Penn Politicians

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Penn politicos have been involved in American politics since before there was even a formal United States. Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a delegate to the Continental Congress, graduated from Ben Franklin’s university in 1757. William Paca, also a Declaration signer and Continental Congress member, graduated in 1759.

Today, Penn has a substantial presence in U.S. politics at the local, state and federal level.

In this edition of By The Numbers, we meet and greet with Penn politicians, past and present.


Number of days William Henry Harrison, who studied medicine at Penn from 1790 to 1791, served as president of the United States. He caught a cold that developed into pneumonia, which caused his death.


Year in which Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter graduated from the Wharton School. He started out as a pre-med and business major.


Percent of the vote Ralph Becker received in the 2007 Salt Lake City mayoral election. Becker graduated from Penn in 1973.


Total votes Jon Huntsman, Jr., a 1987 Penn grad, received in his successful 2004 race for governor of Utah. He is currently the U.S. ambassador to China.


Number of votes former U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., a 1992 Penn grad, received in his 2002 race for House Minority Leader. He was defeated by Nancy Pelosi, 177-29.

218 to 216

Vote in the U.S. House of Representatives for President Clinton’s 1993 federal budget. Marjorie Margolies, a 1963 Penn grad who now teaches at Fels, cast one of the deciding votes.

Originally published on March 3, 2011