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Profiles of a Few Prominent Mensa Members

As this list suggests, Mensa is a remarkably diverse organization. While some Mensans noted here are well known, many others lead interesting lives out of the public eye.


Jean Auel

Best-selling author of Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, and Plains of Passage. A former technical writer, she turned her attention to fiction, buttressed by much historical and anthropological research, touring areas she was to write about and teaching herself to make stone-age tools.

Richard Bolles

Author of the world's top selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute? Revised annually, the book has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for 228 weeks. Bolles has two new books in progress one on relationships, one on spirituality. He is an Episcopal priest who graduated from Harvard University cum laude with a physics degree.

Adrian Cronauer

Formerly a radio personality, currently an attorney; the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam!" was about his life and experiences. Started his radio career at 12 in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, where he hosted a children's amateur hour. Worked as a DJ at various radio stations and in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Cronauer was originally attracted to Mensa because of the work they do for gifted children.

Geena Davis

Motion picture actress. Her most recent big hit was her co-starring role with Susan Sarandon in the movie hit "Thelma & Louise." Received an Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Accidental Tourist." Other of her well-known movies include "The Fly," "Angie," and "Earth Girls Are Easy."

Patricia Prattis Jennings

Pianist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She is the symphony's first black member and has performed internationally.

Velma Jeremiah

She is a retired attorney who graduated fourth in her law school class at age 47 and was one of the first women partners in a major Oregon law firm. She is a grandmother, a working standup comic, and currently chairwoman of Mensa International.

Gloria La Roche

Captain and instructor for United Airlines. Product of a dysfunctional home, she used intelligence and perseverance to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a pilot. She says it was extremely difficult for a woman like herself to break into the male dominated world of commercial aviation.

Mell Lazarus

Draws syndicated newspaper comic strips "Momma" and "Miss Peach." President of national Cartoonist Society, he has also published two novels and is now writing his third.

Henry Milligan

A boxer and a scholar, 1983 National Amateur Heavyweight champion who fought and won against Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Henry Tillman. He once fought Mike Tyson in a televised fight. Milligan recently worked his way through NYU Business School acting in commercials (e.g., for Sports Illustrated sneaker phone promotion).

John N. Moore

University of Virginia law professor who specializes in international law. The Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S. hired him to help the emirate recover damages inflicted since the August 1990 invasion by Iraq.

Judge Ellen Morphonios

Nicknamed "Maximum Morphonios" for her strict rulings in Florida. Former model and beauty queen (Coconut Harvest Maiden and Miss Southern Florida) and local radio personality, once said she "enjoyed being a sex symbol." As a young mother and a legal secretary, she passed a Florida exam that allowed her to enter law school without an undergraduate degree.

Donald Petersen

Former chairman of Ford Motor Company. Has B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Stanford University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi (honorary engineering society), and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society (natural sciences). During his career at Ford, he was involved in the development of two of Ford's most successful cars the Mustang and the Maverick as well as the Mark III and the Fairlane. He is also a high-performance driver, having trained at the school run by retired racing champion Bob Bondurant. Petersen was born on a farm in the Midwest and raised during the Great Depression. Influenced by the hardship and economic instability his family endured, he used his intelligence to pursue a secure life in the corporate environment.

Alan Rachins

Played Douglas Brachman in the hit TV series "L.A. Law." He left the Wharton School of Finance against his father's wishes to pursue an acting career. During the '60s he was in the cast of "Oh Calcutta," a highly controversial play in which cast members appeared nude on stage.

Bob Specta

Professional domino toppler. As a high school senior, he originated the "domino toppling" category in the Guinness Book of World Records. He travels internationally doing domino shows and races, and has appeared on network TV programs and in commercials. An accomplished athlete, Specta is a veteran of 12 triathlons.

Marilyn Vos Savant

Listed in the Guinness Hall of Fame for having the world's highest recorded I.Q. (228). She is the wife of Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik 7 artificial heart. She also writes "Ask Marilyn," a weekly column that appears nationally in Parade magazine.

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Last edited: March 28, 1996. Version 1.02.