“Locals Who Have Made It Big-Grand Rapids Top 5″
Lots of people from the Grand Rapids area have gone on to bigger and better things--Here is our Top 5 of "Locals who have made it Big-Grand Rapids"
El DeBarge and the family group "Debarge" went on to great national success in the 80's with El singing lead on hits like "Rhythm of the Night" and solo "Who's Johnny". El teamed with famed producer Quincy Jones and worked with stars like Tone Loc and Mary J. Blige. He's hit some rough times in the past few years, but El and the family DeBarge have made Grand Rapids and West Michigan proud!
Andy Richter has done alot since his birth here in 1966. He has been with Conan O' Brien for 62 years...or 15, which ever is less. He also has had his own TV show on Fox "Andy Richter Controls The Universe" AND he was prom king in high school. What's Not to Love?
Floyd is one of the most, if not THE most successful professional athlete to hail from Grand Rapids. He's a five-division world boxing champion, where he has won ten world titles, including the lineal championship in two different weight classes. He is a two-time The Ring "Fighter of the Year" winning the award in 1998 and 2007, and also Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) "Fighter of the Year" in 2007. He is undefeated as a professional boxer (41-0) He has been on Dancing With The Stars, taken part in WWE matches, and has been one of the most ouspoken famous people from Grand Rapids.
The Devos' and Van Andel names are synonymous with Grand Rapids. Since the forming of Amway in 1959, the pair and their families have supported the community and surrounding areas like no other. Amway has grown to be a billion dollar worldwide company operating in over 50 countries. Devos owns the Grand Rapids Griffins and Orlando Magic sports teams. Jay died in 2004, and Richard has run for Governor.
Gerald Ford wasn't born in Grand Rapids, but his formative years were spent here. He starred on the Grand Rapids South Football team in High School, went on to Michigan and studied law, served in the Navy, became a congressman, then later the 38th President. Although the only President not to be elected to office, we was popular in a difficult time. Watergate, Vietnam, gas shortages and the recession made his time in office difficult. He is also a handful of public figures to be lampooned on Saturday Night Live (Settle down Taylor Lautner!) The only American President with Michigan ties, Ford easily is the most famous son of Grand Rapids.