List of Harvard University people

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This is a table of famous people affiliated with Harvard University, including graduates, former students, and professors. For a list of Harvard's presidents, see President of Harvard University.

Five Presidents of the United States (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt) have graduated from Harvard College; one (Rutherford B. Hayes) graduated from Harvard Law School; and one (George W. Bush) graduated from Harvard Business School. Bill Gates, the world's wealthiest person as of 2004, attended Harvard College but did not graduate. Some fifty Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the University.


Name Known for Relationship to Harvard

A

Charles Francis Adams (1866) (1866-1954) United States Secretary of the Navy College 1888; Law School 1892
Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (1835-1915) president of Union Pacific Railroad College 1856
Henry Adams (1838-1918) historian; novelist College 1858; professor
John Adams (1735-1826) President of the United States College 1755
John Coolidge Adams (1947-) composer College 1971
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) President of the United States College 1787
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) organizer of Boston Tea Party College 1740; M.A. 1743
Mahidol Adulyadej (1892-1929) Prince of Thailand, father of present king Bhumibol Adulyadej C.P.H. 1921; Medical School (M.D.) 1928
Esko Aho (1954-) Prime Minister of Finland (1991-1995) "Sabbatical leave" of one year to lecture at Harvard University in 2000
Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899) novelist College 1852
Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) composer College; M.A. 1930
Darren Aronofsky (1969-) film director and screenwriter College 1987
Kenneth Arrow (1921-) economist; Nobel Prize winner professor (1968-??)
John Ashbery (1927-) poet College 1949
Margaret Atwood (1929-) novelist Radcliffe M.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1967

B

Bernard Bailyn (1922-) historian Ph.D. 1953; professor (1961-)
Steve Ballmer (1953-) president and CEO of Microsoft College 1977; gave mother's maiden name to Maxwell Dworkin Hall
Alfred Barr (1902-1981) art historian; founding director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City Ph.D. 1946
Robert Benchley (1889-1945) comedian College 1912
Sean Bennett (1979-) pianist College 2001
Bernard Berenson (1865-1959) art historian College 1887
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) composer College 1939
David Bevington (??-) scholar Ph.D. 1958
Benazir Bhutto (1953-) prime minister of Pakistan College 1973
Harry Blackmun (1908-1999) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School 1932
Robert Bly (1926-) poet College 1950
John Boswell (1947-1994) historian of homosexual history Ph.D. 1975
L. Paul Bremer, (1941-) ambassador Business School 1967
Stephen Breyer (1938-) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School 1964
Dan Bricklin (1951-) creator of VisiCalc Business School 1979
Harold Brodkey (1930-1996) novelist College 1952
Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844) architect College 1781
Thomas Bulfinch (1796-1867) mythologist College 1814
William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) writer College 1936
George W. Bush (1946-) President of the United States Business School 1975

C

Elliot Carter (1908-) composer College 1932
Doug Carlston Co-founder of Broderbund Software, publisher of popular computer games</i> College 1970, J.D. from the Law School 1975
Stockard Channing (1944-) actress Radcliffe 1965
William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) Unitarian leader College 1798
Jacques Chirac (1932-) President of France attended Summer School in 1953
William Christie (1944-) conductor College 1966
Richard Clarke (1951-) diplomat; counterterrorism expert faculty
Stephen Cook (??-) computer scientist M.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1966
Don Coppersmith (??-) computer scientist M.S. 1975; Ph.D. 1977
Elias J. Corey (1928-) chemist; Nobel Prize winner professor
Michael Crichton (1942-) novelist, best known for Jurassic Park and the television series E.R. College 1964; Medical School 1969
Hardy Cross civil engineer MCE 1911
E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) poet College 1915
Rivers Cuomo (1970-) singer of band Weezer Currently completing college (originally dropped out)

