List of University of Kansas people

The list of University of Kansas people includes notable alumni and faculty of the University of Kansas.


Nobel laureates

* Vernon L. Smith (M.A. in economics 1952), awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics []

Politics, government, and education

* William H. Avery (1934), 37th Governor of Kansas (1965–1967) []
* Sheila C. Bair, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
* Kay Barnes, Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri from 1999-2007
* Carol A. Beier, Kansas Supreme Court Justice
* George L. Brown, First African-American elected lieutenant governor in the U.S, (1974) and first African-American elected to statewide office in Colorado
* Arthur Linton Corbin (1894), professor at Yale Law School and scholar of contract law
* George Docking (1925), 35th Governor of Kansas (1957–1961) []
* Robert Docking (1948), 38th Governor of Kansas (1967–1975) []
* Bob Dole, former U.S. Senate majority leader and Senator from Kansas (1969–1996), presidential and vice-presidential nominee, WWII combat veteran. []
* Thomas Frank, author, What's the Matter with Kansas?
* Frederick Funston, attended 1885-1888, US Army general.
* John B. Gage (1907), mayor of Kansas City, Missouri (1940-1946)
* Robert L. Gernon (BS 1966), Kansas Supreme Court Justice.
* Arthur Harkins (BA 1959) & (PhD 1968), UMN Graduate Certificate in Innovation Studies.
* Jane Dee Hull (1957), 24th Governor of Arizona (1997–2003) [] (KU and Harvard are the only universities with 2 women alumni elected governors, see also Kathleen Sebelius)
* Robert Frederick Bennett 37th Governor of Kansas (1975-1979)
* Lee A. Johnson (BS 1964) Kansas Supreme Court Justice
* Nancy Landon Kassebaum (1954), First female U.S. senator (1979-1997) elected in own right without having been preceded in office by her husband.
* Kenton Keith, U.S. ambassador to Qatar, 1992-1995.
* Phill Kline (JD 1987), Former Attorney General of Kansas (2003–2006), current District Attorney of Johnson County, KS (2007-)
* Ron Kuby, civil rights attorney
* Lee Kyung-sook, president of Sookmyung Women's University, South Korea.
* Alf Landon (1908), 26th Governor of Kansas (1933–1937) and Republican nominee in the 1936 presidential election
* Delano Lewis, former National Public Radio CEO and ambassador to South Africa
* Deane Waldo Malott (1921), former Chancellor of KU and 6th president of Cornell University (1951–1963)
* David McClain, President, University of Hawaii
* John H. McClendon, an African-American scholar at Michigan State University
* Dennis Moore, current U.S. Congressman for Kansas District 3 (1999–present)
* Franklin David Murphy (B.S. 1936), Chancellor of the University of Kansas and Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles
* Lawton Nuss (BA 1975, JD 1982), Kansas Supreme Court Justice
* William C. Perry (1922), Chief Justice Oregon Supreme Court
* Eric Rosen, Kansas Supreme Court Justice
* Jim Ryun, former U.S. Congressman Kansas District 2 (1997–2007), three-time U.S. Olympic runner and silver medalist
* Kathleen Sebelius, 44th Governor of Kansas (2003–present) (KU and Harvard are the only universities with 2 women alumni elected governors, see also Jane Dee Hull)
* Stephen Six, Attorney General of Kansas
* Deanell Reece Tacha (BA 1968), current chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2001–present)

