List of Columbia University people

List of Columbia University people

This is a partially sorted list of notable persons who have had ties to Columbia University.

Nobel laureates

As of October 2006, 76 Nobel laureates are associated with Columbia University. 39 Nobel laureates are the alumni of Columbia University. 17 of these alumni have also served on the faculty or staff of the university. There are 37 non-alumni Nobel laureates who have been in service to the university. Columbia University does not count Visiting Professors as one of its own. Only those professors who have spent a year or more at the University are counted.



1932 Irving Langmuir (B.S., 1903; M.A., 1906)
1946 John H. Northrop (B.S., 1912; M.A., 1913; Ph.D., 1915)
1972 William H. Stein (Ph.D., 1938)
1981 Roald Hoffmann (B.A., 1958)
1985 Herbert A. Hauptman (M.A., 1939)
1989 Sidney Altman (graduate student, teaching assistant, 1960 to 1962)
2001 William S. Knowles (Ph.D., 1942)
2005 Robert H. Grubbs (Ph.D., 1968)

=Economic science=

1971 Simon S. Kuznets (B.S., 1923; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1926)
1972 Kenneth J. Arrow (M.A., 1941; Ph.D., 1951)
1976 Milton Friedman (Researcher, 1943 to 1945; Ph.D., 1946; faculty member, 1937 to 1940 and 1964 to 1965)
1993 Robert W. Fogel (M.A., 1960)
1996 William S. Vickrey (M.A., 1937; Ph.D., 1948; faculty member, 1946 to 1996)
1997 Robert C. Merton (B.S., 1966)


1906 Theodore Roosevelt (Law student, 1880 to 1882)
1931 Nicholas Murray Butler (B.A., 1882; M.A., 1883; Ph.D., 1884, president of Columbia, 1902 to 1945)


1923 Robert A. Millikan (Ph.D., 1895)
1944 I.I. Rabi (Ph.D., 1927; faculty member, 1929 to 1988)
1965 Julian S. Schwinger (B.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1939)
1972 Leon N. Cooper (B.A., 1951; M.A., 1953; Ph.D., 1954)
1975 James Rainwater (M.A., 1941; Ph.D., 1946; faculty member, 1939 to 1986)
1978 Arno A. Penzias (M.A., 1958; Ph.D., 1962)
1980 Val L. Fitch (Ph.D., 1954; faculty member, 1953 to 1954)
1988 Leon M. Lederman (M.A., 1948; Ph.D., 1951; faculty member, 1951 to 1989)
1988 Melvin Schwartz (B.A., 1953; Ph.D., 1958; faculty member, 1958 to 1966, 1991 to 2006)
1989 Norman F. Ramsey (B.A., 1935; Ph.D., 1940; faculty member, 1941 to 1947)
1995 Martin L. Perl (Ph.D., 1955)

Physiology or medicine

1946 Hermann J. Muller (B.A., 1910; M.A., 1911; Ph.D., 1916; faculty member, 1918 to 1920)
1950 Edward C. Kendall (B.S., 1908; M.A., 1909; Ph.D., 1910)
1956 Dickinson W. Richards (M.A., 1922; M.D., 1923; faculty member, 1925 to 1973)
1958 Joshua Lederberg (B.A., 1944; medical student, 1944–1946; faculty member, 1990 to 1999)
1964 Konrad E. Bloch (Ph.D., 1938; faculty member, 1938 to 1946, 1966)
1967 George Wald (M.A., 1928)
1973 Konrad Lorenz (Columbia College, 1922 to 1923)
1976 Baruch S. Blumberg (Grad student in Mathematics, 1946 to 1947; M.D., 1951; resident, 1951–1953; fellow 1953–1955)
1980 Baruj Benacerraf (B.S., 1942; research scientist, 1948 to 1950)
1989 Harold E. Varmus (M.D., 1966; Presbyterian Hospital staff, 1966 to 1968, University Trustee, 2002 to 2005)
1998 Louis J. Ignarro (B.S., 1962)
2004 Richard Axel (A.B., 1967; resident, fellow and research scientist, 1971 to 1978; faculty member, 1978 to present)

Faculty, research fellows and others


1934 Harold C. Urey (faculty member, 1929 to 1945)
1960 Willard Libby (research scientist, 1941 to 1944)
2008 Martin Chalfie (William R Kenan Jr. Professor, current Chair of Biological Sciences)

=Economic science=

1982 George J. Stigler (research scientist, 1942 to 1945; faculty member, 1947 to 1958)
1987 Robert Solow (fellowship year, 1949 to 1950)
1992 Gary S. Becker (faculty member, 1957 to 1970)
1999 Robert Mundell (faculty member, 1974 to present)
2000 James J. Heckman (faculty member, 1970 to 1974)
2001 Joseph Stiglitz (faculty member, 2001 to present)
2006 Edmund Phelps (faculty member, 1971 to present)


1987 Joseph Brodsky (faculty member, 1978 to 1985)
1991 Nadine Gordimer (faculty member, 1971 to 1972, 1976 to 1978, 1983)
1992 Derek Walcott (faculty member, 1979, 1981 to 1983, 1984)
2006 Orhan Pamuk (visiting scholar, 1985 to 1988; fellow, 2006 to present)



1938 Enrico Fermi (faculty member, 1939 to 1945)
1949 Hideki Yukawa (faculty member, 1949 to 1954)
1955 Polykarp Kusch (faculty member, 1937 to 1972)
1955 Willis E. Lamb (faculty member, 1938 to 1952, 1960 to 1961)
1957 Tsung Dao Lee (faculty member, 1953 to present)
1963 Maria Goeppert Mayer (faculty member, 1940 to 1946)
1964 Charles H. Townes (faculty member, 1948 to 1961)
1975 Aage Bohr (faculty member, 1949 to 1950)
1976 Samuel C.C. Ting (faculty member, 1964 to 1967)
1979 Steven Weinberg (faculty member, 1957 to 1959)
1981 Arthur L. Schawlow (faculty member, 1949 to 1951, 1960)
1984 Carlo Rubbia (postdoc at Nevis Laboratories, 1958 to 1960)
1988 Jack Steinberger (faculty member, 1950 to 1970, 1985 to 1986, 1988 to 1998)
1998 Horst L. Stormer (faculty member, 1998 to present)
2006 John C. Mather (postdoc in Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1974 to 1976)

