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Famous Berkeley Alumni

Arts and Letters
Joan Acocella, English '66, dance and literature critic
Dilbert""Scott Adams, MBA '86, creator of Dilbert comic strip
Beverly Cleary, English '38, children's book author ("Ramona the Pest")
Philip K. Dick,* science-fiction writer ("Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?")
Joan Didion, '56, novelist ("Play It as It Lays") and essayist
Mark Di Suvero, '56, sculptor
Dear Abby""Pauline Esther Friedman, c. '38, a.k.a Abigail Van Buren ("Dear Abby")
Rube Goldberg, '04, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist
William Randolph Hearst, Jr., '29, newspaper publisher
Maxine Hong Kingston, '62, novelist ("The Woman Warrior")
Pauline Kael, '40, New Yorker film critic
Jack London,* novelist ("The Call of the Wild")
Terry McMillan""Terry McMillan, '77, novelist ("Waiting To Exhale")
Julia Morgan, 1894, architect
Robert Penn Warren, '27, writer
Jann Wenner, '67, founder of Rolling Stone
Sports
Joy (Biefeld) Fawcett""Joy Biefeld (née Fawcett), '92, U.S. Women's World Cup soccer team and U.S. Olympian
Matt Biondi, '88, Olympic swimmer, winner of 8 gold medals
Connie Carpenter Phinney, '81, cycling gold medalist
Natalie Coughlin, '05, record-breaking swimmer and Olympic gold medalist
Michele Granger, '93, softball pitcher and Olympic gold medalist
Kevin Johnson, '97, NBA All-Star and community activist
Jason Kidd,* NBA All-Star and U.S Olympian
Mary T. Meagher, '87, Olympic swimmer, winner of 3 gold medals
Jonny Moseley""Jonny Moseley,'07, 1998 Winter Olympics gold medalist skier
Helen Wills, '25, winner of eight Wimbledon tennis championships and two Olympic gold medals
Technology
Douglas Engelbart, M.S. '53, Ph.D. '55, inventor of the computer mouse
Andrew Grove, Ph.D. '63, Intel Corporation cofounder
Bill Joy""Bill Joy, M.S. '79, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and cocreator of Berkeley Unix, Java
Floyd Kvamme, '59, cofounder of National Semiconductor
T. Y. Lin, M.S. '33, pioneered prestressed concrete in structural design
Gordon E. Moore, '50, cofounder of Intel and the originator of Moore's Law
Shantanu Narayen, MBA '93, CEO Adobe
Kim Polese, '84, CEO of SpikeSource & Marimba cofounder
Paul Otellini, MBA '74, president and CEO of Intel Corporation
Tiffany Shlain, '92, filmmaker and founder of Webby Awards
Eric Schmidt""Eric Schmidt, M.S. '79, Ph.D. '82, CEO of Google
Ken Thompson, B.S. '65, M.S. '66, cocreator of the Unix operating system
Steve Wozniak, '86, cofounder of Apple Computer
Education
David P. Gardner, M.A. '59 and Ph.D. '66 15th president of the University of California
Ida Louise Jackson""Ida Louise Jackson, B.A. '22, M.A. '23, education and public-health pioneer
Clark Kerr, Ph.D. '39, UC president 1958-1967
Robert Sproul, '13, UC president 1930-1958
Judith Heumann, M.P.H. '75, pioneer for disability rights and former assistant U.S. secretary of education

Other fields

David Brower,*, environmentalist, first executive director Sierra Club
Leroy Chiao, '83, first Asian-American astronaut to perform a spacewalk
John Kenneth Galbraith, M.A. '32, Ph.D. '34, economist
Richard Goldman, '41, creator of the Goldman Environmental Prizes
Timothy Leary, Ph.D. '50, psychologist and cult figure
A. Starker Leopold, Ph.D. '44, environmentalist
Phyllis Lyon, '47, and Del Martin, * lesbian rights pioneers
Margaret Rhea Seddon, '70, astronaut
Ed Roberts""Ed Roberts, B.A. '64, M.A. '66, C.Phil. '69, founder of the Independent Living Movement
John Scharffenberger, '73, chocolate and wine maker
Rex Walheim, '84, astronaut
Alice Waters, '67, chef

* Did not finish degree
** Did not finish studies, but was later awarded honorary degree

 

 

