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Famous Swarthmore College Alumni

Updated June 14, 2019 15.8k views307 items

List RulesPeople 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

    Sally Ride

    Physicist, Astronaut

    AgeDec. at 61 (1951-2012)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and physicist.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Alice Stokes Paul

    AgeDec. at 92 (1885-1977)

    BirthplaceMount Laurel Township, New Jersey

    Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American suffragist, feminist, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Richard Pillard


    Richard Colestock Pillard (born 11 October 1933) is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Christian B. Anfinsen

    AgeDec. at 79 (1916-1995)

    BirthplaceMonessen, Pennsylvania

    Christian Boehmer Anfinsen Jr. (March 26, 1916 – May 14, 1995) was an American biochemist. He... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Howard Martin Temin

    AgeDec. at 60 (1934-1994)

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

    Howard Martin Temin (December 10, 1934 – February 9, 1994) was a US geneticist and virologist.... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Jonathan Franzen

    Jonathan Franzen

    Novelist, Essayist


    BirthplaceWestern Springs, Illinois, United States of America

    Jonathan Earl Franzen (born August 17, 1959) is an American novelist and essayist. His 2001... more on Wikipedia
  • 7

    David Lewis

    Physician, Philosopher

    AgeDec. at 60 (1941-2001)

    BirthplaceOberlin, Ohio

    David Kellogg Lewis was an American philosopher. Lewis taught briefly at UCLA and then at... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Steven Gilborn

    Steven Gilborn

    Actor, Teacher

    AgeDec. at 73 (1936-2009)

    BirthplaceUSA, New York, New Rochelle

    Steven Neil Gilborn (July 15, 1936 – January 2, 2009) was an American actor and... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Diane di Prima

    Diane di Prima

    Poet, Writer


    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Diane di Prima (born August 6, 1934) is an American poet. She is also an artist, prose writer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Ben Brantley

    Ben Brantley

    Journalist, Writer


    BirthplaceDurham, North Carolina

    Benjamin D. Brantley (born October 26, 1954) is an American journalist and the chief theater... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Beth Littleford

    Beth Littleford

    Comedian, Actor


    BirthplaceTennessee, Nashville, USA

    Elizabeth Anna Halcyon Littleford (born July 17, 1968) is an American actress, comedian, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Helen Magill White (November 28, 1853 – October 28, 1944) was an American academic and... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    James Hormel
    James Catherwood Hormel (born January 1, 1933) is an American philanthropist and a former... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Edward C. Prescott

    Edward C. Prescott

    Professor, Economist


    BirthplaceGlens Falls, New York

    Edward Christian Prescott (born December 26, 1940) is an American economist. He received the... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Rudy Rucker

    Rudy Rucker

    Novelist, Computer scientist


    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky

    Rudolf von Bitter Rucker (; born March 22, 1946) is an American mathematician, computer... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Gerard K. O'Neill

    Gerard K. O'Neill

    Journalist, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 65 (1927-1992)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Gerard Kitchen O'Neill (February 6, 1927 – April 27, 1992) was an American physicist and space... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    John C. Mather

    John C. Mather

    Physicist, Astronomer


    BirthplaceRoanoke, Virginia

    John Cromwell Mather (born August 7, 1946, Roanoke, Virginia) is an American astrophysicist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Robert Zoellick

    Robert Zoellick



    BirthplaceNaperville, Illinois, United States of America

    Robert Bruce Zoellick (; German: [ˈtsœlɪk]; born July 25, 1953) is an American public official... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Martin Felix Krafft


    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

  • 20
    Christopher Fairchild Edley Jr. (born January 13, 1953) was the Dean of the University of... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Michael Dukakis

    Michael Dukakis

    Politician, Lawyer


    BirthplaceEastern United States, Brookline, New England, Norfolk County, United States of America

    Michael Stanley Dukakis (; born November 3, 1933) is a retired American politician who served... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    William Foote Whyte

    William Foote Whyte


    AgeDec. at 86 (1914-2000)

    William Foote Whyte was a sociologist chiefly known for his ethnographic study in urban... more on Wikipedia
  • 23

    John Hopfield

    Biologist, Physicist


    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    John Joseph Hopfield (born July 15, 1933) is an American scientist most widely known for his... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Malcolm Browne

    Malcolm Browne

    Editor, Journalist

    AgeDec. at 81 (1931-2012)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Malcolm Wilde Browne (April 17, 1931 – August 27, 2012) was an American journalist and... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Carol Gilligan

    Carol Gilligan

    Psychologist, Author


    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Carol Gilligan (; born November 28, 1936) is an American feminist, ethicist, and psychologist... more on Wikipedia