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List of Czech Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of notable Czech Americans.

Many people on this list are not ethnically Czech but rather born in Bohemian/Moravian territory, of German and/or Jewish extraction.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Czech American or must have references showing they are Czech American and are notable.


Creative writing

Dramatic art


  • Eugene Cernan, of Czech mother, Astronaut; was last man of Apollo to leave his footprints on the moon.
  • Jim Lovell, astronaut; was command module pilot of Apollo 8, man's first flight around the moon.

Government and politics

Humanities and social sciences

  • Francis Dvornik, Moravia-born, authority on Byzantine history, Slavic history and civilization.
  • Saul Friedländer, Prague-born, award-winning historian, currently a professor of history at UCLA.
  • Ales Hrdlicka, founder of American physical anthropology.
  • Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, of Moravian ancestry, founder of modern empirical sociology.
  • Richard Neustadt, of Bohemian ancestry, political scientist at Harvard; first director of J.F. Kennedy Inst. of Politics.
  • Beardsley Ruml, of Czech immigrant father, economist, devised plan to collect taxes at their source by means of a payroll deduction system, on a pay as you go basis.
  • Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Moravia-born, notable economist at Harvard University.
  • Jan Švejnar, Prague-born, notable economist.
  • Frank William Taussig, of Czech ancestry, economist and educator, credited with creating the foundations of modern trade theory.
  • Vlasta Vraz, of Czech ancestry, worked for Czech war relief and other Czech causes in Prague and US
  • René Wellek, of Czech father, founder of literary criticism and comparative literature.
  • Max Wertheimer, Czech-born psychologist who was one of the founders of Gestalt psychology.


  • Louis D. Brandeis, son of Czech immigrant, Justice of US Supreme Court.
  • Paul Freund, of Bohemian ancestry,[citation needed] lawyer; professor of law at Harvard University; authority on public law and understanding the Supreme Court.
  • Hans Kelsen, Prague-born jurist and legal philosopher; one of the most important legal scholars of the 20th century.
  • John Roberts,[48] Chief Justice of US Supreme Court


Media and publishing


  • Jan Klein, immunologist, best known for his work on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC).
  • Karl Koller, Bohemia-born ophthalmologist, a discoverer of using cocaine as a local anesthetic for eye surgery.
  • Bohdan Pomahač, plastic surgeon, he led the team that performed the first full face transplant in United States and the third overall in the world
  • Peter Safar, Austrian physician of Czech descent, who is credited with pioneering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Helen Taussig, granddaughter of Czech immigrant, medical researcher at Johns Hopkins University who alerted physicians of the dangers of thalidomide


  • Leopold Karpeles, Color Sergeant, recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in 1864 during the Civil War.
  • William F. Lukes, US Navy sailor, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the 1871 Korean Expedition.
  • Coral Wong Pietsch, of Czech mother and Chinese father, a Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve; the first 'Asian' American woman to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army.
  • Apollo Soucek, Vice Admiral in the US Navy, who was a record-breaking test pilot during 1929–1930.
  • Henry Svehla, Army PFC., of Czech father, awarded posthumously by President Obama a Medal of Honor for his heroic action during Korean War.

Pioneer colonists


Science and technology

  • Alfred Bader, son of Czech immigrant, founder of Aldrich Chemical Company, art collector, philanthropist.
  • Thomas Cech, of Czech ancestry, Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry.
  • Carl Cori, Prague-born Nobel Prize laureate.
  • Gerty Cori, Prague born Nobel Prize laureate.
  • John C. Dvorak, of Czech ancestry, columnist and broadcaster in the areas of technology and computing.
  • Abraham Flexner, son of Czech immigrant, reformer of American medical education, founder of Institute of Advanced study, Princeton.
  • Simon Flexner, son of Czech immigrant, pathologist, founder and first director of the Rockefeller Institute (now University).
  • Václav Hlavatý, noted Czech-American mathematician, who solved some very difficult equations relating to Einstein's Unified field theory.
  • Lilli Hornig, scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project
  • Aleš Hrdlička, physical anthropologist of note; founder and the first curator of physical anthropology of the U.S. National Museum.
  • Josef Allen Hynek, of Czech ancestry, astronomer, professor, and ufologist.
  • Karl Jansky, of Czech ancestry, discoverer of radio astronomy.
  • Frederick Jelinek, pioneer of statistical methods in computational linguistics.
  • Gustav Lindenthal, Brno-born, notable civil engineer who designed the Hell Gate Bridge (1917) among other bridges.
  • Frank Malina, of Czech parents, aeronautical engineer who designed the first U. S. rocket to break the 50-mile altitude mark, becoming the first sounding rocket to reach space.
  • Mila Rechcigl, biochemist who pioneered early studies on enzyme synthesis and degradation; one of the founders and long-time President of SVU.
  • Oldrich Vasicek, mathematician, author of several financial models including Vasicek model.
  • Paul Zamecnik, of Czech ancestry, a biochemist of note, who played a central role in the early history of molecular biology.
  • Charles Zeleny, Czech-American zoologist, and professor at the University of Illinois, who made important contributions to experimental zoology, especially embryology, regeneration, and genetics.
  • John Zeleny, physicist.

Sports and acrobatics

Visual art

  • Charles Demuth, of Moravian ancestry, an artist; a notable painter who had major influence on American art by introduction of modern European movements, such as cubism.
  • Harrison Fisher, of Bohemian ancestry, a popular commercial artist and illustrator of the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine from the early 1900s through 1934; known as 'The Father of a Thousand Girls'.
  • Wanda Gág, notable American illustrator and author of Bohemian descent.
  • Leo Holub, photographer.
  • Antonín Kratochvíl, Czech-born American photojournalist.
  • Jan Matulka, painter.
  • Mario Korbel, sculptor.
  • Albin Polasek, sculptor.
  • Antonin Raymond, famed architect who explored traditional Japanese building techniques with the latest American building innovations.
  • Rudolph Ruzicka, prominent Czech-born American wood engraver, etcher, illustrator, typeface designer, and book designer.
  • Charles Sindelar, illustrator and painter.
  • Peter Sis, writer and illustrator of children's books.
  • Paul Strand, of Bohemian immigrant parents, one of the most important figures in American twentieth-century photography.
  • Ladislav Sutnar, graphic artist, considered one of the great pioneers of the modern period.
  • William Pachner, painter and illustrator



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  • Guido Kisch, In Search of Freedom. London: Edward Goldston, 1948.
  • Vera Laska, The Czechs in America 1633–1977. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1978.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., US Legislators with Czechoslovak Roots. Washington, DC, SVU Press, 1987.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Czechs and Slovaks in America. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 2005.
  • Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Czech American Bibliography. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011.
This page was last edited on 25 July 2020, at 01:14
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