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Famous Tennessee State University Alumni

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Updated June 14, 2019 15.9k views 127 items

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

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

This list contains graduates like Oprah Winfrey and Amy Lee.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Tennessee State University?” and “Which celebrities are Tennessee State University alumni?”
1
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer

Age: 65

Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey, January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk ...more

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2
Wilma Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Wilma Rudolph Athlete, Track and field athlete

Age: Dec. at 54 (1940-1994)

Birthplace: Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee

Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an African-American sprinter born in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and ...more

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3
Maurice White is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Film Score Composer, Arranger, Record producer

Age: 77

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

Maurice White (December 19, 1941 – February 4, 2016) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and arranger. He was the founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & ...more

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4
Cleveland Eaton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Publisher, Record producer, Businessperson

Age: 79

Birthplace: Fairfield, Alabama

Cleveland Josephus "Cleve" Eaton II (born August 31, 1939) is an American jazz double bassist, producer, arranger, composer, publisher, and head of his own record company from ...more
5
Anthony Mason is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player

Age: 52

Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Anthony George Douglas Mason (December 14, 1966 – February 28, 2015) was an American professional basketball player. In his 13-year career he played with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New ...more

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6
Harold Ford, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Politician

Age: 73

Birthplace: Area code 901, Tennessee, Shelby County, United States of America, United States, + more

Harold Eugene Ford Sr. (born May 20, 1945) is an American politician and Democratic former member of the United States House of Representatives representing the Memphis, Tennessee area for 11 ...more
7
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Actor, American football player

Age: 68

Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee, United States of America

Ed Lee Jones (born October 21, 1950), commonly known as Ed "Too Tall" Jones, is a retired American football player who played 15 seasons (1974–1978, 1980–1989) in the National Football ...more

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8
Rufus Thomas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Comedian, Disc jockey, Singer

Age: Dec. at 84 (1917-2001)

Birthplace: Cayce, Mississippi, United States of America

Rufus C. Thomas, Jr. (March 26, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was an American rhythm-and-blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, DJ and comic entertainer from Memphis, Tennessee. He ...more
9
Carlos Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player

Age: 48

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan

Carlos Deon Rogers (born February 6, 1971) is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round (11th overall) of the 1994 NBA
10
James Clayborne, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Politician, Attorney at law, Lawyer

Age: 55

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

James Clayborne Jr. (born December 29, 1963) was a member of the Illinois Senate representing the 57th District from his appointment in 1995 until 2019. The 57th District, located in the Metro ...more
11
Lloyd Neal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player

Age: 68

Birthplace: Talbotton, Georgia

Lloyd Neal (born December 10, 1950) is an American former professional basketball player born in Talbotton, Georgia. A 6'7" center/forward from Tennessee State University, Neal spent his ...more
12
Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 55

Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia

Richard Lamar Dent (born December 13, 1960) is a former American football defensive end, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was the MVP of Super ...more

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13
Steve Moore is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni

Age: 40

Birthplace: Thornhill, Markham, Canada

Steve Moore may refer to: Steve Moore (writer) (born 1960), writer and economic policy analyst Steve Moore (ice hockey) (born 1978), former National Hockey League player Steve Moore ...more
14
Carl Rowan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Journalist, Author

Age: Dec. at 75 (1925-2000)

Birthplace: Ravenscroft, Tennessee, Tennessee

Carl Thomas Rowan (August 11, 1925 – September 23, 2000) was an American government official, journalist and author.
15
Alvin Williams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player, Coach

Age: 44

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alvin Leon Williams (born August 6, 1974) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1997 to 2007.

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16
Clifford Brooks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 69

Birthplace: Pineland, Texas

Clifford Brooks, Jr. (born June 21, 1949 in Pineland, Texas) is a former American Football defensive back in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles, the ...more
17
Charley Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 76

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Charles Edward Ferguson (born November 13, 1939 in Dallas, Texas) is a former American college and Professional Football player. He was a tight end with the American Football League's Buffalo ...more
18
Vernon Holland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Vernon Holland American football player

Age: Dec. at 50 (1948-1998)

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Vernon Edward "Vern" Holland (June 28, 1948 – April 20, 1998) was an American football offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and ...more
19
Anthony Pleasant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 47

Birthplace: Century, Florida

Anthony Devon Pleasant (born January 27, 1968 in Century, Florida), was the assistant defensive coach for the NFL's Houston Texans and a former professional American football player who was ...more
20
Willie Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Willie Mitchell American football player

Age: 78

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Willie Mitchell (born August 28, 1940) is a former professional football cornerback who played eight professional seasons 1964-1971. After winning the League Championship with the American ...more
21
Claude Humphrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: 74

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee

Claude B. Humphrey (born June 29, 1944) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Humphrey was inducted ...more
22
Moses Gunn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Actor

Age: Dec. at 64 (1929-1993)

Birthplace: USA, St. Louis, Missouri

Moses Gunn (October 2, 1929 – December 16, 1993) was an American actor of stage and screen. An Obie Award-winning stage player, he co-founded the Negro Ensemble Company in the 1960s. His 1962 ...more
23
Will Wynn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Will Wynn American football player

Age: Dec. at 64 (1949-2013)

Birthplace: Apex, North Carolina

William "Will" Wynn (January 15, 1949 – June 4, 2013) was an American football defensive end who played for five seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia ...more
24
Jim Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Jim Marsalis American football player

Age: 70

Birthplace: Pascagoula, Mississippi

James Marsalis (born October 10, 1945) is an American former college and Professional Football player. He played nine professional seasons as a cornerback for Tennessee State, from the 1969 ...more
25
Cleveland Elam is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player

Age: Dec. at 60 (1952-2012)

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee

Cleveland Elam (April 5, 1952 – July 12, 2012) was a National Football League defensive tackle who played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions in an injury-shortened five-year ...more