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Famous Quakers
Famous Friends: Influential, Well Known Members of the Religious Society of Friends

Related Pages:
- Quaker Science Fiction Authors
- Quaker Science Fiction
- Largest Quaker Communities

Related Websites:
- Western Quaker Biography Project
- Famous Quakers - by Jenny Steel
- Some Famous Quakers - by Crawshawbooth
- Quaker Politicians
- Wiki: List of Quakers
- Wiki: Category: Quakers

Quaker Founding Fathers

Quaker Signers of the Declaration of Independence:
- George Clymer - Pennsylvania
- Joseph Hewes - North Carolina

Quaker Signers of the Articles of Confederation:
- John Dickinson - Delaware

Quaker Signers of the U.S. Constitution:
- John Dickinson - Delaware
- Thomas Mifflin - Pennsylvania
- George Clymer - Pennsylvania

Quaker Representatives in
First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791):

- Lambert Cadwalader - New Jersey
- John Hathorn - New York
- George Clymer - Pennsylvania

Quaker Senators in
First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791):

- Philemon Dickinson - New Jersey

Politicals and Leadership:
- William Penn - founder of Pennsylvania
- Herbert Hoover - 31st president of the United States
- Richard Nixon - 37st president of the United States
- Daniel Boone - frontiersman and early organizer of Kentucky
- Joseph Pease - In 1832 he became the first Quaker member of British Parliament
- John Bright (1811-1889) - British politician and orator; founder of the Anti-Corn Law League (1839)
- Philip Noel-Baker - British politician; helped create League of Nations and United Nations; received Nobel Peace Prize in 1959
- Rush Holt - New Jersey Congressman (Dem., 1998-?)
- Paul H. Douglas - U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1949-67
- Charles F. Brannan - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 1948-53
- Noah H. Swayne - Noah Haynes Swayne was a U.S. Supreme Court justice (1862-1881)
- William H. "Bud" Walker - apple farmer; ran for U.S. House of Representatives from New York
- Kenneth T. Bosley - farmer, rocket engineer; ran for U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland
- Jean Parvin Bordewich - technical writer; ran for U.S. House of Representatives from New York
- David Levering - professor; Democratic candidate for U.S. House from California's 28th District in 1996

Early American Patriots:
- Betsy Ross - sewed the first American flag
- Thomas Paine - author and American revolutionary (raised as a Quaker)
- Dolley Madison - First Lady, wife of President James Madison

Religious Leaders:
- George Fox - Founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- John Wollman - 1700s Quaker preacher in America who convinced Quakers to become abolitionists
- John Wimber - Former Quaker who became the second leader of the Vineyard Movement and the Vineyard Churches religious body
- Kersey Graves - skeptic, atheist, spiritualist, theological reformist, and writer (lapsed)
- Daisy Douglas Barr - Quaker pastor; influential Ku Klux Klan leader

- Susan B. Anthony - woman's suffragist (lapsed)
- Lucretia Mott - abolitionist/anti-slavery activist; advocate of women's rights, school and prison reform, temperance, peace, and religious tolerance
- Jane Adams - author and activist in urban social conditions in the late 19th century
- Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) - Elizabeth Gurney Fry was a major British prison reformer
- Mary Calderone - pioneered sex education in schools; was director of Planned Parenthood (national abortion chain)
- Seok-heon Ham - Ham Seok-heon was a 20th century Korean activist for human rights in Asia
- Bayard Rustin - pacifist and civil rights leader of the 1960s
- Benjamin Lundy - slavery abolitionist; began publishing Genius of Universal Emancipation in 1821; later founded the National Enquirer
- Emily Greene Balch - peace activist; received Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 (formerly Unitarian, converted to Quaker)
- Julian Bond - legislator, civil rights activist
- John Woolman (1720-1772) - American abolitionist/anti-slavery activist; author of Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes; A Plea for the Poor and the influential posthomously published The Journal of John Woolman

