Prominent Members of the Philolexian Society:
Name: Year: Claim to fame:
Nathaniel F. Moore 1802 President of Columbia College
John L. Lawrence 1803 Comptroller of New York City
James Alexander Hamilton 1805 Son of Alexander Hamilton; Acting U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Ustick Onderdonk 1805 Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania
Edmund H. Pendleton 1805 U.S. Congressman
William M. Price 1805 U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Peter D. Vroom 1808 U.S. Congressman; Governor of New Jersey; U.S. Minister to Prussia
Henry Vethake 1808 Provost, University of Pennsylvania; President, Washington College
Hugh Maxwell 1808 District Attorney of New York City; Collector of the Port of New York
Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk 1809 Episcopal Bishop of New York
William B. Astor 1811 Son of John Jacob Astor; wealthiest man in the United States
Charles G. Ferris 1811 U.S. Congressman
Stephen Watts Kearny 1812 Commander, U.S. Army of the West; military governor of California, Vera Cruz and Mexico City
James I. Roosevelt, Jr. 1815 U.S. Congressman; U.S. District Attorney, Southern District of New York
Samuel L. Gouverneur 1817 Postmaster of New York City
William Beach Lawrence 1818 Acting Governor of Rhode Island
James Lenox 1818 President, New York Chamber of Commerce; bibliophile whose collection helped form basis of New York Public Libary
John Lloyd Stephens 1822 Explorer of the Yucatan, Holy Land, and Eastern Europe; U.S. Special Agent to Central America; President, Panama Railroad
Horatio Allen 1823 Imported and operated first successful locomotive engine in the Americas
John McKean 1825 U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York; U.S. Congressman
Hamilton Fish 1827 U.S. Senator; Governor of New York; U.S. Secretary of State; Chairman of the Columbia Trustees
Theodore Sedgwick 1827 U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Robert Emory 1831 President, Dickinson College
John L. O'Sullivan 1831 Editor, United States Magazine and Democratic Review ; coined term "Manifest Destiny"
Isaac Clason Delaplaine 1834 U.S. Congressman
John Richardson Thurman 1835 U.S. Congressman
Samuel Blatchford 1837 Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
George Templeton Strong 1838 Treasurer, U.S. Sanitary Commission; noted diarist and chronicler of New York City
William Riggin Travers 1838 President, New York Athletic Club; founder, the Travers Stakes
Oliver Wolcott Gibbs 1841 President, National Academy of Sciences
James H. Mason Knox 1841 President, Lafayette College
Abram S. Hewitt 1842 U.S. Congressman; Mayor of New York City
William Backhouse Astor 1849 Financier; husband of Mrs. Astor, co-founder of "The 400"
Alfred Thayer Mahan 1858 President, U.S. Naval War College; author of The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783
Edgar M. Cullen 1860 Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals
John Howard Van Amringe 1860 First Dean of Columbia College
Edward Mitchell 1861 U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Nicholas Fish 1867 U.S. Minister to Switzerland and Belgium
George Lockhart Rives 1868 Chairman of the Columbia Trustees
Wm. Milligan Sloane 1868 President, American Academy of Arts and Letters; coach of first U.S. Olympic team, Athens, 1896
Willard Bartlett 1869 Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals
Hamilton Fish, Jr. 1869 U.S. Congressman; Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Robert Fulton Cutting 1871 President, Cooper Union
Brander Matthews 1871 First professor of dramatic literature in the United States
John Buckley Pine 1877 Clerk of the Columbia Trustees; suggested Morningside Heights as future site of Columbia University
William Barclay Parsons 1879 Chairman of the Columbia Trustees; chief engineer, NYC Rapid Transit Commission
J. Mayhew Wainwright 1884 U.S. Congressman; Asst. Secretary of War
James W. Gerard 1890 U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1914-1917
John Purroy Mitchel 1899 Collector of the Port of New York; Mayor of New York City
Alfred Harcourt 1904 Co-founder and President, Harcourt Brace & World
Alfred Joyce Kilmer 1908 Poet; author of "Trees"
V. K. Wellington Koo 1909 Premier and foreign minister of China; ambassador to the United States; member of the International Court of Justice
J. Ward Melville 1909 President, Melville Shoe Corp.; founder, Thom McAn Shoes
William R. Langer 1910 U.S. Senator; Governor of North Dakota
Dixon Ryan Fox 1911 President, Union College
Randolph S. Bourne 1912 Radical social critic and essayist; contributor, The New Republic and The Atlantic
Douglas McRae Black 1916 President, Doubleday & Co.
Frederic R. Coudert, Jr. 1918 U.S. Congressman; campaign manager for Wm. F. Buckley, Jr. as New York City mayor
James Warner Bellah 1923 Author; short stories formed basis of John Ford classics Fort Apache , She Wore a Yellow Ribbon , and Rio Grande ; screenwriter, Sergeant Rutledge and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Sidney Buchman 1923 Screenwriter for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington ; winner of the Academy Award for Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Elliott V. Bell 1925 New York State Superintendent of Banks; publisher, BusinessWeek
Lawrence A. Wien 1925 Pioneering real estate lawyer and Columbia philanthropist
Jacques Barzun 1927 Provost and University Professor, Columbia University
William Ludwig 1932 Screenwriter for Oklahoma and The Great Caruso ; winner of the Academy Award for Interrupted Melody
John Berryman 1936 Poet; winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 77 Dream Songs
Robert Giroux 1936 Chairman and editor-in-chief, Farrar Straus & Giroux
Robert Marshak 1936 President, American Physical Society; President, City College of New York
Thomas Merton 1938 Trappist monk; author; humanist
Wm. Theodore de Bary 1941 Provost of Columbia University
I.A.L. Diamond 1941 Screenwriter for Some Like It Hot and The Fortune Cookie ; winner of the Academy Award for The Apartment
Paul V. Governali 1943 Quarterback, New York Giants
Allen Ginsberg 1948 Poet; author of Howl ; winner of the National Book Award
Robert N. Butler 1949 Geriatrician; winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Why Survive? Being Old in America
Jason Epstein 1949 Editorial director, Random House; co-founder, The New York Review of Books ; co-founder, The Library of America
Carl Hovde 1950 Dean of Columbia College
Richard Howard 1951 Poet, critic, translator; winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Untitled Subjects
Robert Gottlieb 1952 Editor-in-chief, Simon and Schuster; president and editor-in-chief, Alfred A. Knopf; editor, The New Yorker
Ben Stein 1966 Actor, entertainer, author
Gideon Yago 2000 MTV news correspondent
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