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List Rules People on this list must have gone to Swarthmore College and be of some renown.

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

The list you're viewing is made up of many different graduates, including Sally Ride and Stephen Lang.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Swarthmore College?” and “Which celebrities are Swarthmore College alumni?”

1
Sally Ride is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Physicist, Astronaut Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space and still remains the ...more

2
Alice Stokes Paul is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Author Alice Paul was an American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and the main leader and strategist of the 1910s campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which ...more

3
Richard Pillard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Physician Richard Colestock Pillard is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. He was the first openly gay psychiatrist in the United States.

4
Christian B. Anfinsen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Scientist Christian Boehmer Anfinsen, Jr. was an American biochemist. He shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Stanford Moore and William Howard Stein for work on ribonuclease, especially ...more

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Howard Martin Temin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Scientist Howard Martin Temin was a U.S. geneticist. Along with Renato Dulbecco and David Baltimore he discovered reverse transcriptase in the 1970s at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for which he ...more

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Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Novelist, Essayist, Writer Jonathan Earl Franzen is an American novelist and essayist. His 2001 novel, The Corrections, a sprawling, satirical family drama, drew widespread critical acclaim, earned Franzen a National Book ...more

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David Lewis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Physician, Philosopher David Kellogg Lewis was an American philosopher. Lewis taught briefly at UCLA and then at Princeton from 1970 until his death. He is also closely associated with Australia, whose philosophical ...more

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Steven Gilborn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Actor, Teacher Steven Neil Gilborn was an American actor and educator. Gilborn was born in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Swarthmore College, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in English and earned ...more

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Diane di Prima is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Poet, Writer Diane di Prima is an American poet.

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Ben Brantley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Journalist, Writer, Critic Benjamin D. "Ben" Brantley is an American journalist and the chief theater critic of The New York Times.

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Beth Littleford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Presenter Elizabeth Anna Halcyon "Beth" Littleford is an American actress, comedienne, and television personality. She is perhaps best known for being one of the original correspondents on the ...more

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Helen Magill White is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Helen Magill White was an American academic and instructor. She holds the distinction as the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in the United States.

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James Hormel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
James Catherwood Hormel is an American philanthropist and a former United States Ambassador to Luxembourg; appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999, Hormel was the first openly LGBT ...more

14
Edward C. Prescott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Professor, Economist Edward Christian Prescott is an American economist. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2004, sharing the award with Finn E. Kydland, "for their contributions to dynamic ...more

15
Rudy Rucker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Novelist, Computer scientist, Author Rudolf von Bitter Rucker is an American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and philosopher, and is one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. The author of ...more

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Gerard K. O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Journalist, Physicist, Author Gerard M. O'Neill  is a Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist.

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John C. Mather is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Physicist, Astronomer John Cromwell Mather is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite with George Smoot. This work helped ...more

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Robert Zoellick is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician Robert Bruce Zoellick is an American banker who was the eleventh president of the World Bank, a position he held from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2012. He was previously a managing director of ...more

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Martin Felix Krafft is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Programmer

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Christopher Edley, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Christopher Fairchild Edley, Jr. was the Dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law from 2004 to 2013. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, he ...more

21
Michael Dukakis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician, Lawyer, Teacher Michael Stanley Dukakis served as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts, from 1975 to 1979 and 1983 to 1991 respectively. He is the longest-serving Governor in Massachusetts history and ...more

22
William Foote Whyte is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Anthropologist William Foote Whyte was a sociologist chiefly known for his ethnographic study in urban sociology, Street Corner Society. A pioneer in participant observation, he lived for four years in an ...more

23
John Hopfield is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Biologist, Physicist, Professor John Joseph Hopfield is an American scientist most widely known for his invention of an associative neural network in 1982. It is now more commonly known as the Hopfield Network. John Hopfield ...more

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Malcolm Browne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Editor, Journalist, Science writer Malcolm Wilde Browne was an American journalist and photographer. His best known work was the award-winning photograph of the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức in 1963.

