Have you ever wondered who actually went to Harvard? In this blog we’ll take a look at some of the most famous alumni from Harvard, ranging from actors, authors, to presidents of the United States.


“Men in Black” star Tommy Lee Jones attended Harvard and graduated with a degree in English in 1969. Jones played football for Harvard and was part of the 1968 team that went undefeated that season. Television and movie actress Rashida Jones graduated from Harvard in 1997, where she studied comparative religion. She had originally went to college wanting to study law but became involved with different preforming arts opportunities on campus and never looked back. Comedian and television host Conan O’ Brien went to Harvard and graduated in 1985 earning magna cum laude honors studying History and Literature.

Authors and Activists

Harvard was home to some of history’s most important activists including W.E.B. Du Bois and Hellen Keller. Du Bois attended Fisk University before going to Harvard for his second bachelors degree — graduating cum laude in history. Hellen Keller made history by becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree. She got her bachelors Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe college in 1904.

Famous American poet E.E. Cummings received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Harvard — eventually being awarded an honorary seat as a guest professor in his later years.


NBA player Jeremy Lin went to Harvard from 2006-2010. Lin had a list of colleges he wanted to go to including all the Ivy League schools, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford and the University of California, Los Angeles. While Harvard and Brown were assuring him a spot on the team, all the other schools were still unsure about his abilities to play Division I college basketball. Lin chose Harvard and, there, earned Second-Team All-Ivy League honors in 2008 and First Team honors in 2009 and 2010. Lin would graduate in 2010 with a degree in economics.


Both the 35th President John F. Kennedy and 44th President Barack Obama are Harvard Alumni. Kennedy was one of many in his family to go to Harvard, mentioning that he wanted to attend the same school that his father had gone to in his application. There, Kennedy graduated with a degree in government in 1940 and the school of government would eventually be named after him in 1996. After graduating from Columbia in 1983, Obama enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1988 where he earned his JD degree magna cum laude.

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