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Famous Bowdoin College Alumni

Updated July 22, 2019 19.2k views251 items

List RulesPeople on this list must have gone to Bowdoin College and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Bowdoin College, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Bowdoin College include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Bowdoin College alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Bowdoin College are at the top of the list. This directory is not just composed of graduates of this school, as some of the famous people on this list didn't necessarily earn a degree from Bowdoin College.

Examples include Franklin Pierce and Alfred Kinsey.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Bowdoin College?” and “Which celebrities are Bowdoin College alumni?”
  • 1

    Reed Hastings

    Businessperson, Entrepreneur


    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts

    Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. (born October 8, 1960) is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Netflix and serves on the boards of Facebook and a number of...  more
  • 2

    Geoffrey Canada

    Educator, Author


    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Geoffrey Canada (born January 13, 1952) is an American educator, social activist and author. Since 1990, Canada has been president of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization...  more
  • 3

    Alfred Kinsey

    Biologist, Professor

    AgeDec. at 62 (1894-1956)

    BirthplaceHoboken, New Jersey

    Alfred Charles Kinsey (; June 23, 1894 – August 25, 1956) was an American biologist, professor of entomology and zoology, and sexologist who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana...  more

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  • 4

    Kenneth I. Chenault



    BirthplaceMineola, New York

    Kenneth Irvine Chenault (born June 2, 1951) is an American business executive. He was the CEO and Chairman of American Express from 2001 until 2018. He is the third African American CEO of a Fortune...  more
  • 5

    AgeDec. at 75 (1807-1882)

    BirthplacePortland, Maine

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first...  more
  • 6

    Todd Siler

    Inventor, Science writer


    Todd Siler (born August 23, 1953) is an American multimedia artist, author, educator, and inventor, equally well known for his art and for his work in creativity research. A graduate of Bowdoin...  more
  • 7

    Francis Robbins Upton

    Mathematician, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 69 (1852-1921)

    BirthplacePeabody, Massachusetts

    Francis Robbins Upton (1852 in Peabody, Massachusetts – March 10, 1921 in Orange, New Jersey) was an American physicist and mathematician. Upton worked alongside Thomas Edison in the development of...  more
  • 8

    Franklin Pierce

    Politician, Lawyer

    AgeDec. at 64 (1804-1869)

    BirthplaceHillsborough, New Hampshire, United States of America

    Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th president of the United States (1853–1857), a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the...  more

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  • 9

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Novelist, Writer

    AgeDec. at 59 (1804-1864)

    BirthplaceSalem, Massachusetts

    Nathaniel Hawthorne (; né Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. He was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hathorne...  more

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    #85 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time#23 of 342 The Greatest American Writers of All Time

  • 10

    Albert Dekker

    Politician, Actor

    AgeDec. at 62 (1905-1968)

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    Albert Dekker (born Thomas Albert Ecke Van Dekker; December 20, 1905 – May 5, 1968) was an American character actor and politician best known for his roles in Dr. Cyclops, The Killers, Kiss Me...  more

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  • 11

    William Cohen

    Businessperson, Politician


    BirthplaceEastern United States, Northern New England, New England, Bangor, United States of America

    William Sebastian Cohen (born August 28, 1940) is an American politician, lawyer and author from the U.S. state of Maine. A Republican, Cohen served as both a member of the United States House of...  more
  • 12
    Samuel Royal Thurston (April 15, 1816 – April 9, 1851) was an American pioneer, lawyer and politician. He was the first delegate from the Oregon Territory to the United States Congress and was...  more
  • 13

    Jonathan Cilley

    Politician, Editing

    AgeDec. at 35 (1802-1838)

    BirthplaceNottingham, New Hampshire, United States of America

    Jonathan Cilley (July 2, 1802 – February 24, 1838) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine. He served part of one term in the 25th Congress, and died as the result of a wound...  more
  • 14

    AgeDec. at 60 (1887-1948)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    James Lukens McConaughy (October 21, 1887 - March 7, 1948) was an American politician and the 76th Governor of Connecticut....  more
  • 15

    AgeDec. at 74 (1915-1990)

    BirthplaceHartford, Connecticut, USA

    Gary Fred Merrill (August 2, 1915 – March 5, 1990) was an American film and television actor whose credits included more than 50 feature films, a half-dozen mostly short-lived TV series, and dozens...  more
  • 16
    Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Baronet (23 December 1874 – 7 July 1943) was an American-born British Canadian gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He earned his fortune in Canada and in...  more
  • 17
    James Putnam Archibald (1912 - May 28, 2006), was a judge of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The son of a lawyer, Archibald attended Bowdoin College and law school at Boston University before...  more
  • 18
    Thomas Amory Deblois Fessenden (January 23, 1826 – September 28, 1868) was a U.S. Representative from Maine, the son of abolitionist legislator Samuel Fessenden, and brother of Treasury Secretary...  more
  • 19

    Stanley Druckenmiller

    Stanley Freeman Druckenmiller (born June 14, 1953) is an American investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist. He is the former chairman and president of Duquesne Capital, which he founded in...  more
  • 20
    Asa Smallidge Knowles (January 15, 1909 – August 11, 1990) was the ninth President of the University of Toledo and the third President of Northeastern University. A graduate of Thayer Academy,...  more
  • 21

    Meredith Jung-En Woo

    Political scientist


    BirthplaceSeoul, South Korea

    Meredith Jung-En Woo is a South Korean-born academic and author. She is presently the 13th and current President of Sweet Briar College, and is the former director of the International Higher...  more
  • 22

    John Brown Russwurm

    Publisher, Journalist

    AgeDec. at 51 (1799-1851)

    BirthplacePort Antonio, Jamaica

    John Brown Russwurm (1799–1851) was an abolitionist, newspaper publisher, and colonizer of Liberia where he moved from the United States. He was born in Jamaica to an English father and enslaved...  more
  • 23

    Tom Allen



    BirthplaceEastern United States, Northern New England, New England, United States of America, Cumberland County

    Thomas Hodge Allen (born April 16, 1945) is a former member of the United States House of Representatives representing Maine's 1st congressional district, and the Democratic nominee for the U.S....  more
  • 24

    AgeDec. at 78 (1830-1909)

    BirthplaceLeeds, Maine

    Oliver Otis Howard (November 8, 1830 – October 26, 1909) was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. As a brigade commander in the Army of the Potomac,...  more
  • 25

    John Davis

    Businessperson, Television producer


    BirthplaceDenver, Colorado

    John Andrew Davis (born July 20, 1954) is an American film producer and founder of Davis Entertainment....  more
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List Rules: People on this list must have gone to Bowdoin College and be of some renown.