For those who say an education in the Classics is worthless and won’t lead anywhere, we here at Classical Wisdom retort that clearly they are lacking in imagination!
Indeed, there are many examples of individuals who studied the words of Homer, Cicero and Plato and more… and yet did not end up living under a bridge, ala Diogenes the Dog. Instead, they have contributed significantly to society, whether through literature, music, politics or psychology. Here is a short top eleven list of the most famous people who studied the classics:

1. Thomas Jefferson
Arguably one of the most famous student of the classics, this founding father and 3rd president of the United States studied Greek at the College of William and Mary. He loved Roman literature and founded the University of Virginia, a school that encourages the classics.

Thomas Jefferson

2. J.R.R. Tolkien
This British writer studied Classics at Exeter College, Oxford before penning his famous series, “Lord of the Rings.”

3. J.K. Rowling
The creative mind behind “Harry Potter”, the Scottish writer received a B.A. in Classics from Exeter University.

J.K. Rowling

4. Boris Johnson
This former Mayor of London famously studied the Classics at Balliol College, Oxford University.

5. Sigmund Freud
This is no surprise to anyone who has read his works and catches the references… but this psychologist studied Greek, Latin, and Hebrew at Leopoldstädter Kommunal-Realgymnasium.

6. Chris Martin
It’s evident in the song “Something just like this” when Chris Martin references Achilles and Heracles, that the Lead singer of the band Coldplay studied Latin and Greek from University College London.

Christ Martin

7. James Garfield
The 20th President of the United States graduated in 1856 with a degree in the Classics from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

8. Jonathan Evans, Baron Evans of Weardale
Former Director General of the British Security Service (MI5) received a degree in Classical Studies from Bristol University.

9. Jane Addams
Known as the “Mother of Social Work”, this activist studied Greek and Latin at Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford College) in Indiana.

Jane Addams

10. Lynn Sherr
An American broadcast journalist and author, best known as a correspondent for the ABC news magazine 20/20, earned a B.A. in Classics from Wellesley College.

11. Chuck Geschke
Founder of Adobe Systems, the graphics and publishing software company, he studied the Classics at Xavier University.

Sources (and lists with more famous people):