Cornell University has produced some of the most famous and accomplished individuals in the world. From politicians to actors, writers to activists, the alumni are a testament to the university’s commitment to excellence. So which famous people went to Cornell University before they were household names?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as the Notorious RBG, is one of Cornell’s most famous alumni. She graduated from Cornell in 1954, earning a degree in government. Ginsburg ultimately became the second female justice on the US Supreme Court. She was a champion of women’s rights and a powerful voice for equality. Ginsburg’s legacy is an inspiration to many, and her impact on the legal profession will be felt for generations to come.
Bill Maher is another famous Cornell alum. He graduated in 1978 with a degree in English. Maher is now a commentator, comedian and TV host. He is best known for his show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which has been on the air for two decades. Maher is a controversial figure, but his sharp wit and incisive commentary have made him a household name.
Tsai Ing-Wen is the first female president of Taiwan and a graduate of Cornell University. She earned a master’s degree in law from Cornell in 1984. Tsai is a lawyer, politician, and academic. She is known for her commitment to democracy and human rights. Tsai’s presidency has been marked by her efforts to improve Taiwan’s economy, promote social justice, and enhance its international standing.
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Best known for his role in the original Superman movies, Christopher Reeve earned a degree in English from Cornell in 1974. Reeve was an actor, director, and activist. After a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, Reeve became an advocate for spinal cord research. He founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for research and support for individuals with spinal cord injuries. His positive impact on society continues to be felt after his tragic death.
Toni Morrison was a Nobel Prize-winning author and a graduate of Cornell University. She earned a master’s degree in English from Cornell in 1955. Morrison was a prolific writer, known for her powerful and poignant novels that explored the experiences of African Americans. She won numerous awards for her work, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Morrison’s legacy is one of literary brilliance and social commentary. She passed away aged 88 and her books continue to impact lives today.
From one notable writer to another, Kurt Vonnegut earned a degree in chemistry from Cornell in 1945. Vonnegut was an author, essayist, and playwright. He is best known for his novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which has become a classic of American literature. Vonnegut’s writing is characterized by its dark humor and its exploration of the human condition.
That is just a snapshot of Cornell’s famous alumni and the list is long…and only going to expand in the years to come.
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