Notable Kansans and Missourians Kids Can Look Up To

Kansas, Missouri


Kids are ever curious about their surroundings. They love to learn little tidbits about what makes their home state special. And since Adoption & Beyond serves families seeking adoption services in Kansas and Missouri, we have compiled a list of influential Kansans and Missourians throughout history that have done great things. From authors to educators, inventors to aviators, these states are rich in historical juggernauts! Be sure to click on the links for more information on these incredible people.

Famous People From Kansas

Bill Martin Jr. – Children’s author

Bill Martin Junior - Famous KansanBill Martin Jr., an award-winning children’s book author, was born in Hiawatha, Kansas on March 20, 1916. Martin was not an avid reader as a child and had a difficult time with reading until he attended college. He worked hard at improving his reading skills and developed a great love for it as a result. He became so passionate about teaching children to read that he later when on to receive his doctorate in early childhood education and author more than 300 children’s books! Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, are sure to be favorites!

Amelia Earhart – Aviator

Amelia Earhart was a pioneer for women in aviation. She was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. Amelia was known to have a great love for adventure. When she took her first flight at the age of 22, she was immediately fascinated. She became determined to get her pilots license. Amelia worked 3 jobs to save up the $1000 it would cost her for flying lessons. Some of her most notable achievements include; being the first woman to fly solo above 14,000 feet, and the first woman (and second person) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Gwendolyn Brooks- Poet and Pulitzer Prize winner

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas on June 7, 1917. She is known as one of the most influential and popular poets of the 20th-century. Gwendolyn’s first poem, “Eventide,” was published when she was just 13 years old! In 1950 her book of poetry entitled Annie Allen won her a Pulitzer Prize. She was the first African American in history to receive this distinguished prize.

Famous People from Missouri

Susan Elizabeth Blow – Educator

Susan Elizabeth Blow had a huge impact on education in the United States. She was born is St. Louis, Missouri on June 7, 1843. When she was in her early 20’s, Susan traveled to Germany with her father. It was there she observed the early childhood teaching program we now know as Kindergarten. Susan wanted children in America to have the same type of educational advantage. When she returned to the US, she extensively studied kindergarten education. Susan opened the first public kindergarten in 1873, forever changing education in the United States.

George Washington Carver – Botanist, inventor, educator

Born on January 1, 1864 in Diamond, MissouriGeorge Washington Carver is officially called an American botanist; but he was so much more than that! He was born into slavery but later became one of the most influential scientists and inventors of his time. Carver invented 300 uses for peanuts! Many of which we still use today. He also found many uses for sweet potatoes and soybeans. His work, research and inventions helped revolutionize agriculture in the South.

Yogi Berra – Baseball player, manager and coach

Yogi Berra - Famous Man from MissouriLawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was born is St. Louis, Missouri on May 12, 1925. Yogi Berraparticipated in 21 World Series; as a player, a coach or a manager. He set an all-time record, having 10 World Series wins as a player. Berra played for the New York Yankees and the Mets, was later a manager for both teams and then served as coach for these teams as well as the Houston Astros.


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