Famous Fifers


Andrew Carnegie, from Dunfermline, Fife, immigrated to the USA in 1848. In which industry did he make his fortune?

Steel. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline in 1835. His family settled in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania in the late 1840s. His steel plant, Carnegie Steel, was the largest in the USA in the late 19th century. He gave away most of his fortune in later life, paying for the building of some 3000 public libraries throughout the English-speaking world

Ian Ranking, from Cardenden, and Val Mcdermid, from Kirkcaldy, Both made their names as novelists in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. They both specialised in novels of which genre?

Crime. Rankin is best known for the character Inspector John Rebus, whilst McDermid's best known recurring characters include Lindsay Gordon and Tony Hill. Whilst Rankin's books are mostly set in Edinburgh, and those of McDermid mainly in Northern England, both have returned to their home county of Fife on a number of occasions for scenes in their novels.

Which rock singer and guitarist from Dunfermline was lead vocalist both The Skids and Big Country?

Stuart Adamson. Adamson, although born in Manchester of Scottish parents, moved to the Dunfermline area as a small child. He founded The Skids in the Fife town in 1977, and they enjoyed considerable UK chart success between 1978-80, with their signature song, "Into the Valley", cracking the top 10. Adamson left The Skids in 1980, and formed Big Country in 1982. This band featured regularly in the UK charts throughout the 80s, with their 1984 album, "Steeltown", making it all the way to number 1. Adamson, tragically, committed suicide in Hawaii in 2001. 

An 18th century sailor from fife Alexander Selkirk was the inspiration for which eponymous literary hero?

Robinson Crusoe. Selkirk was born in Lower Largo, Fife, in 1676. He spent four years as a castaway on the uninhabited island of Juan Fernandez in the Pacific Ocean. He was eventually rescued in 1709, and briefly returned home to Largo in 1717. Daniel Defoe based the character Robinson Crusoe on Selkirk's experiences.

An Inquiry into the nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” is a famous publication in the field of economics by which person form Kirkcaldy, Fife

Adam Smith. Smith was born in Kirkcaldy around 1723. He has been described as the 'Father of Modern Economics', and has had his portrait featured on banknotes in both Scotland and England. The Adam Smith Institute, a political and economic think tank, was founded in 1977

Which Formula 1 racing driver was born in Kilmany, Fife in 1936?

im Clark. Clark was born in the small settlement of Kilmany, near Anstruther. He began his motor-racing career as a rally driver in 1956, and made his Formula 1 debut with Lotus in 1960. Clark was twice world champion, in 1963 and 65. He was tragically killed in an accident at Hockenheim, Germany, in 1968

Sir Jimmy Shand, born in east Wemyss in 1908 was a virtuoso on which musical instrument?

Accordion. Shand moved with his family to Auchtermuchty as a youngster. He worked as a coal miner, before being dismissed for playing gigs for striking miners. He became a full-time musician in the late 1940s, and gigged throughout the UK and further afield, including Canada and the USA. He composed more than 300 pieces of music during a lifetime in music, passing away in 2000.

Jocky Wilson, from Kirkcaldy, was twice a world champion in which sport

Darts. Jocky Wilson was a miner in his hometown of Kirkcaldy, before becoming a full-time professional darts player. He won his first world crown in 1982, defeating John Lowe in the final, and won again in 1989, when his victim in the final was Eric Bristow. He retired from the sport in 1995 after the onset of diabetes

Ian Anderson, from Dunfermline< made his name as lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with which rock band

Jethro Tull. Anderson was born in Dunfermline, in 1947, and moved with his family to Blackpool, in 1959. He formed Jethro Tull in 1967, as singer and harmonica player, and would soon add the guitar and flute to his repertoire. The band hit the top of the US album charts in the early 1970s with "Thick as a Brick" and "A Passion Play".

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was born in Glasgow< but brought up in Kirkcaldy, A town he would later represent in parliament. What was the occupation of his father, whose job led to the family moving to the Fife town?

Minister of the Church of Scotland. John Brown was the Minister of St Brycedale's Church in Kirkcaldy. His son Gordon attended Kirkcaldy High School and the University of Edinburgh, before embarking on a career in politics. He was first elected to parliament as MP for Dunfermline East in 1983, before boundary changes led to him successfully winning the new Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency in 2005. He was Prime Minister of the UK from June 2007 until May 2010

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