Dancer / Choreographer / Entertainer
- Alvin Ailey –  choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York.
- Carmen De Lavallade – Dancer, Performer, Actor
- Dorothy Dandridge –  an American actress and popular singer. First African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the movie Carmen Jones.
Television / Film Personality
- Woody Strode – (Actor, Football Player) Veteran of 30 films including "The Ten Commandments −1956", "Spartacus −1960", "Posse" −1993 (See Football)
- Mablean Ephriam – Television Personality – "Judge Mablean"
- Merry Clayton – Actress, Singer –  Eight Episode of "Cagney and Lacey", Acted in "Maid to Order" with Alley Sheedy (See Singer below)
- Juanita Moore – Actress –  – The 4th African American nominated for an Oscar. Participated in over 50 movies; best known for her role as the mother in the movie "Imitation of Life"
- Matthew Beard (American actor) – Actor (Our gang Little Rascals Series)
Television / Film Production, Direction, Design
- Iwao Takamoto – Animator, Design the character image of the Hanna-Barbera Production cartoon Scooby-Doo.
- John Meehan Known as "Francis"–Jefferson Plays,U.S.C Architecture,then Motion Picture Art Director. Won Academy Awards for Art Direction for the films: "The Heiress","Sunset Blvd","20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Television Art Direction:Emmy Nomination-G.E.Theatre. Graduated Class of 1922.
Politician / Judicial
- Ralph Bunche –  – Educator, UN mediator on Palestine and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
- Thelton Henderson –  – Federal Judge in the Northern District of California.
- Willard H. Murray, Jr. –  California State Assembly Member 1988–1996 (District 52); California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz. Current director of the Water Replenishment District 1. Father of Former State Senator Kevin Murray ref: Testimony of Buddy Collette & Marl Young
- Augustus F. Hawkins –  U.S. House of Representatives from California's 21st and 29th district from 1963–1991; California assembly from 1935–1963
- David W. Williams –  Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California; first African American Federal Judge from states west of the Mississippi.
- William R Clay –  Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to Superior Court judge in October 1976
- Earl C. Gay (1902–75), Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45
- Stanley Crouch – Syndicated Columnist and Novelist. Created nine Non-Fiction novel and 2 Fiction novels. He is a Controversial anti-rap critic; His novel "Ain't No Ambulances For No Nigguhs Tonight" was typical writings against the non-sophisticated black man.
Composer / Writer /Music Director
- Floyd Dixon – Songwriter, Singer –  Hit Songs "Telephone Blues", "Call Operator 210" and "Hey Bartender", the latter enjoying wide exposure by the release of 1980 hit "The Blues Brothers".
- Roy Ayers – Jazz Composer and Vibraphone player –  Arranged Musical Score for 1973 movie "Coffy" and classic albums "Running Away 1976" and "Mystic Voyage 1975".
- Richard Berry – Songwriter, Singer –  Wrote Classic Hit Song "Louie Louie" made popular by The Kingsmen.
- Rickey Minor – Emmy-nominated music director, composer, and music producer; widely known for the title 'Music Director" for television series The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, American Idol and
Don't Forget The Lyrics!
- Barry White – Record Producer, Singer Song Writer; Five times Grammy Award Winner; attended Jefferson for sophomore and junior year.
- Horace Tapscott – Jazz Piano player and composer Subject of UCLA Jazz Archive called the Horace Tapscott Collection. Creator of "The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (P.A.P.A.)".
- Jesse Belvin – Songwriter, Singer –  Co-Wrote "Goodnight My Love" used to end Alan Freed Show; co-credited as one of writers of "Earth Angel" made popular by The Penguins.
- Johnny "Guitar" Watson – American Blues and Funk guitarist/singer.
- Young Jessie – Songwriter, Singer –  famous for the hit song "Mary Lou".
Singer – Musician
- Dexter Gordon – Jazz Saxophonist player known for his music and supporting role in the movie "Round Midnight"
- Sonny Criss – Jazz Saxophone player – Transferred from Jordon to Jefferson
- Addison Farmer – Jazz Bassist
- Frank Morgan (musician) – Jazz Saxophone Player
- Chico Hamilton – Jazz Drummer Player
- Lee Young – Jazz Drummer player
- Jack McVea – Jazz and dixieland saxophone player Created the musical riff for the song "Open the Door, Richard"
- Art Farmer – Jazz Trumpet player
- Bill Douglass – Jazz Drummer player (First black member of Benny Goodmans Band)
- Ernie Royal – Jazz Trumpet Player
- Marshal Royal – Jazz Saxophone Player
- Lammar Wright, Jr. – Jazz Trumpet player
- Vi Redd – Jazz Saxophone player
- Jackie Kelson – Jazz saxophone player
- Ginger Smock – Concert and Jazz Violinist
- Don Cherry – Jazz Trumpet Player – Step Father to entertainer Neneh Cherry
- Melba Liston – Jazz Trombone Player – Attended Jefferson, but transferred to Polytechnic.