D

Matt Damon (1970-) actor attended College, did not graduate
Donald Davidson (1917-2003) philosopher Ph.D.
Paul de Man (1919-1983) literary critic Ph.D. 1960
Alan Dershowitz (1938-) law scholar, pro-Israel activist professor (1964-)
Elizabeth Dole (1936-) United States Senator M.A. 1960; Law School 1965
John dos Passos (1896-1970) novelist College 1916
George Downing (c. 1624-1684) English soldier-diplomat College 1640s
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) civil rights leader; African American studies scholar College 1890, Ph.D. 1894
E.B. Dreyer (1957-) ophthalmology scientist; glaucoma scholar medical school 1984, Ph.D. 1984

E

Edward Eager (1911-1964) writer of children's literature College c. 1932
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) poet College 1909; Ph.D. 1914
Noam Elkies (1966-) mathematician M.A. 1986; Ph.D. 1987; professor (1990-)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) writer College 1821; gave name to Emerson Hall
Edward Everett (1794-1865) United States Secretary of State College 1811

F

John K. Fairbank (1907-1991) East Asian scholar College 1929
Denise Faustman Medical doctor and pioneer in diabetes research Assoc. Professor of Medicine
Martin Feldstein (1939-) economist College 1961; professor
Jonathan Frakes (1952-) actor College (Master's degree)
Al Franken (1955-) comedian College 1973
Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School
Bill Frist (1952-) United States Senator, Majority Leader Medical School 1978
Robert Frost (1874-1963) poet attended College (1897-1899), did not graduate; awarded an honorary degree in 1937

G

William Gaddis (1922-1998) novelist attended College, did not graduate
William H. Gates (1955-) co-founder of Microsoft; as of 2003, wealthiest person in the world attended College, did not graduate
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1950-) African American studies scholar professor
Walter Gilbert (1932-) molecular biologist; Nobel Prize winner College; professor
Daniel Goldhagen (1959-) political scientist; controversial author of Hitler's Willing Executioners Ph.D. recipient, previously an Associate Professor of Government and Social Studies
Nelson Goodman (1906-1998) philosopher  
Richard Goodwin (1931-) speechwriter for Kennedy and Johnson administations, author Law
Al Gore (1948-) Vice President of the United States College 1969
Edward Gorey (1925-2000) illustrator College 1950
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) biologist professor
Fred Grandy (1948-) actor, politician College 1970
Milton Green (1913-2005) runner, former world recorder holder in hurdles College
Walter Gropius (1883-1969) architect professor; dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design
Fred Gwynne (1926-1993) actor College 1951

H

John Hagelin (1954-) third-party presidential candidate Ph.D. 1981
G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924) First president of APA and Clark University Ph.D. 1878
John Hancock (1737-1793) President of the Continental Congress College 1754
John Harbison (1938-) composer College 1960
Trip Hawkins (1953-) founder of Electronic Arts and the 3DO Company College
Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) President of the United States Law School 1845
William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) newspaper magnate attended College, did not graduate
H. John Heinz (1938-1991) United States Senator Business School 1963
Mark Helprin (1947-) writer College, Graduate School
Dudley R. Herschbach (1932-) chemist; Nobel Prize winner professor
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) poet, physician College; Ph.D. 1836; professor
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States College 1861
Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950) jurist Law School 1922 and 1923
Samuel P. Huntington (1927-) political scientist Ph.D. 1951; professor

I

J

Thomas Jaggar geologist, founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory College 1897
William James (1842-1910) philosopher; psychologist Medical School 1869; gave name to William James Hall
Philip Johnson (1906-) architect College 1930
Tommy Lee Jones (1946-) actor College 1969

K

Ted Kaczynski (1942-) Unabomber terrorist College 1962
Anthony Kennedy (1936-) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School 1961
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (1957-) writer; daughter of John F. Kennedy Radcliffe 1979
Edward Kennedy (1932-) United States Senator College 1956
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) President of the United States College 1940; gave name to Kennedy School of Government
Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) United States Senator College 1948
Alan Keyes (1950-) U.S. presidential candidate and Senatorial candidate College 1972; Ph.D. 1979
Karim Aga Khan IV (1936-) spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili branch of Islam College 1959
Henry Kissinger (1923-) United States Secretary of State College 1950; M.A. 1952; Ph.D. 1954
Saul Kripke (1940-) philosopher College; Society of Fellows
Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996) philosopher and historian of science College 1943; M.A. 1946; Ph.D. 1949
Maxine Kumin (1925-) poet College 1946; M.A. 1948

