Alumnus Adam Klein wins reality show Survivor

Adam Klein
Adam Klein, image courtesy CBS Survivor

ADAM KLEIN, ’13, was named winner of the popular TV reality show, Survivor, on Dec. 14. Klein, who won with a unanimous vote, took home $1 million in winnings.

Klein, who is senior manager for strategic initiatives at the Bay Area homeless shelter provider LifeMoves, has been a lifelong fan of the show. To earn his spot on Survivor, Klein solicited help from members of the Stanford community, including former President JOHN HENNESSY. Hennessy appeared in a video with Klein, assuring the producers that he would be an excellent contestant. Klein also posted a time-lapse video on his Facebook page of himself standing in the middle of the Circle of Death intersection on Lasuen Drive, holding an “Adam for Survivor” sign as bicyclists, pedestrians and tourists passed by.

Adam Klein
Adam Klein and former President John Hennessy

Survivor, which airs on CBS and is in its 33rd season, maroons strangers in a remote location with limited food, water and shelter. The contestants band together in tribes to battle the elements while they vote off members who become vulnerable because they fail to win immunity competitions or lose favor with others. The last contestant remaining becomes the Sole Survivor. The show rewards contestants who “outwit, outplay and outlast” one another.

Klein credits Stanford classmates and friends for supporting him in his quest to be on Survivor.

“When I made it my mission to get on Survivor, the Stanford community had my back,” he said. “Stanford also helped prepare me mentally and socially for this extremely challenging adventure. Now that I’ve not only been on the show, but made my ultimate dream of winning come true, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way from the Stanford community.”

Klein competed on behalf of his mother, also a fan of the show. His mother battled stage-four lung cancer as Klein competed and died just days after he returned home from the competition. Klein has donated some of his prize money to Stand Up 2 Cancer.

As a Stanford undergraduate, Klein was a tour guide, admissions associate, resident assistant and member of Gaieties. He majored in international relations with a Spanish minor and earned Phi Beta Kappa distinction.