Top 10 Greatest French Persons

The Top Ten

1 Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization.

Our milk is pasteur-ized and obviously it's named after him.

2 René Descartes

Notable ideas:
Cogito ergo sum, method of doubt, method of normals, Cartesian coordinate system, Cartesian dualism, ontological argument for the existence of God, mathesis universalis; folium of Descartes.

3 Jeanne d'Arc Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans", is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. ...read more.

Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc in English) depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1505 manuscript.

4 Pierre Curie Pierre Curie was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity.

A physicist, pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903.

His wife, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, isn't eligible because she was born in Poland (she was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist).

5 Napoléon Bonaparte Napoléon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars.
6 Frédéric Joliot-Curie

Awards - Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1935).

7 Victor Hugo Victor Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. ...read more.

I have to vote for him.
Was he a great poet? Yes.
Was he an incredibly talented writer? Yes.
Was he one of the most audacious politicians and one of the most profoundly humanitarian persons ever? Yes.
He got into trouble for speaking the truth about 19th century France; He was exiled. But he was right. His fight was worth it. I wish he could have seen France now and appreciate the progress. Rest In Peace.

Poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement.

8 Gustave Eiffel

A civil engineer and architect, best known for:
1) the world-famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition
2) his contribution to building the Statue of Liberty in New York
3) various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct
4) important contributions in the fields of meteorology and aerodynamics

9 Honoré de Balzac Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie Humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus. ...read more.

One of the greatest novelists of all time.

10 Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman. He was the leader of Free France (1940–44) and the head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–46). In 1958, he founded the Fifth Republic and was elected as the 18th ...read more.

The Contenders

11 Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation ...read more.

Tremendous writer, philosopher, and overall genius.

12 Édith Piaf Édith Piaf was a French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress who became widely regarded as France's national chanteuse, as well as being one of France's greatest international stars.

Songs: Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets), La Vie en Rose, Hymne a L'amour, Milord, Rien de Rien

13 Jules Verne Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction.

A novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. He's one of the fathers of science fiction, a title also given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.

Verne is the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between the English-language writers Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare.

14 Coco Chanel Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer of women's clothes and founder of the Chanel brand.
15 Georges Bizet Georges Bizet, registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the romantic era.
16 Auguste Renoir

"He was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." (Wiki)

17 Nostradamus Michel de Nostredame, usually Latinised as Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become widely famous.
18 Claude Debussy

The greatest composer to have ever lived.

19 Blaise Pascal Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions ...read more.
20 Claude Monet Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.

He was a founder of French Impressionist painting. Even the term "Impressionism" was derived from the title of his painting "Impression, Sunrise" (Impression, soleil levant).
The image is his self-portrait.

21 Alain Delon Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon is a French actor and businessman, with French-Swiss dual citizenship since 1999. Delon became one of Europe's most prominent actors and screen sex symbols in the 1960s.
22 Gerard Depardieu
23 Michel Platini Michel François Platini is a football administrator, who served as the president of the Union of European Football Associations from 2007 until 2015, after which he was banned for 8 years following an ethics investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 21 December 2015, and formerly a French football ...read more.

He's been the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2007. He was a football (soccer) player and manager.

24 Alain Prost

A four-time Formula One Drivers' Champion. As of 2015, only 2 drivers have surpassed his number of titles - Michael Schumacher (seven championships) and Juan Manuel Fangio (five championships).

25 Joe Duplantier Joseph "Joe" Duplantier is a French musician best known as the guitarist and vocalist of metal band Gojira.
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