Entertainment
Bill Bixby,* actor ("The Incredible Hulk")
John Cho, '96, actor ("American Pie," "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle")
Roxann Dawson""Roxann Dawson, '80, actress (B'Elanna Torres on "Star Trek")
Adam Duritz,* lead singer, Counting Crows
Carl Franklin, '71, director ("Devil in a Blue Dress")
Karen Grassle, '65, actress ("Little House on the Prairie")
Oren Jacob""Oren Jacob, B.S. '92, M.S. '95, Pixar Animation Studios technical director
Adam Lamberg, enrolled, actor ("Lizzie McGuire")
Jerry Mathers, '74, actor ("Leave it to Beaver")
Errol Morris,* director ("Fog of War")
Gregory Peck""Gregory Peck, '42, actor ("To Kill a Mockingbird")
James Schamus, '82 M.A. '87 Ph.D. '03, screenwriter ("Crouching Tiger")
George Takei, transferred to UCLA, actor (Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek")
Government/law
Horace M. Albright, '12, helped create the National Park Service
Melvin Belli, B.A. '29, J.D. '33, attorney known as "King of Torts"
Rose Bird, '65, chief justice California Supreme Court, 1977-1987
Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, '61, California governor 1975-1983, California attorney general 2007-present
Ron Dellums, M.S.W. '62, Oakland mayor 2006-present, U.S. Congress (D-Oakland) 1971-1998
Maria Echaveste, J.D. '80, White House deputy chief of staff 1998-2001
Julie Gerberding, M.P.H. '90, director of the Centers for Disease Control 2002-2009
Barbara Lee""Barbara Lee, M.S.W. '75, U.S. Congress (D-Oakland) 1998-present
John McCone, '22, CIA director 1961-1965
Robert S. McNamara, '37, secretary of defense 1961-1968
Haakon Magnus, '99, Crown Prince of Norway
Edwin Meese, '58, U.S. attorney general 1985-1988
Norman Y. Mineta, '53, secretary of transportation 2001-2006
Miguel Angel Rodriguez Echeverría, M.A. '66, Ph.D. '66, secretary general of the OAS
James Soong, M.A. '67, governor of Taiwan Province 1994-1998
Earl Warren""Earl Warren, B.A. '12, J.D. '14, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1954-1970 and three-time California governor
Lionel Wilson, '38, first African-American mayor of Oakland
Pete Wilson, J.D. '62, governor of California 1991-1999
Business
Tom Anderson""Tom Anderson, '96, cofounder and president of MySpace
Stephen D. Bechtel,** '23, longtime president of Bechtel, an engineering & construction firm
Walter A. Haas""Walter A. Haas, '10, president of Levi Strauss & Co.
Donald G. Fisher, '51, founder of The Gap, Inc.
Edgar F. Kaiser, '30, founder of Kaiser Permanente health group
Thomas J. Long , '32, founder of Longs Drugs
Brian Maxwell, '75, Cal track coach and founder of PowerBar
Dean Witter, '09, cofounder of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Nobel Laureate alumni
First year cited is date Nobel prize was awarded; second is year that degree was granted

Physiology or Medicine
1944: Joseph Erlanger, 1895
1952: Selman Waksman, Ph.D. '18
1978: Hamilton Smith, '52
2006: Andrew Z. Fire, '78

Chemistry
1934: Harold Urey, Ph.D. '23,
1949: William F. Giauque, B.S. '20,
Ph.D. '22
1951: Glenn T. Seaborg, Ph.D. '37
1960: Willard Libby, B.S. '31, Ph.D. '33)
1983: Henry Taub, Ph.D. '40
1986: Yuan T. Lee, Ph.D. '62
Thomas Cech""1989: Thomas Cech, Ph.D. '75
1993: Kary Mullis, Ph.D. '73
1995: Mario Molina, Ph.D. '72
1996: Robert Curl, Ph.D. '57
2000: Alan Heeger, Ph.D. '61

Physics
1955: Willis Lamb, B.S. '34, Ph.D. '38
1997: Steven Chu, Ph.D. '76, secretary of energy 2009-present
David Gross1998: Robert Laughlin, '72
""2004: David Gross, Ph.D. '66
2006: John C. Mather, Ph.D. '74

Economics
1980: Lawrence Klein, '42
1993: Douglass North, B.A. '42, Ph.D. '52
2002: Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D. '61
2005: Thomas C. Schelling, B.A. '44