Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, was a mechanic at the Billings Municipal Airport for a brief time.
Country singer Charley Pride was discovered in Helena in 1963. At the time, he was a smelting plant worker and semi-pro baseball player, but when he sang “Lovesick Blues” for Red Foley and Red Sovine at the Helena Civic Center, they encouraged him to pursue a career in music.
From 1993 to 1995 and 1997 to 1998, Dan Mortensen was the World Saddle Bronc Riding Champion. The Billings native was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1997.
Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Lakota leader, is perhaps most famous for his role in Custer’s Defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Throughout his life, he spent significant portions of time in southeastern Montana.
An MSU alumnus, Carroll O’Connor acted in dozens of movies and television shows throughout his career. His most popular role was playing Archie Bunker in All in the Family.
Actor J.K. Simmons attended the University of Montana, where his father was director of the School of Music. In 2014, Simmons’ role as a music instructor in Whiplash earned him an Academy Award and other accolades.
In 1913, author Dorothy Johnson moved to Whitefish. Three of her stories—The Hanging Tree, A Man Called Horse, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence—were made into films.
Morgan Earp, brother of the legendary Wyatt Earp, was a law officer in Butte from 1879-1880. He was involved in the 1881 Gunfight at the OK Corral.
Burton K. Wheeler settled in Butte after losing his belongings in a poker game. He was a United States Senator from 1923 to 1947, beloved in the Treasure State and abroad. There was even a large movement to “Draft Wheeler” into the 1940 presidential race, possibly as a third party candidate.
In 1935, Robert Marshall founded the Wilderness Society, a non-profit land conservation organization that is dedicated to protecting natural areas and federal public lands in the United States. In 1964, Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness was named in his honor.