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Famous People's College Majors

Do you think picking the "right" major is usually overemphasized? Generally, your choice of a major does not dictate what careers you will be able to enjoy, unless you choose a career which requires technical or specialized training, such as engineer or medicine. Below is a list of some people you may find interesting along with their choice of college major.  Try to match the celebrities to their majors. Click on their name for their major and more information.

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1.   Oprah Winfrey
Gene Simmons
Steven Spielberg
Bruce Lee
Jodie Foster
Mick Jagger
Tiger Woods
Steve Martin
David Letterman
Hugh Heffner
Eva Longoria
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ray Raymano
14. Ashley Judd
Thurgood Marshall
David Robinson
Montel Williams
Bill Clinton
19. Will Ferrell
Michael Jordan
Communication Arts
Speech and Drama
Speech and Drama
Sports Broadcasting
International Studies
Social Work

1.  Television talk show host Oprah Winfrey majored in speech and drama at Tennessee State University in Nashville, which she attended on full scholarship. Upon graduation, Winfrey became the first black woman to anchor a local television news program in Nashville.
-The correct answer: Speech and Drama
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2.  Gene Simmons's flamboyant on-stage antics with his band "Kiss", may come in some way from his earlier academic pursuits.  He majored in education at Richmond College on Staten Island, New York. After graduating, Simmons briefly taught elementary school in New York's Spanish Harlem neighborhood.
-The correct answer: Education
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3.  Celebrated film director Steven Spielberg holds several honorary doctorates from universities around the world, in addition to three Academy Awards and a slew of box office records. But he had never finished his bachelor's degree, in film and electronic arts, until 2002. Spielberg completed coursework from California State University, Long Beach by writing term papers and completing general education requirements, all through independent study. In considering Spielberg for graduation, the university's film department graciously waived the requirement that all majors complete a polished 12-minute film.
-The correct answer:  Film
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4.  Martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee studied philosophy for three years at the University of Washington in Seattle, before he dropped out to teach kung fu. In addition to performing almost superhuman feats of martial arts in his films, Lee wrote several books, including Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Lee's own philosophy of martial-arts technique.
-The correct answer:  Philosophy
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5.  Academy Award-winning actor Jodie Foster graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in literature from Yale University. She is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director, and producer. She has also won two Golden Globes, BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award.  After appearing as a child in several commercials, Foster won her first role in the 1970 TV movie Menace on the Mountain, followed by several Disney productions. Foster did not experience her breakout role until 1976, when she received moderate recognition but great acclaim for her role as a pre-teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver, receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1988, for playing a rape victim in The Accused. In 1991, she starred in The Silence of the Lambs as Clarice Starling, a gifted FBI Agent investigating a serial killer. For this performance she received international acclaim and another Oscar for Best Actress
-The correct answer: Literature
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6.  Mick Jagger was a business student at the rigorous London School of Economics when he, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones formed The Rolling Stones. He continued his studies even after the band started performing professionally, but his business-school training must have helped him recognize a promising opportunity, because he soon quit school to devote himself full time to becoming a rock 'n' roll star.
-The correct answer: Business
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7.  Golfing powerhouse Tiger Woods studied economics at Stanford University. Given the size of Wood's tournament winnings and product endorsement contracts, let's hope he concentrated on macroeconomics. Currently the World No. 1, Woods was the highest paid professional athlete in 2006, having earned an estimated $100 million from winnings and endorsements.[1] In 2006, at the age of 30, he won his eleventh and twelfth professional major golf championships and has more wins on the PGA Tour than any other active golfer.
-The correct answer:  Economics
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8.  Steve Martin majored in philosophy at Long Beach College (now California State University--Long Beach) and at UCLA. He even briefly considered becoming a philosophy professor before turning to comedy.
-The correct answer:  Philosophy
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9.  David Letterman majored in telecommunications while at Ball State University in his home state of Indiana. It's unclear whether or not Stupid Human Tricks formed a part of Letterman's senior thesis. He is an award-winning American comedian, late night talk show host, television producer, philanthropist, and IRL IndyCar Series car owner. His first major success occurred on the long-running NBC television program, Late Night with David Letterman, before moving to CBS in 1993 to his current place on the Late Show.
-The correct answer:  Telecommunications
