After much deliberation, we've narrowed our list of top alumni newsmakers to six standouts in business, sports, the arts, and public service, presented below in alphabetical order. Add your write-in candidates or thoughts about our top six in the comments section.




Jeff Bezos ’86
The chief has staying power: 11 years after his appearance as Time’s Person of the Year, he was named one of the CEOs of the decade by 
Jason Garrett ’89
A midseason promotion made the former Tiger star Princeton’s first NFL head coach. Through six games at the helm, his Dallas Cowboys are 4-2.
Elena Kagan ’81
This year, Kagan went from arguing cases in front of the nation’s highest court – as solicitor general – to serving on it as a Supreme Court justice.


W.S. Merwin ’49
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Merwin again joined elite company in the world of letters by becoming the 17th poet laureate of the United States.
David Petraeus *85 *87
In June, Petraeus left the U.S. Central Command to take over new responsibilities as the top American commander in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Terri Sewell ’86
One of Princeton’s newest alumni in Congress, Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, made history as the first African-American woman to represent her state.
Photos: Wikipedia (Bezos, Garrett, Kagan, and Petraeus); Library of Congress (Merwin); Sewell for Congress (Sewell).