James Mattis: How Well-Educated is America’s Warrior Monk?

General James Mattis

A four-star general who served under Barack Obama as the Head of Central Command (Centcom), Mattis was recently nominated as President-Elect Trump’s Secretary of Defense.  For his service, James earned a variety of awards, including the Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award, the Ryan C. Crocker Global Citizen of the Year, and the Marine Corps University Foundation Semper Fidelis Award. Mattis also earned a few monikers to accompany his accolades: “Mad Dog”, “The Warrior Monk”, and “Chaos”. Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a Ph.D. in history, said the following about Mattis, ““He is one of the most urbane and polished men I have known. He can quote Homer as well as Sun Tzu.” Currently, after giving much of his collection away to local libraries, Mattis has roughly 1,000 books in his personal collection. Read on to find out how education left its impact on our new, somewhat controversial, Secretary of Defense.

Born on September 8th of 1950, Mattis grew up in Washington state. His family’s close ties to the military, one working as a merchant marine and one as an army intelligence officer, may have contributed to his decision to serve.  In 1968, he graduated from White Salmon’s Columbia High School. This co-educational, public school serves about 400 students during each academic year and has received Washington State’s Achievement Award for Overall Excellence for the past five years. In 1969, Mattis enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While serving in the reserve, he attended classes at Central Washington University. After four years of studying at one of his state’s premier universities, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. In 2014, in honor of his service, George Washington University awarded James Mattis an honorary doctorate of law. While formal schooling’s behind him, Mattis is still a strong believer in the power of intellect. After all, as he told his troops time and time again: “The most important 6 inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

Sebastian Vettel’s Educational Background: Are His Grades as Stunning as His Speed?

Currently driving for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel is a Formula One (F1) driver and winner of four world championships. It’s no wonder he’s considered one of the best racers in history; his paycheck shows it.  In 2015, Forbes estimated that Sebastian and his driving ability netted him about 33 million dollars per year. Vettel doesn’t spend all his time, or money, zipping around the track at death-defying speeds.  He also enjoys watching old British comedies, listening to the Beatles, and spending time with his young family. In addition, Vettel’s dabbled briefly in voice acting by providing the voice of Sebastian Schnell in the localized German version of Cars 2.  This famous F1 racer was not born with a steering wheel, or voice actor’s microphone, clutched in his hands; he was just darn close.  Long before he learned to drive, he was just a boy growing up in West Germany. We’ll take a brief look at his life before exploring just how far this racing Rockstar made it down the educational track.

Sebastian Vettel was born to Heike and Norbert Vettel on July 3rd of 1987. He has one younger brother, Fabian, and two older sisters, Stefanie and Melanie. Before he wanted to race, a young Sebastian professed to wanting to follow in the moonwalking shoes of Michael Jackson. However, at the age of three-and-a-half, his first experience with amateur carting displaced his dreams of singing stardom. He quickly made a name for himself on the track. By the age of eight, Sebastian was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team. By age 19, he became the youngest F1 driver in history to participate in the Grand Prix. His record in school was never quite as astounding. In the classroom, per a 2014 German-language interview, Sebastian claims he never performed all that well. While he did earn respectable grades, book-learning does not seem to have been his passion.

What education he did receive, took place at Heppenheim’s Starkenburg Gymnasium High School. Home to roughly 1200 students, this educational institution is a testing ground for a variety of technology-based initiatives. It maintains exchange partnerships with West Bend (USA), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Le Chesnay (France). As earning his abitur at Starkenburg marked the end of his educational career, Sebastian Vettel has no other alma maters or degrees to speak of. You can learn more about Starkenburg by visiting their website (if you read German).

Michael Jordan’s Educational Background: Just Where Was He Educated?

Michael Jordan’s (MJ’s) NBA biography puts it best: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” As one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation, Jordan was vital in popularizing professional basketball throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  And, he had plenty of time to do it. Before his retirement in 2003, Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. In that time, Jordan managed to rack up an impressive 32,292 points. With his playing days long over, this basketball star has moved into the role of team owner and entrepreneur. Currently, he owns a car dealership, seven restaurants, and an 80-percent stake in the Charlotte Bobcats. Thanks to the combination of his endorsements and businesses, Michael Jordan now makes more per annum than he accumulated over the entirety of his basketball career. Might he have a business degree to back it all up? Read on to find out.

