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Edgar Allan Poe served a stint as a soldier at Fort Monroe during his checkered life. Washington as head of Tuskegee, retired to a home on the banks of the York River in Gloucester, where his wife grew up.James Daniel Gardner, awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War, was born in Gloucester. I, 36th Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops. Washington studied and later taught at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) before going on to lead Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). Walter Reed, an Army physician from Gloucester, discovered that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes. William Styron, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, grew up in Newport News and used the area for some of his books' locales.
Another hip-hop producer, Timbaland, also grew up there.Denbigh also produced Joseph Wooten, longtime keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band, and Wooten's musical brothers.Sax player Clarence Clemons, the legendary "Big Man" in Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, grew up in Norfolk.Marcel Desaulniers, co-founder of The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, has award-winning cookbooks that have brought his creations, such as the tempting "Death by Chocolate," to international fame. So did the great R&B singer Ruth Brown, also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Two early rock and roll stars — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gene Vincent and Gary U. Robert Cray, blues guitarist, attended Denbigh High School in Newport News while his father was stationed at Fort Eustis.The Morgan case led to the first Supreme Court decision overturning a segregation law involving interstate transportation.
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson does his show "The 700 Club" from Virginia Beach, where he also operates Regent University.
(The Big Man died in 2011, but his nephew Jake Clemons of Virginia Beach now plays with Springsteen.)Hip-hop artist and producer Missy Elliott is from Portsmouth.
Musician Pharrell Williams, who made us all "Happy," grew up in Virginia Beach.
Hollywood producer Mark Gordon, a Newport News native, has movie credits that include "Speed" and "Saving Private Ryan," as well as hit TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Criminal Minds."Pro Football Hall of Famers Henry Jordan, Dwight Stephenson, Lawrence Taylor, Bruce Smith, Clarence "Ace" Parker and Chris Hanburger are among the many NFL players from the region.
NFL quarterback Michael Vick grew up in Newport News.
George Washington's victory at Yorktown won the Revolutionary War and established him as the man who would go on to become our first president. Ben Butler, the federal commander at Hampton's Fort Monroe early in the Civil War, declared that runaway slaves could be kept as "contraband of war" (and, presumably, then be freed).