The most famous Montessori alumni

Are you aware that some of the most well-known entrepreneurs were Montessori students? 

If being successful doesn't always mean being "famous", the list of Montessori alumni is impressive!

What do those famous Montessori students have in common?

For me, it seems that those Montessorians are passionate, dedicated to their passion and dream, they work hard and are focused on their goal. They innovate and create something that adds value, in some ways, to our society. 

This is what is taught in the Montessori classroom, this is what every Montessori teacher encourage their student to find: their purpose. 

Just for fun, here is the ultimate list of Famous Montessorians from all around the world!

Some of them have attended a school for a year or two while some others have done most of their education in a Montessori school.

Did the Montessori education impacted their life? Do they embody the peaceful, fulfilled adult that Maria Montessori had envisioned? I let you being the judge regarding each of them. 

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Jeff Bezos - Creator of Amazon

The founder of Amazon is often quoted as being a famous Montessorian. But he only went for a year and half in a local Montessori preschool. Is it really what has influenced him and made him an entrepreneur? Read his interview for a Montessori magazine where he recalled painted on a large scale and it was in 1999 when Amazon was only selling books!

Stephen Curry – NBA player 

I've had no idea who he was prior to writing this blog post! His mother was a Montessori teacher and he attended a Montessori school. The family Curry clearly states that Montessori has shaped them.

Watch their interview for Living Montessori

Larry Page and Sergei Brin – Google founders

Sergei Brin said: "I benefited from [my] Montessori education, which in some ways gives the students a lot more freedom to do things at their own pace, to discover… Some of the credit for the willingness to go on your own interests, you can tie that back to that Montessori education"

And Larrry Page said "We both went to Montessori school, and I think it was part of that training ... of being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a little bit different"

The former Vice-president of Google Company explained: "You can’t understand Google unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids. ... In Montessori school you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so. This is really baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems. They’re always asking ‘Why should it be like that?’"

Will Wright, Computer Game Designer and Original Designer of The Sims

The video games creator talks about how Montessori shaped his education in this Ted Talk.

His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge

Prince George attended Westacres Montessori school in Northfolk. And from one day to the other, Montessori schools in the UK were inundated with requests from parents. I remember it so clearly as, at the time, I was managing a Montessori preschool!

Prince William and Prince Harry

Both brothers attended the same nursery which was, at the time, a Montessori one. It was called Mrs Mynor's nursery school. And their mother, Lady Diana, was an assistant in a Montessori school prior to meeting Prince Charles!

Taylor Swift - Singer

She attended the Alvernia Montessori school in Wyomissing, PA for 2 years. She is the blond girl in a red dress on this school's picture.

Julia Child - Chef, author and TV personality

Julia attributes her Montessori education with creating a lifelong love of discovery and mastery, which led her to write the groundbreaking cookbook, “Mastering the art of French cooking,” earn her Diplôme De Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, and host her own cooking show. Before long, Julia Child was in every kitchen in America.

Julia’s advice was “learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun!”

Anne Frank, diarist

Tim Seldin, the author of "How to raise an amazing child the Montessori way" said: "Anne was a typical Montessori child. She was bright, eager, and opinionated. She loved to play Monopoly, and often won. She dreamed of becoming an actress or world famous ice skater. And, of course, she was an incredibly articulate writer. Her diary gives us a glimpse not only of those terrible years, but of the bright spark of humanity, compassion, and maturity that are so often seen among our students".

Anne Frank attended the 6th Montessori School of Amsterdam from age 3 to 11, and then a year at the Montessori Lyceum (high school) until the occupying German authorities forbade Jewish children from attending school with Christian children.

Puff Daddy - SEAN P Diddy COMBS - Singer and musician

He would have said about his Montessori school years "I feel like I was nurtured into wanting to be somebody special”.

Beyonce Knowles - Singer

She attended St. Mary of the Purification Montessori, in Houston, a school that valued both art and academics.

Anthony Doer - Author

He said about his school "“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.”

Some other famous Montessorians and Montessori supporters:

  • Joshua Bell – violinist
  • Helen Hunt, Emmy Award winning actress
  • Gabriel García Marquez, author, Nobel Prize in Literature recipient
  • Morgan Saylor, actress. She said "I went to a Montessori school until eighth grade and they were very lenient on my schedule,”
  • Kami Cotler, actress (youngest child on long-running series The Waltons)
  • Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actresses
  • Peter Drucker, the inventor of modern management
  • George Clooney, actor
  • Berry Brazelton, noted paediatrician and author
  • Erik Erikson, the Danish-German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development. He loved Montessori ideas so much that he trained as a Montessori teacher
  • Jean Piaget was once the President of the Swiss Montessori Society
  • Ann Sullivan, Helen's Keller's teacher, used Montessori ideas to teacher her famous student.
  • David Blaine,Magician, Illusionist, endurance artist
  • Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Viennese artist & architect
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Former First Lady, Editor: As a child, the former First Lady attended Miss Chapin’s School for Girls in Manhattan. Miss Chapin was a pioneer in education for girls; she attended Dr Montessori’s New York lectures in the 1930s and enthusiastically included Montessori methods in her classrooms.
  • John & Joan Cusack – Actor and screenwriter, and Academy award-nominated actress
  • Katharine Graham – Pulitzer prize-winning author and Former owner & editor of the Washington Post
  • T BERRY BRAZELTON Pediatrician, child psychiatrist, author: he attended a Montessori school as a child and is a firm supporter of the Montessori method.
  • YO YO MA, Cellist
  • President WOODROW WILSON, former President of the United States from 1913 to 1921
    He had a Montessori classroom installed in the basement of the White House during his term of office for staff to send their children to and his daughter trained as a Montessori teacher. Margaret Wilson was on the committee that brought Dr Montessori to the USA in 1915.
  • 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.
  • Fred Rogers appreciated Maria Montessori's work. He gave a keynote to the American Montessori Society annual conference in 2000.

Do you know any other famous Montessorians?

Let me know in a comment!

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About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.

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    The original cast of Barney and friends attended school in a Montessori classroom behind the scenes while filming their first season.

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