This list is only a snapshot of prominent Columbia University alumni. For a complete listing, click this link. Also, the University celebrated its 250th year anniversary in 2004 and listed 250 of its graduates “ahead of their time,” at this link and top-30 attendees at this link.

Key: CC-Columbia College, BC-Barnard College, SEAS-School of Engineering and Applied Science, GS-School of General Studies


Brian DePalma, CC 1962—Filmmaker, “Mission: Impossible,” “Scarface,” “Femme Fatale”

Brian Dennehy, CC 1960—Actor, Tony award-winner, “Death of a Salesman”

Matthew Fox, CC 1989—Actor, “Party of Five,” “Lost,” “We Are Marshall”

Art Garfunkel, CC 1965—Musician, Grammy award-winner

Ira Gershwin, Pre-Med 1918—Composer “Funny Face,” “An American in Paris,” “Porgy and Bess”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 2000—Actor “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Inception”

Jake Gyllenhall Actor, 1998—“October Sky,” “Donnie Darko,” “Brokeback Mountain”

Maggie Gyllenhaal, CC 1999—Actress, “Secretary,” “Adaptation,” “Mona Lisa Smile”

Oscar Hammerstein II, CC 1916—Lyricist and librettist

Alicia Keys, 1998—Recording artist “If I Ain’t Got You,” “Fallin,” “Empire State of Mind,” 15-time Grammy Award winner

Tony Kushner, CC 1978—Playwright, “Angels in America,” Pulitzer and Tony award-winner

Herman Mankiewicz, CC 1917—Screenwriter, “Citizen Kane,” Academy award-winner

Kate McKinnon, CC 2006—Actress and comedien “Saturday Night Live,” “Ghostbusters,” “TheBig Gay Sketch Show”

Cynthia Nixon, BC 1988—Actress, “Sex and the City”

Anna Paquin, CC 2004—Actress, “True Blood”

Joan Rivers, BC 1954—Emmy Award winning comedienne

Richard Rogers, CC 1923—Composer

Ben Stein, CC 1966—Actor, lawyer, commentator

Julia Stiles, CC 2005—Actress, “Save the Last Dance,” “Mona Lisa Smile”

Suzanne Vega, BC 1981—Singer/songwriter

Kristi Zea, GS 1974—Producer, “As Good As It Gets,” “Silence of the Lambs,” Academy award-winner


Warren Buffett, BUS 1951—CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Ursula Burns, SEAS 1981—First female African American of a Fortune 500 company, Xerox

William V. Campbell, CC 1962—Chairman, Intuit, Inc.

Eileen Ford, BC 1943—Co-founder Ford Modeling Agency

Arthur Hauspurg, SEAS 1945—Former chairman and CEO of Con Edison

Helene Kaplan, BC 1953—Director, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan Chase

John Kluge, CC 1937—Entrepreneur, founder of Metromedia, Inc.

Sallie Krawcheck, BUS 1992—CEO, Citi Golbal Wealth, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ellevate

Alfred Lerner, CC 1955—CEO and chairman of the MBNA, owner, Cleveland Browns

Philip L. Milstein, CC 1971—Principal, Ogden CAP Properties

Pete Slosberg, SEAS 1972—Founder of Pete’s Brewing Company (Pete’s Wicked Ale)

Mark H. Willes, CC 1962—Chairman, President and CEO, Times Mirror Company, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times


Jacques Barzun, CC 1927—Presidential Medal of Honor awardee

Ellen Futter, BC 1971—Barnard College President Emerita

Joel Klein, CC 1967—Former Chancellor of the New York City school system

Michael Sovern, CC 1953—Chancellor Kent Professor of Law, Columbia University, Columbia University President Emeritus

Robert A.M. Stern, CC 1960—Dean, Yale School of Architecture

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, CC 1959—President, George Washington University


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, LLB 1959—Supreme Court Justice

Samuel Blatchford, CC 1837—Former Supreme Court Justice

Nicholas Murray Butler, CC 1882—Advisor to seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Columbia University President Emeritus

DeWitt Clinton, CC 1786—Former New York state senator and governor, former New York City mayor

Judd Gregg, CC 1969—U.S. Senator, New Hampshire

Alexander Hamilton, King’s College, 1774-76—Secretary of the Treasury

John Jay, King’s College, 1764—Judge, statesman, abolitionist

Judith Kaye, BC 1958—Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals

Jeane Kirkpatrick, BC 1948—First woman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Robert Livingston, King’s College, 1765—First U.S. Secretary of State

