Famous UUs

Five United States Presidents were Unitarians: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore and William Taft. While he did not specifically identify with any organized religion, Abraham Lincoln had Universalist leanings. Other famous Unitarians, Universalists and Unitarian Universalists are listed below. More are listed on this searchable website

  • Horatio Alger (1832-1899), writer of rags-to-riches books for boys.
  • Lousia May Alcott (1832-1888), author of Little Women and other books.
  • Tom Andrews (1953- ), U.S. Representative from Maine, 1991- 1995.
  • Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), organizer of the women's suffrage movement.
  • George Bancroft (1800-1891), founder of the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • P.T. Barnum (1810-1891), well-known showman, owner of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and a founder of Tufts University.
  • Clara Barton (1821-1912), founder of the American Red Cross.
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone; founder of Bell Telephone Company.
  • Henry Bergh (1811-1888), a founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
  • Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), science fiction writer.
  • William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), author and newspaper editor.
  • Luther Burbank (1849-1926), American Botanist of the early 20th century.
  • Robert Burns (1759-1796), Scottish poet and songwriter.
  • William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), abolitionist, founder of Unitarianism in America.
  • William Cohen (1940- ), U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1979-1997.
  • Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888), lithographer, partner of James Merritt Ives.
  • e.e.cummings (1894-1962), 20th century American Poet, noted for his unorthodox style and technique.
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882), scientist and evolutionist, author of Origin of the Species.
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English novelist.
  • Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), crusader for the reform of institutions for the mentally ill.
  • Don Edwards (1915- ), U.S. Representative from California for three decades.
  • Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), president of Harvard, editor of the Harvard Classics.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Unitarian minister, philosopher, essayist.
  • Edward Everett (1794-1865), president of Harvard, governor of Massachusetts, UU minister.
  • Fannie Farmer (1857-1915), cooking expert.
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), scientist, writer, statesman, printer.
  • Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), a feminist before her time. Leading figure in the Transcendentalist movement and an editor of The Dial, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), abolitionist, editor of The Liberator.
  • Horace Greeley (1811-1872), journalist, politician, editor and owner of the New York Tribune, champion of labor unions and cooperatives.
  • Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909), Unitarian minister and author of The Man Without a Country.
  • Bret Harte (1836-1902), writer, author of The Luck of Roaring Camp.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), 19th century American novelist, author of The Scarlet Letter.
  • John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964), co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), lawyer and member of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1902-32.
  • Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), composer of Battle Hymn of the Republic.
  • Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), pioneer in working with the deaf and blind.
  • Abner Kneeland (1774-1844), advocate of land reform, public education and birth control.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), poet, author of Paul Revere's Ride.
  • James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), noted 19th century poet, anti-slavery leader, and Unitarian minister.
  • John Marshall (1755-1835), Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
  • Herman Melville (1819-1891), writer, author of Moby Dick.
  • Samuel Morse (1791-1872), inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code.
  • Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), British nurse and hospital reformer.
  • Thomas Paine (1737-1809), editor and publisher of Common Sense.
  • Theodore Parker (1810-1860), a renegade Unitarian minister of the mid-19th century and a leading figure of the Abolitionist movement in the Boston area.
  • Linus Pauling (1901-1994), chemist, won the Nobel Peace Prize, 1962.
  • William Perry (1927 - ), former Secretary of Defense
  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), author of Peter Rabbit and other children's stories.
  • Joseph Priestly (1733-1804), discoverer of oxygen.
  • Christopher Reeve (1952-2004), actor, best known for his portrayal of Superman.
  • Paul Revere (1735-1818), silversmith and patriot.
  • Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence; physician, considered to be the "Father of American Psychiatry."
  • Pete Seeger (1919-2014), songwriter, singer, and social activist.
  • Ted Sorenson (1928-2010), speech writer and aide to John F. Kennedy.
  • Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), Governor of Illinois, candidate for President, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
  • George Stephenson (1781-1848), English engineer, invented the first locomotive.
  • Sylvanus Thayer (1785-1872), engineer, founded U.S. Military Academy.
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), essayist and naturalist, author of Walden Pond.
  • Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), writer, author of Slaughterhouse-Five.