Americans American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures  

Mike Rothschild
Originally by
186k votes 11.9k voters 46.8k views 743 items

List Rules Only living figures who are still in the public eye.

American national treasures work in different fields, are of different generations, and all have different stories to tell. But all of their stories are that of America itself. Some are media moguls, others are entertainers that nobody can bring themselves to hate. A few are politicians that have enormous influence and cultural cachet, even if you completely disagree with everything they believe in. But what they have in common is that they exemplify the American spirit, can-do attitude, and our cultural heritage. They also do really great on talk shows. They're US national treasures and are loved by just about everyone.

These likable celebrities and public figures who are national treasures are the ones that, love them or hate them, can't get enough of them or totally sick of them, truly show what it means to be American. To take risks, to give back, to never give up, to be in control of their environment, and to know exactly what to say at the right time.

Here are some of the greatest national treasures the United States has to offer. If you can think of others who qualify as national treasures for the people of the USA, feel free to add them to the list!
list ordered by

1
5,324 1,094
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 62
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American film actor, director, voice-over artist, writer and film producer. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies before achieving ...more

2
1,621 5,751
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #2 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 76 (1942-2018)
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more

3
830 1,004
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 79
Anna Mae Bullock, known by her stage name Tina Turner, is a singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and ...more

4
215 4,504
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 70
William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, comedian, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on ...more

5
652 1,228
Stan Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 93
Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. In collaboration with several artists, ...more

6
223 1,173
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 74
Daniel Michael "Danny" DeVito, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He first gained prominence for his portrayal of taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma on Taxi, for which he won ...more

7
385 655
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 64
Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American film director, producer and actor. He came to prominence playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later ...more

8
394 1,619
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #3 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy ...more

9
656 1,215
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 68
William James "Bill" Murray is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live for which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy ...more

10
540 1,221
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 77
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the ...more

11
202 369
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 57
Michael J. Fox, OC is a Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and advocate. With a film and television career spanning from the 1970s, Fox's roles have included Marty McFly from the Back to ...more

12
298 1,395
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 73
Henry Franklin Winkler, OBE is an American actor, director, comedian, producer and author. Winkler is best known for his role as Arthur Fonzarelli in the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days. ...more

13
216 158
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 72
Sally Margaret Field is an American actress and director. She is known for her film roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, Murphy's Romance, Steel Magnolias, Mrs. ...more

14
506 1,655
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 65
Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress. Lauper has sold over 50 million albums and 20 million singles. She has won awards at the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, the New ...more

15
244 217
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 88
James Earl Jones is an American actor who in a career of more than 60 years has become known as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest ...more

16
144 322
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 77
Carole King is a Grammy Award-winning New York born composer and singer-songwriter. Her career began in the 1960s when King, along with her then husband Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen ...more

17
558 1,305
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #9 Dec. at 86 (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of ...more

18
215 809
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 63
Whoopi Goldberg is an American actress, comedienne, political activist, writer, producer, and television host. Although Goldberg made her film debut in the avant-garde ensemble film Citizen: I'm ...more

19
487 1,165
Garrison Keillor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 76
Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota ...more

20
396 810
Reba McEntire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 63
Reba Nell McEntire is an American country music singer, songwriter and actress. She began her career in the music industry as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on ...more

21
550 1,728
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 53
Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer, whose career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of legal troubles, and a resurgence ...more

22
523 1,365
Annie Leibovitz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 69
Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer.

23
494 621
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 73
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. Her career began as a child performer ...more

24
210 247
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 71
Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which ...more

25
114 289
Liza Minnelli is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 72
Liza May Minnelli is an American actress and singer best known for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical film Cabaret which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Born to film ...more