Famous People from Hawaii

Hawaii boasts of many people who have made a mark in their respective fields and gained immense popularity. Read on for information about some of the most famous people from this state.
Historyplex Staff
Hawaiians are proud of some well-known people that belong to their state. The popularity of these famous people has reached far. Here's more.

Barack Obama: The 44th President of the United States and the first African-American on this position, Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. After earning a law degree, he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. After serving as the United States Senator from 2005 to 2008, he was elected President. He served his first Presidential term from 2009 to 2012 and was re-elected in 2013. His decision to end the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy was a relief to the gay and lesbian population of the United States, whereby they could serve the military openly. He has brought many economic and political reforms to his country. He has propagated environmental safety and brought health care reforms. His counter-terrorism and counter-war efforts are perhaps the most remarkable. Operation Neptune Spear carried out under his leadership resulted in a landmark event in history - Osama bin Laden's death.

Kamehameha I: He established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810 and ruled the Hawaiian Islands. His exact year of birth in disputed. Some believe it to be 1758, which was just after the Halley's Comet was seen from Hawaii. A legend said that a great king would be born and a comet would be the indication of his birth. According to some historians, Kamehameha I was born in 1736. After establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii, he allied with the Pacific colonial powers and preserved the independence of his kingdom. He died in 1819 and was succeeded by Kamehameha II.

Hiram Bingham III: Best known as the discoverer of Machu Picchu and later a member of the United States Senate, Hiram Bingham III was born in November 1875 in Hawaii. Starting as a lecturer teaching history, he went on to discover Machu Picchu. It was due to his efforts that this largely forgotten Inca site was brought to the world's notice and is a tourist attraction since then. His book Lost City of the Incas was a bestseller. After a brief career in the military, he entered politics as the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut. He served the United States Senate from 1924 to 1933. He died in 1956, aged 80.

Alexander Cartwright: Born on April 17, 1820, Alexander Cartwright is considered as the Father of American Baseball. The United States Congress officially credited him with the invention of the modern game of baseball. Originally, Cartwright was a bookseller in Manhattan, and a fireman. In 1842, he established the Knickerbocker Baseball Club. The game was initially a stick-and-ball game called town game, which gradually changed to become an elaborate sport. Cartwright is believed as being the first person to ideate a diamond-shaped field for this game. During his journey to California in 1849, he introduced baseball in all the towns on his way. Later in life, he became a successful businessman in Honolulu. But he is still remembered as the inventor of baseball, which is one of the popular games today.

George Ariyoshi: Born on March 12, 1926, Ariyoshi served as the third Governor of Hawaii. Before venturing into politics, he served as an interpreter with the US Army Military Intelligence Service in Japan, during the Second World War. His political career commenced from 1954 after he was elected to the territorial House of Representatives. He was also elected to the territorial senate and in 1959, to the State Senate. A lawyer by profession, he went up to be the first American of Asian descent to be elected as the governor of State of the United States. He is the longest-serving state governor in Hawaii.

Daniel Akaka: Born on September 11, 1924, Daniel Akaka is the junior U.S. Senator from Hawaii. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the first U.S. Senator of the Hawaiian ancestry and the only Chinese American member of the Senate. He was born in Honolulu. He joined the military after high school graduation. He earned a Bachelor of Education and later a Master's from the University of Hawaii. In 1976, Akaka was first elected to the United States House of Representatives and won seven subsequent elections. In 2006, Time selected him as one of 'America's Worst Senators' and criticized him for his minor legislation. However, during the elections of 2007, he emerged victorious.

David Copperfield: Born on September 16, 1956, David Copperfield is an American magician and illusionist. Since an early age of twelve, Copperfield started practicing magic. He became the youngest magician to be a part of The Society of American Magicians. He is famous for his feats of walking through the Great Wall of China and making the Statue of Liberty disappear. He has made appearances in many television shows of America. He is the proud receiver of the Emmy Award and the Living Legend Award, and is the first magician to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Herman Frazier: Born on October 29, 1954, Herman Frazier started his athletic career at the Germantown High School in Philadelphia. He started as a multiple sport athlete and eventually became the Olympic Gold medalist in 1976. Being a member of the US National Track and Field team, he participated in the Olympic and the Pan-American Games. In 1976, he ran the men's 4x400 meter relay for the United States. This was the race that earned him a gold medal. He was the winner of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award and was cited in the list of 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports by Sports Illustrated. The Black Enterprise magazine named him as one of the 50 most powerful African-American sports persons in 2005. He fell prey to a large amount of criticism from the masses but remains to be one of the very famous athletes of his time.

Wah Chang: Born in August 1917, in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was a designer, sculptor, and artist. He was the designer for the Star Trek (original series). The flip-type cell phones' design is said to have been inspired from Chang's design of the communicator for Star Trek. The maquette of Pinocchio was sculpted by him. Some of his other works include designing of Elizabeth Taylor's headdress in Cleopatra, the flying machine in The Master of the World, the time machine for The Time Machine, and the dinosaurs in Land of the Lost, among others. His works in special effects (films) and in sculpture earned him wide acclaim. But he remained to be a humble person and did only remarkable work, as Bob Burns puts it. His death in 2003 meant the loss of a great artist.

Carl Olson: Born on July 11, 1928, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Carl Olson was a boxer. He was the world middleweight champion between 1953 to 1955, holding the title for the longest time in the '50s. He picked up interest in boxing after getting into street fights. Out of 115 fights in his career, he won 97. In 2000, he was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Also known by the names Bobo Olson and The Hawaiian Swede, he was one of the very successful boxers of his time.

Ryan Higa: Born in Hilo, Hawaii, on June 6, 1990, Ryan Higa is a YouTube celebrity in America. He is a Judo black belt holder. The comedy videos he posts on YouTube have billions of viewers and his YouTube channel called Nigahiga has more than 11 million subscribers. He produces comedy videos and also creates music for them. In some, he appears solo, while some videos are a combined effort of him and other YouTube users.

Hawaii has seen many famous names rise on its land. These were a few of them.