List of Oberlin College alumni

List of Oberlin College alumni

The people listed alphabetically below studied at Oberlin College. Most are listed with a year of graduation. Those without years studied but did not graduate.

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*Jad Abumrad, American radio host and producer. Currently hosts and produces Radio Lab on WNYC.
*Robert Alexander (1975), playwright, co-editor of the hip-hop theater anthology "Plays from the Boombox Galaxy" (among other works).
*Greg Allen (1985), founder of The Neo-Futurists experimental threatre troupe.
*H. Devere Allen, Journalist and Author. Noted socialist and pacifist.
*Hobart Baumann Amstutz, studied at the Conservatory 1914-15 before graduating from Oberlin High School in 1915. Later served as a Bishop for The Methodist Church.
*Susan Art (1973), Dean of Students at University of Chicago's undergraduate college.
*Mary Atkins, founder of Mills College.


*Benjamin Bagby (1974), vocalist, harpist, scholar, and founder of early music ensemble Sequentia
*Peter Baker (1988), "Washington Post" journalist and author
*Ishmael Beah (2004), author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier".
*Reginald Beasley (1988), radio personality & program director, touring nightclub DJ (under the name "Big Chicago" Reggie Beas).
*Alison Bechdel (1981), cartoonist ("Dykes To Watch Out For") and graphic novelist ("").
*Robin Behn (1979), poet ("Horizon Note").
*Suzette Marie Bishop (1984), author ("She Took off Her Wings and Shoes").
*Richard Blanchard (1943), English teacher in New Hampshire
*Joani Blank (1959), founder of Good Vibrations.
*Richard Bliwas (1981), pianist and singer/songwriter.
*Geoffrey Blodgett (1953), historian and author of "Cass Gilbert: The Early Years".
*Alex Blumberg (1989) producer, "This American Life."
*Eric Bogosian (1976), novelist, playwright ("Talk Radio", "SubUrbia") and actor ().
*Wendy Brenner (1987), author of "Phone Calls From the Dead".
*Chris Brokaw (1986), rock drummer for Codeine, Come, Consonant.
*Avery Brooks (1970 and an additional honorary degree in 1996), actor in "Uncle Tom's Cabin", "American History X", ', best known for "Benjamin Sisko" in '.
*Chris Broussard (1990), ESPN sports analyst.
*Antoinette Brown (1847), the first ordained female minister in the U.S.
*Paul Brown newscaster/reporter for NPR; from 2001 to 2003 Brown was NPR's executive producer for weekend programming. He also served as acting executive producer and acting senior producer of NPR's Talk of the Nation, and as acting senior producer at NPR's Morning Edition.
*Gabriel Brownstein (1988), novelist and author of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W" and "The Man from Beyond".
*Blanche K Bruce, second African-American Senator from Mississippi serving 1874-1881.
*Peter Buchman (1989), screenwriter for "Jurassic Park III".
*Alice Rowe Burks (1942), author of "Who Invented the Computer?: The Legal Battle that Changed Computing History".
*James Burrows (1962), producer and creator of "Cheers" and director of "Will & Grace", "Wings", "News Radio", among other series.
*Michael Byers (1991), novelist and author of "The Coast of Good Intentions" and "Long for This World".


*Marc Canter (1980), co-founder of MacroMind (later Macromedia).
*Ben Calhoun (2001), political journalist for Chicago Public Radio.
*John Cazale (1954), actor in "The Godfather" and "The Deer Hunter.
*Brian Chase (2000), drummer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
*Tracy Chevalier (1984), novelist and author of "Girl with a Pearl Earring ", "Falling Angels", and "The Lady and the Unicorn".
*Ben Chew (2008), sportscaster and radio announcer for SportstalkNETWORK
*Kevin Clarke (1991), renowned political methodologist, and currently Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester.
*Yvette Clarke (transferred to Medgar Evers College, did not earn degree), Democratic representative for New York's 11th congressional district, 2007-present.
*Rachel Cline (1979), author of "What to Keep".
*Henry Roe Cloud, Native American political leader.
*Stanley Cohen (1945), Nobel Physiology and Medicine laureate in 1986.
*Marc Cohn (1981), Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter.
*Johnnetta B. Cole (1957), first female African-American president of Spelman College, president of Bennett College 2002-07.
*Fanny Jackson Coppin (1865), influential African-American educator and missionary.
*Richard Cowan, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.
*Jacob Dolson Cox, politician and author.


