

28. George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war...

29. Gilbert N. Lewis
Gilbert N. Lewis
Gilbert Newton Lewis was an American physical chemist known for the discovery of the covalent bond , his purification of heavy water, his reformulation of chemical thermodynamics in a mathematically rigorous manner accessible to ordinary chemists, his theory of Lewis acids and...

30. Helen Hunt Jackson
Helen Hunt Jackson
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, born Helen Fiske , was a United States writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. She detailed the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor...

31. Henry Barnard
Henry Barnard
Henry Barnard was an American educationalist and reformer.-Biography:...

32. Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

33. Henry George
Henry George
Henry George was an American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land...

34. Henry Wheaton,
35. Hiram Powers
Hiram Powers
Hiram Powers was an American neoclassical sculptor.-Biography:The son of a farmer, Powers was born in Woodstock, Vermont, on the July 29, 1805. In 1818 his father moved to Ohio, about six miles from Cincinnati, where the son attended school for about a year, staying meanwhile with his brother, a...

36. Horace Bushnell
Horace Bushnell
Horace Bushnell was an American Congregational clergyman and theologian.-Life:Bushnell was a Yankee born in the village of Bantam, township of Litchfield, Connecticut. He attended Yale College where he roomed with future magazinist Nathaniel Parker Willis. Willis credited Bushnell with teaching...

37. Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley was an American newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery...

38. Huey Long
Huey Long
Huey Pierce Long, Jr. , nicknamed The Kingfish, served as the 40th Governor of Louisiana from 1928–1932 and as a U.S. Senator from 1932 to 1935. A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies. Though a backer of Franklin D...

39. Jacob Schiff
Jacob Schiff
Jacob Henry Schiff, born Jakob Heinrich Schiff was a German-born Jewish American banker and philanthropist, who helped finance, among many other things, the Japanese military efforts against Tsarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War.From his base on Wall Street, he was the foremost Jewish leader...

40. James A. Garfield,
41. John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

42. John Eliot
John Eliot
John Eliot may refer to:*Sir John Eliot , English politician*John Eliot , English Puritan minister and missionary*John Eliot, 1st Earl of St Germans , British politician...

43. John Ireland
John Ireland
John Ireland may refer to:* John Ireland , Anglican priest and philanthropist* John Ireland , American politician...

44. John Jay
John Jay
John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States ....

45. John Shaw Billings
John Shaw Billings
John Shaw Billings was an American librarian and surgeon best known as the modernizer of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office of the Army and as the first director of the New York Public Library.-Biography:...

46. John Singleton Copley
John Singleton Copley
John Singleton Copley was an American painter, born presumably in Boston, Massachusetts, and a son of Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Irish. He is famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England, depicting in particular middle-class subjects...

47. John Stevens
John Stevens
John Stevens may refer to:In politics, law and public service:*John H. Stevens , built the first house west of the Mississippi in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota*John L. Stevens , U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Hawai'i...

48. Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed , born John Chapman, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois...

49. Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer
Alfred Joyce Kilmer was an American journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer is remembered most for a short poem entitled "Trees" , which was published in...

50. Judah Touro
Judah Touro
Judah Touro was an American businessman and philanthropist.-Early life and career:...

51. Karl Landsteiner
Karl Landsteiner
Karl Landsteiner , was an Austrian-born American biologist and physician of Jewish origin. He is noted for having first distinguished the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the...

52. Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig
Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig , nicknamed "The Iron Horse" for his durability, was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played his entire 17-year baseball career for the New York Yankees . Gehrig set several major league records. He holds the record for most career grand slams...

53. Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868...

54. Lucretia Mott
Lucretia Mott
Lucretia Coffin Mott was an American Quaker, abolitionist, social reformer, and proponent of women's rights.- Early life and education:...

55. Lydia Huntley Sigourney,
56. Martha Washington
Martha Washington
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States...

57. Mary Washington,
58. Matthew Simpson
Matthew Simpson
Matthew Simpson , was an American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1852.-Early life and family:...

59. Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 (scientist | inventor extraordinaire | humanitarian),
60. Noah Webster
Noah Webster
Noah Webster was an American educator, lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author...

