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Famous Iowa State University Alumni

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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 in Missouri, either in 1861, or January 1864. Carver's reputation is ...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