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Texas is home to many things: beautiful nature, amazing animals, and believe it or not, famous people!
Actors, politicians, musicians, athletes, and many others hail from the great state of Texas, but only a few are from the Hill Country.
We compiled a list of the most influential, famous (or infamous) and beloved Hill Country natives! Some surprising, some not!
10. Michael Dell
(Photo Credit: slate.com)
Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc, one of the world’s leading sellers of personal computers. Forbes ranked him the 41st richest person in the world, with a net worth of $22.4 billion as of last December. Although he was born in Houston, Texas, he moved to the Hill Country to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left! He started his company in his dorm room and eventually dropped out of college. He still resides in Austin with his wife of 26 years and four children.
9. Johnny Rodriguez
(Photo credit: americanprofile.com)
Reigning from Sabinal, Texas, Johnny Rodriguez is the first famous Latin American country music singer. He is known for infusing his music with Latin sounds and even sings some of his verses in Spanish. He was one of country music’s most successful male artists in the 1970s and 1980s. His best known song is “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me”, which made him the youngest male artist to chart a number 1 country hit at age 21. This record stood until 2012, when was broken by Hunter Hayes with “Wanted”. He has recorded a total of six number 1 country hits in his career.
8. Lance Armstrong
(Photo credit: World All Around’s WordPress Page)
Lance Armstrong is a professional cyclist who won the Tour de France seven consecutive times after beating stage 3 testicular cancer. He was given a 20-50% chance of living when he found out about the cancer in October 1996. Doctor’s say even that percentage was to give him some hope. After surgeries and intense chemotherapy, Lance was cancer-free in February 1997. His first Tour de France win was in 1999. In 2012, Lance was stripped of his titles following a doping scandal. Born in Plano, Texas, Lance quickly moved to Austin, Texas, and even owns a ranch in the Hill Country. His friends call him “Big Tex”.
7. Johnny Manziel
(Photo credit: CBS Sports)
With a nickname like “Johnny Football” there’s no surprise that this guy is from Texas! Johnny Manziel, known to most as “Johnny Football”, is currently on the Cleveland Browns after being drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He attended Texas A&M and in his freshman year, he broke many NCAA Division 1 and SEC records. He became the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. He is also the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Johnny is from Kerrville, Texas.
6. Liz Carpenter
(Photo credit: wbur.org)
Liz Carpenter was a writer, feminist, former reporter, media advisor, speechwriter, and public relations expert. She was born in Salado, Texas, but moved to Austin at age 7. She was the first female Vice President of the University of Texas student body and one of the co-founders of National Women’s Political Caucus. She traveled the country to push for the Equal Rights Amendment. She helped write President Johnson’s speech after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. She became the first female press secretary for the first lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Liz passed away at age 89 in 2010.
5. Lyndon B. Johnson
(Photo credit: whitehouse.gov)
Often referred to as LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson served as the United States of America’s 36th president. LBJ initially ran for president in 1960, but was unsuccessful. He was chosen by Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy to be his running mate in the election. The pair won and were sworn in on January 20, 1961. Two years later, LBJ took over presidency when JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. He ran for a full term in the 1964 election and won by a landslide. He was strongly supported by the Democratic Party. Hailing from Stonewall, Texas, LBJ was a proud Texan and passed away in his hometown at the age of 64.
4. Matthew McConaughey
(Photo credit: CBS News)
Alright, alright, alright! Matthew McConaughey is actor and producer, mainly known for his starring roles in romantic comedies in the 2000s. He broke out on the scene in 1993 with the comedy Dazed and Confused. He has acted in just about every genre, but most recently has showed the world a more serious side of himself. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2013 for his portrayal of a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. He is a proud Texan, hailing from Uvalde, Texas. He is a known supporter of the University of Texas Football, his alma mater.
3. Tommy Lee Jones
(Photo credit: biography.com)
Tommy Lee Jones was born and raised in San Saba, Texas. He is an actor and film director and has won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the movie The Fugitive. He’s acted on Broadway, on daytime soap operas, TV movies and film. He earned his very first Golden Globe nomination in 1980 for playing Loretta Lynn’s husband, Doolittle, in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter. Since then, he has been nominated for 30 awards. He currently resides in Terrell Hills, Texas.
2. Willie Nelson
(Photo credit: firemovies.com)
Willie Nelson needs no introduction. He was born in Abbott, Texas, but has resided in Austin for most of his life. He is a classic country singer and known for helping spark the genre “outlaw country”. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and was named one of the 100 Greatest Singers and 100 Greatest Guitarists by Rolling Stone Magazine. He has endless gold records and is a huge inspiration to country singers and songwriters alike.
1. George Strait
(Photo credit: richestcelebrities.org)
George Strait is known as The King of Country. He came on to the scene in 1981 and became one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. He has a total of 60 number-one hits, more than any artist in any genre of music. His best selling album, Pure Country is from the movie of the same name, in which George played the lead role. He’s handsome, a good actor, amazing singer, and he’s from the Hill Country?! What more could we ask for?!
Who knew all of these people hailed from the great Texas Hill Country? And did we miss anyone you’d put on your list?