Latin Language Blog

Famous People Who Studied Latin Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Latin Language

Latin has long been argued by contemporaries to be a useless language. That the only worth of learning Latin is for a brief time it increase one’s vocabulary or standardized test scores; however, one key factor that is often forgotten is the fact that learning any language is GREAT for your brain! Learning languages help your develop your mind and keep your brain sharp.

Lingua Latina

Lingua Latin

What do great men like Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill have in common?

They all were proficient in Latin.

C.S Lewis

C.S Lewis

The following people achieve degrees in Classical Studies, Ancient History, or Ancient Civilizations. These majors usually require the student’s to have working knowledge of Latin and/or Greek.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Tom Hiddleston (Actor Loki from Thor series; University of Cambridge a Degree in Classics)

Daniel Levin (Author of The Last Ember; BA in Greek and Roman Civ from U Michigan)

C.S. Lewis (Author of the Chronicles of Narnia)

Norman Clyde (mountaineer; studied Classics at Geneva College)

John Layfield

John Layfield

John Layfield (WWE wrestler; his degree from Abilene Christian University is in Ancient History)

Pat Meehan (US Congressman/former NHL official; majored in Classics at Bowdoin)

Susan Greenfield/Baroness Greenfield (read Classics at Oxford prior to her neurosurgery career)

Martha Lane Fox (daughter of Robin Lane Fox; dotcom millionaire type; studied Ancient History)

Peter Weller (Robocop; MA in Roman and Renaissance Art from Syracuse)

J.K. Rowling (author of some famous series about a boy wizard; not sure if she completed a degree but did study Classics at Exeter)

J.K Rowling

J.K Rowling

Ruth Padel (British author/poet; studied Classics at Lady Margaret Hall Oxford)

Nick Owen (BBC Broadcaster; Classics degree from Leeds)

Chris Martin from Coldplay.

Chris Martin from Coldplay.

Chris Martin (Lead singer of Coldplay; degree in Greek and Latin from UCL)

Anthony James Leggett (Nobel Prize winner for Physics; initial degree was in Classics from Balliol/Oxford)

Martha Kearney (BBC Radio presenter; studied Classics at St Anne’s College, Oxford)

Charles Geschke (co-founder of Adobe systems; BA in Classics from Xavier)

William Cohen (former US Secretary of Defense; BA in Latin from Bowdoin)


Jerry Brown (Governor of California; BA in Classics from UCal Berkeley)

James Baker (former US Secretary of State: BA in Classics from Princeton)

John Buchan (Scottish Novelist; Canadian Governor General; studied Classics at UGlasgow and Oxford)

Penn and Teller

Penn and Teller

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London; degree in Classics from Balliol)

Gough Whitlam (former Prime Minister of Australia; degree in Classics from USydney)

William Weld (former governor of Massachusetts; AB in Classics from Harvard College)

Teller (Penn’s silent sidekick; not sure if he has a degree from Amherst College but he did teach Latin at the high school level)

Oscar Wilde:Author, Playwright & Poet (The Picture of Dorian Gray and many other novels, plays and

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

poems) – Studied at Dublin and Oxford

Thomas Jefferson:3rd President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence

Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook – Latin and Ancient Greek in High school

Karl Marx: Philosopher and socialist – Classics Ph. D

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry: British media personality and actor (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, V for Vendetta)

Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosopher – Professor at the University of Basel

Toni Morrison:Author and winner of the Noble Peace Price (Literature)

Robert Griffin III (Studied Latin in Baylor University; Quarterback for NFL’s Washington Redskins)


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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


  1. Jessica Cissell:

    Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your site accidentally, and I am shocked why this twist of fate didn’t took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  2. Jane Mason:

    Thanks for this useful list! However Churchill famously failed in Latin, as he writes in ‘My early life’. His Harrow entrance exam paper in Latin consisted of a ‘blot and several smudges’. He goes on to say that pupils should learn ‘Latin as a privilege and Greek as a treat’ but all should learn English grammar thoroughly as he was made to do in his non-Latin class. Great book BTW. Do read!

  3. Lorry Doyle Nell:

    This was both quite interesting & surprising!!!!! Had no idea, so many people learned Latin!!!! :0