Photos: Famous Howard University Alumni and Former Students

HU! Vice President Kamala Harris is among Howard University's many famous graduates.

Take a look at some famous graduates and attendees of one of the nation's premier historically Black colleges and universities, right here in Washington, D.C.

41 photos
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Vice President Kamala Harris, a 1986 Howard grad, smiles at a press conference at Howard in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2019.
The late Chadwick Boseman, Sean John Combs and NBC News Correspondent Meagan Fitzgerald (previously a News4 reporter) all attended Howard University.
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Best known for his role in "Black Panther," Howard University grad Chadwick Boseman also portrayed Thurgood Marshall, James Brown and Jackie Robinson. He delivered the 2018 commencement speech at his alma mater, from which he graduated in 2000. Boseman died of cancer in August 2020.
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Actress Taraji P. Henson graduated from Howard University in 1995. She has starred in several movies, including "Hidden Figures," and won a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 2016 for her role in "Empire."
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Actor Anthony Anderson graduated from Howard University in 1993. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards. He stars in the hit series "Black-ish."
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Thurgood Marshall graduated from the Howard University School of Law and became the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court in 1967. He was the court’s 96th justice and served until 1991.
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Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy, attended Howard University for two years in the late '80s and early '90s. He has won three Grammy Awards.
NBC4 anchor Pat Lawson Muse has won several Emmy Awards, including two for best anchor. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University, where she studied broadcast management.
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Actress Phylicia Rashad graduated magna cum laude from Howard University in 1970. She is best known for her role as Clare Huxtable in "The Cosby Show," she won a Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play in 2004 and has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards. She has returned to Howard as a Dean, which became controversial.
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Actress, dancer, television director and producer Debbie Allen graduated cum laude from Howard University in 1971. She is the first African-American woman to win the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical. She also won an Emmy Award in 1991 and 1983. She produced the hit series "A Different World."
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Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) graduated from Howard University in 1973. He served on numerous boards and commissions, including the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from universities nationwide. Cummings died in fall 2019 at age 68.
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Gloria Richardson, a leader of the Cambridge Movement to desegregate Maryland's Eastern Shore and pioneer in the male-dominated Black power movement. She entered Howard University when she was 16. Richardson died in July 2021 at the age of 99.
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Actor Lance Gross graduated from Howard University in 2004. He has starred in movies and television shows and won four NAACP Image Awards for his role in the hit television series "Tyler Perry's House of Payne."
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Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson graduated cum laude from Howard University. She is most famous for her roles on "The Steve Harvey Show" in the '90s and "The Game." She has been nominated for 11 NAACP Image Awards and won the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series award in 2014.
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Actor and D.C. native Laz Alonso graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his lead role in "Jumping the Broom," and is best known for his roles in “Avatar” and “Fast and Furious.“
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Simone Missick, who has the lead female role of Misty Knight in Marvel's Netflix series "Luke Cage," graduated from Howard University in 2003. She earned her bachelor's degree in English with a minor in theater arts.
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Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (right) and major league baseball player Jackie Robinson (left) received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University in 1957.
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Actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer Marlon Wayans attended Howard University. He is most famous for his roles in "The Wayans Bros.," "White Chicks" and "Scary Movie."
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Novelist Zora Neale Hurston, one of the preeminent writers of the 20th century, is best known for her novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God." She graduated from Howard University in 1918 and co-founded the Howard University newspaper, The Hilltop.
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Diplomat and civil rights activist Andrew Young graduated from Howard University in 1951. Young worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, served as the first African-American U.S. ambassador for the U.N. from 1977 to 1979 and as the mayor of Atlanta from 1982 to 1990.
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Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder graduated Howard University School of Law in 1959. Wilder was the first African-American governor in the country in 1990 and returned to office in 2004 as the mayor of Richmond.
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Singer and songwriter Crystal Waters graduated from Howard University in 1985. She studied business and science but went on to release the top 10 hit song "Gypsy Woman" in 1991.
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The late Ossie Davis was an actor, director and author. He is most famous for his roles in "Doctor Dolittle" and "Do the Right Thing." Davis was born in 1917 and had to overcome racism in his rise to stardom. He won a Daytime Emmy award in 2001; he was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 1969 and four Primetime Emmy awards. Davis was married to actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee.
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Author Toni Morrison graduated from Howard University in 1953, earning her bachelor's degree in English. She is known for her novels "The Bluest Eye," "Song of Solomon" and "Beloved." In 1993, Morrison received the Nobel Prize in Literature, making her the first African American to be nominated for the award. She also received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.
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News anchor Fredricka Whitfield graduated from Howard University in 1987. She was a correspondent for NBC News and NBC Nightly News. She is an anchor for CNN and hosts the weekend daytime edition of CNN Newsroom. She is the daughter of Mal Whitfield, an Olympic champion.
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Sharon Pratt, a D.C. native, was the first Black woman to be mayor of D.C., serving from 1991 to 1995. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard in 1965 and a law degree in 1968, her bio says.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates, seen here at the New Yorker Festival 2015, has written two books, including "Between the World and Me," which won the National Book Award. He is the recipient of many other honors, including a MacArthur "Genius" grant. He attended Howard for five years.
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Sportscaster Gus Johnson graduated from Howard University in 1990. He has called sports for CBS and ESPN, specializing in college basketball.
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Actor Carl Anthony Payne II graduated from Howard University. He is most famous for his roles on the hit shows "Martin" and "The Cosby Show."
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Radio and television personality La La Anthony attended Howard University. She has starred in movies such as "Think Like a Man Too" and "You Got Served."
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Known for her roles in "Cold Case," "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Rent," Tracie Thomas graduated Howard University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
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Actor and producer Isaiah Washington graduated from Howard University and served in the U.S. Air Force. He is most famous for his role in "Grey's Anatomy."
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Actress and producer Lynn Whitfield graduated from Howard University. She is a third-generation graduate of the university. She has starred in several movies and won a Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in "The Josephine Baker Story."
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Singer, songwriter and pianist Donny Hathaway graduated from Howard University in 1967. In 1970, Rolling Stone magazine named him a major new force in soul music. He is most famous for his classic songs "This Christmas" and "The Closer I Get to You."
Grammy-award winning opera singer Jessye Norman graduated from Howard University in 1967. She has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Norman's hometown of Augusta, Georgia, has named a school in her honor titled The Jessye Norman School for the Arts.
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TV personality A.J. Calloway graduated from Howard University. He is the New York City correspondent for the celebrity news show "Extra." He was also the host of BET's "106 & Park."
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Shauntay Hinton graduated from Howard University and went on to become Miss USA in 2002.
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NFL linebacker Tracy White graduated from Howard University. Since playing college football as a Howard Bison, he has played for the Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
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Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Kenny Lattimore went to Howard University. He won an NAACP Image Award for best new artist in 1997.
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Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago Jeremiah Wright graduated from Howard University in 1968. In recent years, he is most known for being former President Barack Obama's pastor. Trinity United Church of Christ has a congregation exceeding 6,000.
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President Barack Obama received an honorary doctorate degree and delivered the graduation commencement speech at Howard University in 2016.
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