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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 George Washington Carver, was an American botanist and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he was born into slavery in Missouri, either in 1861, or January 1864. Carver's ...more

2
Carrie Chapman Catt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Carrie Chapman Catt was an American women's suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. Catt ...more

3
Jeff Hornacek is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Jeffrey John Hornacek is an American head coach for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. He formerly played shooting guard in the NBA from 1986 through 2000.

4
Clayton Anderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer Clayton Conrad Anderson is a 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 Frank Steunenberg was the fourth Governor of the State of Idaho, serving from 1897 until 1901. He is perhaps best known for his 1905 assassination by one-time union member Harry Orchard, who was ...more

6
Lauro Cavazos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician Lauro Fred Cavazos Jr. is a U.S. educator and politician. He served as Secretary of Education, and was the first Hispanic to serve in the United States Cabinet. A sixth-generation Texan, he was ...more

7
Nawal El Moutawakel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician Nawal El Moutawakel is a former Moroccan hurdler, who won the inaugural women's 400 metres hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first female Muslim born on the ...more

8
Frank Orren Lowden is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Frank Orren Lowden was a Republican Party politician from Illinois, who served as the 25th Governor of Illinois and as a United States Representatives from Illinois. He was also a candidate for ...more

9
John Gustafson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
John L. Gustafson is an American computer scientist and businessman, chiefly known for his work in High Performance Computing such as the invention of Gustafson's Law, introducing the first ...more

10
Jake Johannsen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Comedian, Actor Jake Johannsen is an American comedian. Johannsen attended Iowa State University in the early 1980s, originally majoring in veterinary medicine, and then later changing to chemical engineering. ...more

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

12
John Vincent Atanasoff is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Physicist, Inventor John Vincent Atanasoff was an American physicist and inventor, best known for inventing the first electronic digital computer. Atanasoff invented the first electronic digital computer in the ...more

13
Seneca Wallace is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
American football player Seneca Sinclair Wallace is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. 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
Graham Basil Spanier was 16th president of The Pennsylvania State University, from Sept. 1, 1995, to Nov. 9, 2011, when he resigned or was dismissed from his post in the aftermath of the Penn ...more

15
Ezra Taft Benson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Clergy, Politician, Farmer Ezra Taft Benson was an American farmer and religious leader, serving as United States Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower and as thirteenth president ...more

16
Jamaal Tinsley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Basketball player Jamaal Lee Tinsley is an American professional basketball player. Tinsley was drafted out of Iowa State University by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 27th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft, and was ...more

17
Conde McCullough is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Architect, Engineer, Lawyer 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 David Wayne "Dave" Loebsack is the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes such ...more

19
Lee Teng-hui is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician Lee Teng-hui, sometimes called the "father of Taiwan's democracy", is a Taiwanese politician. He was the President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988 to ...more

20
John Garang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Iowa State University 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

21
Bruce C. Heezen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Bruce Charles Heezen was an American geologist. He worked with oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp at Columbia University to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the 1950s. Heezen was born in ...more

22
Neta Snook is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Pilot Neta Snook Southern was a pioneer aviator who achieved a long list of firsts. She was the first woman aviator in Iowa, first woman student accepted at the Curtiss Flying School in Virginia, ...more

23
Tom Harkin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the ...more

24
Dan Gable is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Wrestler, Coach Danny Mack "Dan" Gable is a retired American Olympic wrestler and head coach. He is best known for his tenure as head coach at the University of Iowa where he won 15 NCAA team titles ...more

25
Herbert E. Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Lawyer Herbert Emery Hitchcock was a United States Senator from South Dakota. Born in Maquoketa, Iowa, he attended public schools in Iowa and San Jose, California, a business college at Davenport, ...more

26
Frank D. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Frank D. Jackson Lawyer Frank Darr Jackson was the 15th Governor of Iowa, serving one term from 1894 to 1896.

