Top five alumni in the news in 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpgScores of Princeton alumni have made headlines in government, business, law, arts, entertainment, sports, and other pursuits in 2009. Read our choices for the top newsmakers this year, and add your favorites in the comment section below.

i-e1d096c7189b4eb9750dc4c8cb2b1ecc-sotomayor09.jpg1. Sonia Sotomayor ’76

When Sotomayor was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court Aug. 8, she became the first Hispanic justice and the third woman to serve on the court. She also is the court’s 11th Princeton alum.

i-8646b1b0d0fcbef3ef47a6bbcbd8f530-schmidt.jpg2. Eric Schmidt ’76

Google, the undisputed king of search engines and online advertising, is reaching into new markets ranging from mobile-phone apps to online word processing, and Schmidt, the CEO with a computer-science background, has led the way.

i-9c8977dbc61ac5c1e17326df59913613-obama09.jpg3. Michelle Obama ’85

In her first year in the White House, the first lady promoted education, public service, and organic gardening. She also backed a bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, her hometown, but Rio de Janeiro won the games.

i-e906c8bcd97d29a17f1a746ed884b0a9-chin-totw.jpg4. Denny Chin ’75

The U.S. district court judge handled high-profile cases, including Bernard Madoff’s sentencing, and was nominated to fill Sotomayor’s seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

i-c54b9202d98e7ca4680d4201b0183dab-orszag.jpg5. Peter Orszag ’91

As President Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag has played a critical role in crafting the federal budget and digesting the costs of proposed health-care legislation.

Honorable mention: Gen. David Petraeus *87, commander of U.S. Central Command; poet W.S. Merwin ’48, who received his second Pulitzer Prize; and Lisa Jackson *86, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(Photos courtesy Wikipedia)

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