Great minds.

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“ 1724-1804 ” - eraserdead
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Writer, Faust
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany as son of a lawyer. After growing up in a privileged upper middle class family, he studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768, although he was more interested in literature. As he was seriously ill, he had to interrupt his studies...
“ 1749-1832 ” - eraserdead
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Soundtrack, The King's Speech
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart grew up in Salzburg under the regulation of his strict father Leopold who also was a famous composer of his time. His abilities in music were obvious even when Mozart was still young so that in 1762 at the age of six, his father took him with his elder sister on a concert tour to Munich and Vienna and a second one from 1763-66 through the south of Germany...
“ 1756-1791 ” - eraserdead
“ 1757-1827 ” - eraserdead
Henry David Thoreau
David Henry Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was the youngest of three children to John and Synthia Thoreau. He studied at Harvard from 1822-1837, majoring in English. Thoreau was a companion of Ralph Aldo Emerson, who patronized him and introduced him to some of the most important writers and thinkers of his time...
“ 1817-1862 ” - eraserdead
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818, into a wealthy family in Tier, Germany. His father, Hershel Mordechai, was the son of a rabbi. Karl converted to Lutheran Christianity because Jews were not allowed to practice law. He graduated from the Trier Gymnasium, then studied law at the University of Bonn...
“ 1818-1883 ” - eraserdead
“ 1819-1892 ” - eraserdead
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Writer, The Double
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children of Mikhail Andreevich and Maria Dostoevsky. His father, a doctor, was a member of the Russian nobility, owned serfs and had a considerable estate near Moscow where he lived with his family...
“ 1821-1881 ” - eraserdead
Leo Tolstoy
Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in his ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, South of Moscow, Russia. He was the fourth of five children in a wealthy family of Russian landed Gentry. His parents died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his elder brothers and relatives...
“ 1828-1918 ” - eraserdead
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche was raised having five women around him - his mother, grandmother, two aunts and a sister, all living together. His father, a Lutheran pastor, died when Nietzsche was 5 years old. After a Catholic school he studied music and Greco-Roman culture at the famous Schulpfora from 1858-1864...
“ 1844-1900 ” - eraserdead
“ 1856-1943 ” - eraserdead
“ 1856-1939 ” - eraserdead
Johann Sebastian Bach
Soundtrack, The Godfather
Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, into a large and distinguished family of professional musicians. His father, named Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a violinist and trumpeter, employed by the city of Eisenach. His uncles were church organists, court musicians and composers...
“ 1865-1750 ” - eraserdead
H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells, born in the London suburb of Bromley in 1866, began his literary career in earnest in 1895 with the publication of his first novel, "The Time Machine." Until this first success his life had been a patchwork of unsatisfactory drapery and chemist apprenticeships that were interrupted by stints as a teacher's assistant...
“ 1866-1946 ” - eraserdead
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) was born on October 2, 1869, into a Hindu Modh family in Porbanadar, Gujarat, India. His father, named Karamchand Gandhi, was the Chief Minister (diwan) of the city of Porbanadar. His mother, named Putlibai, was the fourth wife; the previous three wives died in childbirth...
“ 1869-1948 ” - eraserdead
“ 1872-1970 ” - eraserdead
Carl Gustav Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was born in Kessewil, Switzerland, on July 26, 1875. His father Paul was a rural preacher, and began to teach his son Latin when Carl was six years old, stoking his interest in language and literature (Jung was later able to read most European languages and several ancient ones, such as Sanskrit)...
“ 1875-1961 ” - eraserdead
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, to a German Jewish family. He was the son of Pauline (Koch) and Hermann Einstein, a featherbed salesman. Albert began reading and studying science at a young age, and he graduated from a Swiss high school when he was 17. He then attended a Swiss Polytechnic...
“ 1879-1955 ” - eraserdead
Pablo Picasso
Art Department, Le mystère Picasso
Pablo Picasso, one of the most recognized figures of the 20th century art who co-created such styles as Cubism and Surrealism, was also among most innovative, influential, and prolific artists of all time. He was born Pablo Ruiz Picasso on October 6, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. He was the first child of Jose Ruiz y Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez...