Media and the arts

* Stewart Bailey, television producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
* Scott Bakula, actor, star of "Quantum Leap" and ""
* Etta Moten Barnett, actress and singer, was the first black artist to perform at the White House, and was Bess in the Broadway production of "Porgy and Bess"
* James Barnes, professor and award-winning composer
* Liliana V. Blum, Mexican writer
* Danni Boatwright, former Miss Teen USA and Miss USA contestant, winner of ""
* Kara Brock - Television and film actress.
* Evan S. Connell, novelist, best known for "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge"
* Steve Doocy, FOX News anchor, and New York Times bestselling author
* Bob Dotson, documentarian and NBC reporter, 4-time Emmy Award winner
* Robert Ebendorf, international metalsmith and jeweler who uses found objects in his artwork
* Von Freeman, Television Executive Producer "ABC,NBC TV - The Radio Music Awards", Award winning Marketing director for his work in Los Angeles Radio.
* Moses Gunn, actor, was in the TV mini-series "Roots"
* Ann Hamilton (BFA 1979), sculptor, installation artist and 1993 MacArthur Fellow recipient
* Kevin Harlan, broadcaster for CBS and TNT sports
* Herk Harvey, Academy Award-winning director of over 400 industrial and educational short films as well as cult feature film "Carnival of Souls"
* Scott Heim. novelist
* Kevin Helliker, Chicago bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
* William Inge, a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winning author/playwright
* Don Johnson, actor, co-star of "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges"
* Tim Joyce, television journalist, writer, meteorologist
* Rebecca Kolls, former gardening expert on ABC's "Good Morning America" and HGTV and knife-hawking infomercial co-star
* Bill Kurtis, television journalist and producer best known as the host of numerous A&E crime and news documentary shows, including Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files.
* Neil LaBute, filmmaker/screenwriter, wrote and directed the award-winning "In the Company of Men", nominated for Palme D'Or for "Nurse Betty"
* Margaret Larkin, writer, poet, singer-songwriter, theater personality, researcher, and union activist.
* Keith Loneker, NFL player, St. Louis Rams and Atlanta Falcons. Actor, Leatherheads Superbad Lakeview Terrace and More...
* Robert Morris, contemporary sculptor and painter (transferred to Reed College)
* Rob Neyer, baseball author and columnist for
* Sara Paretsky, novelist, best known for her frequent protagonist, V.I. Warshawski
* Mandy Patinkin, Emmy and Tony Award winning actor and singer ("Yentl", "The Princess Bride"; TV's "Chicago Hope", "Criminal Minds")
* Artur Pizarro, concert pianist
* Maurice Prather, motion picture and still photographer and film director
* Betsy Randle, actress best known as the mother on "Boy Meets World"
* Rob Riggle, comedian, "The Daily Show" correspondent and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member
* Paul Rudd, actor from TV's "Friends", "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", "Clueless", "The Cider House Rules", "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet", and ""
* Devin Scillian, television journalist and children's author
* Gerald Seib, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
* William Stafford (BA 1937), poet and pacifist, winner of the National Book Award for "Travelling Through the Dark"
* Dee Wallace-Stone, actress ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", "The Howling")
* Harry Teinowitz, Sports Radio Host for Chicago's ESPN Radio AM 1000 (WMVP) []
* Catherine Warren, Miss Illinois USA 2006
* William Allen White, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
* Mike Wilson, Entrepreneur and Author of "Thru In 2 - The Ultimate College Guide"
* Carol Journey, Castmember on Big Brother 8
* Cara Gorges, Miss Kansas USA 2007, controversial 2nd runner up Miss USA

Science and technology

* Paul R. Ehrlich (MA/PhD 1957), entomologist, population researcher and author of "The Population Bomb", and 1990 MacArthur Fellow recipient
* Joe Engle (BS 1955), former NASA astronaut and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel []
* Ronald E. Evans (BS 1956), former NASA astronaut and a retired U.S. Navy captain []
* Steve Hawley (BA 1973), current NASA director and former astronaut []
* David Hillis, evolutionary biologist and 1999 MacArthur Fellow recipient
* Wes Jackson (MA 1960), environmental historian and founder of the Land Institute, a 1992 MacArthur Fellow recipient
* Bill James, noted Baseball sabermatrician and author of The Bill James Baseball Abstract in 1971
*William T. Kane, physicist in field of fiber optics
* Joseph W. Kennedy (MA 1937), co-discoverer of the element plutonium
* Brian McClendon (BSEE 1986), VP of Engineering for Google Earth, formerly Keyhole, Inc.
* Elmer McCollum, co-discoverer of Vitamin A
* Douglas Shane, (BS 1982) director of flight operations for SpaceShipOne, which made the first privately-funded human spaceflight
* Mike McCamon (1985), former executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)
* Walter Sutton, pioneer of cellular biology and genetics, physician, inventor
* Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer, discoverer of the dwarf planet Pluto
* Kent Whealy, co-founder of the Seed Savers Exchange, and 1988 MacArthur Fellow recipient
* Jeffrey Knight, Ph.D, award-winning geneticist