Physiology or medicine

1933 Thomas Hunt Morgan (faculty member, 1904 to 1928)
1956 Andre F. Cournand (faculty member, 1935 to 1988)
1969 Salvador E. Luria (faculty member, 1940 to 1942)
1976 D. Carleton Gajdusek (postgraduate training, 1946 to 1947)
1978 Daniel Nathans (intern and medical resident, 1954 to 1959)
1982 Sune Bergström (research fellowship, 1940 to 1941)
1990 E. Donnall Thomas (faculty member, 1955 to 1963)
2000 Eric Kandel (faculty member, 1972 to present)
2004 Linda Buck (postdoctoral fellow, 1980 to 1984; research scientist, 1984 to 1991)

Fields Medalists

*Jesse Douglas— (attended Columbia College from 1920–1924) winner of the Fields Medal in 1936
*Stephen Smale—Professor of Mathematics, winner of the Fields Medal in 1966 and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 2006/7

Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States are the political leaders who signed the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution, or otherwise participated in the American Revolution as leaders of the Patriots.

*Alexander Hamilton—Founding father, co-author of The Federalist Papers, the first Secretary of Treasury
*John Jay—Founding Father, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, political theorist
*Robert Livingston—Founding Father, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Minister to France, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase
*Gouverneur Morris—Founding father, creator of the Manhattan street grid system, a builder of the Erie canal

Presidents of the United States

*Theodore Roosevelt—(Law) 26th President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
*Franklin Delano Roosevelt—(Law) 32nd President of the United States, consistently been ranked as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents in scholarly surveys
*Dwight Eisenhower—Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, President of Columbia University, 34th President of the United States

Presidents and Prime Ministers (International)

*Giuliano Amato—(M.A.Law 1963) Prime Minister of Italy
*Hafizullah Amin—(Ph.D. 1962) President of Afghanistan
*Toomas Hendrik Ilves—President of Estonia
*Marek Belka—Prime Minister of Poland
*Wellington Koo—President of the Republic of China
*Mary Robinson—President of Ireland
*Mikhail Saakashvili—(Law 1994) President of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (2004–present)
*Tang Shaoyi—Prime Minister of the Republic of China
*Abdul Zahir—(M.D.) Prime Minister of Afghanistan

