Before they became actors, gold-medalists, writers or rode the streets of Boston warning the citizens that the British were coming, these folks practiced a different profession – dentistry. Take a look at some of history’s famous people who started out as dentists, but were later lured away into other professions:
- Mark Spitz – In the 1972 Olympic Games, Mark Spitz earned 7 gold medals as well as several lucrative advertisement deals. But what many people don’t know about the illustrious Gold medalist was that he attended Indiana University from 1968-1972 as a pre-dental student. TIME magazine asked him if he wanted to return to dental school after the Olympics. “I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972. I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities.”
- John Henry “Doc” Holliday – Certainly, everyone is familiar with Doc’s infamous gunfight at the OK corral with his pal Wyatt Earp. But before Doc Holliday was a gunslinger he trained in dentistry in Pennsylvania and then opened a practice in Atlanta.
- Edgar Buchanan – Best known for his roles in sitcoms like “Petticoat Junction”, “The Beverly Hillbillies and “Green Acres,” Edgar Buchanan began his career as a dentist. He moved from Oregon to California with his wife in 1939 and joined the Pasadena Playhouse. He obtained his first film role at the age of thirty-six and never looked back.
- Zane Grey – This novelist of western novels wrote over 80 books, but began his career at the University of Pennsylvania studying dentistry. Upon graduation, he opened a practice in New York City. Perhaps best known for the best-selling novel Riders of the Purple Sage, he became a millionaire and left dentistry behind.
- Paul Revere – This hero of the Revolutionary war was well known for his skills as a silversmith. Unfortunately, at one point his business began to suffer. To make ends meet he took up the practice of dentistry by making false teeth, a skill he learned from a friend who was a skilled surgeon.
Of course, this list just scratches the surface. Only time will tell which famous people will grace this list in the future!
Thank you for reading, check back soon!
Dr. Mark W. Langberg, DDS, MAGD
26206 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 303
Southfield, MI 48034