US history The Most Beloved US Veterans  

Mike Rothschild
38.7k votes 2.1k voters 24.2k views 108 items

List Rules Vote up the famous veterans that you love and respect the most.

While all of our veterans should be beloved and respected, many have stuck in the public consciousness. Some became famous veterans because of their incredible accomplishments in war, and others because of their accomplishments in entertainment or business after their service. While some of the names on this list of famous US veterans are decorated heroes, and others were malcontents who couldn't stay out of military prison (looking at you, George Carlin), all are veterans that are now loved and respected by the public.

Veterans like bomber pilot and movie star Jimmy Stewart, are obviously iconic. Others, like former Marine Corps driver turned icon Bea Arthur, might be people you had no idea served in the military. Their accomplishments in uniform run the gamut, from the heroism of Audie Murphy to personally having a bounty put on them by Hitler (Clark Gable) to undistinguished stints that ended quickly. A few fought in World War II and became highly anti-authoritarian. There are even some baseball players who gave up years of their careers to put themselves in harms way in combat in both World Wars.

Vote up the American veterans you respect and revere the most, and vote down the ones who don't deserve the admiration they get from the public. From US Army veterans to World War 2 veterans, any famous and beloved veteran of the US armed forces deserves a spot on this list!
list ordered by

1
888 94
Audie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Audie Murphy Died at 46 (1925-1971) The most decorated soldier in American history. Later became a film actor.
Audie Leon Murphy was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and ...more

2
543 35
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added George Washington Died at 67 (1732-1799) How did we miss him? First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countryman. And nobody can ever outrank him, thanks to an appropriate bill passed by Congress. George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the ...more

3
910 100
George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
George S. Patton Died at 60 (1885-1945) Famous "blood and guts" general who led tank armies across Germany.
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army general, who commanded the Seventh United States Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of World War II, but is best known for his ...more

4
841 87
Chesty Puller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Chesty Puller Died at 73 (1898-1971) The most decorated Marine in history, he fought in the Banana Wars, World War II, and Korea.
Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller was a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general and one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps. Puller is one of two servicemen to ever be ...more

5
657 56
Alvin C. York is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Alvin C. York Died at 77 (1887-1964) Heroic World War I soldier who became famous after the war.
Alvin Cullum York, known also by his rank, Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated American soldiers in World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine ...more

6
709 73
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
James Stewart Died at 89 (1908-1997) Enlisted as a private, flew combat missions in World War II and retired a two-star general.
James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many ...more

7
642 72
Jimmy Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Jimmy Doolittle Died at 97 (1896-1993) Army Air Force General who led the first bombing raid against Japan in World War II.
James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War and was ...more

8
689 83
Theodore Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Theodore Roosevelt Died at 61 (1858-1919) The future president led a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba in the Spanish-American War.
Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt Jr. was an American politician, author, naturalist, soldier, explorer, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of ...more

9
613 75
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Lee Marvin Died at 63 (1924-1987) The tough guy actor fought with the Marines at Saipan, and was badly wounded.
Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor. Known for his distinctive voice, white hair and 6 ft 2 in stature, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers ...more

10
592 88
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. Died at 78 (1934-2012) Known as "Stormin' Norman," he masterminded the 100-hour ground phase of the Gulf War.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. was a United States Army general. While serving as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, he led all coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War. Born in ...more

11
660 108
Pat Tillman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Pat Tillman Died at 28 (1976-2004) Left the NFL to join the Army Rangers. Was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 ...more

12
412 42
Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dwight D. Eisenhower Died at 79 (1890-1969) Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as ...more

The Worst U.S. Presidents

13
506 74
Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Ted Williams Died at 84 (1918-2002) Gave up four years of his baseball career to serve as a Naval aviator.
Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was an American Major League Baseball left fielder, and later manager. Williams played his entire 19-year major league career for the Boston Red Sox from ...more

14
614 109
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Clint Eastwood age 87 Drafted into the US Army in 1951.
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio ...more

