The Lincoln Journal Star is counting down “150 Notable Nebraskans” to celebrate the state’s sesquicentennial, with the final 10 revealed March 1 — the date Nebraska became a state in 1867.

We began our process by soliciting reader input, grouping individuals by category: art, literature and journalism; business; science and medicine; politics; sports; film and television; and a miscellaneous category that included philosophers, activists, Natives, educators and more.

Then we gathered a five-person panel of two local historians (Journal Star columnist Jim McKee and Ed Zimmer, the city’s historic preservation planner) and three longtime Journal Star staff members (features editor Jeff Korbelik, features writer L. Kent Wolgamott and sports copy editor Julie Koch).

The group winnowed the list to 150 people, using the words “notable” and “significant” as our guides. We chose people whose influence went beyond the state’s borders, gaining them recognition in their fields.

We hope our list will enlighten, entertain and, most of all, generate conversation.

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