Notable Philosophy Majors

It is not uncommon to hear someone ask, “But what can you do with a philosophy major?” The correct answer is: Nearly anything! The fact is, Philosophy majors have excelled in business, science, politics, the arts, in entertainment, and in many other fields. But don’t take our word for it. These well-known people all majored in Philosophy. Recognize any of these names?

Lana Del Rey (singer)

William Jefferson Clinton (former President)

Woody Allen (director & comedian)

Jimmy Kimmel (talk show host)

Mary Higgins Clark (mystery writer)

Gene Siskel (movie reviewer, Siskel & Ebert at the Movies)

Philip K. Dick (science fiction writer)

Harrison Ford (actor)

Elliott Smith (indie singer-songwriter)

Mark Hulbert (financial columnist for Forbes magazine)

Bruce Lee (martial artist & actor)

Steve Martin (comedian & actor)

Pope John Paul II (Vicar of Christ)

Susan Sontag (essayist)

George Soros (money manager, Soros Foundation)

William B. Davis (the “Smoking Man” from The X-Files)

Alex Trebek (host, Jeopardy!)

David Foster Wallace (novelist & MacArthur prize recipient)

Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel Peace Prize winner)

Robert McNamara (former Secretary of Defense)

David Souter (Supreme Court Justice)

Wes Anderson (filmmaker and writer)

Ethan Coen (filmmaker and writer)

Philip Glass (composer)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (writer)

Phil Jackson (basketball coach)

Chris Hardwick (MTV Host)

Dennis Miller (comedian)

Stone Phillips (news broadcaster)

Gerald Levin (CEO, Time-Warner, Inc.)

Pierre Trudeau (former Canadian Prime Minister)

Angela Davis (social activist and political philosopher)

Michael McCaskey (owner, Chicago Bears)

Will Self (British novelist)

Ricky Gervais (comedian)

Sam Harris (neuroscientist and author)

Peter Lynch (headed Fidelity’s Magellan fund)

Robert E. Rubin (Secretary of the Treasury)

Carleton ‘Carly’ Fiorina (CEO of Helwett-Packard)

Peter Thiel (co-founded PayPal, hedge fund manager)

Patrick M. Byrne (CEO of

Stewart Butterfield (co-founder of Flickr)

Ahmet Ertegun (founder, Atlantic Records)

Marko Ahtisaari (Senior Vice-President of Design, Nokia)

Rick Rubin (record producer, Columbia Records)

Stephen Breyer (US Supreme Court Justice)

Richard Riordan (former Mayor of Los Angeles)

Terrence Malick (filmmaker, The Tree of Life)

Mark Boal (screenwriter, Zero-Dark Thirty)

Anthony J. Leggett (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2003)

Nic Pizzolatto (creator and writer of the television show, True Detective)

And many more. Clearly, majoring in Philosophy
can contribute to a wide range of different occupations.
Why not consider adding your name to this list?