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Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni

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Updated July 22, 2019 42.1k views 985 items

List Rules People on this list must have gone to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and be of some renown.

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

Deron Williams and Gene Hackman are included in this list.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?” and “Which celebrities are University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumni?”
1
Hugh Hefner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Editor, Publisher, Businessperson

Age: 92

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Hugh Marston Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017) was an American magazine publisher, the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, a publication with revealing photographs and ...more

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2
Larry Ellison is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Businessperson, Investor, Entrepreneur

Age: 74

Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York City, New York, United States of America

Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who is a co-founder and the executive chairman and chief technology officer (CTO) of ...more

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3
Jesse Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Politician, Film Producer, Minister of religion

Age: 77

Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States of America

Jesse Louis Jackson Sr. (né Burns; born October 8, 1941) is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential ...more

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4
Dan Savage is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Editor, Commentator, Theatre Director

Age: 54

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

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#31 of 50 The Most Important LGBTQ+ Thinkers of All Time #9 of 26 26 Famous Gay People Who Fight for Human Rights #10 of 15 Celebrities Who Live in Seattle

5
Roger Ebert is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Film critic, Journalist, Television producer

Age: Dec. at 71 (1942-2013)

Birthplace: USA, Urbana, Illinois

Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic, historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until ...more

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6
Marc Andreessen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Programmer, Software Engineer, Investor

Age: 47

Birthplace: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Marc Lowell Andreessen ( ann-DREE-sən; born July 9, 1971) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer. He is the co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser; ...more
7
Arnold Orville Beckman ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Businessperson, Chemist, Inventor

Age: Dec. at 104 (1900-2004)

Birthplace: Cullom, Illinois

Arnold Orville Beckman (April 10, 1900 – May 18, 2004) was an American chemist, inventor, investor, and philanthropist. While a professor at California Institute of Technology, he founded ...more
8
Donna Mills is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Film Producer, Actor

Age: 78

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

Donna Jean Miller, better known as Donna Mills (born December 11, 1940), is an American actress and producer. She began her television career in 1966 with a recurring role on The Secret Storm, ...more

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9
Andy Richter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Announcer, Comedian, Television producer

Age: 52

Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Grand Rapids

Paul Andrew Richter (born October 28, 1966) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian, and late night talk show announcer. He is best known for his role as the sidekick of Conan ...more

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10
Ron Popeil is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Businessperson, Inventor

Age: 83

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Ronald M. Popeil (; born May 3, 1935) is an American inventor and marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. He is well known for his appearances in ...more
11
Arte Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Voice acting

Age: 90

Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Benton Harbor

Arthur Stanton Eric Johnson (January 20, 1929 – July 3, 2019) was an American comic actor who was a regular on television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In — where he played characters including a ...more
12
Nick Holonyak is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Physicist, Inventor

Age: 90

Birthplace: Zeigler, Illinois

Nick Holonyak Jr. (born November 3, 1928) is an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light ...more
13
Red Grange is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
American football player

Age: Died at 88 (1903-1991)

Birthplace: Forksville, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Harold Edward "Red" Grange (June 13, 1903 – January 28, 1991), nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was an American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago ...more

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14
Mitch Altman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Inventor, Engineer

Age: 62

Mitch Altman (born December 22, 1956) is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing TV-B-Gone, as featured speaker at hacker conferences, as international expert on the ...more
15
Stephen Tobolowsky is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Theatre Director, Screenwriter, Actor

Age: 67

Birthplace: Texas, USA, Dallas

Stephen Harold Tobolowsky (born May 30, 1951) is an American actor. He is known for film roles such as annoying insurance agent Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day and amnesiac Sammy Jankis in Memento, ...more
16
Melville W. Beardsley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Inventor

Age: Dec. at 85 (1913-1998)

Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri

Melville Whitnel Beardsley (10 October 1913 in Kansas City, Missouri – 26 November 1998 in Carmel, California) was the American inventor and aeronautical engineer whose pioneering efforts may ...more
17
Wallace Carothers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Chemist, Inventor, Scientist

Age: Dec. at 41 (1896-1937)

Birthplace: Burlington, Iowa

Wallace Hume Carothers (; April 27, 1896 – April 29, 1937) was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, credited with the invention of nylon.Carothers was a ...more
18
Ross Freeman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Inventor
Ross Freeman (July 26, 1948 – October 22, 1989), was an American electrical engineer and inventor, and co-founder of the leading FPGA developer Xilinx.
19
Scott D. Altman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Astronaut, Fighter pilot

Age: 59

Birthplace: Lincoln, Illinois

Scott Douglas "Scooter" Altman (born August 15, 1959) is a retired United States Navy Captain, engineer, test pilot and former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of four Space Shuttle ...more
20
George Halas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
American Football coach, Businessperson, Baseball player

Age: Died at 88 (1895-1983)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

George Stanley Halas Sr. (; February 2, 1895 – October 31, 1983), nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was a player, coach, and owner involved with professional ...more

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21
Max Levchin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist

Age: 43

Birthplace: Kiev, Ukrainian SSR

Maksymilian Rafailovych "Max" Levchin (Ukrainian: Максиміліан Рафаїлович Левчин; born July 11, 1975) is a Ukrainian-born American computer scientist. In 1998, soon after graduating ...more
22
Steven R. Nagel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Astronaut

Age: Dec. at 68 (1946-2014)

Birthplace: Canton, Illinois

Steven Ray Nagel (October 27, 1946 – August 21, 2014), (Col, USAF), was an American astronaut, aeronautical and mechanical engineer, test pilot, and a United States Air Force pilot.
23
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Actor, American football player

Age: 73

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Richard Marvin Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is an American former football player, sports commentator, and actor. He played professional football as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the ...more

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24
Jerry Orbach is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Actor, Singer

Age: Dec. at 69 (1935-2004)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Jerome Bernard Orbach (October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004) was an American actor and singer, described at the time of his death as "one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway ...more

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25
Dale Gardner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni
Seaman, Astronaut

Age: Dec. at 66 (1948-2014)

Birthplace: Fairmont, Minnesota

Dale Allan Gardner (November 8, 1948 – February 19, 2014) was a NASA astronaut who flew two Space Shuttle missions during the early 1980s.