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.
2 René Descartes René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytical geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra.

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.

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.

France has a stereotype of being portrayed as cowardly, mostly because of World War II, yet Napoleon stands against that and shows how well France can do on the battlefield.

6 Frédéric Joliot-Curie Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie was a French physicist and husband of Irène Joliot-Curie, with whom he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Joliot-Curie and his wife also founded the Orsay Faculty of Sciences, part of the Paris-Saclay... read more

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 Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French civil engineer. A graduate of École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, he made his name with various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct. He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition... read more

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 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.

13 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.
14 Auguste Renoir Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who 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."
15 Coco Chanel Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer of women's clothes and founder of the Chanel brand.
16 Georges Bizet Georges Bizet, registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the romantic era.
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 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.

19 Claude Debussy Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The greatest composer to have ever lived.

20 Gerard Depardieu Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu, CQ is a French actor. He has received acclaim for his performances in The Last Metro, for which he won the César Award for Best Actor, in Police, for which he won the César Award for Best Actor, in Police (1985), for which he won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, Jean... read more
21 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
22 Guy de Maupassant Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a French writer, remembered as a master of the short story form, and as a representative of the naturalist school of writers, who depicted human lives and destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms... read more
23 Sarah Bernhardt
24 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.
25 Michel Platini Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a French football administrator and former player and manager. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from involvement in football under FIFA's organisation, over ethics violations. The ban will last until 2023. Regarded as one of the greatest... 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.

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