20. Paul Laurence Dunbar

20. Paul Laurence Dunbar


Born: Dayton, 1872

The son of former slaves, Dunbar was the first black poet to gain significant acclaim. His work, which mixed traditional prose with African-American dialect, was captured in collections like "Lyrics of Lowly Life."

19. Bootsy Collins


Born: Cincinnati, 1951

George Clinton is the face of the band, but Bootsy's bass puts the "funk" in Parliament Funkadelic. He also worked with James Brown on some of his best cuts. No Ohioan ever looked better in rhinestone sunglasses.

18. George Bellows


Born: Columbus, 1882

His depictions of the chaotic urban lifestyle, especially in New York City, at the turn of the century perfectly captured a revolutionary time in American history with bold realism.

17. Charles Kettering


Born: Loudonville, 1876

Kettering re-imagined the automobile and gets credit for inventing spark plugs, leaded gasoline, the automatic transmission and four-wheel brakes.

16. Jack Nicklaus


Born: Columbus, 1940

Nicklaus holds the PGA Tour record of 18 career major championships, and his rivalry with Arnold Palmer brought golf to the forefront of American popularity. We'll take the Golden Bear over a Tiger any day.

15. Rita Dove


Born: Akron, 1952

Awards came early and often to Dove, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987. She also served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995 and from 1999 to 2000.

14. Orville Wright


Born: Dayton, 1871

Orville and brother Wilbur (who was born in Indiana) were the first men to successfully fly an aircraft. Unfortunately, they did it in North Carolina because wind conditions were better. A bitter license plate war between the states ensued.

13. Woody Hayes


Born: Clifton, 1913

The tough-nosed, no-nonsense coach who built the Buckeye football program into a powerhouse will always be an Ohio legend. He once said, "Show me a gracious loser, and I'll show you a busboy."

12. Toni Morrison


Born: Lorain, 1931

Morrison has received numerous awards for her compelling and expressive depictions of black America, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.

11. Dean Martin

Rat Pack member

Born: Steubenville, 1917

It's hard to pick Martin's most lasting contribution to pop culture. Comedic acting? Impassioned singing? Vegas performing? You can remember his entire legacy at the Dean Martin Festival on June 17-19 in Steubenville.