Famous West Virginians (E)

Last revision: Jan. 1, 2010


Walter Easley served as the backup fullback on San Francisco's first Super Bowl championship team in 1981. He had played football and basketball for Stonewall Jackson High School in Charleston and football for WVU. In May 2000, a newspaper article reported that Easley, then 42, was on medical leave from his job with Amtrak in Washington, where he had worked for 12 years, and that he had recently returned to Charleston and was hoping to find a kidney donor.

Brig. Gen. John Echols was a Civil War general from Monroe County. He led the Confederate forces at Droop Mountain.

Dr. Bernice Eddy (1903-1989). Born into a family of physicians in Glendale, West Virginia, Bernice Eddy Wooley graduated from Marietta College in 1924 with a degree in bacteriology. She studied immunology on a fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, receiving her Ph.D. in 1927, and was awarded a teaching fellowship in bacteriology in 1929. In 1937, Dr. Eddy joined the National Institutes of Health where she became nationally prominent in virus research and made several significant discoveries. She played a key role in testing the inactivated poliovirus vaccine for safety, and along with a collaborator discovered the polyoma virus. One of the early known cancer-causing viruses, it was later named the SE (Stewart-Eddy) Polyoma Virus in their honor. It was the work of Dr. Eddy and others that led to safe polio vaccines through thorough testing, and provided a major impetus for further research on cancer viruses. While her work was sometimes controversial, she maintained the courage to stand by her discoveries. Dr. Eddy received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Marietta College in 1955, and the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare awarded her a Superior Service Medal in 1967. [Information from this web page.]

Doug Edgell, guitarist for the band Sleeping Giants, is from Wheeling. The band, which is from West Liberty College, has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Howard Rodney "Doc" Edwards (1936- ), former A's player and manager of the Cleveland Indians, was born in Red Jacket.

Dr. Lloyd H. Elliott (1918- ) received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Glenville State College in Glenville, where he majored in English. After completing undergraduate work he received his Masters Degree in Education from West Virginia University. After serving as principal of Widen Elementary and High schools in Widen, W. Va., Elliott enlisted in the U. S. Navy during World War II and served on the staff of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was discharged from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After the war he earned his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Colorado specializing in Educational Administration. Taking a professorship at Cornell University, he taught Educational Administration for the next six years. For two years after that he served as Executive Assistant to the President of Cornell. After leaving Cornell Dr. Elliott served as President of the University of Main and held this post for the next seven years before assuming the Presidency of George Washington University in 1965. Dr. Elliott became GW's president during the turbulent Vietnam era in 1965. By the end of his 23-year tenure, Elliott brought financial stability to GW and continued growth through academic development and his many building programs, which included The Melvin Gelman Library, the Jacob Burns Law Library, the Paul Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, the Charles E. Smith Center, and the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center. In 1988, GW's Elliott School of International Affairs, formerly the School of International Affairs, was renamed for Evelyn E. and Lloyd H. Elliott for distinguished service to the University. They remain benefactors and life-long friends of higher education. Dr. Lloyd H. Elliott is currently holds the positions of Honorary Chair and President Emeritus of The George Washington University. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Elliott also served as a Chairman and Trustee of the National Geographic Society. Dr. Lloyd Hartman Elliott was born May 21, 1918, at Crosby on Donijer Creek in Clay County, one of five children born to John D. and Belva Elliott. He and his wife Evelyn have two children, Lloyd Gene and Patricia Ann, and in 2008 were residing in Northern Virginia.

Stephen Benton Elkins (1841-1911), founder of Elkins, was Secretary of War from 1891 to 1893 under President Benjamin Harrison and was a U. S. Senator from 1895-1911. He was born in Perry County, Ohio.

John Ellison wrote the classic song Some Kind of Wonderful while a member of the Soul Brothers Six in 1967. He was born in Montgomery in a two room house which his father built from wood scraps found along the Kanawha River. In 1949 the family moved to Lake Superior in McDowell County, where his father worked as a coal miner and his mother was a house maid. John Ellison sold scrap coal to help his father, and later worked the all-night shift as a bell hop in a Welch hotel. [Information from a 2002 article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph]

Lynndie England, an army reservist, was the most visible character in the controversy over the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison after she appeared in photographs that became public in 2004. She grew up in Fort Ashby, W. Va.

Dr. Thomas Dunn English (1819-1902) was at various times a writer, physician, lawyer, and journalist. According to his Congressional biography, he wrote his most famous ballad, "Ben Bolt," in 1843, and moved to (West) Virginia in 1852. According to the 1956 West Virginia Blue Book, English served as Mayor of Aracoma from 1852 to 1857. [The Blue Book claims he wrote Ben Bolt while living in (West) Virginia.] He moved to New York City in 1857. He also wrote over 50 plays, including The Mormons (1858). In 1863-64 he was a member of the New Jersey legislature and served in Congress from New Jersey from 1891 to 1895. English was born in Philadelphia. [The town of Aracoma was renamed Logan in 1907.]

Ed Etzel, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, was a rifle coach at West Virginia University.

Bob Evans, the founder of Bob Evans Farms, one of the region's most popular restaurant chains, grew up on the Ohio-West Virginia border. Though raised on the western side of the Ohio River, he graduated from the Greenbrier Military School in West Virginia. Armed with marketing talent and vision, he went from peddler of sausage to breakfast food connoisseur. His father taught school in Bud, West Virginia (Wyoming County). Bob Evans today is not active in the restaurant business, but spends his time researching new grasses for raising livestock.

Evans Evans (1936- ) is a TV and movie actress. She played Velma Davis in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Mary Lou in the Twilight Zone episode "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim." She was born in Bluefield.

Martha Evans became a professional basketball player in 1952, at age 17, joining an Arkansas women's team which played against men's teams. She toured with the team for three years, visiting 42 states and Mexico. She is a graduate of Sistersville High School.

Polly Evans led the defense of Fort Evans in 1756 when it was attacked by Native American Indians.

Brig. Gen. Frank Kendall "Pete" Everest, Jr. was a pioneer in U.S. rocket aircraft flying. He checked out 122 different models and makes of aircraft and logged over 10,000 hours in more than 170 aircraft types. Everest piloted the X-2 on eight of its powered flights. He reached Mach 2.87 in the X-2 in 1956, set the Bell X-1 altitude record of 73,000 ft. and, in 1953, the world absolute speed record of the F-100A at 755.15 mph. In 1956, he flew at Mach 3, breaking Chuck Yeager's record and earning the title of his autobiography, The Fastest Man Alive. He served as Director of Aerospace Safety for USAF, Director of Operations for Test and Evaluation in the Department of Defense, and Commander of Aerospace Rescue and Recovery for the USAF. A Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, he has been honored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Greatest Living Americans" Award (1956) and more than twenty military awards. He is included on the Aerospace Walk of Honor. Everest was born in Fairmont and attended Fairmont State College and WVU.

Thomas Ewing (1789-1871) was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by William Henry Harrison in 1841 and was the first Secretary of the Interior (from 1849 to 1850). He was also a U. S. Senator from Ohio. Gen. William T. Sherman was his son-in-law. He was born near West Liberty (then in Virginia).


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