The Most Famous Alumnus from Columbia University: An Exceptional Legacy

Choose the alumnus you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Nov 29, 2023 10:35)
Unleash the power of your vote and help us crown the most famous alumnus from Columbia University! With a rich history of accomplished alumni, the competition is fierce – but who will rise to the top? Will it be Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the iconic Supreme Court Justice? Or could it be an unexpected contender, like musician Art Garfunkel or actress Maggie Gyllenhaal taking the lead? The choice is yours! Dive into our extensive list of illustrious Columbia graduates, cast your vote, and don't forget to suggest a missing option if you think we've overlooked someone. Join the thousands of StrawPoll participants in this electrifying ranking and let your voice be heard!

Who Is the Most Famous Alumnus from Columbia University?

  1. 1

    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama
    Former President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate
    Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States serving from 2009 to 2017. He is widely regarded as one of the most beloved Presidents in recent history. Obama's presidency was marked by his charismatic leadership style, focus on social and economic reforms, and efforts to promote international cooperation.
    • Presidency Number: 44
    • Term: 2009-2017
    • Leadership Style: Charismatic
    • Domestic Focus: Social and Economic Reforms
    • International Focus: Promoting International Cooperation
    Barack Obama in other rankings
  2. 2
    Warren Buffett
    Mark Hirschey · CC BY-SA 2.0

    Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett
    Billionaire investor and philanthropist
    Warren Buffett is widely regarded as one of the most successful and influential investors in the world. He is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company.
    • Investment Strategy: Long-term value investing
    • Focus: Seeking undervalued companies with strong competitive advantages
    • Stock Picks: Known for investing in companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Goldman Sachs
    • Compound Annual Growth Rate: 20.3% from 1965 to 2019
    • Philanthropy: Donated a significant portion of his wealth to charitable causes
    Warren Buffett in other rankings
  3. 3
    Former Supreme Court Justice and women's rights advocate
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was known for her intellect, groundbreaking legal decisions, and being a champion of gender equality. Throughout her life and career, she became an iconic and influential figure in American law and politics.
    • Birthdate: March 15, 1933
    • Deathdate: September 18, 2020
    • Position: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
    • Appointed by: President Bill Clinton
    • Service years: 1993 - 2020
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg in other rankings
  4. 4
    Actor, writer, and director
    James Franco in other rankings
  5. 5
    Aviation pioneer and author
    Amelia Earhart in other rankings
  6. 6
    News anchor and political commentator
    George Stephanopoulos in other rankings
  7. 7
    Jeff Koons
    Bengt Oberger · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Contemporary artist known for his sculptures and installations
    Jeff Koons in other rankings
  8. 8
    Musician and half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel
  9. 9
    Film and television producer, writer, and director
  10. 10
    Science fiction writer and biochemist
    Isaac Asimov in other rankings

Missing your favorite alumnus?


Ranking factors for famous alumnus

  1. Accomplishments
    The level of success achieved by alumni in their respective fields of work, such as literature, science, politics, entertainment, etc.
  2. Impact
    The influence alumni have had on their industry, society, or the world as a whole.
  3. Recognition
    Awards, honors, and accolades received by alumni for their contributions in their respective fields.
  4. Alumni Network
    The size and influence of the alumni network and the alumni's engagement with the university.
  5. Popularity
    The level of public recognition, media attention, and social media reach of the alumni.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous alumnus from Columbia University. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or alumnus is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 224 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each alumnus once every 24 hours. The rank of each alumnus is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous alumnus from columbia university

Columbia University, located in New York City, is known for its prestigious academic programs and notable alumni. With a history dating back to 1754, it has produced numerous influential figures in various fields, from politics to entertainment. In this poll, we aim to determine who the most famous alumnus from Columbia University is. With a diverse range of graduates from different eras, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Will it be a Nobel laureate, a famous actor, or a political leader? Let's dive in and find out!

Share this article