Lists

Photos: Ten Most Famous DU Attendees, Including Barbie's "Mom"

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Number 5: Neil Simon

Marvin Neil Simon (born July 4, 1927) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He has written more than thirty plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He has received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer....

He began creating comedy for which he got paid while still in high school, when at the age of fifteen, Simon and his brother created a series of comedy sketches for employees at an annual department store event. And to help develop his writing skill, he often spent three days a week at the library reading books by famous humorists such as Mark Twain, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman and S. J. Perelman.

Soon after graduating high school he signed up with the Army Air Force Reserve at New York University, eventually being sent to Colorado as a corporal. It was during those years in the Reserve that Simon began writing, starting as a sports editor. He was assigned to Lowry Air Force Base during 1945 and attended the University of Denver from 1945 to 1946....


Number 4: Sinbad

David Adkins (born November 10, 1956) — known by his stage name Sinbad — is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He became well known in the 1990s from being featured on his own HBO specials, appearing on several television series, and starring in the films Necessary Roughness, Houseguest, First Kid, Jingle All the Way and Good Burger....

Sinbad was born David Adkins in Benton Harbor, Michigan on November 10, 1956,[1][disputed – discuss] the son of Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins. He has five siblings, named Donna, Dorothea, Mark, Michael, and Donald.[5] Sinbad attended Benton Harbor High School, where he was in the marching band as well as the math club. He attended college from 1974 to 1978 at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he lettered two seasons for the basketball team....

Number 3: Ruth Handler


Ruth Marianna Handler (née Mosko; November 4, 1916-April 27, 2002) was an American businesswoman and inventor. She served as the president of the toy manufacturer Mattel Inc., and is remembered for her role in marketing the Barbie doll.

Handler was born as Ruth Marianna Mosko in Denver, Colorado to Polish Jewish immigrants Ida Mosko (née Rubenstein) and Jacob Mosko....

From JWA.org: In 1932, she fell in love with a poor art student named Izzy Handler. Her family was terrified the teenagers would marry. During her sophomore year at the University of Denver, Handler vacationed in Los Angeles and landed a job at Paramount Studios. Izzy soon joined Ruth in California, and in 1938 the two married in Denver, with her family’s reluctant blessing. Returning to California, Handler encouraged her husband to drop the stereotypical “Izzy” in favor of his middle name, Elliot.

Number 2: Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza "Condi" Rice (born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American secretary of state, as well as the second African American secretary of state (after Colin Powell), and the second female secretary of state (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice also served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor to President George H.W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification....

In 1967, the family moved to Denver, Colorado. She attended St. Mary's Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, and graduated at age 16 in 1971. Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father was then serving as an assistant dean.

Rice initially majored in Music, and after her sophomore year, she went to the Aspen Music Festival and School. There, she later said, she met students of greater talent than herself, and she doubted her career prospects as a pianist. She began to consider an alternative major. She attended an International Politics course taught by Josef Korbel, which sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations. Rice later described Korbel (who is the father of Madeleine Albright, then a future U.S. Secretary of State), as a central figure in her life....

Number 1: Alan Berg

Alan Harrison Berg (January 1, 1934-June 18, 1984) was an American attorney and Denver, Colorado, talk radio show host. Berg was notable for his largely liberal, outspoken viewpoints and confrontational interview style.

On the evening of June 18, 1984, Berg was fatally shot in the driveway of his Denver town home by members of the white nationalist group, The Order due to being Jewish. He died immediately. Ultimately, two members of The Order, David Lane and Bruce Pierce, were convicted for their involvement in the case, though neither of homicide....

Alan Berg was a native of Chicago, Illinois. His family was Jewish.[1] He attended the University of Colorado Denver before transferring to the University of Denver. At age 22, Berg was one of the youngest people to pass the Illinois state bar examination and he went into practice in Chicago. However, he began to experience neuromuscular seizures and he had become an alcoholic. His then-wife, Judith Lee Berg (née Halpern), convinced him to quit his practice to seek help. They moved to Denver, her hometown, and he entered rehabilitation voluntarily. Although he completed his treatment, he continued to be plagued by seizures. He was ultimately diagnosed with a brain tumor. After it was surgically removed, he made a full recovery. For the rest of his life, Alan Berg wore a long fringe to hide the surgical scars....
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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