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Top University of Michigan alumni: All

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Oct 21 2010
1 Theodore Kaczynski (PhD 1967) better known as the Unabomber, had been one of U-M's most promising mathematicians. He earned his Ph.D. by solving, in less than a year, a math problem that his advisor Piranian had been unable to solve. Kaczynski's specialty was a branch of complex analysis known as geometric function theory. In 1967, Kaczynski received a $100 prize recognizing his dissertation, entitled "Boundary Functions," as the school's best in math that year. At Michigan he held a National Science Foundation fellowship, he taught undergraduates for three years, and published two articles related to his dissertation in mathematical journals. He later chose to abandon his promising mathematics career to engage in a mail bombing campaign. 6497
2 Michael Moore, (MDNG) filmmaker and political activist (Flint campus); did not graduate. 5242
3 Jack Kevorkian, (MED: MD (Pathology) 1952), advocate for assisted suicide. 4754
4 Ann Coulter (LAW: JD 1988) - Conservative author and attorney 4731
5 Sid Meier Considered by some to be the “…father of Computer Gaming.” Created the computer games Civilization as well as Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon and SimGolf. 2526
6 Rima Fakih (BA) winner of the 2010 Miss USA title. 1762
7 Sanjay Gupta, (MED:1993), CNN anchor, reporter and senior medical correspondent. 1732
8 Bill Ayers (B.A. 1968), co-founder of the radical Weathermen 1558
9 Clarence Darrow (LAW 1878) - Leopold and Loeb lawyer, defense attorney for John T. Scopes 1493
10 Mike Wallace, (A.B. 1939), TV journalist, longtime host of 60 Minutes Winner of 20 Emmys and three Peabodys. 1026
11 Raoul Wallenberg, (ARCH: B.Arch. 1935), Swedish diplomat, rescued thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, primarily in Hungary. 1004
12 Urie Bronfenbrenner, (Ph.D. 1942), helped create the federal Head Start program. Was credited with creating the interdisciplinary field of human ecology; and was widely regarded as one of the world's leading scholars in developmental psychology and child-rearing. Author, co-author or editor of 14 books and more than 300 articles and chapters. The American Psychological Association gives an annual award in his name for contributions to developmental psychology. 887
13 Rick Bayless (doctoral student, linguistics) is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. He is, perhaps, best known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time. 880
14 Robert Shiller (B.A. 1967) Economist: Author of Irrational Exuberance 867
15 Adam Schefter Former Denver Post and Denver Broncos Correspondent (15 years), Current NFL Network Correspondent known for his onscreen professionalism and accurate inside information. 857
16 Robert Cailliau (COE: MSc Computer, Information and Control Engineering 1971) (born 26 January 1947) is one of the co-developers of the World Wide Web. In December 1974 he started working at CERN as a Fellow in the Proton Synchrotron (PS) division, working on the control system of the accelerator. In April 1987, he left the PS division to become group leader of Office Computing Systems in the Data Handling division. In 1989, he and Tim Berners-Lee independently proposed a hypertext system for access to the CERN documentation. This led to a common proposal in 1990 and then to the World Wide Web. Won the 1995 ACM Software System Award with Tim Berners-Lee 794
17 Bill Joy (COE: BSE CompE 1975, 2004 D.Eng. (Hon)) - Co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Dubbed by one publication "...the Edison of the Internet.". In 1986, Joy was awarded a Grace Murray Hopper Award by the ACM for his work on the UNIX Operating System. 709
18 Antonia Novello, (MED: 1974), first female US surgeon general 705
19 Edgar F. Codd (Ph.D. 1965). A mathematician and computer scientist who laid the theoretical foundation for relational databases. Dr. Codd's idea, based on mathematical set theory, was to store data in cross-referenced tables, allowing the information to be presented in multiple permutations. To his frustration, I.B.M. largely ignored his work, as the company was investing heavily at the time in commercializing a different type of database system. I.B.M. was beaten to the market by Lawrence J. Ellison of Oracle. In 1981, he received the Turing Award. 635
20 Clarence "Kelly" Johnson (COE: 1932 BSE, 1933 MSE, 1964 PhD (Hon)) - Founder of the Lockheed Skunk Works. Designer of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, P-80 Shooting Star, JetStar, F-104 Starfighter, U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird. 625
