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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 Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, ...more

2
Wilma Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Athlete, Track and field athlete Wilma Glodean Rudolph was an Olympic champion. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960. In the 1960 Summer ...more

3
Maurice White is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Film Score Composer, Arranger, Record producer Maurice White is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He is the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He is also the older brother of current ...more

4
Cleveland Eaton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Publisher, Record producer, Businessperson Cleveland "Cleve" Eaton is an American jazz double bassist from Fairfield, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. His most famous accomplishments are substantial playing stints with ...more

5
Anthony Mason is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player Anthony George Douglas Mason was an American professional basketball player. In his 13-year career he played with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, ...more

6
Harold Ford, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Politician Harold Eugene Ford, Sr. was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing the Memphis, Tennessee area for 11 terms—from 1975 until his retirement in 1997. He was ...more

7
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Actor, American football player Ed Lee "Too Tall" Jones is a retired American football player who played 15 seasons in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. In 1979, he attempted a career in

8
Rufus Thomas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Comedian, Disc jockey, Singer Rufus Thomas, Jr. was an American rhythm and blues, funk and soul singer and comedian from Memphis, Tennessee, who recorded on Sun Records in the 1950s and on Stax Records in the 1960s and ...more

9
Carlos Rogers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player Carlos Deon Rogers is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round of the 1994 NBA Draft.

10
James Clayborne, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Politician, Attorney at law, Lawyer James Clayborne, Jr. is a member of the Illinois Senate representing the 57th District since his appointment in 1995. The 57th District, located in the Metro East region includes all or parts of ...more

11
Lloyd Neal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player Lloyd Neal is an American former professional basketball player born in Talbotton, Georgia. A 6'7" center/forward from Tennessee State University, Neal spent his entire professional career ...more

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Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Richard Lamar Dent is a former American football defensive end, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XX. He was elected to the ...more

13
Steve Moore is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Steven Francis Moore is a Canadian former professional ice hockey center who played in parts of three National Hockey League seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. Moore is widely known for ...more

14
Carl Rowan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Journalist, Author Carl Thomas Rowan was an American government official, journalist and author. Rowan was one of the most honored reporters in the United States.

15
Alvin Williams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Basketball player, Coach Alvin Leon Williams is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association from 1997 to 2007.

16
Clifford Brooks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Clifford Brooks, Jr. is a former American Football defensive back in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills, and the New York Jets. He ...more

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Charley Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Charles Edward Ferguson is a former American college and Professional Football player. He was a tight end with the American Football League's Buffalo Bills. He was in playoff games with the ...more

18
Vernon Holland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Vernon Holland American football player Vernon Edward "Vern" Holland was an American football offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and New York Giants. Holland was born ...more

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Anthony Pleasant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Anthony Devon Pleasant, is the defensive line coach for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and a former professional American football player who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the third ...more

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Willie Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Willie Mitchell American football player Willie Mitchell is a former professional football cornerback who played eight professional seasons 1964-1971. After winning the League Championship with the American Football League's Kansas ...more

21
Claude Humphrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Claude B. Humphrey is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.

22
Moses Gunn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Actor Moses Gunn was an American actor. An Obie Award-winning stage player, he co-founded the Negro Ensemble Company in the 1960s. His 1962 Off-Broadway debut was in Jean Genet's The Blacks, and his ...more

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Will Wynn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Will Wynn American football player William "Will" Wynn was a former American football defensive end who played for five seasons in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1973–1976, and the ...more

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Jim Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Jim Marsalis American football player James "Jim" Marsalis was an American college and Professional Football player. A star at Tennessee State, he played nine professional seasons as a cornerback, from the 1969 American ...more

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Cleveland Elam is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Cleveland Elam was a former American football defensive tackle who played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions in an injury-shortened five-year career that lasted from 1975 to 1979 ...more

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Joe Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Joe Gilliam American football player Joseph Wiley Gilliam, Jr. was a professional football player, a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League for four seasons. Primarily a backup, he started the ...more

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Joe Jones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Joseph Willie "Turkey" Jones is a former American football defensive end who played eleven seasons in the National Football League.

