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The Most Beloved US Veterans

Updated June 14, 2019 55.7k votes 3.6k voters 48.4k 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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    Audie Murphy

    Dec. at 45 (1925-1971)

    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
    1,086
    110

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

    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
    1,015
    100

    Alvin C. York

    Dec. at 76 (1887-1964)

    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
    1,272
    170

    George S. Patton

    Dec. at 60 (1885-1945)

    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
    852
    93

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dec. at 78 (1890-1969)

    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
    1,087
    146

    Chesty Puller

    Dec. at 73 (1898-1971)

    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
    1,082
    146

    James Stewart

    Dec. at 89 (1908-1997)

    BirthplaceIndiana, Pennsylvania, USA

    Alternative NameJimmy Stewart

    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
  • 8
    900
    113

    Jimmy Doolittle

    Dec. at 96 (1896-1993)

    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
  • 9
    704
    82

    John Basilone

    Dec. at 28 (1916-1945)

    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
    621
    66

    Chester W. Nimitz

    Dec. at 80 (1885-1966)

    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
    943
    148

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Dec. at 60 (1858-1919)

    BirthplaceNew York City, Manhattan, USA, New York

    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
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    844
    130

    Lee Marvin

    Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)

    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
    753
    116

    Ted Williams

    Dec. at 83 (1918-2002)

    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
  • 14
    658
    93

    Eddie Rickenbacker

    Dec. at 82 (1890-1973)

    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
  • 15
    960
    173

    Pat Tillman

    Dec. at 27 (1976-2004)

    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
    465
    58

    George Marshall

    Dec. at 78 (1880-1959)

    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
    789
    148

    Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

    Dec. at 78 (1934-2012)

    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
    392
    41

    Ira Hayes

    Dec. at 32 (1923-1955)

    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
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    381
    38

    Pappy Boyington

    Dec. at 75 (1912-1988)

    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
    627
    109

    Yogi Berra

    Age: 96

    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
  • 21
    633
    113

    Ernest Borgnine

    Dec. at 95 (1917-2012)

    BirthplaceHamden, Connecticut, United States of America

    Alternative NameErmes Effron Borgnino

    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
  • 22
    751
    148

    Chris Kyle

    Dec. at 38 (1974-2013)

    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
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    512
    80

    Omar Bradley

    Dec. at 88 (1893-1981)

    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
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    441
    67

    John J. Pershing

    Dec. at 87 (1860-1948)

    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
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    422
    69

    Robert L. Howard

    Dec. at 70 (1939-2009)

    BirthplaceOpelika, Alabama

    Vietnam vet known as "the real Rambo." Was the most decorated American since World War II.
    Robert Lewis Howard (July 11, 1939 – December 23, 2009) was a highly decorated United States Army Special Forces officer and Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. He was wounded 14 times over...  more