Notable alumni and attendees

Politics, military and law

*Alexander Hamilton— the first United States Secretary of Treasury
*Madeleine Albright—(Ph.D. 1976, LLD [hons.] 1995) 64th United States Secretary of State, the first female Secretary of State
*B. R. Ambedkar—(M.A. 1915, Ph.D. 1928, LLD [hons.] 1952) A founding father of modern India and the architect of its constitution; honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, given for the highest degree of national service
*William Pelham Barr— (B.A. 1971, M.A. 1973) 77th United States Attorney General, 1991–1993
*Samuel Blatchford—U.S. Supreme Court Justice
*Hans Blix—Swedish diplomat
*Boutros Boutros-Ghali—(Fulbright Research Scholar, 1954–1955) Secretary-General of the United Nations
*Harold Brown—Secretary of Defense in the Carter Administration; Former president of Caltech
*Pat Buchanan (Journalism)—Conservative commentator, speechwriter, senior advisor to three U.S. presidents
*Arthur Frank Burns—(B.A. 1925, M.A. 1925, Ph.D. 1934) Austrian-born U.S. economist, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (1953–1956), Chairman of the Federal Reserve System (1970–1978), Ambassador to Bonn (1981–1985)
*Benjamin Cardozo— US Supreme Court Justice
*Whittaker Chambers— in the Ware group, famously testified against Alger Hiss
*Shirley Chisholm—(M.Ed. Teacher's College) First African American woman elected to congress. Represented Brooklyn, New York in congress for seven terms. First African American and first woman to make a serious bid for the presidency of the United States.
*DeWitt Clinton—Governor of New York State, Mayor of New York City, main proponent of the Erie Canal
*Morris Cohen—, subject of Hugh Whitemore's drama for stage and TV "Pack of Lies"
*Bainbridge Colby— (1891) U.S. Secretary of State
*Colgate Darden—Governor of Virginia, president of the University of Virginia
*Gray Davis—(Law) Governor of California
*John Watts de Peyster—(M.A.)—Major General during the American Civil War, Author, Historian
*Howard Dean—(GS,Pre-med)—Chairman Democratic National Committee,Governor of Vermont
*Thomas E. Dewey—(Law 1925) Governor of New York (1943–1955)
*William Joseph Donovan (Wild Bill)—Wartime head of the OSS (predecessor to the CIA)
*William O. Douglas—U.S. Supreme Court justice
*Miguel Estrada—B.A. 1983—controversial nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
*Hamilton Fish —(1827) U.S. Secretary of State, Governor of New York
*De Witt C. Flanagan (c. 1892), represented ushr|New Jersey|4 from 1902 to 1903. [ [ De Witt Clinton Flanagan] , "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". Accessed September 5, 2007.]
*Francis "Gabby" Gabreski—(B.A. 1949) Fighter ace of World War II and Korea
*Ruth Bader Ginsburg—(Law) Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
*Bela Gold—Economist on Venona list of suspected Soviet subversives who operated in the U.S.
*Dore Gold—(B.A. 1975, M.A. 1976, Ph.D. 1984) U.S.-born Israeli diplomat, Ambassador to the United Nations (1997–1999), President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
*Matt Gonzalez—(B.A. 1987) Ralph Nader 2008 vice presidential running mate, former president San Francisco of Board of Supervisors
*Mike Gravel—(B.S. 1956) Democratic Senator from Alaska, candidate for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election
*Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr.—(B.A. 1978) Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
*Jack Greenberg—(B.A. 1945, LL.B. 1948) litigator of Brown v. Board of Education, Professor at Columbia Law School
*Alan Greenspan—Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, studied for a PhD in economics
*Judd Gregg—Republican Senator from New Hampshire (2005)
*Jim Hightower—Progressive activist
*Johan Jørgen Holst—(B.A. 1960) Norwegian Foreign Minister, The Oslo Accord of 1994 between Israel and the Palestinians
*Charles Evans Hughes— Chief Justice of US Supreme Court; U.S. Secretary of State
*Richard C. Hunter—US Senator from Nebraska (1934-5)
*Jacob Javits—Republican Senator from New York (1957–1981)
*John Jay—first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
*Thomas Kean—Governor of New Jersey (1982–1990), President of Drew University, Chairman of controversial 9/11 Commission
*Jeane Kirkpatrick—(Ph.D. 1968, political science) US ambassador to UN under Reagan
*John H. Langbein—(B.A. 1964), legal scholar and professor at Yale Law School
*Frank Lautenberg—(B.Sc. 1949, economics) Democratic Senator from New Jersey
*Sander M. Levin—(M.A. 1954, international relations)—US Congressman from Michigan
*Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby—(J.D. 1975) novelist, indicted ex-chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney and signatory to controversial manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (2000) of the Project for the New American Century
*John Lindsay—Mayor of New York City (1966–1973)
*Seth Low—University president, Mayor of New York City
*Li Lu—Law/Business, leader of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
*James McGreevey—(B.A. 1978) Governor of New Jersey (2002–2004). [Halbfinger, David M. [ "Man in the News; Flexibility in Victory; James Edward McGreevey"] , "The New York Times", November 7, 2001. Accessed December 4, 2007. "He spent three semesters at Catholic University in Washington before transferring to Columbia University, where he majored in political science and graduated in 1978."]
*John McLaughlin— political commentator, host of "The McLaughlin Group" on PBS
*James Meredith—American civil rights movement figure
*Robert Moses—Controversial leader of mid-century urban "renewal" that re-shaped New York mainly through destructive highway projects
*Constance Baker Motley—First African-American woman federal court judge, NYS Senator, Manhattan Borough president
*Michael Mukasey—(B.A. 1963), United States Attorney General (2007–present)
*Barack Obama—(B.A. 1983) Democratic Senator from Illinois (2005), first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, candidate for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election
*Charles J. O'Byrne—(B.A. 1981, J.D. 1984), Secretary to the Governor of New York (2008–present)
*George Pataki—(Law 1970) Governor of New York (1995–2006)
*David Paterson—(B.A. 1977) first African American Governor of New York
*Victor Perlo— involved in Harold Ware spy ring and Perlo group as shown in Venona list of suspected subversives
*Mario Laserna Pinzón—(B.A. 1948) Colombian statesman and educator; founder, Universidad de los Andes
*Norman Podhoretz—editor of "Commentary", a founder of Neoconservatism connected with the controversial Project for the New American Century
*Bernard Redmont—(M.S. 1939)
*Stanley Forman Reed—US Supreme Court justice
*William Remington—(M.A. 1940) convicted in the Sound and Myrna groups; killed in prison
*Hyman G. Rickover—USN Admiral, father of the US nuclear submarine fleet
*James P. Rubin—(B.A. 1982, M.A. 1984) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (1997–2000)
*Charles F.C. Ruff—(Law) Washington lawyer, represented Anita Hill (vs. Clarence Thomas) and Bill Clinton (impeachment)
*Brent Scowcroft-(M.A., Ph.D.) National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and George H. W. Bush
*Craig Silverman—U.S. Army Judge Advocate, thinker
*Thomas Sowell—African American economist and author
*Ben Stein—(B.A. 1966) Actor, conservative commentator
*George Stephanopoulos—(B.A. 1982) Senior advisor to Bill Clinton, television anchor
*Leon Sullivan (M.A. 1947) Civil rights activist, anti-apartheid activist, long-time GM Board Member, and Baptist Minister
*Harlan Fiske Stone—Chief Justice of US Supreme Court; U.S. Attorney General
*Telford Taylor—chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg Trials
*George Tenet—(M.I.A.) director of Central Intelligence Agency
*Daniel D. Tompkins—6th Vice President of the United States, Governor of New York
*Harry Dexter White—senior Treasury official for FDR, helped found World Bank/IMF, alleged in Venona list to be
*Charles Wilkes—U.S. Navy Admiral, noted for his 1838–1842 Pacific expedition as well as for his role in the "Trent" Affair during the Civil War.
*Prince Hussain Aga Khan (2004) - Elder son of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV
*Dov Zakheim—Rabbi, Defense Department comptroller (2001–2004), ex-V.P. of [ System Planning Corp.,] signatory to controversial manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (2000) of the Project for the New American Century


