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Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni

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Updated June 14, 2019 34.8k views 42 items

List Rules People on this list must have gone to Virginia Military Institute and be of some renown.

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

List is made up of many different graduates, including Mel Brooks, George S. Patton and other famous VMI alumni!

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Virginia Military Institute?” and “Which celebrities are Virginia Military Institute alumni?”

Let's go Keydets! Check out this list of notable VMI graduates.
1
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Television producer, Theatrical producer, Film Producer

Age: 92

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

Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky, Yiddish: מעלווין קאמינסקי‎; June 28, 1926) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, and composer. He is known as a creator of broad film farces and comedic ...more

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2
Fred Willard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Voice acting

Age: 79

Birthplace: Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States of America

Frederick Charles Willard (September 8, 1933 – May 15, 2020) was an American actor, comedian, and writer. He was best known for his roles in the Rob Reiner mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap; ...more

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3
Dabney Coleman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Dabney Coleman Actor, Voice acting

Age: 87

Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States of America

Dabney Wharton Coleman (born January 3, 1932) is an American actor. Coleman's best known films include The Towering Inferno (1974), 9 to 5 (1980), On Golden Pond (1981), Tootsie (1982), WarGames ...more

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4
Richard E. Byrd is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Pilot, Naval Officer, Explorer

Age: Dec. at 69 (1888-1957)

Birthplace: Virginia

Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was an American naval officer and explorer. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor given ...more
5
George Brett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
George Brett

Age: Dec. at 77 (1886-1963)

Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio

George Howard Brett (7 February 1886 – 2 December 1963) was a United States Army Air Forces General during World War II. An Early Bird of Aviation, Brett served as a staff officer in World War ...more
6
Moses Jacob Ezekiel is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Soldier, Artist

Age: Dec. at 73 (1844-1917)

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia

Moses Jacob Ezekiel, also known as Moses "Ritter von" Ezekiel (October 28, 1844 – March 27, 1917), was a Sephardic Jewish-American sculptor who lived and worked in Rome for the ...more
7
Walton Walker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Walton Walker

Age: Dec. at 61 (1889-1950)

Birthplace: Belton, Texas

Walton Harris Walker (December 3, 1889 – December 23, 1950) was a United States Army four-star general who served as a commander in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, where he ...more
8
William Mahone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Politician

Age: Dec. at 69 (1826-1895)

Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America

William Mahone (December 1, 1826 – October 8, 1895) was an American civil engineer, railroad executive, Confederate States Army general, and Virginia politician. As a young man, Mahone was ...more
9
Tom C. Clark is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Jurist, Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 78 (1899-1977)

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States of America

Thomas Campbell Clark (September 23, 1899 – June 13, 1977) was an American lawyer who served as the 59th United States Attorney General from 1945 to 1949. He was an Associate Justice of the ...more
10
James A. Walker is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 69 (1832-1901)

Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America

James Alexander Walker (August 27, 1832 – October 21, 1901) was a Virginia lawyer, politician, and Confederate general during the American Civil War, later serving as a United States Congressman ...more
11
Robert Q. Marston is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Scientist, Physician

Age: Dec. at 76 (1923-1999)

Birthplace: Toano, Virginia

Robert Quarles Marston (February 12, 1923 – March 14, 1999) was an American physician, research scientist, governmental appointee and university administrator. Marston was a native of Virginia, ...more
12
Reuben Lindsay Walker is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Civil engineer

Age: Dec. at 63 (1827-1890)

Birthplace: Logan, West Virginia

Reuben Lindsay Walker (May 29, 1827 – June 7, 1890) was a Confederate general who served in the artillery during the American Civil War.
13
Frank J. Breth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni

Age: Dec. at 66 (1937-2003)

Birthplace: Fairmont, West Virginia

Frank J. Breth (1937–2003) was a United States Marine Corps brigadier general who was the Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot and the Western Recruiting Region, San Diego,
14
John P. Jumper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Businessperson

Age: 74

Birthplace: Paris, Texas

John P. Jumper (born February 4, 1945) is a retired United States Air Force general, who served as 17th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from September 6, 2001 to September 2, 2005. ...more
15
Walter H. Taylor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Lawyer

Age: Dec. at 78 (1838-1916)

Birthplace: Virginia

Walter Herron Taylor (June 13, 1838 – March 1, 1916) was an American banker, lawyer, soldier, politician, author, and railroad executive from Norfolk, Virginia. During the American Civil War, he ...more
16
J. H. Binford Peay III ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
J. H. Binford Peay III

Age: 78

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia

James Henry Binford "Binnie" Peay III (born May 10, 1940, in Richmond, Virginia) is a retired four-star general from the United States Army and is currently the 14th Superintendent of ...more
17
Bobby Ross is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Coach, American football player

Age: 82

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia

Robert Joseph Ross (born December 23, 1936) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at The Citadel (1973–1977), the University of Maryland, College ...more
18
Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni

Age: Dec. at 94 (1896-1990)

Birthplace: Virginia

Lemuel Cornick Shepherd Jr. (February 10, 1896 – August 6, 1990) was a four-star general of the United States Marine Corps. A veteran of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, he was the ...more
19
Sun Li-jen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Politician

Age: Dec. at 90 (1900-1990)

Birthplace: Anhui, China

Sun Li-jen (traditional Chinese: 孫立人; simplified Chinese: 孙立人; pinyin: Sūn Lìrén) (December 8, 1900 – November 19, 1990) KBE was a Chinese Nationalist (KMT) general, a graduate of ...more
20
Joe Fortunato is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
American football player

Age: 88

Birthplace: Steubenville Township, Mingo Junction, Ohio

Joe Fortunato may refer to: Joe Fortunato (American football) (1930–2017), former American football linebacker Joe Fortunato (coach) (1918–2004), American college sports coach and administrator ...more

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21
David M. Maddox is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
David M. Maddox

Age: 80

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

David M. Maddox (born April 5, 1938) is a retired United States Army four-star general who served as Commander in Chief, United States Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group ...more
22
Jonathan Daniels is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Jonathan Daniels

Age: Dec. at 26 (1939-1965)

Birthplace: Keene, New Hampshire

Jonathan Myrick Daniels (March 20, 1939 – August 20, 1965) was an Episcopal seminarian and civil rights activist. In 1965, he was murdered by a shotgun-wielding construction worker, Tom Coleman, ...more
23
Douglas Macgregor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
Douglas Macgregor

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Douglas A. Macgregor is a U.S. Army Colonel (retired), author, and consultant.
24
Edward Almond is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni

Age: Dec. at 87 (1892-1979)

Birthplace: Luray, Virginia

Edward Mallory "Ned" Almond (December 12, 1892 – June 11, 1979) was a senior United States Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II, where he commanded the 92nd ...more
25
William H. F. Payne is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Virginia Military Institute Alumni
William H. F. Payne

Age: Dec. at 74 (1830-1904)

Birthplace: Virginia

For the American university president, see William H. Payne. William Henry Fitzhugh Payne (January 27, 1830 – March 29, 1904) was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the ...more