20 Native American Celebrities that Changed History
There are many celebrities who claim being of Native American descent and some come as a real surprise. But along the time, there have also been many famous Native Americans, who weren’t celebrities, but they had a huge impact on society and the course of history.
1. Johnny Depp
One of the famous Native Americans actors is one of the most beloved celebrity on the planet. Johnny Depp was born from parents John and Betty Sue Depp. His father was a civil engineer and his mother was from a full blooded Cherokee family and was a waitress.
2. Tina Turner
Anna Mae Bullock, but you probably know her better by the name of Tina Turner, was born in Nutbush, Tennessee and her parents were Zelma Bullock who was a factory worker and Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon who was also working in a factory. Tina Turner is part African American, part European and Native American. She believed her mother had Native American ancestry, of Cherokee and Navajo.
3. Chuck Norris
Everybody knows there are some rules in this world that can’t be broken, one of them is that you don’t mess with Chuck Norris. Well believe it or not, he is one of the famous Native American actors. Chuck was born from an Irish mother, Wilma and Native American father Ray Norris. He was the eldest of the kids and helped his mother raise his brothers after their father left. In school he used to be teased about him being mixed and he used to dream about being able to beat up his bullies. Well…mission accomplished!
4. Quentin Tarantino
Another member among the famous Native American names, is non other than Quentin Tarantino. The movie director/producer/screenwriter, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 27th. He was an only child to parents Connie McHugh who is part Irish and part Cherokee and actor Tony Tarantino, who left before Quentin was born.
5. Rosario Dawson
One of the Native American women is also actress Rosario Dawson who was born in New York, her mother Isabel Celeste was a singer and her biological father, Patrick Harris had never been around. Her genes are a very unique mixture of Afro-Cuban, Irish, Puerto Rican and Native American.
6. Benjamin Bratt
In 1999 he was among People’s magazine 50 most beautiful people, actor Benjamin Bratt, is a famous native American descendant. He is the grandson of actor George Bratt and was the third child of five. His mother was a Peruvian Quechua Indian who was a native American activist. His father was a sheet metal worker.
7. Jim Thorpe
Famous, succesful and native American. Athlete,Jim Thorpe was born close current-day Prague, Oklahoma. He was the child of Sac and Fox and Potawatomi Indian bloodlines, but he also had French and Irish roots. His Indian name was Wa-Tho-Huk, which means “Bright-Path but was christened Jacobus Franciscus Thorpe.
Going back in the history of famous Native American women, Pocahontas was a Powhatan Native American woman, and was born somewhere in 1595. She is famous for her involvement in the colonial settlement of English people in Jamestown, Virginia. Kids learn about her in history, and know her from the story in which she is said to have saved the life of English man John Smith by putting her head on his own in the moment of his execution. Pocahontas married a colonist and changed her name to Rebecca Rolfe.
9. Red Cloud
Red cloud, a famous folk hero and activist was born in 1822, and was an important Native American leader who fought for his peoples lands. He was named after a strange weather event. His mother, named Walks as She Think was part of the Oglala Sioux and his father Lone Man, belonged to Brule Sioux.
10. Russel Means
Russel Means, a Native American activist, was part of the Oglala Sioux tribe and an activist for native Americans. In 1973, he helped lead an armed takeover of small South Dakota’s town, Wounded Knee. In 1987 he entered politics and ran for presidency but he lost to Ron Paul. He also worked as an actor and appeared in films like The Last Of the Mohicans. He died in October 2012.
11. Wayne Newton
One of Las Vegas’s most popular entertainers, Wayne Newton belongs to he list of famous Native American singers. He spent many of his childhood years in Virginia. His father father was a mechanic and his mother was a stay at home mom, to raise her two children. Both of Wayne’s parents had Native American roots, his mother was Cherokee and his father Powahatan.
Sequoyah lived from 1767 to 1843 and belonged to the Cherokee tribe. He was the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet and found a way to write the Cherokee language. He did all of it by himself.
Sacajawea was a princess belonging to the Shoshone Indian tribe. When she was a child, her village was attacked and she was turned into a slave. She was sold to a trapper, called Charbonneau and she became his wife. When explorers Lewis and Clark arrived she was living with her husband. They asked her is she wanted to help be their translator to the Shoshone, along their travels. She agreed traveling with them and helped them arrive to the Pacific Ocean.
14. Black Hawk
Black Hawk was a very strong ad fierce war chief. He was the leader of the Sauk tribes in assisting the British people in the War of 1812. He fought to take back the land of his people form the settlers, but he was captured and his people lost their lands.
Geronimo was one of the leaders of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. He led the Apache opposing for many years invaders from Mexico and the West. His indian name means “the one who yawns”.
16. Angelina Jolie
The Academy-award winning actress Angelina Jolie has Native American ethnicity. While she is not part of any tribes because she is only small part Native, her French-Canadian maternal grandmother is connected to the remote Huron Native Canadian ancestry. According to Ethnicelebs.com, Angelina is 1/1024 Huron Native American.
17. Jessica Biel
The famous 7th Heaven actress, Jessica Biel, who is still considered one of the most attractive woman from Hollywood, is also of Native American Descent. According to several articles, Jessica has Choctaw ancestry. The Choctaw are Native Americans from the southeaster part of the United States.
18. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix may be primarly of African American descent, but he also has roots in the Cherokee tribe. According to the records, Hendrix’s great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee who married an Irishman. the American guitarist, songwriter and singer who became known as one of America’s musical legends has an extremely interesting lineage.
There has been a lot of heated debate on the topic of Cher’s heritage. Prior to 1973, her biography listed her father as being Armenian, but after her single “Half Breed” came out, the world-renowned singer realized that she was actually 1/16th Cherokee.
20. Elvis Presley
Did you know that the great-great-great-grandmother of Elvis Presley, Morning White Dove, was a full-fledged Cherokee Indian? Her husband, William Mansell, actually fought in the in the Indian Wars against Andrew Jackson. This happened during the early 18s. Roughly one hundred years later, Elvis Aaron Presley, one of America’s most beloved singer and actor was born. As he matured, Elvis became a significant cultural icon who influenced the youth of that time and left immortal songs behind.