This list has been bounced around the net a bit, and some shouldn't really be regarded at nudist/naturist at all, but anyway...
After posting the factoid about Charles Richter, a member reminded me that Edward Craven Walker, inventor of the Lava Lamp, was also a nudist. He also owned a nudist resort on England’s southern coast. I thought it would be fun to dig up other famous nudists (well, not literally…I think there’s a law against that), so here’s a partial list I found on the “Buffalo Skin” website:
Benjamin Franklin took daily naked "air baths."
So did Henry David Thoreau, who was also a frequent skinnydipper.
Alexander Graham Bell was a skinnydipper and nude sunbather.
George Bernard Shaw, Walt Whitman, Eugene O'Neill, and painter Thomas Eakins argued in favor of social nudity.
President John Quincy Adams was a regular skinnydipper. According to reports, "each morning he got up before dawn, walked across the White House lawn to the Potomac River, took off his clothes and swam in the nude. Then he returned to the White House to have breakfast, read the Bible and run the country."
President Theodore Roosevelt frequently swam nude in Rock Creek Park in Washington, once skinny-dipping with the French diplomat, Jules Jusserand.
President Lyndon Johnson occasionally swam nude with guests in the white house pool, including evangelist Billy Graham.
Senator Edward Kennedy has been photographed skinnydipping at public beaches in Florida.
At the White House of his brother, John F. Kennedy, nudity had been common around the White House pool.
Many U.S. congressmen enjoy nude recreation, albeit segregated: U.S. Senate members may use the Russell Senate Office Building Pool in the nude (the few female Senators make appointments to assure there won't be males on hand),
Congressmen also sunbathed nude on the Speaker's Porch until one day in 1973 when Rep. Patricia Schroeder wandered into the gathering inadvertently.
Billionaire insurance man John D. MacArthur frequently went skinnydipping, and left a beach to the state of Florida, intending that a portion be designated clothing-optional (a wish that has been spurned); word has it that MacArthur went skinnydipping with Walt Disney at this beach in the late 1960s.
Robert McNamara, World Bank president and former U.S. Defense Secretary skinnydips regularly.
American Civil Liberties Union founder Roger Baldwin, is also a skinnydipper.
Charles F. Richter, the co-inventor of the earthquake measuring system, was a life-long nudist and Naturist.
Actress Lynn Redgrave and her family practice social nudism.
Actresses Bridget Fonda and Brigitte Bardot enjoy social nudity.
The late actor Gary Merrill advocated nudism.
Christy Brinkley openly admits to frequenting nude beaches.
Christian singer Amy Grant goes topfree on foreign beaches while on tour overseas.
Even the late Dr. Seuss published approval of a nudist philosophy, in one of his first books.
I would add Bruce Willis(see photo above) as well as Helen Mirren and Uma Thurman. Even the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis was photographed enjoying naturist recreation. The real question is--how many famous people are or were naturists without the general public becoming aware?
More on Charles Richter to come...