Who Are Some Famous USC Alumni?


Quick Answer

Notable alumni of the University of Southern California include Louis Zamperini, John Wayne, Steven Spielberg and Neil Armstrong, among countless others. As of 2014, USC serves 41,000 students annually and is a top-ranked institution for arts, technology and international business.

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Full Answer

Since the Academy Awards began in 1929, at least one USC alumnus has been nominated every year. In 1969, USC alumnus John Wayne, whose birth name was Marion Morrison, was the recipient of the Best Actor award for his work on "True Grit." He attended USC on a football scholarship for two years, playing tackle for the Trojans until an injury kept him off the field. His career in cinema began in 1926 while he was still in school, appearing as a football player in "Brown of Harvard" and "Drop Kick."

Louis Zamperini, whose life was documented in the 2014 biography, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," attended USC on a scholarship for his record-breaking long-distance running. While a student in 1938, he set a national record for his 1600 meter dash, coming in at 4:08 minutes, earning him the nickname "Torrance Tornado." He graduated in 1940 and went on to a dramatic military career during World War II.

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