21 Tom Hayden, author of Port Huron Statement, member of Chicago Seven, co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society; later a member of each house of California's Legislature. 543
22 Samuel C. C. Ting, (BS 1959, PhD 1962), physicist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1976 for discovering the J/ψ particle. 537
23 Richard Smalley (COE: BS 1965) - Chemist, awarded Nobel Prize in 1996 for the co-discovery of fullerenes. 455
24 George Dantzig (M.A. Math 1937), father of linear programming. At UM, studied under T.H. Hildebrandt, R.L. Wilder, and G.Y. Rainer. 453
25 Larry Elder (LAW: JD 1977) - talk radio show host, author, and TV show host 435
26 Edward White, (COE: MSAE 1959), Hon. PhD (Astronautics) 1965, first American to walk in space (Gemini 4), 1965; died in Apollo 1 test accident, 1967. 427
27 David Scott, (MDNG: 1949–1950; ScD hon. 1971), Apollo 15, 1971. 387
28 Richard Wilson, (ED 1978), president of Illinois Wesleyan University. 382
29 Mamah Borthwick (BA 1892), mistress of architect Frank Lloyd Wright who was murdered at his studio, Taliesin. 370
30 Bob Woodruff, (LAW: JD) ABC Nightly News anchor, who replaced Peter Jennings. 355
31 James Irwin, (COE: MSAE 1957), Apollo 15, 1971. He was the first man to drive a lunar rover on the Moon. 322
32 Amos Tversky, (Ph.D. 1965). Long-time collaborator with Daniel Kahneman (who was the 2002 winner of Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work in prospect theory) and co-founder of prospect theory in economics. 293
33 Rensis Likert, (B.A. 1926) in Sociology and Economics. Rensis Likert was a founder of The University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and was the director from its inception in 1946 - 1970, when he retired and founded Rensis Likert Associates to consult for numerous corporations. 287
34 Susan Orlean, (AB), staff writer for The New Yorker. 272
35 Stephen Smale (B.S. 1952 , M.S. 1953, Ph.D. 1957), Fields Medal Winner. Winner of the 2007 Wolf Prize in mathematics. Smale's other honors include the 1965 Veblen Prize for Geometry, awarded every five years by the American Mathematical Society; in 1988, the Chauvenet Prize by the Mathematical Association of America; and in 1989, the Von Neumann Award by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. 266
36 Ray Stannard Baker (MDNG LAW: 1891). Biographer of Woodrow Wilson 266
37 Thomas (COE: BS EP 1982, MSE CI CE 1984) and John Knoll - Co-creators of Adobe Photoshop. 241
38 Michael Newdow (LAW: JD 1988) - Made headlines by challenging the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance 237
39 Frances E. Allen, M.Sc. degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1957. First woman to win the Turing Award (2006). An IBM computer science veteran, she is being honored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for her work on program optimization and Ptran: program optimization work that led to modern methods for high-speed computing. In 1989, Allen was made the first female IBM Fellow. She is now an IBM Fellow Emeritus, recognized for her work in mentoring women and men in technology. 214
40 Martha Minow (LS&A: A.B. 1975), named, in 2009, Dean of Harvard Law School 212
41 David Botstein, (PhD 1967). Formed the insight that the human genome could be mapped. This insight, published in 1980, was a milestone in genetics. It laid the foundation for one of the most important scientific undertakings in recent history: the Human Genome Project. It also established Botstein — now director of Princeton's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics — as a pioneer in genetics. "He is a towering intellect in the field of molecular genetics," says Princeton President Tilghman, "He's one of a handful of the greatest living geneticists." Botstein, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, has won numerous awards, including the Genetics Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation. 211
42 John Henry Holland, First UM Computer Science PhD, and originator of genetic algorithms. 204
43 Bueno de Mesquita, (Ph.D. 1971) political scientist and game theoretician 196
44 Jerome Karle, (Ph.D. 1944) Chief Scientist, Laboratory for the Structure of Matter, Naval Research Laboratory. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985 185
45 Jim Buckmaster, (MED: MDNG) President and CEO of Craig’s List since November 2000; has “…led craigslist to its current position as world-renowned online community, overall leader in online classifieds, and top 20 internet company (Nielsen, Alexa).” Before assuming the CEO role, Buckmaster served as craigslist CTO and lead programmer. 183
