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Pete Seeger was an elite in one way

By Laurie Bennett

January 28, 2014 at 5:47pm

Pete Seeger, who died Monday at age 94, always spoke for the disadvantaged.

Yet Seeger was also a member of a select group. Like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Robert Frost and Bonnie Raitt, he was a successful Harvard dropout.

In contrast to his later reputation as everyman, he was also a Harvard legacy. His father, Charles Louis Seeger Jr., trained at Harvard before becoming a music professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The elder Seeger later taught at Juilliard and the New School.

Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger dropped out of Harvard in 1938 to bicycle across the country.

The Muckety map above shows some of his fellow rebels, who spurned the nation’s most prestigious college and still went on to high achievement.

It’s a short list. (Kids, don’t take this as an encouragement to quit.)

Tech, media and entertainment dominate. Other stellar dropouts include actor Matt Damon, press baron William Randolph Hearst, inventor Edwin Land and poet Ogden Nash.

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