FAMOUS MONTESSORI GRADUATES
Technology and Business
Larry Page and Sergey Brin - Founders of the Internet search engine Google.com, have stated many times that their years as Montessori students were a major factor behind their success. They claim that going to a Montessori school taught them to be self directed self starters that could think for themselves. They also state that a Montessori education gave them the freedom to pursue their own interests, allowing them to “think outside the box”.
William Wright- An American computer game designer who’s greatest success to date is as the original designer for The Sims games series — the best-selling PC game in history.
Wright states that he enjoyed Montessori’s emphasis on creativity, problem solving, and self-motivation. “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery… It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori — if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.”
Read more about Will Wright and Montessori in:
Maria Montessori: The 138-Year-Old Inspiration Behind Spore
Jeffrey P. Bezos – Founder of Amazon.com, the most dominant retailer on the Internet, attended a Montessori School. By his mother’s account, the young Jeffrey got so engrossed in the details of activities at his Montessori school that teachers had to pick him up in his chair to move him to new tasks.
Jimmy Wales – Co-founder of Wikipedia. As a child, Wales was a avid reader with an acute intellectual curiosity. This he credits to the influence of the Montessori Method on the school’s philosophy of education. According to Jimmy, he “spent lots of hours pouring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias.“
Peter Drucker - Management guru known as the “Father of modern management.” An influential writer, management consultant, lecturer and a self-described “social ecologist. He introduced many management concepts that have been embraced by corporations around the world.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Nobel Prize winner for Literature attended Montessori de Aracataca for 5 years and credited his time there with making him fall in love with language. He said that Montessori Education gave him the desire him to “kiss literature” and “the taste instilled to him to go to the school, not only see literature but to write it.”
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis “http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Biographies+and+Profiles/Biographies/Jacqueline+Bouvier+Kennedy+First+Lady+1961-1963.htm” – Editor for Doubleday Books, the former first lady attended a Montessori school where she was initially described as a “headstrong child.” Through her time there, she learned to focus her behavior and academic pursuits.
Katherine Graham – Owner and editor of The Washington Post attended a Montessori school where the newspaper owner first learned to read and write, instilling a love of the written word that would stay with her for her entire life. “The Montessori Method – learning by doing – once again became my stock in trade…” from Personal History by Katharine Graham
Thomas Berry Brazelton, MD – A noted pediatrician and author in the United States. Major hospitals throughout the world use the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Many parents know him as the host of a cable television program What Every Baby Knows, and as author of a syndicated newspaper column. Brazelton has written more than two hundred scholarly papers and twenty four books. His Columbia Alumni Profile describes him as “America’s most celebrated and influential baby doctor since Benjamin Spock.”
Anne Frank – Renowned World War II diarist. According to her friend Hanneli Goslar, Anne showed aptitude for reading and writing at an early age, a talent that was nurtured in her Montessori school. She frequently wrote at school, and was outspoken, energetic and extroverted, and from a young age, desired to be a published author.
Beyonce Knowles – An American Pop/R&B singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she attended St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School for her elementary years. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time.
Joshua Bell – American violinist and the owner of the 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called the Gibson ex Huberman, began taking violin lessons at the age of four after his mother discovered her son had taken rubber bands from around the house and stretched them across the handles of his dresser drawer to pluck out music he had heard her play on the piano.
Lea Salonga – Award winning singer and Broadway actress best known for her role as Miss Saigon. She is recognized for having won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Theatre World Awards, as well as being the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Miserables on Broadway. Lea was first exposed to acting while attending a Montessori school in Metropolitan Manila .
Sean P. Diddy” Combs – Rapper and CEO of Bad Boy Records says he felt fortunate to attend Mount Vernon Montessori School during his childhood. “I feel like I was nurtured into wanting to be somebody special,” he recalls.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser – Austrian painter and architect attended a Montessori school in Vienna, which influenced both his affinity for vibrant colors and respect of nature. He collected pebbles and pressed flowers as a child, demonstrating an interest in items that are precious and small at an early age, which later manifested itself in his collections of Venetian glass and Japanese fabrics.
Julia Child – First world famous television chef who clearly enjoyed her work. She exuded a sense of fun, and inspired others to try new things. She also credited her Montessori experience with her love of working with her hand, finding fun in her work, and her joy of working with others.
David Blaine – Magician, endurance artist and advocate of “street magic.”
MatthewBronsil – Puppeteer and Comedian was “Montessori” from the day he was conceived being the child of two Montessori teachers. Currently, Matt not only does stand-up improvisational comedy, he is also Montessori pre-school teacher.
Dakota Fanning – The American actress attended a Montessori school in Georgia before she moved to California to pursue acting. “I learned to read at two. I was in a Montessori school and they teach you to read really, really young.”
Alan Rickman - A renowned English stage actor and theater director known for both his modern and classical productions. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is known best for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, Eamon de Valera in Michael Collins, and Metatron in Dogma. As a child, Rickman attended Derwentwater Primary School in Acton, a school that followed the Montessori method of education.
Anne Hathaway - One of People magazine’s breakthrough stars of 2001, Anne Hathaway became a children’s role model with the making of films such as The Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted. She transitioned into more mature dramatic roles after The Princess Diaries 2, being nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2010 for her role in Rachael Getting Married. Later that year she hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, and in 2011 co-hosted the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.
Elizabeth Berridge – Award winning theatre actress best known for her tour-de-force in Milos Forman’s Amadeus or her comedic turns on The John Larroquette Show and Grounded For Life.
George Clooney – Academy Award wining actor
Melissa Gilbert – An American actress and director most famous for portraying author Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie from 1974 to 1983.
Sara Gilbert - An American actress best known for her role as Darlene Conner-Healy from 1988 to 1997 in the U.S. sitcom Roseanne.
Helen Hunt – Academy Award winning actress.
Kami Cotler – Actress who portrayed the youngest child on long-running series The Waltons.
Children of Famous Politicians
Prince William and Prince Harry - Sons of Prince Charles and Princess Dianna of Wales.
Chelsea Clinton – Daughter of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Princess Eugenie of York – Daughter of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.