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Notable Finnish Americans

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  • Renny Harlin
    Renny Harlin (born Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola, 15 March 1959) is a Finnish-American film director and producer. He is best known for Die Hard 2 (1990), Cliffhanger (1993), The Long Kis...
  • Walfred Robert Moisio (1910 - 2002)
    Moisio was a well known artist [photography] in his day. Below is a biographical sketch, courtesy of, E-Photo Newsletter Issue 134 10/5/2007: In the midst of the Great Depressio...
  • Marian Nixon (1904 - 1983)
    Marian Nixon (October 20, 1904 - February 13, 1983 in Los Angeles, California) was an American film actress. She was born into an American-Finnish family, and her original name was Marja Nissinen Car...
  • Oskari Tokoi (1873 - 1963)
    Pohjanmaan kiinnostavat profiilit. Nro 2 (keskeneräinen) Oskari Tokoi Antti Oskari Tokoi (ent. Hirvi, 15. toukokuuta 1873 Kannus – 4. huhtikuuta 1963 Leominster, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat) (89 v...
  • Mike Markkula
    Mike Markkula Armas Clifford " Mike " Markkula Jr. is an American electrical engineer, businessman and investor. He was an angel investor and the second CEO of Apple Computer, Inc ., providing critic...

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.