Film and Television:
- David Lean - film director (Lawrence of Arabia; The Bridge On the River Kwai; Doctor Zhivago)
- James Dean - American actor; pop icon
- Jack Larson - actor best known for playing Superman's pal "Jimmy Olsen" in the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV series
- Judi Dench - British actress (Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love; nominations for Iris; Chocolat; Mrs. Brown); "M" in James Bond movies since 1995
- Ben Kingsley - actor, received Best Actor Academy Award for Gandhi (1982)
- Paul Eddington (1927-1995) - British film and television actor ("The Good Life", "Yes, Prime Minister", etc.)
- Don Porter - actor; starred as "Prof. Russell Lawrence" on "Gidget" TV series (1965-1966); films include "The Candidate" (1972), "Mame"

- Tom Robinson - musician
- Bonnie Raitt - popular singer, guitarist, songwriter - blues, rock, etc. (raised as a Quaker)
- Joan Baez - singer and activist (lapsed)
- David Byrne - singer, composer

Other Entertainers:
- Annie Oakley - entertainer in Wild West shows
- Chuck Knipp - comedian known for "Shirley Q. Liquor"
- John Raitt - Broadway star; father of Bonnie Raitt
- Edward R. Murrow - famous news broadcaster

- James Fennimore Cooper - writer famous for adventure stories in early America
- Walt Whitman - American poet (Leaves of Grass, etc.), humanist
- James Michener - novelist (lapsed)
- Charles Brockden Brown - first professional American novelist
- Olaf Stapledon - influential early science fiction writer and philosopher; author of First and Last Man
- Gael Baudino - fantasy novelist (series include: Dragonsword; Strands of Starlight; Water!)
- John Greenleaf Whittier - poet, abolitionist, know as "the Quaker Poet"
- Christopher Morley - author
- Jorge Luis Borges - poet, essayist
- Jessamyn West - novelist; Friendly Persuasion, etc.
- A. S. Byatt - novelist, won Booker Prize for Possession (1990)
- Margaret Drabble - novelist
- Piers Anthony - best-selling fantasy author (raised in a devout Quaker family, but is not an official church member)

- Benjamin West - (1738-1820) American historical painter who worked in England; known for portraits and scenes
- Cassius Coolidge - painter known for his paintings of dogs playing poker
- Edward Hicks - famous folk/primitive painter

- Nathanael Greene - Revolutionary war general, 2nd only to George Washington in importance
- Edwin Stanton - Secretary of War under presidents Lincoln and Johnson
- Smedley Butler - military general nicknamed "the fighting Quaker"; a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps; most decorated marine in U.S. history at the time of his death; author of famous anti-war tract War Is a Racket (1935); exposed fascist coup plot against Pres. Roosevelt

Science and Invention:
- John Dalton - scientist; distinguished between elements and compounds
- Arthur Eddington - astrophysicist; Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington confirmed Einstein's theory that light travels in a curved path around the sun
- Maria Mitchell - discovered a comet; professor of astronomy (lapsed)
- Joseph Lister, Sr. - co-inventor of the compound microscope (lapsed)
- Joseph Lister - discovered antiseptics
- Thomas Hodgkins - co-inventor of the compound microscope
- Thomas Young - first to perform a double slit experiment and to show that light acts as a wave
- Jocelyn Bell Burnell - astronomer, discovered pulsars (neutron stars)
- David Ricardo - famous economist
- George Birbeck - doctor and academic in late 1700s-early 1800s England
- Elizabeth Blackwell - early female doctor and champion of women's education
- James Logan - invented Conestoga wagon; one of the first men of science in the American colonies; experimented on corn; mayor of Philadelphia; Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Supreme Court; Acting Governor

- Edward Pease - formed the world's first passenger-carrying steam railway (The Stockton and Darlington Railway in England)
- Ezra Cornell - philanthropist; helped develop national telegraph system; founded Cornell University (lapsed)
- Edward Lloyd - founder of Lloyd's of London
- Johns Hopkins - merchant, philanthropist; founded Johns Hopkins University
- George Cadbury, Joseph Rowntree and Fry - 19th century Quakers whose families began making chocolate from the byproduct of cocoa manufacturing
- William Allen - co-founded the chemical company Allen and Hanbury
- John W. Seybold - computerized typesetting pioneer; founded the world's first computer-composition service bureau

