The Most Successful Obese Americans  

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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.
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Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
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Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "Spanish Harlem" and "Think". By the end of the 1960s she was being called "The Queen of Soul". Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 76

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

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John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo:  Noam Galai / Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

John Stephen Goodman is an American actor who is known for his comedic and dramatic roles. Early in his career, he was best known for playing Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1993. He is also a regular collaborator with the Coen brothers on such films as Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Inside Llewyn Davis. Goodman's voice roles include Pacha in The Emperor's New Groove, and Sulley in Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. His other film performances include lead roles in The Babe and The Flintstones and supporting roles in The Artist, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 66

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

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Rosie O'Donnell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell is an American comedian, actress, author, and television personality. She has also been a magazine editor and continues to be a celebrity blogger, LGBT rights activist, television producer, and collaborative partner in the LGBT family vacation company R Family Vacations. O'Donnell started her comedy career while still a teenager and her big break was on the talent show Star Search in 1984. A TV sitcom and a series of movies introduced her to a larger national audience and from 1996 to 2002, she hosted The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which won multiple Emmy Awards. ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 56

Birthplace: Commack, New York, United States of America

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Harold Hamm is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Harold Glenn Hamm is an American entrepreneur primarily involved in the oil and gas business who is best known for pioneering the development of the large shale oil resources of the Bakken formation. On January 16, 2015 Hamm was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 48th richest person in United States and 132nd richest person in the world, with a net worth estimated at $9.3 billion, which decreased from $18.7 billion in September 2014. In 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney named Hamm as his energy advisor and thereafter Hamm made substantial monetary and advisory contributions to the election effort. ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 73

Birthplace: Lexington, Oklahoma

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