*John Jacob Astor III—19th century real estate baron
*Frank Lusk Babbott—(LLB 1880) jute merchant and art patron
*Warren Buffet—(M.B.A.) Investor, president of Berkshire Hathaway
*Bennett Cerf—Founder of Random House
*Jason Epstein—Editorial director at Random House
*Stephen Friedman—Chairman of Goldman Sachs, National Economic Council director, chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
*Mario Gabelli—investor
*Michael Gould—CEO of Bloomingdale's
*Larry Grossman—former CEO of PBS and NBC
*Armand Hammer—President, Occidental Petroleum, noted internationalist convicted for illegal campaign donations
*Herman Hollerith—(Engineer of Mines 1879, Ph.D. 1890)- founder of the Tabulating Machine Company, a predecessor to IBM
*John Kluge—Founder of Metromedia
*Alfred A. Knopf—(B.A. 1912) Founder of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Publishers
*Robert Kraft—Owner of New England Patriots
*Henry Kravis—(MBA 1969) Investment banker who invented the leveraged buyout
*Randolph Lerner—CEO of MBNA Bank, and owner of Cleveland Browns
*Frank Lorenzo—(B.A. 1961) corporate raider
*John R. MacArthur—(B.A. 1917) President and publisher of Harper's, the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the country
*Eric Ober—Former President of CBS News division, and Food Network
*Vikram Pandit—(B.S.1976,M.S.1977,Ph.D1986,Trustee) CEO of Citigroup
*Wayne Allyn Root— (B.A. 1983) Founder & Chairman of Winning Edge International, inducted into Las Vegas Walk of Stars in 2006
*Edwin Schlossberg—(B.A. 1967, Ph.D. 1971) Founder of ESI Design (also its Principal Designer)
*David O. Selznick—Legendary movie producer
*Robert Shaye—(J.D. 1964) CEO of New Line Cinema
*Lawrence L. Shenfield— (B.A. 1915), Advertising executive and philatelist
*Richard L. Simon—Co-Founder of Simon & Schuster
*S. Robson Walton—(J.D. 1969) Chairman of the Board, Wal-Mart
*Ursula Burns—(M.S. 1981) CEO of Xerox Corporation
*Martha Stewart (Barnard College)

Religion and Ministry

*Frederick Buckley Newell (M.A., 1916) — Bishop of The Methodist Church
*Hazen Graff Werner — Bishop of The Methodist Church
*Paula Reimers, Rabbi

Arts and literature

*Max Abramovitz—architect for the Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center.
*Mitch Albom—(M.A., M.B.A.) Author
*John Ashbery—Poet
*Isaac Asimov—(B.S. 1939, Ph.D. 1948) Science fiction author, "I, Robot"
*Paul Auster—(B.A. 1969) Postmodern author, "The New York Trilogy", "Moon Palace" (named after now-defunct Chinese restaurant near campus)
*Béla Bartók—Composer, pianist, and early scholar in ethnomusicology
*James Blish—Science fiction author
*Sidney Buchman—Academy award winning screenwriter
*Jerome Charyn—(B.A. 1959) Novelist
*John Corigliano—(B.A. 1959) American composer
*Kiran Desai— (M.F.A. 1999) novelist, winner of the Booker Prize for fiction
*Alden B. Dow—(B.A. 1931) noted Architect
*Peter Eisenmann—(M.A.) Architect
*Walter Farley—(B.A. 1941) Author, "The Black Stallion"
*Amanda Filipacchi—(M.F.A) Author, "Nude Men", "Vapor", "Love Creeps"
*Richard Florida—(Ph.D. 1986) Author, "Rise of the Creative Class"
*Allen Forte—(B.A.) Music theorist, now Battell Professor of Music, Emeritus at Yale University
*Nicholas Gage— Author, "Eleni", "A Place For Us", "Greek Fire"
*Paul Gallico—Author, "The Snow Goose", "The Poseidon Adventure", "The Silent Miaow"
*Federico García Lorca—(1929–1930) poet & playwright
*Allen Ginsberg—(B.A. 1949) Beat Generation poet
*Philip Gourevitch—(M.F.A. 1992) recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, editor of The Paris Review
*Edwin Granberry (1920) writer of the Buz Sawyer comic strip
*Gulgee— (1926–2007) Pakistani artist famous for his paintings and Islamic calligraphy, qualified engineer
*Anthony Hecht—(M.A.) Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
*Joseph Heller—Author, "Catch-22"
*Henry Beaumont Hertsarchitect
*Langston Hughes—African-American writer and poet
*Jim Jarmusch—filmmaker
*Jack Kerouac—(College 1940–1942; dropped out) Founder of the Beat Generation movement; author, "On the Road"
*Ursula K. Le Guin—(M.A. 1951) Author primarily known for science fiction and fantasy novels
*Edward MacDowell—American composer, professor of music
*Carson McCullers—Author, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter"
*John Matteson—(PhD.) Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer (2008)
*Isamu Noguchi—Sculptor
*Walker Percy—(M.D. 1941) Winner of the National Book Award
*James Renwick, Jr.—(B.A. 1836, M.A. 1839) Gothic Revival architect who designed St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York and the Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, D.C., among other commissions.
*J.D. Salinger—Author, "The Catcher in the Rye"
*Robert Silverberg— Science fiction author
*Upton Sinclair—Populist author, "The Jungle"; presidential candidate
*Robert A. M. Stern—(B.A. 1960) Postmodern architect
*Hunter S. Thompson— Author, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
*Erica Simone Turnipseed; Writer
*Mark Van Doren—(Ph.D. 1920) Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
*Charles Van Doren—Author, English professor whose national disgrace was the subject of the Oscar-nominated film "Quiz Show"
*Eric Van Lustbader—Author, "The Ninja"
*Kara Walker—Artist, Professor of Professional Practice.
*Eudora Welty—(Business, 1930-31, hon. LHD 1982) Pulitzer Prize winning author, "The Optimist's Daughter"
*George Wyatt, sculptor
*Herman Wouk—Pulitzer Prize-winning author, "War and Remembrance"
*Roger Zelazny—Science fiction author

