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Famous Glasgow People

A list of Famous Glasgow People from today and back to the 1200s.

Glasgow used to be regarded by many people as the second City of the UK, in size and wealth, after London. Glasgow was one of the wealthiest Cities in Europe from the 1700s to the 1900s. This was due to World Trade such as with Tobacco and Sugar, and Engineering such as Shipbuilding.

Kenny Dalglish / born 4th March 1951 - Scotland's most successful Footballer. Dalglish was born in Dalmarnock in the East End of Glasgow, and raised in Milton in the north of Glasgow. He moved to Govan, close to Rangers football club, aged 15, and he grew up supporting Rangers. He became the most successful of all the great Scottish Football Players, by winning 32 cups with Glasgow Celtic from 1971, and Liverpool from 1977. He was also the European Footballer of the Year in 1983, and Scotland's most capped player with 102 appearances. Since retiring as a player in 1990, he has worked as a football manager, and TV pundit. His daughter Kelly, born in 1975, is a TV presenter.

Jim Watt / born 1948 - World Champion Boxer. Watt was born in Bridgeton in Glasgow, started Boxing at the James Murray's Cardowan amateur Boxing Club in Maryhill. He won the British Amateur Boxing Association in 1968 by beating John H Stracey, and won the World Lightweight title in 1979 by beating Alfredo Pitalua by knockout in round 12. His last Fight was a 15 round decision loss to Alexis Arguello in 1981. His most famous fight was on the 31st September 1973, against the Edinburgh Boxer Ken Buchanan. Buchanan won narrowly on points. Jim Watt has since been working as a Boxing Commentator, and After Dinner Speaker.

William Billy Connolly / born 1942 - Comedian, Musician, Presenter, and Actor. Connolly was born at 69 Dover Street in the Anderston area of Glasgow. From the age of 16, he worked as a Boilermaker at Alexander Stephen and Sons Shipyard in Linthouse, just west of Govan. Connolly began a career as a Folk Singer in the late 1960s, then started performing as a Comedian in the early 1970s, becoming one of the top Comedians in the World. He married the Australian Pamela Stephenson in 1989, she was well known in the UK as a Comedian in the TV show - Not The Nine O'Clock News.

Sir Alex Ferguson / born 1941 - Football Player and Manager. Ferguson was born in Shieldhall Road in Govan, and grew up on Govan Road. He started his Football Career as an amateur with Queens Park, at the age of 16, while working in the local Shipyards. His best playing days as a Professional, were with Dunfermline and Rangers from 1964 to 1970. He retired from playing when at Ayr United in 1974. Alex Ferguson went on to become the most famous Football Manager in Britain, winning 49 trophies with St Mirren, Aberdeen and Manchester United. He retired from Football in 2013, probably to spend more time on his favourite pastime, Horse Racing.

Mark McManus / 1935 - 1994 - Actor who played the Glasgow detective Taggart. McManus was born in Hamilton, about 15 miles southwest of Glasgow. His family took him to London aged 3, and to Australia aged 16. In Australia, he become a Professional Actor, appearing in the TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. McManus returned to the UK in 1971, playing the title character in the crime drama Taggart in September 1983, a role he played until his death in 1994. Taggart was shown in 27 countries. Mark McManus was Cremated at the Linn Crematorium in Glasgow. His wife Marion was buried in Symington, Lanarkshire. His half brother was the Lead Singer of Glam Rock Group The Sweet, named Brian Connolly.

James Jimmy Reid / 1932 - 2010 - Trade Union Activist, Politician, and Journalist. Reid was born in Govan when the area was dominated by Shipbuilding. He became a Shipyard Worker, and later, Trade Union Official. He is best known for helping to prevent Shipyards on the Upper Clyde from closure in 1971. Reid became a Communist, and later, Labour Politician. He wrote for a number of Newspapers, and became a leading figure on the History of Clyde Shipbuilding. Jimmy Reid retired to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. His death in 2010, led to his Funeral Service being conducted in Govan Old Church, attended by many famous people from Glasgow. There is a large Painting of Jimmy Reid in the Peoples Palace Museum in Glasgow.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh / 1868 - 1928 - Architect, Designer, and Artist. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born at 70 Parson Street in Glasgow, close to Glasgow Cathedral. That House was demolished in the 1960s. He became a popular Architect designing a number of buildings in the Glasgow area, and became World Famous for his Furniture Designs, that are still highly sought after to this day. Mackintosh died in London where he was Cremated. There are two rooms in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum dedicated to him, and the reassembled principal interiors from his Glasgow home are in a museum at the University of Glasgow.
Wiki . Parson Street Map.

