Celebrities Who Attended Harvard

September 21, 2015

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Harvard Celebs – Who Knew?

Harvard only accepts 6% of the students who apply for admission. So, of the 27,594 students who are currently enrolled in their undergraduate and graduate programs, we can expect that they will be the “cream” of the student college pool. When we think of those who have gone to Harvard, we think of famous lawyers, Supreme Court Justices, medical researchers, and scientists. And, in fact, many are. But Harvard has other programs that attract top-notch students in other fields too – drama, English, history, and political science, for example. The list of Harvard graduates who have gone on to do amazing things is long. The list of Harvard graduates who have achieved celebrity status is not as long, perhaps, but is just as impressive. Here are 10 celebrities, known for various accomplishments, who attended Harvard.

Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien graduated from Harvard with a degree in American history in 1985. And, he graduated magna cum laude, a stunning accomplishment. While at Harvard he was President of the Harvard Lampoon, a comedic magazine, and his love or writing comedy was born. Once graduated, he went on to write for several comedy TV shows, including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons.” Currently, he is a late night talk show host.

Rashida Jones

Jones grew up in California, daughter of Quincy Jones, famous musician and film producer. She was a bright high school students who got into Harvard to study religion and philosophy. While there, she joined theatrical groups and was a member of the famous Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Before she had even graduated in 1997, she did have some TV parts. She is now known for his parts in the TV shows, “Parks and Recreation,” “Boston Public,” and “The Office.

Jack Lemmon

Lemmon graduated from Harvard in 1947, with a degree in war service sciences, having been in the Navy ROTC program all four years. He was also very active in a number of drama and musical drama clubs, including the Hasty Pudding Club Upon graduation he began to get small movie roles, gradually moving up to major leading roles in such movies as “Some Like it Hot,” “Grumpy Old Men,” “The Apartment,” and “Days of Wine and Roses.” So much for the war science degree., ha

B.J. Novak

Novak graduated from Harvard in 2001, having majored in English and Spanish literature. During his years there, however, he was heavily into drama and theatrical groups. Today he is an actor, comedian, and producer. His best known role is in the TV series, “The Office.”

Bill O’Reilly

Today, O’Reilly is a news commentator as the conservative talk show host of “The O’Reilly Factor” with Fox News. He has also written several books, two of which are now quite famous – “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” He graduated from Harvard in 1996 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Dr. Oz is almost a “household” name in homeopathic health today. He was a pre-med student at Harvard (graduating in 1982) and went on to medical school elsewhere, becoming a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon. Ultimately, he earned an MBA from Wharton School of Business as well. Today he is a frequent guest on TV talk shows, has written several books, and is now considered an expert on homeopathic medicine.

President John F. Kennedy

Kennedy came from a long line of politicians and business magnates. He and his brothers all attended Harvard, possibly because Joe, their father was a major donor. However, Kennedy did very well, graduating cum laude in 1940 with a degree in international studies and a senior thesis that was published. After World War II, he returned to the states to begin a career in politics, becoming fir a representative and then a senator from Massachusetts. He won the election for the U.S. Presidency in 1960 and was assassinated in 1963 before his first term had even ended.

Tommy Lee Jones

From this picture you can surmise that Tommy Lee Jones played football for Harvard. But he was no academic slacker either. He graduated cum laude with a degree in English in 1969, and promptly went into acting – a smart choice. He has had leading roles in such movies as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Siege,” and “Natural Born Killer.”

Bill Gates

Gates attended Harvard from 1973-75, where he met Paul Allen (pictured left). Together they founded Microsoft after having dropped out, and the rest is history. Gates is one of the richest men on the planet today and has changed our lives forever. He has authored several books and has a foundation that supports educational initiatives all over the world.

Barack Obama

Obama entered Harvard Law School after receiving an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. He was the first black to be elected as President of the Harvard Law Review. Majoring in Constitutional Law, he went on to practice law in Chicago, then becoming a state senator, a U.S. Senator, and then, of course President.

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg enrolled in Harvard’s computer science program in 2002 but dropped out later, once he had founded Facebook. Prior to developing Facebook, he had worked in his dorm room to develop a campus-wide “Course Match” program, using the university’s computer system. It got so popular that the university ultimately had to shut it down, because it had overloaded the computer system.

Actors, authors, computer geeks, comedians, presidents, doctors – Harvard has “bred” them all. And it is a very good thing that graduates do so very well in their ultimate careers. Tuition, fees and room and board today total about $58,000 a year.