Montessori Educated: Creative Thinkers Past & Present


The GW Elementary School, a public Montessori program in Kingston, NY  “is happy to spotlight some famous people who were Montessori educated as children.  Known for their initiative, creativity, self-confidence and success – these former students run the gamut from artists to actors, to media moguls and Princes, to founders of large corporations and Nobel Peace Prize winners.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Peace Priize Winner

Many of these people openly credit being Montessori educated for their successes as adults, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez who said, “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.”

Other famous people such as Cher Bono,President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Michael Douglas have chosen to send their children to Montessori schools as well. Famed cellist Yo Yo Ma was not only Montessori educated, but chose to send his daughter Emily to a Montessori school as well.  “Structure is an absolutely important part of the creative life, and Emily got this from her Montessori experience.” said Yo Yo Ma once in an interview.

Check out our list of famous people who have been influenced by a Montessori education in their lives:

Famous People Who Were Montessori Educated:

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon
David Blaine, magician
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Julia Child, celebrity chef and author
George Clooney, actor
Sean “P Diddy” Combs, media mogul
Peter Drucker, management guru
Cami Cotler, actress
John Cusack, actor
Joan Cusack, actress
Dakota Fanning, actress
Anne Frank, author
Katharine Graham, former editor and owner of the Washington Post
Melissa Gilbert, actress
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, artist
Helen Hunt, actress
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Peace Price winner for literature
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former First Lady and editor
Yo Yo Ma, cellist
Larry Page, co-founder of Google
Taylor Swift, singer/songwriter
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
Will Wright, computer game designer
Princes William and Harry, British Royal Family
Noam Chomsky, Linguist and Political Writer and Speaker, Professor MIT
Katherine Graham, Past Owner/Editor of the Washington Post
Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Founders of Google
Jacob Lodwick, Co-Found of College, Creator of VIMEO, Co-Creator of TUMBLR

Will Wright, Computer Game Designer

“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—if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.”
~Will Wright, Computer Game Designer and Original Designer of The Sims

Famous People Who Chose Montessori for Their Children:
President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Patty Duke Austin, actress
Cher Bono, singer and actress
Yul Brynner, actor
Shari Lewis, puppeteer
Willie Nelson
Yo Yo Ma
Gordon Ramsey, chef
Michael Douglas and Katharine Zeta-Jones

Other Famous People Connected to Montessori Include:

  • 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.
  • Mister Rogers, children’s TV personality, was a strong supporter of Montessori education.
  • Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor, helped found a Montessori school.
  • 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.
  • Alice Waters, restaurateur and writer, is a former Montessori teacher.
  • Bruno Bettelheim, noted psychologist/author, was married to a Montessori teacher.
  • Erik Erikson, noted anthropologist/author, had a Montessori teaching certificate.
  • 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.

(Taken from )