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26 Famous People Who Were Valedictorians

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Which famous people were the valedictorians in their class? This list includes the most famous valedictorians to date, with everyone from the politically influential Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster, to the late night talk show host Conan O'Brien, and supermodel Cindy Crawford. Some of these smart celebs went on to attend Ivy League schools as well.

A valedictorian is the highest ranking student in his or her class, whether it's in high school or college. The student's overall grade point average determines whether he or she ranks as No. 1 in the senior class, but extracurricular activities such as sports, school clubs and volunteer work are also taken into consideration. It is common for the class valedictorian to deliver a moving and memorable graduation speech to the entire class and audience at the commencement ceremony. In fact, the widely used term valedictorian is derived from the Latin phrase "vale dicer," which loosely translates to "to say farewell." 

Check out the list below of famous valedictorians past and present. And to get even more school spirit, check out these hilarious celebrity yearbook photos and this list of famous people who were in marching bands.
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  • Hillary Clinton
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Wellesley College, Class of 1969
    • Age: 72
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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  • Conan O'Brien
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Brookline High School, Class of 1981
    • Age: 57
    • Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Weird Al Yankovic
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Lynwood High School
    • Age: 60
    • Birthplace: USA, Downey, California

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  • Sonia Sotomayor

    Blessed Sacrament School, Class of 1968
    • Age: 66
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

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