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Famous Quakers

FAMOUS QUAKERS YOU MAY KNOW FROM HISTORY  


The Quaker tradition has guided some of the world’s most respected leaders, scientists, actors, artists, and entertainers. Here are just a few:

SCIENCE

  • John Dalton - Devised the atomic theory of matter in the early 1800s
  • Joseph Lister - Discovered antiseptics; Listerine is named after him
  • Thomas Hodgkins and Thomas Young - Inventors of the microscope
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell - Discovered the first reported pulsar; first female president of the Institute of Physics

SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

  • Levi Coffin - Abolitionist whose house was a major stop on the Underground Railroad
  • Susan B. Anthony - Women’s suffragist
  • Bayard Rustin - Pacifist and civil rights leader of the 1960s
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell - First female physician in the United States, champion of women’s education

BUSINESS

  • Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree -Chocolate makers
  • William Allen - Founder of Allen & Hanbury pharmaceutical company
  • David Ricardo - Economist who devised the law of comparative advantage

POLITICS

  • Herbert Hoover - 31st President of the United States
  • Thomas Paine - Author of Common Sense, influential in the American Revolution
  • Betsy Ross - Credited with designing and sewing the first United States flag
  • Dolley Madison - First Lady, wife of President James Madison
  • Nathaniel Greene - General in the American Revolution
  • Daniel Boone - Frontiersman and early organizer of Kentucky

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • Annie Oakley - Entertainer in Wild West shows
  • James Dean - Actor and icon of the teenage “Rebel without a Cause”
  • Edward R. Murrow - Broadcast news pioneer
  • Benjamin West - American artist
  • James Fenimore Cooper - American author
  • Bonnie Raitt - Blues musician and singer-songwriter
  • Edward Hicks - American folk painter, known for The Peaceable Kingdom
  • Daisy Newman - Author of novels and non-fiction about Quakers in America
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