“ 1881-1973 ” - eraserdead
“ 1889-1951 ” - eraserdead
Aldous Huxley
Writer, The Devils
Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, at Laleham in Godalming, Surrey, England. He was the third of four children. His brother Julian Huxley was a biologist known for his theories of evolution. His grandfather, named Thomas Henry Huxley, was a naturalist known as "Darwin's Bulldog." His father...
“ 1894-1963 ” - eraserdead
Alfred Hitchcock
Director, Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ 1899-1980 ” - eraserdead
George Orwell
Born the son of an Opium Agent in Bengal, Eric Blair was educated in England (Eton 1921). The joined the British Imperial Police in Burma, serving until 1927. He then travelled around England and Europe, doing various odd jobs to support his writing. By 1935 he had adopted the 'pen-name' of 'George Orwell' and had written his first novels...
“ 1903-1950 ” - eraserdead
Salvador Dalí
Surrealist-turned-catholic painter Dalí worked on various movies as well. While a member of the French surrealist group, he co-wrote Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or with Luis Buñuel. The latter may have marked the beginning of a long-lasting quarrel with the surrealists when Dalí did not agree on Buñuel's anti-clericalism...
“ 1904-1989 ” - eraserdead
“ 1906-2008 ” - eraserdead
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone Ernestine Lucie Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir was born on January 9, 1908, in Paris, France. She was raised in an upper class bourgeois Catholic family. Her father, named Georges de Beauvoir, had a passion for books and theatre. He taught Simone reading at the age of 3, and she attempted to write as soon as she could read. Her early development was that of a remarkably talented child...
“ 1908-1986 ” - eraserdead
Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc, known as "The Man of Thousand Voices" is regarded as the most prolific actor to ever work in Hollywood with over a thousand screen credits. He developed and performed nearly 400 distinct character voices with precision and a uniquely expressive vocal range. The legendary specialist from radio programs...
“ 1908-1989 ” - eraserdead
Akira Kurosawa
Writer, Yojimbo
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
“ 1910-1998 ” - eraserdead
Chuck Jones
Animation Department, The Electric Company
Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles, and many others...
“ 1912-2002 ” - eraserdead
William S. Burroughs
Writer, Naked Lunch
William S. Burroughs, one of the three seminal writers of the Beat Generation (the other two being his friends Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg), was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 5, 1914, to the son of the founder of the Burroughs Adding Machine Co. He grew up in patrician surroundings and attended private school in Los Alamos...
“ 1914-1997 ” - eraserdead
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July fourteenth, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions is the trilogy closed. Here...
“ 1918-2007 ” - eraserdead
Timothy Leary
Self, Walden
His mother was a teacher and his father a dentist. He attended West Point, joined the Army, and earned an undergraduate psychology degree at the University of Alabama while in service. Next he earned a master's degree from Washington State University and a doctorate in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley...
“ 1920-1996 ” - eraserdead
Terry Southern
Terry Southern began writing satirical, outrageous fiction at the age of 12, when he took it upon himself to rewrite various Edgar Allan Poe stories "because they didn't go far enough". After serving as a lieutenant in the army in World War II, he began writing short stories in earnest while studying at the Sorbonne...
“ 1924-1995 ” - eraserdead
Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on October 13, 1925, in Mineola, Long Island, New York. His British-born father, Myron, was a shoe clerk, his mother, Sadie, was a dancer. Lenny's parents were divorced when he was a child. To support herself and her son, Sadie Schneider persued a career in show business and sent Lenny to live with various aunts...
“ 1925-1966 ” - eraserdead
Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg was one of the trinity of "Beat Generation" writers who revolutionized American letters in the mid-'50s and '60s (the other two members being Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, both of whom were close friends of his). His poem "Howl" and Kerouac's 1957 novel "On the Road" were the two gospels that launched the Beat movement--or...
