The Most Famous Harvard Graduate: Uncovering an Iconic Achiever

Choose the graduate you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 13:34
Welcome to StrawPoll, your go-to destination for fascinating polls and rankings! Today, we're exploring the world of elite academia and its exceptional graduates. Harvard University has produced an impressive array of notable alumni, but who takes the crown as the most famous Harvard graduate? That's for you to decide! Dive into our curated list of remarkable Harvard grads, ranging from US presidents to Hollywood royalty, tech giants to literary geniuses. Cast your vote, make your voice heard, and see how your favorite stacks up in the rankings. Can't find your top pick? Don't worry! You can suggest a missing option and watch the competition unfold. Join us on this journey of intellect and fame, and let's determine once and for all - who is the most famous Harvard graduate?

Who Is the Most Famous Harvard Graduate? (September 2023)

  1. 1

    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama
    Former President of the United States, Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991.
    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

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg
    Co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in 2004 but later received an honorary degree in 2017.
    Mark Zuckerberg is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is best known as the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, the world's largest social networking platform.
    • Birthdate: May 14, 1984
    • Nationality: American
    • Education: Harvard University
    • Co-founded: Facebook in 2004
    • Position: CEO of Facebook
    Mark Zuckerberg in other rankings
  3. 3

    Bill Gates

    Bill Gates
    Co-founder of Microsoft, Gates attended Harvard but dropped out in 1975.
    Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He co-founded Microsoft Corporation, which is one of the world's largest and most successful technology companies. Gates is widely known for his role in revolutionizing the personal computer industry with the development of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
    • Co-founder(s): Paul Allen
    • Founded: April 4, 1975
    • Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
    • Industry: Technology
    • Products: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Xbox, Azure, etc.
    Bill Gates in other rankings
  4. 4
    Academy Award-winning actress, Portman graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in psychology.
    Natalie Portman in other rankings
  5. 5

    Al Gore

    Al Gore
    Former Vice President of the United States, Gore graduated from Harvard in 1969 with a degree in government.
    Al Gore is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He is best known for his efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.
    • Political Career: Served as Vice President from 1993-2001
    • Environmentalism: Advocate for climate change awareness and sustainability
    • Climate Reality Project: Founder of an organization focused on educating and mobilizing action on climate change
    • Author: Wrote several books, including 'An Inconvenient Truth'
    • Nobel Peace Prize: Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his environmental activism
    Al Gore in other rankings
  6. 6
    Academy Award-winning actor and screenwriter, Damon attended Harvard but dropped out before completing his degree.
    Matt Damon in other rankings
  7. 7
    Late-night talk show host, O'Brien graduated from Harvard in 1985 with a degree in American history.
    Conan O'Brien in other rankings
  8. 8
    Professional basketball player, Lin graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in economics.
    Jeremy Lin in other rankings
  9. 9
    Actress and writer, Jones graduated from Harvard in 1997 with a degree in religion and philosophy.
    Rashida Jones in other rankings
  10. 10
    John F. Kennedy
    Cecil Stoughton, White House · Public domain

    John F. Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy himself
    Former President of the United States, Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940 with a degree in international affairs.
    John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, serving from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He was widely regarded as one of the most beloved and charismatic presidents in American history.
    • Political party: Democratic
    • Term of office: January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
    • Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson
    • Born: May 29, 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
    • Assassination: November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas, U.S.
    John F. Kennedy in other rankings

Missing your favorite graduate?


Ranking factors for famous graduate

  1. Achievements and contributions to their respective fields - the level of impact a Harvard graduate has made in their profession or area of expertise.
  2. Fame and recognition - the extent to which the individual is well-known by the general public and their reputation.
  3. Innovation and Creativity - the level of originality and creativity demonstrated by the graduate in their work or endeavors.
  4. Philanthropy and Social Responsibility - the degree to which the graduate has demonstrated a commitment to social responsibility or philanthropy.
  5. Political Influence - the level of political power and influence held by the graduate in their respective countries or globally.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Harvard graduate. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite graduate is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 179 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

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

More information on most famous harvard graduate

Harvard University is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world, with a long history of producing some of the brightest minds in various fields. As such, it's no surprise that many famous individuals have graduated from Harvard over the years, including well-known politicians, business leaders, and celebrities. In the realm of politics, former US Presidents John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush all graduated from Harvard, as did current US Vice President Kamala Harris. Other notable political figures who attended Harvard include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. In the business world, Harvard alumni include Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, and Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City. Actors Natalie Portman and Matt Damon both attended Harvard, as did renowned author J.K. Rowling. With so many famous Harvard graduates, it's difficult to determine who the most famous one truly is. However, one thing is certain: Harvard has produced some of the most influential and successful individuals in history.