celebrities 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers  

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List Rules Celebrities who taught school or college classes (before they were famous)

List of Famous People Who Were Teachers ranked by fame and popularity. There is an old saying, “those who can't do, teach.” That is not the case for these famous people who have spent time teaching. Some celebrities teach until their careers take off, while others went back to teaching long after they were successful.

Who is the most famous person who was a teacher. Oprah Winfrey tops our list. Oprah Winfrey always said that if she wasn't a talk show host, she would be a teacher. She finally got her chance when she opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Oprah teaches lessons by using a web cam and a computer. Other famous people who became teachers after they were successful include comedian Billy Crystal, Spike Lee, Steve Miller, Gene Simmons, and Wyclef Jean.

Other famous people got their start as teachers. Movie star Jon Hamm taught an acting class for 8th graders in Missouri. One of his students, Ellie Kemper, went on to have great success of her own starring in The Office and Bridesmaids. Mr. T, Hugh Jackman, and Sylvester Stallone were all gym teachers before they were famous and Sheryl Crow used to teach music. Featuring history teachers, English teachers, math teachers, and more, this list of celebs who were former teachers has them all. 

Why do you think so many famous people have experience with teaching? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Gene Simmons is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers
Photo:  Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Gene Simmons was an elementary school teacher before he became a rock star.

Age: 67

Birthplace: Tirat Carmel, Israel

Profession: Bassist, Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, Television producer, + more

Schools: Sullivan County Community College, College of Staten Island

Major/Field Of Study: Education

Also Ranked

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#50 on The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

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#64 on New American Idol Judge Picks

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Steve Wozniak is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers
Photo:  Dancing with the Stars

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was a public school teacher.

Age: 66

Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States of America

Profession: Programmer, Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Inventor, Computer scientist, + more

Schools: De Anza College, Homestead High School, University of California, Berkeley

Major/Field Of Study: EECS

Also Ranked

#13 on Dancing with the Stars Contestants Chosen Solely to Make Fools of Themselves

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Sting is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

Sting worked as an English teacher and soccer coach before his music career took off.

Age: 65

Birthplace: Wallsend, United Kingdom

Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more

Schools: Northumbria University, University of Warwick

Also Ranked

#27 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#91 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#61 on Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

#24 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

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Teller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Teller, of the comedic magic duo Penn and Teller, was a high school Latin teacher.

Age: 67

Birthplace: USA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Profession: Painter, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more

Schools: Amherst College, Central High School

Also Ranked

#4 on The Greatest Famous Magicians

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