Miami being the economic power house of South Florida is a city known for its vast tourist sites, beautiful weather, block buster entertainment on all facets; ranging from music to films and variety of carnivals. Night life in Miami is reputed to be amazing! The beaches… are stupendous!!! Can you imagine that these beautiful Miami Beach you see today was just a sandbar initially? Then deeper water ways were dredged and more sand was added to make it habitable. Wow!!! However, Miami is not only all about beaches. Do you know how the name Miami was arrived at? Interestingly, Miami got its name from one out of the native tribes- ‘Mayaimi’ that lived in that vicinity in 1600’s-1700.
The Miami area was initially known as “Biscayne Bay Country” in the early years of its growth. Reports in the late nineteenth century referred to the area as a ’promising wilderness’. It is also quite interesting to know that a woman set the pace in Miami. How? You might ask. Miami officially becoming a city was spearheaded by a business woman by the name Julia Tuttle. She inspired a railroad merchant to expand into the vicinity. This brought about a tremendous turn around in the fortunes of Miami. Hence becoming the only pronounced city in the United States of America to be founded by a woman! It is also quite fascinating to know that there are over 800 parks in Miami and it also the only American city encompassed by two national parks- The Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. You must go here – billlentis.com/things-to-do-during-the-summer-in-miami-fl.
Asides all these, do you know that Miami is also called the ‘Magic City’ because of its speedy growth from 1,000 inhabitants to almost 5.5 million population strength between 1896 – 2006? Miami is a city of choice for many people for conferences and yearly meetings?!!! All these cannot but attract tourists like bees being drawn to a flower for nectar… In such a place full of life and unabashed vibrancy; no doubt it will be flooding with people and right in their midst are celebrities. No doubt Miami has produced a lot of famous people in different fields.
We will be taking a look at these interesting famous people from Miami in the following fields:
– Actors and Entertainers
Gloria EstefanBorn in Cuba and lived in Miami for many years, Gloria Estefan with her husband stays on Star Island; one of the beautiful places in Miami. Gloria Estefan is a singer. She led the Miami sound machine in the 1980’s. Gloria and her husband own restaurants Downtown Miami and on Miami Beach.
Enrique IglesiasA chip of the old block, Enrique took after his father, a music icon Julio Iglesias. Enrique not only took after his father but he is doing a very good job of it as he is referred to as ‘King of Latin Pop’ now. He was born in Spain but moved to Miami as a child. He currently lives on Miami Beach.
Betty WrightHer real name is Bessie Regina Norris but she is popularly known by her stage name, Betty Wright. Betty Wright is a fantastic soul and R&B singer. She is also a songwriter. She was born in Miami and was the youngest of her siblings. She started off her singing career in a gospel group formed by her siblings; ‘Echoes of Joy’ After the group broke up, Betty changed her style of music to rhythm and blues.
Giselle BellasGiselle as she is fondly called by her stage name is a singer and a songwriter. She was born in Miami. She has worked and walked herself to stardom both as a singer and a songwriter.
David ArchuletaDavid Archuleta was born in Miami. His mother was Guadalupe Mayorga; she was a salsa singer and dancer while his father was a jazz musician; suffice to say he came from a family of entertainers! David Archuleta started singing at the age of 6 and by 10 years of age he began performing publicly.
Christian DanielChristian Daniel is a songwriter and a singer. After sending his demos to various recording companies, Emilio Estefan invited him to Miami. That was where he recorded his first album. Daniel’s multi talent gave him a place in Telemundo telenovelas.
Santa ReyesSanta Reyes stage name is Santaye. She is a singer and a songwriter based in Miami. Her music career commenced in 2010. She is from Dominican Republic. She comes from a large family; she has eight brothers. Santaye was timid as a child, she moved to Miami at the age of seven. She was not so bold as a child but she has evolved over time. She wrote her very first song at the age of 12.
Sam MooreSam Moore is a southern soul and R&B singer. He was born in Miami, Florida. He has vast experience in singing in group before he went solo. Sam also featured in films such as “Tapeheads” and “Late night”
Luther Roderick CampbellLuther Roderick Campbell is a singer. He was born 22nd December, 1960 in Miami, Florida. Luther Roderick Campbell is also known as the following: Luke Skywalker; Uncle Luke; and simply Luke. He is a rapper, promoter, and actor. He is popularly known as the leader of rap group 2 Live Crew.
Pharrell WilliamsPharrell Williams is a singer, rapper, and record producer. Williams has experimented with a lot of different music acts over the years. This has helped to keep his name circulating in the media for a relatively long time. Note, his hats mark him out! He owns a property in Miami worth $16.8 million.
ACTORS & ENTERTAINERS
Roxie RokerRoxie Roker is an actress also known as Helen Willis from the television series “The Jefferson’s”. She hails from Miami, Florida. She was born August 28, 1929.
