Cool idea: create a map of America and instead of showing the regular names of the cities and towns we know so well, replace those place-names with the people-names of the most famous folks who came from those places. And yes…Shaq made the list.
A few quick examples: Memphis, Tennessee is Elvis’ town (of course). Chicagoland becomes Obamaland (His or hers? Article doesn’t say…). Rap star Eminem? Warren, Michigan (Detroit ‘burb). Apple co-founder Steve Jobs: Portland, Oregon.
As for the Big Man himself, his name would go all the way down to the Lone Star State, and take over the city of San Antonio. Shaq was born in Newark, New Jersey, but with his father’s military career, the family was living in San Antonio by the time young Shaq was in high school. In fact, at Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O’Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year. Of course he would later go on to Louisiana State University and the NBA.
Of course it would also be possible to put cities from Shaq’s NBA career on the map. Orlando didn’t have anyone else listed on this particular celebrity map, so they could use some help. Of course Shaq’s star really skyrocketed during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers… but we’re sure there are plenty of other celebs who could help the City of Angels make a mark. (Oh yeah…Sorry Cleveland, we almost forgot about you…)
A few other big names and the places the represent: Jason Momoa (Aquaman!) is originally from Des Moines, Iowa. Not every town got a modern, popular celebrity or sports star. Cowboy / gunslinger Wyatt Earp: Deadwood, Montana. Serial killer Ted Bundy: Tallahassee, Florida. Killer and general crazy person Charles Manson: Cincinnati, Ohio.
One famous / celebrity type – “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson – actually made list / map for two locations: both Hayward, California and Southwest Ranches, Florida (a suburb of Miami).
The info for the mpa was collected from Wikipedia, and researchers used a list of celebrities and compared it to page views on the Wiki. Info was gathered for searches made between July 2015 to May 2019. No distinction was made between places of birth, residence or death. As the developers note, “people can ‘be from’ multiple places”.
Researchers also point out that pageviews are an impartial indicator of interest – it doesn’t matter whether a person’s “claim to fame” is good, bad or horrible. (Obama vs. Manson, for example.)
Of course big cities come with suburbs and smaller satellite towns, which leaves room for others to get their own place in the (online) sun. As mentioned, former President Barack Obama owns Chicago, but the city with big shoulders still has plenty of room for others, both good and bad.
While he didn’t steal the big city, crime boss and legendary movie character Al Capone would take over Cicero, IL. Musician John Prine gets Maywood, and actor / Star Wars legend Harrison Ford gets Park Ridge.