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Famous Cornell University Alumni

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Updated July 22, 2019 71.7k views 81 items

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

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

This list has everything from Bill Maher to Jane Lynch and other famous Cornell alumni. Go Big Red!

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Cornell University?” and “Which celebrities are Cornell University alumni?”

Check out these notable Cornell alumni.
1
Kurt Vonnegut is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Novelist, Screenwriter, Author

Age: Dec. at 85 (1922-2007)

Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five ...more

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The Best Kurt Vonnegut Books #1,216 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #554 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive

2
Christopher Reeve is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter

Age: Dec. at 52 (1952-2004)

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

Christopher D'Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor who played DC comic book superhero Superman, beginning with the acclaimed Superman (1978), for which he ...more

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#323 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #124 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #147 of 330 The Coolest Actors Ever

3
Bill Nye is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Comedian, Educator, Screenwriter

Age: 63

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America

William Sanford Nye (born November 27, 1955), popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer. He is best known as ...more

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#255 of 532 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With #14 of 262 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #902 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

4
Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Commentator, Comedian, Television producer

Age: 63

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

William Maher (; born January 20, 1956) is an American comedian, political commentator, and television host. He is known for the HBO political talk show Real Time with Bill Maher (2003–present) ...more

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#308 of 362 The Funniest People Of All Time #247 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #183 of 402 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time

5
Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Comedian, Author, Actor

Age: 58

Birthplace: Evergreen Park, Illinois, USA

Jane Marie Lynch (born July 14, 1960) is an American actress, voice actress, author, singer and comedian. She is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the musical television series Glee. ...more

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#163 of 362 The Funniest People Of All Time #165 of 378 The Best American Actresses Working Today #231 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

6
Gabrielle Giffords is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Businessperson, Politician

Age: 48

Birthplace: Tucson, Arizona, United States of America

Gabrielle Dee Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is an American politician from Arizona and a gun control advocate. As a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, she ...more

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#54 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #10 of 22 Famous People Who Survived Near-Fatal Gunshot Wounds

7
Keith Olbermann is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Commentator, Journalist, Actor

Age: 60

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

Keith Theodore Olbermann (; born January 27, 1959) is an American sports and political commentator and writer. He currently works for ESPN. Olbermann spent the first 20 years of his career in ...more

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#218 of 262 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #10 of 153 The Most Ridiculous Political Pundits #20 of 134 The Most Annoying TV Hosts

8
Ann Coulter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Commentator, Author, Writer

Age: 57

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

Ann Hart Coulter (; born December 8, 1961) is an American far-right media pundit, syndicated columnist, and lawyer. She became known as a media pundit in the late 1990s, appearing in print and ...more

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Ann Coulter-isms: Aggressive Ann Coulter Quotes #115 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #382 of 471 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

9
Robert Smigel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Humorist, Comedian, Television producer

Age: 59

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

Robert Smigel (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor, humorist, puppeteer, comedian and writer known for his Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon shorts and as the puppeteer ...more

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#52 of 101 101 Celebrities Who Went to Ivy League Schools #35 of 82 Former Cast Members We Want To See Host SNL

10
Irene Rosenfeld is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Businessperson

Age: 65

Birthplace: Westbury, New York

Irene Blecker Rosenfeld (born May 3, 1953) was the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mondelēz International. Rosenfeld's career began at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample a New York City ...more
11
Mae Jemison is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Professor, Astronaut, Scientist

Age: 62

Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama, United States of America

Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission ...more

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#38 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #12 of 45 The Hottest Lady Astronauts In NASA History #1 of 21 The Greatest Modern Day Renaissance Women

12
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Editor, Poet, Professor

Age: 88

Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio, United States of America

Chloe Anthony Wofford "Toni" Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019) was an American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at ...more

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#212 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #1,883 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #462 of 471 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

13
David Einhorn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
David Einhorn

Age: 50

David M. Einhorn (born November 20, 1968) is an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is the founder and president of Greenlight Capital, a "long-short ...more
14
Arthur Laurents is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Theatre Director, Screenwriter, Writer

Age: Died at 94 (1917-2011)

Birthplace: New York City, New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, + more

Arthur Laurents (July 14, 1917 – May 5, 2011) was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter.After writing scripts for radio shows after college and then training films for the U.S. ...more
15
Greg Graffin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Record producer, Professor, Musician

Age: 54

Birthplace: Racine, Wisconsin, United States of America

Gregory Walter Graffin, Ph.D (born November 6, 1964) is an American punk rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, college lecturer, and author. He is most recognized as the lead vocalist, ...more

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#544 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,345 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #288 of 398 The Best Frontmen in Rock

16
Raj Gupta is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Raj Gupta
Raj Gupta may refer to: Rajat Gupta, former Managing Director of McKinsey & Company implicated in an insider trading scandal Rajiv L. Gupta, chairman of Delphi Automotive
17
Adolphe Menjou is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Radio personality, Actor

Age: Dec. at 73 (1890-1963)

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Adolphe Jean Menjou (February 18, 1890 – October 29, 1963) was an American actor. His career spanned both silent films and talkies. He appeared in such films as Charlie Chaplin's A Woman of ...more

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#782 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #821 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #260 of 313 Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

18
Summer Rayne Oakes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Fashion Model, Model

Age: 34

Birthplace: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Summer Rayne Oakes (born June 1984) is an American fashion model, environmental activist, author, and entrepreneur, known as the world's first "eco-model".
19
Marshall Kirk McKusick ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Programmer, Computer scientist

Age: 65

Marshall Kirk McKusick (born January 19, 1954) is a computer scientist, known for his extensive work on BSD UNIX, from the 1980s to FreeBSD in the present day. He was president of the USENIX ...more
20
Willis Carrier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Inventor, Mechanical engineer, Engineer

Age: Dec. at 74 (1876-1950)

Birthplace: Angola, New York

Willis Haviland Carrier (November 26, 1876 – October 7, 1950) was an American engineer, best known for inventing modern air conditioning. Carrier invented the first electrical air conditioning ...more
21
Sandy Berger is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Politician, Lobbyist

Age: 73

Birthplace: Millerton, New York, United States of America

Samuel Richard "Sandy" Berger (October 28, 1945 – December 2, 2015) was a political consultant who served as the United States National Security Advisor for President Bill Clinton from ...more
22
Edward Andrew Deeds is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Inventor

Age: Dec. at 86 (1874-1960)

Birthplace: Granville, Ohio

Edward Andrew Deeds (March 12, 1874 – July 1, 1960) was an American engineer, inventor and industrialist prominent in the Dayton, Ohio area. He was the president of the National Cash Register ...more
23
Abraham L. Brick is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Abraham L. Brick

Age: Dec. at 48 (1860-1908)

Abraham Lincoln Brick (May 27, 1860 – April 7, 1908) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana. Born on his father's farm, near South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana, Brick attended the common ...more
24
Randi Weingarten is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Educator, Trade unionist, Lawyer

Age: 61

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Randi Weingarten (born December 18, 1957) is an American labor leader, attorney, and educator. She is president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and a member of the AFL-CIO. She is ...more
25
Harry Edwards is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Cornell University Alumni
Sociologist

Age: 76

Birthplace: East St. Louis, Illinois

Harry Edwards (born November 22, 1942) is an American sociologist and civil rights activist. He completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University ...more