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Carol Gilligan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Psychologist, Author Carol Gilligan is an American feminist, ethicist, and psychologist best known for her work with and against Lawrence Kohlberg on ethical community and ethical relationships, and certain ...more

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Eben Moglen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Professor, Law professor, Lawyer Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, and is the founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, whose client list includes numerous ...more

27
Stephen Lang is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Actor, Playwright Stephen Lang is a Tony Award-nominated American actor and playwright. He started in Broadway theatre but is more widely known for his film roles in Gods and Generals, Avatar and "Terra ...more

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David D. Clark is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Computer scientist David Dana "Dave" Clark is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer who has been involved with Internet developments since the mid-1970s. He currently works as a Senior ...more

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Mary M. Schroeder is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Judge, Lawyer Mary M. Schroeder is a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Ralph Linton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Anthropologist Ralph Linton was a respected American anthropologist of the mid-20th century, particularly remembered for his texts The Study of Man and The Tree of Culture. One of Linton's major contributions ...more

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David Baltimore is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Biologist, Professor, Scientist David Baltimore is an American biologist, university administrator, and Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He served as president of the California Institute of Technology from 1997 to ...more

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Frances Wilson Grayson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Pilot Frances Wilson Grayson was an American woman who died flying to Newfoundland just prior to her attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

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A. Mitchell Palmer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Statesman, Lawyer Alexander Mitchell Palmer, best known as A. Mitchell Palmer, was Attorney General of the United States from 1919 to 1921. He is best known for overseeing the "Palmer Raids" during the ...more

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Peter Deutsch is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician Peter R. Deutsch is an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. Deutsch was a Democratic Representative from Florida's 20th congressional district from 1993 until 2005.

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Joseph Ruff is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni

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Robert Putnam is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Educator, Author Robert David Putnam is a political scientist and Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also currently serving as Distinguished ...more

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James H. Scheuer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician James Haas Scheuer was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York. He was also affiliated with the Liberal Party of New York.

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Peter J. Weinberger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Computer scientist, Scientist Peter Jay Weinberger is a computer scientist best known for his early work at Bell Labs. He now works at Google. Weinberger was an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, graduating in 1964. He ...more

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Robert P. George is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Professor, Law professor, Philosopher Robert Peter George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he lectures on constitutional interpretation, civil liberties and philosophy of law. He also serves as ...more

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Adam Haslett is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Author, Writer Adam Haslett is an American fiction writer. He was born in Port Chester, New York and grew up in Oxfordshire, England, and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the ...more

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Frank H. Easterbrook is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Judge, Lawyer Frank Hoover Easterbrook is a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was Chief Judge from November 2006 to October 2013, and has been a judge on the court since ...more

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Jeffrey A. Hart is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Jeffrey A. Hart Political Science Jeffrey A. Hart is professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, whose research deals mainly with international politics and International Political Economy. His more recent ...more

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Clark Kerr is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Clark Kerr was an American professor of economics and academic administrator. He was the first chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and twelfth president of the University of ...more

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Brendan Nyhan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Writer, Political Science Brendan Nyhan is an American political scientist. He is also liberal to moderate political blogger, author, and political columnist. He was born in Mountain View, California and now lives in ...more

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Carl Levin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician, Author, Lawyer Carl Milton Levin was a United States Senator from Michigan from 1979 to 2015. He was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and is a member of the Democratic Party. Born in ...more

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P.D.Q. Bach is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Composer P. D. Q. Bach is a fictitious composer invented by musical satirist "Professor" Peter Schickele. Schickele developed a five-decade-long career, performing the "discovered" ...more

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Eugene Galanter is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Psychologist Eugene Galanter is one of the modern founders of cognitive psychology. He is an academic in the field of experimental psychology and an author. Currently, Dr. Galanter is Professor Emeritus of ...more

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Antoinette Sayeh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Politician, Economist Antoinette Monsio Balaji Ming Sayeh is a Liberian economist. Guru Sayeh began an appointment as the Director of the African Department at the International Monetary Fund on July 7, 2008. Prior ...more

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A. Ross Eckler, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Statistician Albert Ross Eckler, Jr. is a logologist and statistician, and author, the son of statistician A. Ross Eckler. He received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton ...more

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Peter Berkowitz is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Swarthmore College Alumni
Political scientist Peter Berkowitz is an American political scientist, a former law professor, the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and a Senior Fellow at the Jewish ...more