Famous Alumni of Morehouse College

Not everyone can wear these....check out this list to see some of the famous graduates from Morehouse College.  Click on the image to buy this hat online.

Not everyone can wear these….check out this list to see some of the famous graduates from Morehouse College. Click on the image to buy one of these hats online.

Morehouse College has produced world-famous alumni across many areas of expertise. We found this list of famous alumni on Wikipedia and thought it would be fun to publish here on the Morehouse College Alumni Association Blog.

While some of these names may be familiar to you, if you have a couple of moments please read their roles in history – there are some very very interesting and important people from our alma mater!

Surely this list isn’t comprehensive…if you realize someone is missing from this list (even if, you know, it’s YOU!), please let us know by dropping us a note.


Name Class year Notability


Russell L Adams 1952 Chair, Department Afro-American Studies, Howard University (1971-2005); Professor Emeritus, Howard University
Benjamin Brawley 1901 first Dean of Morehouse College
Calvin O. Butts 1972 President, SUNY College at Old Westbury; Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
Ronald L. Carter 1971 President, Johnson C. Smith University; former Dean of Students Boston University and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa
James A. Colston 1932 2nd President, Bethune-Cookman University; President Knoxville College; President Savannah State University; 2nd President Bronx Community College
Samuel DuBois Cook 1948 first Black Professor Emeritus and Trustee Emeritus at Duke University; President Dillard University 1974-1997
Charles D. Churchwell 1952 former Dean of Library Services at Washington University in St. Louis; Brown University and Miami University (OH)
Abraham L. Davis 1961 Distinguished Professor and Chair, Political Science Department, Morehouse College
Mordecai Wyatt Johnson 1911 First African-American president of Howard University
James C. Early 1969 Distinguished Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington, D.C.
Eddie Glaude 1989 Chair, Center for African American Studies and Professor at Princeton University; Guest Contributor: The Tavis Smiley Show
Marshall Grigsby 1968 former President of Benedict College and former Vice President, Provost and CEO of Hampton University
John Hopps, Jr. 1958 former Director of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and Distinguished Physics Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Recipient of the Materials Advancement Award
David Jones 1983 Vice President of Human Resources, Stanford University
Walter J. Leonard former Assistant Dean Harvard Law School; former President of Fisk University; Two Fellowships are named in his honor at Oxford University
James Nabrit, Jr. 1923 Second African-American president of Howard University and former Deputy United Nations Ambassador
Calvin Mackie 1990 former Professor of Engineering, Tulane University; winner of the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering; Black Engineer of the Year for College Level Educators
Walter E. Massey 1958 former Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago; former Dean of the College of Physics at Brown University; former Provost of the University of California System; President Emeritus at Morehouse College
Richard McKinney 1931 first African American President of Storer College; former Dean at Virginia Union University and Morgan State University
Richard J. Powell 1975 Distinguished Professor of Art History at Duke University; editor-in-chief, the Art Bulletin; Wilbur Lucius Cross Medalist, Yale University Alumni of the Year Award
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. 1989 Professor, Harvard Law School and Director of the Criminal Justice Inst. at Harvard Law; Legal Analysts CNN, Fox News
James F. Williams current Dean of Libraries University of Colorado at Boulder , 2002 Melvil Dewey Medal recipient
Charles V. Willie 1948 Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Harvard University Graduate School of Education
John S. Wilson, Jr. 1979 Incoming Morehouse College President; Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities; former Assistant Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ronald D. Brown former CEO, Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc
Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr. 1940 founder and former CEO, Bronner Bros., which is also the publisher of Upscale Magazine
Herman Cain 1967 former CEO, Godfather’s Pizza
Emmett Carson 1981 CEO and President, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
James W. Compton 1961 Board of Directors, Ariel Investments, Inc.; retired President & CEO, Chicago Urban League
Reginald E. Davis 1984 President, RBC Bank, former Sr. Executive, Wachovia; named one the 75 Most Powerful African-Americans in Corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine
Dale E. Jones 1982 Vice Chair, Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.
Robert L. Mallett 1979 former Vice President, Pfizer Corporation, President Pfizer Foundation/Member of Accordia Global Health Foundation’s Board of Directors
Walter E. Massey 1958 former Chairman, Bank of America; former Director of the National Science Foundation
Kent Matlock 1986 CEO of Matlock Advertising & Public Relations
John W. Mims 1982 Sr. Vice President Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Arthur E. Johnson 1968 former President and COO, Lockheed Martin I&SS, and President, IBM, FSC Division
Shaka Rasheed 1993 Managing Director, J.P.Morgan Asset Management
Rufus H. Rivers 1986 Managing Director, RLJ Equity Partners, Board of Directors: Thomas & Betts, the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC)
Robert T. Ross 1981 Director, NJ Wealth Management Banking at Merrill Lynch
Maceo K. Sloan 1971 Chair & CEO NCM Capital Management Group and Chair & CEO Sloan Financial Group, Inc., Board of Directors, SCANA Corporation


