Low-cost, efficient and durable noble-metal-free electrocatalysts toward cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are highly important for the commercialization of fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Carbon nanotubes have large surface area, good conductivity, good chemical stability, and functionalizable outer carbon layer, therefore, are promising for use in making ORR catalysts. We prepared carbon nanotube-containing catalysts with tailored active site, pore structure and electrical conductivity. A nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon was prepared by growing carbon nanotubes on silica nanoparticles, aniline polymerization and pyrolysis. A nitrogen-doped porous carbon microtube sponge was synthesized by one-step pyrolysis of facial cotton. Hierarchically porous iron-nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube was fabricated by depositing carbon and nitrogen sources on the nanochannel of AAO template filled with iron salt, removing the template and final ammonia activation. These catalysts. These catalysts showed excellent ORR activity, with 20-30 mV more positive half-wave potential than that of commercial Pt/C catalysts in an alkaline medium.