On February 17th of 1963, James and Delores Jordan welcomed their fourth child, Michael Jeffrey, into their Brooklyn home. He would be followed shortly after by his younger sister, Rosalyn. While born in the Big Apple, the Jordan family did not stay in the city long.  Before Michael had even set foot in a kindergarten classroom, his family had packed it all up and moved to Wilmington, South Carolina. It’s there that Michael would set the foundations for his future basketball career and discover his love of the game. His launch to stardom all started when he, after failing to make varsity, began to wow coaches on his high school’s JV squad.

Jordan completed his primary education at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. This school, founded in 1976, is currently home to over 2,200 hundred students and a vital part of the New Hanover County School district. Aside from Jordan, Laney’s notable alumni include Terence Williams, Greg Lindquist, and Harvest Smith. Following his high school graduation, Michael Jordan received numerous offers from Duke, South Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1981, Jordan accepted a basketball scholarship from North Carolina State University at Chapel Hill. This flagship university boasts nearly 30,000 students, in-state tuition of 8,374 USD, and an acceptance rate of just 26-percent. On its campus, students have access to 33 fraternities, their own NPR radio stations, and an anthropology research lab.  In 1984, before kicking off his professional career, Jordan graduated with a degree in cultural geography. His sound investment instincts obviously came from somewhere else. Since earning his baccalaureate, Michael Jordan has shown no interest in continuing his schooling.

Rudy Giuliani: Is His Educational Resume As Big as the Big Apple?

The former mayor of New York City and a figure of heated controversy, Rudy Giuliani is a businessman, public speaker, former presidential candidate, and lawyer. While formerly a Democrat, Giuliani has been a loyal member of the Republican Party for over 30 years.  During his time as mayor, he helped lower the rate of violent crime, stymy urban decay, and battle back a tide of corrupt corporate financiers. Additionally, in 2001, Rudy provided some much-needed leadership for a Big Apple left reeling by September 11th. His work for NYC helped him to be named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2001. After failing to secure the 2008 presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani has departed politics in favor of the private sector. Considering his advanced age, it seems unlikely he will go beyond his current level of education. Just how educated is old Rudolph?

Born to Helen and Harold Giuliani on May 28th of 1944, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani grew up surrounded by a family consisting mostly of firefighters and police officers. His father, once arrested for robbing a man at gunpoint, drilled a deep sense of respect for authority, order, and personal property into his young son.  While his grades qualified for few accolades, Rudy showed a deep interest in politics from an early age. His father’s constant lecturing on the importance of societal order drove Giuliani to take his place in the courtroom.

In 1961, Giuliani ended his primary school career at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High. From there, Giuliani moved enrolled at  Manhattan College. This co-educational, Roman Catholic liberal arts institution, serves about 4,000 students annually across all of its urban campus. Centrally located in the Bronx, the school is best known for its high return on investment. After graduating from this prestigious school in 1965, he attended, and graduated from, the New York University Law School.  You can find out more about New York’s oldest law school by peeking at our entry on EduInReview. One thing’s for certain about Giuliani’s law degree: he used it.

Steven Mnuchin’s Educational Background: How Well-Educated Is the Future Secretary of the Treasury?

Now best-known as Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Treasure, Steve Mnuchin worked for over 20-years as a Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund investor.  Commonly praised by the owner of Trump Industries, Mnuchin partnered up with the Republican National Committee to help raise tens of millions of dollars for Donald Trump’s winning campaign. He’s vowed to help simplify the tax code for businessmen, and Americans, across the country. Considering his track record, that goal may be within the realm of possibility. As a businessman, he’s credited with starting and successfully running a variety of finance-based businesses. When away from Wall Street, and Washington, Mnuchin has worked as a producer for some well-known films, including, American Sniper, Suicide Squad, and The Lego Movie. Forbes estimates his net worth to be around 46-million-dollars. Did you know he a degree from an Ivy league?

Steven Mnuchin was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; he was born with the entire flatware set. The second son in a wealthy Jewish family, he came into the world on December 12th of 1962.  Born and raised in New York City, partially by a father deeply involved with Goldman Sachs, it’s little wonder that Mnuchin moved into the life of an investor and financier. For his primary education, Steven attended the private and co-educational Riverdale County School. This institution serves 1,140 students from preschool to high school every year. Following his high school graduation, Mnuchin continued his education at Yale University. While at the Ivy League institution, he served as a publisher for the Yale Daily News and became a member of the exclusive Skull and Bones society. Steven graduated from Yale in 1985. He then moved directly into a profitable position at Goldman Sachs. At this time, Steven has shown no interest in furthering his education.

Alec Baldwin’s Educational Background: Did He Act Up in the Classroom?

