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53 Celebrities with Honorary Degrees from Harvard

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This list contains information about celebrities who have received honorary degrees from Harvard University, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Harvard University was established in 1636 and is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. Several famous actors, musicians, authors, and politicians have been awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, which are awarded annually.

Who is the most famous person with an honorary degree from Harvard? Oprah Winfrey tops this list. The talk show queen received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2013. She also delivered a commencement speech to the graduating class.

J. K. Rowling received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2008. She delivered the commencement address at the ceremony as well. Al Gore received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1994. The former U.S. Vice President previously graduated cum laude from the prestigious university. Many former U.S. Presidents have received honorary Harvard degrees as well.

What do you think are the qualifications for earning an honorary degree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • Oprah Winfrey
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Oprah Winfrey received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2013. She also delivered a commencement speech to the graduating class.
    • Born: 1954-01-29
    • Age: 66
    • Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America

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  • Albert Einstein
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Albert Einstein received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1935.
    • Born: 1879-03-14
    • Age: Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)
    • Birthplace: Ulm, Germany

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  • Meryl Streep was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2010. The Oscar winner graduated from Yale University in the early 1970s.
    • Born: 1949-06-22
    • Age: 71
    • Birthplace: Summit, New Jersey, United States of America
  • Nelson Mandela
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Nelson Mandela received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1998.
    • Born: 1918-07-18
    • Age: Dec. at 95 (1918-2013)
    • Birthplace: Mvezo, South Africa

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