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The Most Beloved US Veterans

Updated June 14, 2019 55.8k votes 3.7k voters 49.1k views101 items

List RulesVote 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!
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  • 1

    Audie Murphy

    Dec. at 45 (1925-1971)
    1,363
    153

    BirthplaceKingston, Texas, United States of America

    The most decorated soldier in American history. Later became a film actor.
    Audie Leon Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army,...  more
  • 2
    RobLein added

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)
    1,097
    109

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    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 convention...  more
  • 3

    Alvin C. York

    Dec. at 76 (1887-1964)
    1,019
    104

    BirthplacePall Mall, Tennessee

    Heroic World War I soldier who became famous after the war.
    Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), also known as Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for...  more
  • 4

    George S. Patton

    Dec. at 60 (1885-1945)
    1,285
    171

    BirthplaceSan Gabriel, California

    Famous "blood and guts" general who led tank armies across Germany.
    George Smith Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a General of the United States Army who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theater of World War II, and the U.S....  more
  • 5
    RobLein added

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dec. at 78 (1890-1969)
    862
    93

    BirthplaceDenison, Texas, United States of America

    Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower ( EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961....  more
  • 6

    Chesty Puller

    Dec. at 73 (1898-1971)
    1,089
    149

    BirthplaceWest Point, Virginia

    The most decorated Marine in history, he fought in the Banana Wars, World War II, and Korea.
    Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller (June 26, 1898 – October 11, 1971) was a United States Marine Corps officer. Beginning his career fighting guerillas in Haiti and Nicaragua as part of the Banana Wars,...  more
  • 7

    Jimmy Doolittle

    Dec. at 96 (1896-1993)
    908
    114

    BirthplaceAlameda, California

    Army Air Force General who led the first bombing raid against Japan in World War II.
    James Harold Doolittle (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) was an American General and aviation pioneer. He made early coast-to-coast flights, won many flying races and, most significantly,...  more
  • 8

    James Stewart

    Dec. at 89 (1908-1997)
    1,084
    151

    BirthplaceIndiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Enlisted as a private, flew combat missions in World War II and retired a two-star general.
    James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl,...  more
  • 9
    BrianEdwards added

    John Basilone

    Dec. at 28 (1916-1945)
    702
    84

    BirthplaceBuffalo, New York

    John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above...  more
  • 10
    RobLein added

    Chester W. Nimitz

    Dec. at 80 (1885-1966)
    623
    67

    BirthplaceTexas, USA, Fredericksburg

    Chester William Nimitz, Sr. (; February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) 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,...  more
  • 11

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Dec. at 60 (1858-1919)
    946
    150

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

    The future president led a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba in the Spanish-American War.
    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ROH-zə-velt; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the...  more
  • 12

    Lee Marvin

    Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)
    838
    134

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    The tough guy actor fought with the Marines at Saipan, and was badly wounded.
    Lee Marvin (February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an American film and television actor.Known for his distinctive voice and premature white hair, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles,...  more
  • 13

    Eddie Rickenbacker

    Dec. at 82 (1890-1973)
    658
    92

    BirthplaceColumbus, Ohio

    World War I American fighter ace and aviation pioneer.
    Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America's most successful...  more
  • 14

    Ted Williams

    Dec. at 83 (1918-2002)
    756
    117

    BirthplaceSan Diego, California, United States of America

    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 1939–1942 and...  more
  • 15

    Pat Tillman

    Dec. at 27 (1976-2004)
    961
    174

    BirthplaceFremont, California

    Left the NFL to join the Army Rangers. Was killed in action in Afghanistan.
    Patrick Daniel Tillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who left his sports career and enlisted in the United States Army in...  more
  • 16
    RobLein added

    George Marshall

    Dec. at 78 (1880-1959)
    465
    59

    BirthplaceUniontown, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army to become Chief of Staff under presidents Franklin D....  more
  • 17

    Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

    Dec. at 78 (1934-2012)
    784
    152

    BirthplaceTrenton, New Jersey, United States of America

    Known as "Stormin' Norman," he masterminded the 100-hour ground phase of the Gulf War.
    Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (; August 22, 1934 – December 27, 2012) was a United States Army General. While serving as the commander of United States Central Command, he led all coalition forces...  more
  • 18
    icoachfb added

    Chris Kyle

    Dec. at 38 (1974-2013)
    757
    147

    BirthplaceOdessa, Texas

    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 was awarded...  more
  • 19
    Jim_In_Texas added

    Pappy Boyington

    Dec. at 75 (1912-1988)
    379
    39

    BirthplaceCoeur d'Alene, Idaho

    Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor...  more
  • 20
    Jim_In_Texas added

    Ira Hayes

    Dec. at 32 (1923-1955)
    394
    44

    BirthplaceSacaton, Arizona

    Ira Hamilton Hayes (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955) 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...  more
  • 21

    Yogi Berra

    Age: 96
    626
    113

    BirthplaceThe Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    Interrupted his baseball career to serve in the Navy, and was wounded in the Normandy invasion.
    Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach. He played 19 seasons in Major League...  more
  • 22
    RobLein added

    Omar Bradley

    Dec. at 88 (1893-1981)
    512
    80

    BirthplaceClark, Missouri, United States of America

    General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was a senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II. Bradley was the first Chairman of the Joint...  more
  • 23

    Ernest Borgnine

    Dec. at 95 (1917-2012)
    630
    117

    BirthplaceHamden, Connecticut, United States of America

    Served nearly 10 years in the Navy, mostly in anti-submarine warfare.
    Ernest Borgnine (born January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012) was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades. He was noted for his gruff but calm voice and gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin. A...  more
  • 24
    RobLein added

    John J. Pershing

    Dec. at 87 (1860-1948)
    442
    68

    BirthplaceLaclede, Missouri

    General of the Armies John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was a senior United States Army officer. His most famous post was when he served as the commander of the...  more
  • 25
    RobLein added

    William Halsey, Jr.

    Dec. at 76 (1882-1959)
    434
    73

    BirthplaceElizabeth, New Jersey

    Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr., KBE (October 30, 1882 – August 16, 1959), known as Bill Halsey or "Bull" Halsey, was an American admiral in the United States Navy during World War II. He...  more