Keith Lockhart Picks His Best Bostonians of All Time

The Boston Pops conductor selects his top five favorite Bostonians in history. Spoiler alert: they're not all musicians!

This week, we launched an online game to let you help us select the Best Bostonians of all time. To narrow our nominees down to 400, we enlisted an all-star advisory panel to help us out, and now, we’re asking more prominent locals who they think are the Best Bostonians of all time. First up: Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart.

Keith Lockhart

Keith Lockhart / Courtesy photo by Stu Rosner, via Boston Pops

Arthur Fiedler

“Of course, I would have to say that, wouldn’t I? Boston has produced many great musicians, but none with the unique combination of talents and glorious common touch of my predecessor at the Boston Pops.”

Leonard Bernstein

“Born in Lawrence, but we should give it to him. Perhaps the most protean musician of the 20th century. Along with George Gershwin and Aaron Copland (both, sadly, born in NYC), Bernstein helped give American classical music its first distinct voice and identity.”

James McNeill Whistler

“Needed to stay with the Arts here. Born in Lowell. Controversial, irascible, immensely talented painter who, sadly, left Lowell and the entire USA and never looked back.”

Eli Whitney

“Boston has been a hub of innovation for 4 centuries, so it seemed an inventor had to make the list. Eli Whitney’s inventions, including the cotton gin, helped usher in the Industrial Revolution in this country, and also helped set the stage for the Civil War. Runners-up include Samuel F. B. Morse and Alexander Graham Bell, who was certainly not from here, but spent many of his productive years right here in Boston.”

Julia Child

“Helped teach Americans what good food tastes like. And I love good food!”


Whom would you choose? Help us pick the Best Bostonians of all time.