The 22 Most Successful Yale Students Of All Time
Founded in 1701, Yale University continues to be one of the top universities not just in the U.S., but in the world.And its reputation is only enriched by the famous and successful people who come out of this Ivy League institution.
AdvertisementWe've put together a list of the most successful Yale alumni ranging from Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale to Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o.
Former President Bill Clinton graduated from Yale Law in 1973 with his then-girlfriend Hillary Rodham Clinton. He's returned to his alma mater many times to address current students.
Hillary Rodham Clinton graduated Yale Law in 1973. Since then she's served as senator of New York and Secretary of State under the Obama administration. Like her husband, she's still connected to the university.Advertisement
After earning his B.A. from Yale in 2003, Ben Silbermann went on to co-found Pinterest, a company now worth $5 billion. Silbermann originally entered Yale thinking he would pursue a pre-med track.
CNN's Anderson Cooper graduated in 1989 with a B.A. in Political Science. While in school, the 5' 10" news anchor dropped to 125 lbs to be the crew team's coxswain. Friends and professors remember him for his passion for news and politics.Advertisement
The father of dots-and-dashes alphabet Morse code (and the telegraph used to "speak" it), Samuel F. B. Morse studied mathematics and philosophy at Yale in the early 1800s.
Indra Nooyi graduated from the Yale School of Management in 1980 before becoming the CEO and Chairperson of PepsiCo. She returned to give a keynote address at the annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month dinner in 2004.Advertisement
Blackstone Group CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman got his B.A. in 1969, and was a member of Skull and Bones at the same time as George W. Bush. Schwarzman later served as an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor earned her Yale Law degree in 1979. The U.S.'s first Latina Supreme Court Justice became the managing editor of the International Law Journal during her time at Yale.Advertisement
Nathan Hale, a U.S. Revolutionary War soldier and one of the first known American spies, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Yale in the 1770s just before he was captured and executed at the hands of the British Army.
Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman has worked on the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Reagan administration and is considered one the most influential political opinion makers of our time. In 2010 Yale awarded Krugman one of its highest honors: the Henry E. Howland Memorial Prize.Advertisement
College friends of Janet Yellen remember her for her sharp intellect and authoritative presence on campus. Her hard-earned Ph.D in economics in 1971 serves her well during her role as the first female and 15th Chair of the Federal Reserve.
American songwriter and composer Cole Porter attended Yale in the early 1900s. He was a Delta Kappa Epsilon brother, sang in the a capella group the Whiffenpoofs, and was a member of the Scroll and Key society.Advertisement
Right before her graduation from the School of Drama in 2012, Lupita Nyong'o landed the role of a lifetime in the critically acclaimed movie "12 Years A Slave." Her portrayal of Patsey earned her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.
Former President George H. W. Bush earned his B.A. in 1948. The university has since established the George H. W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award to honor alumni athletes who have made significant leadership contributions in their chosen fields.Advertisement
Former President George W. Bush entered Yale in 1964 where he was the president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, a member of the Skull and Bones secret society, and a cheerleader. He returned to deliver Yale's 300th commencement speech.
In 1975 Meryl Streep earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama where she established herself as a star, even leading as Helena in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Since then she's become of the most successful actors of all time, with 18 Academy Award nominations.Advertisement
Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, graduated from Yale Phi Beta Kappa in 1792. In Whitney's honor, the university set up the Eli Whitney Students Program for non-traditional students; Whitney himself did not matriculate into Yale until he was 23.
Former President Gerald Ford turned down multiple offers to play in the NFL after his graduation from the University of Michigan. Instead, he took jobs coaching the Yale men's football and boxing teams while he attended the university's law school in the early '40s.Advertisement
Allison Williams, one of the stars of HBO's "Girls," was very involved in theater while at Yale and joined the improv group Just Add Water. Per her parents' request, she waited to pursue a professional acting career after she graduated in 2010.
Journalist Bob Woodward, '65, returns to his alma mater this spring to teach an intensive journalism seminar to aspiring Yale journalists. Woodward, who is now an associate editor of the Washington Post, won two Pulitzer Prizes for breaking the Watergate Scandal.Advertisement
Hollywood legend and philanthropist Paul Newman dropped out of the Yale School of Drama in 1952 before completing his MFA degree. However, he maintained close ties to the school and held the premiere of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" right in Yale's very own Roger Sherman Theater.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria graduated from Yale with a Bachelors of Arts in 1986. Zakaria was a very active student, serving as president of the Political Union, editor-in-chief of the Yale Political Monthly, and a member of the Scroll and Key society.Advertisement
See the most notable alumni from another Ivy League school
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