List of German Americans

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German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner) are citizens of the United States of German ancestry; they form the largest ethnic ancestry group in the United States, accounting for 17% of U.S. population.[1] The first significant numbers arrived in the 1680s in New York and Pennsylvania. Some eight million German immigrants have entered the United States since that point. Immigration continued in substantial numbers during the 19th century; the largest number of arrivals moved 1840–1900, when Germans formed the largest group of immigrants coming to the U.S., outnumbering the Irish and English.[2] Some arrived seeking religious or political freedom, others for economic opportunities greater than those in Europe, and others for the chance to start afresh in the New World. California and Pennsylvania have the largest populations of German origin, with more than six million German Americans residing in the two states alone.[3] More than 50 million people in the United States identify German as their ancestry; it is often mixed with other Northern European ethnicities.[4] This list also includes people of German Jewish descent.

Americans of German descent live in nearly every American county, from the East Coast, where the first German settlers arrived in the 17th century, to the West Coast and in all the states in between. German Americans and those Germans who settled in the U.S. have been influential in almost every field, from science, to architecture, to entertainment, and to commercial industry.

Art and literature[edit]



Political cartoonist Thomas Nast

Authors and writers[edit]

H. L. Mencken, satirist, social critic, cynic, freethinker


Actors and actresses[edit]

Fred Astaire, dancer
Marlene Dietrich, actress, singer, and entertainer
Mitzi Gaynor, actress, singer, and dancer
Jon Voight, actor
Grace Kelly, actress who became Princess of Monaco


Keith Olbermann
Willie Geist

Directors, producers, screenwriters and film editors[edit]



Composers and musicians[edit]

Businesspeople and entrepreneurs[edit]

Businessman John Jacob Astor, IV
Henry J. Heinz, ketchup founder and businessman
John D. Rockefeller, industrialist
Washington Augustus Roebling, civil engineer
Levi Strauss, blue jeans


Adolphus Busch, Brewer


Historical figures[edit]

Neil Armstrong, astronaut
Laura Bullion, Old West outlaw
Pat Nixon, first lady


George Armstrong Custer, U.S. cavalry commander
Baron von Steuben, Continental Army
Lt. Aleda E. Lutz




Scientists and inventors[edit]

Wernher von Braun, rockets and spaceships





Ice hockey[edit]

Wrestling, mixed martial arts, and boxing[edit]




Other sports[edit]

First Ladies of the United States[edit]

