Top 5: Federal Employees who became Celebrities

STWS Counts down the Top 5 Federal Employees who went on to become famous after their government careers

5. Food Network’s Ina Garten

Before publishing several successful cookbooks and hosting a show on Food Network, Ina Garten worked in the White House for Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. She started as an aide but was a budget analyst for the Office of Budget & Management when she left the government.

Ina Garten

4. 19th Century Poet, Walt Whitman

Featured this quarter is the renowned poet Walt Whitman, who worked for the Interior Department in 1864. He was subsequently fired, possibly due to the contents of his poems. The following year, after the Civil War, the writer worked for the Attorney General, interviewing confederate soldiers to be pardoned. His most celebrated work, ‘Leaves of Grass.” revolutionized the landscape of poetry through a style later coined “free verse.”

Leaves of Grass poet, Walt Whitman

3. Comedian & Actress, Wanda Sykes

After working in DC for 5 years at the National Security Agency (NSA), Wanda Sykes moved to New York to pursue goals in comedy and acting. She opened for Chris Rock in the 1990s, earned a recurring role on “Inside the NFL” when it was on HBO, and starred in Hollywood films including The Nutty Professor II, and The Muppets. Because she worked for the NSA for 5 years, it is possible she’ll be eligible for a deferred pension check, but such information is not public.

Wanda Sykes

2. Children’s Author, Dr. Seuss

Theodore Seuss Geisel, the renowned children’s author more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, offered his artistic talents to the Treasury Department during World War II. He contributed to posters and pamphlets (an illustration from a pamphlet warning soldiers about malaria is pictured above) focused on public service during the war. He also served as a Captain in the army and was commander of the “First Motion Picture Unit” of the United States Army Air Forces. The Cat in the Hat was published in 1957.

Theodor S Geisel, known to his millions of fans the world over as Dr. Seuss, 1994.

1. Actor from ‘The Office,’ Steve Carrell

Steve Carell, an actor famous for his role in TV’s The Office and films such as Anchorman, worked about 6 months as a mail carrier for the US Post Office in the late 1980s. On delivering letters to the residents of Littleton, MA, the performer has admitted several times that he was too slow for the work, and not very good at the job. After leaving The Office in 2010, Steve was reportedly working with NBC on a “sweet and nostalgic” sitcom based on his stint as a mailman. Whether the project simply never materialized or was just a joke based on the fact that he had recently left The Office and was now in the “Post Office” phase of his career, is uncertain. The show was tentatively entitled The Post-Graduate Project.

Steve Carrell

Until Next Time,

**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.

Federal Employees who became celebrities