Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Fulbright Scholars

Stacy Conradt
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It was August 1, 1946, that then-President Harry Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law. Suggested by Senator J. William Fulbright, the program was designed to use war surplus to allow students to experience and exchange ideas with other cultures.
Business has been booming ever since "“ more than a quarter of a million people have participated in the program, and a lot of those alumni have gone on to do some pretty big things. Here are a few of them!

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4. Melissa Block, the host of NPR's All Things Considered, studied at the University of Geneva for a year after she graduated from Harvard in 1983, thanks to her Fulbright.

5. Jonathan Franzen is the author of various books, including The Corrections, which you might remember from Oprah's Book Club several years ago. Or rather, from the fact that Franzen rejected Oprah's when she said that his book had been selected as her next pick. Franzen attended Berlin's Freie Universität as a Fulbright fellow in 1982.

6. John Lithgow might seem pretty silly, but he's also pretty smart: he went to Harvard and was awarded a Fulbright grant upon graduation. He used it to study at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, which has clearly served him well.

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9. Philip Glass, the composer, is sort of like a Super Fulbright Scholar. Not only did he win a scholarship in 1964 "“ he studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and liked it so much, he stayed in Europe for another 18 months. Just earlier this year, Glass was awarded the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, distinguishing him from all of the other Fulbright alumni with impressive careers.

10. And to prove that not all Fulbright scholars go on to do wonderful things, we have Joseph Corbett, Jr. Corbett earned himself a place on the FBI's Most Wanted list for kidnapping "“ and later murdering "“ Adolph Coors III, the 44-year-old heir to the Coors beer fortune. He had been a Fulbright scholar at the University of Oregon about 10 years prior to the 1960 kidnapping and murder.

And in an unrelated note (I'm certainly not a Fulbright scholar), if you were following me on Twitter, my name has changed "“ the old one got hacked so Twitter suspended it. If you're interested in my babble, I'm now going by the name of MadameLeota. I can't promise I'll entertain you, but I often entertain myself.

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