See ISU notables for a complete list.
- John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry (see also Atanasoff Berry Computer), developers of the first digital computer
- George Washington Carver
- Carrie Chapman Catt
- Larry Eustachy, former
men's basketball coach
- Dan Gable, two-time NCAA wrestling champion and 1972 Olympic gold medalist
who later became wrestling coach at the University of Iowa
- Henry Gilman, the "Father of Organometallic Chemistry"
Petersen, sculptor, whose works appear around campus.
- Cael Sanderson, four-time undefeated NCAA wrestling champion who
won a gold medal at the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004
- Jane Smiley, winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
- George W. Snedecor, statistician
- James Wilson, professor who later
became US Secretary of Agriculture
- Grant Wood, artist; the Parks Library features numerous murals by
- John Garang, Commander of the Sudan People's Liberation Army