Dwayne “The Rock” JohnsonDywane “The Rock” Johnson did not start out as an actor; he played football for the Miami Hurricanes. He also went into full time wrestling at a time. He lived in Miami for a good number of years.
Andy GarciaAndrés Arturo García Menéndez is known as Andy García professionally. He is an actor and director who became popular in the late 1980s and 1990s, having played roles in successful Hollywood films. Garcia was born to Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez in Havana, Cuba. Garcia was five years old when his family migrated to Miami.
Garcelle BeauvaisGarcelle Beauvais is an actress and former fashion model. She was born to Marie-Claire Beauvais who was a nurse and Axel Jean Pierre who was a lawyer by profession. After her parents got divorced, Garcelle and her older siblings with their mother moved Massachusetts, then later, moved on to Miami. She is popular for her role as Francesca “Fancy” Monroe.
Diora Lynn BairdDiora Lynn Baird is an American actress and former model. She was born in Miami, Florida. Interestingly, her mother was a model too. During her childhood, in order to help her overcome introversion, her mother registered her in an acting class. Amazingly, Diora Lynn Baird became the vice president of the Thespian Society in her school. When she was seventeen, she went to Los Angeles to pursue her career in acting. Her appearance on the cover of August 2005 edition of Playboy magazine gave her the needed exposure. She is currently signed to the Elite Model Management in Miami,
María Jose de Pablo FernandezShe is an actress and a singer. Her birth place was Santiago,Chile; at ten she moved to the United States, there she studied acting. At the age of 10, her mother got a job in Miami. While in the fifth grade, Maria Jose observes that many people could not pronounce her first name. She then asked them to call her “Coté”, a Chilean nickname for María José.
Yani GellmanYani Gellman is a film and television actor. He is known for playing Paolo Valisari in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Gellman was born in Miami, Florida. He is of Jewish heritage. Yani Gellman was named after a family friend, writer Jan Joors..
Martin PattersonMartin Patterson “Pat” Hingle is an actor who appeared in hundreds of television shows and feature films. His first film was On the Waterfront in 1954. He was frequently casted for tough authority figure roles. Hingle regularly featured in Eastwood films as he was a close friend of Clint Eastwood. Martin Patterson Hingle was born in Miami, Florida.
Adam IrigoyenAdam Irigoyen is an American actor, singer, rapper and dancer from Miami. He is popular for his role as Deuce Martinez in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up. Irigoyen began his acting career at age eleven. He also featured in Underdog Kids. Adam Irigoyen was born August 5, 1997, in Miami, Florida
Blake Alexander JennerBlake Alexander Jenner is an actor and singer. Jenner was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He grew up with keen interest in music and film. He was keen interest in acting, made Jenner leave Miami and moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school.
Robert Arthur “Bobby” AllisonRobert Arthur Allison is an ex- professional stock car racing driver and owner. He was mentioned as one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers. He won the 1983 Winston Cup and the Daytona 500 thrice. His had two sons Clifford and Davey Allison.
Allison was born in 1937 in Miami, Florida. He took his first race as a senior at Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School in Miami. At 17, he needed to seek his parents’ approval. He thought when his mother approved, he thought it was total approval but she permitted him for just one race competition.
Robert James “Bobby” JohnsRobert James was a race car driver. He competed in the NASCAR race series in the 1956–1969 season.. He won twice among his 36 top ten finishes. He also endeavored to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 seven times and succeeded in 1965 and 1969, where he recorded 7th and 10th. Bobby Johns passed away March 7, 2016 in his Miami, Florida home at age 83.
Alex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez is a baseball slugger. He referred to Miami as his second home for years now. He has a home in the beautiful Coral Gables area.
Alonzo Harding Mourning Jr.Alonzo Harding Mourning fondly called Zo is a retired professional basketball player. He played most of his 15-year (NBA) career for the Miami Heat. “Zo”, Mourning played center. In March 30, 2009, Mourning was the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired.
Vernand MorencyVernand Morency is a former footballer. He played in the National Football League (NFL). Morency played college football for Oklahoma State University. He grew up in Miami, Florida. There, his parents were immigrants from Haiti. His parents engaged him in the family real estate business since the age of 5. This was an incredible experience which impacted on him positive values.
Andre Lamont JohnsonAndre Lamont Johnson is a former footballer who played most part of his career with the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He also played college football in Miami. Johnson bagged nearly all Texan receiving record.
Santana Terrell MossMoss was born in Miami, Florida. He went to Miami Carol City Senior High and played high school football. He also played college football for University of Miami and joined the Miami Hurricanes Football Team in 1997, there he bagged All-American honors.
Marquand Alexander ManuelMarquand Alexander Manuel was born in Miami, Florida in 1979. He is a football coach and a former player. He played college football for the University of Florida.
Michael Terrance McKenzieMichael Terrance McKenzie is a former footballer in the National Football League. He graduated from Miami Norland High School in Miami Gardens, Florida. He spends part of his off season in his abode in Miami.