L

Edwin Land (1909-1991) inventor attended College, did not graduate
George Martin Lane (1823-1897) classicist professor (1869-1894)
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-) novelist Radcliffe 1951
Tom Lehrer (1928-) satirist; mathematician; singer College 1947
Jack Lemmon (1925-2001) actor College 1947
David Lewis (1941-2001) philosopher Ph.D.
John Lithgow (1945-) actor College 1967
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) poet professor (1834-1954)
John Loeb (1902-1996) financier College 1924
Alan Lomax (1915-2002) musicologist attended College (1932-1933), did not graduate
John Lomax (1867-1948) musicologist visiting student (1907)
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) poet, abolitionist College 1838
Robert Lowell (1917-1977) poet attended College, did not graduate
Alison Lurie (1926-) novelist Radcliffe 1947

M

Yo-Yo Ma (1955-) cellist College 1976
Norman Mailer (1923-) novelist College 1943
N. Gregory Mankiw (1958-) economist professor
Thom Mayne (1944-) architect; Pritzker Prize winner School of Design 1978
Malcolm McKesson (1909-1999) outsider artist College 1933
Scott McNealy (1954-) co-founder of Sun Microsystems College


Robert Merton (1944-) economist; Nobel Prize winner professor, Harvard Business School
Tom Mesereau (1950-) criminal defense attorney College 1973
Marvin Minsky (1927-) computer scientist College 1950
Tom Morello (1964-) lead guitarist of the band Audioslave College 1986
David Mumford (1937-) mathematician; Fields Medal winner College 1957; Ph.D. 1961

N

Ralph Nader (1934-) public advocate Law School 1958
Ogden Nash (1902-1971) poet attended College (1920-21), did not graduate
Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) poet College 1941
Robert Nozick (1938-2002) libertarian philosopher professor

O

Conan O'Brien (1963-) talk show host College 1985
Frank O'Hara (1926-1966) poet College 1950
Bill O'Reilly (1949-) journalist and commentator KSG 1995
Tim O'Reilly (??-) founder of O'Reilly Media College 1975
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) physicist, "father of the atomic bomb" College 1922
Masako Owada (1963-) Crown Princess of Japan College 1985

P

Theodore Parker (1810-1860) Unitarian leader Divinity School
Francis Parkman (1823-1898) historian Law School
George Parkman (1790-1849) physician Medical School
Milman Parry (??-1935) scholar of the classics and folklore professor
Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880) mathematician College 1829; professor
Charles Peirce (1839-1914) philosopher; mathematician College 1859
Steven Pinker (1954-) psychologist Ph.D. 1979; professor (2003-)


George Plimpton (1927-2003) journalist; actor College 1948
Natalie Portman (1981-) actress College 2003
Robert Putnam (1941-) political scientist professor

Q

Daniel Quillen (1940-) mathematician; Fields Medal winner College 1961; Ph.D. 1964
W. V. Quine (1908-2000) philosopher; logician Ph.D. 1932; professor (1956-2000)

R

Norman Ramsey (1915-) physicist; Nobel Prize winner professor
John Rawls (1921-2002) philosopher; political scientist professor
Edwin O. Reischauer (1910-1990) East Asian scholar Ph.D. 1939; professor; gave name to Reischauer Institute
William Rehnquist (1924-) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States M.A. 1950
Stuart A. Rice (1932-) Famous physical chemist at The University of Chicago A.M., 1954; Ph.D., 1955
Adrienne Rich (1929-) poet Radcliffe 1951
Tom Ridge (1946-) United States Secretary of Homeland Security College 1967
Eden Riegel (1981-) actress College (1998-2000; dropped out but plans to return)
Jay Rockefeller (1937-) United States Senator College 1961
David Rockefeller (1916-) Banker; Philanthropist; Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank College 1936
Eduardo Rodríguez (1956-) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bolivia; Interim President of Bolivia Law School
Mitt Romney (1947-) Governor of Massachusetts Business School and Law School 1975
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) President of the United States College 1904
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) President of the United States College 1880
Josiah Royce (1855-1916) philosopher professor (1892-1914)
Robert E. Rubin (1938-) U.S. Treasury Secretary; Chairman, Citigroup College 1960
Frederic Rzewski (1938-) composer, pianist College 1958

