Columbia University Notable Alumni

Discover the notable alumni of Columbia University. The list includes people like Alexander Hamilton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Warren Buffett, B. R. Ambedkar & James Franco. This list of notable alumni is loosely sorted by popularity and has people from different domains of life, such as writers, intellectuals & academics, media personalities, film & theater personalities and miscellaneous etc.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Columbia University Notable Alumni

 1 
Barack Obama
(44th President of the United States (2009-2017))

Barack Obama
168
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 2 
Alexander Hamilton
(American Revolutionary and Founding Father of the United States)

Alexander Hamilton
60
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: July 12, 1804

 3 

Jake Gyllenhaal
100
Birthdate: December 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 4 
Warren Buffett
(Chairman & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway)

Warren Buffett
47
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 5 
Alicia Keys
(Singer, Actress)

Alicia Keys
35
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States

 6 
Amelia Earhart
(The First Female Aviator to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic Ocean)

Amelia Earhart
30
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas, United States
Died: January 5, 1939
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 7 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(Astrophysicist)

Neil deGrasse Tyson
25
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
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 8 
Lauryn Hill
(One of the Greatest Rappers Of All Time)

Lauryn Hill
21
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 9 
Anna Paquin
(Actress)

Anna Paquin
39
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)

 10 
Isaac Asimov
(Writer)

Isaac Asimov
29
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Petrovichi, Russia
Died: April 6, 1992

 11 
Langston Hughes
(One of the Earliest Innovators of the Literary Art Form Called Jazz Poetry)

Langston Hughes
18
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: February 1, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Joplin, Missouri, United States
Died: May 22, 1967

 12 
B. R. Ambedkar
(One of the Architects of the Indian Constitution)

B. R. Ambedkar
93
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: April 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: December 6, 1956

 13 

Raymond Burr
2
Birthdate: May 21, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Westminster, Canada
Died: September 12, 1993
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 14 
Thomas Sowell
(Economist)

Thomas Sowell
11
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina

 15 

J. D. Salinger
16
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: January 27, 2010

 16 
Milton Friedman
(American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history.)

Milton Friedman
10
Birthdate: July 31, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 16, 2006
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)

 17 
Jack Kerouac
(Novelist, Poet)

Jack Kerouac
11
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 12, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 21, 1969

 18 
Madeleine Albright
(Ist Female U.S. Secretary of State)

Madeleine Albright
18
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Smíchov, Prague, Czechia
Died: March 23, 2022
Height: 4'10" (147 cm)

 19 
Yo-Yo Ma
(Cellist)

Yo-Yo Ma
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 7, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

 20 
Timothée Chalamet
(Oscar-nominated Actor Described As A Sex Symbol & A Fashion Icon)

Timothée Chalamet
137
Birthdate: December 27, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

 21 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(Associate Justice of US Supreme Court)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
33
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: March 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 18, 2020

 22 
James Franco
(Portrayed the Title Character in the Film 'James Dean')

James Franco
61
Birthdate: April 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 23 
Kate McKinnon
(Actress, Comedian)

Kate McKinnon
36
Birthdate: January 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sea Cliff, New York, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 24 
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
(Actor, Director)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
18
Birthdate: February 17, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 25 
Katie Holmes
(Actress)

Katie Holmes
25
Birthdate: December 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 26 
Emmy Rossum
(Actress, Singer)

Emmy Rossum
9
Birthdate: September 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sunset Park, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 27 
Julia Stiles
(Actress)

Julia Stiles
15
Birthdate: March 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 28 
Allen Ginsberg
(Poet, Writer)

Allen Ginsberg
7
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 3, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 5, 1997

 29 
Kathryn Bigelow
(Film director)

Kathryn Bigelow
2
Birthdate: November 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Carlos, California, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 30 
Zora Neale Hurston
(Folklorist, Anthropologist)

Zora Neale Hurston
10
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

 31 
John Jay
(1st Chief Justice of the United States (1789 - 1795))

John Jay
5
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: December 12, 1745
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 17, 1829

 32 
Alan Greenspan
(Economist)

Alan Greenspan
7
Birthdate: March 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York, United States

 33 
Julia Garner
(Actress)

Julia Garner
13
Birthdate: February 1, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riverdale, New York, United States
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)

 34 

Casey Affleck
15
Birthdate: August 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Falmouth, Massachusetts, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 35 
Christy Turlington
(Supermodel)

Christy Turlington
2
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: January 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Walnut Creek, California, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 36 
Carl Rogers
(Psychologist)

Carl Rogers
16
Birthdate: January 8, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oak Park
Died: February 4, 1987

 37 

Maggie Gyllenhaal
18
Birthdate: November 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 38 
James Gunn
(Director Known for His Films: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Scooby-Doo’ and ‘The Suicide Squad’)

James Gunn
13
Birthdate: August 5, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 39 
Federico García Lorca
(Spanish Poet, Playwright, and Theatre Director.)

Federico García Lorca
2
Birthdate: June 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
Died: August 19, 1936

 40 
Famke Janssen
(Actress who played mutant Jean Grey in the X-Men film franchise and played Xenia in GoldenEye)

Famke Janssen
13
Birthdate: November 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amstelveen, Netherlands
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 41 
Sidney Lumet
(Prolific Filmaker of the Modern Era Known for Eliciting Strong Performances From His Cast Members)

Sidney Lumet
1
Birthdate: June 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 9, 2011

 42 

Brian Dennehy
5
Birthdate: July 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 2020
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)

 43 
Jenny Slate
(Actress)

Jenny Slate
8
Birthdate: March 25, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)

 44 
Ed Harris
(Film actor)

Ed Harris
5
Birthdate: November 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 45 
Robert Kraft
(Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group)

Robert Kraft
10
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: June 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 46 
Margaret Mead
(Cultural Anthropologist)

Margaret Mead
3
Birthdate: December 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: November 15, 1978

 47 

Richard Thomas
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 48 
George Stephanopoulos
(Co-Anchor of ABC TV Show 'Good Morning America')

George Stephanopoulos
8
Birthdate: February 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 49 

George Segal
20
Birthdate: February 13, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 23, 2021
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 50 
Neil Gorsuch
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Neil Gorsuch
12
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: August 29, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
The Columbia University, located in Manhattan, New York, is one of the most preferred study destinations for students from around the world. Unlike many famous universities, around 20 graduate schools are affiliated to this esteemed institution. The ‘Columbia University’ also has study centers in different cities across the world, such as Mumbai, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Nairobi. A degree from this notable university adds a lot of value to an individual’s profile, especially in terms of job prospects. This famous university has been an alma mater to several noteworthy celebrities, known for their outstanding accomplishments. The list of notable alumni includes Former American president Barack Obama, acclaimed writer J.D Salinger, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Barack Obama is one of the finest examples of a great leader to many, immensely praised for his remarkable achievements during his tenure as the President. Several former students are also patrons who try doing their bit for the betterment of the university. If sources are to be believed, American business honcho and media baron John Kluge is one such alumnus who donated a whopping $ 600 Million to his alma mater, which speaks volumes about his love for this famous university. Not many know that the ‘Columbia University’ plays a pivotal role in conducting the prestigious ‘Pulitzer Prize’ ceremony every year. Here’s a list of notable Columbia University students who have reached great heights and have been a source of inspiration for many people across the world.