Cornell counted 245,027 living alumni as of August 2008. Its alumni constitute 31 Marshall Scholars and 28 Rhodes Scholars, and Cornell is the only university with three female winners (Pearl S. Buck, Barbara McClintock, and Toni Morrison) of unshared Nobel Prizes among its graduates. Many alumni maintain university ties through Homecoming's reunion weekend, through Cornell Magazine, and through the Cornell Club of New York. In 2005, Cornell ranked #3 nationwide for gifts and bequests from alumni.
Cornellians are noted for their accomplishments in public, professional, and corporate life. Lee Teng-hui was president of Taiwan, Mario García Menocal was president of Cuba, Jamshid Amuzegar ('50) was prime minister of Iran, Hu Shih ('14) was a Chinese reformer and representative to the United Nations, Janet Reno ('60) was the first female United States Attorney General, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ('54) serves on the Supreme Court. Alumnus David Starr Jordan (1872) was the founding president of Stanford University, and M. Carey Thomas (1877) founded Bryn Mawr College. Additionally, alumnus Matt Urban ('41) holds the distinction as the most decorated serviceman in United States history.
Cornellians in business include: Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill ('55), Goldman Sachs Group Chairman Stephen Friedman ('59), Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld ('75, '77, '80), Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini ('84), S.C. Johnson & Son CEO Fisk Johnson ('79, '80, '82, '84, '86), Cargill Chairman Warren Staley ('67), Chevron Chairman Kenneth T. Derr ('59), Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse ('77), Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam ('76), Mastercard CEO Robert Selander ('72), Coors Brewing Company CEO Adolph Coors ('37), Loews Corporation Chairman Andrew Tisch ('71), Baupost Group founder Seth Klarman ('79), Burger King founder James McLamore ('47), Hotels.com founder David Litman ('79), PeopleSoft founder David Duffield ('62), Priceline.com founder Jay Walker ('77), Staples founder Myra Hart ('62), Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs ('56), and Tata Group CEO Ratan Tata ('62).
In medicine, alumnus Robert Atkins ('55) developed the Atkins Diet, Henry Heimlich ('47) developed the Heimlich maneuver, Wilson Greatbatch ('50) invented the pacemaker, James Maas ('66; also a faculty member) coined the term "power nap", and C. Everett Koop ('41) served as Surgeon General of the United States.
A number of Cornellians have been prominent innovators. Thomas Midgley, Jr. ('11) invented Freon, Jon Rubinstein ('78) is credited with the development of the iPod, and Robert Tappan Morris developed the first computer worm on the Internet. Eight Cornellians have served as NASA astronauts, Steve Squyres ('81) is the principal investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, and Bill Nye ('77) is well known as "The Science Guy".
In literature, Toni Morrison ('50; Nobel laureate) is well known for her novel Beloved, Pearl S. Buck ('25; Nobel laureate) authored The Good Earth, Thomas Pynchon ('59) penned such canonical works of postwar American fiction as Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49, and E. B. White ('21) authored Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. Media personalities who have graduated from Cornell include conservative Ann Coulter ('84) and liberals Bill Maher ('78) and Keith Olbermann ('79).
Several Cornellians have also achieved critical acclaim in entertainment. Christopher Reeve ('74) played Superman, Frank Morgan was The Wizard of Oz, Jimmy Smits ('82) was in Star Wars, and Ronald D. Moore created the 2004 remake of Battlestar Galactica. On the architectural front, alumnus Richmond Shreve (1902) designed the Empire State Building, and Raymond M. Kennedy ('15) designed Hollywood's famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
In athletics, Cornell graduates include football legend Glenn "Pop" Warner (1894), former head coach of the United States men's national soccer team Bruce Arena ('73), National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman ('74), six-time Stanley Cup winning hockey goalie Ken Dryden ('69) and Toronto Raptors president Bryan Colangelo ('87). Alumni also include Super Bowl champions Kevin Boothe and Ed Marinaro ('71).
Fictional alumni have been portrayed in several films, television shows, and books. Characters include Andy Bernard of The Office, Natalie Keener of Up in the Air, and Christina Pagniacci (portrayed by Cameron Diaz) in Any Given Sunday.
President of Cuba
"The Science Guy"
CEO of Kraft Foods
Pioneer of American football
Author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little
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