61. Ottmar Mergenthaler
Ottmar Mergenthaler
Ottmar Mergenthaler was an inventor who has been called a second Gutenberg because of his invention of the Linotype machine, the first device that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses...

62. Paul Dunbar,
63. Paul M. Warburg,
64. Richard M. Hoe [12],
65. Robert L. Stevens,
66. Robert McCormick
Robert McCormick
Robert McCormick is the name of:* Robert R. McCormick , American publisher of the Chicago Tribune* Robert McCormick , naturalist with the British Royal Navy...

67. S. Weir Mitchell,
68. Sacagawea
Sacagawea ; was a Lemhi Shoshone woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western United States...

69. Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American...

70. Sarah Franklin Bache
Sarah Franklin Bache
Sarah Franklin “Sally” Bache was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read.Known as "Sally" throughout her life, she was an ardent American patriot during the Revolutionary War through relief work and as her father's political hostess...

71. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale,
72. Theodore Dwight Woolsey
Theodore Dwight Woolsey
Theodore Dwight Woolsey was an American academic, author and president of Yale College from 1846 through 1871.-Biography:Theodore Dwight Woolsey was born October 31, 1801 in New York City...

73. Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

74. Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

75. Will Rogers
Will Rogers
William "Will" Penn Adair Rogers was an American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, film actor, and one of the world's best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s....

76. William Austin Burt
William Austin Burt
William Austin Burt was an American inventor, legislator, surveyor, and millwright. He was the inventor, maker and patentee of the first typewriter constructed in America...

77. William Beaumont
William Beaumont
William Beaumont was a surgeon in the U.S. Army who became known as the "Father of Gastric Physiology" following his research on human digestion.-Early life:...

78. William Brewster
William Brewster
William Brewster may refer to:*William Brewster , Pilgrim and Mayflower passenger*William Brewster , ornithologist*William K. Brewster, Democratic politician and a retired U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma...

79. William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

80. William Henry Welch,
81. William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

82. William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

83. William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

84. Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was an American gambler, investor, and law enforcement officer who served in several Western frontier towns. He was also at different times a farmer, teamster, bouncer, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. However, he was never a drover or cowboy. He is most well known...



Today the Hall of Fame for Great Americans is forgotten. For twenty years [viz., prior to 1997], in fact, it has been too broke to hold new elections, too broke even to commission busts of the people it elected two decades ago, including Louis Brandeis, Clara Barton, Luther Burbank, and Andrew Carnegie. It took nineteen years to raise the $25,000 needed to commission the bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1973 NYU abruptly abandoned its Bronx campus and the Hall of Fame. Eventually the state bought the whole thing, and it is now in the hands of Bronx Community College
Bronx Community College
The Bronx Community College of The City University of New York is a community college in the City University of New York system located in the University Heights neighborhood of The Bronx.- History :...

. In the late 1970s the state spent $3 million restoring the colonnade's crumbling foundation; a few years ago it spent another $200,000 restoring the ninety-eight bronze busts, many of which had deteriorated badly. But private gifts, which were always the Hall of Fame's primary source of support, stopped coming many years ago.

In 2001, Bronx Community College
Bronx Community College
The Bronx Community College of The City University of New York is a community college in the City University of New York system located in the University Heights neighborhood of The Bronx.- History :...

 organized a US$ 1 Million fund-raising effort to re-build and expand the Hall of Fame.

Along with the library dome at the Bronx Community College, the Hall of Fame was featured in the 2006 film The Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd (film)
The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, with an extensive supporting cast. Although it is a fictional film loosely based on real events, it is advertised as telling the untold story of the birth of counter-intelligence in the...

as a backdrop for scenes taking place at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

. The dome of the Gould Memorial Library at the Hall of Fame served as a stand-in for MIT's Great Dome in the movie A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind (film)
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar...


Articles Cited

  • Rubin, R., "The Mall of Fame", The Atlantic Monthly, Vol.280, No.1, (July 1997), pp. 14–18.
  • Wallechinsky, David, and Irving Wallace, "The Hall of Fame for Great Americans," in The People's Almanac #2. New York: Bantam, 1978, pp. 1050–1056.

External links