READ Famous Grinnell College Alumni

Reference
5k views 76 items

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

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

This is a list that features graduates like Gary Cooper and Herbie Hancock.

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

1
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Actor Gary Cooper was an American film actor known for his natural, authentic, and understated acting style and screen performances. His career spanned thirty-six years, from 1925 to 1961, and ...more

2
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Film Score Composer, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. Starting his career with jazz legend Donald Byrd, he shortly thereafter joined the Miles ...more

3
Robert Noyce is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Businessperson, Physicist, Inventor Robert Norton Noyce, nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley," co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is also credited with the realization of the ...more

4
Fred Hersch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Jazz Pianist, Pianist, Composer Fred Hersch is an American jazz pianist and composer. Hersch has featured himself as either a solo performer or at the helm of varied small ensembles, which in addition to his trio, include a ...more

5
Walter Koenig is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Television director, Film Producer, Actor Walter Marvin Koenig is an American actor, writer, teacher and director, known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5. He wrote the script for the 2008 science ...more

6
Theodore E. Burton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Theodore Elijah Burton was a Republican politician from Ohio. He served in the United States House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

7
Edward Hirsch is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Poet, Literary critic, Essayist Edward Hirsch is an American poet and critic who wrote a national bestseller about reading poetry. He has published nine books of poems, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, which ...more

8
James Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Politician, Lawyer James "Tama Jim" Wilson was a Scottish-born American politician who served as United States Secretary of Agriculture for sixteen years during three presidencies, from 1897 to 1913. He ...more

9
Peter Coyote is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Screenwriter, Author, Actor Peter Coyote is an American actor, author, director, screenwriter and narrator of films, theatre, television and audiobooks. His voice work includes narrating the opening ceremony of the 2002 ...more

10
Walter Jacobson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Journalist, Newsreader, TV Journalist Walter Jacobson is an actor.

11
Nathaniel Borenstein is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist Nathaniel S. Borenstein is an American computer scientist. He is one of the original designers of the MIME protocol for formatting multimedia Internet electronic mail and sent the first e-mail ...more

12
Tom Cole is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Professor Thomas Jeffery "Tom" Cole is the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Majority ...more

13
James Norman Hall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Memoirist, Novelist James Norman Hall was an American author best known for the novel Mutiny on the Bounty with co-author Charles Nordhoff. During World War I, Hall had the distinction of serving in the militaries ...more

14
David Maxwell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
David Maxwell is the president of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the 12th president of Drake and stepped into the role on May 15, 1999. He is the son of jazz trumpeter Jimmy

15
Mary Sue Coleman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Professor Dr. Mary Sue Coleman was elected to the Board of Directors of Johnson Johnson in 2003 and is a member of the Audit Committee and the Science Technology Advisory Committee. She has served as ...more

16
Hap Moran is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
American football player Francis Dale "Hap" Moran was a collegiate and professional American football player. He played mainly at halfback for Carnegie Tech, Grinnell College, the Frankford Yellow Jackets, the ...more

17
Zander Cannon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Zander Cannon Cartoonist Alexander "Zander" Cannon is an American comics writer and artist, known for his work on books such as Top 10 and Smax.

18
John Garang is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Politician, Rebel John Garang de Mabior was a Sudanese politician and leader. From 1983 to 2005, he led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War, and following a peace agreement he ...more

19
Thomas Cech is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Chemist Thomas Robert Cech is a chemist who shared the 1989 Nobel prize in chemistry with Sidney Altman, for their discovery of the catalytic properties of RNA. Cech discovered that RNA could itself cut ...more

20
David Mura is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Performer, Poet, Novelist David Mura is a Japanese American author, poet, novelist, playwright, critic and performance artist. His most recent book is his novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire. His honors include ...more

21
Paul Gardner is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Legislator Paul Gardner is a Minnesota politician and a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives who represented District 53A, which includes all or portions of the northern suburbs of Lino ...more

22
Harry Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Politician Harry Lloyd Hopkins was one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest advisers. He was one of the architects of the New Deal, especially the relief programs of the Works Progress Administration, ...more

23
Jesse Macy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Historian, Political Science Jesse Macy was an American political scientist and historian of the late 19th and early 20th century, specializing in the history of American political parties, party systems, and the Civil War. ...more

24
Alan Wheat is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Alan Dupree Wheat is an American politician from the state of Missouri.