American producer, comedian, writer, and actor, Alec Baldwin is best known for his role on hit-comedy 30 Rock. He rocketed back into the spotlight on October 1st of 2016 when he debuted his portrayal of Donald Trump on SNL. During his long career the stage, Baldwin’s been a recipient of multiple awards including an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award.  Before he took to primetime television, and late night comedy, he spent much of his thespian career bouncing between the silver screen in Broadway; his early credits include Forever Lulu, The Doctors, and Loot. When not working on set, Alec Baldwin spends much of his time acting on behalf of animal rights. He also contributes time to community theater organizations and serves on the board of directors for a variety of acting-focused non-profits. While his 2004 divorce left him bitter, Baldwin has since rediscovered happiness with his second wife and two young children.

The second of six children born to Alexander and Carol Baldwin, Alexander Rae Baldwin III came into the world on April 3rd of 1958. Along with his five siblings, Alec was raised in the Massapequa suburb of Long Island. He attended, and played football for, Alfred G. Berner High School. Due to falling enrollment throughout the 1980s, the school permanently shuttered its doors in 1987. Little information can be found on this defunct institution. His education did not end there.

In 1976, Alec began his baccalaureate education at George Washington University. While there, Baldwin majored in political science with every intention of becoming a lawyer. However, after he rediscovered his childhood love of acting, he left his dreams of courtroom drama behind.  After uncovering his passion, Alec enrolled in the drama department at New York University.  While his political science didn’t end in law school, it might have helped him in his portrayals of Donald Trump. However, considering his career, it’s likely his education at New York University that proved vital.


Kevin Durant’s Educational Background: How Educated is He?

Kevin Durant A winner of the NBA’s MVP award, four NBA scoring titles, and two Olympic gold medals, Kevin Durant currently plays small forward for the Golden State Warriors. Before he joined Oakland’s basketball team in 2016, Durant played nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.   His life isn’t all basketball, however. The 6’9’’ player describes himself as a “high school kid” at heart and enjoys nothing more than kicking back with a video game.  In addition to being an amateur gamer, Durant’s an entrepreneur. He owns several properties in Oklahoma City and runs his own restaurant in the Bricktown neighborhood. Possessing a heart big enough to match his frame, Durant’s known for dedicating his time to philanthropic causes. However, long before he picked up a basketball or broke ground on his restaurant, he was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Washington.

Kevin Durant was born to two government workers, Wayne and Wanda Pratt, on September 29th of 1988.  His father’s departure before his son’s first birthday left Kevin, and his three siblings, to be raised by his mother and grandmother, Barbara.  Interestingly enough, when he was younger, Durant always felt self-conscious about his height. It was his grandmother that helped him see that towering above other students was nothing to be ashamed of and encouraged him to make use of it.  During the time Durant struggled with his height, he spent hours  at the local Boys and Girls Club. His time there helped him discover a passion, and innate ability, for basketball. At the age of 11, he led his AAU team, the Jaguars, to a national championship. From that moment on, Durant decided to play for the NBA. Before transferring to basketball factory Oak Hill Academy as a junior, Kevin played as a freshman and sophomore at Montrose Christian.

Postgraduation, he joined the other Longhorns at the University of Texas. During his  semesters there, Durant continued to set records on the court and even became the first freshman to earn the Naismith College Player of the Year.  An article from the NY Times quotes Durant as saying the following about earning his degree: “To walk across the stage will be just as important as being drafted,. Maybe even more important because that lasts an entire lifetime.” Durant later earned a bachelor’s in education with a minor in social work.


Jordan Spieth: Is this Master Winner the Holder of a Master’s Degree?

A well-known professional golfer, Jordan Spieth is the second-youngest champion in Masters history. He’s also one of the few people in the world to win the US Junior Amateur championship more than once, and the first man since 1922 to win two majors before his 22nd birthday. In addition to his championships, Spieth won the 2013 Rookie of the Year award and has been described as “all that is exemplary in sport”. Besides working on his unorthodox golf swing, he also donates time and money to his charitable foundation to help junior golf, special needs, and veteran’s programs. Long before he picked ups his clubs, however, Jordan was just the first of three children born to Mary Christine and Shawn Spieth.

Jordan Spieth was brought into the world, more specifically, Dallas, on July 27th of 1993.  Considering both of his parents were star college athletes, one in baseball and one in basketball, his love of sports should come as no surprise. Before settling on golf as his sport of time, Jordan spent plenty of time playing soccer, football, and basketball. To give their son access to the best in golfing facilities, his parents joined the Brookhaven Country Club. In less than four years, he caught the eyes of former pro golfer Cameron McCormick. Over time, the pair developed a coaching relationship that went far beyond the confines of that country club. During this time, Jordan attended St. Monica’s Catholic School.   Founded in 1955, this religion-centered school teaches students in kindergarten to eighth.