“ 1926-1997 ” - eraserdead
Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His undergraduate and graduate years were spent at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his PhD in linguistics in 1955. From 1951-55, he was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows. While a Junior Fellow he completed his doctoral dissertation...
“ 1928- ” - eraserdead
James Randi
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued "psychic" spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated...
“ 1928- ” - eraserdead
Philip K. Dick
Writer, Blade Runner
Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of the rest of his life...
“ 1928-1982 ” - eraserdead
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
“ 1928-1999 ” - eraserdead
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., was a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. His mother was a schoolteacher. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six years old. Two of his friends did not show up to play ball with him and Martin decided to go looking for them...
“ 1929-1968 ” - eraserdead
“ 1931- ” - eraserdead
François Truffaut
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army...
“ 1932-1984 ” - eraserdead
Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
“ 1932-1986 ” - eraserdead
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
“ 1935- ” - eraserdead
Ken Kesey
Kesey burst into the literary scene with the "Cuckoo's Nest" in 1962 which he wrote from his experiences working at a veterans hospital. During this period, he volunteered for the testing on the drug LSD. After writing his second novel, "Sometimes A Great Notion," he bought an old school bus dubbed "Further." With Neal Cassidy at the wheel and pitchers of LSD-laced-Kool-Laid in the cooler...
“ 1935-2001 ” - eraserdead
“ 1937-2005 ” - eraserdead
George Carlin
Actor, Dogma
Born and raised by his mother in Manhattan, New York City. His parents divorced when he was two months. His mother (as well as his father) worked in marketing, where they met. The long hours the mother worked left the young George by himself for long hours every day, providing him (in his own words)...
“ 1937-2008 ” - eraserdead
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
“ 1940-1973 ” - eraserdead
John Lennon
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later became The Beatles...
“ 1940-1980 ” - eraserdead
Hayao Miyazaki
Director, Spirited Away
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist. Through a career that has spanned five decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and as a maker of anime feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli...
“ 1941- ” - eraserdead
Bob Dylan
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota; his father Abe worked for the Standard Oil Co. Six years later the family moved to Hibbing, often the coldest place in the US, where he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. In 1959 he entered the University of Minnesota and began performing as Bob Dylan at clubs in Minneapolis and St...
“ 1941- ” - eraserdead
“ 1942- ” - eraserdead
“ 1946-2000 ” - eraserdead
Christopher Hitchens
Writer, Hell's Angel
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) was a British-American author, journalist, and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Nation, Slate, and Free Inquiry. Hitchens is known for his atheism and anti-theism and was a firm believer in the Enlightenment values of secularism...
“ 1949-2011 ” - eraserdead
“ 1955 ” - eraserdead
“ 1960- ” - eraserdead
Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks was regarded as one of the greatest comedians who ever lived by those who saw him. Unfortunately, in his home country of America he was very controversial - as many great comedians often are. His status in the US was that of a cult icon. He also had a strong following in the UK and was scheduled to have his own television show on British TV when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...
“ 1961-1994 ” - eraserdead
Ricky Gervais
Writer, The Office
Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and went on to study at University College, London, where he gained a degree in Philosophy...
“ 1961- ” - eraserdead
Chuck Palahniuk
Writer, Fight Club
Chuck is a low key writer who never stops writing and taking down notes to file away for future writing. Very funny, very creative and very thought provoking. His books often make you look at yourself in ways that you would never have before. Same goes for the world, he will make you notice things that you never did...
“ 1962- ” - eraserdead
Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film Memories (this Episode was "Magnetic Rose")...
“ 1963-2010 ” - eraserdead
“ 1967- ” - eraserdead
Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital Underground...
“ 1971-1996 ” - eraserdead
“ 1972- ” - eraserdead
Soundtrack, The Departed
Nas, born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, is the son of Olu Dara, an unconventional jazz musician. At age nine he was a member of the Devastatin' Seven in the mid-1980s, the fruits of which can be heard on his 1994 debut, "Illmatic," which was released on Columbia/SME later that year...
“ 1973- ” - eraserdead
“ 1978- ” - eraserdead