Many interesting, important, and influential people have lived in Danville and neighboring Blackhawk. From a famous American playwright, to an astronaut, numerous athletes, and even heroes, these folks were either born here or drawn to Danville’s beauty and small town atmosphere.
Larry Allen – A former American football guard who played in the NFL for fourteen seasons. He played for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons—earning a ring in Super Bowl XXX—and spent his last two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
Billy Beane – Oakland A’s general manager, the subject of the book and film Moneyball.
Ken Behring – The real estate developer, former owner of the Seattle Seahawks, and philanthropist, lives in Blackhawk. He was involved in the development of the Blackhawk Country Club and the Blackhawk Museum, an automotive museum. He donated a number of cars from his personal collection to the museum.
Richard Nelson Bolles - Author of What Color is Your Parachute?, one of the most well known job seeking books, named by the Library of Congress as one of the 25 books that have most changed people’s lives.
Leroy Chiao – This former NASA astronaut was raised in Danville, graduating from Monte Vista High School in 1978. He flew on three shuttle flights, and was commander of an expedition on the International Space Station. On Nov. 4, 2004, Chiao was the first American to vote in a presidential election while in space.
Elizabeth Emken – This Danville resident was the Republican Party nominee for California U.S. Senator in the 2012 election; she lost to Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein. Emken is also an advocate for autism issues, and previously worked for the nonprofit group Autism Speaks.
Bob Geren – Another Danville resident athlete, Geren played Major League Baseball as a catcher for five years, for both the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres. From 2007 to 2011, Geren managed the Oakland A’s.
Duane Kuiper – The San Francisco Giants play-by-play radio and television announcer lives with his family in Danville. He’s won five Emmy’s for his work. He played second base for the Cleveland Indians and the Giants.
Jason Lucash – This Danville native is an inventor and entrepreneur who has appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” promoting his invention of folding, eco-friendly travel speakers, made by his company, OrigAudio.
John Madden – This famous former resident of Blackhawk (he now lives in nearby Pleasanton), coached the Oakland Raiders, winning the Super Bowl in 1977. In his 10 seasons as coach, the team won more times than under any other coach in the Raider’s history. He went on to work for all four major networks as a sportscaster, and he’s well known as the front man for Madden Football video games.
Sara Jane Moore – Attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in September 1975, outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
Chris Mullin – This Danville resident and former professional basketball player is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, and two-time Olympic Gold medalist. He played from 1985 to 2001, for both the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers. He also served as general manager for the Warriors.
Vince Neil – Shown above, a Blackhawk resident and lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.
Evan O’Dorney – A homeschooled Danville resident who won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search, and is a four-time International Math Olympiad medalist. He went on to study at Harvard in 2011.
Eugene O’Neill – America’s only Nobel Prize winning playwright. O’Neill lived at Tao House, in Danville, from 1937 to 1944. He wrote what are considered to be his three best plays at the house, “The Iceman Cometh”, “Long Day's Journey Into Night”, and “A Moon for the Misbegotten”.
Greg Papa – Bay Area sportscaster who has worked for most of the region’s professional teams, including the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland A’s, the Golden State Warriors, and the San Francisco Giants.
Gary Payton – A former NBA point guard who played for 13 years with the Seattle SuperSonics. The Blackhawk resident played for several teams, including the Miami Heat, which won the championship with his help in 2006.
Nate Schierholtz – “Nate the Great” is a former San Francisco Giants outfielder and pinch hitter who played baseball for San Ramon Valley High School in Danville. He helped the Giants win the 2010 World Series.
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger – Noted pilot and hero, after a successful emergency landing in the Hudson River in New York, saving the lives of 155 passengers and crew.
Jeff Tedford – Former head coach of the Cal Bears.
Ross Valory – The Blackhawk resident is a famous bass player for the band Journey.
Chris Wondolowski – This Danville native nicknamed “Wondo”, is a leading scorer as a striker for The San Jose Earthquakes, who also plays for the U.S. men’s soccer team.
Kevin Woo – Another Danville native who got his start at Monte Vista High School and made it big. Woo sang in the high school choir, and at 15 he moved to South Korea with his mother to pursue his dream of being a singer. He is a member of the wildly popular South Korean boy band, U-KISS.