Great minds.

by eraserdead | created - 22 Aug 2013 | updated - 23 Sep 2013 | Public

1724-1804

2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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 ...

1749-1832

3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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 ...

1756-1791

4. William Blake

Soundtrack | La grande bellezza

William Blake was born on November 28, 1757 in London, England. He died on August 12, 1827 in London.

1757-1827

5. Henry David Thoreau

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...

1817-1862

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...

1818-1883

7. Walt Whitman

Writer | Messengers

The Walt Whitman Bridge connecting Camden (NJ) to Philadelphia (PA) is named in his honor.

1819-1892

8. 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 ...

1821-1881

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 ...

1828-1918

10. Friedrich Nietzsche

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...

1844-1900

11. Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856. He died on January 7, 1943 in New York City, New York, USA.

1856-1943

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 ...

1856-1939

13. Johann Sebastian Bach

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 ...

1865-1750

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...

1866-1946

15. Mohandas K. Gandhi

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 ...

1869-1948

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.

1872-1970

17. Carl Gustav Jung

Self | Approaches to the Psychology of Personality: Film No. 8 - Summary and Historical Development of Major Ideas

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, ...

1875-1961

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 ...

1879-1955

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 ...

1881-1973

20. Ludwig Wittgenstein

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 ...

1889-1951

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 ...

1894-1963

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 ...

1899-1980

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...

1903-1950

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 ...

1904-1989

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.

1906-2008

26. Simone de Beauvoir

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 ...

1908-1986

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 ...

1908-1989

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...

1910-1998

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,...

1912-2002

30. William S. Burroughs

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 ...

1914-1997

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 ...

1918-2007

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 ...

1920-1996

33. Terry Southern

Writer | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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 ...

1924-1995

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 ...

1925-1966

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 ...

1926-1997

36. Noam Chomsky

Self | Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

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 ...

1928-

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, ...

1928-

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...

1928-1982

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 ...

1928-1999

40. Martin Luther King

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 ...

1929-1968

41. Ram Dass

Costume_department | Professor

Ram Dass was born on April 6, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as Richard Alpert.

1931-

42. François Truffaut

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 ...

1932-1984

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 ...

1932-1986

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...

1935-

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...

1935-2001

46. Hunter S. Thompson

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.

1937-2005

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...

1937-2008

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 ...

1940-1973

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, ...

1940-1980

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 ...

1941-

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...

1941-

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 ...

1941-

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.

1942-

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.

1946-2000

55. Christopher Hitchens

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 ...

1949-2011

56. Tim Berners-Lee

Self | Horizon

Tim Berners-Lee was born on June 8, 1955 in London, England.

1955

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.

1960-

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...

1961-1994

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 ...

1961-

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 ...

1962-

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 ...

1963-2010

62. Sam Harris

Self | The God Who Wasn't There

Sam Harris was born on April 9, 1967 in the USA.

1967-

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 ...

1971-1996

64. Frankie Boyle

Art_department | Hangar 10

Frankie Boyle was born on August 16, 1972 in Glasgow, Scotland as Francis Martin Patrick Boyle. He is known for his work on Hangar 10 (2014), Caledonian MacBrains (2002) and Distraction (2003).

1972-

65. Nas

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 ...

1973-

66. Immortal Technique

Soundtrack | The Brave One

Immortal Technique was born on March 31, 1978 in Peru as Felipe Coronel.

1978-