25
Joseph N. Welch is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Actor, Lawyer Joseph Nye Welch was the head counsel for the United States Army while it was under investigation by Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for Communist activities, ...more

26
Tony Stubblebine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Tony Stubblebine Entrepreneur

27
Charles R Wall is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Businessperson, Lawyer Charles R. Wall served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Altria Group Inc. since February 2000. He was employed at Altria Group and handled various positions since 1990.

28
Emily Bergl is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Actor Emily Bergl is an English-American actress. She is best known for her role as Rachel Lang in the supernatural horror film The Rage: Carrie 2, Annie O'Donnell on the ABC television show Men in ...more

29
Gary Giddins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Journalist, Writer, Critic Gary Giddins is an American jazz critic, author, and director, best known for his longtime work with The Village Voice. Born in Brooklyn, and raised on Long Island, Giddins graduated from ...more

30
Nordahl Brue is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Lawyer Nordahl Brue is a lawyer and entrepreneur best known as a founder of Bruegger's Bagels. Nordahl Brue was educated at Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis. In 1983, Brue and ...more

31
Amy Clampitt is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Poet Amy Clampitt was an American poet and author.

32
Ian Roberts is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Television director, Comedian, Television producer Ian Michael Roberts is an American actor, comedian and writer. Roberts is a founding member of the famed Upright Citizens Brigade improv and sketch comedy troupe.

33
Clair Cameron Patterson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Chemist Clair Cameron Patterson was a geochemist born in Mitchellville, Iowa, United States. He graduated from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and ...more

34
Roy Richard Grinker is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Anthropologist, Journalist, Professor Roy Richard Grinker is an author and Professor of Anthropology, International Affairs, and Human Sciences at The George Washington University. Grinker is an authority on North and South Korean ...more

35
Terry Bisson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Novelist, Author, Writer Terry Ballantine Bisson is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his short stories. Several of his works, including "Bears Discover Fire", have won top awards ...more

36
Janet Langford Kelly is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Janet Langford Kelly is senior vice president, legal, general counsel and corporate secretary for ConocoPhillips.

37
Mark W. Schwartz is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Mark W. Schwartz Businessperson Mark W. Schwartz is the CEO of Bayhill Therapeutics and has held that position since 2004. Previously he has held senior management positions at several companies including Calyx Therapeutics ...more

38
George A. Wilson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
George Allison Wilson was a United States Senator and 28th Governor of Iowa.

39
Frank W. Cyr is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Frank W. Cyr, PhD was an American educator and author known especially for his contribution to school busing. As a specialist in rural education, he organized the United States' first national ...more

40
Thomas Merrill is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Thomas Merrill, a legal scholar, is the Charles Evans Hughes professor at Columbia Law School. He has also taught at Yale Law School and Northwestern University School of Law. He is a leader in ...more

41
Hallie Flanagan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Theatre Director, Theatrical producer, Author Hallie Flanagan was an American theatrical producer and director, playwright, and author, best known as director of the Federal Theatre Project, a part of the Works Progress Administration.

42
William A. Noyes is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Chemist William Albert Noyes was an American analytical and organic chemist. He made pioneering determinations of atomic weights, chaired the Chemistry Department at the University of Illinois at ...more

43
Ed Levine is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Ed Levine Journalist Ed Levine is a writer and journalist and a 2010 JBF Awards winner for Food Blog and Video Webcast.

44
Sam Tanenhaus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Editor, Journalist, Biographer Sam Tanenhaus is an American historian, biographer, and journalist. He is a writer-at-large for The New York Times.

45
Michael Petrick is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Michael (Mitch) Petrick joined Morgan Stanley in 1989 and has been a Managing Director since 1996. He became head of the Firms Distressed Debt business in 1999, and was named Head of High Yield ...more

46
Scott Raecker is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Scott Raecker Scott Raecker is the Iowa State Representative from the 63rd District. A Republican, he has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 1999. He received his BA from Grinnell College. As ...more

47
Eric Groves is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Eric has been with Constant Contact® since January 2001, and has built the sales and business development departments from the ground up, helping propel Constant Contact's growth to more ...more

48
Josh Quittner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Editor, Journalist Josh Quittner is an American journalist. Born in Manhattan, Quittner grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Grinnell College and the Columbia University Graduate School of ...more

49
Sen Katayama is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni
Sen Katayama Journalist Sen Katayama, born Yabuki Sugataro, was an early member of the American Communist Party and co-founder, in 1922, of the Japan Communist Party.

50
David Perkinson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Grinnell College Alumni