* Kenneth S. "Boots" Adams (1921), former President and CEO of Phillips 66 Petroleum Company []
* Kenneth G. Adams (1972), President and CEO of Adams Investment Co. []
* Philip Anschutz, billionaire, founder of Qwest []
* Stephen Barackman, President of Los Angeles, CA
* Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American, one of the world’s largest independent mining companies.
* Linda Z. Cook (1980), executive director of Shell Gas & Power, part of Royal Dutch Shell
* Paul Wilbur, CEO, Saleen Inc.
* David Dillon, Chairman and CEO, Kroger Co.
* Robert Eaton, former CEO of Chrysler Corporation
* Robert Kleist, founder and CEO of Printronix
* Lou Montulli, co-founder of Netscape []
* Alan Mulally (BS/MS), President and CEO of Ford Motor Company
* Christopher A. Sinclair (1971), former CEO of Pepsi-Cola, Co.
* Charles E. Spahr (1934), former CEO of Standard Oil of Ohio
* Kenneth A. Spencer (1926), Spencer Chemical Company founder whose philanthropies to KU include the Kenneth Spencer Research Library and the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art
* David Wittig, (1977) Former President and CEO of Westar Energy. []
* Cheryl Womack, founder of insurance company for National Association of Independent Truckers who donated the money for Arrocha Ballpark on the KU campus

Athletes and coaches

"For athletes and coaches, see the relevant section in Kansas Jayhawks"
* Wilt Chamberlain, two-time All-American, NBA hall of famer and NBA all-time leader for most points in a game with 100 points.
* Danny Manning, basketball player and coach. Two-time All-American, 1988 recipient of the Naismith and Wooden Awards, Big 8 Player of the Decade for the 1980s, two-time NBA all-star.
* Bill Bridges, All-American, 1975 NBA Championship with Golden State Warriors. NBA Career Average Double-double (11.9 pts., 11.9 rebounds.)
* Lynette Woodard, Four-time All-American, averaged 26 points per game and scored 3,649 points in total during her four years at KU. She is major college basketball's career women's scoring leader. First female member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Olympic women's basketball gold medalist.
* Clyde Lovellette, All-American, the first basketball player in history to play on NCAA, Olympic, and NBA championship squads. Three NBA Finals titles and 1952 Olympic gold medal and NCAA Champion.
* Jo Jo White, All-American, 1968 gold medal Mexico City Olympics, named the most valuable player of the 1976 NBA Finals, seven-time NBA All-Star with Boston Celtics.
* Dave Robisch, 2-time All-American, 13 seasons in ABA and NBA.
* John Hadl, 2-time All-American, once as halfback and once as quarterback. Selected as KU Football Player of the Century. NFL Quarterback from 1962-1977.
* Nolan Cromwell, All-American, In 1976 set NCAA rushing record for a quarterback with 294 yards in a game. 1980 NFC Defensive Player of the Year. 4-time pro bowl selection at defensive back in 11 years with the Los Angeles Rams.
* Gilbert Brown, NFL Nose Tackle for Super Bowl XXXI Champion Green Bay Packers. 11 seasons in NFL.
* Darnell Valentine, All-American, 3-time Academic All-American, 16th pick in 1981 NBA Draft, 10 years in NBA.
* Paul Pierce, All-American, NBA All-Star on the Boston Celtics.
* Scot Pollard, NBA, on the Boston Celtics.
* Jacque Vaughn, two-time All-American, 27th pick in 1997 NBA Draft.
* Raef LaFrentz, All-American, NBA player with the Portland Trail Blazers.
* Kirk Hinrich, All-American, NBA player from the Chicago Bulls.
* Drew Gooden, All-American, 4th pick 2002 NBA draft, Basketball America Player of the Year 2002, Chicago Bulls.
* mario chalmers,none yet
* Nick Collison, All-American, 1999 McDonald's High School All-American, 2002-03 NABC Player of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year. NBA player from the Seattle SuperSonics also known as "Mr. USA Basketball" for representing the country in international basketball since high school. Finished his college career as the leading scorer in the history of the Big 12 Conference.
* Wayne Simien, 2-time All-American, 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year.
* Al Oerter, All-American, Track and Field (discus), 4 consecutive gold medals in olympic discus throw (1956-1968). 2-time world record holder.
* Willie Pless, Star football linebacker in the Canadian Football League. NCAA and Big 8 record holder for tackles with 633 (in only 3 years). 11 time All-Pro and 5 time Defensive Player of the Year in CFL.
* Gale Sayers, All-American, NFL Hall-of-Fame running back.
* K. S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., owner of the Tennessee Titans []
* Jack Del Rio, former NFL linebacker, current head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars [Garfield, David. "NFL success, KU degree among Del Rio's rewards," "KU Alumni" magazine, Issue 5, 2007, page 55.] (Del Rio played collegiately for the University of Southern California (USC). He earned his degree from KU while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.)
* John Riggins, Super Bowl XVII MVP. NFL Hall of Fame inductee.
* Billy Mills, the only US athlete ever to win an Olympic 10,000m gold medal (at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics) and former world record holder.
* Jim Ryun, former U.S. Congressman for Kansas District 2 (1997–2007), three-time U.S. Olympic runner and silver medalist. Held world records in the 880, 1,500m, and indoor and outdoor miles.
* Dana Stubblefield, NFL all-pro defensive end. Stubblefield was drafted in the 1st round of the 1993 NFL Draft, 26th overall, by the San Francisco 49ers. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. 4x All-Pro selection (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997). 1997 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
* Dean Smith, former men's basketball coach at the University of North Carolina and the second winningest coach in the sport. 1952 NCAA Basketball title at KU.
* Adolph Rupp, former men's basketball coach at the University of Kentucky and the third winningest coach in the sport. 2-time Helms National Championship team member at KU.
* Forrest "Phog" Allen, football and basketball player, head basketball coach. Won 3 national championships, the 10th winningest coach in college basketball history and #1 winningest when he retired.
* Serena Settlemier, pitcher for Rockford Thunder NPF pro softball team
* Aqib Talib, 2008 Orange Bowl MVP and first round NFL draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


