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National Rivers Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, explorers and artists in America's river history. They were movers and shakers from the days gone by and the recent past. These men and women made significant contributions related to America’s rivers, which is why we honor them.


The Artists, Writers, and Musicians

Ben Lucien Burman

Inducted in 2001

The author of twenty-two books including several about the Mississippi. His Steamboat ‘Round the Bend was a well-loved book which was brought to the silver screen with an Oscar winning performance by Will Rogers.

Burman was born in Covington, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio River. He was a cub pilot on the Tennessee Belle. He graduated from Harvard and worked for the Boston Herald, Cincinnati Times Star, the New York Sunday World and the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Burman was severely wounded while serving in Field Artillery in France in World War I, and he served as war correspondent in the Middle East and Africa during World War II.

Burman wrote over twenty-five memorable stories whose characters and story telling style have been compared to Mark Twain’s works. He aroused an interest in river life and preserved unique tales of a lost era making them known to adults and children alike.