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The Most Famous People From The Cedar Valley, Part 1

From sports to politics to entertainment, Iowa is home to various famous faces. Many you probably know, but also quite a few that you may not have been aware of. And there are plenty notable names who got their start right here in Eastern Iowa.

Did you know all of these famous names have ties to Waterloo?

Getty Images
Getty Images
  • Adam DeVine, star and co-creator of the hit Comedy Central show Workaholics, was born in Waterloo in 1983. DeVine has also played Bumper in Pitch Perfect & Pitch Perfect 2, co-starred with Zac Efron in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and has had a recurring role as Haley’s boyfriend Andy on ABC’s Modern Family. DeVine most recently hosted the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May 2017.
  • Dan Gable, perhaps the most recognizable name in amateur wrestling, is also a Waterloo native.
2012 Olympic Teams Trials - Wrestling
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Gable competed on the mat for Iowa State, losing only one match in his entire collegiate career. Gable went on to win the gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. He would then mentor 12 future Olympians as head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to an astounding 15 national championships! Gable also coached the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Wrestling teams in 1980, 1984 and 2000.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is located in downtown Waterloo.

  • The Sullivan Brothers–Al, Frank, George, Joe & Matt–were Naval officers famously killed during World War II when the USS Juneau was sunk by a Japanese submarine. The Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in downtown Waterloo was named in their honor.
  • R&B singer and Waterloo native Tracie Spencer was featured on the original Star Search in 1987. Her single “Tender Kisses” reached #1 on the R&B chart in the summer of 1991.
  • Corey Taylor, frontman for rock bands Slipknot and Stone Sour, was born in Des Moines but spent much of his childhood in Waterloo.
  • Country artist Emily West moved from Waterloo to Nashville at 18, and finished as the runner-up on season nine of America’s Got Talent in 2014. She has also collaborated with Keith Urban & Postmodern Jukebox.

Got any I missed? Comment below and let me know…and stay tuned for part two!

NEXT: The 'Best' Thing About Iowa Is Actually Pretty Lame

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