Additional Quakers

In addition to the Famous Quakers listed above, we found the following additional names of Quakers worth noting listed on Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia (; 5 July 2005)

  • Edmund Backhouse
  • Robert Barclay, theologian
  • Bernard Barton, poet
  • Joel Bean
  • Anthony Benezet, educator, abolitionist
  • Albert Bigelow, nuclear weapons protestor
  • George Birkbeck
  • Edward Burrough, 1660s activist
  • Maria Louisa Bustill, (1853-1904) mother of Paul Robeson
  • Smedley Darlington Butler, (1881-1940) "Old Gimlet Eye," at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
  • Arthur Capper, governor and U. S. senator from Kansas
  • William Coddington, first governor of Rhode Island
  • Levi Coffin, abolitionist
  • John S. Collins, land developer
  • Peter Collinson FRS, botanist
  • Anne Finch Conway, philosopher (Anne Conway, Viscountess Conway)
  • Abraham Darby, ironmaster
  • Richard Dillingham, abolitionist
  • Ambrose Dixon
  • Mary Dyer, religious martyr
  • Fritz Eichenberg, illustrator
  • Chuck Fager, 20th Century Quaker writer and activist
  • Margaret Fell, one of the earliest Quakers, married to George Fox
  • Richard Foster, ecumenical leader and reformer, founder of Renovare
  • Robert Were Fox
  • Thomas Garret
  • Henry D. Gilpin
  • Stephen Grellet
  • Joseph John Gurney reformer
  • Elizabeth Haddon (1680-1762) founder of Haddonfield, New Jersey
  • Cornelia Hancock, nurse
  • Sheila Hancock, comedian
  • Jan de Hartog, author
  • Jonathan Hazard, Continental congressman
  • Edward Hicks, painter
  • Elias Hicks, Quaker theologian
  • Gerard Hoffnung
  • Luke Howard, meterologist
  • Charles Humphreys, Continental congressman
  • Joshua Humphreys, ship builder, 1751-1838
  • Rufus Jones, Quaker theologian
  • Thomas R. Kelly
  • Ben Kingsley, actor
  • Joseph Lancaster
  • Kathleen Lonsdale, scientist
  • Elizabeth Magie, inventor of Monopoly
  • Dave Matthews, musician
  • James Nayler
  • Russ Nelson, open source software developer
  • Amelia Opie, writer
  • Alice Paul, suffragist
  • Edward R. Pease, co-founder of the Fabian Society (lapsed)
  • Gerald Priestland, BBC broadcaster
  • Lewis Fry Richardson
  • Bayard Rustin, civil rights leader
  • Moses Sheppard, philanthopist and abolitionist
  • Philip Sherman, first Secretary of State of Rhode Island
  • Alys Pearsall Smith
  • Hannah Whitall Smith
  • Robert Pearsall Smith
  • Lawrence Southwick
  • Cassandra Burnell Southwick
  • Joseph Sturge
  • Joseph Taylor, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics [Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr.]
  • Lilian Thrasher
  • Daniel Hack Tuke, physician and expert in mental illness
  • James Hack Tuke
  • Henry Tuke, co-founder of the York Retreat
  • Samuel Tuke
  • William Tuke, co-founder of the York Retreat
  • Ann Cooper Whitall
  • John Wilbur
  • Priscilla Anne Wilkinson, married to David Ricardo
  • Dallas Willard
  • Waldo Williams, poet
  • Caspar Wistar (glassmaker)
  • Victoria Wood, comedian
  • Robert Bage, novelist (lapsed)
  • Thomas Fowell Buxton, abolitionist (lapsed)
  • Samuel Tertius Galton, businessman, scientist (lapsed)
  • Elisha Gray, an independent inventor of the telephone (lapsed)
  • Lyndon LaRouche, (disowned in 1941)
  • Benjamin Huntsman
  • Donald Swann
  • Emil Fuchs
  • Gerrard Winstanley
  • James Finlayson
  • James Parnell
  • John Bowne
  • John Cadbury
  • John Lilburne
  • John MacMurray
  • Svetlana Sotiroff MacDonald
  • Thomas Garrett

