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Famous People Named Nelson 

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List of famous people named Nelson, along with photos. How many celebrities named Nelson can you think of? The famous Nelsons below have many different professions, as this list includes notable actors named Nelson, athletes named Nelson, and even political figures named Nelson. Did we forget your favorite famous person whose name is Nelson? Add them to the list.

Nelson Rockefeller, part of the wealthy Rockefeller family, was the 41st Vice President to President Gerald Ford. Although he was a Republican, he was quite liberal and was an advocate for maintaining the arts. He helped oversee and preserve art, specifically in New York, and even founded Museum of Primitive Art.

Nelson Mandela was one of the most famous humanitarians of our time. The President of South Africa was famous for being an anti-apartheid revolutionary, and his peace movements. 
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

Age: Dec. at 95 (1918-2013)

Birthplace: Mvezo, South Africa

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (; Xhosa: [xolíɬaɬa mandɛ̂ːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served ...more

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15 Fascinating Facts About The Brutal, Inspiring Life of Nelson Mandela #69 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive #70 of 438 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

Nelson Cruz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Baseball player

Age: 38

Birthplace: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

Nelson Ramón Cruz Martínez (born July 1, 1980) is a Dominican-American professional baseball right fielder and designated hitter for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball ...more

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#345 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #324 of 708 The Best Hitters in Baseball History #42 of 152 The Greatest Hispanic MLB Players Ever

Nelson Rockefeller is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Politician

Age: Dec. at 71 (1908-1979)

Birthplace: Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America

Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was an American businessman and politician who served as the 41st vice president of the United States from 1974 to 1977, and ...more

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#443 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time #120 of 433 The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History #58 of 266 The Most Influential Politicians in American History

Nelson Frazier, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Wrestler, Actor

Age: Dec. at 43 (1971-2014)

Nelson Frazier Jr. (February 14, 1971 – February 18, 2014) was an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment ...more

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#710 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive #414 of 468 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time #46 of 86 The Best Black Wrestlers Of All Time

Nelson DeMille is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Novelist

Age: 75

Birthplace: Jamaica, New York City, New York

Nelson Richard DeMille (born August 23, 1943) is an American author of action adventure and suspense novels. His novels include Plum Island, The Charm School, and The Gold Coast. DeMille has ...more

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The Best Nelson DeMille Books #248 of 303 The Best Novelists of All Time #133 of 205 The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today

Nelson Eddy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Actor, Singer

Age: Dec. at 66 (1901-1967)

Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America

Nelson Ackerman Eddy (June 29, 1901 – March 6, 1967) was an American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, ...more

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#152 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #100 of 153 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #38 of 189 Famous People Buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Pianist

Age: 74

Birthplace: Boa Esperança, Brazil

Nelson Freire (born October 18, 1944) is a Brazilian classical pianist. Freire began playing the piano at age three. He replayed from memory pieces his older sister, Nelma, had just performed. ...more

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#52 of 158 The Best Pianists in the World #73 of 154 The Greatest Pianists Ever #24 of 93 The Best Classical Pianists in the World

Nelson Piquet is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Businessperson, Race car driver

Age: 66

Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nelson Piquet Souto Maior (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnɛwsõ piˈke], born August 17, 1952), known as Nelson Piquet, is a Brazilian former racing driver and businessman. Since his ...more

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#251 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #21 of 71 The Greatest Formula One Drivers Ever

Nelson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Nelson is an American rock band founded by singer/songwriters Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (twin sons of Ricky Nelson and Kristin Nelson). The band achieved success during the early 1990s with ...more

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#80 of 103 The Best Musical Duos #106 of 159 The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time #237 of 1,020 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

Nelson Riddle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Film Score Composer, Arranger, Sailor

Age: Dec. at 64 (1921-1985)

Birthplace: Oradell, New Jersey, USA

Nelson Smock Riddle Jr. (June 1, 1921 – October 6, 1985) was an American arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator whose career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. His work for ...more

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#1,141 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 189 Famous People Buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery #86 of 124 Famous Jazz Trombonists

