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Famous University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign Alumni

Updated July 22, 2019 45.4k views983 items

List RulesPeople 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

    Editor, Publisher


    BirthplaceChicago, 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 articles...  more

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  • 2

    Larry Ellison

    Businessperson, Investor


    BirthplaceLower 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 Oracle...  more

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  • 3

    Jesse Jackson

    Politician, Film Producer


    BirthplaceGreenville, 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 nomination in 1984...  more

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  • 4

    Dan Savage

    Editor, Commentator


    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America


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  • 5

    Roger Ebert

    Film critic, Journalist

    AgeDec. at 71 (1942-2013)

    BirthplaceUrbana, Illinois, United States of America


    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 his...  more

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  • 6

    Marc Andreessen

    Programmer, Software Engineer


    BirthplaceCedar 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; co-founder of...  more
  • 7

    Arnold Orville Beckman

    Businessperson, Chemist

    AgeDec. at 104 (1900-2004)

    BirthplaceCullom, 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 Beckman...  more
  • 8

    Donna Mills

    Film Producer, Actor


    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA


    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, and in...  more

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  • 9

    Andy Richter

    Announcer, Comedian


    BirthplaceGrand Rapids, Michigan, USA


    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 O'Brien on...  more

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  • 10

    Ron Popeil

    Businessperson, Inventor


    BirthplaceNew 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

    Comedian, Actor


    BirthplaceBenton Harbor, Michigan, USA


    Alternative NameArte Johnson

    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 German...  more
  • 12

    Nick Holonyak

    Physicist, Inventor


    BirthplaceZeigler, 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 instead...  more
  • 13

    Red Grange

    American football player

    AgeDec. at 88 (1903-1991)

    BirthplaceForksville, 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 Bears, and the...  more
  • 14

    Mitch Altman

    Inventor, Engineer



    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

    Theatre Director, Screenwriter


    BirthplaceDallas, Texas, USA


    Alternative NameStephen Tobolowsky^! Steven Tobolowsky

    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, as...  more

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  • 16

    AgeDec. at 85 (1913-1998)

    BirthplaceKansas 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 have...  more
  • 17

    Wallace Carothers

    Chemist, Inventor

    AgeDec. at 41 (1896-1937)

    BirthplaceBurlington, 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 group...  more
  • 18

    Ross Freeman



    Ross Freeman (July 26, 1948 – October 22, 1989), was an American electrical engineer and inventor, and co-founder of the leading FPGA developer Xilinx....  more
  • 19

    Scott D. Altman

    Astronaut, Fighter pilot


    BirthplaceLincoln, 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 missions. His...  more
  • 20

    George Halas

    American Football coach, Businessperson

    AgeDec. at 88 (1895-1983)

    BirthplaceChicago, 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 American football. He was the...  more

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  • 21

    Max Levchin

    Businessperson, Entrepreneur


    BirthplaceKiev, 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 from college, he...  more
  • 22

    AgeDec. at 68 (1946-2014)

    BirthplaceCanton, 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....  more
  • 23

    Dick Butkus

    Actor, American football player


    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA


    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
  • 24

    Jerry Orbach

    Actor, Singer

    AgeDec. at 69 (1935-2004)

    BirthplaceNew 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 musical and...  more

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  • 25

    Dale Gardner

    Seaman, Astronaut

    AgeDec. at 66 (1948-2014)

    BirthplaceFairmont, Minnesota


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