Portland does not have an endless list of celebrities hailing from it, however, we do have some true greats. While we may lack in numbers compared to other big cities, we make up for in sheer creativity and overall impact. Here are the seven most famous people that once (and in some cases, still) called Oregon home.
1. Matt Groening
The creator of The Simpsons was born in Portland in 1954 and lived here until he left for college at Evergreen State in Olympia, WA.
2. Gus Van Sant
Director Gus Van Sant, made famous by award-nominated films such as My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, and Milk, calls Portland home.
3. Elliot Smith
Prolific songwriter and musician, Smith referenced his home Portland in many of his songs. He died at the age of 34 in 2003.
4. James Beard
One of the most famous chefs and food authors around, James Beard was born in Portland in 1903. He attended Reed College, and today his namesake foundation provides scholarships to chefs and others in the food world and is a great sign of prestige.
5. Beverly Cleary
Young adult author Beverly Cleary, perhaps most famous for her character Ramona, pictured here, moved from McMinnville to Portland as a child. Klickitat Street makes appearances in several of Cleary's books, and Beverly Cleary School continues in a testament to her mark left on the city. At 100 years old, Cleary continues to garner fans, as multiple events were held around town in 2016 to honor her legacy for her milestone birthday.
6. Carrie Brownstein
Most well-known for her role on "Portlandia," Carrie Brownstein calls Portland home. The actress is also a musician and writer, and was once the guitarist for Sleater-Kinney.
7. Courtney Love
Made famous as lead singer of the 90s band Hole and by her marriage to Kurt Cobain, Love spent some of her rather nomadic childhood in Portland, as well as several other Oregon locations.