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Posted on 11/07/2020 in Other

Stars Who Call the Space Coast Home

Stars Who Call the Space Coast Home

Famous people, stars, celebrities, the beautiful people are all phrases that come to mind when you think of people who have made their mark on the world in the public eye. Often times when we think of famous people we think of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and New York City but this small sliver of land off mainland Florida actually has its own A-List who call it home.

Carrot Top 

The redhead mop top legend in stand up comedy, television and film, was born in Rockledge and grew up in Cocoa, FL. After graduating from Cocoa High School, he began his stand up career while in college in Boca Raton. Appearances with Kiss’s front man Gene Simmons, magician Criss Angel, comedians George Lopez, Larry the Cable Guy, and appearances on Scrubs and Reno 911 amongst others landed him on the screens in living rooms across the US. As of 2018, Carrot Top headlines the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas preforming comedy. 

Fun fact: It was his Cocoa High School swimming coach who dubbed him Carrot Top.

Kelly Slater 

It is impossible to mention professional surfing and not hear the name Kelly Slater. Hailing from Cocoa Beach, Slater is the most winningest athlete in all of sports having won an unprecedented 11 World Titles. Beyond winning world titles across the globe, Kelly also pioneered wave pool technology with Kelly Slaters Surf Ranch as well as launched sustainable clothing brand Outerknown. Milwaukee may have the “Bronze Fonz” but upon entering Cocoa Beach from the north along the A1A, you’ll find Florida’s champion honored with his own bronze statue as well.

Fun fact: Slater plays guitar and ukulele and has performed with Jack Johnson, Angus Stone, Ben Harper and grunge band Pearl Jam. 

Buzz Aldrin 

Space exploration pioneer and crew member on Apollo 11 now calls Satellite Beach home. Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon after following Neil Armstrong out of the Command Service Module on the first moon landing. Buzz shows no signs of slowing down and today continues to work in the aerospace industry at 90 years old, most recently with the Florida Institute of Technology. 

Fun fact: Always one for adventure, Buzz Aldrin has visited both the North and the South Pole, the later at age 86 making him the oldest human to ever reach the South Pole. 

Ashlyn Harris

Hailing form Satellite Beach, Ashlyn Harris has been a professional goalkeeper for the past eleven years playing for teams as far away as Germany and Sweden and as close as Orlando. Not only has her professional soccer duties been with teams but also playing for the National Team for the US making her first appearance at fifteen years old. With two FIFA Womens World Cup championship wins in 2015 and 2019, Harris shows signs of slowing down and continues to represent the Space Coast on an international platform.

Fun fact: While playing soccer at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, she played 65 games and recorded shutouts in 50 of those games.

C.J. and Damien Hobgood 

You didn’t think the Space Coast would only serve up one surfing world champion did you? C.J. Hobgood brought the 2001 ASP World Champion title to Satellite Beach. Quite possibly the most famous twins in surfing, the Hobgoods grew up in Satellite Beach honing their surfing talent before going on to join the World Tour. While Damien now calls the west coast home, C.J. still calls Florida home and is often seen on the Space Coast surfing and giving back to the community. 

Fun fact: C.J. and Damien are identical twins and photographers have to look at the brother’s sponsor stickers on their boards to discern who is who when crediting photos.

Jim Rathmann 

The Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee was born in California but found his home growing up in Melbourne, Florida. While Jim made his first mark on racing in 1950 at the prestigious Daytona Beach Road Course, precursor to the super speedway track and famed Daytona 500, he is most well known for winning the 1960 Indianapolis 500. The race in 1960 still holds the record for most lead changes in Indy 500 history, with Rathmann pulling out the victory. Jim also brought home three, 2nd place finishes at the Indy 500 in 1952, 1957, and 1959. After retiring from racing, Jim opened up a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership in Melbourne, FL and convinced then GM President Ed Cole to give NASA astronauts a new car each year boosting sales of Corvettes nationwide. 

Fun fact: To begin racing while still underage, he borrowed his older brothers ID card and assumed the identity of Jim Rathmann. His real name is Royal Richard Rathmann.

Pat Neshek 

Two time All Star Major League Baseball Relief Pitcher and 2017 World Baseball Classic gold medal winner hangs his hat up in Melbourne Beach. Pat was first signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2006 making a name for himself with his unorthodox pitching delivery. With a win loss record of 36-25, ERA of 2.82 and an impressive 471 strikeouts, Melbourne Beach was happy to welcome him to the neighborhood. 

Fun fact: Pat is an avid baseball card collector and his 1970 Topp’s baseball card set is one of the best-rated in the world.

Bobby Dall 

Bassist to multi platinum selling glam rock band Poison. Bobby Dall and band Poison rocketed to stardom in the 80’s with hits such as Nothin’ But A Good Time, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, and Talk Dirty To Me. After growing up in Palm Bay, Bobby Dall missed the slow mellow Florida lifestyle and in 1991 purchased a house in Melbourne Beach. While in between tours, Bobby now once again enjoys fishing, shrimping, and surfing along the Space Coast. 

Fun fact: Bobby initially wanted to study law before joining Poison and still jokes that kids should focus on getting a law degree before joining a rock n roll band. 

Caroline Marks 

Looking to the future, if anyone will bring a surfing title back to the Space Coast it’s Caroline Marks. Born in Boca, but growing up calling Melbourne Beach home, Caroline is one of the youngest ever competitors on the World Tour. Joining the elite ranks in 2018 at 16 years old, Marks had three third-place finishes, was named Rookie Of The Year and ended the season ranked seventh. In 2019, at 17 years old, she claimed two World Tour event wins and ended the season ranked second earning a spot in the 2020 Olympics representing Women’s Surfing. The future looks extremely bright for Caroline Marks and the Space Coast looks forward to following her success.

Fun fact: Her win in 2019 in Australia marked the first women’s surfing event to receive equal prize money payout as the men's division.

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