Who Are Some Famous Rhodes Scholars?

Famous Rhodes scholars include James William Fulbright, Rachel Maddow, Susan Rice, Edwin Hubble, Bill Clinton, Terence Malik, Bill Bradley, Kris Kristofferson and Cory Booker. Rhodes scholars are typically awarded for academic and leadership achievements and earn an opportunity to study at Oxford.

Fulbright was awarded the scholarship in 1926 and used it to earn his law degree. He served in both houses of Congress between 1943 and 1974 and went on to establish his own competitive scholarship program, which awards Fulbright grants to pursue research and studies abroad. Grammy award-winning singer, actor and songwriter Kris Kristofferson became a Rhodes scholar in 1958 and applied his grant towards English literature studies. Another well-known entertainer, film director Terence Malik, used his 1966 scholarship to pursue a doctorate, but complications with his philosophy thesis prevented him from finishing. Long before he studied galaxies beyond the Milky Way, astronomer Edwin Hubble earned the 1910 Rhodes scholarship. Instead of continuing his math and science studies, he studied law at Oxford. Television personality Rachel Maddow earned the scholarship in 2001, becoming the first openly gay recipient in America. Maddow studied prison reform and AIDS and earned a political science doctorate. She is commonly known for delivering socio-political commentary on MSNBC. Prior to his famous political career, former President Bill Clinton won the 1968 scholarship and studied law. Another political figure, Susan Rice, pursued her master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy after winning the 1990 scholarship. She has served as an adviser to the Obama administration and was the first African-American woman to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.