Berkeley is best known for being the home to one of the most active college campuses in the country. Also known for its religious studies, the UC Berkeley campus has been home to many budding artists and great thinkers of the age. Berkeley is considered one of the top social liberal cities in the United States. It might shock you to discover who a few of their famous residents are.
A musician and songwriter, he founded CCR and served as lead singer, guitarist and songwriter. Some songs you may know, “Centerfield” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” are some of the most popular songs from CCR. Born in Berkeley, Fogerty later attended the School of the Madeleine. “Fortunate Son” was written about his experience there. Fogerty received a draft notice and served our country during the Vietnam War. Fogerty continues on many musical ventures and still lives in Berkeley today.
Gordon Moore – Co-founder of Intel
Moore is an American businessman who studied chemistry at UC Berkeley and who then went on to pursue his advanced education at the California Institute of Technology. Moore went onto co-found Intel Corporation. Intel manufactures semiconductor chips and microprocessors used in personal PCs. Moore and his wife support environmental conservatism by founding the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, supporting conservation and science in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Richard Pryor – Comedian
Richard Pryor pushed the limits of stand-up comedy and was not afraid to cover controversial topics in his shows. He covered uncompromising topics on racism, contemporary issues and more, all of which were peppered with his unique flavor of unbridled profanity. Pryor was born in Illinois and lived in a brothel operated by his grandmother, but later moved to Berkeley where he absorbed himself in the culture. Pryor reached a large audience who embraced his storytelling approach, and he is known as one of the most influential stand-up comedians ever.
Steve Wozniak – Co-founder of Apple
Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, and they are recognized as igniting the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. After his debut in designing the Apple I and II, Wozniak also had significant influence over the Apple Macintosh. After Apple, Wozniak made a decision to complete his degree and enrolled at UC Berkeley under the name Rocky Raccoon Clark. An interesting and yet unknown fact is Wozniak wanted to teach elementary school appreciating the valuable role teachers serve. He taught fifth graders computer classes.
Wozniak is a permanent employee of Apple refusing to be removed from the employee list. He serves Apple at special events and media events.
From a philanthropic perspective, Wozniak has funded the Tech Museum and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Ben Affleck — Screenwriter and director
Ben Affleck is an actor, filmmaker, and advocate. He got his start along with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, which launched his career. Affleck was born in Berkeley, and movies and awards from Affleck are many. One of the most challenging projects was a directorial debut of Argo — depicting the Central Intelligence Agency saving six U.S. diplomats from the Iran hostage crisis. Argo went on to win best picture awards from the Academy, the Golden Globes and BAFTA. He also won best director awards from the Golden Globes, the Directors Guild of America, and BAFTA.
Despite his success, Affleck has suffered personal issues with excessive substance use and gambling. Affleck won the 2004 California State Poker Championship. He has denied tabloid reports of gambling addiction, stating only that he enjoys playing a good game of poker.
Affleck recently went through rehab and has recovered and is now focusing on family relationships and his career.
Besides these personalities, Berkeley is filled with history, actors, artists and writers. Outdoor shops such as coffee shops, culinary studios and more are home to performers as they pursue their dreams. Enjoy the museums, arts and eclectic options to explore in Berkeley, where the experience is unforgettable and the people who have lived and prospered are inspirational.
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