1 Jacob Bronowski
Polish-born, British Jewish mathematician, biologist, historian of science, theatre author, poet, and inventor.
Jacob told us the truth, "science is only a Latin word for knowledge. Knowledge is our destiny."
Again! If one could live with and listen to only one person, it would be Jacob Bronowski
2 Jonathan Miller
3 Buckminster Fuller
American Inventor, Engineer, Architect, Mathematician, Philosopher, and Professor of Poetry. There is more written about Richard Buckminster Fuller ( Sadly no relation ) in the American 'Who's Who' book than anyone else!
4 John von Neumann
John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor, computer scientist, and polymath.
Most of those listed here have merely extended the range of their activities into closely related fields. That's not polymathy, in my opinion. I was trained as an experimental chemist, have a peer-reviewed publication in theoretical chemistry, and have worked as a university teacher in unrelated fields such as statistics and operations research (currently), an academic editor (for the last 20 years), a semi-professional rock-group drummer (long ago), a company director (currently), a paid murallist and collagist, and many other distantly or un-related activities, yet I would never claim to be a polymath (of course, I'm not famous in any of these fields either).
Hungarian-born, American Jewish Physicist, Mathematician, Contributions to Game Theory, Economics, and Pioneering Computer Scientist. One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time! He had a Photographic Memory!
5 Anthony Burgess
6 Steve Allen
American Comedian, Writer, Poet, Lyricist, Composer, Actor, Concert Artist, and Lecturer. He wrote 54 Books! And about 10,000 Songs!
7 Bruce Dickinson
Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, (born 7 August 1958) is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.Outside his career in music, Dickinson has pursued a number ...read more.
Musician, pilot, world class fencer, author, film maker, DJ...
Radio presenter can also be added to the list...
8 Paul Robeson
9 Rowan Williams
Welsh Anglican Bishop, Poet, Theologian, and Polyglot*. The 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. *He speaks 11 Languages!
10 F Story Musgrave
? J.R.R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973), known by his pen name J. R. R. Tolkien, was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
? Walt Disney
Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American animator, film producer and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, he holds the record for most Academy Awards earned ...read more.
11 Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and business magnate. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and a co-founder of Apple Inc., chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following ...read more.
Greatest modern polymath.
12 Edward Said
Another Polymath who I admire is Professor Carl Sagan ( 1934 - 1996 ). American Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author, Science Popularizer, and Science Communicator in Astronomy and Natural Sciences. In watching his masterpiece television series Cosmos I am taken back by his all encomposing knowledge!
Palestinian-American Author, Literary Theorist, Cultural critic, Public Intellectual, and Advocate for Palestinian Rights, and Founding Figure in Postcolonialism via his Book 'Orientalism'.
13 Ludwig Wittgenstein
14 Stephen Hough
15 Dolph Lundgren
Hans "Dolph" Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter, producer, martial artist, and chemical engineer.
This guy astonishes me. Won a European martial arts championship, has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering, speaks 7 languages (though not completely fluently for some), won a Fulbright scholarship to MIT, and oh yeah, did a little acting on the side. Wow.
16 Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Eric Hitchens was a British-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, journalist, and social critic.
Amazing man. Debating genius
17 Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate.
18 Stephen Fry
Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist. After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, Fry secured a place at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English ...read more.
19 Carl Sagan
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.
Great writer and communicator with the ability to explain complex issues in amazingly clear ways and to inspire people to learn more about science and the Universe. Sagan was key in drilling through bonehead politicians to make them realize the danger of thermonuclear war to the very existence of our species.
20 Richard Feynman
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the ...read more.
21 Brian May
Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.
Guitarist, multi instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, astro-physicist with a PhD, mathematician, animal rights activist
22 William Sidis
Claimed to be the cleverest man who ever lived. A giant amongst pygmies.
23 Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov, born Isaak Ozimov (c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science.
24 Donald Glover
Donald McKinley Glover Jr. is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and DJ. He performs music under the stage name Childish Gambino and as a DJ under the name mcDJ. ...read more.
American Comedian, Singer, Rapper, Director, Actor. First black director to win an Emmy for his work on his television series "Atlanta".
25 Erwin Schrodinger
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger, sometimes written as Erwin Schrodinger or Erwin Schroedinger, was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation ...read more.