Antonio RobinsonAntonio Robinson is an American footballer born November 30, 1985 in Miami, Florida. He played college football.
Anna Sergeyevna KournikovaAnna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian former professional tennis player. She is one of the best known tennis stars the world over. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida.
Erik Harald Høie ComptonErik Harald Høie Compton is a professional golfer. He was born in Miami, Florida. His father is American while his mother is Norwegian. He has had two heart transplants in 1992 and 2009 respectively.
Jorge ArangoJorge Arango was a Colombian-born architect. He designed various homes in Miami. He co-founded the Arango design store with his wife Judith back then in the Dadeland Mall in South Miami. The store was founded in 1959 and is still functional till date. He was a professor of Architecture at the District University of Bogota; he was also a columnist for the Miami Herald. He died at home in Miami in hospice care. He was survived by his third wife, Penelope, two sons and two daughters, and the design store.
Marjory Stoneman DouglasMarjory Stoneman Douglas was an American journalist and author. She moved to Miami, Florida as a young woman to work for The Miami Herald. She also became a freelance writer. She wrote countless short stories that were printed in known magazines. Douglas’ books; stories; and journalism career made her influential in Miami.
Edna BuchananEdna Buchanan is an American journalist. She is also a writer popular for her crime mystery novels. She was a female crime journalist in Miami. She also wrote for the Miami Beach Daily Sun and The Miami Herald. Edna won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting.
Patricia CornwellPatricia Cornwell is an international famous crime writer. She was born in Miami in 1956. She started working as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer, a newspaper that covered North and South Carolina. Later, she progressed to crime reporting. Over 100 million copies of her books have been sold!
Jennine Capó CruceJennine Capó Cruce attended Cornell University. She is presently the Assistant Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska. Her work has been featured in the New York Times. She is popular for her collection of short stories. She grew up in Miami, Florida.
Carl HiaasenCarl Hiaasen is a writer. He is a columnist for the Miami Herald and Tribune Content Agency. Hiaasen has written over twenty novels grouped as humorous crime fiction. He oftentimes indicates topics of environmentalism and political corruption in Florida. Carl Hiaasen was born in 1953 and raised in Plantation, Florida. His writing career took off at the age of 6 when his father bought him a typewriter for Christmas. He graduated in 1974 with a degree in journalism.
He was a reporter at Cocoa Today Florida for two years. Then he was employed in 1976 by the Miami Herald where he worked for the city desk, Sunday magazine and award-winning investigative team. Since 1985 Hiaasen has been a constant columnist for the newspaper.
Jeffry P. FreundlichHe is popularly known for his novels. Most of his earlier works were co-authored by his wife Hilary Hemingway. She is also a writer. Lindsay was born in Miami and he graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 1970, and from Middlebury College Vermont in 1975. Lindsay wrote a comic book version of Dexter. It was distributed by Marvel comics.
Kirk MunroeKirk Munroe was an American writer and conservationist. He was named Charles Kirk Munroe. He publicly declared and dropped ‘Charles’ from his name in 1883. He was employed as a reporter for the New York Sun in 1876. He got married to Mary Barr and they settled in Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida. Munroe built a tennis court on his property. That was the first tennis court in Miami-Dade County. Munroe contributed to the establishment of what is today called Ransom Everglades School. It is worthy of note that the only Tennis Park in the city of Miami is named Kirk Munroe Park. It situated at 3101 Florida Avenue in Coconut Grove.
Geoffrey PhilpGeoffery Philp is a poet, novelist, and playwright. He has authored many novels and poems. His short stories concentrate on the challenges facing fatherless children in the Caribbean. Philp got awards which include an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Arts. He lives in Miami, Florida.
Christopher Patrick MyersChristopher Patrick Myers is a sportscaster. He is native of Miami, Florida. He is vastly experienced in broadcasting. He has covered premiere events liken the Super Bowl; World Series; NBA Finals etc.
Dan Le BatardDan Le Batard is a newspaper sportswriter; radio host and television reporter based in Miami, Florida. He is popular for his work with ESPN He also writes for his hometown paper, the Miami Herald. He also anchors a daily radio programme with Jon “Stugotz” Weiner.
Conclusively, it obvious that lots of celebrities have their origin in Miami Florida. Others come in from other states and cities in the United States and largely from other countries of the world. Either way, they have all in one way or the other contributed to the growth and ambience the City of Miami flaunts. The ‘Magic City’ today, is a colorful and cosmopolitan. The beautiful Architectural structures that lights up the landscape of this exceptional city must not go unmentioned. The skyline of downtown Miami boasts of a contemporary look, with a uncountable shinny glass-walled skyscrapers with neon lighting at night. The ethnic diversity is a positive contribution to the beauty of the city. Do you also know that the city has its own symphony orchestra and Ballet Company and its own professional theater company? Not to mention the amazing museums it is graced with!