10 Famous People Born in Lawton
Oklahoma is the state of stars; from actors, rock and country artists, politicians, renown soldiers, criminals and even journalists. Lawton has it’s fair share of people that is famous in these areas, some were born in town and a few were even raised here. Here is a list of some of people from Lawton that achieved fame in their own way.
Lowry was born in 1890 when her father, who was an army surgeon, was stationed in Fort Sill. She began making apperances on and off Broadway as well as television and film in the 1950s. Her most notable film works are ‘The Anderson Tapes’ which starred Sean Connery and ‘Cold Turkey’ with Dick Van Dyke. Her most notable role on television was Mother Dexter on the show ‘Phyllis’ which aired from 1975-1977.
Leon Russell is a country/blue/rock pianist that was born in 1942 in Lawton. At the age of 4 he began to play piano and a few years after he and his family moved to Tulsa. At the age of 14, Russell was already getting gigs in Tulsa Nightclubs. Russell has played along many famous musicians; Willie Nelson, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones are only a few of the artists he has performed with.
Russell was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011
Born and raised in Lawton and a graduate of MacArthur High School, Nelson became Miss Teen Lawton in 2004 at the age of 18. In 2006 she would be crowned Miss Oklahoma and then would go on to be named Miss America in 2007.
In August of 2010 Nelson became the 4 p.m. news anchor at News9 in Oklahoma City. In 2013 Lauren went on maternity leave to prepare for the birth of her son, Mason. On Aug 13, 2013, Nelson stated that she would not return to News9 after her son was born.
Born in 1957, Wrights is a best-selling author on books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion and game theory.
His most notable works are The Evolution of God, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, The Moral Animal and Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information.
His book The Evolution of God was one of three finalist in the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Non Fiction.
Wright currently runs two websites, meaningoflife.tv where he interviews scholars, theologians, scientists and cosmic thinkers about their ideas and opinions regarding religion and spirituality and bloggingheads.tv which discusses current events.
N. Scott Momaday
Born in 1934, N. Scott Momaday a writer of Kiowa descent, is the founding author is what was considered the Native American Renaissance in Literature.
He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize of Fiction in 1969 for his novel House Made of Dawn.
Lt. Col Robert Johnson
Born in 1920, Johnson was a World War II fighter pilot in the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group. He is credited with 27 victories during the war and was the first pilot to surpass Eddie Rickenbacker’s World War I score of 26 victories.
Born on Fort Sill in 1961, Hillenburg is known as the creator of the Nickelodeon cartoon ‘Spongebob Squarepants’
Hillenburg has been nominated for 15 Emmy Awards for ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ and won in the category of Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2010. His show has also received several other awards and nominations, including 17 Annie Award nominations, out of which it has won six times, and four BAFTA Children’s Award nominations, out of which it has won twice.
Hillenburg is currently working on a sequel to ‘The Spongebob Squarepants Movie’ which is scheduled to be released in 2015.
Born in 1959, Herwig began his career in early 1980s as a jazz trombonist. He has performed in the Joe Henderson Sextet, Tom Harrell’s Septet and Big Band, and the Joe Lovano Nonet
Herwig has been nominated for Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association in 2011.
Herwig is currently a professor of jazz trombone, jazz improvisation and jazz composition/arrangement at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts
General Jack Merritt
Born in 1930, Merritt entered the Army as a private in 1952 during the height of the Korean War.
over the next thirty-five years rose to 4-star rank. From battery command in Korea to the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery at Fort Hood, Texas, he commanded at every level in the Field Artillery. His final assignment was as United States Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1985 to 1987.
After retirement, he served as president of the Association of the United States Army and Chairman of the United States Field Artillery Association.
Christina Marie Riggs
Born in 1971, Riggs is not known for being a great musician or author, in fact Riggs is known for the murder of her two children at their home in Arkansas.
Her story received national attention during her trial when she asked the court for the death penalty for her actions.Riggs prevented her lawyer for applying for clemency telling her attorney she could no longer live with the guilt of murdering her children.
Human Rights Activists worked to prevent the ruling claiming Riggs was mentally unstable and was asking for a state assisted suicide. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee turned down the appeal as Riggs did not ask for clemency.
She was the first woman in 150 years to receive the death penalty in the state of Arkansas. Her final recorded words before her death were: “I love you, my babies.”