Performing arts

*Casey Affleck—Golden Globe-nominated and Oscar-nominated actor
*Sarah Atereth—Dance music recording artist, songwriter, and professional dancer (both modern and ballet)
*Emanuel Ax—(B.A. 1970)—Pianist, won Avery Fisher prize at age 30, won three Grammy Awards along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma; also awarded the John Jay Award by the University
*Kathryn Bigelow—Director, "Strange Days"
*Jeremy Blackman—(B.A. 2009)—Actor, starred in "Magnolia"
*Sorrell Booke—(B.A. 1949)—Actor, best known as "Boss Hogg" on the TV series "Dukes of Hazzard"
*Pat Boone—(B.S. 1957)—Singer and Actor
*Joshua Brand (M.A. 1974) - Emmy Award-winning creator of "St. Elsewhere", "I'll Fly Away", and "Northern Exposure"
*Sidney Buchman—(B.A. 1923)—screenwriter, won an Academy Award for writing for "Here Comes Mister Jordan] .
*Cara Buono—Actress, "Third Watch"
*James Cagney—Actor, "White Heat" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (attended first semester)
*Vanessa Carlton—Singer, songwriter
*Peter Cincotti—Pianist, singer, songwriter, actor, model
*Spencer Treat Clark—(B.A. 2010) Actor, "Gladiator", "Mystic River", and "Unbreakable"
*Bill Condon—Academy Award-winning Writer, "Gods and Monsters", "Chicago", and Director, "Kinsey" and "Dreamgirls"
*Ossie Davis—Actor
*Brian Dennehy—(B.A. 1960)—Actor
*Brian De Palma—Movie director, "Carrie" and "The Untouchables"
*I.A.L. Diamond—(B.A. 1941) Co-winner of an Academy Award for writing for "The Apartment"
*R. Luke DuBois—(B.A. 1997, M.A. 1999, D.M.A. 2003)—Composer/artist, member of the "Freight Elevator Quartet"
*Fred Ebb—(M.A. 1957) lyricist who collaborated with John Kander on such Broadway musicals as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman and the soundtracks of Funny Lady and New York, New York
*Matthew Fox—(B.A. 1989) Golden Globe-winning Actor, "Lost", "Party of Five"
*Dan Futterman—(B.A. 1989) Actor, "The Birdcage", "Judging Amy"
*Art Garfunkel—(B.A. 1965) Singer, songwriter of Simon and Garfunkel
*Joseph Gordon-Levitt—Actor, "3rd Rock from the Sun" (attended four years in GS but did not graduate)
*Lauren Graham — Actress, "Gilmore Girls" (Barnard College; B.A. 1988)
*James Gunn—Film Director (Slither), Screenwriter (Dawn of the Dead, Scooby-Doo), and Novelist (The Toy Collector)
*Jake Gyllenhaal—Academy Award-nominated Actor, "Brokeback Mountain", star of "Donnie Darko", "Jarhead" (attended first two years)
*Maggie Gyllenhaal—(B.A. 1999) Golden Globe-nominated Actress, "Secretary", star in "The Dark Knight"
*Oscar Hammerstein II—Lyricist and librettist of such musicals as the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Oklahoma!", "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music", collaborator with Richard Rodgers
*Ed Harris— Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated Actor (attended first two years)
*Lorenz Hart—Broadway lyricist, collaborator with both Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, wrote such songs as "Blue Moon", "The Lady is a Tramp" and "My Funny Valentine"
*Utada Hikaru—Japanese pop singer (did not graduate)
*Lauryn Hill—Grammy Award winning R&B singer, one-time Fugees frontwoman (attended first year)
*Katie Holmes—Actress (only attended a summer session)
*Famke Janssen—Actress
*John Kander—(M.A.) lyricist who collaborated with Fred Ebb on such Broadway musicals as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman and the soundtracks of Funny Lady and New York, New York
*Jean Kelly—Actress
*Alicia Keys—Grammy Award winning Singer, composer (attended first year)
*Joel Krosnick—Cellist; member of the Juilliard String Quartet; chairman of Cello Department at Juilliard School
*Tony Kushner—(B.A.) Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, "Angels in America"
*Sean Lennon— Singer and songwriter, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono (attended first year)
*Al Lewis—(Ph.D. 1941)—Actor, "The Munsters", basketball scout, New York gubernatorial candidate, restaurateur
*Yo-Yo Ma— Renowned cellist (transferred to Harvard University)
*Herman J. Mankiewicz—(B.A. 1917) Won an Academy Award for co-writing "Citizen Kane"; older brother of Joseph L. Mankiewicz
*Joseph L. Mankiewicz—(B.A. 1928) Won four Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Director and writing. Younger brother of Herman J. Mankiewicz.
*Terrence McNally—(B.A. 1960) Dramatist, winner of four Tony Awards, an Emmy, a Pulitzer Prize, and two Guggenheim Fellowships
*Max Minghella—(B.A. 2009)—Actor, starred in "Syriana" and "Art School Confidential"
*Rachel Nichols—Actress, model
*Anna Paquin—Academy Award-winning actress, "The Piano" and "X-Men" (attended first year)
*Lena Park - Popular Korean singer
*Amanda Peet—Actress, "The Whole Nine Yards"
*Anthony Perkins, Actor, best known for his work as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
*Richard Rodgers—Composer of musicals including the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Oklahoma!", "The King and I", and "The Sound of Music", collaborator with Oscar Hammerstein II
*Cameron Russell, Fashion model
*George Segal—(B.A. 1955) Actor, "Just Shoot Me!"
*Julia Stiles—(B.A. 2005) Actress, "Save the Last Dance", "Mona Lisa Smile"
*Rider Strong—Actor, "Boy Meets World"
*Mario Van Peebles—(B.A. 1978) Actor and Director
*Charles Wuorinen—(B.A. 1961, M.A. 1963) American musician, pianist, and composer