Notable Quaker Politicians

Source: The Political Graveyard (; viewed 2 December 2005):

Della Tovrea Stuart (1888-1969)

Friend William Richardson (1865-1943)
Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964)
Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994)

Charles Franklin Brannan (1903-1992)

John Hunn (1849-1926)
Preston Lea (1841-1916)

John Michiner Haines (1863-1917)

Paul Howard Douglas (1892-1976)

Abijah O'Neall (1798-1874)
Addison Clay Harris (1840-1916)
David Pierson Holloway (1809-1883)
Elihu Cox (1812-1888)
Elihu Griffin (1830-1887)
Elmer Tunis (b. 1872)
George Washington Holman (1811-1847)
Isaac Underwood (1821-1904)
Jeremiah Cox (1763-1830)
John Beard (1795-1874)
John Boone (1772-c.1832)
John F. O'Neall (c.1804-1865)
John H. Bradley (1805-1872)
John Kelly O'Neall (b. 1829)
John Ratliff (1822-1912)
Joseph Clayton Ratliff (1827-1909)
Joseph Holman (1788-1873)
Lou W. Vail (b. 1851)
Patrick Beard (1769-1831)
Samuel Edgar Nicholson (1862-1934)
Thomas H. O'Neall (1813-1889)
Thomas Swain (died c.1825)
William Gilmer Bray (1903-1979)

Arthur Capper (1865-1951)
Walter Roscoe Stubbs (1858-1929)

Neal Dow (1804-1897)
Roland Hacker Cobb (b. 1895)

David Garfield Harry (b. 1880)
Edward Tylor Miller (1895-1968)
Isaac Ambrose Barber (1852-1909)
John Chew Thomas (1764-1836)
John Wethered (1809-1888)

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Clifford Morris Hardin (b. 1915)
Daniel Joseph Gerow (1864-1950)
John Melvin Willison (1849-1927)
Paul Clarence Pratt

William Windom (1827-1891)

New Jersey
Edwin Bell Forsythe (1916-1984)
John A. Waddington (1911-1981)
Samuel Gardiner Wright (1781-1845)

New York
Amos Jenkins Peaslee II (1887-1969)

North Carolina
Hiette Sinclair Williams (b. 1872)
Jonathan Elwood Cox
Jonathan Lindley (1756-1828)

Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-1869)
Louis John Taber (b. 1878)
Noah Haynes Swayne (1804-1884)
Seth H. Ellis (1830-1904)

Alexander Mitchell Palmer (1872-1936)
Benjamin Chew (1722-1810)
Charles Humphreys (1714-1786)
Darlington Hoopes (b. 1896)
Isaac Weaver (1756-1820)
John Conard (1773-1857)
John Dickinson (1732-1808)
Thomas Earle
Warder Cresson
William Cameron Sproul (1870-1928)
William Curtis Bok (b. 1897)

South Carolina
Joseph Brevard Kershaw (1822-1894)

Joseph McMinn (1758-1824)
Michael James Lowrey (b. 1953)

Edward Bates (1793-1869)

Andrew John Biemiller (1906-1982)


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Other sources include: Friends' School Saffron Walden, Newsletter May 1999 (URL:; Kane, Joseph Nathan. Facts About the Presidents (Fourth Edition). New York: The H. W. Wilson Co. (1981), pg. 360; DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents (Second Edition). New York: Dembner Books (1989);

Famous Quakers / Famous Friends / Famous Members of the Religious Society of Friends / Notable Quakers / Celebrity Quakers webpage copyright © 2005 by
Web page created 10 October 1999. Last modified 6 December 2005.

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