Weird History The Most Beloved US Veterans  

Mike Rothschild
41.1k votes 2.3k voters 28.4k views 109 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
973 105
Audie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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
706 58
Alvin C. York is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

3
615 44
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the ...more

4
971 108
George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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 WWII, but is best known for his leadership ...more

5
901 95
Chesty Puller is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

6
762 80
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
682 74
Jimmy Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
742 88
Theodore Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
653 79
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
456 45
Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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 WWII and served as Supreme ...more

11
626 90
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

12
710 116
Pat Tillman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

13
546 76
Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
484 65
Yogi Berra is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

15
441 56
John Basilone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
BrianEdwards added Dec. 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

16
657 120
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

17
509 76
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

18
481 70
Eddie Rickenbacker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

19
456 63
Chris Kyle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
icoachfb added Dec. 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
338 34
Chester W. Nimitz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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
461 78
Kirk Douglas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 99 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
468 90
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

23
550 134
Douglas MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
345 59
Rocky Bleier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 72 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.

25
430 93
Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

26
475 114
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

27
250 30
William Halsey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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

28
373 73
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

29
401 86
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 89 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

30
362 70
Gene Autry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

31
231 27
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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

32
343 67
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

33
243 32
Omar Bradley is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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

34
229 29
Daniel Inouye is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. 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

35
323 63
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added John F. Kennedy

36
298 54
Robert L. Howard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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

37
235 32
John J. Pershing is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 88 (1860-1948) John J. Pershing appeared in the 1942 film For Me and My Gal.

38
351 80
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 77 (1905-1982) Served three years in the Navy on a destroyer, including combat in the Pacific.
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor with a career spanning five decades. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated ...more

39
281 53
Hank Greenberg is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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
285 55
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

41
409 112
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

42
223 33
Bob Dole is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added 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

43
421 123
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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
416 122
Steve McQueen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. 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 era counterculture, ...more

45
272 55
Dennis Franz is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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.

46
339 87
Bea Arthur is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

47
472 152
Chuck Norris is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

48
84 4
Ira Hayes is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Jim_In_Texas added Dec. at 32 (1923-1955) Ira Hamilton Hayes was a Pima Native American and a United States Marine who was one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World ...more

49
287 69
Rob Riggle is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
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

50
335 95
Mr. T is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 65 Served in the Army in the 1970s as a military policeman.
Mr. T is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a ...more