1 MICHAEL JORDAN
notable THE WILMINGTON AREA has seen its share of VIPs, with stars filming
movies or TV shows, politicians stumping for votes, and others of fame
passing through. But the Cape Fear region doesn’t have to rely on transients
to boast of its celebrity quotient. Plenty of famous people were born here, moved
here, or spent a significant part of their lives in the area.
Star basketball player for Laney High School, the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Chicago Bulls. He played 15 seasons
in the NBA, starred in Space Jam, and is co-owner of the Charlotte
Hornets. He earned numerous awards including six times NBA Finals
MVP, and is considered the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) by many.
2 WOODROW WILSON
The 28th president of the United States lived in Wilmington from
1874 – 1882 (age 18–26) at the Presbyterian Manse when his father
was the minister of the First Presbyterian Church. He was a teacher,
president of Princeton, the 34th governor of New Jersey, and U.S. presi-dent
from 1913-21. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 for his role as
leading architect of the League of Nations after World War I.
3 ANDY GRIFFITH
An A-list TV and film star, gospel singer and producer best known
for playing Mayberry sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show
for eight seasons. He lived on Figure Eight Island while filming Matlock
in the area for three years. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
4 WILLIE STARGELL
Wilver Dornell Stargell moved to Wilmington after a
21-season, Hall-of-Fame baseball career played entirely with
the Pittsburgh Pirates, who retired his No. 8 jersey. Fatherly and
caring, he was nicknamed “Pops” by his teammates. He was the
1979 World Series MVP. Stargell supported several Wilmington
charities and a local kidney foundation bears his name.
5 SUGAR RAY LEONARD
Ray Charles Leonard, born in Wilmington in 1956, became
one of the world’s best boxers. He was known as one of the
Fabulous Four (along with Thomas Hearns, Roberto Durán and
Marvin Hagler) boxing elite of the 1980s. He boxed from 1977-97,
winning titles in five weight categories.
6 CHARLIE DANIELS
The Grammy Award winner and member of the Country
Music Hall of Fame was born and played youth baseball in
Wilmington. Daniels is best known for his No. 1 song, “The Devil
Went Down to Georgia.” Daniels died on July 6, 2020.
WBM october 2020