*Charles D'Ambrosio (1982), essayist, short story writer
*Stephen Davenport (1953), author of "Saving Miss Oliver's"
*Carl Dennis, Pulitzer prize-winning poet of "Practical Gods".
*Robert Devereaux (1969), novelist and author of "Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups".
*Michael Dirda (1970), Pulitzer Prize-winning "Washington Post" reviewer, author
*John Langalibalele Dube, first President of the African National Congress
*Kelly Dwyer (1986), novelist, author of "Self-Portrait with Ghosts".
*Michael Duffy (1980), Assistant Managing Editor of "Time".
*David Kellogg Lewis well known philosopher arguing for Possible Worlds


*Chris Eldridge (2004), Guitarist, Punch Brothers; former guitarist, the Infamous Stringdusters.
*John Millott Ellis (1851), President of Oberlin College and abolitionist.
*Rhian Ellis (1990), novelist ("After Life").
*Josh Emmons (1995), novelist ("The Loss of Leon Meed", "Prescription for a Superior Existence")
*Nava EtShalom (2004), poet


*George Fairchild (1862), third President of Kansas State University.
*Adrian Fenty (1992), Mayor of Washington, D.C..
*Lee Fisher (1973), Lieutenant Governor and former Attorney General of Ohio.
*Jim Fixx (1957), author of "The Complete Book of Running".
*Peter Tyrrell Flawn (1947), geologist and former President of the University of Texas at Austin.
*Kate Fodor (1993), playwright ("Hannah and Martin").
*Beth Fouhy (1983) Former executive producer at CNN; AP reporter, covered Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2007-8.
*Kim France (1987), editor of "Lucky" magazine.
*Darcy Frey (1983), non-fiction writer.
*Su Friedrich (1975), experimental filmmaker.
*Sara Hoskinson Frommer (1958), novelist and author of "Witness in Bishop Hill: A Joan Spencer Mystery".
*Alan Furst (1962), novelist, author of "Blood of Victory".


*Rhiannon Giddens (2000), instrumentalist (banjo, violin); member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band; operatic vocalist (soprano).
*Chester Gillette, an American convicted murderer, the basis for the fictional character Clyde Griffiths in the Theodore Dreiser novel, "An American Tragedy", which in turn was the basis of the 1951 Academy Award-winning film "A Place in the Sun".
*John Gofman (1939), a scientist involved in the Manhattan Project and an activist concerning issues with nuclear power and radiation danger.
*Myla Goldberg (1993), novelist ("Bee Season", "Wickett's Remedy").
*William Goldman (1952), novelist ("The Princess Bride") and Academy Award-winning screenwriter ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "All the President's Men").
*Jason Myles Goss (2003), singer-songwriter.
*Elisha Gray, an inventor of the telephone.
*Denyce Graves, an accomplished American opera singer, sang the American Anthem during the 55th Presidential Inauguration for President George W. Bush.
*Melissa Fay Greene (1975), author ("Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster").
*Jerry Greenfield (1973), co-creator of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
*Linda Gregerson (1971), award-winning poet ("Waterborne", "Magnetic North").
*Dr. Jamie Grifo (1978), director of New York University Medical Center's division of reproductive endocrinology.
*Erwin Griswold (1925), lawyer, late Solicitor General of the United States and dean of Harvard Law School.
*Gary Grubb (1975), co-creator of Norplant.