From there, he moved to Jesuit College Preparatory School, a young men’s high-school home to approximately 1,100 students, and established himself as a true golf prodigy.  While there, Jordan won his first major golf award: the US Junior Amateur Championship. In late 2011, Jordan graduated from Jesuit. In late 2011, Spieth applied, and was accepted to, the University of Texas in that same year. After just 1.5 years in college, he dropped out to pursue a career in professional golf. At this point,  Jordan Spieth has expressed no interest in completing his education.

Lewis Hamilton’s Educational Background: How Well-Educated is McLaren’s Star Racer?

A driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, Lewis Hamilton is widely regarded as one of the best Formula One racers. In addition to winning three world championships, Hamilton emerged victorious from the British Formula Renault,  the Formula Three Euroseries, and the GP2. Over the entirety of his professional career, he’s earned over 2,200 career points. When not circling the tracks at blistering speeds, Lewis donates time to organizations like UNICEF, nurturing his own budding music career, and indulging his love of fine art.  Before he ever sat behind the steering wheel of a McLaren, however, Lewis was just a young Brit with dreams of thick-walled racing tires.

Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton came into the world on January 7th of 1985. His parents, Carmen Larbalestier and Anthony Hamilton, separated when he was only two years old. As a result, the young boy spent much of his youth torn between his parents and a plethora of half siblings. However, that did not make his childhood unpleasant. While he learned to appreciate racing with a remote-controlled car, much of his education took place at the John Henry Newman School. Founded in 1987, this Roman Catholic primary schools educates approximately 1500 students between the ages of 11 and 18.  However, his focus was not solely on his education.  By the age of 10, Hamilton had already won his first British Karting Championship, met his future boss, and centered his sights on a future racing career.

After finishing his program at John Henry Newman, Lewis Hamilton enrolled in Cambridge’s school of Arts and Sciences (CATS). This private boarding school gives students a chance to learn the classical subjects at university cities, such as Cambridge, Canterbury, Boston, and London.  It’s a school known for its rigorous academics. As Lewis moved directly into his professional racing career after graduating from CATS, it’s unclear just how his time there might impact his future success.  He has expressed no interest in furthering his education.

Eli Manning: Just How Well-Educated is the Giants’ Star?

The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New York Giants, Eli Manning’s football success should come as no surprise; we’ll delve more into why later. This young athlete led his team to victory in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Before that, he was an outstanding college player who racked up 10, 119 passing yards and 81 touchdown passes. He is now the father of three young girls and married to Abby McGrew of New York City. When off the gridiron, and away from his home in Hoboken, Eli donates his time to a variety of charitable causes. This includes raising funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He also served as a host for Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Golf Classic since 2008.However, his biggest planned contribution comes from his promise to help construct the “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinic” at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Long before Eli thought of sponsoring his own hospital ward, though, he was just the youngest of three brothers growing up in New Orleans.

Elisha Nelson Manning, the youngest child of “Archie” and Olivia Manning, came into the world on January 3rd of 1981. You might say that football was in his genes. His father was a long-term quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and spent 16 seasons in the NFL. Therefore, it’s little surprise that all three of Archie’s sons, including Eli, fell in love with the sport. That didn’t mean his path to stardom was easy. Being the smallest and youngest of the Manning siblings, Eli spent a lot of time being picked on and teased by his elder brothers. While growing up,  Eli spent a lot of time with his level-headed mother, Olivia. This supposedly earned him the nickname “Easy” and helped him learn how to keep a level head in a crisis. That’s proved indispensable on the green. Before long, like most children, it came time for Eli Manning to zip up his bag, pack his lunch, and head off to school.

All of his primary education took place at the Isidore Newman School. This private, co-educational, non-denominational school, teaches students from preschool to graduation. Located on a roughly 11-acre campus in uptown New Orleans, the institution boasts over 100 years of history, roughly 1,000 students and nearly 6,000 alumni. Its motto, “Discimus Agere Agendo”, can be translated as “We Learn to do by Doing.” Once he graduated from Isidore Newman, he applied to and was accepted at, the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”). The flagship university for the state of Mississippi was founded in 1848 and has become known for its ability to produce notable alumni in public service, research, and academics. It’s home to 15 different academic divisions and its own accredited medical school. With almost 24,000 students, it’s the largest university in the state. Balancing academics and sports relatively well, Eli Manning graduated from the Ole Miss with a 3.44 GPA and a marketing degree. At this time, he has expressed no interest in returning to further his education.