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Notable Finnish Americans

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Profiles

  • Greta Peck (Kukkonen) (1911 - 2008)
    Gregory Peck oli naimisissa 1942–1954 suomalaissukuisen Greta Kukkosen kanssa, ja häntä kutsuttiinkin lempinimellä "suomalaisten vävypoika". Peck vieraili Suomessa tammikuussa 1953. Pariskunta sai kolm...
  • Catherine Oxenberg
    Aurora Karamzin a _ *b. Stjernvall ( Demidov ) (In Finland) → Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, prince of San Donato her son → Aurora Pavlovna Pavlovna Comtessa di Noghera his daughter → Prince Paul of Yugosl...
  • Casper Van Dien
    An action specialist whose impossibly chiseled jaw makes him the ideal candidate to portray heroes who favor plenty of action over useless small talk, Casper Van Dien first made an impression on viewer...
  • Jessica Lange
    Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is an American actress who has worked in film, theatre and television. The recipient of multiple awards, Lange is regarded as one of the première female acto...
  • Aileen Wuornos (1956 - 2002)
    Aileen was born to teenage parents. Her biological father was a convicted child molestor and committed suicide in prison. Her mother was allegedly disowned from the family for eloping with him. Aileene...

Finnish Americans comprise Americans 1) with ancestral roots from Finland or 2) Finnish people who emigrated to and reside in the United States. The Finnish American population numbers about 700,000.

Finns first began setting in the present United States in the mid-1600s as part of the settlement of New Sweden. The largest wave of Finnish immigration occurred in the late 19th century and continued until the mid 20th century.

The northernmost reaches of the Midwest, especially the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the northeastern counties of Minnesota, have the largest concentration of Finnish Americans today. The Upper Peninsula is the center of Finnish culture in the U.S. and is home to Finlandia University, the only active Finnish university in the country.

Notable Americans of some Finnish descent also include several film stars, such as actors Anna Easteden, Maila Nurmi, Jessica Lange, Matt Damon, and George Gaynes; and director David Lynch. Other notable individuals are Declaration of Independence signer John Morton, architect and designer Eero Saarinen, model Pamela Anderson, author Jean M. Auel, historian Max Dimont, politician Emil Hurja, labor activist T-Bone Slim, U.S. Communist Party leader Gus Hall (originally Arvo Kustaa Halberg), business tycoon Lars Kovala, mathematician Lars Ahlfors, musicians Jaco Pastorius and Einar Aaron Swan, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Mark Hoppus, computer scientists Linus Torvalds and Alfred Aho, former Google executive and CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer, co-founder of Apple Mike Markkula, astronaut Timothy L. Kopra, special forces officer Larry Thorne, ice hockey player Matt Niskanen and serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Porn actress Puma Swede is of Finnish descent although she was born in Sweden.