* John Bricke, Ph.D., Edinburgh University. Philosophy of the Mind, Hume and Davidson Scholar. [cite web | title = John Bricke, Ph.D. Curriculum Vite | url =]
* J C D Clark, Ph.D., Cambridge University. Hall Center Chaired Professor of History. History of Political Thought, 17th and 18th Century Britain, History of Religion
* George Coggins, Frank E. Tyler Distinguished Professor of Law. J.D. from the University of Michigan.
* Michael S. Engel, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Entomology, one of the leading experts on fossil insects and author of "Evolution of the Insects" (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Ph.D. from Cornell University.
* Steven A. Epstein, Distinguished Professor of Medieval History. Ph. D. from Harvard (1981). Multiple book publications to his name concerning late-medieval Genoa and Renaissance Italy. [cite web | title = KU Distinguished Professors: Stephen A. Epstein | url =]
* Bryant C. Freeman, an expert on Haiti, its language, culture, and history. He founded the Institute of Haitian studies at KU. He has been asked consulted various U.S. government and international organizations regarding Haiti, and was given the protocol rank of Major General with the U.N. peacekeeping force. He has published significant dictionaries in the language. [cite web | title = African and African American Studies | url =]
* Don W. Green, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering [cite web | title = KU Distinguished Professors: Don W. Green | url =] – co-editor of "Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook", the world's most widely used reference by chemical and petroleum engineers. [cite web | title = Knovel Library | url =]
* James GunnHugo Award-winning science fiction author and creative writing professor. [cite web | title = James Gunn Biography | url =]
* David S. Holmes – Professor of Psychology. Ph.D., 1965, Northwestern University. M.D., 1968, Harvard University. Served on the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital, Northwestern University, University of Texas, and Princeton University. Author of "Abnormal Psychology" textbook.
* Kermit E Krantz MD, LittD (deceased 2007), University Distinguished Professor; Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Professor of Anatomy Emeritus. Developed the Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz (MMK) and invented the expandable tampon.
* Jeffrey Lang, professor of mathematics and Muslim author.
* Stanley LombardoClassics professor and translator of numerous Classical works into English, including Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid. [cite web | title = KU: Department of Classics | url = |accessdate 2007-03-19]
* Charles D. Michener (retired) Ex-chairman of KU Entomology Department, Ex-director of the Snow Entomological Museum, Watkins Distinguished Professor of Entomology, member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Association of American Publishers gave its R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Professional Reference or Scholarly Work of 2000 to Michener's opus, "The Bees of the World".
* Dr. Jan Roskam -- emeritus Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, author of eleven books on airplane design and flight dynamics and over 160 papers on the topics of aircraft aerodynamics, performance, design and flight controls.
* Kevin Willmott, of Junction City, KS, associate professor of Theater & Film, [cite web | title = TH&F Assoc. Professor Kevin Willmott| url = | accessdate 2007-03-19] writer and director of the film , [cite web | title = C.S.A. The Movie Website | url = |accessdate 2007-03-19] which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and in 2005 was nominated for Best Film at the Festival Internacional de Cinema do Porto in Porto, Portugal.
* Paul E. Wilson (deceased), distinguished emeritus professor of law. Wilson argued Brown v. Board of Education on behalf of the State of Kansas.
* Norman R. Yetman, (retired) Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Chancellors Club Teaching Professor of American Studies and Sociology. Distinguished author on race and politics.

Honorary alumni

* Donald J. Hall, Sr., Chairman of the Board and former President and CEO of Hallmark Cards


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