S

Edward Said (1935-2003) coined term Orientalism; Palestinian activist M.A. ??; Ph.D. 1964
Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1948-) president of Mexico, (1988-94) M.P.A. 1973; Ph.D. 1978
Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979) United States Senator College 1914; Law School 1917
Michael Sandel (??-) political scientist professor
George Santayana (1863-1952) philosopher College 1886; Ph.D. 1889; professor
Antonin Scalia (1936-) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School 1960
Phyllis Schlafly (1924-) political activist Graduate School 1945
Arthur M. Schlesinger (1888-1965) historian professor; gave name to Schlesinger Library
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-) historian, advisor to John F. Kennedy College 1938; professor
Julian Schwinger (1918-1994) physicist; Nobel Prize winner (1965) professor
Pete Seeger (1919-) songwriter, singer, activist attended College, did not graduate
Peter Sellars (??-) theater director College 1980
Amartya Sen (1933-) economist; Nobel Prize winner (1998) professor
Robert Gould Shaw (1837-1863) abolitionist, Union Army colonel attended College (1856-1859), did not graduate.
Elisabeth Shue (1963-) actress College 2000
Jonathan Siegel (1962-) Professor of Law, George Washington University College 1984
Jeffrey Skilling (1948-) CEO of Enron Business School
Cordwainer Smith (1913-1966) East Asian scholar; science fiction writer faculty
Robert M. Solow (1924-) economist; Nobel Prize winner (1987) College 1947, Ph.D. 1951
Maximo V. Soliven (1933-) Decorated Writer; Chevalier (knight) of the National Order of Merit. Ph.D. 1951
Mira Sorvino (1967-) actress College 1990
David Souter (1939-) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States College 1961; Law School 1966
Jared Sparks (1789-1866) historian College 1819; professor (1838-1849)
Richard Stallman (1953-) founder of the Free Software Foundation College 1974
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) poet, novelist Radcliffe 1897
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) poet Special student (1897-1900), did not graduate
Surakiart Sathirathai (1958-) Foreign Minister of Thailand Law School; LL.M.; S.J.D.
Lawrence Summers (1954-) economist; United States Secretary of the Treasury; Chief Economist for the World Bank Ph.D. 1982; President (2001-)

T

Jonathan Taylor Thomas (1981-) actor attended college (2001-2002), did not graduate.
Grant Thompson (??-) runner-up on second season of Dream Job, actor College 1998
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) journalist, philosopher, writer College 1837
James Toback (1944-) film director and screenwriter College 1966
James Tobin (1918-2002) economist; Nobel Prize winner (1981) College 1939
Sergio Troncoso (1961-) novelist and writer of short stories College 1983
Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785) politician College 1727
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. (1740-1809) politician, Speaker of the House of Representatives College 1759
Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989) historian Radcliffe 1933; faculty

U

Alvaro Uribe (1952-) Colombia's President Business School 1993
John Updike (1932-) writer College 1954

V

W

Alexander Watson ambassador, diplomat College 1961
James D. Watson (1928-) molecular biologist; Nobel Prize winner professor
Cornel West (1953-) African American studies scholar professor (1993-2002)
William Lindsay White journalist College 1924
George Whitesides (1939-) chemist professor (1982-)
Richard Wilbur (1921-) poet M.A. 1947; professor
Edward Osborne Wilson (1929-) biologist Ph.D.; professor
Kenneth G. Wilson (1936-) physicist; Nobel Prize winner College 1956
John Winthrop (1714-1779) astronomer; mathematician College 1732; professor
Henry Austryn Wolfson (1887-1974) philosopher Ph.D.; professor
Charles W. Woodworth (1865-1940) entomologist; Founder UCB's Entomology Department Grad. Student, Researcher (1886-1888), (1900-1901)

X

Y

Yamamoto Isoroku (1884-1943) World War II Japanese admiral visiting student (1919-1921)

Z

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