Not only is Kalamazoo known as the birthplace of Gibson Guitar, Checker Cab, and the Upjohn Company, but it's also the birthplace of a number of celebrities. There are two local celebrities, that come to mind, who are associated with Kalamazoo, but they weren’t born in the Celery City.

Major League Baseball player Derek Jeter is a well-known name connected to Kalamazoo, and many local residents may think it’s his birthplace, but that’s not the case. He was born in Pequannock Township, New Jersey, and moved to Kalamazoo when he was four years old. At the age of five, he began to play Little League baseball on the Oakwood team. A graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, he went on to play for the New York Yankees.  

The story goes that Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers chain, based his hamburger on the Kewpee burger that was served at the Kewpee Restaurant in Kalamazoo. He was fond of the burgers, as a kid, but he wasn’t born in the “Zoo”. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and lived in Augusta with his grandmother, for a few years. 

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Out of all of the celebrities that were born in Kalamazoo, there are 11 that caught my eye. Some of them stayed in the area, others moved on. 

11 Celebrities Who Were Born In Kalamazoo

Not only is Kalamazoo known as the birthplace of Gibson Guitar, Checker Cab, and the Upjohn Company, but it's also the birthplace of a number of celebrities. Here are 11 well-known names that were born in Kalamazoo. Some of them grew up in the area, others quickly left town for greener pastures.

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