Uzee Brown, Jr. 1972 Opera Singer, Composer
Byron Cage 1987 Grammy Nominated Gospel Singer; NAACP Image Award nominee and winner of six Stellar Awards
Keith “Guru” Elam 1983 (Group) Gang Starr, Rapper, pioneer
Edmund Jenkins 1914 Harlem Renaissance Composer studied under Kemper Harreld
Canton Jones 1985 Grammy nominated Gospel Singer
Babatunde Olatunji 1954 Grammy Award winning Nigerian drummer, social activist and recording artist; Drums of Passion.
Shakir Stewart 1996 Senior Vice President of Island Def Jam Music Group and the Executive Vice President of Def Jam

Film, television and theatre

Samuel L. Jackson 1972 actor
Erik King 1985 actor, “Dexter”
Spike Lee 1979 film director and producer
Seith Mann 1995 television director: The Wire, Grey’s Anatomy; winner of the NAACP Image Award
Bill G. Nunn III 1976 actor, School Daze, Mo Better Blues, New Jack City
Avery O Williams 1986 screenwriter; Notes In A Minor Key, Re-Directing Eddie
Stu James 1989 Broadway and television actor; Color Purple, Dreamgirls, All My Children, General Hospital
Rockmond Dunbar actor, Soul Food, Girlfriends

Government, law, and public policy

Sanford Bishop 1968 U.S. Congressman (Georgia)
John Brewer 1989 Associate Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Services and General Sales Manager, United States Department of Agriculture
Julius E. Coles 1964 former U.S. Ambassador to Senegal; former President Africare
George Haley 1949 former Chair U.S. Postal Rate Commission and Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana; brother of Alex Haley
James L. Hudson 1961 Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Chair, National Capitol Revitalization Corporation Board
Earl F. Hilliard 1964 former U.S. Congressman (Alabama)
John Hopps Jr. 1958 former Deputy Under Secretary United States Department of Defense
Howard E. Jeter 1970 former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria; former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana
James Nabrit, Jr. 1923 former Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; second African American President of Howard University
Robert L. Mallett 1979 former Deputy Secretary of Commerce U.S. Department of Commerce; VP Pfizer Corporation, President Pfizer Foundation
Major R. Owens 1956 U.S. Congressman (New York)
Cedric Richmond 1995 U.S. Congressman (Louisiana)
David Satcher 1963 16th U.S. Surgeon General, former president of Morehouse School of Medicine
Joel Secundy 1993 Deputy Assistant Secretary, Service Industries, International Trade Administrations, United States Department of Commerce
Louis W. Sullivan 1954 former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and current President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine
Horace T. Ward 1927 First African American to challenge the racially discriminatory practices at the University of Georgia (UGA) School of Law. First African-American to be appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and former member of the Georgia Senate
Julian Bond 1971 Civil rights leader, former Georgia state representative & Chairman of the NAACP
Terrance Carroll 1992 Speaker, Colorado House of Representatives
Kenneth Dunkin 1989 Illinois House of Representatives
Leroy Johnson 1949 Senator; first African American elected to the Georgia General Assembly since Reconstruction
John Monds 1987 Highest number of votes received by any Libertarian candidate ever
Frank Peterman 1985 Florida House of Representatives
Bakari Sellers 2005 Youngest member elected to the South Carolina General Assembly
Andre Thapedi 1990 Illinois House of Representatives
Perry Thurston Jr. 1982 Florida House of Representatives
S. Howard Woodson 1942 Bachelor of Divinity Morehouse School of Religion; former Speaker, New Jersey General Assembly
Claude Black Jr. 1937 first Black mayor Pro Tem San Antonio, Texas; Civil Rights Leader; Pastor Mt. Zion Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas
Chuck Burris 1971 first Black mayor of Stone Mountain, Georgia
John Wesley Dobbs 1897 the unofficial “Mayor” of Sweet Auburn Avenue (1937-1949); Civic Leader and co-founder of the Atlanta Negro Voters League
Maynard Jackson 1956 first Black mayor of Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson served three terms as Mayor; founder and CEO of Jackson Securities Inc.; National Development Chair, Democratic National Committee
Ed McIntyre 1956 first African-American mayor of Augusta,GA
Alvin Parks, Jr. 1983 Mayor, East St. Louis, IL (2007- Present)
James O. Webb 1953 Mayor Glencoe, Illinois; established the first HMO in Illinois and served as Chair, President and CEO of the Dental Network of America (of the Health Care Service Corporation)
Clinton I. Young 1972 Mayor, Mt. Vernon, NY (2008- Present)