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10. Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy magazine, majored in psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he presumably learned a thing or two about the average American male psyche. Even with two additional minor courses of study in writing and art, Hefner doubled his course load and graduated in just two and one-half years.
After serving in the subscription department and as a copywriter for Esquire, he left in January 1952 after being denied a $5 raise. He worked at Children's Activities, then took his biggest gamble in 1953 by lending his furniture for $600 and raising $8,000 from 45 investors -- including $1,000 from his mother ("Not because she believed in the venture," he told E! in 2006, "but because she believed in her son") -- to launch Playboy.
-The correct answer: Psychology
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11. Eva Longoria. Long before she was a desperate housewife, Longoria was a student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she completed a degree in kinesiology in 1998. Ultimately, Longoria opted not to become a physical therapist and instead put kinesiology ó the study of body movement ó to work on Wisteria Lane.
Correct Answer-Kinesiology
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12. Arnold Schwarzenegger Body Builder/Actor/Governor (University of Wisconsin)
He is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California.
As a young man, Schwarzenegger gained widespread attention as a highly successful bodybuilder. He later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. Perhaps his most famous role is in the The Terminator series.
-The correct answer: Economics
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13. Ray Romano. This Everybody Loveís Raymond star was almost everybodyís favorite taxman. Thatís right, before getting his big break, Romano attended Queens College in Flushing, New York, where he intended to study accounting.
The Correct Answer: Accounting
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14. Ashley Judd. Anyone who follows college basketball has probably seen Ashley Judd cheering in the stands at University of Kentucky basketball games. As a student, Judd majored in French, with minors in anthropology, art history, theater, and womenís studies. After leaving school in 1990 just one course shy of graduation, Judd finally graduated last month.
Correct Answer:  French
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15. Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Chief Justice
The first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to becoming a judge, he was a lawyer who was best remembered for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education.
-The correct answer is Dentistry
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16. David Robinson, NBA basketball great for the San Antonio Spurs. Won numerous NBA titles.  Robinson is often considered one of the greatest centers to ever play the game. A born-again Christian, Robinson is also an amateur musician who enjoys playing various instruments at home. His nicknames include "The Admiral", based on his service as an officer in the United States Navy. Robinson is now on staff at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.  Received a BS in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy.
-The correct answer is Mathematics
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17.  Montel Williams, famous talk show host.  Diagnosed with MS.
Williams served on board the USS Sampson during the U.S. invasion of Grenada. His awards include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two Navy Expeditionary Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, a Navy Achievement Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals and two Meritorious Service Medals. He retired after 22 years of military service as a lieutenant.
-The correct answer is Engineering
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18. Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas. He was the third-youngest person to serve as president, behind Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and is considered the first baby boomer president.  Attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford and Yale Law School
-The correct answer is International Studies
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19. Will Ferrell. While many people know this actor for his portrayal of Ron Burgundy, anchorman extraordinaire, most people donít know Ferrell actually studied to be a real anchorman at the University of Southern California, where he completed a degree in sports broadcasting in 1989.
The correct answer:  Sports Broadcasting
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20. Michael Jordan, star basketball player from NC. Widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he became one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA (National Basketball Association) around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.  After a standout career at the University of North Carolina, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as one of the stars of the league, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the foul line at Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness."
-The correct answer is Geography
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-Click here for the Famous People Quiz Power Point
-Click here for the pdf quiz
-Click here for the pdf answers

-Back to Choosing a Majors Homepage

1.  Oprah Winfrey-Speech and Drama
2.  Gene Simmons-Education
3.  Steven Spielberg-Film
4.  Bruce Lee-Philosophy
5.  Jodie Foster-Literature
6.  Mick Jagger-Business
7.  Tiger Woods-Economics
8.  Steve Martin-Philosophy
9.  David Letterman-Telecommunications
10. Hugh Heffner-Psychology
11. Eva Longoria-Kinesiology
12. Arnold Schwarzenegger-Economics
13. Ray Romano-Accounting
14. Ashley Judd-
15. Thurgood Marshall-Dentistry
16. David Robinson-Mathematics
17. Montel Williams-Engineering
18. Bill Clinton-International Studies
19. Will Ferrell-Sports Broadcasting
20. Michael Jordan-Geography

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