46 Larry Brilliant(SPH: MPH 1977) (Economic Development and Health Planning). Named to head Google Foundation (holds assets of $1Bn). Google.org is the umbrella term for Google's philanthropic efforts, which includes the work of the Google Foundation. A co-founder of The Well, an on-line community, Dr. Brilliant spent a number of years working with the World Health Organization to eradicate smallpox in India and prevent blindness in Africa. In 1979, he founded the Seva Foundation, which has given away more than $100 million. From 1998 to 2000, Brilliant was the CEO of SoftNet Systems Inc., a global broadband Internet services company in San Francisco that at its peak had more than 500 employees and $600 million capitalization. 182
47 Dean Baker, (PhD, Economics) - blogger for The American Prospect 171
48 Rajiv Shah (AB), former director of agricultural development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, nominated in 2009 as chief scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture and under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics. 169
49 Tony Fadell (COE: BSE CompE 1991) - "Father" of the Apple iPod. Created all five generations of the company's iPod digital music device and the Apple iSight camera. 169
50 Michael Stonebraker (MA 1967, PH.D 1971). A computer scientist specializing in database research. He is also the founder of Ingres, Illustra, Cohera and StreamBase Systems, and was previously the CTO of Informix. Received the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2005. 167
51 George Zweig (BS 1959) was still a graduate student when he published "the definitive compilation of elementary particles and their properties" in 1963, the work that led up to his theory about the existence of quarks in 1964. He is considered to have developed the theory of quarks independently of Murray Gell-Mann. 156
52 Wallace D. Loh (Ph.D.) — president University of Maryland 154
53 James McDivitt, (COE: BSE AA 1959, ScD hon. 1965), graduated first in his class. Command Pilot Gemini 4, 1965; Commander Apollo 9; Program Manager for Apollo 12—16. Brigadier general, U.S. Air Force; vice president (ret.), Rockwell International Corporation 150
54 Daniel Okrent, 1969, public editor, New York Times, editor-at-large of Time Inc., Pulitzer Prize finalist in history (Great Fortune, 2004), and founding father of Rotisserie League Baseball. 148
55 Sara Moulton (AB 1974) is the executive chef of Gourmet magazine and was host of the Food Network show Sara's Secrets and Cooking Live. 147
56 Alfred Worden, (COE: MSAE 1964, Scd hon. 1971), Apollo 15, 1971. 146
57 Wilfrid Sellars (B.A. 1933), philosopher and Rhodes Scholar 139
58 Rosabeth Moss Kanter, (MA 1965, Ph. D 1967) first tenured female professor at Harvard Business School 135
59 Janet Guthrie (COE: B.Sc physics 1960), “…was among the five racing legends inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame…” in 2006. She was the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500 auto race. Guthrie is still is the only woman to ever lead a Nextel Cup race and her sixth-place finish at Bristol in 1977 remains the best by a woman in NASCAR's modern era. She was top rookie in five different races in 1977 including the Daytona 500 and at Talladega. She finished ninth at Talladega. She was the top rookie in the Indianapolis 500 in 1978. Her fifth place at Milwaukee in 1979 was the best by a woman until Danica Patrick finished fourth at Indy last year. Her Autobiography Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle, was released in 2005 and hailed by Sports Illustrated as "…one of the best sports books ever…" . Guthrie’s helmet and driver's suit are in the Smithsonian Institution, and she was one of the first athletes named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame. 120
60 Marvin Olasky, (Ph.D. 1976), conservative pundit. 118
61 Milo Radulovich , became a symbol of the excesses of anti-Communism when he challenged his removal from the Air Force Reserve (judged a security risk) and his story was chronicled by Edward Murrow in 1953 on the television newsmagazine program “See It Now.” 117
62 Paul Kangas A stockbroker for twelve years, Kangas has been host of Nightly Business Report since it was a local Florida program in 1979. The show is still hosted from Florida. Kangas's ham call sign is W4LAA. 117
63 Tracy Wolfson, is a reporter for CBS Sports. 112
