Taxi Drivers Who Went on to Become Famous

Fame may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of taxi drivers, but there are indeed some famous individuals in this profession. The people in this list were probably not famous in the usual sense as taxi drivers. But they went on to become famous and so in that sense are the most famous taxi drivers in the world. The people in this list may surprise you:

Philip Glass

Anyone familiar with avante guard classical music has heard of, or should have heard of, Philip Glass. He writes arpeggiated, minimalist type compositions, theatrical pieces, ad film scores that have become world famous. Before he became a successful composer Glass drove a taxi in New York City. He even worked on his compositions while driving around in his cab.

Larry David

Larry David is the producer of the smash hit T.V. show Seinfeld and the also successful Curb Your Enthusiasm. He is also an actor, writer, and comedian in his own right. Before becoming well known Larry drove a Taxi along with working a number of other odd jobs.

Danny Glover

Danny Glover is well known for his work in the Lethal Weapon films. Earlier on, however, he drove a taxi in San Francisco. When he became famous he used some of his influence to try to get some change and reform happening in the taxi driving world: Glover publicized the fact that taxi drivers were often discriminating against black passengers by favoring white ones when there was a choice of which to pick up. This campaign was especially successful in New York City – New York’s mayor Rudy Giuliani passed some legislation called Operation Refusal which penalized taxi drivers by suspending their licenses if it could be proven that they had discriminated against black passengers.

David Mamet

David Mamet is an acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, and author. He drove a taxi cab in Chicago for a short period of time before becoming deeply involved in his writing career. He sees this as having been inspiring real world experience that helped him as a writer.

Paul Stanley

Remember the 70s rock group Kiss? Manhattan born Paul Stanley (whose real name is Stanley Eisen) was the group’s rhythm guitarist and primary lead vocalist. Like most bands, Kiss was not a big success at first. It took some time. So to make ends meet in the early days, Stanley drove a taxi cab.

There seems be something of a pattern here, as you may have noticed concerning New York City taxi drivers. This could be attributable to the fact that New York City is a place where a lot have people have gained notoriety – it is one of the largest and most influential cities in the world. Driving a taxi is one of the much needed and time honored professions in this crowded city.
In general, taxi driving allows an individual to talk to a lot of people, and this may tend to inspire writers, actors, and musicians. Taxi driving is a fast paced, active, and yet social sort of career, and this tends to go well with the above types of professions.