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Bennie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Bennie Tyron Lamar Anderson is a former American football offensive guard. He most recently played for the Miami Dolphins, and collegiately at Tennessee State University.

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Donald Laster is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Anthony Donald Laster is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Detroit Lions. He played college football at Tennessee ...more

30
Nikki Randall is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Politician Nikki T. Randall is a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing the 138th district since a special election on November 2, 1999. She is currently Minority Caucus ...more

31
Bill Anderson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Sports commentator, American football player Walter William "Bill" Anderson is a former American football tight end in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers. He played high school ...more

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Dwight Wheeler is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Dwight Wheeler is an American former football offensive tackle who played in the NFL from 1978 to 1988.

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Larry Kinnebrew is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Larry Kinnebrew American football player Larry D. Kinnebrew is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 1983 NFL Draft. A 6'1", 258 running back from ...more

34
Robert Woods is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Robert Earl Woods is a former American football offensive tackle who played eight seasons in the National Football League for the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. He also played for the ...more

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Leon Murray is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Leon Murray American football player Everett Leon Murray is a former American football quarterback of the Arena Football League, and is a college football coach. Murray attended Tennessee State University. In 2001 Murray was the ...more

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Brent Alexander is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Ronald Brent Alexander is a former American football free safety in the National Football League. He played professionally for the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, ...more

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Elbert Drungo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Elbert J. Drungo, Jr. was a American football offensive lineman for one season in the American Football League for the Houston Oilers, then seven more seasons with the Oilers in the National ...more

38
Leon Thomas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Leon Thomas Singer Amos Leon Thomas, Jr. was an American avant-garde jazz singer from East St. Louis, Illinois.

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Simon Shanks is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Simon Shanks American football player Simon Shanks was a National Football League player for the Arizona Cardinals in 1995. An alumnus of Tennessee State University, he played linebacker in his sole professional season, leading the ...more

40
Carla Thomas is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Singer Carla Venita Thomas is an American singer, who is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She is the daughter of Rufus Thomas.

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Eldridge Dickey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Eldridge Dickey American football player Eldridge Reno Dickey was an American football player. After playing for Tennessee State University from 1965–1968, he was drafted in 1968 by the Oakland Raiders in the 1st round as the 25th ...more

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Lloyd W. Newton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Lloyd W. Newton Lloyd W. "Fig" Newton is a retired United States Air Force four-star general who served as Commander, Air Education and Training Command from 1997 to 2000. He was also the first ...more

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Kevin W. Williams is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Kevin W. Williams has been president and managing director of GM de Mexico since August 1, 2006, reporting to Troy Clarke, GM group vice president and president, GM North America. He is also a ...more

44
Frank McRae is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Actor, Footballer Frank McRae is an American film and television actor, and a former professional football player. McRae was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from Tennessee State University with a double ...more

45
Steve Moore is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Steve Moore American football player Stephen Elliott Moore was an American football offensive tackle who played five professional seasons with the New England Patriots in the National Football League. Moore attended Tennessee State ...more

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Hank Crawford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Songwriter Bennie Ross "Hank" Crawford, Jr. was an American R&B, hard bop, jazz-funk, soul jazz alto saxophonist, arranger and songwriter. Crawford was musical director for Ray Charles before ...more

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Tony Stargell is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Tony Stargell American football player Anthony Stargell is a former professional football cornerback who played eight professional seasons 1990-1997. Stargell attended LaGrange High School and graduated with the class of 1986.

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Chandra Cheeseborough is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Chandra Danette Cheeseborough is an American track and field athlete. Cheeseborough broke onto the international track scene at age 16 by winning two gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games, ...more

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Homer Elias is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
Homer Elias American football player Homer Cary Elias was an American football guard who played seven seasons for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League Homer Elias died on October 3, 2001 of an apparent heart attack. He ...more

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Mike Hegman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Tennessee State University Alumni
American football player Michael William Hegman is a former American-football linebacker in the NFL who played for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Tennessee State University.