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Who Belongs to Phi Beta Kappa?

Seventeen U.S. Presidents, thirty-eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and one hundred and thirty-six Nobel laureates can be counted among the ranks of Phi Beta Kappa members. 

But famous or not, all of our members have one thing in common  —  the pursuit of excellence.  




Former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter are ΦBK members. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush are the sons of ΦBK members. Seven of the nine current U.S. Supreme Court Justices are also ΦBKs. Click on the links below to see a full list of presidents, justices, and Nobel winners who are ΦBK members.


 Other Phi Beta Kappa Members Whose Names You May Know...

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com (ΦBK, Princeton University, 1986)

Glenn Close, actor (ΦBK, College of William and Mary, 1974)

Eileen Collins, space shuttle commander (ΦBK, University of California – Davis, 1986)

Francis Ford Coppola, film director (ΦBK, Hofstra University, 1976)

Michael Crichton, author (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1964)

Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate (ΦBK, Miami University, 1973)

John Hope Franklin, historian (ΦBK, Fisk University, 1953)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., cultural critic (ΦBK, Yale University, 1972)

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States 1933-1945 (ΦBK, Radcliffe College, 1941) 

Brian Greene, physicist (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1983)

Peyton Manning, NFL quarterback (ΦBK, University of Tennessee, 1997)

Condoleezza Rice, 66th U.S. Secretary of State (ΦBK, University of Denver, 1974)

James Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress (ΦBK, Princeton University, 1950)

Dorothy Kenyon, women’s rights activist (ΦBK, Smith College, 1908)

John C. Calhoun, 7th U.S. Vice President (ΦBK, Yale University, 1804)

Betty Friedan, author and activist (ΦBK, Smith College, 1941)
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook  (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1990)

Percy Julian, research chemist (ΦBK, DePauw University, 1920)

George Stephanopoulos, broadcast journalist and former political advisor (ΦBK, Columbia University, 1981)

Meg Greenfield, Pulitzer Prize winner (ΦBK, Smith College, 1952)

Edward Everett Hale, author (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1839)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author (ΦBK, Bowdoin College, 1842)

Christie Hefner, CEO of Playboy Enterprises (ΦBK, Brandeis University, 1973)

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., physician and poet (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1829)

Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1950)

Samuel Langhorne Clemens "Mark Twain", author (ΦBK, University of Missouri, 1902)

Kris Kristofferson, musician and actor (ΦBK, Pomona College, 1958)

Arthur Levitt, Jr., 25th SEC Chairman (ΦBK, Williams College, 1952)

Tom Brokaw, broadcast journalist (ΦBK, University of South Dakota, 1983)

Flora Lewis, journalist (ΦBK, University of California - Los Angeles, 1941)

Robert E. Peary, Arctic explorer (ΦBK, Bowdoin College, 1877)

Walter Lippmann, Pulitzer Prize winner (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1910)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (ΦBK, Bowdoin College, 1829)

Sylvia Field Porter, economist and journalist (ΦBK, Hunter College, 1933)

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1974)

Frank Press, National Medal of Sciences winner (ΦBK, City College of New York, 1944)

Paul Robeson, singer and activist (ΦBK, Rutgers University, 1919)

Marv Levy, former NFL coach (ΦBK, Coe College, 1950)

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., industrialist and philanthropist (ΦBK, Brown University, 1897)

Nelson Rockefeller, 41st U.S. Vice President (ΦBK, Dartmouth College, 1930)

Daniel Pearl, journalist (ΦBK, Stanford University, 1984)

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician and philosopher (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1925)

Rivers Cuomo, singer and guitarist for Weezer (ΦBK, Harvard University, 2006)

Alexander Graham Bell, scientist and inventor (ΦBK, Amherst College, 1907)

Dean Rusk, 54th U.S. Secretary of State (ΦBK, Davidson College, 1931)

George Santayana, philosopher and author (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1886)

Leonard Bernstein, conductor and composer (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1964)

Alfred Kinsey, biologist and sex researcher (ΦBK, Bowdoin College, 1916)

Phyllis Schlafly, author and activist (ΦBK, Washington University, 1944)

Booker T. Washington, educator (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1904)

Hugh Downs, broadcaster and producer (ΦBK, Washington and Lee University, 1969)

Pat Schroeder, former congresswoman (ΦBK, University of Minnesota, 1961)

L. William Seidman, economist (ΦBK, Dartmouth College, 1943)

Helen Keller, author and activist (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1904)

Eleanor Cutri Smeal, feminist and activist (ΦBK, Duke University, 1961)

Howard K. Smith, Jr.,  political commentator (ΦBK, Tulane University, 1936)

Fay Vincent, 8th Commissioner of Major League Baseball (ΦBK, Williams College, 1960)

Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist (ΦBK, Williams College, 1949)

Gloria Steinem, co-founder of Ms. Magazine (ΦBK, Smith College, 1955)

John Updike, novelist and critic (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1953)

Daniel Webster, 14th U.S. Secretary of State (ΦBK, Dartmouth College, 1801)

Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1989)

Carson Kressley, fashion expert (ΦBK, Gettysburg College, 1991)

Caspar Weinberger, 15th U.S. Secretary of Defense (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1938)

Pearl S. Buck, author (ΦBK, Randolph College, 1932)

Daniel Boorstin, 12th Librarian of Congress (ΦBK, Harvard University, 1934)

Larry Baer, president of the San Francisco Giants (ΦBK, University of California - Berkeley, 1980)

Karen Baldwin, film producer (ΦBK, College of the Holy Cross, 1985)

John Dewey, philosopher and education reformer (ΦBK, University of Vermont, 1879)

Peter Thiel, co-founder and CEO of PayPal (ΦBK, Stanford University, 1989)

Eli Whitney, inventor (ΦBK, Yale University, 1792)


Love of learning is the guide of life.