*Richard N. Haass (1973), president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State.
*Al Haig, jazz pianist.
*Charles Martin Hall (1885), co-discoverer of the electrolytic process of producing aluminium (and contributor to the American spelling of "aluminum").
*David Halperin (1973), author ("One Hundred Years of Homosexuality").
*Jon Hamilton (1983), NPR science correspondent.
*Philip Hanawalt (1954), scientist, co-discoverer of DNA excision repair.
*Philip C. Hayes (1860), American Civil War general.
*Edward Haskell (1929), scientist and educator who dedicated his life to the unification of human knowledge into a single discipline.
*Janet Ruth Heller (1971), author ("How the Moon Regained Her Shape")
*Ed Helms (1996), actor ("The Office (US TV series)"), comedian, correspondent on "The Daily Show".
*Paul M. Herr (1978), social psychologist, Professor of Marketing at the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business.
*Joe Hickerson (1957), American folklorist.
*Jonathan Holden (1963), poet ("Knowing: New and Selected Poems").
*Michael Hollinger (1984), playwright ("Red Herring")
*Keith Holzman (1957), author ("The Complete Guide to Starting a Record Company").
*Cathy Park Hong (1998), poet ("Translating Mo'um").
*David Hoose (1969), Music Director of the Cantata Singers & Ensemble in Boston since 1982.
*Paul Horn (1952), jazz flutist.
*Teresa Heinz Housel (1994), communication professor, cultural critic, and journalist.
*Edward Everett Horton, actor ("The Front Page", "Top Hat", "Holiday"), voice actor ("Rocky & Bullwinkle"). {Left his junior year}
*Ralf Hotchkiss (1969), co-founder and current (2006) Whirlwind Chief Engineer of Whirlwind Wheelchair International, 1989 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
*Noelle Howey (1994), author ("Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods––My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine").
*Tim Hurson (1967), speaker, writer, creativity theorist, author of "Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking"
*Robert Hutchins, educational philosopher, president (1929-1945) and chancellor (1945-1951) of the University of Chicago


*Ernest Ingersoll, American naturalist.
*Bill Irwin (1973), clown (Pickle Family Circus), writer/director ("The Regard of Flight", "Fool Moon"), actor ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" [2005 Tony Award] , Mr. Noodle of "Elmo's World"), 1984 MacArthur Fellow.


*Charlene Drew Jarvis (1962), president of Southeastern University.
*Lisa Jervis (1993), creator and editor of "Bitch" magazine.
*Robert Jervis (1962), International Relations scholar and Columbia University professor.
*Barbara Johnson (1969), literary critic, professor at Harvard University.
*Chris Johnson (1990), filmmaker, photographer, PBS - "Voyage of the Odyssey" /
*Vernon Johns (1919), African-American preacher, PhD University of Chicago, predecessor of Martin Luther King Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, widely hailed as the father of the civil rights movement.


*Fred Kaplan (1976), journalist and "Slate" columnist.
*John Kander (1951), of the musical theater team Kander and Ebb ("Cabaret" and "Chicago", among others).
*Daniel Kinsey (1935), Olympic champion (110 m hurdles).
*Alex Klein (1987), Grammy-winning oboist.
*Robert Knopf (1983), author of "The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton", and theater director.
*Jennifer Koh (1997), violinist (1994 International Tchaikovsky Competition winner).
*Anne O. Krueger (1953), award-winning economist, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Oberlin trustee (1987-95).
*Robert Krulwich (1969), television and radio journalist.
*H. H. Kung (1906), Chinese banker and Premier of the Republic of China (1938-39).
*Robert Kuttner (1965), co-founder and co-editor of "The American Prospect", and one of five co-founders of the Economic Policy Institute.


*John Mercer Langston (1849), early civil rights activist.
*Rex Lee (1990), actor, best known for his role on "Entourage".
*Richard Lenski (1977), biologist and 1996 MacArthur Fellow.
*Edmonia Lewis, sculptor.
*Romulus Linney (1953, honorary degree 1994), playwright.
*Dan London (1995), actor, Minority Report, Old Joy, Patch Adams.
*Tom Lopez (1989), computer/new media composer.