Judges and lawyers

Michael D. Carter 1986 Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles County
George W. Crockett Jr. 1931 former U.S. Congressman, United States Congress; Founding Member of the National Lawyer’s Guild; Co-founded the first racially integrated law firm in the U.S.; first Black attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor
Ralph B. Everett 1973 President and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Joseph Jerome Farris 1951 Justice, United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
Robert V. Franklin 1947 Retired Judge, Ohio District Court of Appeals.
Odell Horton 1951 Justice, U.S. District Court W. Tenn.
Reginald C. Lindsay 1967 Justice, United States Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
James L. Hudson 1961 Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Chair, National Capitol Revitalization Corporation Board
Michael D. Johnson 1990 Judge, Superior Court, Fulton Co., Georgia
Jeh Johnson 1979 first black Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, named to the National Law Journal’s 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers; appointed General Counsel for the Defense Department by President Barack Obama; former General Counsel U.S. Air Force.
C. Vernon Mason 1967 disbarred lawyer, Tawana Brawley case, Howard Beach incident.
Stephen L. Maxwell 1942 first Black District Court Judge in Minnesota
Tyrone C. Means 1973 Founding Partner, Thomas Means Gillis & Seay; Counsel and Board Member, Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation
Graham T. Perry c.1920 First African American Assistant Attorney-General for State of Illinois
Olu Stevens 1992 Circuit Court Judge for the 30th Circuit KY
Thomas Sampson Sr. 1968 founding Partner of Thompson Kennedy Sampson & Patterson, the oldest minority-owned law firm in the state of Georgia.
Jerome Walker 1981 Partner Troutman Sanders, LLP; former General Counsel for the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd.
Horace T. Ward 1949 Federal Judge, U.S. District Court Northern, Georgia; Inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame and recipient of the Trumpet Award for Civil Rights Advocacy
Brent Wilson 1973 Partner, Elarbee Thompson Sapp & Wilson; Who’s Who in American Law; Listed among America’s Top Black Lawyers by Black Enterprise ; Chamber’s USA Best Lawyers for Business.
Richard T. White 1967 Sr. VP and General Counsel for the Auto Club Group and Chairman of the Association of Corporate Counsel

Journalist and media personalities

Michael DeMond Davis 1961 Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist; author of Black American Women in Olympic Track & Field and co-author of Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench.
Robert E. Johnson 1948 former Executive Editor and Associate Publisher, Jet Magazine
Kevin A. Ross 1985 Host/producer of daytime syndication legal show America’s Court with Judge Ross
Jamal Simmons 1993 Political correspondent for CNN
Vincent Tubbs c.1938 Co-founder of National Negro Newspaper Week and first African American to head a motion picture industry union


