The voting to determine the greatest Ohioan is now open. First up, is the Business & Science region, dominated by Thomas Edison as the No. 1 seed and John D. Rockefeller as the two seed.
Winners will be announced on Friday night with the second round of voting opening up Saturday morning.
#1 Thomas Edison vs. #16 Jack Hanna
Thomas Edison: Sure, Edison punked Nikola Tesla at every turn, and yeah, he wasn't above making an animal snuff film (NSFL) to get ahead, but to men like Edison, business is nothing if you're not winning.
Born in tiny Milan, near the shores of Lake Erie, Thomas Alva Edison was Steve Jobs before it was cool to be Steve Jobs, breathing life into several new industries, including music, motion picture, and utility power. A little electric company he formed grew up to become GE, one of the largest and most-admired corporations on earth.
The man accomplished a few things in life, holding 1,093 patents. For that, we remember him with our most important honor, a Google Doodle.
Jack Hanna: Before Kirk Herbstreit as an ESPN analyst, before that dude from Bexley showed up on How I Met Your Mother and before Columbus caught on to the fact that the Macho Man was from town (word traveled slow in those halcyon, pre-internet days), "Jungle Jack" Hanna was the television king of the 614.
Hanna, who attended Muskingum College in New Concord, returned to Ohio in 1978 to become the director of the Columbus Zoo. His tireless work, fundraising efforts and most importantly, his visibility as a guest of David Letterman and regular appearances on Good Morning America put the Columbus Zoo on the map.
#2 John D. Rockefeller vs. #15 Larry Flynt
John D. Rockefeller: Though born in New York, Rockefeller's family moved to Strongsville when he was 14 and he would later graduate from Cleveland's Central High School.
At the age of 20, he was already making a move on the oil scene, building his first refinery in "The Flats." Seven years later, he formed Standard Oil of Ohio, which grew to 20,000 domestic wells, 4,000 miles of pipeline, 5,000 tank cars and more than 100,000 employees. All of this made Rockefeller very rich – the richest man in the world and the first American worth more than a billion dollars.
Finally, in 1911, the Supreme Court found Standard Oil, then of New Jersey because of favorable incorporation laws, a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Standard Oil was broken up into 34 new companies.
Larry Flynt: Larry Claxton Flynt was born poor in Kentucky and grew up in Indiana, but didn't hit his entrepreneurial stride until he landed in the Buckeye State.
At 23, he bought his mother's bar in Dayton and quickly turned it around. Three years later, he opened Hustler Clubs around the state leading to more success. Four years later, in 1972, he created what would become Hustler magazine as a four-page, black-and-white newsletter for his clubs. The magazine blew up in 1975, when Flynt published nude photos of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Hustler pushed the obscenity envelope and this led to a life of legal battles for Flynt, including a Supreme Court decision he won after being sued by Jerry Falwell. In 1978, Flynt and his lawyer were shot by a sniper outside a courthouse in Georgia. The shooting left Flynt paralyzed.
#3 The Wright Bros. vs. #14 Roger Ailes
The Wright Bros: Ohio is the "Birthplace of Aviation" (eat it, North Carolina) and for that, we can thank Wilbur and Orville Wright.
The brothers, who grew up in Dayton, dabbled in the printing business before getting into bicycles and capitalizing on that phase to raise cash for a new interest: flight. Despite competing claims, the brother are recognized for building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and "sustained heavier-than-air human flight."
Thanks to a patent related to the control of airplanes, Wilbur and Orville would become wealthy following the the formation of The Wright Company, which sold planes, trained pilots and transported the first commercial air cargo – two bolts of dress silk from Dayton to Columbus.
Roger Ailes: Ailes is the president of Fox News Channel, so right away half of you either love the guy or hate the guy, but there's no denying his achievements.
Growing up in Warren, Ailes attended Warren High School before going on to receive his bachelor's degree from Ohio University. After school, he began his career in television with KYW-TV (now Cleveland's NBC affiliate WKYC). While there, Ailes had a spirited conversation about politics and television with Richard Nixon, who was weighing a presidential run. A year later, Ailes played a huge role in selling Nixon to the American people, leading to his election in 1968.
In 1996, Rupert Murdoch hired Ailes to create the Fox News Channel and CNN has been taking it on the chin ever since.
#4 Neil Armstrong vs. #13 George Steinbrenner
Neil Armstrong: "We landed on the Moon!"
Lloyd Christmas was excited, and for good reason, when he read a newspaper headline announcing "MAN WALKS ON MOON" in an Aspen bar a quarter century after the fact.
At 2:56 UTC July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta, Ohio, became the first human to set foot on the moon and followed his feat with one of man's greatest lines: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
A reluctant celebrity, Armstrong lived a quiet life on his farm near Lebanon, Ohio. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal.
