25 Famous People Buried in Texas 

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From Texas-born folks who stayed true to their birthplace to those who were dedicated to the Lone Star State at the time of their death, here's 25 famous people who were laid to rest in Texas.
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Peter Mayhew
It’s an interesting life that takes you from being born in England to playing a kick-ass furry alien in a space movie franchise to living and dying in a tiny town of less than 2,000 people in Texas, but that’s the life that Peter Mayhew led. He is most famous for playing Chewbacca in Star Wars, and just passed away this year in 2019. But...Wookiees are supposed to live for centuries. *Sad Wookiee noise* Go on and pay your respects at the Azleland Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Reno, Texas.
Photo via DFree / Shutterstock.com
Emilio Navaira
Dubbed “the Garth Brooks of Tejano,” Emilio Navaira is more famously known for his stage name of just Emilio. He is one of only a few musical artists to have a healthy career in both the United States and Mexico, and helped bring Tejano music into mainstream popularity. Before his death at age 53 from a massive heart attack, he had ten singles at the top of Latin charts, and six on American ones. Several of his other songs made it close to being in the Top 40 of their time. He’s truly a legend lost.
Photo via Instagram / emilionavairaofficial
Selena Quintanilla-Perez
If you don’t know who this is, we can’t be friends. Period. Selena Quintanilla is iconic for so many reasons – Tejano music, girl power and fashionable outfits that were ahead of her time, but mostly for being a Tejano music legend. Born near Lake Jackson, she began singing for the family band Los Dinos as a kid. Though she also died at an early age, 23, after being murdered by the hated Yolanda Saldivar, Selena’s influence on the Texas music scene is still cherished by many. Many Texans look forward to visiting her memorial in Corpus Christi.
Photo via Facebook / Selena
Sherman Alexander Hemsley
Hello, childhood – if you’re a retro TV All in the Family or The Jeffersons fan. Sherman Alexander Hemsley was born and raised in South Philadelphia, and is best known for his role as George Jefferson in All in the Family, for which he and his stage family were supporting roles. Soon, the Jeffersons got their own spinoff by the name of The Jeffersons. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2012. His resting place is in his adopted hometown of El Paso in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
Photo via Instagram / strange_wang
Lydia Mendoza
Singer, guitarrista and border babe, Lydia Mendoza was an early female Mexican-American music icon of her time. She learned to sing and play the guitar from the matriarchs of her family (so girl power!) and soon performed with the family band even though she was just a little girl. Over her lifetime, she would receive numerous awards for art, culture, and heritage. She passed away at the ripe old age of 91, most likely of plain old age, and is buried at the San Fernando Cemetery right here in San Antonio. Basically, she was a legend.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Digital Collections
Buddy Holly
Though he led an incredibly short life, there is still too much importance and influence to be described here. Born in Lubbock during the Great Depression, Holly would eventually change the music scene, even though he died at age 22. After gaining popularity and opening for Elvis numerous times in the mid-50s with a friend and fellow musician, Bob Montgomery, Holly decided to pursue a serious career in music. During the mid- to late-50s, he and his band were credited with hits such as “That’ll be the Day,” “Rave On” and “Peggy Sue.” His death occurred in 1959 when he after a plane crash left no survivors. This event is now known as “the day the music died,” and is alluded to in Don McLeans’ song “American Pie.” He is buried in the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
Photo via Facebook / Buddy Holly
Howard Hughes
Businessman, aviator, engineer, investor, philanthropist and Academy Award-nominated heartthrob Howard Hughes was born in Humble, Texas, in 1905, and passed away less than an hour away in Houston at the ripe old age of 70. From the start, Hughes was an intelligent and eccentric person – becoming one of the first licensed ham-radio operators in Houston. Engineering became one of his diverse and deep interests, which also included business after he inherited the family fortune at 19, piloting and producing and directing films such as Two Arabian Knights and 1932’s Scarface.
Photo via Digital Collections of the Los Angeles Public Library
George H.W. Bush
Here are a few fun facts about H.W.: the first is that he was the first U.S. president to be as old as he was, which was 94. He passed away in 2018 after his health took a turn following the death of First Lady Barbara Bush. He’ll hold that distinction until President Jimmy Carter, now 95 and still kicking, passes away. Another fun fact is that he was the last World War II veteran to serve as the President of the United States. He’s buried at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.