15
464 65
Eddie Rickenbacker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Eddie Rickenbacker Died at 83 (1890-1973) World War I American fighter ace and aviation pioneer.
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America's most successful fighter ace in the war. He was also ...more

16
486 72
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Ernest Borgnine Died at 95 (1917-2012) Served nearly 10 years in the Navy, mostly in anti-submarine warfare.
Ermes Effron Borgnino, known as Ernest Borgnine was an American film and television actor whose career spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, ...more

17
454 64
Yogi Berra is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Yogi Berra age 92 Interrupted his baseball career to serve in the Navy, and was wounded in the Normandy invasion.
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is a retired American Major League Baseball catcher, manager, and coach. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees. He is ...more

The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

18
410 54
John Basilone is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
BrianEdwards added John Basilone Died at 29 (1916-1945) John Basilone was a United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant who received the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World ...more

19
408 56
Chris Kyle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
icoachfb added Chris Kyle Died at 39 (1974-2013) Christopher Scott "Chris" Kyle was a United States Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and ...more

20
317 32
Chester W. Nimitz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Chester W. Nimitz Died at 81 (1885-1966) Chester William Nimitz was a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for U.S. ...more

21
436 72
Kirk Douglas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Kirk Douglas age 101 Wounded in combat in the Navy during World War II.
Kirk Douglas is an American film and stage actor, film producer and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of ...more

22
444 84
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Gene Hackman age 88 Served four years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator.
Eugene "Gene" Allen Hackman is an American actor and novelist. In a career spanning five decades, Hackman has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, including best actor ...more

15 Ways the Founding Fathers Disagree with Today's GOP

23
524 126
Douglas MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Douglas MacArthur Died at 84 (1880-1964) The famed general won over 100 medals and decorations in his career.
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the ...more

24
448 103
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Johnny Cash Died at 71 (1932-2003) Joined the Air Force and served as a radio operator in Germany.
John R. "Johnny" Cash was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as ...more

25
234 26
William Halsey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added William Halsey, Jr. Died at 77 (1882-1959) Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr., GBE —known as Bill Halsey or "Bull" Halsey—was an American fleet admiral in the United States Navy. At the start of the War in the Pacific ...more

26
404 87
Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Jackie Robinson Died at 53 (1919-1972) Drafted in World War II and served in a segregated unit.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball ...more

27
348 66
Gene Autry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Gene Autry Died at 91 (1907-1998) The movie star served as a transport pilot in World War II.
Orvon Grover Autry, better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in ...more

13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy

28
320 57
Rocky Bleier is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Rocky Bleier age 69 The Steelers quarterback was badly wounded in Vietnam before winning four Super Bowls.
Robert Patrick "Rocky" Bleier is a former National Football League halfback who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968 and from 1971 to 1980.

29
352 70
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Humphrey Bogart Died at 58 (1899-1957) Gained his famous upper lip scar in the Navy just after World War I.
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American screen actor whose performances in such iconic 1940s films noir as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep, earned him the legacy of cultural ...more

30
382 83
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Mel Brooks age 91 Served as a combat engineer in Europe in World War II, disarming mines and building bridges.
Melvin James "Mel" Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer, and songwriter. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic ...more

31
216 24
Daniel Inouye is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Daniel Inouye Died at 88 (1924-2012) Served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions in battle near San Terenzo, Italy. He was severely injured and lost his right arm. Received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal. Daniel Ken "Dan" Inouye was a Medal of Honor recipient, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a United States Senator from Hawaii, a member of the Democratic Party, and the ...more

32
330 64
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Alec Guinness Died at 86 (1914-2000) Landed troops in multiple combat operations for the Royal Navy.
Sir Alec Guinness, CH CBE was an English actor. After an early career on the stage he was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets in ...more

12 Historically Beloved Figures That J. Edgar Hoover Hated And Tried To Destroy

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216 25
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added George Marshall Died at 79 (1880-1959) George Catlett Marshall, Jr. was an American soldier and statesman famous for his leadership roles during World War II and the Cold War. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army, ...more

34
225 29
Omar Bradley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Omar Bradley Died at 88 (1893-1981) Omar Nelson "Brad" Bradley was a United States Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army. From the Normandy landings through the ...more

35
297 57
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added John F. Kennedy

36
220 29
John J. Pershing is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added John J. Pershing Died at 88 (1860-1948) John J. Pershing appeared in the 1942 film For Me and My Gal.

