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Famous Career Changers

Individuals who were trained as lawyers, but went on to acquire fame in another field:

  • Franz Kafka (writer)
  • Rene Descartes (philosopher)
  • Francis Scott Key (composer)
  • Scott Turow (author)
  • Terry Louise Fisher (co-creator of LA Law)
  • Paul Robeson (actor/singer/civil rights activist)
  • Geraldo Rivera (broadcast journalist)
  • Richard Thalheimer (president/The Sharper Image)
  • Noah Webster (lexicographer)
  • John Wesley Hardin (outlaw)
  • Mahatma Gandhi (political/spiritual leader)
  • Tony LaRussa (former Oakland A’s manager)
  • Henry Fielding (author)
  • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (political leader)
  • Mortimer Zuckerman (owner of U.S. News & World Report)
  • Erle Stanley Gardner (creator of Perry Mason)
  • Sir Thomas More (statesman/saint)
  • Pat Haden (former LA Rams quarterback)
  • Charlie Rose (broadcast journalist)
  • Rossano Brazzi (actor)
  • Washington Irving (author)
  • Howard Cosell (sportscaster)
  • Hoagy Carmichael (songwriter)
  • Edgar Lee Masters (poet/novelist)
  • Wassily Kandinsky (painter)
  • Peter Tchaikovsky (composer)
  • Fred Graham (CBS TV reporter)
  • Fidel Castro (politician)
  • Otto Preminger (film director)
  • Madalyn Murray O’Hair (reformer)
  • Ralph Nader (consumer advocate/politician)
  • Jules Verne (author)
  • Archibald MacLeish (poet)
  • Studs Terkel (oral historian)