Religions and Their Famous Members Roman Catholics

A list of famous Roman Catholics including statesmen, athletes, and artists.



1. Charles Carroll, U.S., 1737-1832.

Signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, prior to its ratification he was prohibited from holding public office in Maryland due to his religion.

2. Simon Bolivar, Venezuelan, 1783-1830.

Liberator of Latin America from European colonial powers.

3. Kit Carson, U.S., 1809-1868.

Trapper, scout, and Indian agent.

4. Katharine Drexel, U.S., 1858-1955.

Heiress and nun, she donated her $20 million inheritance to social work among American Indians and blacks.

5. Al Smith, U.S., 1873-1944.

Four-time governor of New York State, he was a Democratic presidential candidate in 1928 and his Catholicism was a major issue in the campaign.

6. Konrad Adenauer, German, 1876-1967.

First chancellor of West Germany.

7. Eamon De Valera, Irish (U.S.-born), 1882-.

Irish revolutionary, he is half-Spanish in descent and in his youth belonged to Irish Republican societies which were condemned by the Catholic Church.

8. Gabriela Mistral, Chilean, 1889-.

Poetess, in 1945 she won the Nobel Prize for literature.

9. John Rock, U.S., 1890-.

Gynecologist and obstetrician, he was a key figure in the development of the first effective oral contraceptive pill.

10. Rudolph Valentino, U.S. (Italian-born), 1895-1926.


11. Spencer Tracy, U.S., 1900-1967.

Actor, he portrayed Father Flanagan in the film Boys Town. A devout Roman Catholic, Tracy would not divorce his wife, even to marry Katharine Hepburn.

12. Ethel Waters, U.S., 1900-1977.

Actress and singer, though active in Billy Graham crusades, she was reared a Roman Catholic and said of her background: "I loved all my Catholic experience. One thing the Catholic people taught me, that I'll revere and bless them for as long as I live, is honesty."

13. Bing Crosby, U.S., 1904-1977.

Actor and singer.

14. Irene Dunne, U.S., 1904-.


15. Gracie Allen, U.S., 1906-1964.


16. Joseph McCarthy, U.S., 1908-1957.

Senator from Wisconsin, unscrupulous anti-Communist who gave his name to "McCarthyism."

17. Mother Teresa, Indian (Yugoslavian-born), 1910-.

Social worker and nun, she has gained international attention for her work among the poor of Calcutta.

18. Loretta Young, U.S., 1913-.


19. John F. Kennedy, U.S., 1917-1963.

U.S. president, he is thus far the only Roman Catholic to have held that office.

20. Jeane Dixon, U.S., 1918-.

Psychic astrologer and seer. She attends daily Mass and believes her prophetic ability comes from God.

21. Dino De Laurentiis, Italian, 1919-.

Motion picture producer, he has more than 100 films to his credit, among them The Bible, which he produced because he "wanted to develop an interest in the Bible [which] had been forgotten in our decade."

22. Maureen O'Hara, U.S. (Irish-born), 1921-.


23. Daniel Berrigan, U.S., 1921-.

24. Philip Berrigan, U.S., 1923-.

Peace activists and priests, the Berrigan brothers were the first Roman Catholic clerics to receive federal sentencing for peace agitation in the U.S.

25. Carroll O'Connor, U.S., 1924-.

Comedian, actor, and songwriter, he is best known for his characterization of Archie Bunker in TV's All in the Family.

26. William F. Buckley, Jr., U.S., 1925-.

Author, lecturer, editor of National Review.

27. Tom Dooley, U.S., 1927-1961.

Medical missionary, he established medical services in underdeveloped countries and was the founder of MEDICO.

28. Gunter Grass, German, 1927-.

Dramatist, poet, novelist, and graphic artist.

29. James Alton McDivitt, U.S., 1929-.

Astronaut, according to Current Biography he was "the first Roman Catholic to go into orbit."

30. Mary Tyler Moore, U.S., 1937-.

Comedienne, actress, and dancer. Her dramatic talents were nurtured in a convent school run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart.

31. Romy Schneider, Austrian, 1938-.


32. Patty Hearst, U.S., 1954-.

Heiress and radical activist, she was once suspended from a Catholic school for telling a nun to go to hell.

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