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Meet the world's MOST influential Rhodes scholars

Last updated on: November 22, 2011 17:48 IST

Image: Bill Clinton

The Rhodes scholarship is awarded annually to people who perform exceptionally well in academics, sports and community service. Winners of the scholarship are given the opportunity to study at the prestigious Oxford University. We profile some of the notable personalities who have won the scholarship here.

Bill Clinton

American ex-president Bill Clinton was a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship in 1968.

He pursued Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University College at Oxford but since he dropped out early to go to Yale University, he reportedly did not receive his degree from there.

Click NEXT to find out who the most influential Rhodes scholars are...

2. Bobby Jindal

Image: Bobby Jindal
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
A member of the Republican Party, Bobby Jindal currently serves as the governor of Lousiana.

Jindal is the second-youngest US governor currently and the first Indian-American governor in the country.

He bagged the Rhodes scholarship in 1992 and went on to pursue Master of Letters in political science specialising in health policy at New College from the University of Oxford in 1994.

3. Girish Karnad

Image: Girish Karnad
Multi talented Indian and Kannada-language playwright, film actor, director and screenwriter Girish Karnad was awarded the Rhodes scholarship in 1960.

He earned a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lincoln and Magdalen colleges in Oxford.

4. Sagarika Ghosh Sardesai

Image: Sagarika Ghosh Sardesai

Reputed Indian journalist Sagarika Ghose Sardesai won the Rhodes scholarship in 1987.

Ghose received her bachelor's degree in Modern History from Magdalen College at Oxford.

As a journalist, she has worked with The Times Of India, Outlook magazine and The Indian Express. She presently works with the CNN-IBN news channel.

In 2004, she anchored the popular BBC show Question Time India after Karan Thapar, thus becoming the first woman to anchor the show.

5. Eric Prabhakar

Image: Eric Prabhakar (left) with athelete Jesse Owens

Celebrated Indian athlete Eric Prabhakar who represented India in the 1948 Olympic Games Men's 100 metres was a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship in 1948.

Apparently, he was the first Indian Rhodes scholar to study at Oxford.

After completing his post graduation from Oxford Prabhakar also worked for the UNESCO and served as an active sports administrator in India.

6. Sanjeev Sanyal

Image: Sanjeev Sanyal

Kolkata born Indian economist Sanjeev Sanyal was also awarded the Rhodes scholarship in 1992.

He studied at St John's College, Oxford along with Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, and Cory Booker, the Democrat Mayor of Newark, NJ.

Sanyal was named 'Young Global Leader 2010' by the World Economic Forum at Davos.

He has also won the CNBC Young Turk award in 2008 and UN World Business award in 2006.

Sanyal also authored the book The Indian Renaissance: India's Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline which went on to become a best seller.

7. Edward De Bono

Image: Edward De Bono

Noted physician, author and consultant Edward de Bono who invented the concept of lateral thinking in humans has been a recipient of Rhodes scholarship in 1953.

He studied at the Christ Church, Oxford where he gained an MA degree in psychology and physiology.

8. Edwin Hubble

Image: Image for representation purpose only
Photographs: Photographs: NASA, ESA, and M Livio and the Hubble Heritage Team

Noted astronomer Edwin Hubble who confirmed the existence of Milky Way galaxy, also known for theories like Doppler shift and Hubble's law was a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship in 1910.

He graduated from the Queens College at Oxford as one of the University's first scholars.

9. Atul Gawande

Image: Atul Gawande

Acclaimed surgeon Atul Gawande was a Rhodes scholar.

He won the Rhodes scholarship in 1987 and studied at Balliol College.

A Stanford graduate, Gawande received a masters' degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford. Further, he went on to pursue an MD from the Harvard Medical School, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Gawande also contributes to the New Yorker and Slate.

Gawande was a National Book Award finalist for his first book Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, which was released in the year 2002. The book was also published in more than one hundred countries.

Gawande was born in New York to Indian parents from Maharashtra.

10. John Templeton

Image: John Templeton

American born entrepreneur and founder of Templeton College, Oxford, John Templeton was once a Rhodes scholar in 1934.

Templeton pursued his Masters in Law degree from University of Oxford.

Templeton was listed among the Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People under the category of 'Power Givers.' Templeton was honoured for his "pursuit of spiritual understanding, often through scientific research" through his establishment of the John Templeton Foundation.

11. Howard Florey

Image: Picture for representation purpose only
Scientist Howard Florey who won the Nobel prize in medicine along with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin received the Rhodes scholarship in 1921.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Florey studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and received degrees of BA and MA.

Further, he completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge.

12. James William Fulbright

Image: Fulbright programme logo

United States Senator and founder of the prestigious Fullbright fellowship, James William Fulbright has been a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship in 1925.

Fulbright studied at Pembroke College at the Oxford University, and graduated in 1928.

Ex-president Bill Clinton cited him as a mentor.

13. Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Image: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Delhi-born Indian economist and currently deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India Montek Singh Ahluwalia was a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship in 1964.

He completed BA (Hons) degree from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford.

While at Oxford, he was also the president of the prestigious Oxford Union.

14. Siddhartha Mukherjee

Image: Siddhartha Mukherjee

Pulitzer prize winning writer of Indian-American origin Sidhartha Mukherjee was a recipient of Rhodes scholarship in the year 1993.

After Stanford, Mukherjee earned a DPhil in biochemistry from Magdalen College, Oxford.

In 2011 the author's book The Emperor of All Maladies: A History of Cancer was nominated as a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Later, the book went on to bag the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction.

15. Strobe Talbott

Image: Strobe Talbott

American diplomat and journalist, former US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott received the Rhodes scholarship in the year 1968.

During his term at the Oxford, he also became friends with former President Bill Clinton who was a fellow scholar.

16. Terrence Malick

Image: A still from the film A Tree of Life

Academy award nominated director Terrence Malick known for his critically acclaimed films like Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, Badlands, The New World, and The Tree of Life was a recipient of Rhodes scholarship in 1966.

Malick studied at Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar but opted out before he could complete it. He does not hold a doctorate degree.

Malick's film Days of Heaven won the Academy Award for both Best Cinematography and Best Director at the Cannes festival in 1979.