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Ten Famous People You Didn't Know Were Engineers


Herbert Hoover
Before he was a reviled US president, Herbert Hoover was an engineer. That's right, Hoover was a US president who was also an engineer. Hoover started out at Stanford in 1891, before there were such awesome things like the 1900s. He then got down to work, getting a job as a mining engineer in Australia. The bad-ass factor doesn't stop there: he then went to work in the Chinese mining industry, reportedly becoming China's leading engineer and learned to speak Mandarin! He started a few mining companies and became a well-regarded consultant. He even wrote the book on mining, 'Principles of Mining', published in 1909. Afterwards, he got more and more involved with government work, before finally becoming president (after helping to feed millions of starving people during and after World War I). It's not quite as good as, say, community organizer, or alcoholic failed businessman, but it got him the job. It just goes to show, the presidents of yesteryear could kick the asses of the current crop ten times before they hit the ground.



Scott Adams
This one is perhaps the most obvious one, but the man that entertains millions of cube monkeys in soul crushing jobs with comics about a group of engineers was himself once an engineer. While theoretically he received degrees in economics and an MBA, Adams worked as a software engineer from '79-'86. He published his first Dilbert comic strip in 1989, and the rest, as they say, is history.




Neil Armstrong
That's right, the first man on the moon was an engineer! Now you have something to bring up on dates and at dinner parties. Armstrong majored in aerospace engineering at Purdue University, which he followed up with a master's in aerospace from the University of Southern California. What did he do with his engineering degree? He joined the navy and trained as a pilot. What happened next? The Korean war happened.

Armstrong was shipped out and promptly shot down. While making a low bombing run his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, shearing off an estimated six feet from his wing. He managed to nurse the aircraft back to friendly territory and ejected. Now that's engineering. He later became a test pilot, and finally an astronaut before landing on the moon and uttering one of the most repeated and quoted phrases in human history.




Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter was a US president and a nuclear engineer. Carter went to the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Naval Academy. In the navy, he focused on submarines (the ships, not the sandwiches, although we can't rule out the occasional submarine sandwich as part of his regimen). He was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and did graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics. Apparently he was also part of a team that cleaned up a nuclear accident in Canada's Chalk River Laboratories. Maybe if he used his nuclear engineering prowess to create an army of nuclear powered robots to rescue those embassy hostages, he would still be president today.




Alfred Hitchcock
Before he was a film director,Hitchcock studied mechanical and electrical engineering at St. Ignatius' College and the University of London. His first job out of school was as an estimator for the Henley Cable and Telegraph Company in London. But it was not to be. Soon after, he saw his first motion picture and, inspired, start taking art classesat night. The rest is history as he moved up the ranks to directing pictures. It is said that Hitchcock's meticolous attentiont to detail and obsessive planning of all sets and takes stems from his training as an engineer.




Rowan Atkinson

You might not guess it from his role as the inept Mr. Bean (and the even more inept Black Adder), but Rowan Atkinson finished electrical and electronics engineering at Newcastle University before getting his Masters in engineering at Oxford! (Now pause to imagine Mr. Bean designing the circuits in your computer ... or Mr. Bean working at Boeing ... why didn't they do sketches about that?). So what happened? Well, the call of comedy was too much. Atkinson performed in plays and comedy sketches throughout school. This led to his first TV gig in 1976 and he ran with that career. So there you have it, Rowan Atkinson is probably the smartest celebrity you'll see on TV.





Tom Landry
One of the most famous coaches in the NFL was an engineer. You can use that fun fact the next time the football team is giving you a swirly in the bathroom! Landry got his degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas - Austin, although he had to briefly interrupt his studies to be a bomber pilot in World War II! After that, he became a player in the NFL before starting his coaching career in 1956




Tom Scholz
Ever heard of a little band called Boston? Yep, Tom Scholz, the guitarist and songwriter, has an engineering degree. Before he got famous, he finished both his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT! He then worked for a while at Polaroid as a product design engineer. While working for Polaroid, he started recording music in his basement, and eventually got a record deal. Oh yeah, while he was touring the world and all that, he invented and developed the Rockman guitar amplifier, which is still being manufactured and sold today (and his signature is still on the unit).







Montel Williams
Not only does he have the shiniest head on television, he also has an engineering degree. He may be all touchy-feely on the tube, but Montel started off his career by enlisting in the Marine Corps! After a while he got into the United States Naval Academy and graduated with a degree in 1980. After that he went to work as a cryptology officer and spent 12 years in the navy. So chances are, he can kick your ass, but at least he can probably also help you deal with the emotional pain afterwards.




Ashton Kutcher
This one is controversial, since Kutcher didn't actually finish his degree. Then again, we are talking about Kelso here. He majored in biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa. We'll also give him props for his motivation for going: apparently he was inspired by a desire to cure his brother's heart ailment. Although, in his own words, he was like totally drunk the entire time, so we can't be sure how seriously he took his quest. But there you have it, before he was Mr. Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher was a biochemical engineer.





(Honorable Mention) Cindy Crawford
This barely deserves a mention, but before she was a supermodel, Cindy Crawford attended Northwestern Univeristy to study Chemical Engineering. She attended on a scholarship too. She dropped out after a semester to go into modelling full-time, which worked out pretty well, I guess. And to think of all the dating opportunities she missed out on by not sticking with engineering.
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35 Years and they are back! Konnichiwa Japan!

35 Years and they are back! Konnichiwa Japan!
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