Photo via mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com
Rod Roddy
Most famous for being a radio and TV announcer, Rober Ray “Rod” Roddy was born in 1937 and passed away in 2003. Though he was also a voice in Mickey Mouse, he is most known for announcing game shows, including Whew!, Press Your Luck and The Price is Right. He is buried at the Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, and has “Come on down!” inscribed in his tombstone in honor of his iconic phrase.
Photo via Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com
Sam Houston
Sam Houston’s name begs the question – which came first, Sam Houston the man or Houston the city? The answer is that Houston the city is named after Sam Houston, along with many other places in both Texas and Tennessee, where he was a Congressman for a number of years before his wife left him and he moved to Texas. In Texas, he fought in the Texas Revolution and served as the first president of the Republic of Texas, and then worked to have Texas join the United States. Basically, a lot of what Sam Houston did has shaped what Texas has come to be today. His grave is in the Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville.
Photo via Shutterstock
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Davy Crockett
The famous father of the phrase, “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas,” interestingly enough, wasn’t even born in Texas. He served a Congressional seat in Tennessee, and, when he wasn’t re-elected to his post, proclaimed this famous phrase, and did exactly that. The roughin’ toughin’ wild frontiersman died in the Battle of the Alamo and is buried at San Fernando Cathedral, right here in San Antonio.
Photo via Shutterstock
Jim Bowie
Though Jim Bowie’s physical legacy continues today as the namesake of the Bowie knife, he did many other things in his lifetime that don’t live on as history so much as legend, such as being shot and stabbed and still winning the Sandbar Fight after he stabbed the sheriff of Rapides Parish after a long-running feud. He died as an Alamo Defender, though he was bedridden at the time of the battle with what is now believed to be typhoid or tuberculosis. He’s buried at San Fernando Cathedral in case you care to pay your respects.
Photo via Instagram / drinkinbros_historybuffs_
George “Machine Gun” Kelly
No, the no-longer-relevant rapper Machine Gun Kelly is not dead. George “Machine Gun” Kelly is actually a famous gangster from around the Great Depression. In his early life, he was the patriarch of a family, but began to lead a life of crime when sales and taxi driving didn’t pay the bills. Though he made his name as a brutal gangster, bankrobber and bootlegger, both times he was incarcerated, he proved to be a model inmate and in no way lived up to the tough nickname that his girlfriend had given him. He died in the Alcatraz prison and is buried in the Cottondale Texas Cemetery.
Photo via FBI
David Phillip “The Bubble Boy” Vetter
Everyone has heard of the story of the boy in the bubble, but how many of you knew he was born and raised in Texas? David Phillip Vetter was born with SCID, or severe combined immunodeficiency, which meant that it was almost impossible for his body to defend itself against pathogens of any sort. To combat this, he was raised in a sterile bubble, where he was able to attend school by telephone – remember, it was the ‘70s – and socialize with friends and family. He unfortunately died after leaving his bubble to receive medical treatment for SCID in 1984 at the age of 12, and is interred at the Conroe Memorial Park.
Photo via YouTube / BartonCreekMedia
Susanna A. “Susan” Dickinson
Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about Susan Dickinson’s early life. Most of what we know about her comes from her life as the wife of an Alamo Defender during the Battle of the Alamo. She was the sole survivor of the incident, her life having been spared by General Santa Anna, and, as such, has become the most widely-quoted and reliable proprietor of first-hand accounts of the battle. Legend has it that she was one tough lady after the Alamo, and that she worked at a hotel and bar in Texas called The Mansion House, which was the site of frequent brawls and general immorality at the time (which is now probably just a standard Thursday night for a lot of us). She is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.
Photo via Facebook / Susanna Dickinson Museum
Darrell Lance “Dimebag” Abbott
The famous Dimebag Darrell from heavy metal bands Pantera and Damageplan is buried in Moore Gardens Memorial Cemetery in Arlington after being gunned down during a concert in 2004. A gunman burst into the venue and began shooting, striking the beloved musician. Legend has it that he was buried in an officially licensed KISS-themed casket. Pantera had an extremely successful musical career from their launch in the ‘80s all the way up to the early aughts.
Photo via Instagram / dimebagdarrell
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Born in a farmhouse near Stonewall in 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson had his eye on the presidency basically since birth. Well, maybe not, but he was elected class president in 11th grade and participated in debate and public speaking in school. From there, he decided not to take what were considered the college entrance exams at the time and instead went to California to work at his brother’s law practice. When he returned to Texas, he would go from odd-job laborer to college graduate and on to the road to politics. While president, he worked to pass the Civil Rights Bill, to give federal funding for public education, and Economic Opportunities Act. He is buried on his family ranch in Stonewall, but one of his most famous memorials is the LBJ Space Center, which was named in his honor.
