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Famous Iowa State University Alumni

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Updated June 14, 2019 24.7k views 53 items

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

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

Items include everything from Jeff Hornacek to Dan Gable and other Iowa State alums!

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Iowa State University?” and “Which celebrities are Iowa State University alumni?”
1
George Washington Carver... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Chemist, Inventor, Scientist

Birthplace: Diamond, Missouri

George Washington Carver (1860s – January 5, 1943), was an American agricultural scientist and inventor. He actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil ...more

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2
Carrie Chapman Catt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: Dec. at 88 (1859-1947)

Birthplace: Ripon, Wisconsin

Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) was an American women's suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women ...more
3
Jeff Hornacek is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: 55

Birthplace: Elmhurst, Illinois

Jeffrey John Hornacek (; born May 3, 1963) is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He most recently served as the head coach of the New York Knicks of the National ...more

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4
Clayton Anderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer

Age: 60

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska

Clayton Conrad Anderson (born February 23, 1959) is a retired NASA astronaut. Launched on STS-117, he replaced Sunita Williams on June 10, 2007 as a member of the ISS Expedition 15 crew.
5
Frank Steunenberg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Publisher, Politician

Age: Dec. at 44 (1861-1905)

Birthplace: Keokuk, Iowa, United States of America

Frank Steunenberg (August 8, 1861 – December 30, 1905) was the fourth Governor of the State of Idaho, serving from 1897 until 1901. He is perhaps best known for his 1905 assassination by ...more
6
Lauro Cavazos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician

Age: 92

Birthplace: Kingsville, Texas, United States of America

Lauro Fred Cavazos Jr. (born January 4, 1927) is an American educator and politician. He served as the US Secretary of Education, and was the first Hispanic to serve in the United States
7
Nawal El Moutawakel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician

Age: 56

Birthplace: Casablanca, Morocco

Nawal El Moutawakel (Amazigh: Nawal Lmutawakkil; Arabic: نوال المتوكل‎; born on April 15, 1962 in Casablanca) is a former Moroccan hurdler, who won the inaugural women's 400 metres hurdles event ...more
8
Frank Orren Lowden is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: Dec. at 82 (1861-1943)

Birthplace: Sunrise Township, Minnesota, United States of America

Frank Orren Lowden (January 26, 1861 – March 20, 1943) was a Republican Party politician who served as the 25th Governor of Illinois and as a United States Representative from Illinois. He was ...more
9
John Gustafson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: 64

John Leroy Gustafson (born January 19, 1955) is an American computer scientist and businessman, chiefly known for his work in High Performance Computing (HPC) such as the invention of ...more
10
Jake Johannsen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Comedian, Actor

Age: 58

Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America

Jake Johannsen (born July 28, 1960) is an American comedian. Johannsen attended Iowa State University in the early 1980s, originally majoring in veterinary medicine, and then later changing to ...more

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11
James Wilson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 85 (1835-1920)

Birthplace: Ayrshire, United Kingdom

James "Tama Jim" Wilson (August 16, 1835 – August 26, 1920) was a Scottish-American politician who served as United States Secretary of Agriculture for sixteen years during three ...more
12
John Vincent Atanasoff ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Physicist, Inventor

Age: Dec. at 92 (1903-1995)

Birthplace: Hamilton, New York

John Vincent Atanasoff, , (October 4, 1903 – June 15, 1995) was an American physicist and inventor, best known for being credited with inventing the first electronic digital computer. Atanasoff ...more
13
Seneca Wallace is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 38

Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Seneca Sinclair Wallace (born August 6, 1980) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college ...more
14
Graham Spanier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: 70

Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

Graham Basil Spanier (born July 18, 1948) is a South African-born American sociologist and university administrator who became the 16th president of Pennsylvania State University on September 1, ...more
15
Ezra Taft Benson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Clergy, Politician, Farmer

Age: Dec. at 95 (1899-1994)

Birthplace: Whitney, Idaho

Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899 – May 30, 1994) was an American farmer, government official, and religious leader who served as the 15th United States Secretary of Agriculture during both ...more
16
Jamaal Tinsley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Basketball player

Age: 40

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Jamaal Lee Tinsley (born February 28, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player. Tinsley played his collegiate career at Iowa State University. Following his senior year he was ...more
17
Conde McCullough is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Architect, Engineer, Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 59 (1887-1946)

Birthplace: Redfield, South Dakota

Conde Balcom McCullough was a U.S. bridge engineer who is primarily known for designing many of Oregon's coastal bridges on U.S. Route 101. The native of South Dakota worked for the Oregon ...more
18
David Loebsack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Professor

Age: 66

Birthplace: Sioux City, Iowa, United States of America

David Wayne Loebsack (; born December 23, 1952) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 2nd congressional district since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, ...more
19
Lee Teng-hui is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician

Age: 96

Birthplace: Sanzhi District, Taiwan

Lee Teng-hui (Chinese: 李登輝, Mandarin pronunciation: [lì tə́ŋ.xu̯éi̯]; born 15 January 1923) is a Taiwanese statesman who was the President of the Republic of China and Chairman of ...more
20
John Garang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Rebel

Age: Dec. at 60 (1945-2005)

Birthplace: Jonglei, South Sudan

John Garang de Mabior (23 June 1945 – 30 July 2005) was a Sudanese politician and revolutionary leader. From 1983 to 2005, he led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese ...more
21
Bruce C. Heezen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni

Age: Dec. at 53 (1924-1977)

Birthplace: Vinton, Iowa

Bruce Charles Heezen (; April 11, 1924 – June 21, 1977) was an American geologist. He worked with oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp at Columbia University to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in ...more
22
Neta Snook is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Pilot

Age: Dec. at 95 (1896-1991)

Birthplace: Mount Carroll, Illinois

Mary Anita "Neta" Snook Southern (February 14, 1896 – March 23, 1991) was a pioneer aviator who achieved a long list of firsts. She was the first woman aviator in Iowa, first woman ...more
23
Tom Harkin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer

Age: 79

Birthplace: Cumming, Iowa, USA

Thomas Richard Harkin (born November 19, 1939) is an American politician, attorney and author who served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, ...more
24
Dan Gable is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Dan Gable Wrestler, Coach

Age: 70

Birthplace: Waterloo, Iowa

Danny Mack "Dan" Gable (born October 25, 1948) is an American former folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach. He is a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, a world gold ...more

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25
Herbert E. Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 91 (1867-1958)

Birthplace: Maquoketa, Iowa, United States of America

Herbert Emery Hitchcock (August 22, 1867 – February 17, 1958) was a United States Senator from South Dakota.