This page is a list of famous people with degrees in chemistry. The academic backgrounds of celebrities shape who they are and introduce them to new pathways for success and ultimately influence how they become famous. Even though chemistry might not seem like a great pathway to success, you just never know! That's life... See 16 Elements Named After People.

Celebrities with Chemistry Degrees



  1. POPE FRANCIS- The current head of the Roman Catholic Church (and the most famous person on this list), Pope Francis, was originally trained as a chemist. In his youth he received a chemical technician's degree from Escuela Nacional de Educacion Tecnica. Who would have guessed that a young chemist nearly 50 years ago would become one the most progressive world leaders in the 21st century.
  2. INDRA NOOYI - CEO of PepsiCo, she holds Bachelor's degree in chemistry, physics, and mathematics from Madras Christian College, India in 1974. In this economy her salary must be incredibly above the average chemistry graduate's. This is another case where you just never know how far your humble beginnings might take you. I dare you to Google her net worth!
  3. DOLPH LUNDGREN - Famous for his role as Ivan Drago, Rocky's Soviet nemesis in Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren holds two chemistry degrees: an undergraduate degree from Washington State University and a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. Appearances aren't everything, Dolph has quite the brain. If his fictional character is anything like the real life actor he'd probably beat Rocky in any intellectual endeavour. After the big fight how about a game of chess between the two and see who's really superior?
  4. ANGELA MERKEL - Among the most influential people in the European Union, the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel holds a doctorate in quantum chemistry from the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic, 1986. Smart, powerful, and quite the strategist; Angela is a powerhouse for the German people.
  5. MARGARET THATCHER - The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom held a Bachelor of Science degree from Oxford University with a concentration in x-ray crystallography.
  6. JANET RENO - 78th Attorney General of the United States graduated from Cornell University in 1960 with a chemistry degree before going on to law school.
  7. KURT VONNEGUT - Famed author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, and Cat's Cradle; the visionary Vonnegut was on track to receive a chemistry degree in 1943, before "dropping out his junior year due to failing grades and not being chosen as editor-in-chief of the Daily Sun". It is incredible to think that a failure in chemistry might have led to some of the greatest works in America's literary culture. Maybe we will find a future genius on our chemistry complaint page, "I HATE CHEMISTRY" submitted by people who absolutely hate chemistry--for a variety of reasons of course.
  8. FRANK CAPRA - Legendary Italian-American film director, producer, and writer with movie credits includingOscar winners It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, attended CalTech earning a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1918.