*John Edward Mack (1951), psychologist, author ("A Prince of Our Disorder").
*David Maine (1985), novelist ("The Preservationist").
*Michelle Malkin (1992), columnist ("Los Angeles Daily News", "The Seattle Times"), author ("In Defense of Internment"), political commentator.
*Rollo May (1930), psychologist, author.
*James McBride (1979), journalist ("Boston Globe", "The Washington Post"), author ("The Color of Water"), musician.
*Megan McDonald (1981), writer of children's literature ("Judy Moody", "The Great Pumpkin Switch").
*John McEntire (1991), drummer (Tortoise).
*Josh MacPhee (1996), political artist.
*George Herbert Mead (1883), philosopher, leading figure of American Pragmatism; his theories became the foundation of the symbolic interactionist school of sociology and social psychology.
*J. Hillis Miller (1948), literary critic ("The Ethics of Reading", "On Literature").
*Robert Millikan (1891), Nobel laureate (Physics, 1923) for measuring the charge of the electron.
* (1996), singer/songwriter with Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co.
*Eduardo Mondlane (1953), Mozambican political leader.
*Roger Montgomery (1949), Dean of Architecture, City Planning, and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley.
*Donn F. Morgan (1965), author (The Making of Sages: Biblical Wisdom and Contemporary Culture).
*Gregory Mosher (1971), Tony Award-winning director.
*Adam Moss (1979), editor of "New York" magazine.
*Thylias Moss (1981), poet, playwright, and 1996 MacArthur Fellow.


*Amy X. Neuburg (1984), classical and pop singer.
*Josh Neufeld (1989), cartoonist ("Keyhole") and graphic novelist ("").
*Thomas Newkirk (1970), author ("Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture").
*Thisbe Nissen (1994), novelist ("Out of the Girls Room and Into the Night", "Osprey Island")
*L. L. Nunn, Founder of Telluride Association and Deep Springs College.


*Karen O singer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
*Peggy Orenstein (1983), author ("Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love, and Life in a Half-Changed World").
*Rich Orloff (1973), playwright ("Big Boys").
*Dzvinia Orlowsky (1975), poet ("Except for One Obscene Brush Stroke").
*Jena Osman (1985), poet ("The Character").


*Suzanne Paola (1980), poet ("Lives of The Saints") and memoirist.
*Liz Phair (1989), singer/songwriter.
*Doug Pike (1980), Noted Educator
*Sarah Pirtle (1971), children's musician and educator.
*John Wesley Powell, geologist and Civil War soldier.
*Jane Pratt (1984), creator of "Sassy" and "Jane" magazines.
*Lia Purpura (1986), poet ("Stone Sky Lifting"), essayist ("Increase", "On Looking").


*Willard V. O. Quine (1930), philosopher and logician.


*Marni Raab (1996), singer/actress (Most notably Christine in the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and the National Tour)
*Daniel Radosh (1991), journalist and blogger.
*David Rees (1994), cartoonist ("My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable", "Get Your War On").
*Tim Riley (1983), author ("Tell Me Why: The Beatles: Album by Album, Song by Song, the Sixties and After"), NPR critic.
*Josh Ritter (1999), singer/songwriter.
*Anita Roberts (1964), molecular biologist (made pioneering observations of TGF beta).
*Elisabeth Robinson (1983), novelist ("The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters").
*Lucy Wainwright Roche (2003), musician, half-sister of Rufus Wainwright.
*Wilfred Roberts (1963), musician, principal bassoonist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
*Dick Rodstein (1971), award-winning narrator and voice actor.
*Martha Root (1890s), Hand of the Cause in the Bahá'í Faith.
*Carl T. Rowan (1947), journalist.
*S. J. Rozan (1972), novelist ("Reflecting the Sky").
*John C. Russell (1985), playwright ("Stupid Kids").
*Paul Russell (1978), novelist ("The Coming Storm").
*Oren Rudavsky (1979), filmmaker ("Hiding and Seeking", "And Baby Makes Two", "The Treatment").
*Seth Rudetsky (1988), Broadway actor, pianist, writer, radio host


