Big In Austin: 8 Famous Locals Explained

It is pretty well known that Austin is home for many well known celebrities, Matthew McConaughey, Willie Nelson, Elijah Wood, and Robert Rodriguez among them. Dozens more live, or have lived here at some point.

But this article isn’t about them, we are here today to talk about some of Austin’s more eccentric personalities that you will undoubtedly hear about or encounter if you move here. These folks aren’t widely known outside of Austin, but when in Travis County they are basically superstars.

8. David Komie


Known as the “Attorney Who Rocks” the dreadlocked injury attorney is known for his billboards around town, and a few commericals. Online chatter indicates that not only is he actually a great lawyer, he leads a band called the Dharma Kings and totally crushes it.

7. Leslie


While Leslie Cochran passed away in 2009, he still retains a place in the city’s collective consciousness. You’ll no doubt hear longtime Austinites talk about him as the shining embodiment of the city’s Keep Austin Weird slogan. He was a homeless activist who ran for mayor three times and frequently cross-dressed in women’s clothing and heels.

6. The 6th Street Cowboy


You can’t miss the 6th Street Cowboy, Sam Olivo, riding his white horse, Texas, around downtown. As this article explains, Sam simply enjoys riding his horse and bringing joy to people. Years ago he was charged with a DWI on his horse after having a few drinks, but it was dropped because he wasn’t operating a motor vehicle.

5. Scott Elder


All we’re going to say about Scott Elder is that he is a car dealer who makes weird, sometimes disturbing, commercials.

4. Thong Guy

Not to be confused with Leslie, who also wore a thong in public, Thong Guy emerges every spring, riding his bicycle around Town Lake and South Congress in nothing but his signature black G-string. He is also very, very tan.

3. Robert Morrow


The outlandish former chairman of the Travis County Republican Party forced himself out of his position after a brief and rocky tenure. He drew headlines for wearing a jester hat in public and his incendiary Twitter feed.

2. Aaron Franklin


Pitmaster Aaron Franklin is known for having the restaurant in Austin with the longest line. His namesake Franklin’s Barbecue has around a four hour wait most days. When President Obama visited, he got to skip the line though. Franklin has popped up in commercials and also is the host of BBQ with Franklin on PBS.

1. Richard Overton


The oldest living WWII vet recently celebrated his 111th birthday at his home in Austin. Overton’s secret? We’re not sure, but his penchant for whiskey, guns and cigars doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any.

Al Harris