64 Jon Hein, (B? 1989) - evangelist of the phrase "Jump the shark", which he created into a website and book that popularized the term. The website was eventually acquired by GemStar, the parent company of TV Guide 111
65 Robert McHenry, encyclopedist and author. Editor-in-chief (emeritus) of the Encyclopædia Britannica 110
66 Rob Siegel, 1993, was the editor-in-chief of The Onion. Siegel led the editorial staff of 10 to come up with funny headlines and tongue-in-cheek stories mocking American life, society and media. He is the screenplay writer for The Wrestler, and recently made his directorial debut. 110
67 Roz Abrams MA, co-anchors "CBS 2 News at 5 PM" and "CBS 2 News at 11 PM." Abrams has been a reporter and anchor for almost 30 years, most recently with WABC in New York, where she spent eighteen years. 106
68 Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. (COE: M.S.E. - ME), Chief of Engineers of the United States Army. 105
69 Gael Greene, noted food critic. 102
70 Theodore Freeman, (COE: MSAE 1960), one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. Died in T-38 crash at Ellington Air Force Base. 101
71 Alice Hamilton, (MED: M.D. 1893), a specialist in lead poisoning and industrial diseases. Known as the "Mother of Industrial Health." In 1919, she became the first woman on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and also became the first woman ever to receive tenure there. She was recently honored with her picture on the 55-cent postage stamp. 95
72 Mark Weisbrot (Ph. D) (born 1954, Chicago) is an American economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of "Social Security: The Phony Crisis" (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy, with a focus on developing country economies. 92
73 William James Mayo, (MED: MD 1883), co-founder of the Mayo Clinic. 92
74 W. Brian Arthur (MA 1969) Lagrange Prize in Complexity Science 2008; Schumpeter Prize in Economics 1990; Guggenheim Fellow, 1987–88; Fellow of the Econometric Society; IBM Faculty Fellow Dean and Virginia Morrison Professor of Population Studies and Economics, Stanford; Professor of Human Biology, Stanford, 1983-1996 Santa Fe Institute: Member, Science Board 1988-2006; Board of Trustees 1994-2004; Director, Economics Program, 1987–90, and 1994–95 92
75 James McDonald Vicary (April 30, 1915 – November 7, 1977) was a market researcher best known for pioneering the notion of subliminal advertising in 1957. 90
76 Joseph Francis Shea (BS 1946, MS 1950, PhD 1955). Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office during Project Apollo. 90
77 Stephen Goldsmith (LAW: JD) - Marion County district attorney for 12 years and later two-term mayor of Indianapolis (1992–1999). Appointed to a senior fellow at the Milken Institute (a nonprofit, independent economic think tank) in 2006. His work in Indianapolis has been cited as a national model. 89
78 John Fahey, (BUS: MBA 1975) and President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. During his tenure, Fahey has led an evolution of the National Geographic Society, including its entry into cable television with the National Geographic Channel, which airs in 27 languages and reaches over 285 million homes in 163 countries. Prior to joining National Geographic, Fahey was chairman, president and CEO of Time Life Inc. He was selected as one of Advertising Age's top 100 marketers. 86
79 Michael Posner, (PhD) Psychologist and winner of the national medal of science: 86
80 Robert Groves (PhD 1975), in 2009, Presidential nominee to head taking of national census. Nomination stalled by Republican opposition to use of "sampling" methodology, which Groves has already stated would not be used. 82
81 Homi Sethna (M.A. 1946) He was formerly Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, in 1976 he became the first chairman of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences, located in Pune, Maharashtra. 80
82 Wendell Goler, Fox News White House correspondent 79
83 Beverly Daniel Tatum — president, Spelman College 75
84 Karen Uhlenbeck, (B.S. 1964), professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents' Chair in Mathematics. She is one of the world's foremost researchers on non-linear differential equations and their geometric properties and has made a commitment to young women mathematicians, and has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a National Medal of Science, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was the first woman mathematician elected to the National Academy of Sciences. 74
85 Jeffrey S. Lehman (LAW: JD 1977) - 11th President of Cornell University (2003–2005 ) 74
