February 15, 2024

2024 Great Ohioans
(Columbus, Ohio)- The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation announce the 2024 Great Ohioan Award recipients. The Capitol Square Foundation presented the selected individuals from nominations submitted by citizens and organizations across Ohio.

The 2024 Great Ohioan awardees are aerospace engineer Eugene Kranz, illustrator Howard Chandler Christy and former U.S. House Representative John Bingham.

Eugene "Gene" Kranz is an American aerospace engineer who worked for the U.S. Air Force and NASA. He is most notably known as the Flight Director for the Apollo 13 mission, where the oxygen tank partially exploded enroute to the Moon. Gene's leadership abilities helped get the Apollo 13 crew back to Earth safely against all odds. He is from Toledo, Ohio.

Howard Chandler Christy was an American artist and illustrator from Morgan County, Ohio. Christy is memorable for his 'Christy Girls,' illustrations of beautiful, strong, witty women who supported America during times of war and encouraged others to do so too. Christy was a rising star in the new age of magazine illustrations, but he also is known for painting "The Signing of the Constitution," which now hangs in the U.S. Capitol Building's Rotunda. Christy painted “The Signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville” and several other artworks at the Ohio Statehouse.

John Bingham is a former member of the United States House of Representatives. Republican Bingham was notorious for his views on anti-slavery. He is credited as "the James Madison of the 14th Amendment" because of his proposal to add what is now known as the Equal Protection Clause. He also served as a prosecutor for John Wilkes Booth's co-conspirators and presented the prosecutions for President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trials. He grew up in Cadiz, Ohio.

"These three selections represent Ohio's diversity in different fields of endeavor. An artist, a dedicated public servant and a leader in the United States' effort in space exploration. All three made profound contributions to Ohio's unique place in national and world history," said Capitol Square Foundation Chairman Charles Moses.

The award's selection criteria rely on whether the nominee lived in Ohio for at least five years and whether the commemorated event the nominee participated in took place 25 years ago.

There have been 59 Great Ohioans recognized for this award for their essential contributions to history, ranging from politicians, astronauts, healthcare pioneers, writers, athletes, abolitionists and more. To learn about the other awardees, visit our website.

“The Ohio Statehouse is the right place to recognize Great Ohioans,” said CSRAB Executive Director Laura P. Battocletti, “Everyone is welcome to enjoy paintings by Howard Chandler Christy in the Rotunda, and to learn about Representative Bingham in the museum exhibits. It was an honor to meet Gene Kranz, truly a pioneer in space exploration, when we unveiled the new painting, ‘Ohioans in Space.’”

Great Ohioans Exhibit
The Ohio Statehouse Museum exhibit allows visitors better to understand the recipients of the Great Ohioan Award and discover how they affected local, national, and world history. The exhibit uses videos, photos, facts and web-based technology to explore the life and legacy of each Great Ohioan. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is open every day of the week except on state holidays.