37
282 52
Robert L. Howard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Robert L. Howard Died at 70 (1939-2009) Vietnam vet known as "the real Rambo." Was the most decorated American since World War II.
Robert Lewis Howard was a highly-decorated United States Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. He was wounded 14 times over 54 months of combat, was awarded 8 Purple ...more

Jobs That Are the Most Beneficial to Society

38
332 74
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Henry Fonda Died at 77 (1905-1982) Served three years in the Navy on a destroyer, including combat in the Pacific.
Henry Jaynes Fonda was TV producer and actor.

39
269 49
Hank Greenberg is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Hank Greenberg Died at 75 (1911-1986) Had two stints in the Army and flew B-29 bombers in combat.
Henry Benjamin "Hank" Greenberg, nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank," "Hankus Pankus" or "The Hebrew Hammer," was an American Major League Baseball first baseman ...more

40
403 111
Steve McQueen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Steve McQueen Died at 50 (1930-1980) Served in the Army in the late '40s, and was demoted multiple times for insubordination.
Terence Steven "Steve" McQueen was an American actor. Called "The King of Cool", his "anti-hero" persona, developed at the height of the Vietnam War-era ...more

41
267 52
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Tony Bennett age 91 Fought intense house-to-house battles in the Army in Europe at the end of World War II.
Anthony Dominick "Tony" Benedetto, stage name Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, show tunes, and jazz. Bennett is also an accomplished painter, having ...more

42
389 110
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Clark Gable Died at 59 (1901-1960) Flew combat missions over Europe, and had a bounty put on his capture by Hitler.
Clark Gable was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or just simply as "The King". Gable began his career as a stage actor and appeared as an ...more

U.S. Presidents Before and After Major Historical Events

43
403 119
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
James Earl Jones age 87 Trained as an Army Ranger during the Korean War, but never saw combat.
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

44
208 31
Bob Dole is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Bob Dole age 94 A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II, Dole received major injuries from German machine gun fire. He barely survived and underwent a long period of recovery. Was given two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with the combat V for valor. Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American politician who represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996 and in the House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969. In the ...more

45
322 84
Bea Arthur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Bea Arthur Died at 87 (1922-2009) Served as a driver stateside in the Marines during World War II.
Beatrice "Bea" Arthur was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose career spanned seven decades. Arthur achieved fame as the character Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in ...more

46
451 147
Chuck Norris is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Chuck Norris age 78 Learned martial arts in a four year stint in the Air Force, from 1958 to 1962.
Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial ...more

47
259 54
Dennis Franz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dennis Franz age 73 Drafted in 1968 and served as a paratrooper in Vietnam.
Dennis Franz is an American actor best known for his role as Detective Andy Sipowicz in the ABC television series NYPD Blue.

48
270 64
Rob Riggle is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Rob Riggle age 47 Was an officer in the Marine Corps and served in combat in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Robert Allen "Rob" Riggle, Jr. is an American actor, comedian and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer. He is best known for his work as a correspondent on Comedy ...more

49
328 96
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Paul Newman Died at 83 (1925-2008) Served three years as a radioman in the Navy during and after World War II.
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional racing driver, auto racing team owner, environmentalist, social activist and philanthropist. He won numerous ...more

50
281 73
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Alan Alda age 82 Served in the Army as a gunnery officer before becoming an actor.
Alan Alda is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and author. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, he is best known for his starring roles as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV ...more