Where to Go Tours & Routes FAQ Search

Famous New Englanders

Authors, philosophers, poets, artists, activists, presidents: New England has produced some of America's most famous people, past and present.

John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA
President John F Kennedy, born in Brookline MA, summered in Hyannis MA & Newport RI.

Louisa May ALCOTT

Author of Little Women, the most successful young adult novel of all time.

Phineas T BARNUM

Creator of "The Greatest Show on Earth."


Popular 30th president of the USA, from a tiny Vermont village.


Reclusive poet, "the belle of Amherst (Massachusetts)."

Ralph Waldo EMERSON

America's first great philosopher and man of letters, and a founder of Transcendentalism.

Daniel Chester FRENCH

Renowned sculptor of the "Seated Lincoln" in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and many other works.

Robert FROST

Most famous American poet of the 20th century, he wrote about life through his New England poems.

John Hays HAMMOND Jr

The electrical engineer who invented radio remote control, radar and sonar, built himself a fantasy medieval castle home near Gloucester MA. It's now a quirky, fascinating museum.


He established the American short story as an art form.

Winslow HOMER

Outstanding American painter.

Julia Ward HOWE

Author of Battle Hymn of the Republic and tireless fighter for women's rights and the abolition of slavery.


35th president of the USA who enjoyed worldwide popularity.

Henry Wadsworth LONGFELLOW

The famous mid-19th-century poet made Paul Revere and Hiawatha famous.


Chief of the Wampanoag people, he befriended the Pilgrims of Plymouth, making the success of their colony possible.

Edna St Vincent MILLAY

A poet at 14, Pulitzer prize-winning bohemian shortly thereafter, she wrote perhaps the finest sonnets of the 20th century.

Frederick Law OLMSTED

America's premier landscape architect, he turned nature into art in New York City's Central Park, Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, and many other places.


Silversmith and patriot, his "midnight ride" to warn his countryman of a British advance was immortalized in a poem by Longfellow.

Harriet Beecher STOWE

Mother of six, tireless worker for the abolition of slavery and author of the 19th-century runaway best-seller Uncle Tom's Cabin, she also fought for temperance and women's suffrage.

Henry David THOREAU

Writer, individualist and spiritual philosopher, he laid the foundations for conservation and ecology in 19th-century America.


America's first lexicographer wrote a 70,000-word dictionary that sold 300,000 copies, and a spelling book that sold over a million copies—in a country of only 23 million people!

Novels by Tom Brosnahan
Further reading...