Edinburgh boasts an impressive list of celebrities and stars whose success stories started in – or passed through – the capital and its educational institutions.
Before their rise to prominence as household names they attended schools, colleges and universities just like the rest of us and - possibly - it may have been the school you went to yourself.
So, we researched Edinburgh’s famous faces to discover which schools raised the household names before they attained the ‘household’ distinction and created the following list of 10 prominent people from the area.
If you went to school with any of these stars then we hope the list conjures up fond memories of your time with them during their academic years.
1. Sir Chris Hoy
Sports legend Sir Chris obtained his degree in Applied Sports Science from The University of Edinburgh in 1999. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he became the first British athlete since 1908 to achieve three gold medals in one Games. In total, he has seven Olympic medals; six gold and one silver. This makes Sir Chris Hoy Scotland’s most decorated Olympian.
Photo: Yui Mok
2. J.K. Rowling
You didn’t know that the author of the beloved Harry Potter novels studied in Edinburgh? Riddikulus! In 1996, J.K. Rowling completed a teacher training course at Moray House but continued working on her novel in her spare time. In fact, Rowling wrote parts of the first Harry Potter book in cafes in Edinburgh. One record-breaking film franchise later, she is now one of the world’s wealthiest and best known authors.
Photo: Ian West
3. Charles Darwin
Legendary scholar and arguably history’s most famous biologist, Charles Darwin, went to University of Edinburgh Medical School between 1825 - 1827. His father pushed him to do so, however, Darwin quickly discovered that the life of a surgeon was not for him. Instead, his career as a Naturalist took off and he wrote groundbreaking texts such as On the Origin of Species, an outline of Evolution.
Photo: Wikiimages from pixabay (Canva Pro)
4. Sir Sean Connery
The Scottish Actor who boasted impressive roles from James Bond to Robin Hood, was born in the Fountainbridge area in 1930. Back then, he attended Tollcross Primary School but decided to leave education early at 13 to become a milkman. Unlikely origins for the man who would become one of Scotland’s most famous stars. He passed away in 2020, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of many.
Photo: Danny Lawson