5 Notable People with Ed.D’s

Though Doctorates of Education can take your career any number of places, they’re fairly low profile: few people are aware of the diverse group of notable people that hold Ed.D’s. Whether it’s championship-winning basketball players, professors who have crossed over into public consciousness or radio talk show hosts, here are five notable people who hold Ed.D’s.

Jill Biden

The Second Lady of the United States, Jill Biden has an inspiring career path that showsnotable eddthe many routes one can take before achieving their Ed.D. Biden originally enrolled in a junior college to study fashion merchandising, she eventually made her way to the University of Delaware, where she majored in English and met her eventual husband, then Senator Joe Biden. After graduating, she made her way into teaching, garnering her first Master’s degree in Education in 1987 from Villanova University and eventually getting her Ed.D in 2007 from the University of Delaware. You can check out Biden’s full story here.

Neil Postman

While Postman might not be the most recognizable name on the list outside of academic circles, he’s one of the most respected media theorists ever. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia in 1953, Postman went on to get his Master’s degree and then his Ed.D from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Postman eventually taught at New York University for multiple decades and his book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” transcended academia and became one of the best selling books on media theory ever. You can find out more about Postman from his obituary in the New York Times

Shaquille O’Neal

O’Neal’s basketball accolades could fill up the entirety ofnotable eddthis article, but O’Neal has many accomplishments beyond the court. As a basketball player, O’Neal was a 15-time All-Star, a regular season and NBA Finals MVP award winner and a four-time NBA Finals champion, “The Diesel,” as he was affectionately known, is arguably the greatest center in his generation.

But after his playing career ended, O’Neal hardly faded from the national spotlight. Despite leaving Louisiana State University early to begin his NBA career, after finishing his basketball career, O’Neal then went back to school to finish up his undergraduate degree. From there, O’Neal continued furthering his education, getting a Master’s degree and then eventually an Ed.D in 2014.

Betty Shabazz

Shabazz, also known as Betty X, may be better known for being the wife of civil rights leader Malcolm X, but she also made quite a great impact in her own right. After the assassination of her husband, Shabazz went back to school, finishing up the education degree she started at the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) at Jersey City State College. She would then earn her Master’s in health administration and eventually, her Ed.D from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her work as a mother of six, a teacher, an activist and every other role she took on made her a compelling figure and a positive role-models.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dr. Ruth, as she’s known, is one of the preeminent sex therapists in America, notable for
notable eddher work on television. Dr. Ruth escaped the Nazi-occupied Germany in 1939 to Switzerland. After spending time in the British Mandate of Palestine, which became Israel while she was there, Westheimer moved to France, where she studied at the Sorbonne (University of Paris). She would then go on to emigrate to the United States, where she got her M.A. from The New School and then her Ed.D from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.

She began making waves in the 1980s after getting a radio show, “Sexually Speaking,” which drew large audiences despite the late time slot. She would gain a sort of celebrity from her frank discussion of sex in the media at a time when the topic was still taboo in the public’s eye. Her strong educational background, breadth of experience and entertaining style put her at the forefront of educational public affairs programming and even had a play made about her.

–Brian Weidy