*William M. Abrams - (M.A.) senior executive and journalist for the New York Times, ABC News and The Wall Street Journal
*R.W. Apple—(B.S. 1961) Senior Correspondent, Associate Editor, former Washington Bureau chief, New York Times
*Marcus Brauchli, managing editor, The Wall Street Journal
*Jamal Dajani—(B.A. Political Science) Director of Middle Eastern Programming, Link TV, Producer of winner of a Peabody Award
*Max Frankel—(B.A.) Executive editor, New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winner
*Nicholas Gage— Investigative reporter, Foreign Correspondent, The New York Times (1970–1980), Journalist, The Boston Herald Traveler, The Wall Street Journal
*Ken Hechtman—Maverick journalist jailed by the Afghanistan's Taliban government as a suspected spy in 2001
*Jay Irving—reporter, cartoonist, father of Clifford Irving who is best known for perpetrating hoax biography of Howard Hughes
*Leonard Koppett—Acclaimed sports writer, columnist, author
*Joseph Lelyveld—(M.A., Journalism) Executive editor, New York Times
*Robert Lipsyte—(B.A. 1957) winner of an Emmy Award in 1990, host of "The Eleventh Hour" on PBS, correspondent for The New York Times and ABC Nightly News
*Andrés Martinez—(J.D.) Editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times
*Gabriele Marcotti—(M.A., Journalism) Football writer for The Times, The Sunday Herald, La Stampa, Il Corriere dello Sport, Host of Five Live Sport on Fridays and The Game Podcast
*John L. O'Sullivan—Editor of the "Democratic Review" during the 1840s, coined the phrase "Manifest Destiny"
*Wayne Allyn Root—Spike TV, Discovery Channel, CNBCCreator, Executive Producer, and Host of "Wayne Allyn Root's Winning Edge" and "King of Vegas" Anchorman & Host FNN- Financial News Network
*Claire Shipman—(B.A. 1986) Senior National Correspondent for ABC, winner of an Emmy Award for her CNN coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989; her work also contributed to the CNN network winning a Peabody Award for its coverage of the Soviet coup attempt of 1991
*Richard Smith—(M.I.A.) CEO of "Newsweek"
*Ron Suskind—(M.A. 1983)—Pulitzer prize winning journalist, author
*Tiziano Terzani—reporter and correspondent
*Richard Watts, Jr. - longtime theatre critic for the "New York Post"
*Gideon Yago—(B.A. 2000)—MTV News Correspondent
*Helen Dalley - Respected Australian journalist, currently an anchor with Sky News Australia

cience and technology

*Roy Chapman Andrews—(M.A.)—Dinosaur bone hunter
*Virginia Apgar—(M.D. 1933) Created the Apgar score which is used to evaluate the health of newborn babies
*Edwin Armstrong—(B.S. 1913) Inventor of radio circuitry such as the regenerative circuit and FM radio, pioneer in feedback amplifiers
*Oswald Avery—(M.D. 1904) discoverer of DNA's role in transmitting genetic information
*John Backus—(B.S. - mathematics, 1949) Inventor of Fortran programming language
*T. Romeyn Beck—(M.D.) forensic medicine pioneer
*Marie Maynard Daly—(Ph.D. 1947), first African American woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry
*Charles Drew—(M.D. 1940) Inventor of blood plasma preservation system
*Helen Flanders Dunbar—(Ph.D. 1929) important early figure in U.S. psychosomatic medicine.
*David Eppstein—(Ph.D. 1989) Computer Scientist
*Gordon Gould—(Ph.D., didn't complete), inventor of the laser
*Stephen Jay Gould—(Ph.D. 1967) Paleontologist and author
*Benjamin Graham—(B.A. 1914) Father of Modern Security Analysis and value investing, taught Warren Buffett
*Jean Emily Henley—(M.D. 1940) Wrote the first German anesthesia textbook after World War II
*Robert Jastrow—(B.A, M.A. Ph.D.) Astronomer
*Arthur Jensen—(Ph.D. 1956) Educational psychologist who argued for heritability of intelligence
*Radovan Karadžić—(M.D. 1975) Serb politician, poet and psychiatrist
*Kai-Fu Lee—(B.S. 1983) former professor at Carnegie Mellon University, former Vice President at Apple Computer, former President of Cosmo Software, established China division of Microsoft Research, establishing China research division for Google
*William Malisoff—(Ph.D.) Scientist accused of being a in the Venona project
*Robert Moog—Inventor of Moog synthesizer
*Joel Moses—(B.A., M.A.) MIT Provost and author of Macsyma
*Edward Lawry Norton—(M.S. 1925) Electrical Engineer, discovered the Norton circuit equivalent
*William Barclay Parsons—(B.S. 1879) Civil Engineer
*William Perl—physicist imprisoned for five years for his involvement in the Rosenberg ring of atomic spies
*Michael I. Pupin—(B.S. 1883)—Inventor of telephone transmission coils and scientist, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography
*Benjamin Spock—(M.D. 1929)—Olympic rower, physician, author
*John Stevens (inventor)—(A.B. 1768)—Built first steam railroad, responsible for first patent law in the US.

Astronauts and aviators

*Kenneth D. Bowersox—(M.S. 1979)
*Kevin P. Chilton—(M.S. 1977)
*Amelia Earhart—(attended one semester, 1920)
*William G. Gregory—(M.S. 1980)
*Michael J. Massimino—(B.S. 1984)
*Story Musgrave—(M.D. 1964)
*Eugene H. Trinh—(B.S. 1972)