Sir William Burrell / 1861 - 1958 - Shipping Merchant and Art Collector. Burrell was a Glasgow-born Shipping Magnate that collected over 9000 Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestries, Ceramics and Stained Glass. He donated his Collection to the City of Glasgow in 1944, with £250,000 for a Building to hold it. After Pollok Country Park was also donated to the City of Glasgow in 1966, it was decided a large purpose built Building would be built in Pollock Park to hold Burrell's Collection. The Burrell Collection Museum opened in 1983. Burrell died in the Borders in 1958, he is buried in Largs where he had a Holiday Home.

Sir John Stirling-Maxwell / 1866 - 1956 - a founder member of the National Trust for Scotland. Sir John Maxwell inherited the vast Pollok Estate on the south side of Glasgow. The Maxwell's were a powerful, and wealthy Clan throughout the south of Scotland. Maxwell is best known for his role in founding the National Trust for Scotland, that works to Maintain, and Restore, vast numbers of Historic Buildings throughout Scotland. The National Trust for Scotland took over the running of Pollok House in 1998, it is now a top Visitor Attraction in Glasgow.

Sir William Pearce, 1st Baronet / 1833 - 1888 - Govan Shipbuilder. Pearce was born near Chatham in Kent, and moved to Scotland in 1863 to take up the post of Surveyor to the Lloyd's Register on the Clyde. He became the Owner of the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan. This was one of the largest Shipbuilding Companies in the World in the early to mid 1900s. Govan Centre has a statue of Sir William Pearce, and the most impressive building in Govan centre is the Pearce Building. This large Red Sandstone Building on Govan Road, half of a mile east of Govan centre, was the Fairfield Offices.

John Brown / 1816 - 1896 - Clydebank Shipbuilding. John Brown was born in Sheffield, and built up a large Company involved in Steel. John Brown is one of the most famous names in Glasgow, but never actually had anything to do with the City himself. Three years after his death in 1896, his Sheffield based Company bought a Clydebank Shipyard from J & G Thomson, and turned it into one of the largest, and most famous Shipyards in the World. The 83,676 ton liner Queen Elizabeth was launched at John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank in 1938, remaining the Largest Passenger Ship in the World until larger Cruise Ships began entering service in 1996.

Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister / 1827 - 1912 - Surgeon and pioneer of Antiseptic Surgery. Joseph Lister was a British Surgeon that encouraged Sterile Surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Lister introduced Carbolic Acid, now known as Phenol, to Sterilize Surgical Instruments, and to Clean Wounds. This led to a reduction in Post-Operative Infections. There is a large Statue of Joseph Lister, next to a Statue of Lord Kelvin, in the grounds between the University of Glasgow and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Sir William Thomson /Lord Kelvin / 1824 - 1907 - Mathematician and Physicist. William Thomson was born in Belfast and moved with his family to Glasgow in 1832. He became Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University in 1846, a post he held for for over 50 years. Thomson was a pioneer in many different fields, particularly Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics. He is best known for his idea of an Absolute Zero of Temperature - the Scale based on this is named Kelvin. There is a large Statue of Lord Kelvin in the grounds between the University of Glasgow and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Andrew Buchanan / 1725 - 1783 - Tobacco Lord. Andrew Buchanan was from a family that amassed a fortune from the Tobacco Trade with North America, owning Tobacco Estates in Virginia. Buchanan lived in a Mansion House on Argyle Street. He bought Land in Glasgow for the development of a New Street, just north of Argyle Street. The American War of Independence (1775-1783) led to the Buchanan's loosing their Wealth, with Glasgow Bankers then taking over his Ideas, with the first part of Buchanan Street (top street in Glasgow now) being built in 1780.
Buchhanan Street

William Turnbull / 1400 - 1454 - founder of the University of Glasgow. William Turnbull was a friend of King James II, appointed Bishop of Dunkeld in 1447, then a year later, appointed Bishop of Glasgow, a post he held until his Death. During his time as Bishop of Glasgow, he campaigned for the founding of a University in Glasgow. On the 7th January 1451, Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal Bull decreeing the foundation of the University of Glasgow. The first Classes were taken in the Glasgow Cathedral buildings. The present University of Glasgow building in the Wst End was completed in 1870.
RSS Information Page

Saint Mungo / died 13th January 614 - first Bishop of Glasgow. Saint Mungo was a Bishop and Evangelist of Strathclyde, often referred to as the founder of Glasgow. He arrived in the area of Glasgow around 540, Consecrated Bishop of Strathclyde by an Irish Bishop. The Wooden Church built around that time, was built where Glasgow Cathedral, built from the 1100s, now stands. The Tomb of St Mungo is in the the Lower Crypt of Glasgow Cathedral


See also: Glasgow Musicians . Glasgow Actors . Glasgow Sports People .

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