Famous People From Beaumont, Texas

As one of the major cities in southeast Texas, Beaumont has been home to many famous figures over the years. From chart-topping musicians to elite athletes and successful businessmen, Beaumont natives have made a name for themselves across various industries and professions.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Some of the most famous people from Beaumont, Texas include Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Edgar and Johnny Winter, Brent Spiner, and the Big Bopper.

In this comprehensive guide, we will highlight over 15 famous people who were born in or lived in Beaumont for a significant part of their lives. We’ll cover famous athletes, musicians, actors, business leaders, and more who put Beaumont, Texas on the map.


Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was born in Port Arthur, Texas, just a few miles away from Beaumont. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Zaharias excelled in multiple sports, including basketball, track and field, and golf.

She won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, setting numerous world records along the way. Zaharias also achieved great success in golf, winning 10 major championships during her career.

She was a trailblazer for women in sports and her legacy continues to inspire athletes today.

Jayson Williams

Jayson Williams, a former professional basketball player, was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. He played college basketball at St. John’s University before being selected as the 21st overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns.

Williams went on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets during his career. He was known for his rebounding skills and tenacity on the court. Williams’ career was unfortunately cut short due to a leg injury, but he remains a beloved figure in the basketball community.

Ken Ivy

Ken Ivy, also known as “Big Chief,” gained fame as a street racer and television personality. He was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, and developed a passion for cars at a young age. Ivy rose to prominence as a member of the street racing scene in Oklahoma, showcasing his skills behind the wheel of his famous car, “The Crow.”

He later starred in the hit Discovery Channel show “Street Outlaws,” which follows the lives of street racers in Oklahoma City. Ivy’s charisma and love for racing have made him a beloved figure among racing enthusiasts.


Edgar Winter

One of the most renowned musicians to come out of Beaumont, Texas is Edgar Winter. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who has made significant contributions to the world of rock music. Edgar Winter is best known for his hit songs like “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.”

With his distinct blend of rock, blues, and jazz, Winter has captivated audiences around the world. His unique approach to music, incorporating elements of different genres, has made him a true pioneer in the industry.

Johnny Winter

Another famous musician from Beaumont, Texas is Johnny Winter, who was the younger brother of Edgar Winter. Johnny Winter was an exceptional blues guitarist and singer, known for his electrifying performances.

He gained international recognition for his blues-rock sound and his collaborations with legendary musicians such as Muddy Waters and Jimi Hendrix. Johnny Winter’s raw talent and soulful playing style have left a lasting impact on the music scene, making him one of the most influential blues musicians of all time.

Janis Joplin

Although Janis Joplin was not born in Beaumont, Texas, she spent a significant part of her childhood and teenage years in the city. Joplin’s powerful and emotive voice made her one of the most iconic singers of the 1960s.

She rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin’s passionate performances and soulful interpretations of blues and rock songs set her apart from other artists of her time.

Her tragic death at the age of 27 only cemented her status as a legendary musician.

The Big Bopper

The Big Bopper, whose real name was Jiles Perry Richardson Jr., was a singer, songwriter, and disc jockey from Beaumont, Texas. He is best known for his hit song “Chantilly Lace” and for being one of the three musicians who tragically died in a plane crash in 1959, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

The Big Bopper’s energetic and charismatic performances made him a beloved figure in the early days of rock and roll. His contributions to the genre continue to be remembered and celebrated to this day.


Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner is a renowned actor born in Beaumont, Texas. He is best known for his iconic role as Lieutenant Commander Data in the popular television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Spiner’s portrayal of the android crew member captivated audiences for seven seasons and earned him critical acclaim.

His ability to bring depth and humanity to the character of Data made him a fan favorite. Spiner’s acting career extends beyond “Star Trek,” with appearances in numerous films and television shows. He continues to be recognized as one of the most talented actors to come out of Beaumont.

Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence

Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence, commonly known as Sharon Lawrence, is another notable actor from Beaumont, Texas. She rose to fame for her role as Sylvia Costas Sipowicz on the hit television series “NYPD Blue.”

Lawrence’s portrayal of the strong-willed and determined assistant district attorney garnered critical acclaim and earned her multiple award nominations. Her talent and versatility as an actor have allowed her to take on a variety of roles in both television and film.

Lawrence’s success in the entertainment industry is a testament to her skill and dedication to her craft.

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson, although primarily known as a director, began his career as an actor and screenwriter. Born in Houston, Texas, Anderson spent a significant part of his childhood in Beaumont. He gained recognition as a filmmaker through his distinct visual style and unique storytelling approach.

Anderson’s films, such as “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. His ability to create whimsical and visually stunning worlds has made him one of the most influential directors of his generation.

Anderson’s roots in Beaumont, Texas, have undoubtedly influenced his creative vision.

Business Leaders

Joseph C. Walter

Joseph C. Walter was a prominent business leader from Beaumont, Texas. He made significant contributions to the local economy through his successful business ventures. Walter was the founder and CEO of a highly successful oil and gas company, which played a crucial role in the development of the region’s energy industry.

His innovative strategies and strong leadership skills propelled his company to great heights, making it one of the most influential businesses in the area.

Walter Umphrey

Another notable business leader from Beaumont is Walter Umphrey. As the co-founder of one of the largest law firms in Texas, Umphrey has made a significant impact on the legal landscape of the state. His expertise in personal injury and product liability cases has earned him a reputation as a formidable advocate for his clients.

Umphrey’s dedication to justice and his successful track record have made him a highly respected figure in the legal community.

Bill McBride

Bill McBride was a highly successful entrepreneur from Beaumont. He founded and operated multiple businesses, including a successful construction company and a chain of restaurants. McBride’s entrepreneurial spirit and determination drove him to achieve remarkable success in various industries.

His innovative ideas and business acumen allowed him to adapt to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition. McBride’s contributions to the local economy and his entrepreneurial achievements have made him an inspiration to aspiring business leaders.

For more information on the business leaders from Beaumont, you can visit the following websites:


In conclusion, while it is a mid-sized city, Beaumont, Texas has produced numerous famous figures who have made impacts at the national and global level. From world-class athletes like Babe Didrikson Zaharias to legendary musicians like the Winter brothers and Janis Joplin, Beaumont natives have proven that talent and success can emerge from anywhere. The city remains proud of its most famous sons and daughters.

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