Famous Sociology Majors

Though your parents may not believe it, there are thousands of accomplished people with BA, MA, and PhD degrees in sociology, who are not necessarily Sociologists with a capital “S.” Below is a list of just a few, found by Peter Dreier, Occidental College, for his commencement address to the 2001 department of sociology graduating class of the University of Oregon.

Politics:

  • Wellington Webb, mayor of Denver
  • Brett Schundler, mayor of Jersey City
  • Annette Strauss, former mayor of Dallas
  • Rev. Martin Luther King
  • Roy Wilkins, former head of NAACP
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Rev. Ralph Abernathy
  • Shirley Chisholm, former Congresswoman from NY
  • Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from LA
  • Barbara Mikulski, US Senator from Maryland
  • Tim Holden, Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Cardinal Theordore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, DC
  • Saul Alinsky, father of community organizing<
  • Saul Bellow, novelist
  • Ronald Reagan (double major in sociology and economics)
  • Emily Balch, 1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner (a social worker and social reformer)
  • Francis Perkins, social reformer and former Secretary of Labor
  • Richard Barajas, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
  • Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama

Arts:

  • Saul Bellow, novelist
  • Regis Philbin, TV host
  • Dan Aykroyd, actor/Blues Brother
  • Robin Williams, actor/comedian
  • Paul Shaffer, bandleader on David Letterman Show (and before that, Saturday Night Live)
  • Dinah Shore, singer
  • Ruth Westheimer, the “sex doctor” 
  • Kalpen Suresh Modi, White House Liaison for Arts and Humanities

Sports:

  • Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat
  • Bryant Stith, Boston Celtics
  • Brian Jordan, Atlanta Braves
  • Joe Theisman, NFL quarterback
  • Eric Bjornson, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Taylor, Eagles cornerback
  • Ahmad Rashad, Sportscaster