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My Favorite Historical Figures
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Here is a list of some of my favorite historical figures.  These are people that I find interesting because of who they were or what they did.  Click on the link to find out more about them.   

Thomas Jefferson - third president of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence. 

John & Abigail Adams -  the second president of the United States and his wife, perhaps one of the most interesting women of the colonial period. 

Benjamin Franklin - American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer.

James & Dolly Madison - 4th president of the United States and his convivial wife.

Nicholas Copernicus - Polish priest who in 1514 proposed that the Sun was stationary at the center of the universe and that the Earth and planets moved in circular orbits around the sun (in contrast to the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic theory of the Earth being at the center). 

Galileo - Italian astronomer who supported Copernican concept that the Earth circles the Sun and not the other way around (and was almost excommunicated for this heretical idea). 

Johannes Kepler - German astronomer who also supported the Copernican theory and proposed that planetary orbits were eliptical. 

Attila the Hun & Flavius Aetius - Attila, a King of the Huns, united many "barbarian" kingdoms a posed a great threat to the declining Roman Empire during the 5th century.  Aetius was the Roman General who opposed him. 

Leonardo Da Vinci - renaissance man (a scholar, inventor, philosopher, artist, etc.) 

Baruch Spinoza - philosopher born in 1632 in Amsterdam's Portuguese-Jewish community. 

Johannes Guttenburg - first printer who used moveable type to widely disseminate printed material (Bible) throughout Europe. 

Rene Descartes - philosopher and mathematician, Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). 

Isaac Newton - mathematician and author of Principia Mathematica Naturalis Causae where he puts forward theories of how bodies move in space (gravity) and the developed the mathematics needed to analyze those motions (calculus). 

Abraham Lincoln - 16th president of the United States. 

Frederick Douglass - former slave and great orator. 
Albert Bierstadt - 19th century painter famous for his landscape paints of the American West. 
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmens) - America's greatest story teller. 

Charles Darwin - biologist, noted for his theory of evolution. 

William James - psychologist, philosopher. 

John Muir - a naturalist who explored the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. 
Albert Einstein - Physicist, Nobel prize winner, noted for his theory of relativity, E=mc2, father of the atomic age. 
J.R.R. Tolkien - perhaps the 20th Century's greatest author and my favorite, he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Walt Disney - cartoonist, film producer, visionary . . . . 

Carl Sagan - astrophysicist, author and narator of Cosmos, co-founder of the Planetary Society. 

John Williams - musical composer, created such works as the sound track to Star Wars & Indiana Jones. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger - bodybuilder, actor, businessman, a true success story. 
My Wife - perhaps she is not historical, but she is definitely my most favorite figure. 

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Last updated: 2/24/05