The 20 Most Notable Princeton Alumni in the Business World

Princeton University is among the top educational institutions in the United States. The university is known for its high standards of education and it has produced some of our greatest leaders in politics, business and in the world of journalism. It’s one of America’s most historic and prestigious schools from which the likes of president Woodrow Wilson and former first lady Michelle Obama has graduated. Here are 20 of the most noteworthy graduates of Princeton who have continued forward to become successful in the business world.

1. Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon

Bezos attended Princeton University and majored in computer science and electrical engineering. He graduated from Princeton in 1986 and then went out into the world and created the mega online retailer Amazon.com. He has become one of the most successful and richest alum of Princeton with a net worth that is close to $60 billion, and he has also been recognized as the fifth richest man in the entire world and was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1999.

2. Philip Condit CEO and Chairman of the Boeing Corp

Philip Condit

Philip Condit earned his master’s degree from Princeton University in aeronautical engineering in 1965. He became the Chairman and CEO of the aeronautics corporation Boeing. His career for the company spanned 35 years before he retired. He has authored multiple papers relating to commercial aircraft technology adn is responsible for a patent being granted in 1965 for the sail wing technology. He worked on the team that developed the Boeing 777 aircraft and was also the recipient of the Collier award among many other accolades for his contributions.

3. William Clay Ford Jr. – Executive chairman Ford Motor Company

William Bill Clay Ford Jr.

William Clay Ford graduated from Princeton in 1979 with his Bachelor’s degree. He is the Ford founder Henry Ford’s great grandson and he worked at the family business serving as COO, CEO, president and executive chairman of the board. Mr. Ford also served as chairman of the United States-Mexico Chamber of commerce and vice chairman for the NFL franchise the Detroit Lions.

4. Barbara Cassani – Go Airlines developer

Barbara Cassani

Barbara Cassani is a 1984 graduate of Princeton University. She’s a native of Boston who earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations, then went on to develop a career as a public speaker on business and management. She has an extensive background in business management and consulting and has done very well in the world of business, helping to build multiple companies and assist them in mergers and acquisitions.

5. Mort Collins – M. Collins Ventures LLC

Mort Collins

Mort Collins graduated from Princeton in 1963. He went on to found M. Collins Ventures LLC which is a company that focuses upon the development of quantum computing, fast lasers and therapeutic immunology. He was also one of the founders of Battelle Venture Partners which directed its resources towards funding for the National Laboratories which were under the Battelle company, working with the Department of Energy. He also served as the CEO of Data Science Ventures and was also a founder of the company.

6. Peter Lewis – CEO Progressive Insurance

Peter Lewis graduated from Princeton in 1955 and throughout his life went on to become one of its most noteworthy graduates. He was the CEO of Progressive Insurance and he led the company to become the fifth largest in its market niche within the United States. Mr. Lewis had a net worth of $1.2 billion at the time of his passing in November of 2013. He was recognized for his philanthropy giving away millions to help pass legislation to legalize marijuana as a treatment for pain.

7. Lee Iacocca – Chrysler Executive

Lee Iaccoca

Mr. Iacocca attended Princeton University where he earned his master’s degree. He is a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania and after graduating, went on to enjoy a career with the Ford Motor Company that lasted 32 years, and 8 of those years was spent as their president. He went on to work for the Chrysler Corporation and became the chairman in 1970. After joining the company, it saw a dramatic increase in profitability during the 1980s and he became famous and well respected for his business acumen and for his contributions to the advancement of fuel saving technologies .

8. Robert Johnson – Founder of BET

Robert Johnson, a native of Hickory Mississippi, attended Princeton University where he earned his master’s degree in public affairs in 1972. He is the founder of Black Entertainment Television, also known as BET. The company became very successful and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a publicly traded organization. Mr. Johnson went on to establish other successful companies and at one time, he owned controlling interest in the Charlotte Bobcats. Mr. Johnson went on to become the first African American to become a billionaire.

9. Andrea Jung – Avon CEO

Ms. Jung graduated from Princeton in 1979 magna cum laude. She went on to become the Avon company’s first woman CEO in 1999. She currently serves as thte CEO of a nonprofit company Grameen America which is a microfinance business. She is also known for her high quality journalism style.

10. John Kamm – Dai Hua Foundation

John Kamm

John Kamm attended Princeton University, graduating in 1972 . He’s most widely recognized for his skillful rendering of services in facilitating the release of several hundred political prisoners in China. He’s accomplished this task through the use of leveraging business relationships. It is through his keen knowledge of Chinese regulations that he has been successful in ensuring that the rules of the country have been adhered to by a government which tends to overlook the laws in favor of punishing people who otherwise should be set free. Kamm is a master in trade negotiations.

