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Where Did Forbes' Most Powerful People Go to College?



By Catherine Groux
Posted December 07, 2012 10:00 AM

A vast majority of Forbes' most powerful people pursued higher education.
A vast majority of Forbes' most powerful people pursued higher education.
Forbes recently released its list of the planet's most powerful people, including politicians, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and financiers. However, before these famous faces were running the world, they were young college students gaining the knowledge and skills they needed to head down the path of success.

Barack Obama - President of the United States
President Barack Obama began his postsecondary education by enrolling at California's Occidental College. After two years of studying in Los Angeles, Obama transferred to New York's Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science. From there, Obama went on to graduate from Massachusetts' Harvard Law School. 

Angela Merkel - Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel, the first female chancellor of Germany, enrolled at the University of Leipzig in 1973, where she eventually earned a doctorate degree in physics in 1978. After completing her doctoral thesis on quantum chemistry, Merkel went on to work as a researcher at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences and publish several papers on her studies.

Vladimir Putin - President of Russia
In 1975, Vladimir Putin graduated from the law department of Leningrad State University, now known as Saint Petersburg State University. While in school, Putin became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and met Anatoly Sobchak, a man who would later become his teacher and mentor.

Pope Benedict XVI - Leader of the Catholic Church
Between 1946 and 1951, Pope Benedict XVI studied theology and philosophy at the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology of Freising and the University of Munich. After receiving his priestly ordination, Pope Benedict XVI went on to earn a doctorate degree in theology and qualify for teaching at universities across Germany. Later in his career, the pope even held the position of vice president at the University of Regensburg.

Ben Bernanke - Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve
The current Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke began his postsecondary education by earning a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Then, in 1979 Bernanke earned a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Mario Draghi - President of the European Central Bank
Before he became president of the European Central Bank and earned the nickname "Super Mario," Mario Draghi earned a bachelor's degree from La Sapienza University of Rome. In 1976, Draghi went on to complete a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a thesis titled "Essays on Economics Theory and Applications."

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