86 Douglas Joel Futuyma Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Futuyma is the author of the widely used textbook Evolutionary Biology and Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, an introduction to the creation-evolution controversy. Futuyma has been president of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and of the American Society of Naturalists. He was the editor of Evolution and the Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. He was awarded the Sewall Wright Award from the American Society of Naturalists, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Australia. He was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States on 25 April 2006. 72
87 Paul de Kruif, 1910–1912, (PhD 1916), is the author of Microbe Hunters. 72
88 Frank Wu (LAW: JD 1991), named in 2009, Dean of Hastings Law School. 71
89 Nancy Wexler, (Ph.D. 1974) a geneticist and Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology at Columbia University 69
90 Bob King (B.A. 1968) President of the UAW 69
91 Terry Davis (BUS: MBA 1962) - Member of the UK Parliament for 28 years, now Secretary General of the Council of Europe and human rights activist. 67
92 John W. Cahn, (B.A. 1949) - materials scientist, winner of the United States National Medal of Science in 1998 65
93 Norman Shumway(MDNG), heart transplantation pioneer, entered the University of Michigan as a pre-law student, but was drafted into the Army in 1943. 65
94 Jerome Wiesner (COE: BS 1937, MS 1938, PhD 1950) - MIT Provost 1968–1971, President of MIT 1971–1980, (deceased) 63
95 Willis Hawkins, (COE: BSE 1937) - Lockheed engineer who contributed to the designs of a number of historic Lockheed aircraft, including the Constellation, P-80 Shooting Star, XF-90, F-94 Starfire, F-104 Starfighter and C-130 Hercules. He rose to become President of Lockheed. 63
96 Ann Marie Lipinski,former editor, Chicago Tribune 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner 63
97 Kevin O'Connor (BS EE 1983) - Founder of DoubleClick, which was acquired by Google for $3.1 billion 62
98 Edwin G. Burrows, Won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1999 for the book Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. 61
99 Huwaida Arraf, (LS&A: 1998) is a Palestinian-rights activist, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, and current chair of the Free Gaza Movement. 60
100 John Seely Brown, (Ph. D 1970), formerly Chief Scientist of Xerox, and co-author of "The Social Life of Information" 60
101 Elizabeth Muriel Gregory "Elsie" MacGill, (COE: MSE) OC (27 March 1905 – 4 November 1980), known as the Queen of the Hurricanes, was the world's first female aircraft designer 59
102 Carole Simpson, Former ABC News correspondent. 57
103 Arnold Gingrich, 1925, was a founder/publisher of Esquire. 57
104 Isabella Lugoski Karle, (1941, MS 1942, PhD 1944, HSCD 1976), is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She was a member of the Manhattan Project. Winner of the national medal of science and wife of Nobel Prize winner Jerome Karle. 55
105 Margaret Wente (B.A.) “…one of Canada's leading columnists.” A writer for The Globe and Mail, she is the 2006 winner of the National Newspaper Award for column-writing. She has edited two leading business magazines, Canadian Business and ROB Magazine. 55
106 Alireza Jafarzadeh self-acclaimed whistle-blower of Iran's nuclear weapons program when he exposed in August 2002 the nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak, and triggered the inspection of the Iranian nuclear sites by the UN for the first time; author of The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis (Palgrave MacMillan: 2008) 55
107 Constantine Papadakis (Ph.D.) Drexel University President from 1995–2009, “an innovative leader who transformed a struggling institution into a comprehensive, top-ranked national research university.” During his tenure, the University made the remarkable addition of both a medical college and a law school. In 2006, Drexel became the first top-ranked doctoral university in the country to open a law school in more than 25 years. 53
108 Leonard Jimmie Savage (B.S. 1938). Savage's book The Foundations of Statistics (1954) "…is perhaps his greatest achievement…". As recounted in Fortune's Formula, Savage rediscovered Bachelier and introduced his theories to Paul Samuelson, who corrected Bachelier and used his thesis on randomness to advance derivative pricing theory. 53
109 Emil John Konopinski, (1933, MA 1934, PhD 1936), patented a device that made the first hydrogen bomb with Dr. Edward Teller. He was a member of the Manhattan Project. 51

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