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Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni

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Updated July 22, 2019 14.9k views 116 items

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

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

Alumni include Maria Kanellis, Robert Zemeckis and more.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Northern Illinois University?” and “Which celebrities are Northern Illinois University alumni?”
1
Maria Kanellis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Wrestler, Singer-songwriter, Model

Age: 36

Birthplace: Ottawa, Illinois, USA

Mary Louis Kanellis-Bennett (born February 25, 1982) is an American professional wrestler, professional wrestling manager, actress, model and singer currently signed to WWE under the ring name ...more

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2
Dan Castellaneta is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter

Age: 61

Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States of America

Daniel Louis Castellaneta (; born October 29, 1957) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and screenwriter, best known for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the Fox Broadcasting ...more

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3
Markos Moulitsas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Publisher, Political writer, Author

Age: 47

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (; born September 11, 1971), often known by his username and former military nickname "Kos" ( KOHZ), is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, a blog ...more
4
Jimmy Chamberlin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Record producer, Songwriter, Drummer

Age: 54

Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States of America

James Joseph Chamberlin (born June 10, 1964) is an American drummer and record producer. He is best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Following the 2000 ...more

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5
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Pilot, Television director, Television producer

Age: 66

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Robert Lee Zemeckis (; born May 14, 1952) is an American director, film producer and screenwriter frequently credited as an innovator in visual effects. He first came to public attention in the ...more

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6
Tom Wittum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: Dec. at 60 (1950-2010)

Birthplace: Berwyn, Illinois

Tom Wittum (January 11, 1950 – January 22, 2010) was an American football player. He had a 5-year career in the National Football League from 1973 to 1977 as a punter. He played in two Pro Bowls ...more
7
Joan Allen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Actor

Age: 62

Birthplace: Rochelle, USA, Illinois

Joan Allen (born August 20, 1956) is an American actress. She began her career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1977, won the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for ...more

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8
Doug Free is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 35

Birthplace: Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Douglas Free (born January 16, 1984) is a former offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Northern Illinois University and was ...more
9
Carrie Snodgress is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Actor

Age: Dec. at 59 (1945-2004)

Birthplace: USA, Park Ridge, Illinois

Caroline Louise "Carrie" Snodgress (October 27, 1945 – April 1, 2004) was an American actress. She is best remembered for her role in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), for ...more
10
Roger Margason is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Writer

Birthplace: Illinois

Roger Margason, who used the pseudonym of Dorien Grey, was an openly gay American author, (born in Northern Illinois). Margason served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Northern Illinois ...more
11
John Sall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
John Sall Businessperson

Age: 71

Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois

John P. Sall (born 1948) is an American billionaire businessman and computer software developer, who co-founded SAS Institute and created the JMP statistical software. Sall grew up in Rockford, ...more
12
Cedric G Hurst II is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Software Engineer

Age: 36

Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois

13
Will Wilkinson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Commentator, Public intellectual, Writer

Age: 46

Birthplace: Independence, Missouri

Will Wilkinson (born 1973) is an American writer who currently serves as Vice President of Policy at the Niskanen Center. Until August 2010, he was a research fellow at the Cato Institute where ...more
14
Michael Turner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 33

Birthplace: Waukegan, Illinois

Michael Turner (born February 13, 1982) is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round ...more

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15
Garrett Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Garrett Wolfe American football player

Age: 34

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Garrett Wolfe (born August 17, 1984) is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the Bears in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played his college football at Northern ...more
16
Justin McCareins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 37

Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois

Justin Morgan McCareins (born December 1, 1978) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the ...more
17
Ken Henry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Speed Skater

Age: Dec. at 80 (1929-2009)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Kenneth "Ken" Charles Henry (January 7, 1929 – March 1, 2009) was a speed skater from the United States.
18
Dennis Hastert is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Politician, Lobbyist, Teacher

Age: 77

Birthplace: Aurora, Illinois, United States of America

John Dennis Hastert (; born January 2, 1942) is a former American politician who represented Illinois's 14th congressional district from 1987 to 2007 and served as the 51st Speaker of the United ...more
19
Richard Holmes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Military Historian, Soldier, Professor

Age: Dec. at 65 (1946-2011)

Birthplace: Aldridge, Metropolitan Borough of Walsall, Eurasia, United Kingdom, West Midlands, + more

Edward Richard Holmes, CBE, TD, VR, JP (29 March 1946 – 30 April 2011), known as Richard Holmes, was a British military historian, known for his many television appearances. He was co-director ...more
20
Hollis Thomas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 41

Birthplace: Abilene, Texas

Hollis Thomas, Jr. (born January 10, 1974) is a former American football defensive tackle. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 1996. He played college football ...more
21
Ryan Diem is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 39

Birthplace: Carol Stream, Illinois

Ryan Edwin Diem (born July 1, 1979) is a former American football offensive lineman who played his entire professional career for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. Diem was ...more
22
Sam Hurd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
American football player

Age: 33

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Samuel George Hurd, III (born April 24, 1985) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. He played college football at ...more
23
Timothy P. Marshall is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Editor, Civil engineer, Engineer

Age: 62

Birthplace: Evergreen Park, Illinois

Timothy Patrick Marshall (born October 17, 1956) is an American structural and forensic engineer as well as meteorologist, concentrating on damage analysis, particularly that from wind and other ...more
24
Brad Cieslak is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Brad Cieslak American football player

Age: 33

Birthplace: Long Grove, Illinois

Bradley Ryan Cieslak (; born July 1, 1982) is a former American football tight end. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Northern ...more
25
George O'Meara is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Northern Illinois University Alumni
Businessperson

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

George O'Meara is Senior Vice President of Cisco Services for the US and Canada. He leads a diverse organization with responsibilities for technical and advanced services sales, field marketing, ...more