Famous Quakers

Here are some notable Quakers you may know from history:


  • George Fox - Founder of the Society of Friends
  • Margaret Fell-Fox - wife of George Fox and called "mother of Quakerism"
  • Robert Barclay - early theologian and writer in Quaker ministry
  • William Penn - Founder of Pennsylvania as a refuge for Quakers in the New World
  • John Woolman - 1700s Quaker preacher in America who worked to convince Quakers to become abolitionists
  • Rufus M. Jones - 20th century Quaker theologian who concentrated on mysticism
  • Thomas R. Kelly - 20th century Quaker theologian


  • George Birbeck - Doctor and academic in late 1700s-early 1800s England
  • John Dalton - Devised the atomic theory of matter in the early 1800s
  • Arthur Eddington - Proved Einstein's theory of relativity in that light bends due to gravity
  • Lewis Fry Richardson - Pacifist and scientist instrumental in modern meteorology
  • Maria Mitchell - Astronomer famous for her discovery of a comet
  • Joseph Lister - Discoverer of antiseptics; Listerine is named after him
  • Thomas Hodgkins and Thomas Young - Inventors of the microscope

Social Activists

  • Elizabeth Fry - 1800s activist in better treatment for poor, prisoners, and sick
  • Seok-heon Ham - 20th century Korean activist for human rights in Asia
  • Elias Hicks - Quaker abolitionist in the United States
  • Levi Coffin - Abolitionist in eastern Indiana whose house was a major stop on the Underground Railroad
  • Lucretia Mott - Women's rights activist in 19th century America
  • Susan B. Anthony - Women's suffragist
  • Bayard Rustin - Pacifist and civil rights leader of the 1960s
  • Jane Addams - Author and activist in urban social conditions in the late 19th century
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell - Early female doctor and champion of women's education


  • Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree - Chocolate makers
  • William Allen - Founder of Allen and Hanbury chemical company
  • David Ricardo - Economist who devised the law of comparative advantage


  • Herbert Hoover - 31st President of the United States
  • Thomas Paine - Author of Common Sense, influential in the American Revolution
  • Betsy Ross - Credited with designing and sewing the first United States flag
  • Dolley Madison - First Lady wife of President James Madison famous for her hosting abilities and saving George Washington's portrait from the burning White House
  • Richard Nixon (yes, Richard Nixon) - 37th President of the United States
  • John Greenleaf Whittier - 19th century American poet
  • Nathaniel Greene - General in the American Revolution, second in command to Washington
  • Daniel Boone - Frontiersman and early organizer of Kentucky

Arts and Entertainment

  • Chuck Knipp - Comedian known for "Shirley Q. Liquor"
  • Annie Oakley - Entertainer in Wild West shows
  • Olaf Stapledon - Science fiction writer
  • James Dean - Actor and icon of the teenage "Rebel without a Cause"
  • Edward R. Murrow - Famous news broadcaster
  • Benjamin West - American artist
  • James Fenimore Cooper - Writer famous for adventure stories in early America

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