The Jewish people have been influential in US history, and you may be surprised at some of the famous Americans with Jewish ancestry. The man that Levy County was named after, David Levy, was Jewish, and he was a strong figure in the early history of the State of Florida. He served as a state senator, helped establish the railroad industry in Florida, and, on a side note, was also a strong supporter of the Confederacy. His name may not be a household word anywhere other than in Florida, but there are many other Americans of Jewish ancestry that are well-known. Here are a few examples that may surprise you.
Few figures in American pop culture have been as controversial as Bob Dylan. This American Jew was the father of modern folk music and wrote numerous hits for musicians of various genres. He was a prolific song writer and cultural leader in the early 60s. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say his songs helped to define a generation. His most productive days may be behind him, but his tendency for controversy doesn’t seem to have abandoned him. He was recently awarded a Nobel prize for literature, and let’s just say he didn’t seem overly excited about the honor.
Everyone loves a good comedian, and one of the most iconic comedy actors of the past couple of decades is the ever-popular Adam Sandler. He’s always been a favorite of worldwide audiences ever since his early days on the popular comedy program Saturday Night Live. He went on from there to establish himself as a major Hollywood actor with many major movies to his credit. He’s also made no bones about his pride in his Jewish heritage.
In the battle for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, Bernie Sanders put up a fierce fight against the overwhelming favorite, Hillary Clinton. He eventually lost the nomination, but not without convincing a lot of Americans that there might be a more generous way to do politics. Bernie Sanders fought for the average everyday American, and his populist approach almost won him the nomination. A strong argument can be made that, had he won, he may have been able to beat Donald Trump for the presidency. We’ll never know the answer to that question, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the most popular Jewish American figures in recent history.