11. Wendy Kopp – Teach for America founder

CEO Wendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp is a 1989 graduate of Princeton University. She attended classes with students who came from backgrounds that set them at a disadvantage and it was at this time that she began formulating her future plans to do something about it. She worked for the Foundation for Student Communication and after her graduation, she founded Teach for America. The program recruits people who have graduated from colleges to move into areas which are largely under served to teach.

12. Laurance S. Rockefeller

Laurance S. Rockefeller

Laurance S. Rockefeller graduated from Princeton University in 1932. He continued forward to earn a law degree at Harvard Law School and he is one of the alumni when went on to carry on with his father’s dynasty as a venture capitalist and as a philanthropist and conservationist. Throughout his life, Rockefeller made significant contributions to the business world and is remembered for them yet.

13. Eric Schmidt – Google

Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google Inc.,

Eric Schmidt attended Princeton and graduated with his degree in electrical engineering in 1976. He went forward to earn his PhD from UC Berkely in computer science and then joined Google. He became the executive chairman of Google in 2009 and is a partner with his wife in the Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund at Princeton.

14. Malcolm Forbes – Forbes magazine

Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes attended Princeton University in the political science program. The son of the founder of Forbes Magazine, he assumed the position of editor in Chief of the magazine after the death of his father. He was awarded the prestigious Class 1901 Medal for the contributions that he made to the University when he attended Princeton.

15. Norman Augustine – Lockheed Martin

Norman Augustine is another notable Princeton Alumni. He graduated from the school in 1957 then went on to become the Chairman of Lockheed Martin. He also headed the National Academies Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy. Mr. Augustine was instrumental in producing a report which detailed strategies for economic competitiveness.

16. John C. Bogle -The Vanguard Group

John C. Bogle attended Princeton University and graduated in the class of 1951. He earned the distinction of being named as a member of the 100 most influential people in the world list issued by Time magazine in 2004. He founded one of the world’s largest mutual funds called the Vanguard Group.  Sadly Bogle passed away earlier this year.

17. Arthur Levinson – CEO Genentech

Arthur Levinson

Arthur Levinson graduated from Princeton in 1977 with his PhD and went on to become a leader in Genentech, a company specializing in the development of cancer treatment drugs. In 2013, Mr. Levinson became the CEO of Calico, which focuses upon health related concerns, well-being and aging. He is also on the Apple Corporations board serving as their chairman. In addition to all of this, he has co-written over 80 articles in the scientific arena and is an inventor with 11 patents to his credit. He became a member of the Biotech Hall of Fame and has received many distinguished awards and well deserved recognition.

18. Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes is a notable graduate of Princeton University earning his bachelors degree in American History in 1970. Prior to founding Forbes Magazine, he started a smaller publication while still a student at Princeton called Business Today. He went on after graduation to become the president and CEO of Forbes Inc as well as the company’s editor in chief. Forbes became a candidate for the presidency in 1996 then ran again in 2000 under the Republican ticket but did not win the nomination. He took over Forbes Magazine which was established by his father Malcolm after his death in 1990.

19. Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman is another graduate of Princeton University who went on to become successful in the business world. After earning her economics degree from Princeton in 1977, she continued on with her education attending Harvard and earning an MBA from the school. During her career, she secured a position for Proctor Gameble, then moved on to work at Walt Disney. In 1998, she joined the Ebay company and was instrumental in the significant growth that the online auction site experienced. Upon leaving Ebay, she went on to serve as the CF of the Hewlett Packard company.

20. Walter Morgan – The Wellington Fund

Walter Morgan is another Princeton Alum who went forward to become insanely successful in business. He was a member of the graduating class of  1920 from Princeton University and he became a certified public accountant. He put his knowledge and skills to work and founded the Wellington Fund. This was one of the firs mutual funds in the United States and it was established in 1929. It is important to note that the Wellington Fund served as the fore-runner of the Vanguard Group which would later be established in 1951 by another Princeton Alum named Jack (John) Bogle. Morgan worked with Bogle early in the future founder’s career and served as a mentor for him. In fact, after hiring John C. Bogle to work at the company, he would become the heir of the Wellington Fund.

Closing thoughts

From all appearances Princeton University has made a habit out of graduating some of the most top notch professionals in in our nation’s history and they’re keeping that same tradition going today. From presidents and other high ranking politicians to the CEOs of important corporations, many of these impressive men and women have one thing in common with one another. They all attended Princeton University where they received a solid foundation for embarking on careers that would one day change the world.


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