Feb 13, 2023 - News

Choosing Cleveland's Mount Rushmore

LeBron James flexes his muscles in a Cavs jersey.

Who should join LeBron James on the Cleveland Mount Rushmore? Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Last week, we asked you who should be on the Mount Rushmore of Cleveland.

  • You responded with more than 50 historical figures from Northeast Ohio that we narrowed down to the four with the most votes.

Why it matters: Cleveland's rich history in various industries and disciplines makes a Mount Rushmore discussion a quintessential bar debate.

  • It's especially fitting, during Black History Month, that three of the four choices are Black.

1. John D. Rockefeller — Rockefeller founded Standard Oil Co. in Cleveland in 1870, setting a path to becoming the richest man in U.S. history. He is buried in Lake View Cemetery.

2. LeBron James — James grew up as a basketball phenom in Akron before being drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003. He led the team to its first championship in 2016 and this month became the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

3. Carl Stokes — Stokes became the first Black elected mayor of a major U.S. city in 1967. He spent two terms making city hall more diverse and leading urban revitalization efforts in Cleveland.

4. Garett Morgan — Morgan was a Kentucky native but spent most of his life in Cleveland, where he created the modern blueprints for the traffic signal and the gas masks first used in World War I.

Yes, but: This Mount Rushmore doesn't represent the tremendous accomplishments of women like Toni Morrison, Halle Berry, Jane Scott, Frances Payne Bolton and several others.

💭 Troy's thought bubble: I'd go with Stokes and Rockefeller, along with Cleveland Orchestra founder Adella Prentiss Hughes and track and field legend Jesse Owens.

💭 Sam's thought bubble: My Rushmore A-team is Mayor Tom Johnson, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Fuldheim and Larry Doby. B-team is Carl Stokes, Toni Morrison, Garrett Morgan and LeBron.

📪 If you missed out the first time around, email us and let us know who would make your Cleveland Mount Rushmore.


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