Profiles of Successful Alumni
When you join the elite Harvard student body, a vast wealth of opportunities open up to you. You only need to look to the abundant world of leaders, business innovators, medical professionals, lawyers, and more who have shaped the world in their own way to understand the full impact of a Harvard education.
Here you can review some notable people who graced the halls of Harvard through the years. Once upon a time they were just like you, seeing Harvard for their first time.
Harvard boasts a who’s who of graduates that includes eight U.S. Presidents, 50 Nobel Prize winners, 75 Nobel Laureates, 36 Pulitzer Prize winners, and other leaders, business people, and entertainers that have influenced the world.
This section is meant to give you the understanding that a Harvard education opens doors of opportunity that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. The school’s renowned reputation gives the graduate instant credibility with others that can propel your career and life forward at an accelerated rate. Below we profile some notable Harvard Alumni.
The World of Politics
Barack Hussein Obama – Obama is the current and 44th President of the United States. He is also the first African American to hold this position. Obama studied at Columbia University and eventually graduated from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he served as President of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama was accepted into Harvard Law School in 1988 and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor Degree in 1991. He was elected as the first African American Harvard Law Review President, which gained him national notoriety. This foreshadowed his future political success.
George W. Bush – Bush graduated from Yale University in 1968 and went on to graduate from Harvard Business School in 1975. After graduating from Harvard, he had an unsuccessful run for the House of Representatives before working in the oil industry. Bush’s post-Harvard accomplishments are quite impressive. He became co-owner of the Major League Baseball Texas Rangers, the 46th Governor of Texas, and 43rd President of the United States. He was succeeded in office by fellow Harvard Alum Barack Obama.
John F. Kennedy – Kennedy enrolled at Harvard College in September, 1936. He was an avid sportsman and athlete and tried out for football, swim team, and golf. He eventually landed a spot on the Harvard Swim Team.
Kennedy became interested in political philosophy while an upperclassman at Harvard and became a very accomplished student. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a S.B. in international affairs in 1940. His thesis actually went on to become a bestselling book. Harvard’s School of Public Policy is named in Kennedy’s honor.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt “FDR” – Roosevelt attended Harvard College and was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity as well as the editor-in-chief of the famous student newspaper the Harvard Crimson. It is widely noted that Roosevelt was an average student despite his privileged upbringing where he attended the best schools.
Roosevelt graduated from Harvard College in 1903 with an A.B. undergraduate degree and later went on to receive an honorary L.L.D. degree from Harvard in 1929. Roosevelt is regarded in some circles as one of the greatest presidents in United States history, mainly due to his New Deal reform programs during the Great Depression.
Matt Damon – Damon is an American born actor who has starred in such films as Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum, Oceans 11, and Invictus. Damon was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so he was very familiar with Harvard while growing up.
Damon attended Harvard from 1988-1992 but did not graduate. He lived in Lowell House and was studying English at the time he dropped out. He participated in a number of student dramas and productions and dropped out after receiving a role in the movie Geronimo: An American Legend.
Natalie Portman – Portman is an award-winning actress known for starring in movies including Star Wars Episode I-III, Black Swan, No Strings Attached, and Thor. Portman is one of the few actors that actually obtained her diploma from Harvard. She earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Portman was an accomplished student and has had multiple papers published in several scientific journals. She is an avid political and human rights activist.
Tommy Lee Jones – Jones is an accomplished actor who has garnered starring roles in films like, The Fugitive, The Client, Rules of Engagement, Men in Black, Batman Forever, Captain America, and No Country for Old Men. Jones attended Harvard College on a need-based scholarship and played offensive tackle on the varsity football team. Jones was part of the famous undefeated 1968 football team that featured the storied 16 point last minute comeback against Yale. Jones was selected first team all-Ivy League.
Jones graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1969. While at Harvard he lived across the hall from future Vice President Al Gore. As a junior and senior he roomed with Gore in Dunster House. The two have remained close friends. Jones gave the nominating speech for Gore at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg is a successful businessman, philanthropist, and the current mayor of New York City. Bloomberg has earned himself considerable wealth reportedly approaching $20 billion. As the mayor of New York he declines a salary and pays himself only $1.00 for his services to the city.
Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University to complete his undergraduate studies before attending Harvard Business School to earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Bloomberg is known for his giving nature and has given over $300 million to his undergraduate Alma Mater Johns Hopkins University.
Mark Zuckerberg – Zuckerberg has fast become one of the most recognized names in the world. His company, Facebook, has changed the way people communicate and is the most visited site in the world.
Zuckerberg created Facebook from his dorm room on February 2004. He was also a member of a Harvard Jewish Fraternity. His exploits as the founder and creator of Facebook have become well known after the movie documented Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook along with the string of lawsuits that followed. Zuckerberg eventually dropped out of Harvard after Facebook took off. He was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2010. His net worth is said to be approaching $20 billion.