Academics and theorists

*Mortimer Adler—Founder of the Great Books movement
*Claude Ake (Ph.D. 1966)—Nigerian political scientist
*Frederick A.P. Barnard—University president, namesake of Barnard College
*Jacques Barzun—Historian
*Ruth Benedict—social anthropologist, author of "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword", a World War II-era study of Japanese culture
*Walter Block (Ph.D.)—Austrian School free market economist
*Lee Bollinger (JD 1971)—First Amendment scholar; current president of Columbia, former president of the University of Michigan and former Provost of Dartmouth College; named defendant in two key affirmative action cases in the United States Supreme Court
*H. Keith H. Brodie (M.D.)—former chancellor (1982–1985) and president (1985–1993) of Duke University
*Harold Brown—physicist; former president of Caltech; former dean of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University; former US Secretary of Defense
*Nicholas Murray Butler—Columbia University President, Nobel Laureate
*Joseph Campbell—Noted professor of mythology
*Wm. Theodore de Bary (B.A.)—East Asian studies expert
*James S. Coles former president of Bowdoin College
*Michael Crow—President of Arizona State University
*John Dewey—Philosopher, developed theory of pragmatism
*Donna Robinson Divine political scientist
*Irwin Edman—Philosopher and writer
*Noam Elkies—Noted mathematician
*Richard Epstein—Noted legal scholar
*Livingston Farrand (M.D.)—public health advocate; President of the University of Colorado and Cornell University
*Moses Finley -Historian famous for his work on the ancient economy
*Joshua Fishman (Ph.D.)—Distinguished linguist specializing in social linguistics, language and culture, and Yiddish
*Gilberto Freyre (M.A. 1922)—Brazilian sociologist, cultural anthropologist and historian
*Milton Friedman (Ph.D.)—Free market economist
*Gordon Gee (J.D., Ed.D.)—Chancellor of Vanderbilt University and former president of Brown University, Ohio State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the West Virginia University
*Frank Goodnow — president of Johns Hopkins University
*Lynne Hanley—literary critic
*Edward Harris (B.A. 1971)—Archaeologist, inventor of the Harris Matrix
*Jane Jacobs—Urban theorist
*Edward Kasner (Ph.D. 1899)—Mathematician who coined the term googol
*Marshall Kay—Noted geologist
*Donald Keene—Japanese studies expert
*Grayson L. Kirk—University President
*Ruth Landes—author, "City of Women" (1947)
*Paul Lazarsfeld—Founder of the University's Bureau for Applied Social Research
*Joshua Lederberg—Nobel prize-winning biologist and former president of Rockefeller University
* [ Harvey J. Levin] (M.A. 1948, Ph.D. 1953)—communications economics pioneer
*Anthony Marx—president of Amherst College
*Peter Likins—electrical engineer; president of the University of Arizona; former president of Lehigh University
*Seymour Martin Lipset
*Paul Massing—Sociologist in the Redhead group of Soviet spies at the university's Institute of Social Research
*Margaret Mead—Noted anthropologist
*Robert A. Millikan (Ph.D. 1895)—Nobel prize-winning physicist; first to measure the charge of the electron; early president of Caltech (1921–1945)
*Robert Nozick—Philosopher
*Marvin Opler—Noted anthropologist and social psychiatrist
* Michael Oren
*Peter Pouncey—classicist and former president of Amherst College
*Jehuda Reinharz— president of Brandeis University
*Nicanor Reyes, Sr. (Ph.D.)—Founder and 1st President of the Far Eastern University in the City of Manila, Philippines
*Thomas Hedley Reynolds—Historian, President of Bates College.
*Judith Rodin (Ph.D.)—Psychologist; Chancellor and former President of the University of Pennsylvania; and former provost of Yale University
*James R. Russell — Ancient Near Eastern scholar; professor at Harvard University
*Edward Sapir (B.A. 1904, M.A. 1905, Ph.D. 1909)—Linguist and anthropologist
*Lida Lee Tall - sixth president/principal of State Teachers College at Towson (now Towson University)
*Stephen Joel Trachtenberg—President of George Washington University
*Lionel Trilling—Literary critic
*David Truman—Political scientist and educator; former president of Mount Holyoke College
*Andrew Truxal (Ph.D. 1928) — President of Hood College and Anne Arundel Community College
*Sean Wilentz (B.A. 1972)—Chair of American Studies at Princeton University; winner of the Bancroft Prize in history
*Jay Winter (B.A. 1966)—World War I scholar at Yale University
*Aaron D. Wyner (Ph.D. 1963), information theorist noted for his contributions in coding theory. [Burkhart, Ford. [ "Aaron D. Wyner, 58; Helped Speed Data Around the Globe"] , "The New York Times", October 13, 1997. Accessed November 9, 2007.]
*Michael K. Young—president of the University of Utah; former dean of the George Washington University law school
*Howard Zinn (MA, PhD)—historian


*Roone Arledge—(B.A.) Pioneer of sports and news broadcasting with ABC, "Monday Night Football", "20/20", etc.
*Norman Armitage— 17-time national champion sabre fencer, and 6-time Olympian
*José Raúl Capablanca—World Chess Champion (1921–1927)
*Gary Cohen—(B.A.) New York Mets television play-by-play announcer
*Annie Duke—professional poker player
*Lou Gehrig—(1921–1923) Baseball player for the New York Yankees, enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (now commonly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease")
*Edward P. Hurt, Morgan's legendary football, basketball and track coach.
*Erison Hurtault, CC '07, runner
*Max Kellerman— (B.A.) ESPN Radio host and HBO boxing analyst
*Dan Kellner— 4-time All-American, NCAA foil champion, national champion, 2-time Pan American gold medalist and 1-time silver medalist, 1-time Maccabiah silver medalist
*Sandy Koufax—Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher
*Howard Lederer — Professional poker player, brother of Annie Duke
*Sid Luckman—(B.A.) American football quarterback, enshrinee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
*Cliff Montgomery—(B.A.) American football quarterback, enshrinee of the College Football Hall of Fame, captain and MVP of Rose Bowl winning squad, Silver Star recipient in U.S. Navy
*Mark Pope—(current medical student) Former NBA player
*Paul Robeson—American football All-American, attorney, musician, activist
*Bob Sheppard, sports announcer, "Voice of the Yankees"
*William Milligan Sloane—Founder of the U.S. Olympic Committee
*Keeth Smart, Business School, silver medal, fencing, 2008 Olympics
*David Stern—(J.D.) NBA Commissioner
*Cristina Teuscher— (B.A. 2000) Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer
*Marcellus Wiley—(B.A. 1997) American football player, Pro-Bowl defensive end
*James L. Williams—(B.A.) World Class Fencer

Political activists

*Alex Safian co-director of the (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America).