Lerone Bennett, Jr. 1949 Senior editor for the Johnson Publishing Group (JET, Ebony); author Before the Mayflower
Sanford Biggers 1993 Artist, Professor Columbia University School of the Arts
Thomas Dent 1952 writer and poet; author Magnolia Street
Jefferson Grisby 1938 author, artist; NAACP Man of the Year Award; first African American to publish a book for collegiate art teachers
Miles Marshall Lewis 1993 Pop culture critic, essayist, and author
Military service
Otha Thornton, Lt. Colonel 1989 former Director of Human Resources and Presidential Communications Officer for the White House Communications Agency; Awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by Michigan Technological University; former Assistant Professor, Michigan Technological University and Winner of the Parting of the Waters Award for Faculty Excellence.
James R. Hall, Lt. General (ret.) 1957 Deputy Inspector General, the United States Army


Calvin O. Butts 1972 Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
M. William Howard, Jr. (minister) 1968 Pastor Bethany Baptist Church, former President New York Theological Seminary; Chair, Rutgers University Board of Governors
Thomas Kilgore, Jr. 1931 Civil Rights pioneer and Pastor Emeritus, Second Baptist Church; a building is named in his honor on the Morehouse campus
Otis Moss, Jr. 1956 Pastor and Theologian
Otis Moss III 1992 Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ; listed on the Root 100
Kelly Miller Smith 1942 assistant dean Vanderbilt University Divinity School (circa 1970s-1980s)
Howard Thurman 1923 Renowned Theologian; Dean of Chapel Boston University
Frederick B. Williams Canon of the Church of the Intercession in Harlem, New York (1971-2005)

Science and medicine

Henry W. Foster, Jr. 1954 President Emeritus, Meharry Medical College; Clinical Professor, Vanderbilt University; former nominee to post of U.S. Surgeon General; Presidential Advisor
John Hopps, Jr. 1958 Physicist, former longtime Director of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and distinguished professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Recipient of the National Materials Advancement Award; former Deputy Under Secretary for the United States Department of Defense.
Calvin B. Johnson 1989 24th Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the Pennsylvania Department of Health
Paul Q. Judge 1998 Award winning computer technologist, inventor and entrepreneur;recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine’s “100 Top Innovators under 35” and voted Black Engineer of the Year (2006).
Samuel M. Nabrit 1925 Distinguished Science Professor; first African-American appointed to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; served on Dwight Eisenhower’s National Science Board; first African-American to receive a doctoral degree from Brown University; and first African-American to serve as Trustee at Brown University; President of Texas Southern University.
Donald Hopkins 1962 Director and Vice President, Health Programs, The Carter Center; a 1995 MacArthur Fellow; Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1983.
Roderic Pettigrew 1972 Cardiologist and renowned Biomedical Engineer; Director, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; former Director of Magnetic Resonance Research and Professor of Radiology and Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine; Listed annually among the “Best Doctors in America.”
Mack Roach III 1975 Chair, Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco; named four times among the “Best Doctors in America”; American Cancer Society Fellow ; American College of Radiology Fellow
Asa G. Yancey Sr. 1937 First African-American professor and Professor Emeritus at Emory University School of Medicine, first African-American doctor and Medical Director at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Service and social reform

Hamilton Holmes 1963 Desegregated the University of Georgia (along with Charlayne Hunter). He first attended Morehouse before transferring to UGA
Martin Luther King Jr. 1948 Leader of the Civil Rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; delivered the historic I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington 1963
Howard Zehr 1965 Grandfather of Restorative Justice; 2006 winner of the Community of Christ Peace Award; first White student to attend Morehouse


Edwin Moses 1978 Olympic gold medalist
Donn Clendenon 1956 New York Mets Outfielder and 1969 World Series MVP
Football (American)
Jerome Boger Current referee and umpire in the NFL (National Football League); former quarterback for the Morehouse Tigers football team
Caesar “Zip” Gayles 1924 former head football coach and former head basketball coach at Langston University, Member of SWAC Hall of Fame and NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame
David Graham 1982 DE, Seattle Seahawks 1982-1987
Ramon Harewood 2010 OL, Baltimore Ravens 2010
Issac Keys LB, Arizona Cardinals 2004-2005

It’s entirely possible that some of the men on this list of famous alumni were given financial assistance from the Morehouse College Alumni Association. If you would like to contribute to the Alumni Scholarship Fund and help out our current students (and perhaps future members of this list), please click here to give to the Alumni Association. Thanks!

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