George Steinbrenner: Most know Steinbrenner as the former owner of the New York Yankees and for his fake appearances on Seinfeld. Ohioans, however, know him as a former coach and lifelong Ohio State fan.
Born on the west side of Cleveland in 1930, "The Boss" served as a graduate assistant to Woody Hayes while studying at Ohio State before getting into the shipping business. After building a fortune, he bought his first sports franchise, the Cleveland Pipers in 1960. A dozen years later, he bought the New York Yankees and won seven World Series titles and 11 pennants during his 37 years with the team.
#5 Les Wexner vs. #12 Charles Kettering
Les Wexner: It's hard to go anywhere on Ohio State's campus (or central Ohio, for that matter) without bumping into something with Les Wexner's name on it.
The founder of the Limited Brands was born in Dayton and later attended Ohio State, majoring in business. After flirting with law school, Wexner borrowed $5,000 from his aunt to start The Limited in Upper Arlington's Kingsdale Shopping Center, minutes from OSU's campus.
The Limited would give birth to Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, Lane Bryant, Abercrombie & Fitch, Structure and many other clothing retailers.
Wexner served on Ohio State's Board of Trustees from 1988 until his resignation in 2012. The school's ambitious medical center is known as Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University.
Charles Kettering: There's a reason the Dayton area once boasted the highest number of patents per capita and Charles Kettering is a big reason why.
The inventor and businessman holds 186 patents, including the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline in automobiles, the technology behind Freon refrigerant and what may have been the world's first missile.
Born in Loudonville, Ohio, Kettering attended Wooster before transferring to Ohio State, where he graduated in 1904 with a degree in electrical engineering. Following school, he led research at National Cash Register, founded Delco and later served as head of research at GM from 1920 to 1947.
#6 Ted Turner vs. #11 William Procter
Ted Turner: It's only fitting that an Ohioan, Turner, was instrumental in the revival of Atlanta's downtown 116 years after another Ohioan, William Tecumseh Sherman, burned it all to the ground.
Starting in 1976 with the birth of TBS in Atlanta, through his purchase of the Atlanta Braves and Hawks in 1978, to his launch of CNN as the world's first 24-hour news channel in 1980, Ted Turner has been placing bets and typically winning them in the world of media.
His holdings throughout the years include those, MGM, Turner Entertainment, TNT, TCM, the Cartoon Network, the WCW and many other things you've seen on television.
William Procter: Procter, an English candlemaker, arrived in Cincinnati in 1832. Five years later, he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, James Gamble, and Procter & Gamble was born.
Thanks to bold moves and contracts with the Union Army to provide soap and candles during the Civil War, the company experienced massive growth and is now the powerhouse we know today.
Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Duracell, Febreze, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Iams, Oral-B, Pampers, Scope, Tide, Vicks – the list goes on. If you've used a consumer product in the last, oh, 150 years or so, chances are, it's a Procter & Gamble brand product.
#7 Dave Thomas vs. #10 Harvey Firestone
Dave Thomas: From his first job at age 12, to serving as a mess sergeant responsible for the meals of thousands of soldiers in the U.S. Army, Dave Thomas has always had a foot in the food industry.
It wasn't until 1969, when he opened his first Wendy's restaurant in Columbus, that he really made a name for himself in the business, however. Thomas named the restaurant after his daughter Melinda Lou, whose nickname was "Wendy" and he'd go on open thousands of Wendy's across the nation.
He also gave us this.
Harvey Firestone: Born in Columbiana in Mahoning County, Harvey Samuel Firestone worked for the Columbus Buggy Company in Columbus before starting his own company in 1890, where he made rubber tires for carriages.
In 1900, he caught automobile fever and founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. This was a good time to be in the game and Firestone was soon rich, vacationing with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison as part of "The Millionaires Club."
Oh yeah, he also once received a token dime from John D. Rockefeller, too.
#8 Jack Warner vs. #9 Charles Martin Hall
Jack Warner: At age four, Jack Warner moved with his family from Canada to Youngstown, Ohio. Years later, he took his first steps in the entertainment industry with his brother Sam, taking over the city's Old Grand Opera House.
In 1916, the brothers headed west to California to escape the long arm of Thomas Edison and his patents. Warner Brothers was established as an upstart to take on Paramount, Universal and First National Studios. A decade later, they were reaping the dividends of The Jazz Singer while helping to move the nation out of the silent movie era.
Charles Martin Hall: Born in Thompson, Ohio, Charles Martin Hall attended Oberlin High School before enrolling at Oberlin College at the age of 16. In 1885, Hall passed an electric current through a bath of alumina dissolved in cryolite, resulting in a puddle of aluminum.
Shortly thereafter, Hall partnered with Alfred E. Hunt in Pittsburgh to create the Reduction Company, which later became the Aluminum Company of America, and then, finally, ALCOA. How big was his clout? We still use his misspelling, aluminum, instead of the the spelling used everywhere else on earth, aluminium.