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Canton Greats

Notable Figures
Famous Cantonians
Many prominent Canton residents found their success in areas outside the listed categories. Their contributions in various fields increased Canton’s reputation as a home to outstanding individuals who have strongly impacted the world.

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Canton Great - Reuben Klamer


Reuben Klamer
Born in Canton, Reuben Klamer graduated from McKinley High School in 1940 and developed games and toys as an independent contractor. He was asked in 1960 to design "The Game of Life" for the Bradley Company. The game was a great success and led to his work with different manufacturers until he now is the owner of Reuben Klamer Toylab in San Diego, California. Over the years he has produced over 200 products and was a pioneer in the introduction of polyethylene and unbreakable plastic to world wide toy production. He was inducted into the National Toy Association Industry Hall of Fame in 2005.



Canton Great - Mother Angelica


Mother Angelica
Mother Angelica was born Rita Rizzo in 1923 and raised in Canton. She graduated from McKinley High School and worked for a time at Timken Roller bearing in advertising. In 1944 she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Cleveland before joining  in 1947 a new foundation at Santa Clara Monastery in Canton. Developments in her life led her to found Our Lady of the Angels  monastery near Birmingham, Alabama. Her creative efforts to sustain the monastery followed an unlikely path for a cloistered nun, giving rise to a worldwide Catholic Media Ministry with a traditional flavor called EWTN-The Eternal Word Television network. Mother Angelica suffered a debilitating stroke in 2001 and left EWTN to be run by a lay board. After leaving as CEO, she developed the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament there and continues to live at the Monastery in Alabama. Time Magazine once called her "The most influential Catholic woman in America."


Canton Great - John McTammany


John McTammany
Born in Glasgow, Scotland on June 26, 1845, John saw his father immigrate to the United States two years later. Having settled in Uniontown, Ohio, the father sent for the family when McTammany was 14. He played the organ in the Reformed Church there and had ambitions of being a concert pianist. In 1864 he enlisted in the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Seriously wounded he convalesced in a hospital in Nashville. When he could, he would walk down town to repair nicolodeons, pianos and music boxes in a music store.

McTammany returned to Ohio and later enrolled in the Adrian Academy of Music in Michigan. A doctor in Adrian suggested that the injuries sustained in the Civil War would make it impossible to pursue the concert piano. And in 1876 he had succeeded in producing a piano player and pursued the patent for it. In 1881 he received the patent for his invention. He died on March 26, 1915 in Stamford, Connecticut and was later buried in West lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio.

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Canton Greats

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