Photo by Yoichi Okamoto via Facebook / Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald is definitely not famous for a good reason. If you haven’t already heard his name, you’ll read why in a sec. Lee Harvey Oswald was considered a loner for most of his life and dropped out of school at around 15 or 16. After joining the military, he was court-martialed twice, once for keeping a private weapon without permission and the other for assaulting an NCO. After he was discharged, he would go on to be the accused assassin of JFK and later shot and killed on live TV shortly thereafter. He is buried in Fort Worth at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park.
Photo via Bob Jackson / Dallas Times Herald
Cedric Benson
Anyone who knew Cedric Benson as a kid could predict that football would be a huge part of his life. What ended up happening is that it became his career. In college, he won an award naming him the nation’s top collegiate running back, which is the position he played for the Chicago Bears from 2005 to 2007, the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008 to 2011 and the Green Bay Packers in 2012. Tragically, he was killed in a motorcycle crash when he was 36, long after his retirement from his NFL career.
Photo via Facebook / Cedric Benson
Tom Landry
Even non-sportsers know who Tom Landry is. He began his early life pretty typically for an American teen by playing football and going to college, but had to quit after a semester because of World War II. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he played football for New York. He then became a coach for the team, and soon moved on to what would be his claim to fame: being the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and holding that title for 29 seasons until he was fired when Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989. Thankfully good ol’ Tom, who was born in Mission, Texas, stayed true to the Lone Star State ‘til the end. He’s buried at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas.
Photo via Instagram / thegridirongod
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Stevie Ray Vaughan
Hell yeah, brother – Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Texas and is also buried here in the Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas. Though he was buried in Dallas after dying in a helicopter crash, there is a memorial statue dedicated to him in Austin. He is most known for being a huge influence in blues rock and is widely considered to be one of the greatest guitarists in the scene. Though he struggled with alcohol and addiction for a large part of his career, he achieved sobriety and came back with more music, which received glowing reviews.
Photo via Facebook / Stevie Ray Vaughan
Doug Sahm
Hey, baby, que paso to Doug Sahm? His life began as a country music prodigy, having been offered a permanent seat at the Grand Ole Opry by the age of 13, which he had to turn down because his mother wanted him to finish junior high. On the music scene, he stayed relevant until his death in the late ‘90s. He was laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Park right here in San Antonio, but his legacy continued after the album The Return of Wayne Douglas was released posthumously, he was honored at the South Texas Walk of Fame, and a feature of the Butler Metro Park in Austin was named in his honor.
Photo via Facebook / Doug Sahm
Vinnie Paul
Older brother of Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul was an independently famous musician in his own right. Also a member of Pantera and Damageplan, Paul led a successful music career with Hellyeah after Dimebag’s death. At age 59, he suffered from heart problems and passed away not many days after his final show. His legacy lives on in his kickass music and the influence that it has on today’s audiences and future musicians.
Photo via Instagram / vinniepaul3
J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson
Big Bopper died on February 3, 1959 in the same plane crash that killed Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. Though he is best known for his career as a singer/songwriter and for the songs “Chantilly Lace” and “White Lightning,” he also had a successful career as a radio supervisor, announcer and DJ, which is where he earned the name “Big Bopper. He is interred in Beaumont at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home where a statue of him has been dedicated.
Photo via Facebook / Keeping The Spirit of The Big Bopper Alive
Chris Kyle
Perhaps better known as the author of “American Sniper,” a raw and blunt autobiography about his time as a SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle was born in Odessa. Known as being one of the most effective snipers in American history, beating the previous record of confirmed successful missions of 109 by around 41 (exact numbers are somewhat hazy). Kyle was tragically shot by a man with PTSD that he had invited out to a shooting range in 2013. He’s buried in Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
Photo via Facebook / Chris and Taya Kyle
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Peter Mayhew
It’s an interesting life that takes you from being born in England to playing a kick-ass furry alien in a space movie franchise to living and dying in a tiny town of less than 2,000 people in Texas, but that’s the life that Peter Mayhew led. He is most famous for playing Chewbacca in Star Wars, and just passed away this year in 2019. But...Wookiees are supposed to live for centuries. *Sad Wookiee noise* Go on and pay your respects at the Azleland Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Reno, Texas.
Photo via DFree / Shutterstock.com