Dallas History

Greatest Dallasites: Full Voting Results

We nominated 302 of the city’s most intriguing and influential people, then opened it up to an online vote. Turns out, you folks really like sports.

It began with a deceptively simple question: who’s the greatest Dallasite of all time? “Greatest” is obviously a subjective term. For our purposes, we considered a person qualified to make the list for either: 1) having made some significant impact on the Dallas area specifically, or 2) having lived in the Dallas area and then made a notable impact on the greater world.

But “greatest” is not a value judgment. We weren’t aiming to weigh which of these people is the best human being, and yet we decided early on to disqualify anyone best known for acts of violence. (No Jack Ruby, and neither Bonnie nor Clyde.) That’s not to say that all of the competitors were saints, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the founder of Dallas, John Neely Bryan, is known to have killed at least one man.

We began this absurd task by compiling a list of hundreds upon hundreds of nominees. We sought the assistance of experts, including the Dallas Historical Society, to cull and curate. Of particular help in our efforts was city archivist John Slate. An online randomizer used a final pool of 302 competitors to generate ever-changing, sometimes bizarre faceoffs. Dirk Nowitzki vs. Benjamin Bluitt (the first black surgeon in Texas). Ebby Halliday vs. Larry Hagman. The ranking you see here is based on win percentages resulting from 754,997 such faceoffs. Tom Landry, who took the top spot, won 80.18 percent of his battles; Roger Staubach, No. 2, won 77.79 percent. As you’ll see, sports figures dominate the top 100.

Back to 100 Greatest Dallasites

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