Nelson Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Baseball player

Age: 44

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Nelson Figueroa, Jr. (born May 18, 1974), is an American former professional baseball pitcher, and a former post-game studio analyst for New York Mets broadcasts. He played in Major League ...more
Nelson Peltz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Businessperson, Investor, Entrepreneur

Age: 76

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Nelson Peltz (born June 24, 1942) is an American billionaire businessman and investor. He is a founding partner, together with Peter W. May and Edward P. Garden, of Trian Fund Management, an ...more
Nelson McCormick is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Television director, Television producer, Film Director
Nelson McCormick is an American director and producer of film and television. Some of his television directing credits include NYPD Blue, V.I.P, Alias, House, Third Watch, ER, Prison Break, 24, ...more
Nelson George is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Cultural critic, Journalist, Television producer

Age: 61

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Nelson George (born September 1, 1957) is an American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker. He has been nominated twice for the National Book Critics Circle
Nelson Piquet, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Race car driver

Age: 33

Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany

Nelson Angelo Tamsma Piquet Souto Maior (born July 25, 1985), also known as Nelson Piquet Junior or Nelsinho Piquet, is a Brazilian stock car racing driver and former Formula One and Formula E ...more
Nelson Haedo Valdez is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Footballer

Age: 35

Birthplace: Caaguazú District, Paraguay

Nelson Antonio Haedo Valdez (born 28 November 1983) commonly known as Nelson Valdez or Nelson Haedo in Spanish speaking countries, is a Paraguayan footballer who plays for Cerro Porteño ...more
Nelson Rodrigues is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Journalist, Film Producer, Screenwriter

Age: Dec. at 68 (1912-1980)

Birthplace: Recife, Brazil

Nelson Falcão Rodrigues (August 23, 1912 – December 21, 1980) was a Brazilian playwright, journalist and novelist. In 1943, he helped usher in a new era in Brazilian theater with his play ...more
Nelson Vails is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Professional Road Racing Cyclist

Age: 58

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Nelson Beasley Vails (born October 13, 1960) is a retired road and track cyclist from the United States. He rode as a professional from 1988 to 1995 representing the USA at the 1984 Summer ...more
Nelson Dingley, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Politician, Journalist

Age: Dec. at 67 (1832-1899)

Birthplace: Durham, Maine, United States of America

Nelson Dingley Jr. (February 15, 1832 – January 13, 1899) was a journalist and politician from the U.S. state of Maine. Dingley was born in Durham, Maine and attended the common schools at ...more
Nelson de la Rosa is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Actor

Age: Dec. at 38 (1968-2006)

Birthplace: Bayaguana, Dominican Republic

Nelson de la Rosa Martínez (c. 1967/1968 – October 22, 2006), a.k.a. Mahow, was a Dominican actor and one of the shortest men of the 20th and 21st centuries. Nelson measured 71 ...more
Nelson Lichtenstein is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Historian, Professor, Author

Age: 74

Nelson Lichtenstein (born November 15, 1944) is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. He ...more
Nelson A. Miles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Soldier

Age: Dec. at 86 (1839-1925)

Birthplace: Westminster, Massachusetts

Nelson Appleton Miles (August 8, 1839 – May 15, 1925) was an American military general who served in the American Civil War, the American Indian Wars, and the Spanish–American War. From 1895 to ...more
Nelson W. Aldrich is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Businessperson, Politician

Age: Dec. at 74 (1841-1915)

Birthplace: Foster, Rhode Island, USA

Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (; November 6, 1841 – April 16, 1915) was a prominent American politician and a leader of the Republican Party in the United States Senate, where he served from 1881 to ...more
Nelson Bragg is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People Named Nelson
Songwriter, Musician, Drummer

Age: 57

Birthplace: Rockport, Massachusetts

Nelson Bragg (born August 14, 1961) is an American percussionist, vocalist and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California.
Nelson Rangell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People Named Nelson

Age: 58

Birthplace: Castle Rock, Colorado

Nelson Rangell (born March 26, 1960) is an American smooth jazz musician and composer from Castle Rock, Colorado. Although he is known for his work with the tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, ...more