List of Duke University people

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This list of Duke University people includes alumni, faculty, presidents, and major philanthropists of Duke University, which includes three undergraduate and ten graduate schools. The undergraduate schools include Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, and Sanford School of Public Policy. The university's graduate and professional schools include the Graduate School, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, the Divinity School, and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Famous alumni include U.S. President Richard Nixon; Chilean President Ricardo Lagos; former cabinet member and former Senator Elizabeth Dole; philanthropist Melinda French Gates; the chief executive officers of Apple (Tim Cook), Procter and Gamble (David S. Taylor), Bear Stearns (Alan Schwartz), Morgan Stanley (John J. Mack), and Pfizer (Edmund T. Pratt, Jr.); former General Motors Corporation CEO (Rick Wagoner); and the first United States Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients. Notable alumni media personalities include Dan Abrams, the former general manager of MSNBC; Jay Bilas, a commentator on ESPN; Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and CBS Sports; Charlie Rose, the former host of his eponymous PBS talk show and a 60 Minutes contributor; and Judy Woodruff, an anchor at CNN. William DeVries (GME 1971–79) was the first doctor to perform a successful permanent artificial heart implantation, and appeared on the cover of Time in 1984.

Current notable faculty include Manny Azenberg, a Broadway producer whose productions have won 40 Tony Awards; Adrian Bejan, namesake of the Bejan number; and David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times. Walter E. Dellinger III, formerly the United States Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, and head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Bill Clinton, serves as a law professor. Novelist and playwright Ariel Dorfman won the 1992 Laurence Olivier Award, while Peter Feaver was a member of the National Security Council under Clinton and George W. Bush. David Gergen served as an advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. John Hope Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton, while William Raspberry, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. 13 Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the university.

James B. Duke established a $40 million trust fund, The Duke Endowment, in 1924, propelling the university to officially change its name in honor of his family's philanthropy.

International academic prizes[edit]

Nobel laureates[edit]

Robert Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Duke and the 2012 Nobel laureate in Chemistry.

As of 2018, 13 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Duke University. The following list includes only those who have graduated from Duke or spent at least one year as a postdoctoral researcher or two years as a faculty member at Duke.

Turing Award laureates[edit]

In the absence of a Nobel Prize in Computer science, the Turing Award generally is recognized as the highest honor in the subject and the "Nobel Prize of computing". As of 2015, 3 Turing Award laureates have been affiliated with Duke University.


Selected Duke Alumni
Ricardo Lagos, Ph.D. 1966
U.S. President Richard Nixon, J.D. 1937
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, M.A. 1984
U.S. Senator and cabinet secretary Elizabeth Dole, A.B. 1958
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Juanita Kreps, Ph.D. 1948
U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, J.D. 1973
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. 1961
U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall, A.B. 1971
Admiral Frank Bowman, B.S. 1966
U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, A.M. 1976
Philanthropist Melinda Gates, A.B. 1986, M.B.A. 1987
Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein, A.B. 1970
Apple CEO Tim Cook, M.B.A. 1988
Marine biologist Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. 1966
Astronaut Charles E. Brady, Jr., M.D. 1975
Actor Jared Harris, B.F.A. 1984
Actor and comedian Ken Jeong, B.S. 1990
Television journalist Charlie Rose, A.B. 1964, J.D. 1968
Two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng
Seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill
Eight-time MLB All-Star Dick Groat

Government, law, and public policy[edit]

Note: individuals who belong in multiple sections appear in the most relevant section.

Heads of State[edit]

Cabinet members and White House staff[edit]

Members of Congress[edit]

U.S. Senators[edit]
U.S. Representatives[edit]





Public policy[edit]



State officials[edit]

Foreign officials[edit]




University presidents and administrators[edit]

Professors and academics[edit]

Medicine, science and technology[edit]


Fine arts[edit]


Journalism and media[edit]


See also men's basketball players, women's basketball players, and football players.

American football[edit]









Men's basketball head coaches[edit]

Football head coaches[edit]

University Presidents[edit]

President Tenure
Brantley York 1838–1842
Braxton Craven 1842–1863
William Trigg Gannaway* 1864–1865
*Appointed president pro tempore during the break in Craven's presidency
Braxton Craven 1866–1882
Marquis Lafayette Wood 1883–1886
John Franklin Crowell 1887–1894
John Carlisle Kilgo 1894–1910
William Preston Few 1910–1924
University officially established as Duke University in 1924
William Preston Few 1924–1940
Robert Lee Flowers 1941–1948
Arthur Hollis Edens 1949–1960
Julian Deryl Hart 1960–1963
Douglas Knight 1963–1969
Terry Sanford 1969–1985
H. Keith H. Brodie 1985–1993
Nannerl O. Keohane 1993–2004
Richard H. Brodhead 2004–2017
Vincent E. Price 2017–present

Major philanthropists[edit]

Donors who have contributed at least $20 million to the university or founding donors:

Donor Total Amount Year Purpose
The Duke Endowment $1.5+ billion[59][60][61][62] 1924–
James B. Duke $40 million
($458 million in 2006 dollars)
1924 For endowment; established The Duke Endowment later that year
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $106.5+ million 2002–2007 $46.5 million for AIDS research,[63] $30 million for a new science facility and $5 million for student life initiatives,[64] $15 million for DukeEngage, a civic engagement program,[65] $9 million for undergraduate financial aid and $1 million for Fuqua students financial aid[66]
Bruce and Martha Karsh $85 million 2005–2011 For student financial aid[67][68][69]
Anne and Robert Bass $70 million 1996–2013 $20 million for the FOCUS program and various endowed chairs, $50 million for interdisciplinary research[70][71]
J. Michael and Christine Pearson $50+ million 2014 $30 million to the Pratt School of Engineering to advance engineering and science education, $15 million to the School of Nursing and $7.5 million to the Fuqua School of Business[72]
David Rubenstein $50 million 2002–2013 $13.6 million to Duke Libraries, $20.75 million to the Sanford School of Public Policy, $10 million to Duke athletics[73][74]
Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. $35 million 1999 To endow the School of Engineering[75]
David H. Murdock $35 million 2007 For "translational medicine" research by the Duke Medical School[76]
Disque Deane $20 million
($34 million in
2005 dollars)
1986 To "establish a research institute on the human future"[77]
Dr. Steven and Rebecca Scott $30 million 2013 $20 million for Duke Sports Medicine, $10 million for Duke athletic facility
Michael J. and Patty Fitzpatrick $25 million 2000 For a center for advanced photonics and communications[78]
William and Sue Gross $23 million 2005 $15 million for undergraduate scholarships, $5 million for medical students' scholarships, and $3 million to support faculty members of the Fuqua School of Business[79]
Peter and Ginny Nicholas $20+ million 1999–
$20 million for the School of the Environment and Earth Sciences;[80] $70 million pledged for the School of the Environment and $2 million pledged for Perkins library in 2003 still unpaid as of September 2010[81]
Bill and Melinda Gates $20 million 1998 For undergraduate scholarships[79]
Washington Duke $385,000
($7.9 million in 2005 dollars)
1892 For original endowment and construction
Julian S. Carr N/A 1892 Donated site of East Campus


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External links[edit]