The most famous LSU alumni are probably members of LSU athletics who dominated the SEC in college football, basketball and many other men’s and women’s college sports throughout the NCAA, but there are just as many famous alumni who were musicians, actresses, government workers and most unfortunate of all, there’s even a former Grand Wizard in the KKK.
Let’s take a look at some famous, and infamous, Louisiana State University alumni:
15 Famous LSU Alumni
15. Better Than Ezra
Most known for their songs “Deluxe” and “Good,” the rock band Better Than Ezra formed on LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge in 1988. The group released an EP titled “Death Valley” in honor of their alma mater.
14. William “Bill” Conti
As an Oscar-winning and Academy Award-winning composer, Bill Conti is best known for his work on the movie “Rocky.” He returned to Baton Rouge to conduct the LSU Symphony Orchestra in September 2019.
13. Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr.
The 38th Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey received his Master’s and Doctorate from LSU. He served as the VP under Lyndon B. Johnson, was the Democratic nominee who lost to Richard Nixon and was a U.S. Senator for Minnesota for 23 years.
12. Cassandra Chandler
Everyone should know who Cassandra McWilliams Chandler is. She became one of the highest-ranking African American women in the FBI after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from LSU in 1979.
11. Lolo Jones
As a track and field star, Lolo Jones has done just about anything imaginable in the sport, including representing the United States in the Olympics and many other world championships in both track and bobsledding. She also won 11 All-American honors and three national championships as a member of the LSU Tigers.
10. Andrew Whitworth
As a key member of the LSU Tigers football team in the early 2000s, Whitworth was a standout offensive tackle in the NFL over his 16-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, earning four Pro Bowl selections and two First-Team All-Pro selections.
He was on the other side of Louisiana sports when he played for the Rams in the 2018 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints.
9. Sylvia Fowles
As one of the best players in the WNBA, Sylvia Fowles has been nothing short of dominant as a seven-time All-Star, four-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time WNBA Champion and the 2017 WNBA MVP.
She’s a member of the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame, and her No. 34 is retired by LSU women’s basketball
8. Lt. Gen. Terry Gabreski
Terry L. Gabreski was the highest-ranking woman in United States Air Force history, and only one woman has ever ranked higher in the entire history of the United States Military. The 1973 graduate of LSU earned numerous honors decorations for her service.
7. Joanne Woodward
The Oscar-winning actress for her role in “The Three Faces of Eve” was married to iconic actor Paul Newman for 50 years. She majored in drama at LSU and was a member of the Chi Omega sorority in Baton Rouge.
6. Alex Bregman
One of the best baseball players in MLB, Alex Bregman has made two All-Star teams and won a World Series with the Houston Astros. The second-overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft started all 196 games of his LSU baseball career.
5. Pete Maravich
A dominant scorer as a Tiger, Pistol Pete Maravich trails only Shaq as the best basketball player in school history, but he’s the best scorer in the history of college basketball. Pistol Pete’s 3,667 points and a 44.2 points per game average is by far the most in NCAA history. It’s likely no one will ever challenge the former LSU player’s records.
4. David Duke
Known around campus as “The Nazi of LSU,” Duke is easily one of the most unpopular people to ever attend LSU. Need a refresher as to why? Duke founded the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan after graduation and is the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. Yikes.
3. Odell Beckham Jr.
One of the most famous LSU football players ever, Odell Beckham Jr. was drafted by the New York Giants with the 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Wearing purple and gold, Beckham was a First-Team All-American in 2013 and is arguably the most dynamic player in program history.
2. James Carville
James Carville attended LSU after high school and received his bachelor’s degree in General Studies in 1970 and then his law degree in 1973. He was the chief campaign strategist for President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and he is one of the most famous political commentators in Washington D.C.
1. Shaquille O’Neal
Everyone knows who Shaq is. The Hall-of-Fame center became one of the most dominant basketball players in the history of the NBA, winning four NBA titles for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat during his 19 year career. He was also the league MVP in 2000 and won three Finals MVP Awards and three All-Star game MVP awards.
The Big Shaqtus entered the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame and had his No. 33 retired by the school in 2000.
This post was originally published on September 26, 2019.