• Lifestyle

The Most Successful Obese Americans

The most successful obese Americans include men and women who despite being overweight, have found mainstream success. These actors, actresses, musicians, politicians, pundits, and even athletes are all household names who either became famous despite being obese or packed on the pounds after they rose to fame.

If Hollywood has an obsession with being stick thin, it definitely didn't tell some of the most well known large actors, actresses, and other personalities who have reached legendary status despite their size. Oprah Winfrey is just one of many celebrities who has battled weight in a very public forum but never let it stop her from becoming an entertainment mogul.

Who are some successful fat people? For some, being obese has caused the public to question if they were fit for their individual professions. Fans have criticized professional athletes like John Daly and Babe Ruth for their weight, despite leading other athletes at the same games. Pundits have trashed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his weight, with some even claiming he's too fat to hold public office.

Sadly, for a few of these favorite obese celebrities, their overindulgence contributed to their death. Though other factors were at play, the likes of John Candy, Chris Farley, and even the great Elvis Presley are just a few celebrities who enjoyed gluttony and eventually, in part, died because of it. This list of celebrity fat guys includes male and female, tall and short, young and old overweight movie stars. 

But for all of the sad stories of obesity, there's also many celebrities who have proudly overcome their weight issues. Television personalities Drew Carey and Al Roker both shed extra pounds and became inspirational tales that others can use for their own benefit.

Some stories are definitely more inspirational than others just like some of these famous obese people are more successful than others. Tell us which obese person you think is the most successful by voting for that person, re-ranking this list your way or adding someone we've missed below.
  • Steven Anthony Ballmer (; born March 24, 1956) is an American businessman and investor who was the chief executive officer of Microsoft from January 13, 2000, to February 4, 2014, and is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). As of April 2019, his personal wealth is estimated at US $51.3 billion, ranking him the 19th richest person in the world.Ballmer was hired by Bill Gates at Microsoft in 1980 and subsequently left the MBA program at Stanford University. He eventually became President in 1998, and replaced Gates as CEO in 2000. On February 4, 2014, Ballmer retired as CEO and resigned from the Board of Directors on August 19, 2014 to  ...more
    • Age: 65
    • Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan

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    Richard Bruce Cheney (; born January 30, 1941) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 46th vice president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He has been cited as the most powerful vice president in American history. He was also one of the most unpopular politicians in the history of the US, holding an approval rating of just 13% at the time of leaving office.Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He attended Yale and then the University of Wyoming, at the latter of which he earned a BA and an MA in Political Science. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the  ...more
    • Age: 80
    • Birthplace: Nebraska, Area code 531, Lincoln, United States of America, United States

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  • Kevin James (born April 26, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his role as Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens (1998–2007), for which he was nominated for a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He starred in another CBS sitcom, Kevin Can Wait (2016–2018). for which he was nominated for a 2017 People's Choice Award. James has appeared in the films Hitch (2005), I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Grown Ups (2010), Zookeeper (2011), Here Comes the Boom (2012), and Pixels (2015). He has also done voice work for Barnyard (2006), Monster House (2006), and  ...more
    • Age: 56
    • Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States of America

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  • Kathleen Doyle Bates (born June 28, 1948) is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, three American Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Obie Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, she studied theatre at the Southern Methodist University before moving to New York City to pursue an acting career. She landed minor stage roles before being cast in her first on screen role in Taking Off (1971). Her first Off-Broadway stage performance was in the 1976 production of Vanities. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, she continued to perform on screen and on stage, appearing in a  ...more
    • Age: 73
    • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

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