*Greg Saunier, drummer of San Francisco-based band, Deerhoof.
*Alex Scally (2004), guitarist in Beach House.
*William Sanders Scarborough (1875), classical scholar.
*Kathleen Schalch, general assignment reporter on NPR's national desk.
*David Schlesinger (1982) Editor-in-Chief, Reuters news, Thomson Reuters.
*Kathy Lou Schultz (1990), poet ("Some Vague Wife").
*William F. Schultz (1971), former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.
*Julie Schumacher (1981), novelist ("Grass Angel").
* Robert E. Scott, (1965), law professor and notable contract law scholar at Columbia Law School, Board of Visitors at College of William and Mary
*Elizabeth Searle (1983), novelist ("Celebrities in Disguise").
*Stephen W. Sears (1954), author ("Gettysburg").
*Vijay Seshadri (1974), poet ("The Long Meadow").
*Tanya Shaffer (1988), author ("Somebody's Heart is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa").
*Sonia Shah (1993), investigative journalist.
*Matthew Sharpe (1984), novelist ("Nothing is Terrible", "The Sleeping Father", "Jamestown").
*Gary Shteyngart (1995), novelist ("The Russian Debutante's Handbook", "Absurdistan : A Novel").
*George Smith (1987), ESPN investigative reporter, Division III Track & Field All-American.
*Lorenzo Snow, Mormon prophet, fifth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
*Donald J. Sobol (1948), author of Encyclopedia Brown series.
*Michael J. Sorrell (1988), president, Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas
*Robert Spano (1983), music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
*Alix Spiegel NPR reporter, covering social policy; founding producer of This American Life; writer for the New Yorker and the New York Times.
*Roger Wolcott Sperry (1935 and 1937), neurobiologist and Nobel laureate (Medicine, 1981).
*Larry R. Squire (1963), Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at University of California, San Diego, a world expert in the field of memory, Past President of the Society for Neuroscience.
*Matthew Stadler (1981), novelist ("Allan Stein").
*Sue Standing (1974), poet ("False Horizon").
*Durham Stevens (1871), assassinated diplomat to Japan.
*Brooke Stevens (1980), author ("Tattoo Girl").
*Anthony Stevenson (1988), mortician.
*William Grant Still, composer.
*Lucy Stone (1847), feminist and abolitionist.
*Anna Louise Strong (1905), activist and author.
*Dick Sudhalter (1960), jazz musician and critic
*Larry Sweeney (2003), professional wrestler.


*Julie Taymor (1974), theatrical and cinematic director, filmmaker, screenwriter ("Frida", "Titus", Broadway's "The Lion King", "Across the Universe").
*Jon Theodore (1996), Ex-drummer for the Mars Volta.
*Michael Teig (1990), poet ("Big Back Yard").
*Jen Trynin (1986), rock singer/songwriter.


*Peter Ullian (1988), playwright ("The Flight of the Lawnchair Man").
*Emory Upton studied at Oberlin for two years before being admitted to West Point in 1856.


*John Vinocur (1961), senior correspondent for "The International Herald Tribune".


*George Walker (1941, honorary degree 1983), composer, Pulitzer Prize for Music 1996.
*Moses Fleetwood Walker (1881), first African-American player in baseball's major leagues.
*Geoffrey Ward (1962), author ("The West: An Illustrated History" and "The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945").
*Bruce Weigl (1973), poet ("Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems").
*Paul Wennberg (1985), chemist and 2002 MacArthur Fellow.
*William Drake Westervelt (1871 and 1874; honorary degree 1926), Hawaiian historical writer.
*C. Martin Wilbur (1931), historian, Sinologist.
*Thornton Wilder, novelist ("The Bridge of San Luis Rey"), playwright ("Our Town").
*Harrison A. Williams (1941), U.S. senator and congressman from New Jersey.
*Warren Wilson, namesake of Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
*Jonah Winter (1984), poet ("Amnesia").
*Christopher Robin "Kit" Woolsey (1964), bridge internationalist and writer ("Matchpoints") and backgammon expert.
*John Wray (1993), novelist ("The Right Hand of Sleep").
*Franz Wright (1977), Pulitzer prize winning poet ("Ill Lit: Selected & New Poems", "Walking to Martha's Vineyard").
*Katharine Wright, sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright.
*Michelle Wright (1990), author ("Becoming Black: Creating Identity in the African Diaspora").
*Willard Warch (1931), Oberlin professor of music and theory.


*James Zemaits (1990), head of Sotheby's 20th-century-design department.
*David Zinman (1958), music director of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
*Stephen Zunes (1979), University of San Francisco professor of politics, and political activist.

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