Montessori Graduates

Famous Graduates

There are many ‘famous’ people that attended a Montessori school in some stage of their life. While one can argue, that there are many successful people who were not exposed to Montessori education, what's interesting is that many of those who attended Montessori school praise it as one of their important success factors.


Sergey Brin and Larry Page

Google founders

Both of the company’s founders went to Montessori schools. They specifically reference the self-directed learning opportunities in Montessori where students follow their interests and decide for themselves what they want to learn.

"I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self motivated, questioning what's going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently," - Larry Page.

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, at the introduction of the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite personal devices, in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Jeff Bezos

Amazon Founder

founder of Inc.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.


Will Wright

Video game pioneer (The Sims, SimCity)

Wright told The Wall Street Journal “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.”


Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia Founder

As a child, Wales was an avid reader with an acute intellectual curiosity. This he credits to the influence of the Montessori Method on the school's philosophy of education (it wasnt an actual Montessori school). According to him he "spent lots of hours pouring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias" Further, all his children have gone to Montessori preschools.


George Clooney

Academy award-winning actor, director, producer, humanitarian, United nations messenger of peace

Turns out Montessori’s approach of unfolding students, not moulding them influenced his success.


Thomas Edison

Often described as America's greatest inventor

“I like the Montessori method,” Edison has been quoted saying, according to historians at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park. “It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being. The present system casts the brain into a mould. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning.”


Peter Drucker

The inventor of modern management

Drucker is one of the most influential management gurus in history. His work focuses on human relationships as opposed to numbers-crunching; his books are filled with lessons on how organisations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find dignity and community in their work.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nobel prize-winning author

Marquez said his Montessori education gave him “the desire to kiss literature” and states, “I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”


Anne Frank

Memoirist and author

Anne Frank’s famous diary is a natural extension of her school experience. She, like all Montessori students learned to cultivate observation skills and record her thoughts in a journal early on. Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into 67 languages and is one of the best loved books in the world


Sean “P Diddy” Combs

Grammy award-winning musician, rap recording artist and CEO of bad boy records

The multi-talented hip hop artist Sean “P Diddy” Combs says he feels fortunate to have attended Mount
Vernon Montessori School during his childhood, recalling that, “I feel like I was nurtured into wanting to be somebody special.


Beyonce Knowles

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

In Houston, at St. Mary of the Purification Montessori, Beyoncé’s talents first emerged. In a school that valued both art and academics, a top student and world-class performer was born. Today Beyoncé has been nominated for more Grammys than anyone in history and is one of pop music’s most highly-regarded figures.


Taylor Swift

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter

Taylor Swift, country music’s youngest-ever Entertainer of the Year, attended Alvernia Montessori School in Berks County Pa. The singer is widely described as “the product of homegrown values”; New York Times calls her “one of pop’s finest songwriters, country music’s foremost pragmatist, and more in touch with her inner life than most adults”.


Anthony Doer


This internationally-acclaimed American author was once a Montessori student. In an interview with his former school, Post Oak in Houston he said “Of all the skills nine years of Montessori education gave me critical thinking skills, social skills, kickball skills the most lasting has been a sense of my place in deep geologic time. We were making twenty-foot-long timelines as early as first grade. I could spell Paleozoic before I could spell Coca-Cola.”


Helen Keller

Political activist

Maria Montessori said that if, deaf and blind, Helen Keller became “a woman and writer of exceptional culture, who better than she proves the potency of the Montessori method?” In her tribute to Montessori, Helen’s teacher Anne Sullivan observed, “Only through freedom can people develop self control, self dependence, willpower and initiative. This is the lesson Helen’s education has for the world.”


Erik Erikson

Psychologist & Author

The Danish-German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development, Erikson may be most famous for coining the phrase “identity crisis”. He found Montessori ideas so compelling that studied them as an adult, acquiring a Montessori teaching certificate but never teaching in a classroom.


Joshua Bell

Grammy award-winning violinist and subject of a Pulitzer prize winning media story

A world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell is thoughtful about the role his music plays in society. In a cultural experiment turned Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, it is Bell’s humility, not his virtuosity, that most inspires. In suspending his fame to explore the true meaning of his work, Bell exhibits Montessori thinking at its best.


David Blaine

Illusionist & magician

David Blaine was a four-year old Montessori student when he fell in love with magic. Today he’s called “the modern day Houdini” by The New York Times, which says, “He’s taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it… [His magic] “operates on an uncommonly personal level.”

julie child montessori

Julia Child

Celebrity chef & author

A student of Mrs. Davie’s Montesorri School in Pasadena California, Ms. Child exuded a sense of fun and inspired others to try new things in the kitchen. 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.

Other famous people who attended Montessori school as children include:

  • Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family
  • Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian painter and Architect
  • Katherine Graham, former owner-editor of the Washington Post. “The Montessori method—learning by doing— once again became my stock in trade…” from Personal History by Katharine Graham
  • Helen Hunt, Academy Award-winning actress
  • Lea Salonga, multi-awarded Filipino-American singer and Broadway actress
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, former editor, former first lady (John F. Kennedy)
  • Berry Brazelton, noted paediatrician and author
  • Kami Cotler, actress (youngest child on long-running series The Waltons)
  • Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actors

Famous people who chose Montessori schools for their own children:

  • Stephen J. Cannell, TV writer-producer-director (The Rockfor Files and many other)
  • Patty Duke Austin, actress
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton, Former President and New York Senator
  • Cher Bono, singer, actress
  • John Bradshaw, psychologist and author
  • Yul Brynner, former actor
  • Marcy Carcy, TV producer
  • Michael Douglas, actor
  • Shari Lewis, former puppeteer
  • Yo Yo Ma, cellist
  • Willie Nelson, musician, has a Montessori school on his ranch
  • Elizabeth Berridge, actress
  • Jennifer Granholm and Daniel Mulhern, Governor of Michigan

Others with a Montessori connection:

  • Bruno Bettelheim, noted psychologist/author, was married to a Montessori teacher
  • President Wilson’s daughter trained as a Montessori teacher. There was a Montessori classroom in the basement of the White House during Wilson’s presidency.
  • Jean Piaget, noted Swiss psychologist, made his first observations of children in a Montessori school. He was also head of the Swiss Montessori Society for many years.
  • Mister Rogers, children’s TV personality, strong supporter of Montessori education
  • Alexander Graham Bell (inventor) and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Education Association in 1913. They also provided financial support directly to Dr. Maria Montessori and helped establish the first Montessori class in Canada and one of the first in the United States.
  • Alice Waters, restaurateur and writer, is a former Montessori teacher.