Great minds.by eraserdead | created - 22 Aug 2013 | updated - 23 Sep 2013 | Public
Soundtrack | Valkyrie
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 ...
Soundtrack | Amadeus
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 ...
Soundtrack | La grande bellezza
William Blake was born on November 28, 1757 in London, England. He died on August 12, 1827 in London.
Writer | New Walden
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...
6. Karl Marx
Writer | Amerikai anzix
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...
7. Walt Whitman
Writer | Messengers
The Walt Whitman Bridge connecting Camden (NJ) to Philadelphia (PA) is named in his honor.
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 ...
9. Leo Tolstoy
Writer | Anna Karenina
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 ...
Writer | Der Weg nach Rio
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...
11. Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856. He died on January 7, 1943 in New York City, New York, USA.
12. Sigmund Freud
Writer | The Ego and the Id
Austrian neurologist and 'father of psychoanalysis'. Freud was born to Jacob Freud, a Jewish wool merchant, and Amalia (neé Nathansohn). The family settled in Vienna when Freud was young. In 1873 he started medicine at the University of Vienna, at which time he adopted the shortened form of his ...
Soundtrack | Minority Report
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 ...
14. H.G. Wells
Writer | The War of the Worlds
Writer, born in Bromley, Kent. He was apprenticed to a draper, tried teaching, studied biology in London, then made his mark in journalism and literature. He played a vital part in disseminating the progressive ideas which characterized the first part of the 20th-c. He achieved fame with scientific...
Writer | Satyagraha
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 ...
16. Bertrand Russell
Self | Five More
Bertrand Russell was born on May 18, 1872 in Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales as Bertrand Arthur William Russell. He was married to Edith Finch, Patricia Spence, Dora Russell and Alys Pearsall. He died on February 2, 1970 in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Wales.
17. 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, ...
18. Albert Einstein
Self | Champagne for Caesar
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 ...
19. Pablo Picasso
Art_department | Something's Gotta Give
Pablo Picasso, one of the most recognized figures of 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 ...
Writer | M.A. Numminen Sings Wittgenstein
In his youth, he attended a Realschule in Linz, Austria. From 1903 to 1904, one of his fellow students at the school was Adolf Hitler. Although the two were born only six days apart, Hitler was two years behind Wittgenstein. It is unknown whether they knew each other personally or possessed any ...
21. Aldous Huxley
Writer | Jane Eyre
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 ...
22. 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 ...
23. George Orwell
Writer | Nineteen Eighty-Four
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...
24. Salvador Dalí
Art_department | Spellbound
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 (1929) and L'Age d'Or (1930) with Luis Buñuel. The latter may have marked the beginning of a long-lasting quarrel with the surrealists when Dalí did ...
25. Albert Hofmann
Self | Hofmann's Potion
Albert Hofmann was born on January 10, 1906 in Baden, Switzerland. He was married to Anita Hofmann. He died on April 29, 2008 in Burg im Leimental, Kanton Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland.
Writer | Le sang des autres
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 ...
27. Mel Blanc
Actor | Who Framed Roger Rabbit
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 ...
28. Akira Kurosawa
Writer | Ran
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 (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...
29. Chuck Jones
Actor | Gremlins
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,...
Actor | Drugstore Cowboy
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 ...
31. Ingmar Bergman
Writer | Smultronstället
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) 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 (1996) is the ...
32. Timothy Leary
Actor | Roadside Prophets
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 ...
33. 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 ...
34. Lenny Bruce
Writer | Dance Hall Racket
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 ...
35. Allen Ginsberg
Soundtrack | The Cockettes
Louis Ginsberg, the moderate Jewish Socialist and his wife Naomi, who was a radical Communist and irrepressible nudist are the parents of Irwin Allen Ginsberg, the poet and man of many other things eg. actor. Poems he written eg. Howl, Six gallery, Sunflower Sutra ... His themes: drugs, against ...
36. 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 ...
37. James Randi
Actor | Wonderama
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, ...
38. 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...
39. Stanley Kubrick
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
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 ...
Soundtrack | Freedom Writers
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Alberta Christine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Martin Luther King Sr., a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six ...
41. Ram Dass
Costume_department | Professor
Ram Dass was born on April 6, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as Richard Alpert.
Writer | La nuit américaine
French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. 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 became his protector. Bazin helped the ...
43. Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer | Solyaris
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 (1962), which ...
44. Woody Allen
Writer | Manhattan
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...
45. Ken Kesey
Writer | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
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...
Writer | Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson was born on July 18, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Hunter Stockton Thompson. He was married to Anita Thompson and Sondi Wright. He died on February 20, 2005 in Aspen, Colorado, USA.
47. George Carlin
Actor | Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
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...
48. Bruce Lee
Actor | Meng long guo jiang
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 ...
49. John Lennon
Soundtrack | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was raised by his mother's older sister Mimi Smith. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, ...
50. Hayao Miyazaki
Director | Gake no ue no Ponyo
Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...
51. Bob Dylan
Soundtrack | Renaldo and Clara
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...
52. Richard Dawkins
Actor | Doctor Who
Richard Dawkins was born on March 26, 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya as Clinton Richard Dawkins. He is an actor and writer, known for Doctor Who (2005), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) and Intersect. He has been married to Lalla Ward since 1992. He was previously married to Eve Barham and Marian ...
53. Stephen Hawking
Actor | Star Trek: The Next Generation
Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England as Stephen William Hawking. He is an actor, known for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), The Big Bang Theory (2007) and A Brief History of Time (1991). He was previously married to Elaine Mason and Jane Hawking.
54. Terence McKenna
Actor | Manual de Evasão
Terence McKenna was born on November 16, 1946 in Paonia, Colorado, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Manual de Evasão (1994), Strange Attractor (2003) and The Alchemical Dream: Rebirth of the Great Work (2008). He died on April 3, 2000 in San Rafael, California, USA.
Writer | On an Electric Night
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 ...
57. Hideaki Anno
Director | Shin Gojira
Hideaki Anno was born on May 22, 1960 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is known for his work on Shin Godzilla (2016), Evangerion shin gekijôban: Jo (2007) and Kaze tachinu (2013). He has been married to Moyoco Anno since March 26, 2002.
58. Bill Hicks
Actor | Ninja Bachelor Party
Born in Georgia but raised in Houston since the age of 7, this self-described "Prince of Darkness" was compelled to use the comedy stage as his philosophic soapbox. At 13, he would sneak out of his suburban house to hustle his way onto open-mike night rosters. In two brief decades, Hicks worked his...
59. 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 ...
60. 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 ...
61. Satoshi Kon
Writer | Papurika
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 (1991) by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film ...
63. Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack | Poetic Justice
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 ...
64. Frankie Boyle
Art_department | Hangar 10
Soundtrack | Belly
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 ...