- Ed Thigpen – Jazz Drummer Player
- Big Jay McNeely – Jazz Saxophone Player – Transferred from Jordan to Jefferson
Singers – Groups
- The Penguins – 3 group members – Curtis Williams, Bruce Tate, and Ray Brewster – The Group sang the Original Song "Earth Angel"
- The Platters – 3 original group members – Gaynel Hodge, Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter and 1 alumni, Ray Brewster
- The Coasters – 1 group member – Cornell Gunter
- The Cadillacs – 1 group member – Ray Brewster
- The Hollywood Flames −1 group member- Ray Brewster
- Mighty Clouds of Joy – 1 group member – Johnny Martin –  – Recorded over 25 albums and received two Grammy Award and a host of other awards
- Etta James – Blues singer –  "famous for hit song "At Last"
- Ernie Andrews – Jazz Blues Singer
- Merry Clayton – (Singer, Actress) Solo and Backup. Recorded "Gimme Shelter" duet with Mick Jagger. "Who can I count on" with Bobby Darin. (Also see Television/film)
- O.C. Smith – Jazz Singer, Minister Performed with Count Basie Orchestra; he recorded the first version of the song "That Life" made famous by Frank Sinatra. He had numerous hit songs in his long career.
- Mel Walker – Lead Singer with the Johnny Otis Orchestra " No 1 hits "Mistrustin' Blues" and "Cupid Boogie"
- Cornell Gunter – Lead Singer –  Original member of the The Platters and a member of The Coasters singing group. Transferred to Manual Arts his senior year.
- Jennell Hawkins – Lead Singer –  famous for her hit "Moments to Remember"
- Ivie Anderson – Lead Singer – Performed with Duke Ellington orchestra between 1931 and 1942
- Arthur Lee Maye – of Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns, was lead singer of the pioneering groups of the Doo Wop genre in the early 1950s.
- Richard Berry -Singer, songwriter, musician. Most famous for writing Louie Louie, Berry performed with numerous Los Angeles doo-wop groups including The Flairs.
- Emmett Ashford – First African American Umpire in Major League Baseball
- Andy Bakjian – National Track and Field Hall of Fame Official was a longtime coach at Jefferson.
- Don Bishop – NFL Football – (Cowboys, Steelers and Bears) Seven Year veteran, 1 Pro bowl
- Milt Davis – NFL Football – Played four years for the Baltimore Colts from 1957 to 1961; including winning the 1958 NFL Championship games known as the "Greatest Game ever Played"
- Charles Dumas – Olympic Track –  – High Jump (Olympic and World Record Holder), the first person to clear seven feet (1956 Olympic trials); Attended Jefferson in his sophomore and Junior years; transferred to Centennial High School in Compton
- Robert Garrett - 5 Time CIF LA CITY DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL COACH from Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles)
- Joe Kelly (American football) – NFL Football – Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals
- Edgar Lacey (1945–2011), UCLA basketball, "Game of the Century"
- Lee Maye – MLB Baseball –  13 years in baseball " played first 6 years with the Milwaukee braves with Hank Aaron. (See singer)
- Glenn McDonald – NBA Basketball, Boston Celtics
- Billy 'the Hill' McGill – NBA Basketball, - Played on the Chicago Zephyrs (now Washington Wizards), the New York Knicks, the St. Louis (now Atlanta) Hawks, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Bernard Quarles – NFL Football – Rams 1987 – Quarterback NFL and CFL veteran
- Woody Strode – NFL Football – Actor, Football Player –  Played for the Rams in 1946; ending George Preston Marshall gentleman agreement to ban black players.
- Mal Whitfield – Olympic Track –  gold medalist middle distance runner in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and father of current CNN news anchor Fredricka Whitfield
Jazz Era Music Teacher and Mentors
- William Grant Still –  Gave Music Clinics to Jefferson student in Samuel R Browne era.
- Jimmie Lunceford – Gave Music Clinics in 1930's to Jefferson student
- Caughey Roberts – - Jefferson band teacher in 1930's