Seth Low, CC 1870—Former mayor of Brooklyn and New York City, former president of Columbia University

Governeur Morris, King’s College 1768—Credited with writing the final edition of the U.S. Constitution and the preamble

Barack Obama, CC 1983—44th President of the United States

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Law school 1904-07—32nd President of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt, Law School, 1880-81—26th President of the United States

George Stephanopoulos, CC 1982—Anchor of ABC’s “This Week,” former presidential advisor

Daniel Tompkins, CC 1795—Former U.S. Vice President and Governor of New York


Isaac Asimov, CC 1939—Author, I, Robot

Donald Clifford Brace, CC 1904—Co-founder Harcourt Brace & Company

Allen Ginsberg, CC 1948—Author, Howl and Other Poems

Mary Gordon, BC 1971—Author, Men and Angels, Joan of Arc

Patricia Highsmith, BC 1942—Author, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train

Langston Hughes, School of Mines 1921-22—Poet

Zora Neale Hurston, BC 1928—Author, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Jack Kerouac, CC 1940-42—Author, On the Road

J.D. Sallinger, 1930—Author, Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey


Roone Arledge, CC 1952—Former President, ABC News & Sports

Katherine Boo, BC 1988—Reporter, The Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize winner

Gary Cohen, CC 1983—TV play-by-play announcer, New York Mets

Chet Forte, CC 1957—Director, ABC Sports, creator of “Monday Night Football”

Max Kellerman, CC 1998—“ESPN First Take,” “HBO Boxing After Dark”

Leonard Koppett, CC 1944—Sportswriter, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Janice Min, CC 1990—Chief Creative Officer, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, Editor-in-Chief, US Magazine

Martha Nelson, BC 1976—Managing Editor, People magazine, founder InStyle magazine

Joyce Purnick, BC 1967—Metropolitan writer, The New York Times

Attoosa Rubenstein, BC 1993—Editor-in-Chief and creator of Cosmo-GIRL!

Claire Shipman, CC 1986—Senior national correspondent, ABC News’ “Good Morning America," Former White House Press Secretary under Barack Obama

Suzy Shuster, CC 1994—Sideline reporter, ABC Sports College Football

Susan Stamburg, BC 1959—First woman to anchor a nightly news program

Arthur Hays Sulzberger, CC 1913—Former publisher and president, The New York Times Company

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, CC 1951—Former publisher, The New York Times


David Altchek, CC 1978—Renowned orthopedic surgeon

Edwin Armstrong, School of Mines 1913—Inventor of FM Radio

Amelia Earhart, GS 1919-1920—Aviator

Herman Hollerith, School of Mines 1879—Invented the precursor to modern-day calculators and computers

Joshua Lederberg, CC 1944—Nobel Prize winner, medicine

Michael J. Massimino, SEAS 1984—U.S. Astronaut, NASA

Margaret Mead, BC 1923—Anthropologist

Norman Ramsey, CC 1935—Nobel Prize winner, physic, worked on the Manhattan Project

Helen Ranney, BC 1941—First female chair of a university department of medicine

John Cox-Stevens, King’s College 1768—Invented the world’s first steamboat oceanliner


Caitlin “Katy” Bilodeau, CC 1987—Four-time All-American fencer at Columbia, two-time Olympian, NCAA female athlete of the decade

Eddie Collins, CC 1907—Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

Lou Gehrig, CC 1923-25—Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

Sandy Koufax, 1955—Hall of Fame baseball player

Robert Kraft, CC 1963—Owner, New England Patriots

Gene Larkin, CC 1983—Former Major League Baseball player, drove in game-winning run for the Minnesota Twins in game seven of the 1991 World Series

Sid Luckman, CC 1939—Football Hall of Fame inductee

Jim McMillian, CC 1970—Starter for the 1972 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers

Katie Meilli, CC 2013—Two-time Olympic medalist

Cliff Montgomery, CC 1934—Football Hall of Fame inductee, quarterback and captain of the 1934 Rose Bowl Championship team

Frank Seminara, CC 1989—Former Major League Baseball player

David Stern, LLB 1966—Former Commissioner of the National Basketball Association

Cristina Teuscher, CC 2000—Olympic gold medalist in swimming, named the nation’s best female collegiate athlete, 1999-2000

Marcellus Wiley, CC 1997—Former All-Pro football player