Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 2:13 PM EST
Published : Friday, 23 Jan 2009, 11:18 AM EST
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Many noteworthy African Americans were born or raised in Hampton Roads. Several are listed below:
Allen Iverson (1975- ) Hampton; drafted #1 NBA Draft (1996), NBA Rookie of the Year (1996-97), NBA Most Valuable Player (2001).
Pearl Bailey (1918-88) Newport News; Actress, Singer and Author, Tony Award winner and Medal of Freedom Award
Ruth Brown (1928-2006) Portsmouth; Tony and Grammy winning recording artist.
William Carney (1840-1908) Norfolk; Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Civil War during the 1863 attack on Fort Wagner, S.C.
Clarence Clemons (1942- ) Norfolk; saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
LaTasha Colander (1976- ) Portsmouth; Olympic Gold Medal winning sprinter is 4x400m relay (2000).
Kenny Easley Jr. (1959- ) Chesapeake; drafted #4 in NFL Draft (1981), NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1984), Elected into the College Football Hall of Fame (1991).
Melissa Arnette "Missy" Elliott (1971- ) Portsmouth; Grammy winning recording artist.
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-96) Newport News; "The First Lady of Song;" Grammy Award-winning Jazz Singer
Lorraine Graves (1957- ) Norfolk; ballerina with the Dance Theater of Harlem.
DeAngelo Hall (1983- ) Chesapeake; drafted #8 in NFL Draft (2004).
Naomi Long Madgett (1923- ) Norfolk; award winning poet.
LaShawn Merritt (1986- ) Portsmouth; Olympic Gold Medal winning sprinter in 400m and 4x400m relay (2008).
Timothy Zachery "Timbaland" Mosley (1971- ) Virginia Beach; Grammy winning recording artist, producer.
Alonzo Mourning (1970- ) Chesapeake; drafted #2 in NBA Draft (1992), Olympic Gold Medalist (2000), NBA Championship (2006) Seven time NBA All-Star
Bismarck Myrick (1940- ) Portsmouth; former United States Ambassador to Liberia and Lesotho.
John Baptist Pierce (1875 - 1942) Hampton; appointed in 1906 as the first Negro farm demonstration agent for Virginia.
Tim Reid (1944- ) Norfolk; TV actor, director "WKRP in Cincinnati", "Simon & Simon", "Sister, Sister"
Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876) Norfolk; first President of Liberia.
Bruce Smith (1963- ) Norfolk; football player; Outland Trophy winner at Virginia Tech (1984), drafted #1 in NFL Draft (1985), Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (2005), College Football Hall of Fame (2006), Pro Football Hall of Fame (2009).
Wanda Sykes (1964- ) Portsmouth; Actress, Comedian.
Lawrence Taylor (1959- ) Williamsburg; drafted #2 in NFL Draft (1981), elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999).
Mike Tomlin (1972- ) Newport News; head coach of NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, youngest head coach to ever win Super Bowl (2009).
B.J. Upton (1984- ) Chesapeake; drafted #2 MLB draft (2002).
Justin Upton (1987- ) Chesapeake; drafted #1 MLB draft (2005).
Pernell Whitaker (1964- ) Norfolk; Olympic Gold Medalist in boxing (1984), elected to International Boxing Hall of Fame (2006)
Dwight White (1949-2008) Hampton; member of famed Steel Curtain defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1971 thru 1980, Four-time Super Bowl Champion.
Pharrell Williams (1973- ) Virginia Beach; Grammy winning recording artist and producer.
Victor Wooten (1964- ) Hampton; bassist for Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, three-time winner of Bass Player magazine’s Bass Player Of The Year.