27
Bruce Braley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer Bruce Lowell Braley is an American politician and attorney who served as the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 1st congressional district from 2007 to 2015. He is a member of the Democratic Party. ...more

28
Royal Meeker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Historian, Statistician Royal Meeker was an American economist, born at Quaker Lake, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Iowa State College in 1898, then studied with E.R.A. Seligman at Columbia and for ...more

29
Kelvin Cato is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Basketball player Kelvin T. Cato is an American retired professional basketball player.

30
Motoo Kimura is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Scientist Motoo Kimura was a Japanese biologist best known for introducing the neutral theory of molecular evolution in 1968. He became one of the most influential theoretical population geneticists. He ...more

31
Eugene Burton Ely is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Pilot Eugene Burton Ely was an aviation pioneer, credited with the first shipboard aircraft take off and landing.

32
William R. Ellis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
William Russell Ellis was an American educator, attorney and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Indiana, he grew up in Iowa before moving to Oregon where he worked as a school ...more

33
David W. Meline is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
David Meline was appointed GM North America vice president and chief financial officer effective January 1, 2007. Prior to this appointment, Meline was GM Europe vice president and chief ...more

34
Steve Selva is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Botanist Steven B. Selva, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, a world-renowned lichenologist, and curator of UMFK's lichen herbarium. ...more

35
Aaron Brant is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
American football player Aaron Brant is an American football offensive tackle free agent. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears of the National Football League in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

36
Tom Latham is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician Thomas Paul "Tom" Latham was the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 3rd congressional district, serving in Congress since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party. On December 17, ...more

37
Paul Shirley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Basketball player, Writer Paul Murphy Shirley is an American former professional basketball player who last played for Unicaja Málaga in the Spanish ACB. He is also a writer, with his primary focus on his ...more

38
C. C. Zain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Astrologer, Writer C.C. Zain, also known as Elbert Benjamine and born Benjamin Parker Williams, was a prominent astrologer, occult author, and the founder of the Church of Light. His interest in occultism began ...more

39
Sage Rosenfels is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
American football player Sage Jamen Rosenfels is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at Iowa State before he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL ...more

40
Wesley Johnson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Basketball player Wesley JaMarr Johnson, is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for ...more

41
Fred Adams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Physicist Fred C. Adams is an American astrophysicist who has made contributions to the study of physical cosmology.

42
Bourke B. Hickenlooper is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Lawyer Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper was a Republican politician from the US state of Iowa. He was lieutenant governor from 1939 to 1943 and then the 29th Governor of Iowa from 1943 to 1945. In 1944, ...more

43
Robert Truax is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Captain Robert C. Truax was a rocket engineer in the United States Navy, and companies such as Aerojet and Truax Engineering, which he founded. Truax was a proponent of low-cost rocket engine ...more

44
John Melcher is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician John Melcher is an American politician of the Democratic Party who represented Montana as a member of the United States House of Representatives, and as a United States Senator from 1977 until

45
James E. McDonald is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Ufologists, Physicist, Scientist James Edward McDonald was an American physicist. He is best known for his research regarding UFOs. McDonald was senior physicist at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics and professor in the ...more

46
Harold Hume is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Harold Hume Professor Hardrada Harold Hume was a Canadian-born American university professor, administrator and horticulturalist. Hume was a native of Ontario, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees before ...more

47
Dennis Mullenburg is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Boeing named Dennis Muilenburg president of its Support Systems business in February 2008. He leads all aspects of the company's St. Louis-based $6.7 billion business (2007 revenues) providing ...more

48
Jeremy Caniglia is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Illustrator, Painter Jeremy Caniglia is an American figurative painter and illustrator, primarily in fantasy and horror genres. He has done book and magazine illustration, conceptual artwork, book and album covers, ...more

49
Sally Pederson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Sally Pederson Politician Sally Pederson was the 45th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. A Democrat, she is a native of Vinton, Iowa. She graduated from Iowa State University in Ames. Prior to being elected lieutenant governor ...more

50
Henry A. Wallace is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Iowa State University Alumni
Politician Henry Agard Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce. In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of ...more