Which Famous People Studied At Yale University?
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Famous Faces That Have Studied At Yale University

Vincent Ralph March 19, 2023

Yale University is one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the United States and plenty of recognisable faces have walked their halls down the years. Entrepreneurs, world leaders and artists have all studied there. So which famous people were once fresh-faced undergrads at Yale?

One of the most talented actresses of our time, Meryl Streep, is a proud Yale alumna. Streep graduated from the university in 1975 with a degree in drama and went on to become one of the most celebrated performers in Hollywood. She’s won three Academy Awards, eight Golden Globe Awards, and two BAFTA Awards, among numerous other accolades, for her exceptional work on the big screen. Streep’s versatility as an actress is legendary, and her performances in movies like Sophie’s Choice, The Devil Wears Prada, and Kramer vs. Kramer are considered some of the finest in cinematic history. She’s also been a strong advocate for social and environmental causes and has been recognized for her humanitarian work.

Another of the famous people to study at Yale is George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the US. Bush graduated from the university in 1968 with a degree in history and went on to have a successful career in politics. He served as the Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000 before being elected President in 2001. During his presidency, Bush oversaw significant events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the response to Hurricane Katrina. He also initiated several policies, including the No Child Left Behind Act and the Medicare Modernization Act, which had far-reaching impacts on American society. His father was also president of the country.

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Hollywood great Jodie Foster is also among Yale’s famous alumni. The former child star attended the university in the 1980s and majored in literature. She’s won two Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards for her exceptional work in movies like The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, and The Accused. Foster is known for her powerful performances and her commitment to socially relevant roles. She’s also a passionate advocate for LGBT rights and has been recognized for her philanthropic work.

Presidents Spent Their Formative Years At Yale

The Bushes are not the only future presidents to study at Yale. Bill Clinton graduated from Yale Law School in 1973, and it’s safe to say he’s had quite the illustrious career. During his presidency, he oversaw a period of economic prosperity, facilitated peace negotiations in the Middle East, and even managed to pass welfare reform. Clinton is known for his charisma, charm, and political acumen, which earned him a reputation as one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century.

Not to be outdone, his wife, Hillary Clinton, also attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1973. She went on to become a First Lady, a Senator, and the Secretary of State. Clinton’s achievements speak for themselves, and her leadership style has inspired many women to follow in her footsteps.

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Next on our list is Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor and correspondent. Cooper graduated from Yale in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Cooper’s coverage of natural disasters, war zones, and political conflicts has earned him numerous accolades, including multiple Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Famous TV Stars Studied At Yale

Another Yale alumnus who’s made a name for herself is Claire Danes. The award-winning actress, known for her roles in Homeland and My So-Called Life, graduated from Yale in 2002 with a degree in Psychology. Danes’ acting prowess has won her several awards, including three Primetime Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. Her performance as Carrie Mathison rightly earned him huge plaudits and she stole every scene she was in.

Last but not least, we have David Duchovny, best known for his role as Fox Mulder in The X-Files. Duchovny earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Yale in 1982, and his Master’s degree in English Literature from Princeton University. He went on to have a successful acting career, receiving a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Hank Moody in Californication. The black comedy told the tale of a womanizing novelist with a heart of gold and his complex relationship with his former partner and worldly-wise daughter. When it comes to famous people who studied at Yale, the former Twin Peaks star is among the biggest.

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Vincent Ralph is Senior Managing Editor at GRV Media. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Greenwich and later completed his NCTJ in Newspaper and Magazine Journalism while studying in Cornwall. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years. He joined GRV Media in 2014, working his way up from football writer to a senior member of staff. After two years as Managing Editor of Rousing The Kop and The Boot Room he became Senior Managing Editor of new student website Freshered. Vincent is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and his second novel is also a USA Today bestseller and the winner of the Southern Schools Book Award.