Notable faculty

*Alfred Aho—Computer Science professor, the "A" in the programming language AWK.
*Hattie Alexander— Professor of Pediatrics, microbiologist
*Samuel J. Danishefsky— Professor of Chemistry, winner of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1995/96
*Charles Beard—Historian and co-author of "The Development of Modern Europe"
*Peter Bearman—Professor of Sociology
*Daniel Bell—Professor of Sociology
*J. Bowyer Bell—Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, and Research Associate at the Institute of War and Peace Studies
*Jagdish Bhagwati—Economics professor, author of "In Defense of Globalization"
*Franz Boas—Father of American Anthropology
*Lee Bollinger—University President/law professor, First Amendment scholar, Affirmative Action advocate
*Ronald Breslow—University Professor of chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and engineering.
*Alan Brinkley—Professor of American history and University Provost; son of legendary newscaster David Brinkley
*Zbigniew Brzezinski—National Security Advisor under the Carter Administration, taught Foreign Affairs
*Richard Bulliet—History professor and Middle East scholar, author of "Kicked to Death by a Camel"
*John Burgess—Founder of modern political science
*Partha Chatterjee—Anthropologist and scholar of postcolonial nationalism
*Hamid Dabashi—Cultural and literary critic
*Arthur Danto—Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy emeritus, renowned art critic
*William Theodore de Bary—Famous scholar and translator of East Asian texts, particularly the classical Chinese canon
*Donald Dewey—Former Economics professor
*John Dewey—Former Philosophy professor
*Nicholas Dirks—Historian and anthropologist of South Asia
*Theodosius Dobzhansky—Researcher in population genetics
*John R. Dunning—physicist and part of the Manhattan Project
*Samuel Eilenberg—winner of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 1986
*Arnold Eisen—Chancellor-elect, Jewish Theological Seminary
*Jon Elster—Robert Merton Professor of Social Science, leading theorist of rational choice theory, Marxism, and social theory
*William Maurice Ewing—Earth scientist and pioneer
*Enrico Fermi—Manhattan Project member, founder of Fermilab, Nobel laureate
*Miloš Forman—Film director, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Amadeus", "The People vs. Larry Flynt"
*Eric Foner—Noted historian, authority on Reconstruction
*David Freedberg—Art historian
*Erich Fromm—Noted psychologist
*Fred W. Friendly—Pioneering CBS News producer and distinguished media scholar
*Herbert J. Gans— Professor of Sociology; author of "Popular Culture and High Culture"
*Frank Gehry—Pritzker Prize-wining architect
*Benjamin Graham —Father of value investing, mentor of Warren Buffett
*Brian Greene—Mathematics and Physics professor, researcher and popular author in String Theory
*Ross Hassig—anthropologist and Mesoamerica scholar
*Richard Hofstadter—Noted historian
*Ralph Holloway—Physical Anthropologist
*Andreas Huyssen—Villard Professor of German and Comparative Literature
*David Ignatow—Poet, Bollingen Prize-winner
*Kenneth T. Jackson—Preeminent historian of New York City
*Eric Kandel—Neuroscientist, 2000 Nobel laureate
*Donald Keene—Japanese studies expert
*Rashid Khalidi—Middle East historian
*Grayson L. Kirk—former president and instrumental in the founding of the United Nations Security Council
*Kenneth Koch—Poet
*Tsung Dao Lee—Physics professor, Nobel laureate
*Konrad Lorenz—Psychology professor, Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine, 1973)
*Walther Ludwig—Classical Studies professor
*John Anthony McGuckin—Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies
*Margaret Mead—Professor of Anthropology
*Don Melnick—Professor of Environmental Biology and advisor to the UN on environmental issues
*Edward Mendelson— Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities
*Robert K. Merton— Professor of Sociology
*Jacob Millman—Professor of Electrical Engineering
*C. Wright Mills—Professor of Sociology
*Eben Moglen—Law and the Internet Society, General Counsel of FSF
*Sidney Morgenbesser—John Dewey Professor of Philosophy
*Robert Mundell—Economics professor, 1999 Nobel laureate in Economics
*Tristan Murail—Professor of Music Composition, French composer
*Mira Nair—Director of "Monsoon Wedding", film studies professor
*Franz Leopold Neumann—Political science professor, Communist spy in Redhead group
*Victor Perlo—Economics professor, involved in Harold Ware spy ring and Perlo group as shown in Venona list of suspected subversives in the U.S.
*Edmund Phelps—economist and Nobel laureate
*Lorenzo da Ponte —professor of Italian language and literature; librettist to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
*Charles Lane Poor—Astronomer
*Jeffrey Sachs—Head of the United Nations Millennium Project to end poverty, author of The End of Poverty.
*Edward Said—University Professor, professor of English and Comparative Literature, Palestinian activist, author of "Orientalism", widely considered founder of Postcolonial studies
*Andrew Sarris—Film Studies professor and famous auteur theorist
*Simon Schama—History Professor
*James Schamus—Film Studies professor, co-president of Focus Features, screenwriter and producer
*Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak—English professor
*Joseph Stiglitz—Economics professor, 2001 Nobel laureate in Economics
*Gilbert Stork—winner of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1995/6
*Mark Strand—Poet, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Bollingen and Pulitzer Prize-winner
*Robert Thurman—Je Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, first American Tibetan Buddhist monk, father of actress Uma Thurman
*Charles Tilly—Professor of Sociology
*Lionel Trilling—Literary scholar
*Charles Van Doren—English professor whose national disgrace was the subject of the Oscar-nominated film "Quiz Show"
*Mark Van Doren—Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
*Kenneth Waltz—Political Science professor and noted neorealism scribe
*Duncan Watts—Professor of Sociology and author of "Six Degrees" and "Small Worlds"
*Harrison White—Professor of Sociology
*Enos Wicher—Professor and named in Venona list of suspected subversives in the U.S., stepfather of State Department Flora Wovschin
*Peter Woit—Mathematics professor, skeptic of string theory
*Chien-Shiung Wu—Physics professor, first woman to head the American Physical Society and the winner of the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1978


External links

* [ Nobel Prize Winners associated with Columbia University]
* [ Nobel Prize Winners in Physics associated with Columbia University]
* [ Columbians Ahead of Their Time] —list of notable Columbians created by Columbia University for their 250th anniversary.
* [ After Columbia] "Notable Alumni & Former Students" published by the Columbia University Office of Admissions

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