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Which Famous People Studied At Duke University?

Vincent Ralph April 8, 2023

Some incredible people have walked the halls of Duke down the years. From tech moguls to comedians, it has produced an impressive roster of alumni. So, which famous people studied at Duke University?

First up is Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple Inc. Cook received his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1988. After graduation, he worked at IBM for 12 years before joining Apple in 1998. Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has become one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Cook has also been an advocate for social and environmental causes, and he has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts. In 2015, he pledged to donate his entire fortune to charity and, in 2018, he was awarded the Anti-Defamation League’s first ever Courage Against Hate award.

Next up on our list of famous alumni is Ken Jeong, a comedian and actor best known for his roles in The Hangover movies and the TV show Community. Jeong earned his undergraduate degree from Duke in 1990 before going on to complete his medical degree at the University of North Carolina.

After practicing medicine for several years, Jeong decided to pursue his passion for comedy and acting. He has since become a well-known figure in Hollywood, appearing in numerous TV shows and movies. In addition to his successful career in entertainment, Jeong has also been involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including supporting organizations that promote cancer research and education. Most recently, you can see him as a judge on the US version of The Masked Singer.

Ayda Field, an American actress and television personality, also attended Duke. Field graduated from Duke with a degree in political science in 2000. Since then, she has appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, including Days of Our Lives and Back to You. Field has also been a judge on the UK version of The X Factor. In addition to her entertainment career, Field has been active in philanthropy. She is a patron of the British charity Together for Short Lives, which supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Related: Cornell Has Some Wonderful Famous Alumni

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Moving on to sports, we have Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry, both of whom played basketball for the university and are among the most famous people to have studied at Duke. Irving played for the Blue Devils during the 2010-2011 season before being drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA draft. He has since played for several teams, including the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets. Irving is a six-time NBA All-Star who has an Olympic gold medal in his collection from his time with Team USA in 2016.

Curry, on the other hand, played for Duke from 2009-2013 before beginning his professional career. He has played for several NBA teams, including the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers. Curry is known for his sharpshooting abilities and has set several NBA records for three-point shooting.

Mike Posner, a singer-songwriter and record producer, also attended Duke. Posner studied for a degree in sociology and graduated in 2010. He began his music career while still a student at Duke and has since released several albums and hit songs, including Cooler Than Me and I Took a Pill in Ibiza. Posner has been nominated for a Grammy award and has worked with numerous other artists in the music industry.

In addition to his music career, Posner has also been involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including raising funds for the Detroit Justice Center and supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Melinda French Gates, the wife of the famous philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, graduated from Duke in 1986 with a degree in computer science and economics. Melinda is a leading philanthropist, businesswoman, and advocate for women’s empowerment. She is also the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated billions of dollars to support global health initiatives, education, and poverty reduction.

After leaving Duke University, Melinda worked for several technology companies before joining Microsoft in 1987, where she eventually rose to become the general manager of information products. In 2000, Melinda left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work full-time. Today, she is one of the most influential women in the world, and her work has helped improve the lives of millions of people around the globe.

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TV And Film Stars Learned Their Trade At Duke

Heading back to the small screen, Jared Harris is an accomplished actor who graduated from Duke in 1984 with (unsurprisingly) a degree in drama. He is best known for his work in films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, as well as his television roles in Mad Men and the critically-acclaimed Chernobyl.

After leaving Duke, Harris began his acting career in the UK and eventually made his way to Hollywood, where he quickly gained recognition for his talent and versatility. In addition to his acting work, Harris is also a producer and has been involved in several successful film and television projects.

Annabeth Gish is a talented actress who graduated from Duke in 1993 with a degree in English. She has appeared in a number of popular films and television shows, including The X-Files, Sons of Anarchy, and The Haunting of Hill House.

Gish’s career began when she was cast in the 1988 film Mystic Pizza, which launched her into the spotlight. Since then, she has become a highly sought-after actress known for her range and versatility. Annabeth is also an advocate for a number of social causes and has worked with various charities throughout her career.

So there you have it. This is a snapshot of some of the famous people to have studied at Duke down the years. It will be interesting to see which of the current intake go on to become household names.

Related: Yale Has Helped Mould Some Very Famous Faces

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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.