(in order by their husband's presidency)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau. "US demographic census". Retrieved November 16, 2009.; In 2009, 50.7 million claimed German ancestry. The 2000 census gives 15.2% or 42.8 million. The 1990 census had 23.3% or 57.9 million.
  2. ^ Adams, J. Q.; Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, Illinois: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7872-8145-8.
  3. ^ German-American Heritage Foundation Archived October 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [1] "U.S. Census Bureau, German ancestry – German: 50,764,352"
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2012-03-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Dankmar Adler (1844–1900) was born in a small town in Germany."
  6. ^ Brody, Seymour "Sy"; biographical sketch of Dankmar Adler in the Jewish Virtual Library
  7. ^ "Adolf Cluss, Architect: From Germany to America – The Book to Accompany the Exhibitions". 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  8. ^ Obituary The New York Times, October 29, 2007
  9. ^ [2] "Walter Gropius was a German architect and art educator"
  10. ^ "BHL: Albert Kahn papers 1896–2011". University of Michigan. 1909-12-06. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  11. ^ [3]" German-born and educated Richard Kiehnel (1877-1944) and his partner John Blair Elliott (b. 1868) were commissioned to design the school."
  12. ^ [4] "German-born architect famous for his wire rope suspension bridge designs, in particular, the design of the Brooklyn Bridge."
  13. ^ [5] Archived 2012-02-02 at the Wayback Machine Quote: "Washington Roebling grew up in Saxonburg, a village of German farmers who had just made the journey to America. John Roebling founded this settlement by leading a group of immigrants from Mühlhausen, Germany, to America in 1832. Roebling surveyed and planned the village and distributed land to the families."
  14. ^ [6] "Frederick C. Sauer was a German immigrant-architect and builder who established a Pittsburgh office in 1884, and practiced locally for many years.
  15. ^ [7] "The church was designed by Frederick C. Sauer. While at Technical School in Wittenberg, Germany he worked as a stone cutter, brick layer arid carpenter. After graduation in 1879 he came to Pittsburgh at the age of 19."
  16. ^ Aurand, Martin. 1994. The Progressive Architecture of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr., University of Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-04-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "German-born designer of the US capitol dome. (c. 1817–1900)"
  18. ^ [8] "The Legacy of the Schuler School of Fine Arts"
  19. ^ Faust, Albert Bernhardt (1908). The German Element in the United States with Special Reference to Its Political, Moral, Social, and Educational Influence. Houghton Mifflin Co. pp. 64–65.
  20. ^ Baltzell, Edward Digby. Puritan Boston & Quaker Philadelphia (Transaction Publishers, 1996), pp. 332–33. ISBN 1-56000-830-X
  21. ^ [9] "German-born Architect"
  22. ^ [10] "German-born American Textile Artist"], Artcyclopedia
  23. ^ Roderick Conway Morris (October 21, 2011), Making of a Bauhaus Master New York Times.
  24. ^ "Transcript: 'Project Runway' Winner Christian Siriano". The Washington Post. March 10, 2008.
  25. ^ Peter Palmquist, "Robert Benecke", Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide (Stanford University Press, 2005), pp. 102–103.
  26. ^ [11] "German-born Bierstadt, whose teachers had included the German Romantic painter Lessing ..."
  27. ^ [12] "Born in Heide, Germany, Rudolph Dirks moved with his parents to Chicago at the age of seven."
  28. ^ Alfred Eisenstaedt. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009. born December 6, 1898, Dirschau, West Prussia ... pioneering German-American photojournalist
  29. ^ James, George Wharton; Eytel, Carl (illustrator) (1906). The Wonders of the Colorado Desert (Southern California). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. ISBN 978-1-103-73361-3. LCC F868.S15 J2
  30. ^ a b c d e "German-American Artists"[dead link]
  31. ^ [13] "Lyonel Feininger (Léonell Charles Feininger) is born in New York City on July 17. He is the first child of the violinist Karl Feininger from Durlach in Baden (South West Germany) and the American singer Elizabeth Cecilia Feininger, born Lutz, who is also of German descent."
  32. ^ James A. Hoobler and Sarah Hunter Marks, Nashville: From the Collection of Carl and Otto Giers (Arcadia Publishing, 2000), p. 7.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2006-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "early 20th century German artist, George Grosz."
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2008-01-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Ulrike Herzner ("Uli"), is a 35-year-old German native who currently resides in Miami Beach."
  35. ^ [14] "German-American painter and teacher, often called the dean of abstract expressionism"
  36. ^ Penelope Green, "The Serial Sleepover Artist", The New York Times, April 13, 2011.
  37. ^ [15] "Kleibacker Clan"
  38. ^ Harold H. Knerr Lambiek Comiclopedia "Harold Hering Knerr was the son of an emigrated German physician."
  39. ^ [16] "Born in Ebingen, Württemberg. Krimmel immigrated to the United States in 1810. Settled in Philadelphia, where he painted portraits, miniatures and gently satirical street and domestic scenes. He returned to Germany from 1817 to 1818. Back in Philadelphia in 1819. Early 1821 he was elected president of the Association of American Artists, but on July 15 of the same year he accidentally drowned near Germantown, Pennsylvania."
  40. ^ [17] "German Americans also have influenced greatly our artistic heritage. Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware River, remains a cherished and recognized symbol of American courage and determination."
  41. ^ [18] "... born in Germany. Worked as an itinerant artist in Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1837. While living in New York City he married a French-Canadian and spent most of his life in Canada."
  42. ^ [19] "German-born artist, designed the first Confederate flag and the Confederate uniform".
  43. ^ [20] "German/American, 1832–1932"
  44. ^ [21]"Josef Muench (David's father) was born in Schweinfurt, Bavaria on February 8, 1904."
  45. ^ [22]"Josef Muench was born in Schweinfurt, Bavaria on February 8, 1904."
  46. ^ [23]"Josef Muench (Marc's grandfather) was born in Schweinfurt, Bavaria on February 8, 1904."
  47. ^ [24] "NAHL, Charles Christian (1818–1878), born in Kassel, immigrated to United States in 1849".
  48. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2006-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Thomas Nast – German-born Father of American Caricature ..."
  49. ^ [25] "German American art historian who gained particular prominence for his studies in iconography (the study of symbols and themes in works of art)."
  50. ^ [26] "German-American painter trained in the "Munich School" style who is best known for his nudes, clowns and portraits and his ill-fated voyage of the South Pacific which nearly cost him his life"
