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Did You Know... Famous Montessori Students

Montessori Method schools have generated a rich alumni of creative elite students that have found success in a wide variety of fields.

JOSHUA BELL – Grammy award-winning violinist

JEFF BEZOS – Founder of Amazon who proudly cites his Montessori roots, is a study in contradictions: analytical and intuitive, careful and audacious, playful and determined.

DAVID BLAINE – Illusionist & magician, called “the modern day Houdini” by The New York Times

T BERRY BRAZELTON – Pediatrician, child psychiatrist, author and Harvard medical school professor emeritus. Brazelton attended a Montessori school as a child and now supports Montessori philosophy through his lectures and publications.

JULIA CHILD – Celebrity chef & author. She credits a Montessori background with her manual dexterity—a key feature of her mastery as a chef—and with the love and joy she found in her work.

GEORGE CLOONEY – Academy award-winning actor, director, producer, humanitarian, United Nations messenger of peace

SEAN “P Diddy” COMBS – Grammy award-winning musician, rap recording artist and CEO of bad boy records. Combs says he feels fortunate to have attended a Montessori School during his childhood.

JOHN and JOAN CUSACK – Actor and screenwriter, and Academy award-nominated actress, respectively. This sister-brother team, each of whom also has a hefty solo reputation, are not conventional heroes. That the former Montessorians’ work is described as “idiosyncratic”, “offbeat” and “fiercely original.”

ANTHONY DOERR – Internationally-acclaimed American author.

PETER DRUCKER – Author, Management consultant, “social ecologist”, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and sited as “one of the most influential management gurus in history.”

ERIK ERIKSON – Danish-German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development

DAKOTA FANNING – Actor and youngest-ever Screen Actors Award nominee. He recalls: “I learned to read at two…in a Montessori school where they teach you to read really, really young.”

ANNE FRANK – Memoirist & author. Anne Frank’s famous diary is a natural extension of her school experience and learned observation skills.

KATHARINE GRAHAM – Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former owner & editor of the Washington Post. Graham said, “The Montessori method, learning by doing, once again became my stock in trade.”

FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER – World-renowned Austrian painter and architect.

HELEN HUNT – Award-winning actress (Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe all one year—a feat nearly unmatched in history).

HELEN KELLER – Political activist, author, lecturer, awarded the presidential medal of freedom, one of Gallup’s most widely admired people of the 20th century

BEYONCE KNOWLES – Singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer, 16-time Grammy award-winner

YO YO MA – United nations Peace Ambassador, winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom & National Medal of the Arts. Today, critics call his artistic style “omnivorous” in reference to his versatility, his notably eclectic repertoire and his musical iconoclasm.

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ – Nobel prize-winning author

HM QUEEN NOOR of JORDAN – U.N. Advisor, humanitarian activist, public servant, three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and wife of the late King Hussein of Jordan

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS – Former First Lady and Doubleday editor

SERGEY BRIN & LARRY PAGE – Founders of Google. “You can’t understand Google,” says Wired, “unless you know [its founders] were Montessori kids

DEVI SRIDHAR – Youngest-ever American Rhodes scholar, author, Oxford research fellow, Oxford lecturer on global health politics

TAYLOR SWIFT – Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, country music’s youngest-ever Entertainer of the Year New York Times calls her “one of pop’s finest songwriters and country music’s foremost pragmatist.

WILL WRIGHT – Video game pioneer, creator of the Sims. The video game innovator says Montessori was the “imagination amplifier” that prepared him for creating The Sims, Sim City, Spore and Super Mario Brothers.


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