One of the designated "Five Civilized Tribes" in the United States during the 19th century, the Cherokee Nation is the largest of the nation's Native American groups today. Among the most famous Cherokees in history:
- Sequoyah (1767-1843), leader and inventor of the Cherokee writing system that took the tribe from an illiterate group to one of the best educated peoples in the country during the early-to-mid 1800s.
- Will Rogers (1879-1935), famed journalist and entertainer.
- Joseph J. Clark (1893–1971), a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy, Clark became the "highest ranking Native American in the US military."
- Stand Watie, or Degataga (1806–1871), was a Confederate general who commanded a brigade of Native Americans during the Civil War. His command was the last group to surrender to Union forces.