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "German native Severin Roesen is most famous for his abundant fruit ..."
  52. ^ [27] "... born most likely in Nuremberg, landscape and botanical painter. Studied art in Düsseldorf and Munich. In 1825 he went to Switzerland, where he stayed for 20 years before he emigrated to America in 1845."
  53. ^ [28] "... earliest type founder in America, published the first Bible in German, 1743, and the first religious magazine in America, 1764. The magazine was published by Christopher Sauer II, who took over the printshop after his father died in 1758."
  54. ^ [29] "Schwartz first worked at MetaDesign Berlin, developing typefaces for Volkswagen and logos for a number of corporations. He then returned to the US and joined the design staff at The Font Bureau, Inc., working for a wide range of corporate and publication clients."
  55. ^ [30] "... born in Tilsit, East Prussia, came to America at the age of 17."
  56. ^ [31] "Gustavus Sohon was born in Tilsit, Germany on December 10, 1825. He came to America at the age of 17 and lived in Brooklyn, New York. A gifted linguist (he spoke English, French, and German) ..."
  57. ^ [32] "Gustavus Sohon, a native of East Prussia, arrived on the Columbia River in 1852 as a private in the US Army."
  58. ^ [33] "Birthplace: Cologne, Germany"
  59. ^ [34] "Though her father (Rene Von Drachenberg) is of German descent and her mother (Sylvia Galeano) has Spanish-Italian roots, both her parents are native Argentinians."
  60. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Her father René Drachenberg and her mother Sylvia Galeano were both born in Argentina, though René's family origins were German and Sylvia's Spanish-Italian"
  61. ^ Category:German noble templates "Freiin, under German Nobles"
  62. ^ [35] "German American Corner: WIMAR, Karl Ferdinand (1828–1862)"
  63. ^ [36] "German Heritage"
  64. ^ "Matthias Bartgis, MSA SC 3520-14987". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  65. ^ Rogers, p. 1.
  66. ^ Actors Directors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland – German-Hollywood Connection Archived July 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  67. ^ Día de conmemoración a don Salvador Brau Asencio
  68. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2006-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "So when Bukowski, who was German-born, got along with this young ..."
  69. ^ Catalano, Grace (February 1997). Leonardo DiCaprio: Modern-Day Romeo. New York: Dell Publishing Group. pp. 7–15. ISBN 978-0-440-22701-4.
  70. ^ [37] "Part of a large German-American family, and the ninth of ten children, his childhood was marked by poverty." [38] "Theodore Dreiser was the son of a German Catholic immigrant father and a German-Moravian Mennonite mother."
  71. ^ [39] "1829 – Gomried Duden's published travel report encourages thousands of Germans to come to America, especially Missouri"
  72. ^ [40] "I could hear the pain in my German-American father's voice as he recalled being yanked out of Lutheran school during World War I and forbidden by his immigrant parents ever to speak German again."
  73. ^ [41] "Born May 27, 1917, in Hamburg, Germany; died February 11, 2006, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Moved to United States in 1938; resided in New York City from 1938 to 2006."
  74. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-03-24. Retrieved 2006-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Like Charles Follen and Carl Schurz, Lieber was a German revolutionary and patriot but only America allowed him to develop his talents to the full."
  75. ^ [42] "German: from a short form of a Germanic personal name cognate with Old High German gratag 'greedy'."
  76. ^ Benjamin Balint. "From Frankfurt to New Haven", The Forward, May 22, 2008.
  77. ^ Dan Webster, "Ursula Hegi" Archived 2012-01-14 at the Wayback Machine, Spokesman Review, April 3, 2003.
  78. ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Patricia Highsmith". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on April 30, 2007.. Quote: "Her father was of German descent and she did not meet him until she was twelve – the surname Highsmith was from her stepfather..."
  79. ^ [43] "The two most distinguished German Sinologists at the turn of the century, Friedrich Hirth (1845–1927) and Berthold Laufer ..."
  80. ^ Gates Jr., Henry Louis (2016). Finding Your Roots, Season 2: The Official Companion to the PBS Series. The University Of North Carolina Press. p. 17. ISBN 9781469626185.
  81. ^ [44] Archived 2007-08-10 at the Wayback Machine "German-American film historian, sociologist and author, best known for his 1947 book From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film. His Theory of Film (1960) was Kracauer's second influential, if also controversial, work. Born in Germany, the former editor of a Frankfurt newspaper and German film critic moved to America in 1941. His studies concentrated on how cinema both influences and is influenced by social and economic conditions."
  82. ^ "The American Language: Video Lesson Plan". American Writers. C-SPAN. Archived from the original on 12 October 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2016. Mencken came from a German-American neighborhood and family.
  83. ^ [45] "... largely German-speaking neighborhood (Miller's grandparents had emigrated from Germany"
  84. ^ [46] "Pennsylvania Dutch Identity: Anna Balmer Myers"
  85. ^ [47] "Public Letter to Oswald Ottendorfer" by Carl Schurz – From Frederic Bancroft, ed., Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, Volume III, pp. 261–280. Oswald Ottendorfer was editor of the N. Y. Staats-Zeitung. This letter was written in German. The translation, taken from one of the New York newspapers, was probably made hastily and not by Carl Schurz."
  86. ^ [48] "Ottendorfer's desire was to help to uplift both the body and the mind of his fellow Germans in the United States ('dem Körpen und dem Geisten zu helfen')."
  87. ^ [49] "In Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath does many things: she explores her guilt about being German during World War II ..."
  88. ^ Robertson, William. "Erich Remarque". Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  89. ^ "North Side: People: Mary Roberts Rinehart". Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  90. ^ [50] "When St. Louis housewife Irma von Starkloff Rombauer (1877–1962) self-published The Joy of Cooking in 1931, she was, at age 54, a total amateur in the kitchen. She sets Rombauer's German-American roots in the context of a thriving Midwestern immigrant community and also unravels both her and her daughter's tangled, acrimonious relationship with Bobbs-Merrill."
  91. ^ News, A. B. C. (2008-07-18). "Diane Finds She's a True Kentucky Woman". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  92. ^ [51][permanent dead link] "Charles Sealsfield (1793–1864): German and American novelist of the nineteenth century."
  93. ^ Soderburg, Wendy (2010-08-05). "UCLA author's latest novel: A young mother, her nanny and hard choices". UCLA Today. Retrieved 2015-07-07.
  94. ^