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Famous Columbia University Alumni

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Updated June 14, 2019 66.8k views 81 items

List Rules People on this list must have gone to Columbia University and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Columbia University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Columbia University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Columbia University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Columbia University 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 Columbia University.

This list includes Barack Obama, Alicia Keys and more notable Columbia alumni and famous Columbia Lions.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Columbia University?” and “Which celebrities are Columbia University alumni?”
1
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Politician, Author, Law professor

Age: 57

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

Barack Hussein Obama born August 4, 1961is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was ...more

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2
J. D. Salinger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Soldier, Novelist, Writer

Age: Dec. at 91 (1919-2010)

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Jerome David Salinger (; January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an American writer known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye. He was raised in Manhattan and began writing short stories while ...more

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3
Katie Holmes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Model, Actor

Age: 40

Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States of America

Kate Noelle Holmes (born December 18, 1978) is an American actress, producer, and director. She first achieved fame as Joey Potter on the television series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003). She made ...more

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4
Jake Gyllenhaal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Film Producer, Actor

Age: 38

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal (born December 19, 1980) is an American actor. Born into the Gyllenhaal family, he is the son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner. He began ...more

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5
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Theatrical producer, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

Age: 38

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt (born February 17, 1981) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, and entrepreneur. As a child, Gordon-Levitt appeared in the films A River Runs Through It, Angels ...more

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6
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting

Age: 36

Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada

Anna Hélène Paquin ( PAK-win; born 24 July 1982) is a New Zealand-Canadian actress. She was born in Manitoba and brought up in Wellington, New Zealand, before moving to Los Angeles ...more

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7
Stanley Kubrick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer

Age: Dec. at 71 (1928-1999)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Stanley Kubrick (; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is frequently cited as one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic ...more

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8
Anthony Perkins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Musician, Actor, Singer

Age: Dec. at 60 (1932-1992)

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion ...more

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9
Amanda Peet is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting

Age: 47

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Amanda Peet (born January 11, 1972) is an American actress. After studying at Columbia University, Peet began her acting career with small parts on television, and made her film debut in Animal ...more

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10
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Record producer, Pianist, Musician

Age: 38

Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York City, USA, New York

Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. A classically-trained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age ...more

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11
Alan Greenspan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Businessperson, Politician, Scientist

Age: 93

Birthplace: New York City, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America, + more

Alan Greenspan (; born March 6, 1926) is an American economist who served as Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private adviser and ...more

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12
Maggie Gyllenhaal is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Actor

Age: 41

Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York City, New York, United States of America

Margalit Ruth "Maggie" Gyllenhaal (; born November 16, 1977) is an American actress and producer. Part of the Gyllenhaal family, she is the daughter of filmmakers Stephen Gyllenhaal ...more

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13
Allen Ginsberg is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Film Score Composer, Poet, Screenwriter

Age: Dec. at 71 (1926-1997)

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (; June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet, philosopher and writer. He is considered to be one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation during the 1950s ...more

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14
Joe Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Joe Horowitz
A veteran venture capitalist, Joe joined JAFCO Ventures as the Managing General Partner in 2003, bringing 25 years of experience working with emerging growth companies as a venture capitalist, ...more
15
Rajnesh Domalpalli is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Screenwriter, Film Editor, Film Director

Birthplace: Eurasia, India, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Rajnesh Domalpalli is an Indian film director, from Andhra Pradesh. His first directorial Telugu film, Vanaja, won 24 international awards including the Best First Feature award at the 2007 ...more
16
Julia Stiles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Television director, Screenwriter, Actor

Age: 37

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Julia O'Hara Stiles (born March 28, 1981) is an American actress. Born and raised in New York City, Stiles began acting at age 11 and made her screen debut as Erica Dansby in six episodes of the ...more

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17
Robert J. Darnall is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Robert J. Darnall formerly served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Inland Steel Industries Inc. (ISI). He has been Director of United States Steel Corporation since 2001, Cummins ...more
18
Jenna Morasca is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Wrestler, Model, Actor

Age: 38

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Jenna Morasca (born February 15, 1981) is an American actress, former swimsuit model and American reality TV contestant who was the million-dollar grand prize winner of Survivor: The Amazon in ...more

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19
Raymond Burr is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Television director, Actor, Teacher

Age: Dec. at 76 (1917-1993)

Birthplace: New Westminster, Canada

Raymond William Stacy Burr (May 21, 1917 – September 12, 1993) was a Canadian American actor, primarily known for his title roles in the television dramas Perry Mason and Ironside. He was ...more

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20
Hunter S. Thompson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Journalist, Novelist, Author

Age: Dec. at 68 (1937-2005)

Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author, and the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. He first rose to prominence with the ...more

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21
James F. Albaugh is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni

Age: 68

James F. Albaugh is the former Executive Vice President of The Boeing Company and Chief Executive Officer of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes business unit. He served in these capacities for ...more
22
Rachel Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Model, Actor, Presenter

Age: 51

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Rachel Williams (born April 29, 1967) is an American model, TV presenter, and landscape designer.
23
Emmy Rossum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Songwriter, Actor, Singer

Age: 32

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Emmanuelle Grey Rossum (born September 12, 1986) is an American actress, television director, and singer-songwriter. She is known for her portrayal of Fiona Gallagher in the television series ...more

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24
Famke Janssen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter

Age: 53

Birthplace: Amstelveen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Famke Beumer Janssen (Dutch: [ˈfɑmkə ˈjɑnsə(n)]; born c. 1964) is a Dutch actress, director, screenwriter, and former fashion model. She played Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye (1995), Jean Grey / ...more

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25
David Rockefeller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Columbia University Alumni
Statesman, Businessperson, Banker

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

David Rockefeller (June 12, 1915 – March 20, 2017) was an American banker who served as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He was the oldest living member of the third ...more

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