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List of Harvard University people
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List of Harvard University people

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. Some forty 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 Adams (composer) (1947-) composer College 1971

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) President of the United States College 1787

Mahidol Adulyadej (1832-1899) Prince of Thailand, father of the present king Bhumibol_Adulyadej Medical School

Horatio Alger, Jr (1832-1899) novelist College 1852

Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) composer College; M.A. 1930

Darren Aronofsky (1969-) film director/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

Bernard Berenson (1865-1959) art historian College 1887

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) composer College 1939

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

Stephen Breyer (1938-) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Law School 1964

Dan Bricklin (??-) creator of VisiCalc Business School

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

Stockard Channing (1944-) actress Radcliffe 1965

William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) Unitarian leader College 1798

William Christie (1944-) conductor College 1966

Richard Clarke 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 College 1964; Medical School 1969

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) poet College 1915

Rivers Cuomo (1970-) singer of band Weezer attended College, did not graduate

D

Matt Damon (1960-) actor attended College, did not graduate

Donald Davidson (1917-2003) philosopher Ph.D.

Paul de Man (1919-1983) literary critic Ph.D. 1960

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

Edward Eager (1911-1964) writer of children’s literature College c. 1932

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) poet College 1909; Ph.D. 1914

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

Martin Feldstein (1939-) economist College 1961; professor

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

G

William Gaddis (1922-1998) novelist attended College, did not graduate

Bill Gates (1955-) co-founder of Microsoft; as of 2003, wealthiest person in the world attended College, did not graduate; gave mother's maiden name to Maxwell Dworkin Hall

Henry Louis Gates, Jr (1950-) African American studies scholar professor

Walter Gilbert (1932-) molecular biologist; Nobel Prize winner College; professor

Nelson Goodman (??-) philosopher  

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 (Gopher on The Love Boat), politician, professor College 1970
Walter Gropius (1883-1969) architect professor; dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design

Fred Gwynne (1926-1993) actor College 1951

H

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 3DO 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

Dudley R. Herschbach (1932-) chemist; Nobel Prize winner professor

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (1841-1935) writer College 1861

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr (1809-1894) Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States  

Charles Hamilton Houston (1895–1950) jurist Law School 1922 and 1923

Samuel P. Huntington (1927-) political scientist Ph.D. 1951; professor

I

J

William James (1842-1910) philosopher; psychologist Medical School; 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

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

L

Edwin Land (1909-1991) inventor attended College, did not graduate

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 (??-) philosopher Ph.D.

John Lithgow (1945-) actor College 1967

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) poet Boylston Professor of Rhetoric 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

Scott McNealy (1954-) co-founder of Sun Microsystems College

Robert Merton (1944-) economist; Nobel Prize winner professor, Harvard Business School

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

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, M.P.A. 1995

Tim O'Reilly (??-) founder of O'Reilly & Associates; 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

Adrienne Rich (1929-) poet Radcliffe 1951

Tom Ridge (1946-) United States Secretary of Homeland Security College 1967

Jay Rockefeller (1937-) United States Senator College 1961

David Rockefeller (1916-) banker; philanthropist; chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank College 1936

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)

Frederic Rzewski (1938-) composer, pianist College 1958

S

Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1948-) president of Mexico, (1988-94) M.P.A. 1973; Ph.D. 1978

Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979) politician, 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

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  

Amartya Sen (1933-) economist; Nobel Prize winner (1998) professor

Robert Gould Shaw (1837-1863) abolitionist, Union Army colonel College (1856-1859), did not graduate.

Elisabeth Shue (1963-) actress College 2000

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

Mira Sorvino (1976-) 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

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 College 2004

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) journalist, philosopher, writer College 1837

James Toback (1944-) film director/screenwriter; Academy Award nominee, Bugsy College 1966

James Tobin (1918-2002) economist; Nobel Prize winner (1981) College 1939

Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989) historian Radcliffe 1933; faculty

U

John Updike (1932-) writer College 1954

V

W

James D. Watson (1928-) molecular biologist; Nobel Prize winner professor

Cornel West (1953-) African American studies scholar professor (1993-2002)

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

X

Y

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

Z