Skip to Content

13 Most Famous People in Spokane

Disclaimer: Some posts on Tourism Teacher may contain affiliate links. If you appreciate this content, you can show your support by making a purchase through these links or by buying me a coffee. Thank you for your support!

Spokane, Washington, is a breeding ground for talents that have made significant marks. This article highlights the 13 most famous people in Spokane. It delves into their connections to this vibrant city and their remarkable achievements. 

The Pioneering Works of the Most Famous People in Spokane

From pioneers in various industries to cultural icons, the following individuals embody the spirit and legacy of Spokane. They showcase how this city has been instrumental in shaping their paths to fame and success:

1. Sherman Alexie

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: ASU Department of English

Sherman Alexie, a prominent figure among the famous people in Spokane, is a novelist, poet, and filmmaker. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, an experience that profoundly influenced his work. His writings, such as ‘The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven‘ and ‘Smoke Signals,’ explore themes of despair, hope, and identity within the Native American experience. He has garnered numerous accolades through his candid and poignant storytelling.

2. Julia Sweeney

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Natalie Young

Actress and comedian Julia Sweeney is another significant name among famous people in Spokane. She is best known for her role on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Born and raised in Spokane, her experiences in the city shaped her unique comedic voice.

Her career took off with her memorable SNL characters, most notably the androgynous ‘Pat.’ Her work extends beyond comedy. She goes into writing and performing monologues, where she often explores personal and challenging topics. Sweeney’s Spokane upbringing is a recurring theme in her work. Her ability to blend humour with personal narratives has made her an influential figure in comedy.

3. David Lynch

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Georges Biard

Acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch, considered one of the most famous people in Spokane, spent his formative years in the city. He moved frequently during his childhood. His time in Spokane left a lasting impression, influencing his future artistic endeavours.

He is known for his distinctive style of filmmaking. His works, such as ‘Eraserhead,’ ‘Mulholland Drive,’ and the cult classic TV series ‘Twin Peaks,’ showcase his mastery in creating surreal, dreamlike narratives. His portrayal of small-town America often includes mystery and darkness. It reflects the undercurrents of places like Spokane.

4. Bing Crosby

13 Most Famous People in Spokane

Bing Crosby was one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century and one of the most famous people in Spokane. Born Harry Lillis Crosby in Tacoma, Washington, he moved to Spokane at a young age.

He developed his musical talents while studying at Gonzaga University in Spokane, leading to a legendary career in music and film. His warm baritone voice and charismatic screen presence made him an American icon. Crosby’s hits like ‘White Christmas‘ remain beloved classics. His connection to Spokane is commemorated by a theatre named in his honour at Gonzaga University, reminding us of his roots in this city.

5. Tom Foley

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Tom Foley served as the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 5th congressional district, which includes Spokane. His tenure in the House of Representatives spanned three decades, culminating in his role as the Speaker of the House from 1989 to 1995.

Moreover, he had a significant impact on American politics. He was dedicated to bipartisanship and showed effective leadership. The Tom Foley United States Courthouse in Spokane is a testament to his legacy. It highlights his contributions not just to Spokane but to the whole nation.

6. Michael P. Anderson

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: NASA Johnson

Colonel Michael P. Anderson was one of the most famous people in Spokane. He was an astronaut and physicist. He represented the pinnacle of human aspiration and achievement. He developed a passion for space at an early age, a dream that would lead him to become a NASA astronaut.

He flew on two space missions, including the ill-fated Space Shuttle Columbia mission in 2003. His tragic death in the Columbia disaster deeply affected the nation. Spokane, in particular, mourned the loss of a local hero.

7. Ryne Sandberg

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Wjmummert

Ryne Sandberg is renowned for his illustrious Major League Baseball career. Born in Spokane, Sandberg’s journey to baseball greatness began in the fields of his hometown. He played for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, becoming one of the best second basemen in baseball history.

His accolades include 10 All-Star game appearances and nine Gold Glove awards. His induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 was a testament to his exceptional skill and dedication to the sport.

8. Kirtland Cutter

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Pacific Builder and Engineer Magazine

Architect Kirtland Cutter made significant contributions to the city’s architectural heritage. His designs are landmarks of Spokane, blending various architectural styles to create buildings of distinctive beauty and character. His most famous work is the Davenport Hotel. It is a masterpiece that encapsulates the elegance and grandeur of early 20th-century design. Cutter’s influence shapes Spokane’s overall aesthetic and cultural identity.

9. Neil Everett

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Rob Poetsch

Neil Everett is a prominent sports anchor. His career in sports broadcasting, particularly with ESPN, has made him a recognizable figure in sports journalism. Everett’s journey from Spokane to the national stage is marked by his distinctive broadcasting style and deep sports knowledge. He is known for his unique catchphrases and engaging delivery, which endeared him to sports fans nationwide.

10. Ryan Lewis

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Matthewjs007

Ryan Lewis, an acclaimed musician and producer, is part of the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, adding him to the list of famous people in Spokane. His journey in the music industry has been marked by groundbreaking success and innovation. He is known for his skilful production, songwriting, and directing of music videos. His collaboration with Macklemore has produced hit songs like ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us.’

11. Jess Walter

13 Most Famous People in Spokane

Novelist and author Jess Walter is a distinguished figure among the famous people in Spokane. His literary works often draw from his experiences in Spokane. They provide insightful and compelling narratives, garnering critical acclaim. His novels, such as ‘Beautiful Ruins’ and ‘The Financial Lives of the Poets,‘ showcase his ability to weave complex characters and plots. Wit, humour, and poignant observations of life characterise his writing.

12. Craig T. Nelson

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Angela George

Actor Craig T. Nelson, known for his roles in popular TV shows and movies, is one of the most celebrated and famous People in Spokane. His acting career spans several decades, with notable roles in series like ‘Coach’ and films like ‘The Incredibles.’ His versatile talent and charismatic screen presence have earned him acclaim and a loyal fan base.

13. Timothy Egan

13 Most Famous People in Spokane
Source: Indiana Humanities

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Timothy Egan is an esteemed addition to the famous people in Spokane. His works, which often explore the history and beauty of the Pacific Northwest, have earned him national recognition. His writing has an engaging narrative style and thorough research. It brings historical events to life with vivid detail. His connection to Spokane significantly influences his work, providing a rich backdrop for his storytelling.

Testament to Spokane’s Ability

The tapestry of famous people in Spokane is woven with diverse threads, each representing a unique story of success and influence. These individuals have made Spokane proud and left a global impact in their respective fields. Their roots in Spokane testify to the city’s ability to nurture talent and inspire greatness. If you enjoyed this article on the most famous people in Spokane, I am sure you will love exploring the following topics too: