From Quiz Revision Notes

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Harold Abrahams (1899 – 1978) was a British track and field athlete of Jewish origin. His father Isaac had emigrated to England from Russian Poland. He was Olympic champion in 1924 in the 100 metres, a feat depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. In 1925, Abrahams broke his leg while long-jumping. Subsequently he worked as an athletics journalist for forty years, becoming a commentator on the sports for BBC radio

Marina Abramovic (born 1946) is an American artist based in New York, a performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience. Born in Belgrade

Peter Ackroyd (born 1949) is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot and Sir Thomas More he won the Somerset Maugham Award and two Whitbread Awards

Carlos Acosta (born 1973) is a Cuban ballet dancer. He has been a permanent member of The Royal Ballet since 1998, and in 2003 he was promoted to Principal Guest Artist

Eliza Acton (1799 – 1859) was an English poet and cook who produced one of the country's first cookbooks aimed at the domestic reader rather than the professional cook or chef, Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845)

Samuel Adams (1722 – 1803) was a part of a movement opposed to the British Parliament's efforts to tax the British American colonies without their consent. His 1768 circular letter calling for colonial cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, eventually resulting in the Boston Massacre of 1770. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773 Boston Tea Party

Leon Alberti (1404 – 1472) was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath. Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the most excellent painters, sculptors and architects

Alexander III of Macedon (356 – 323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great, was a Greek king of Macedon. He is the most celebrated member of the Argead Dynasty and created one of the largest empires in ancient history. He invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor, and began a series of campaigns lasting ten years. Alexander repeatedly defeated the Persians in battle; marched through Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Bactria; and in the process he overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. Failed to capture India. Died in Babylon

John Amery (1912 – 1945) was an English fascist who proposed to Hitler the formation of a British volunteer force (subsequently to become the British Free Corps), made recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. He was executed for treason in December 1945

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836 – 1917) was an English physician and feminist, the first woman to gain a medical qualification in Britain. In 1908 she was elected mayor of Aldeburgh, becoming the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain

Anselm of Canterbury (C. 1033 – 1109) was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he is famous as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God

George Anson (1697 – 1762), 1st Baron Anson was Admiral of the Fleet and a wealthy aristocrat noted for his circumnavigation of the globe and his role overseeing the Royal Navy during the Seven Years' War. During his time in office Anson instituted a series of reforms to the Royal Navy

Susan B Anthony (1820 – 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement. She also co-founded the women's rights journal, The Revolution

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918) was born in Italy to a Polish mother. Among the foremost poets of the early 20th century, he is credited with coining the word Surrealism and writing one of the earliest works described as surrealist, the play The Breasts of Tiresias (1917). Two years after being wounded in World War I, he died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Apollinaire was a friend of Picasso

John Arbuthnot (1667 – 1735) was a physician, satirist and polymath. He is best remembered for his contributions to mathematics, his membership in the Scriblerus Club (where he inspired Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels book III, and for inventing the figure of John Bull

Richard Arkwright (1732 – 1792) is credited with inventing the spinning frame, which, following the transition to water power, was renamed the water frame. He built his cotton mill to make use of the water frame at Cromford, in Derbyshire

Benedict Arnold (1740 – 1801) was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but switched sides to the British Empire. While he was still a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted unsuccessfully to surrender it to the British in 1780. After the plot failed, he served in the British military

Averroes (1126 – 1198), also known as Ibn Rushd, was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, and science. Appears in The School of Athens by Raphael

Josephine Baker (1906 – 1975) was nicknamed ‘Bronze Venus’, the ‘Black Pearl’, and the ‘Creole Goddess’. Baker was the first African American to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934), to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and for being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre. She became a citizen of France in 1937

Robert Baden-Powell (1857 – 1941) served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking. Wrote Scouting for Boys

George Balanchine (1904 – 1983) was born in Saint Petersburg to Georgian parents, and was one of the 20th century's foremost choreographers, a pioneer of ballet in the United States and co-founder of New York City Ballet: his work forms a bridge between classical and modern ballet

Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer (1841 – 1917) was British controller-general in Egypt during 1879, part of the international Control which oversaw Egyptian finances after the khedives' mismanagement, and during the British occupation prompted by the Urabi revolt, agent and consul-general in Egypt from 1883 to 1907

P.T. Barnum (1810 – 1891) was an American showman and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1850 he promoted the American tour of singer Jenny Lind, paying her $1,000 a night for 150 nights. He bought Jumbo, an African elephant from London Zoo in 1882. Barnum served two terms in the Connecticut legislature in 1865 as a Republican

Henry Mayo Bateman (1887 – 1970) was a British humorous artist and cartoonist. H. M. Bateman was noted for his "The Man Who..." series of cartoons, featuring comically exaggerated reactions to minor and usually upper-class social gaffes

Lilian Baylis (1874 – 1937) managed the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells theatres in London and ran an opera company, which became the English National Opera (ENO); a theatre company, which evolved into the English National Theatre; and a ballet company, which eventually became the English Royal Ballet

Aubrey Beardsley (1872 – 1898) was an English illustrator and author. His drawings, executed in black ink and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was significant. Died of TB aged 25 in 1898. Aubrey Beardsley was the first art editor of The Yellow Book

Josephine de Beauharnais (1763 – 1814) was the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre's execution

Pierre Beaumarchais (1732 – 1799) wrote three Figaro plays. An early French supporter of American independence, Beaumarchais lobbied the French government on behalf of the American rebels during the American War of Independence. Beaumarchais oversaw covert aid from the French and Spanish governments to supply arms and financial assistance to the rebels in the years before France's entry into the war in 1778

Francis Beaumont (1584 – 1616) was a dramatist in the English Renaissance theatre, most famous for his collaborations with John Fletcher

Bede (672 – 735), also known as the Venerable Bede, was a Benedictine monk at the Northumbrian Monastry of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow. His most famous work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title ‘The Father of English History’, and used Anno Domini dating

Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926) explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq. She played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq

Giovanni Belzoni (1778 – 1823) was a prolific Italian explorer and pioneer archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities. He opened up the sepulchre of Seti I (still sometimes known as ‘Belzoni's Tomb’). He was the first to penetrate into the second pyramid of Giza

Bennelong (1764 – 1813) was a senior man of the Eora, an Aboriginal people of the Port Jackson area, at the time of the first British settlement in Australia, in 1788. Bennelong served as an interlocutor between the Eora and the British, both in Sydney and in the United Kingdom. Bennelong was brought to the settlement at Sydney Cove in 1789 by order of the governor Arthur Phillip, who was under instructions from King George III to establish relationships with the indigenous populations

Lavrentiy Beria (1899 – 1953) was the chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus under Stalin. By the end of the Great Purge, he had become deputy head and subsequently head of the NKVD. Deputy prime minister from 1946 to 1953

Busby Berkeley (1895 – 1976) was a Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer. Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances

Isaiah Berlin (1909 – 1997) was a philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the twentieth century. He excelled as an essayist, lecturer and conversationalist; and as a brilliant speaker who delivered, rapidly and spontaneously, richly allusive and coherently structured material, whether for a lecture series at Oxford University or as a broadcaster on the BBC Third Programme, usually without a script. Born in Riga

Sarah Bernhardt (1844 – 1923) was a French stage and early film actress. Bernhardt was said to have been involved in an affair with the future King Edward VII while he was still the Prince of Wales, Buried in Pere Lachaise. Continued performing even after she had a leg amputated in 1915

Liliane Bettencourt (born 1922) is a French heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist. She is one of the principal shareholders of L'Oreal and, with a fortune estimated at US $33 billion, is one of the wealthiest people in the world

Thomas Bewick (1753 – 1828) was an English wood engraver and ornithologist. Shortly after Bewick's death, he was commemorated by the naming of a species of swan, Bewick's Swan. He was also a radical and champion of the working classes. Bewick is best known for his A History of British Birds, which is admired mainly for its wood engravings

Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) was an American poet and writer from Massachusetts. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, and a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956. She has become an iconic “lesbian poet”

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821 – 1910) was the first female doctor in the United States. She was the first openly identified woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in educating women in medicine in the United States, and was prominent in the emerging women's rights movement. Born in Bristol

Elizabeth Blackwell (1707 – 1758) was a Scottish botanical illustrator and author who was best known as both the artist and engraver for the plates of A Curious Herbal, published between 1737 and 1739

George Blake (born 1922) is a former British spy known for having been a double agent in the service of the Soviet Union. Discovered in 1961 and sentenced to 42 years in prison, he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison in 1966 and fled to the USSR. He was not one of the Cambridge spies, although he is often grouped with them. Born in Rotterdam

William Bligh (1754 – 1817) was an officer of the Royal Navy. A notorious mutiny led by Fletcher Christian occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789 on a voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers . Fifteen years after the Bounty mutiny, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, with orders to clean up the corrupt rum trade of the New South Wales Corps, resulting in the so-called Rum Rebellion

Nellie Bly (1864 – 1922) was the pen name of American pioneer female journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran. She remains notable for two feats: a record-breaking trip around the world in emulation of Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within

Boethius (c. 480 – 524) was a Christian philosopher. His father, Flavius Manlius Boethius, was consul in 487 after Odoacer deposed the last Western Roman Emperor. Boethius himself was consul in 510 in the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. Boethius was executed by King Theodoric the Great, who suspected him of conspiring with the Byzantine Empire. While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy

Mother Teresa (1910 – 1977) Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (gonxha meaning ‘rosebud’ or ‘little flower’ in Albanian) was born in Skopje, now capital of the Republic of Macedonia, but at the time part of the Ottoman Empire. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She lived most of her life in India

Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830) was a Venezuelan political leader. Together with Jose de San Martin, he played a key role in Latin America's successful struggle for independence from Spain. Following the triumph over the Spanish Monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Latin America, which was named Gran Colombia, and of which he was President from 1819 to 1830. He led Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela to independence

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. He was executed by hanging in a concentration camp in April 1945

Daniel Boone (1734 – 1820) is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the U.S. state of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of the Thirteen Colonies. Despite resistance from American Indians, in 1778 Boone blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky. Boone was elected to the first of his three terms in the Virginia General Assembly during the Revolutionary War

Charles Booth (1840 – 1916) was an English philanthropist and social researcher. He is most famed for his innovative work on documenting working class life in London at the end of the 19th century, work that along with that of Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree influenced government intervention against poverty in the early 20th century. He was a cousin of Beatrice Webb

Rodrigo Borgia (1431 – 1503) was elected Pope in 1492 under the name of Pope Alexander VI. While a cardinal, he maintained a long-term illicit relationship with Vanozza dei Cattanei of the House of Candia, with whom he had four children: Giovanni; Cesare; Lucrezia; and Gioffre. Borgia family was from Valencia. They came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy

Cesare Borgia (1475 – 1507) was suspected of murdering his brother Giovanni. Cesare died in 1507, at Viana Castle in Navarre, Spain while besieging the rebellious army of Count de Leri

Lucrezia Borgia (1480 – 1519) was cast as a femme fatale, and was married three times

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986) was an Argentine writer who is considered one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century. Best-known in the English speaking world for his short stories and fictive essays, Borges was also a poet, critic, translator and man of letters

Subhash Chandra Bose (1897 – 1945) was an Indian revolutionary who led an Indian national political and military force against Britain and the Western powers during World War II. Bose was one of the most prominent leaders in the Indian independence movement

James Boswell (1740 – 1795) is best known as the biographer of Samuel Johnson. His name has passed into the English language as a term (Boswellian) for a constant companion and observer. Born in Edinburgh

Johann Bottger (1682 – 1719) was an alchemist captured by Augustus the Strong. He was generally acknowledged as the inventor of European porcelain

Thomas Bowdler (1754 – 1825) was an English physician who published an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare's work that he considered to be more appropriate than the original for women and children. He similarly edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Through the eponym “bowdlerise” his name is now associated with prudish censorship of literature, motion pictures and television programmes

Leigh Bowery (1961 – 1994) was an Australian performance artist, model and fashion designer, based in London. Bowery is considered one of the more influential figures in the 1980s and 1990s London and New York art and fashion circles

Charles Boycott (1832 – 1879) was an English land agent in Ireland who refused to reduce his rents. He gave the English language the verb “to boycott”. In 1880, as part of its campaign for the Three Fs (fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale), the Irish Land League under Charles Stewart Parnell withdrew the local labour required to harvest the crops and began a campaign of isolation against Boycott in the local community

George Bradshaw (1801 – 1853) was an English cartographer, printer and publisher. He is best known for developing the most successful and longest published series of combined railway timetables in 1840

Craig Breedlove (born 1937) is a five-time world land speed record holder. He was the first to reach 400 mph, 500 mph, and 600 mph, using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named Spirit of America

Andre Breton (1896 – 1966) was a French writer, poet, and surrealist theorist, and is best known as the main founder of surrealism. His writings include the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism”. Breton coined the derogatory nickname Avida Dollars, an anagram for Salvador Dalí

James Brindley (1716 – 1772) was a canal builder who used an old process called puddling which lined the sides and bottom of a canal with clay mixed with water. Consulting engineer to the Bridgewater Canal, opened in 1761

Jacob Bronowski (1908 – 1974) was born in Poland. During the Second World War, Jacob Bronowski worked in operations research with the Department of Home Security, and afterward became Director of Research for the National Coal Board. Following his experiences as an official observer of the after-effects of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings, he turned to biology. He is best remembered as the presenter and writer of the 1973 BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man, and the accompanying book

Branwell Bronte (1817 – 1848) was the only son of the Bronte family. He was born in Thornton, near Bradford, and moved with his family to Haworth when his father was appointed to the perpetual curacy in 1821. He was an opium and alcohol addict

Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600) was an Italian Dominican friar. A supportor of heliocentrism, he also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space. The Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy, and consequentially he was handed over to the secular authorities and burned at the stake

Warren Buffett (born 1930) was the most successful investor of the 20th century. Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He is known as the “Sage of Omaha”. He has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation

Robert Bulwer-Lytton (1831 – 1891) served as Viceroy of India during the Great Famine of 1876 to 1878. His uncompromising implementation of Britain's trading policy is blamed for the severity of the famine, which killed up to 10 million people. He was a son of novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher who, after relocating to England, served for many years in the House of Commons as a member of the Whig party. He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution

William Burrell (1861 – 1958) was a Scottish shipping merchant and philanthropist. In 1944 Burrell donated his collection to the city of Glasgow, with £250,000 to house it. A custom-build museum, the Burrell Collection, was finally opened in 1983. William Burrell died at Hutton Castle in the Scottish Borders

Cyril Burt (1883 – 1971) is known for his studies on the heritability of IQ. Shortly after he died, his studies of inheritance and intelligence came into disrepute after evidence emerged indicating he had falsified research data

Decimus Burton (1800 – 1881) was a prolific English architect and garden designer, particularly associated with projects in the classical style in London parks, including buildings at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and London Zoo, and with the layout and architecture of the seaside towns of Fleetwood and St Leonards-on-Sea and of Tunbridge Wells

Richard Burton (1821 – 1890) traveled in disguise to Mecca, made an unexpurgated translation of The Book of One Thousand Nights and A Night (the collection is more commonly called The Arabian Nights in English) and the Kama Sutra. He also journeyed with John Hanning Speke to discover the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile

John Byng (1704 – 1757) was a British admiral who was court-martialed for failing to “do his utmost” during the Battle of Minorca, at the beginning of the Seven Years War, in 1757. He was sentenced to death and shot by firing squad

George Gordon Byron (1788 – 1824), later Noel, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale, was notably described by Lady Caroline Lamb as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”. Travelled to Europe, met Shelley in 1816. Moved to Milan, then Venice. Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organization, the Carbonari, in its struggle against Austria. He later travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died from rheumatic fever contracted after he was soaked in an open boat while in Messolonghi in Greece. Byron married Anabella Milbanke, had an affair with his half-sister. Body sent back to Nottingham for burial. Only legitimate child was Ada Lovelace. Lord Byron lived at Newstead Abbey. Byron participated in the compilation of the English Armenian dictionary

John Calvin (1509 – 1564) was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism or Reformed theology. In Geneva, he rejected Papal authority, established a new scheme of civic and ecclesiastical governance, and created a central hub from which Reformed theology was propagated. He is renowned for his teachings and writings and infamous for his role in the execution of Michael Servetus

Donald Campbell (1921 – 1967) broke eight world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). Donald Campbell broke water speed record at Lake Mead in 1955. Campbell was killed when Bluebird K7 flipped and disintegrated at a speed in excess of 300 mph on Coniston Water

Harold Camping (1921 – 2013) is notable for using numerology in his interpretations of Bible passages, resulting in multiple failed predictions of dates for the end of the world. Camping predicted that Jesus Christ would return to Earth on 21 May 2011, whereupon the saved would be taken up to heaven in the rapture

Edmund Campion (1540 – 1581) was an English Roman Catholic martyr and Jesuit priest. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Father Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI

Eddie Cantor (1892 – 1964) was known to Broadway, radio and early television audiences as “Banjo Eyes”. He made his Broadway debut in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1917

Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881) was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. He called economics “the dismal science”, wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator. In his famous work On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History where he explains that the key role in history lies in the actions of the "Great Man". He also wrote The French Revolution: A History

Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) was born in Dunfermline. Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. He was backed by JP Morgan. One of his two great innovations was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel rails for railroad lines. The second was in his vertical integration of all suppliers of raw materials. Carnegie spent his last years as a philanthropist. He said “the man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”

Enrico Caruso (1873 – 1921) was an Italian tenor who sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and North and South America. He is arguably the most famous male opera singer in history. Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. Born and died in Naples

George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943) was born into slavery in Missouri. Known for his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families

Giacomo Casanova (1725 – 1798) was a Venetian adventurer and author. His main book Histoire de ma vie (History of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. Only prisoner to escape from Doge’s Palace

Edith Cavell (1685 – 1915) trained as a nurse and in 1907 was appointed matron of the Berkendael Institute in Brussels, Belgium. When World War I broke out, the hospital was taken over by the Red Cross. Nurse Cavell is alleged to have helped hundreds of soldiers from the allied forces to escape from occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands, in violation of military law. In 1915, she was arrested, court-martialed and executed by the Germans for this offence

George Cayley (1773 – 1857) was one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. Designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft

Joseph Chamberlain (1836 – 1914) was a radically minded Liberal Party member, a campaigner for educational reform, and President of the Board of Trade. He later became a Liberal Unionist in alliance with the Conservative Party and was appointed Colonial Secretary. At the end of his career he led the tariff reform campaign. Despite never becoming Prime Minister, he is regarded as one of the most important British politicians of the late 19th century and early 20th century. He was the father of Sir Austen Chamberlain and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Wore a monocle

Jean-Francois Champollion (1790 – 1832) deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs. In 1822 Champollion published his first breakthrough in the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphs, showing that the Egyptian writing system was a combination of phonetic and ideographic signs

Thomas Chatterton (1752 – 1770) was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He conceived the romance of Thomas Rowley, an imaginary monk of the 15th century, and adopted for himself the pseudonym Thomas Rowley for poetry and history. He committed suicide aged 17, dying of arsenic poisoning

Julia Child (1912 – 2004) is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef. Subject of the 2009 film Julie & Julia

V. Gordon Childe (1892 – 1957) was an Australian archaeologist best known for his excavation of the unique Neolithic site of Skara Brae in Orkney and for his Marxist views which influenced his thinking about prehistory. He is also credited with coining the terms Neolithic Revolution and Urban Revolution

Noam Chomsky (born 1928) is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky is well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics. Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as a political dissident and an anarchist. Beginning with his opposition to the Vietnam War, Chomsky established himself as a prominent critic of US foreign and domestic policy. Books include Cartesian Linguistics and Language and Politics

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a war correspondent in the Boer War for The Morning Post. He was First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of the First World War, but was obliged to leave the war cabinet after the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli. Winston Churchill is the only Briton to win Time Person of the Year. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first person to be recognised as an honorary citizen of the United States. In 1904 he crossed the floor to sit as a member of the Liberal Party. Home Secretary from 1910 to 1911. Re-joined the Conservative Party in 1924. Chancellor from 1924 to 1929. Reappointed First Lord of the Admiralty in 1939. Replaced Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, as Hitler’s all-out war began. Constituencies represented by Churchill – Oldham, Manchester North West, Dundee, Epping, Woodford. Winston Churchill worked as a war correspondent for The Morning Post during the Second Boer War. Died in 1965

Liz Claiborne (1929 – 2007) was a Belgian-born American fashion designer and entrepreneur. Claiborne is best known for co-founding Liz Claiborne Inc., which in 1986 became the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500 list. Claiborne was the first woman to become chair and CEO of a Fortune 500 company

Kenneth Clark (1903 – 1983) was appointed director of the National Gallery at the age of 30. He was the youngest person ever to hold the post. The following year he also became Surveyor of the King's Pictures, a post he held until 1945. As Director of the National Gallery he oversaw the successful relocation and storage of the collection to avoid the Blitz. In 1969, he achieved international fame as the writer, producer and presenter of the BBC Television series Civilisation

Raymond “Ossie” Clark (1942 – 1996) was an English fashion designer who was a major figure in the Swinging Sixties scene in London. Married Celia Birtwell. He was stabbed to death in by his Italian former lover, Diego Cogolato. Ossie Clark is featured in David Hockney's 1970 painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy

William Tierney Clark (1783 – 1852) designed the first suspension bridge to span the River Thames in London: Hammersmith Bridge, opened in 1827. He designed the Szechenyi Chain Bridge across the Danube in Budapest, for which Marlow Bridge was a nearly identical, but smaller prototype

Thomas Clarkson (1760 – 1846), was an English abolitionist, and a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. He helped found The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade and helped achieve passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807

Clarice Cliff (1899 – 1972) was a ceramic artist who produced many Art Deco inspired patterns in the 1930s. She was born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. Clarice Cliff invented the pattern range known as “Bizarre”

Robert Clive (1725 – 1774), also known as Clive of India, was a British officer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. He is credited with securing India, and the wealth that followed, for the British crown. Together with Warren Hastings he was one of the key early figures in the creation of British India. He also sat as a Tory Member of Parliament as MP for Shrewsbury

Richard Cobden (1804 – 1865) was a British manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with John Bright in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League as well as with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty. He has been called “the greatest classical-liberal thinker on international affairs”

Alan Cobham (1894 – 1973) was a pioneer of long distance aviation. After the war he became a test pilot for the de Havilland aircraft company. In 1921 he made a 5,000 mile air tour of Europe, visiting 17 cities in 3 weeks. In 1928 he flew a Short Singapore flying boat around the continent of Africa landing only in British territory. In 1932 he started the National Aviation Day displays, known as “Cobham’s Flying Circus”

Thomas Cochrane (1775 – 1860) was a Scottish naval flag officer of the Royal Navy nicknamed ‘the sea wolf’ during the Napoleonic Wars. His life and exploits served as inspiration for the naval fiction of twentieth-century novelists C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey

Anthony Comstock (1844 – 1915) created the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1873, an institution dedicated to supervising the morality of the public. Later that year, Comstock successfully influenced the United States Congress to pass the Comstock Law, which made illegal the delivery or transportation of both “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” material as well as any methods of, or information pertaining to, birth control

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He is also known for popularising the mystery of the Mary Celeste. Doyle played for MCC and took just one first-class wicket, that of W. G. Grace

Charles Cornwallis (1738 – 1805) was a leading British general in the American War of Independence. His 1781 surrender to a combined American-French force at the Siege of Yorktown ended significant hostilities in North America, but is often incorrectly considered the end of the war; in fact, it continued for a further two years. In India, where he served two terms as governor general, he is remembered for promulgating the Permanent Settlement. As Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he argued for Catholic emancipation and oversaw the response to the 1798 Irish Rebellion and a French invasion of Ireland, and was instrumental in the Union of Great Britain and Ireland

John James Cowperthwaite (1915 – 2006) was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1961 to 1971. His introduction of free market economic policies are widely credited with turning postwar Hong Kong into a thriving global financial centre

Elizabeth Craig (1883 – 1980) was a British food writer, journalist, Home Economist and one of the most renowned British Celebrity chefs of the 20th century, whose career lasted over 50 years

Crazy Horse (c. 1840 – 1877) was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876. After surrendering to U.S. troops under General Crook in 1877, Crazy Horse was fatally wounded by a military guard while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska

David “Davy” Crockett (1786 – 1836) is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier”. In 1825, Crockett was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, most notably the Indian Removal Act. He served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the Battle of the Alamo

George Cruikshank (1792 – 1878) was a British caricaturist and book illustrator, praised as the ‘modern Hogarth’ during his life. Illustrated Oliver Twist. In the 1840s, Cruikshank's focus shifted from book illustration to an obsession with temperance and anti-smoking

Nicholas Culpeper (1610 – 1654) was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. His published books include The English Physician (1652) and the Complete Herbal (1653)

Mitzi Cunliffe (1918 – 2006) was an American sculptor. She was most famous for designing the golden trophy in the shape of a theatrical mask that would go on to represent the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and be presented as the BAFTA award

Merce Cunningham (1919 – 2009) was an American danger and choreographer who was at the forefront of the American modern dance for more than 50 years. He is also notable for his frequent collaborations with artists of other disciplines, including musicians John Cage and artist Robert Rauschenberg

George Curzon (1859 – 1925), 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, was a British Conservative statesman and hereditary peer who served as Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary. The Curzon Line was a demarcation line proposed in 1920 as a possible armistice line between Poland to the west and the Bolshevik Russian sphere of influence to the east during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919 to 1920

George Armstrong Custer (1839 – 1876) was a cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. He fought in the first major engagement of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run. Custer and all the men with him were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863 – 1938) was an Italian writer, poet, journalist, playwright and soldier during World War I. As part of an Italian nationalist reaction against the Paris Peace Conference, he set up the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume with himself as Duce

Bob Danvers-Walker (1906 – 1990) was an English radio and newsreel announcer best known for his broadcasts on Pathe News cinema newsreels during World War II. He was the announcer on Michael Miles's game show Take Your Pick (1955–1968) and its successor programme, Wheel of Fortune (1969–1971)

Erasmus Darwin (1731 – 1802) was a physician who turned down George III's invitation to be a physician to the King. He was also a natural philosopher, slave trade abolitionist, inventor and poet. His poems included much natural history, including a statement of evolution. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family, which includes his grandsons Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. Darwin was also a founding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham

Elizabeth David (1913 – 1992) was a pre-eminent British cookery writer of the mid 20th century. David is considered responsible for bringing French and Italian cooking into the British home

Peter Dawson (1882 – 1961) was an Australian bass-baritone and songwriter. Dawson gained worldwide renown through song recitals and many best-selling recordings of operatic arias, oratorio solos and rousing ballads during a career spanning almost 60 years

Jeanne Deckers (1933 – 1985) was a Belgian singer-songwriter and initially a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium (as Sister Luc Gabrielle). She acquired world fame in 1963 as Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile) when she scored a hit with her French-language song Dominique. She is credited on her records as “The Singing Nun”

John Dee (1527 – 1608) was a noted English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy

Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the ‘Father of Modern Philosophy’, and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is also apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system – allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations – was named after him

Richard Desmond (born 1951) is the owner of Express Newspapers and founder in 1974 of Northern & Shell, which publishes various celebrity magazines, such as OK! And New!, newspapers Daily Star and Daily Express. Northern & Shell also owns Channel 5. He also owns a television production company Portland TV which broadcasts Fantasy Channel and Red Hot TV and others

Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent person during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor of, and contributor to the Encyclopedie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert

Ramin Djawadi (born 1974) is an Iranian-German composer of orchestral music for film, television and video games. Djawadi is best known for his Grammy-nominated scores for Iron Man and Pacific Rim and for the TV series Prison Break, Game of Thrones and Person of Interest

John Donne (1572 – 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. In 1615 he became an Anglican priest and in 1621 Dean of St Paul's. The lines of his sermons influenced Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, which took its title from a passage in Meditation XVII, and Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island, which took its title from the same source

George Donner (1784 – 1847) was the leader of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound American settlers who became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847. Nearly half of the party starved to death, and some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism

James Douglas (1516 – 1581), 4th Earl of Morton was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He won the civil war which had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots. However, he was executed by means of the Maiden, a primitive guillotine, which he himself had introduced to Scotland during his time as regent

Mary Douglas (1921 – 2007) was a British social anthropologist, known for her writings on human culture and symbolism. Wrote Purity and Danger and Natural Symbols

Tommy Douglas (1904 – 1986) was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a prominent Canadian social democratic politician. As the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, he led the first socialist government in North America and introduced universal public healthcare to Canada. He was voted The Greatest Canadian of all time in a nationally televised contest organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2004

Frederick Douglass (c. 1818 – 1895) was an American social reformer. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. His 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave became influential in its support for abolition. Also wrote My Bondage and My Freedom. Published the anti-slavery newspaper North Star

Francis Drake (1540 – 1596) began his nautical career with his cousin John Hawkins, making a fortune by abducting West Africans and selling them as slaves. Became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, in 1580. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. During an expedition in 1596, Drake died of dysentery off the coast of Panama. Before dying, Drake asked to be dressed in his full armour. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin, near Portobello

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868 – 1963) was an American civil rights activist. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor at Atlanta University.  Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the NAACP in 1909. Wrote Black Reconstruction in America

Alain Ducasse (born 1956) operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester which holds three stars in the Michelin Guide. Ducasse was the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities

Andrea Dworkin (1946 – 2005) was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women. Dworkin wrote 10 books including in Pornography: Men Possessing Women and Intercourse

Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1937) was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, which she was awarded as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. In 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan attempted to fly round the world via the equator, but the Lockheed Electra plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island

Mohamed ElBaradei (born 1942) was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997 to 2009. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also an important figure in the 2011 Egyptian revolution which ousted the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

Desiderius Erasmus (1466 – 1536) of Rotterdam was a Dutch Renaissance humanist and a Catholic priest and theologian. Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. Wrote In Praise of Folly

Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. Chef at The Savoy. Escoffier published Le Guide Culinaire, which is still used as a major reference work

John Evelyn (1620 – 1706) was an English writer, gardener and diarist. Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time

Max Factor, Sr. (1872 – 1938) born Faktorowicz in Lodz, Poland (then Russian Empire), was a businessman and cosmetician who founded the Max Factor Cosmetics Company in 1909. He is known as the father of modern cosmetics. Procter & Gamble purchased the company in 1991

Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the 19th century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era

Harry Ferguson (1884 – 1960) was an Irish engineer and inventor who is noted for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, for becoming the first Irishman to build and fly his own airplane, and for developing the first four-wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99. Today his name lives on in the name of the Massey Ferguson company

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915 – 2011) was a British author, scholar and soldier who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during World War II. He was widely regarded as “Britain's greatest living travel writer” during his lifetime, based on books such as A Time of Gifts and The Broken Road

Lolo Ferrari (1963 – 2000), born Eve Valois, was a French dancer, sex star, pornographic actress, actress and singer billed as “the woman with the largest breasts in the world”. Appeared on Eurotrash on Channel 4. She had 22 breast enlargement operations

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804 – 1872) was a German philosopher and anthropologist best known for his book The Essence of Christianity, which provided a critique of Christianity which strongly influenced generations of later thinkers, including both Karl Marx and Frederich Engels. He was a member of the Young Hegelians (or Left Hegelians)

Jack Fingleton (1908 – 1981) was an Australian cricketer who was trained as a journalist and became a political and cricket commentator after the end of his playing career. He is regarded as one of Australia's finest cricket writers, with a perceptive and occasionally sardonic style, marked by persistent criticisms of Bradman

John “Jacky” Fisher (1841 – 1920) was Admiral of the Fleet. When appointed First Sea Lord in 1902 he removed 150 ships then on active service but which were no longer useful and set about constructing modern replacements, creating a modern fleet prepared to meet Germany during World War I. He supervised the construction of HMS Dreadnought in 1906, the first all big gun battleship, but he also believed that submarines would become increasingly important and urged their development. He introduced Destroyers as a class of ship intended for defence against attack from torpedo boats or submarines

Robert FitzRoy (1805 – 1865) was the captain of HMS Beagle, and inventor of weather forecasts which were first published in The Times. As Governor of New Zealand he tried to protect the Maori from illegal land sales claimed by British settlers

John Fowler (1817 – 1898) specialized in the construction of railways and railway infrastructure. In the 1850s and 1860s, he was engineer for the world's first underground railway, London's Metropolitan Railway, built by the ‘cut-and-cover’ method under city streets. In the 1880s, he was chief engineer for the Forth Railway Bridge, which opened in 1890

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) was US Ambassador to France from 1776 to 1785. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania. He proved that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm, with the electricity striking a key. He was chosen to represent Philadelphia at the Second Continental Congress, where, as one of the Founding Fathers, he co-drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, and later signed the Constitution

Alan Freed (1921 – 1065), also known as Moondog, was an American disc-jockey who became internationally known for promoting African-American rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s

Henry Frick (1849 – 1919) used low-cost labour and was once known by his critics as “America's most hated man”. Merged his company with Andrew Carnegie’s steel company. He later built the neoclassical Frick Mansion in New York and at his death donated his extensive collection of old master paintings and fine furniture to create the celebrated Frick Collection and art museum

Meyer Friedman (1910 – 2001) was an American cardiologist who developed, with colleague R.H. Rosenman, the theory that the “Type A” behavior of chronically angry and impatient people raises their risk of heart attacks

William Friese-Greene (1855 – 1921) was a British portrait photographer and prolific inventor. He is principally known as a pioneer in the field of motion pictures and is credited by some as the inventor of cinematography although his work post-dates that of Louis Le Prince

C. B. Fry (1872 – 1956) represented England at both cricket and football, made an FA Cup Final appearance for Southampton, and equaled the then world record for long jump. He also reputedly turned down the throne of Albania

Elizabeth Fry (1780 – 1845) was an English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the “angel of prisons”. Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane. Since 2001, she has been depicted on the Bank of England £5 note

William Fulbright (1905 – 1995) was a Southern Democrat and a staunch multilateralist who supported the creation of the United Nations. Fulbright opposed McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee and later became known for his opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. His efforts to establish an international exchange program eventually resulted in the creation of a fellowship program which bears his name, the Fulbright Program

Simon Fuller (born 1960) was known as the manager of the Spice Girls and S Club 7, as well as the creator of the Idol series, first seen as Pop Idol and over 50 other versions including American Idol and World Idol. Simon Fuller is also the creator and executive producer of the hit talent series So You Think You Can Dance. Fuller was Chief Executive of 19 Entertainment until 2010, when he started XIX Entertainment

Emile Galle (1846 – 1904) was a French artist who worked in glass, and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), full name Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was a proponent of non-violence (ahimsa). When asked his philosophy, he responded “my life is my message”. Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa. He led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930 and founded the Quit India Movement in 1942. Wrote An Autobiography, Or, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, in 1948

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 – 1882) was a central figure in the Italian Risorgimento. He has been called the “Hero of Two Worlds” because of his military enterprises which he conducted in both South America and Europe. He led the Expedition of the Thousand on behalf and with the consent of Victor Emmanuel II. The Garibaldi biscuit was named after him

David Garrick (1717 – 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. The Garrick Theatre on Charing Cross Road was named after him

Roland Garros (1888 – 1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter pilot during World War I. Garros was the first person to cross the Mediterranean Sea by air, in 1913. The stadium where the French Open tennis tournament is held is named after him

Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940) was the Jamaican founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He founded the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands. Died in London

Geronimo (Chiricahua: Goyaałé, “one who yawns”, 1829 – 1909) was a prominent Native American leader of the Apache who fought against Mexico and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. Surrendered to Texan authorities as a prisoner of war

Grinling Gibbons (1648 – 1721) was an English sculptor and wood carver known for his work in England, including St Paul's Cathedral, Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court Palace. He was born and educated in Holland

Humphrey Gilbert (1539 – 1583) was a half-brother of Walter Raleigh and was a pioneer of English colonization in North America and the Plantations of Ireland. Ship was the Squirrell

James Gillray (1756 – 1815) was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810. A number of his most trenchant satires are directed against George III. During the French Revolution, Gillray took a conservative stance; and he issued caricature after caricature ridiculing the French and Napoleon (usually using Jacobin), and glorifying John Bull

Thomas Blake Glover (1838 – 1911) was a Scottish merchant in Bakumatsu and Meiji period Japan. Glover was a key figure in the industrialization of Japan, helping to found the shipbuilding company, which was later to become the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) was a German writer and polymath. His magnum opus is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang and Romanticism. The author of the scientific text Theory of Colours, his influential ideas on plant and animal morphology and homology were extended and developed by 19th century naturalists including Charles Darwin. He also served at length as the Privy Councilor of the duchy of Weimar

Oleg Gordievsky (born 1938) was a Colonel of the KGB and bureau chief in London, who defected to the United Kingdom. He who was a secret agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1974 to 1985 and became the highest-ranking KGB defector ever

Charles Gordon (1833 – 1885) was known as ‘Chinese Gordon’, earning his nickname while successfully defending Shanghai during the Taiping Rebellion in 1862. He was sent to Khartoum in 1884 to oversee the withdrawal to Egypt of Anglo-Egyptian forces. He defended Khartoum for eight months before the city fell in 1885 and he was killed. At the news of his death public opinion turned against Gladstone and his government

Martha Graham (1894 – 1991) was an American dancer and choreographer regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance. Graham was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the highest civilian award of the USA: the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937) was an Italian philosopher, writer, politician and political theorist. A founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy, he was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. His writings are heavily concerned with the analysis of culture and political leadership and he is notable as a highly original thinker within the Marxist tradition. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society

John Graunt (1620 – 1674) is credited with producing the first life table, giving probabilities of survival to each age. His book Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality used analysis of the mortality rolls in early modern London as Charles II and other officials attempted to create a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plague in the city. Graunt's work in studying the rolls resulted in the first statistically based estimation of the population of London. Graunt is also considered as one of the first experts in epidemiology

Robert Graves (1895 – 1985) was the son of the Anglo-Irish writer Alfred Perceval Graves and Amalie von Ranke. His poems, together with his innovative interpretation of the Greek Myths, his memoir of the First World War, Goodbye To All That, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print. He wrote historical novels such as I, Claudius, The Golden Fleece and Count Belisarius. He was also a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts; his versions of The Twelve Caesars and The Golden Ass remain popular today

Euphemia (“Effie”) Chalmers Gray (1828 – 1897) was the wife of the critic John Ruskin, but eventually left her husband, and after the annulment of the marriage, married his protégé, the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais

Edward “Bear” Grylls (born 1974), a former member of the Special Air Service (SAS), made his name in 1998 by becoming, at the age of 23, the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest and return alive. He hosts the television programme Man vs. Wild. He is the son of the late Conservative party politician Sir Michael Grylls. In 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout

Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928 – 1967) was born in Rosario, Argentina. In 1948, Guevara entered the University of Buenos Aires to study medicine, but in 1951 he took a year off from studies to embark on a trip traversing South America by motorcycle with his friend Alberto Granado (subject of the film The Motorcycle Diaries). Later, in Mexico City, he met Raúl and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement, and sailed to Cuba aboard the yacht, Granma, with the intention of overthrowing U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime. He was executed in La Higuera, Bolivia, on the orders of President René Barrientos

Guido of Arezzo (991 – c. 1033) was a music theorist of the medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic notation; his text, the Micrologus, was the second-most-widely distributed treatise on music in the Middle Ages (after the writings of Boethius)

Sylvie Guillem (born 1965) was the top-ranking female dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet from 1984 to 1989, before becoming a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London. She was the youngest ever 'etoile', the highest-ranking female dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet. Nickname was “Mademoiselle Non!”

Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895 – 1956) was a German art dealer and art historian who traded in degenerate art during the Nazi era. His collection of 1406 works was confiscated in 2012 by Bavarian authorities from the apartment of his son, Cornelius Gurlitt

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912 – 1967) was an influential and prolific American folk musician noted for his identification with the common man, and for his abhorrence of fascism, politicians, hypocrisy and economic exploitation. He is best known for his song This Land Is Your Land. He traveled the USA by freight train in the depression. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar

Thomas Guy (1644 – 1724) was a bookseller who founded Guy’s Hospital in 1721 and built part of St. Thomas’s hospital in 1722. Ne made a fortune speculating in shares of the South Sea Company

Edward Marshall Hall (1858 – 1927) was an English barrister who had a formidable reputation as an orator. He successfully defended many people accused of notorious murders and became known as “The Great Defender”

Fannie Lou Hamer (1917 – 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Joan Hammond (1912 – 1996) was a New Zealand born Australian operatic soprano, singing coach and champion golfer. She made famous the aria O mio babbino caro from Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi

John Hancock (1737 – 1793) was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies before the American Revolution, having inherited a profitable shipping business from his uncle. Hancock began his political career in Boston as a protégé of Samuel Adams. As tensions between colonists and Great Britain increased in the 1760s, Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause. He became very popular in Massachusetts, especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, drawn so that King George III would be able to read the Hancock name; so much so that the term "John Hancock" has become, in the United States, a synonym for a signature

Eduard Hanslick (1825 – 1904) was a German Bohemian music critic. Hanslick is noted as one of the first widely influential music critic, and was an outspoken opponent of the music of Liszt and Wagner

Mata Hari (1876 – 1917) was the stage name of Margaretha Zelle, a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed by firing squad under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I

Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere (1868 – 1940) was a British newspaper proprietor, owner of Associated Newspapers Ltd. He is known in particular, with his brother Alfred Harmsworth, the later Viscount Northcliffe, for the development of the London Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. Rothermere served as President of the Air Council in the government of David Lloyd George for a time during World War I

Barbara Jane Harrison (1945 – 1968) is one of four women to have been directly awarded the George Cross for heroism, and the only one of the four not to have served with the Special Operations Executive in occupied France during Second World War. This also makes her the only woman to be directly awarded the medal for gallantry in peacetime. Her posthumous award was for the gallantry she showed as an air stewardess in helping passengers escape a burning BOAC Boeing 707 aircraft at Heathrow Airport

Joyce Hatto (1928 – 2006) became famous very late in life when unauthorized copies of commercial recordings made by other pianists were released under her name, earning her high praise from critics. The fraud did not come to light until a few months after her death

John Hawkins (1532 – 1595) rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. He later devised the naval blockade to intercept Spanish treasure ships. One of the foremost seamen of 16th century England, he was the chief architect of the Elizabethan navy. In the battle in which the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588, Hawkins served as a vice admiral and was knighted for his role

Will Hay (1888 – 1949) was an English comedian, who achieved fame through his theatrical sketch as a joke-schoolmaster, which he took on world tours. He moved on to films, some of them continuing the schoolmaster theme. Hay was also a keen amateur astronomer

Friedrich Hayek (1899 – 1992) was born in Vienna. Hayek's account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He believed that the markets should regulate themselves without government intervention

William Hazlitt (1778 – 1830) was an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, often esteemed the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson. His best-known work is The Spirit of the Age

Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. Known as Papa. After leaving high school he worked for a few months as a reporter for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to become an ambulance driver during World War I, which became the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. He worked as a foreign correspondent in Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway was married four times. In 1959 he bought a house in Ketchu, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961

John Herivel (1918 – 2011) is remembered chiefly for the discovery of what was soon dubbed the Herivel tip or Herivelismus. The ‘tip’ was an insight into the habits of German operators of the Enigma cipher machine that allowed Bletchley Park to easily deduce part of the daily key

Theodor Herzl (1860 – 1904) is considered to have been the father of modern political Zionism. Herzl formed the World Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish migration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state

Bill Hicks (1961 – 1994) was a seminal American stand-up comedian and social critic. His humour challenged mainstream beliefs, aiming to “enlighten people to think for themselves”. Hicks used a ribald approach to express his material, describing himself as “Chomsky with dick jokes”

Charles Hill, Lord Hill of Luton (1904 – 1989) was the BBC “Radio Doctor” in 1940s. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Independent Television Authority in 1963, and was appointed Chairman of the BBC Governors in 1967

Octavia Hill (1838 – 1912) was a social reformer, whose main concern was the welfare of the inhabitants of cities, especially London. Hill was a moving force behind the development of social housing. She was one of the three founders of the National Trust

Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) was born at the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary, the fourth child of six. His father, Alois Hitler, was a customs official. His mother, Klara Pölzl, was Alois' third wife. Hitler's father was an illegitimate child. For the first 39 years of his life he bore his mother's surname, Schicklgruber. Adolf Hitler was an admirer of Wagner's music and saw in his operas an embodiment of his own vision of the German nation. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna rejected him twice, in 1907 and 1908. He served as a dispatch runner on the Western Front in France and Belgium. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross, First Class, in 1918. On 1 April 1924, Hitler was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Landsberg Prison. While at Landsberg, Hitler dictated most of the first volume of Mein Kampf (My Struggle; originally entitled Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice) to his deputy, Rudolf Hess

Gerard Hoffnung (1925 – 1959) was born in Berlin. He published a series of books of cartoons poking gentle fun at conductors and orchestral instrumentalists. He created three Hoffnung Music Festivals held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. These featured contributions from distinguished ‘serious’ musicians

Raphael Holinshed (1529 – 1580) was an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894) was a physician by profession but achieved fame as a writer; he was one of the best regarded American poets of the 19th century. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series. His son (with the same name) was an American jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932

Bob Holness (1926 – 2012) was born in South Africa. From 1983 until 1994 he presented Blockbusters. In 1995, he hosted Yorkshire Television's game show flop Raise the Roof before becoming the chairman of a revived Call My Bluff for the BBC. He was the subject of an urban myth, that he played the saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street (The actual performer was Raphael Ravenscroft)

Matthew Hopkins (c. 1620 – 1647) was an English witch hunter whose career flourished in the time of the English Civil War. He held, or claimed to hold, the office of Witch-finder General, though this was not a title ever bestowed by Parliament, conducting witch-hunts in eastern counties of England

Ebenezer Howard (1850 – 1928) is known for his publication Garden Cities of To-morrow (1898), the description of a utopian city in which people live harmoniously together with nature. The publication resulted in the founding of the garden city movement, that realized several Garden Cities in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. Billerica Garden Suburb, Inc. (1914), was the first housing in the United States on the Howard plan

John Howard (1726 – 1790) was a philanthropist and the first English prison reformer. Published The State of the Prisons in 1777. The Howard League for Penal Reform, the oldest penal reform organisation in the world, is named after John Howard, having been founded in 1866 as the Howard Association

George Hudson (1800 – 1871) was a railway financier known as “the railway king”. MP for Sunderland. He was suddenly ruined by the disclosure of fraud in the Eastern Railway, along with the discovery of his bribery of MPs

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) openly declared Napoleon III a traitor to France. He relocated to Brussels, then Jersey, and finally settled with his family on Guernsey at Hauteville House, where he would live in exile until 1870. While in exile, Hugo published his famous political pamphlets against Napoleon III. He also composed or published some of his best work during his period in Guernsey, including Les Miserables

Barbara Woolworth Hutton was an American socialite dubbed by the media as the “Poor Little Rich Girl” because of her troubled life. She donated Winfield House (in Regent’s Park) to the United States government, to be used as the residence of the United States Ambassador in a symbolic $1 transaction following World War II. She was married seven times, and her third husband was Cary Grant. The married couple was dubbed “Cash and Cary”

Mo Ibrahim (born 1946) is a Sudanese mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire. He founded Celtel, which sold had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries. After selling Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion, he set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations' performance. In 2007 he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards a $5 million initial payment

Washington Irving (1783 – 1859) is best known for his short stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He wrote historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846

Walter Isaacson (born 1952) has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the Managing Editor of Time. He has written biographies of Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs

J. Bruce Ismay (1862 – 1937) served as managing director of the White Star Line of steamships. He traveled on (and survived) the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic

John Jay (1745 – 1829) was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, signer of the Treaty of Paris, the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789 – 1795), and the second Governor of New York State

Víctor Jara (1932 – 1973) was a distinguished theatre director, and devoted himself to the development of Chilean theatre. Simultaneously he developed in the field of music and played a pivotal role among neo-folkloric artists who established the New Chilean Song movement which led to a revolution in the popular music of his country under the Allende government. Shortly after the 1973 Chilean coup he was arrested, tortured and ultimately shot to death by machine gun fire

Gertrude Jekyll (1843 – 1932) was an influential British garden designer, writer, and artist. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and the USA and contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines

Hewlett Johnson (1874 – 1966) was Dean of Manchester and later Dean of Canterbury, where he acquired his nickname “The Red Dean of Canterbury” for his unyielding support for the Soviet Union and its allies

Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) is often referred to as Dr Johnson. Born in Lichfield. After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. Towards the end of his life, he produced Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. Johnson and James Boswell described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

John Luther “Casey” Jones (1863 – 1900) was an American railroad engineer who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. He alone was killed when his passenger train, the ‘Cannonball Express,’ collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi. His dramatic death while trying to stop his train and save lives, made him a hero

Benito Juárez (1806 – 1872) was a Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms between 1858 and 1872 as President of Mexico. For resisting the French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, as well as his efforts to modernize the country, Juárez is often regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader. He is the only full-blooded indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico

Henry Kaiser (1882 – 1967) was an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. He established the Kaiser Shipyard which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel. In 1931 his firm was one of the prime contractors in building the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, and the Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River

Fred Karno (1866 – 1941), the stage name of Frederick Westcott, was a theatre impresario of the British music hall. Karno is credited with inventing the custard-pie-in-the-face gag. Among the young comedians who worked for him were Charlie Chaplin and Arthur Jefferson, who would later adopt the name of Stan Laurel. These were part of what was known as “Fred Karno's Army”, a phrase still occasionally used to refer to a chaotic group or organisation

Elizabeth Kenny (1880 – 1952) was an unaccredited Australian nurse who promoted a controversial new approach to the treatment of poliomyelitis in the era before mass vaccination eradicated the disease in most countries. Her findings demonstrated the need to exercise muscles affected by polio instead of immobilizing them. Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy

William Kent (c. 1685 – 1748) introduced the Palladian style of architecture into England with the villa at Chiswick House, and originated the 'natural' style of gardening known as the English landscape garden at Chiswick, and Stowe House in Buckinghamshire

Alice Keppel (1868 – 1947) was the most famous mistress of Edward VII. Her daughter, Violet Trefusis, was the lover of poet Vita Sackville-West. She is the maternal great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Jack Ketch (died 1686) was an infamous English executioner employed by King Charles II. William Lord Russell and Duke of Monmouth were executed by Jack Ketch. Because of his botched executions, the name “Jack Ketch” is used as a proverbial name for death, Satan, and executioner

John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946) advocated the use of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. Keynes is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics, and the most influential economist of the 20th century. In 1925 Keynes married a Diaghilev ballerina, Lydia Lopokova

Omar Khayyam (1048 – 1131) was a Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer. He is best known for his poetry, and outside Iran, for the quatrains in Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, popularized through Edward Fitzgerald's re-created translation. His mathematical contributions include his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, which gives a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle

Charles Kingsford Smith (1897 – 1935) made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia in 1928. He also made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States

Sergei Kirov (1886 – 1934) was seen as a focal point of opposition to the more extreme policies of Joseph Stalin, and as a counterbalance to the increasing concentration of power in Stalin's hands. In 1934, Kirov was shot and killed. Blame for his assassination has been directly attributed to Stalin and its facilitation by the NKVD. Kirov's death served as a pretext for Stalin's escalation of repression against dissident elements of the Party, culminating in the Great Purge of the late 1930s in which many of the Old Bolsheviks were arrested, expelled from the Party, and executed

Joseph Kittinger (born 1928) participated in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior, in 1960 setting the record longest skydive, from a height greater than 31 kilometres. He was also the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon. In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39 kilometres freefall from Earth's stratosphere

John Knox (1514 – 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in Scotland. He exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer

Richard von Krafft-Ebbing (1840 – 1902) wrote Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), a notable series of case studies of the varieties of human sexual behaviour. The book remains well known for his coinage of the terms sadism (from Marquis de Sade whose fictional writings often include brutal sexual practices) and masochism (from writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose partly autobiographical novel Venus in Furs tells of the protagonist's desire to be whipped and enslaved by a beautiful woman). He was also the first to use the terms homosexual and heterosexual

Lafayette (1757 – 1834) was a French aristocrat and military officer born in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde Nationale during the French Revolution. In the American Revolution, Lafayette served in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He named his son in honour of George Washington

Rene Lalique (1860 – 1945) was a French glass designer known for his Art Nouveau creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewellery, chandeliers, clocks and automobile hood ornaments

Hedy Lamarr (1914 – 2000) was an Austrian and American inventor and film actress. During her film career, Lamarr co-invented the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications with composer George Antheil. This was used to control torpedoes in World War II, and has recently been incorporated into Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology

Mario Lanza (1921 – 1959) was an American tenor and Hollywood movie star of the late 1940s and 1950s. He was the son of Italian immigrants and began studying to be a professional singer at age 15. He played the role of Enrico Caruso, his tenor idol, in the biopic The Great Caruso

Estée Lauder (1906 – 2004) was the American co-founder, with her husband Joseph Lauder, of Estée Lauder Companies. Lauder was the only woman on TIME magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888 – 1935) was known as Lawrence of Arabia, for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross in 1922. He was soon exposed and, in 1923, was forced out of the RAF. He changed his name to Thomas Edward Shaw. TE Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham

Bernard Leach (1887 – 1979) is regarded as the ‘Father of British studio pottery’. Born in Hong Kong. Founded the Leach Pottery in St Ives with Shoji Hamada. Leach formally joined the Baha'í Faith in 1940

Alexander Lebedev (born 1959) owns part of airline Aeroflot, and is part owner of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and owner of four UK newspapers: the London Evening Standard, The Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the i newspaper

Brandon Lee (1965 – 1993) was an American actor and martial artist. He was the son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee. After a promising start in action movies and the signing of a multi-film contract with 20th Century Fox, Lee was accidentally shot and killed in North Carolina at the age of 28 while filming The Crow

Tom Lehrer (born 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s.In his song The Elements, he sets the names of the chemical elements to the tune of the Major-General's Song from Pirates of Penzance. Lehrer's earlier work typically dealt with non-topical subject matter and was noted for its black humour, seen in songs such as Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. He wrote for the U.S. version of the television show That Was The Week That Was

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870 – 1924) was a Russian revolutionary, a communist politician, the main leader of the October Revolution, the first head of Soviet Russia, and the primary theorist of the ideology that has come to be called Leninism, which is a variant of Marxism. He served as head of government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death. Under his administration, the Russian Empire was replaced by the Soviet Union; all wealth including land, industry and business was nationalized

Dan Leno (1860 – 1904) was a leading English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor during the late Victorian era. He was best known, aside from his music hall act, for his dame roles in the annual pantomimes that were popular at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from 1888 to 1904

Eric Liddell (1902 – 1945) was born in China, the second son of Scottish missionaries. Played seven rugby union internationals for Scotland. He was Olympic champion in 1924 in the 100 metres, a feat depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. Liddell returned to Northern China to serve as a missionary, like his parents, from 1925 to 1943

John Lilburne (1614 – 1657), also known as Freeborn John, was an English political agitator and Leveller before, during and after English Civil Wars. He coined the term ‘freeborn rights’, defining them as rights with which every human being is born, as opposed to rights bestowed by government or human law

Rush Limbaugh (born 1951) is an American radio talk show host, political commentator, and an opinion leader for American conservatives, particularly influential among Republican Party leaders

Thomas Lipton (1848 – 1931) was a Scotsman of Ulster-Scots parentage who was a self-made man, merchant, and yachtsman. He created the Lipton tea brand and was the most persistent challenger in the history of the America's Cup

Anne Lister (1791 – 1840) was a Yorkshire landowner, diarist and traveller who is often called ‘the first modern lesbian’ for her clear self-knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle.  Called ‘Fred’ by her lover and ‘Gentleman Jack’ by Halifax residents, she suffered from harassment for her sexuality, and recognized her similarity to the Ladies of Llangollen, whom she visited

Joan Littlewood (1914 – 2002) was a British theatre director, noted for her work in developing the left-wing Theatre Workshop. The works for which she is now best remembered are probably Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey (1958), which gained great critical acclaim, and the satirical musical Oh, What a Lovely War! (1963)

David Livingstone (1813 – 1873) was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. He was an anti-slavery crusader. Born in Blantyre. He met HM Stanley in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1871

Marie Lloyd (1870 – 1922) was an English music hall singer. She received both criticism and praise for her use of innuendo and double entendre during her performances, and enjoyed a long and prosperous career, during which she was affectionately called the "Queen of the Music Hall".

Toussaint Louverture (1743 – 1803) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. Born a slave in Saint-Domingue, in a long struggle for independence, he led enslaved Africans to victory over the whites, abolished slavery, and secured native control over the colony in 1797 while nominally governor of the colony

Frederick Lugard (1858 – 1945) was a British soldier, mercenary, explorer of Africa and colonial administrator, who was Governor of Hong Kong (1907 to 1912) and Governor-General of Nigeria (1914 to 1919)

Henry Simpson Lunn (1859 – 1939) was an English humanitarian and religious figure, and also founder of Lunn Poly. His son, Arnold Lunn, invented the slalom skiing race in 1922

Rosa Luxemburg (1871 – 1919) co-founded, with Karl Liebknecht, the anti-war Spartakusbund (Spartacist League) in 1915, after the Social Decocratic Party of Germany (SPD) supported German involvement in World War I. On 1 January 1919 the Spartacist League became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). In November 1918, during the German Revolution she founded the Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag), the central organ of the Spartacist movement

Joe McCarthy (1908 – 1957) served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, McCarthy's tactics and his inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate

Henry McCarty (c. 1859 – 1881) was better known as Billy the Kid, but also known by the aliases Henry Antrim and William Harrison Bonney. He was a 19th century American frontier outlaw and gunman who was a participant in the Lincoln County War. Killed by Pat Garrett

Malcolm McLean (1913 – 2001) developed the metal shipping container in 1956, which replaced the traditional break bulk method of handling dry goods and revolutionized the transport of goods and cargo worldwide. He later founded Sea-Land Service, Inc., one of the pioneers in the intermodal cargo transport business

Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980), born in Canada, is known for coining the expressions ‘the medium is the message’ and the ‘global village’. McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man is a pioneering study in the fields of oral culture, print culture, cultural studies, and media ecology

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay (1800 – 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer. He served on the Supreme Council of India between 1834 and 1838. He was instrumental in creating the foundations of bilingual colonial India He was Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841 and Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. A founder of modern political science, he was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. He was Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. "Machiavellianism" is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in The Prince

Cameron Mackintosh (born 1946) is a theatrical producer of shows such as Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Martin Guerre and Cats. Knighted in 1996

Alma Mahler (born Schindler; 1879 – 1964) was a Viennese-born socialite. She became the wife, successively, of composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and novelist Franz Werfel

Mai (c. 1751 – 1780), mistakenly known as Omai in Britain, became the first Pacific Islander to visit Europe. In 1773 he embarked from Huahine on the British ship HMS Adventure, commanded by Commander Tobias Furneaux, which had touched at Tahiti as part of James Cook's second voyage of discovery in the Pacific. Omai travelled to Europe on Adventure, arriving at London in 1774 where he was introduced into society by the naturalist Joseph Banks

Miriam Makeba (1932 – 2008) nicknamed ‘Mama Africa’, was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist. In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world. She is best known for the song Pata Pata. Makeba campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. The South African government responded by revoking her passport in 1960

Herbert Marcuse (1898 – 1979) was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Active in the United States after 1934, his concerns were the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and modern technology

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 – 1944) was a poet who produced a manifesto of the Futurists’ artistic philosophy in his Manifesto of Futurism (1909), first released in Milan and published in the French paper Le Figaro. Marinetti was one of the first affiliates of the Italian Fascist Party

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was born in Trier, Germany. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. He moved to London in May 1849 and remained there for the rest of his life. He briefly worked as correspondent for the New York Tribune in 1851. The grave of Marx in Highgate Cemetery is inscribed with his quote “The philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it”

Robert Maxwell (1923 – 1991) was born Jan Ludvic Hoch in Czechoslovakia. In 1964 he was elected to the House of Commons for the Labour Party, and was MP for Buckingham until he lost his seat in 1970. He then successively bought the British Printing Corporation, Mirror Group Newspapers and Macmillan, Inc, among other publishing companies. Maxwell is presumed to have fallen overboard to his death from his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, which was cruising off the Canary Islands

Henry Mayhew (1812 – 1887) was one of the two founders of the satirical and humorous magazine Punch in 1841, and the magazine's joint-editor, with Mark Lemon, in its early days. He is better known, however, for his work as a social researcher, publishing an extensive series of newspaper articles in the Morning Chronicle, later compiled into the book series London Labour and the London Poor (1851), a groundbreaking and influential survey of the poor of London

Catherine de' Medici (1519 – 1589), daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici, was a Franco/Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France

Cosimo de’ Medici (1389 – 1464) was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. His power over Florence stemmed from his wealth, which he used to control votes

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449 – 1492) was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent

Marie de' Medici (1575 – 1642) was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV, of the House of Bourbon. She herself was a member of the House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII, until he came of age

HL Mencken (1880 – 1956) was known as the ‘Sage of Baltimore’, and is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. Mencken is known for writing The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the ‘Monkey’ trial. He coined the term ‘bible belt’

Sergio Mendes (born 1941) is a Brazilian musician. He plays bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2012 as co-writer of the song Real in Rio from the animated film Rio

Gerardus Mercator (1512 – 1594) was a Flemish cartographer. He is remembered for the Mercator cylindrical projection world map. Mercator took the word atlas to describe a collection of maps, and encouraged Abraham Ortelius to compile the first modern world atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, in 1570. Mercator published his Atlas in 1585. In 1606 Dutch map maker Jodocus Hondius purchased the map copperplates from the Mercator family and reissued the Atlas adding new maps to the compilation

Ethel Merman (1908 – 1984) has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage.” Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are I Got Rhythm, Everything's Coming Up Roses, I Get a Kick Out of You, Anything Goes, and There's No Business Like Show Business, which later became her theme song

Philip Miller (1691 – 1771) was chief gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722. He wrote The Gardener's and Florists Dictionary or a Complete System of Horticulture. Miller was reluctant to use the new binomial nomenclature of Carolus Linnaeus

John Milton (1608 – 1674) was a poet and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.His political reputation got him appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues by the Council of State in 1649

Yukio Mishima (1925 – 1970) was a Japanese author, poet and playwright, also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku. He was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Deborah Mitford (1920 – 2014) married Andrew Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire and with him turned his ancestral home, Chatsworth House, into one of Britain's most successful stately homes

Diana Mitford (1910 – 2003) married aristocrat and writer Bryan Walter Guinness. Left him in the society scandal of the year for British Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. Was imprisoned in Holloway Prison during the Second World War. Never renounced her belief in fascism

Jessica Mitford (1917 – 1996) eloped with Esmond Romilly to the Spanish Civil War. Spent most of her adult life in the United States. Two years after Esmond was killed during military service she married Robert Treuhaft. Member of the American Communist Party (until 1958). Wrote several volumes of memoirs and several muckrakers, including the bestselling The American Way of Death (1963) about the funeral industry. Jessica Mitford was known as Decca, and the “red sheep”

Nancy Mitford (1904 – 1973) married Peter Rodd. Lived in France much of her adult life. Writer of many novels, including her most popular, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Also a noted biographer of historical figures, including the ‘Sun King’

Pamela Mitford (1907 – 1994) married and divorced the millionaire scientist Derek Jackson. John Betjeman, who for a time was in love with her, referred to her as the “Rural Mitford”

Thomas Mitford (1909 – 1945) was the brother of the six Mitford sisters. Died as a soldier in Burma

Unity Valkyrie Mitford (1914 – 1948) was famous for her adulation of and friendship with Adolf Hitler. Shot herself in the head when World War II broke out, but failed to kill herself and eventually died of pneumonococcal meningitis at West Highland Cottage Hospital, Oban

Helmuth von Moltke (1800 – 1891) was a German Field Marshal. The chief of staff of the Prussian Army for thirty years, he is regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter 19th century, and the creator of a new, more modern method of directing armies in the field. He is often referred to as Moltke the Elder to distinguish him from his nephew Helmuth von Moltke, who commanded the German Army at the outbreak of World War I

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718 – 1792) held various military and political offices, including Postmaster General, First Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary of State for the Northern Department, but is best known for inventing the sandwich

Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His massive volume Essais (translated literally as “Attempts”) contains some of the most widely influential essays ever written

Grace Moore (1898 – 1947) was an American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film. She was nicknamed the “Tennessee Nightingale.” Her films helped to popularize opera by bringing it to a larger audience

Harry “Breaker” Morant (1864 – 1902) was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, poet, soldier and convicted war criminal whose skill with horses earned him the nickname “The Breaker”. During service in the Second Boer War, Morant participated in the summary execution of several Boer (Afrikaner) prisoners and a German missionary, Daniel Heese, who had been a witness to the shootings. Breaker Morant is a 1980 film about the 1902 court martial of Breaker Morant, starring Edward Woodward

Henry Morgan (1635 – 1688) was born in Wales. He earned a reputation as one of the most notorious and successful privateers in history, and one of the most ruthless among those active along the Spanish Main. Attacked Portobello in Panama in 1671, and was knighted in 1674. Appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. The Captain Morgan brand of rum is named after Henry Morgan

Jane Morris (née Jane Burden, 1839 – 1914) was an English artists' model who embodied the Pre-Raphaelite ideal of beauty. She was a model and muse to the artists William Morris, whom she married, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Herbert Morrison (1905 – 1989) (1905-05-14)was an American radio reporter best known for his vivid description of the Hindenburg disaster, a catastrophic fire that destroyed the LZ 129 Hindenburg zeppelin on 6 May 1937

Oswald Mosley (1896 – 1980) was a Conservative then an Independent MP, before becoming a minister in MacDonald’s Labour government. He created then disbanded the New Party, and established the British Union of Fascists. Mosley and the Blackshirts led marches through London’s Jewish East End. Mosley married Diana Mitford in 1936 at Goebbels’ Berlin house in the presence of Hitler. He was interred in Holloway Prison from 1940 to 1943, then moved to France

Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882 – 1967) served as the Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953 when he was removed from power by a coup d'état. He was the architect of the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been under British control through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), today known as British Petroleum (BP)

Zero Mostel (1915 – 1977) was a Brooklyn-born stage and film actor best known for his portrayal of comic characters such as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Max Bialystock in The Producers. He had been blacklisted during the 1950s, and his testimony before HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) was well-publicized

John Muir (1838 – 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas

Elon Musk (born 1971) is best known for founding SpaceX, and co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (initially known as While at those companies, he oversaw the construction of the first electric car of the modern era, the Tesla Roadster, a private rocket and spaceship successor to the Space Shuttle known as Falcon 9/Dragon, and the Internet payment system PayPal. Born in Pretoria

Alessandra Mussolini (born 1962) is the granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, and previously an actress and model. She is the founder and former leader of the national conservative political party Social Action; from 2004 until 2008. Since 2013 she has been a member of the Italian Senate, elected for The People of Freedom which later became part of Forza Italia, and since 2014 a Member of the European Parliament for Forza Italia

Benito Mussolini (1883 – 1945) was leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 until his ousting in 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship. Known as Il Duce ("the leader"), Mussolini was one of the key figures in the creation of fascism. He fought in WW1. Formed the National Fascist Party in 1919 in Milan. Followers known as Blackshirts. Involved in the murder of Socialist politician Giacomo Matteotti in 1924. Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law, was Propoganda Minister, then Foreign Minister. Mussolini was arrested on the king’s orders in 1943, but was rescued by German troops. He agreed to set up a new regime, the Italian Social Republic. Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were seized by Partizans in April 1945, and executed in Mezzegra

Thomas Nast (1840 – 1902) was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist who is considered to be the “Father of the American Cartoon”. Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party. Contrary to popular belief, Nast did not create Uncle Sam (the male personification of the American people), Columbia (the female personification of American values), or the Democratic donkey, though he did popularize these symbols through his art

Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) was named “the lady with the lamp” in a poem by Longfellow. Born in Florence. She came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War. Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital. Diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the East by Florence Nightingale is a form of the pie chart now known as the polar area diagram, and is referred to as a rose diagram

Chuck Norris (born 1940) is an American martial artist and actor. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. He has written several books on Christianity and donated to a number of Republican candidates and causes

Joshua Abraham Norton (1818 – 1880), the self-proclaimed His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, who in 1859 proclaimed himself “Emperor of these United States” and subsequently “Protector of Mexico”

Nostradamus (1503 – 1566) was one of the world's most famous publishers of prophecies. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555, and is written in quatrains

André Le Nôtre (1613 – 1700) was a landscape architect and the gardener of King Louis XIV of France from 1645 to 1700. Most notably, he was responsible for the construction of the park of the Palace of Versailles

David Ogilvy (1911 – 1999) is widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising”. In 1962, Time called him “the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry.” Founder of Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency

John Oldcastle (died 1417) was an English Lollard leader. Being a friend of Henry V, he long escaped prosecution for heresy. When convicted, he escaped from the Tower of London and then led a rebellion against the King. Eventually, he was captured and executed in London. He formed the basis for William Shakespeare's character John Falstaff, who was originally called John Oldcastle

Daphne Oram (1925 – 2003) was a British composer and electronic musician. She was the creator of the ‘Oramics’ technique for creating electronic sounds

Robert Owen (1771 – 1858) was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. Owen purchased New Lanark mill in 1800. In 1824, Owen travelled to America to found a colony on the banks of Indiana's Wabash River, called New Harmony

Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.  Born in Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774. His principal contributions were the pamphlet Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America's independence from Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Paine was deeply involved in the early stages of the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics, in particular Edmund Burke. Despite not speaking French, he was elected to the French National Convention in 1792. He wrote The Age of Reason and Agrarian Justice

Jamie Palumbo (born 1963), Baron Palumbo of Southwark, is a British entrepreneur and member of the House of Lords. In 1991 he co-founded the Ministry of Sound, the London nightclub, which has since grown into a global music and entertainment business

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928) was one of the founders of the British suffragette movement. After her husband died in 1898, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), an all-women suffrage advocacy organization dedicated to “deeds, not words”. She died only weeks before the Conservative government's Representation of the People Act (1928) extended the vote to all women over 21 years of age. Daughters – Sylvia, Adela and Christabel

Charles Stewart Parnell (1846 – 1891) was an Irish Anglican landowner, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He was one of the most important figures in 19th century Ireland and Great Britain and described by Prime Minister William Gladstone as the most remarkable person he had ever met. Known as the “uncrowned King of Ireland”. Had an affair with Kitty O’Shea

Enver Pasha (1881 – 1922) was a Turkish military officer and a leader of the Young Turk revolution. He was the main leader of the Ottoman Empire in both Balkan Wars and World War I. He made the decision to enter the Ottoman Empire into World War I, on the side of Germany

Patrick Pearse (1879 – 1916) was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. He was declared ‘President of the Provisional Government’ of the Irish Republic in one of the bulletins issued by the Rising's leaders. Pearse proclaimed a Republic from the steps of the General Post Office

John Peel (1939 – 2004) was born in Liverpool. Went to Shrewsbury School, “Everything changed” when he heard Elvis singing Heartbreak Hotel. Joined Radio London in 1967, then Radio 1. Peel's Radio 1 shows were notable for the regular "Peel sessions", which usually consisted of four songs recorded by an artist live in the BBC's studios. Hosted Radio 4’s Home Truths. Died in Cusco, Peru

Oleg Penkovsky (1919 – 1963) was a colonel with Soviet military intelligence (GRU) in the late 1950s and early 1960s who passed important secrets to the west about the Soviet emplacement of missiles in Cuba. Executed by Soviet authorities

Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703) was the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy. Pepys stopped writing his diary as he thought his eyesight was failing. He was imprisoned for his suspected role in Popish Plot. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period

Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens in the city's Golden Age (specifically, between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars). Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the “Age of Pericles”. He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including the Parthenon)

Marius Petipa (1818 – 1910) was a French-Russian ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet who has ever lived. Ballet master of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres from 1871 until 1903

Petrarch (1304 – 1374) was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often called the “Father of Humanism”. He traveled widely in Europe and served as an ambassador and has been called ‘the first tourist’ because he traveled just for pleasure, which was the reason he climbed Mont Ventoux. His poems where inspired by a woman called Laura. Based on Petrarch's works, and to a lesser extent those of Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language. Petrarch is credited with perfecting the sonnet

Flinders Petrie (1853 – 1942) was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artifacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom. His most famous discovery was the Merneptah Stele

Arthur Phillip (1738 – 1814) was a British admiral and colonial administrator. Phillip was appointed Governor of New South Wales, the first European colony on the Australian continent, and was the founder of the city of Sydney

Wendell Phillips (1811 – 1884) was a Boston lawyer who supported women's, Native American's, and labor workers' rights, and most influentially, the abolitionist movement. So highly regarded were his oratorical abilities that he was known as "abolition's Golden Trumpet"

Frank Pick (1878 – 1941) steered the development of the London Underground's corporate identity by commissioning eye-catching commercial art, graphic design and modern architecture, establishing a highly recognizable brand, including the first versions of the roundel and typeface still used today

Augustus Pitt Rivers (1827 – 1900) was noted for innovations in archaeological methodology, and in the museum display of archaeological and ethnological collections. His collection of about 22,000 objects was the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. Throughout most of his life he used the surname Lane Fox

Pocahontas (c. 1595 – 1617) was a Virginia Indian chief's daughter notable for having assisted colonial settlers at Jamestown in present-day Virginia. She converted to Christianity and married the English settler John Rolfe. After they traveled to London, she became famous in the last year of her life. After her baptism, Pocahontas was given the English name Rebecca Rolfe. Her memory is honored in Gravesend with a life-size bronze statue

Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943) married Frederick Warne, who died, then married William Heelis. Beatrix Potter submitted a paper, On the Germination of the Spores of the Agaricineae, to the Linnean Society in 1897. There is also a collection of her fungus paintings at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Ezra Pound (1885 – 1972) was an American poet and critic who was a major figure of the Modernist movement. His significant contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a poetry movement which derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry to stress clarity, precision and economy of language. From 1912 to the mid-1920s, during the period he lived in London and Paris, he vigorously promoted the work of the best known modernist writers, such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. His later work, spanning nearly fifty years, centres on his epic poem The Cantos. Coined the name Vorticism

Alice Prin (1901 – 1953) was a French artists' model, nightclub singer, actress and painter. Her chosen name was simply Kiki, but she was also referred to as Queen of Montparnasse and Kiki de Montparnasse. She flourished in, and helped define, the 1920s liberated culture of Paris. She is the subject of some of the best-known images of Man Ray

Louis Le Prince (1841 – 1890) shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera. He has been heralded as the “Father of Cinematography” since 1930. Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short silent film directed by Louis Le Prince. It was recorded in Leeds at 12 frames per second. It is the oldest surviving film in existence. He disappeared on a train from Dijon to Paris in 1890 and was never seen again

Stamford Raffles (1781 – 1826) is best known for his founding of the city of Singapore in 1819. He was a founder (in 1825) and first president (elected in 1826) of the Zoological Society of London and the London Zoo. He was also heavily involved in the conquest of the Indonesian island of Java from Dutch and French military forces during the Napoleonic Wars

Aishwarya Rai (born 1973) won the Miss World contest in 1994. She is currently married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan. She has acted in nearly forty movies in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, and English, including the international movies, Bride & Prejudice (2003) and The Last Legion (2007) in English

Walter Raleigh (c. 1554 – 1618) was born in East Budleigh. Secretly married Bess Throckmorton. Became Governor of Jersey. Popularized tobacco in England. In 1594 Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado. After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I. In 1616 he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado. This was unsuccessful and men under his command ransacked a Spanish outpost. He returned to England, and to appease the Spanish was arrested and executed in 1618

Dieter Rams (born 1932) is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design

James Randi (born 1928) is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience

Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890 – 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called ‘rayographs’ in reference to himself

William Reich (1897 – 1957) was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry. He was the author of several notable books, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis. Reich argued that he had discovered a primordial cosmic energy. He called it ‘orgone’. In 1940, he built boxes called ‘orgone accumulators’ to concentrate atmospheric orgone

John Rennie (1761 – 1821) was a Scottish civil engineer who designed many bridges, canals, and docks. Chief engineer on the Bell Rock lighthouse. Designed the first Waterloo Bridge. His son, John Rennie the Younger, designed London Bridge, which was sold to Robert McCulloch and reconstructed at Lake Havasu City in Arizona

Humphry Repton (1752 – 1818) was the last great English landscape designer of the eighteenth century, often regarded as the successor to Capability Brown

Jose Rizal (1861 – 1896) was a Filipino nationalist, writer and revolutionary. He is widely considered the greatest national hero of the Philippines. He was executed by a squad of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army

Paul Robeson (1898 – 1976) was an African-American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement. At university, he was an outstanding American football player, then had an international career in singing, as well as acting in theatre and cinema. He became politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, Fascism, and social injustices. His advocacy of anti-imperialism, affiliation with Communism, and his criticism of the US government caused him to be blacklisted during McCarthyism

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878 – 1949) was an American tap dancer and actor, the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the twentieth century. he is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s, and for starring in the musical Stormy Weather

John D Rockefeller (1839 – 1937) revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company. He became first American worth more than a billion dollars

Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978) is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over more than four decades. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are Rosie the Riveter, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series

William Roy (1726 – 1790) applied new scientific discoveries and newly emerging technologies to the accurate geodetic mapping of Great Britain. It was Roy's advocacy and leadership that led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey in 1791

Rudolf (1858 – 1889) Archduke of Austria and Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, was the son and heir-apparent of Franz Joseph I and his wife and empress, Elisabeth. His death, apparently through suicide, along with that of his mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera, at his Mayerling hunting lodge in 1889 fueled international conspiracy rumours and ultimately may have sealed the long-term fate of the Habsburg monarchy

John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) lived at Brantwood, on Coniston Water. He wrote Modern Painters (1843), an extended essay in defence of the work of J. M. W. Turner. From the 1850s he championed the Pre-Raphaelites who were influenced by his ideas. Ruskin accused Whistler of "asking two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face". Whistler filed a libel suit against Ruskin. Whistler won the case, but the jury awarded damages of only one farthing to the artist

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed free trade and anti-imperialism. Russell went to prison for his pacifist activism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the United States of America's involvement in the Vietnam War, and finally became an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950 Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica

Frederick Rutland (1886 – 1949) became a spy for the Japanese, for twenty years helping to develop the aircraft carrier force that the Japanese Navy used so effectively in their attack against Pearl Harbour in 1941

Chris Ryan (born 1961) is the pseudonym of a former British Special Forces operative and soldier turned novelist Colin Armstrong. Ryan came to public prominence for being the only member of the eight-man SAS mission Bravo Two Zero to escape, during the First Gulf War, 1991

Vita Sackville-West (1892 – 1962) was an English author, poet and gardener. She was known for her exuberant aristocratic life, her passionate affair with the novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson, created at their estate

Marquis de Sade, Donatien Alphonse Francois (1740 – 1814) was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and in an insane asylum for about 32 years of his life. Many of his works were written in prison

Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 – 1825) was a French early socialist theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably Marxism, positivism and the discipline of sociology

Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) was an American sex educator, nurse, and birth control activist. In 1921 Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Girolamo Savonarola (1452 – 1498) was an Italian Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and hostility to the Renaissance. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Pope Alexander VI

Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965) received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene, now in Gabon, in 1913

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville (1817 – 1879) was a French printer and bookseller who lived in Paris. He invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph, which was patented in France in 1857

William Francis Forbes-Sempill (1893 – 1965) was a British air pioneer and traitor. He began as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Naval Air Service. He aided the Japanese in developing their naval aviation both in leading an official mission to Japan and later supplying them with military secrets. His activities were discovered but knowledge suppressed to conceal British success with intercepting Japanese communications and he was not forced to retire from a position in the Navy until 1941. He was known by the title Master of Sempill

Caterina Sforza 1463 – 1509) was an Italian noblewoman. Illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. She distinguished herself by her bold and impetuous actions taken to safeguard her possessions from possible usurpers, and to defend her dominions from attack

Cecil Sharp (1859 – 1924) was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) is the only person ever to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion, respectively. He was a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Concerned about the vagaries of English spelling, Shaw willed a portion of his wealth to fund the creation of a new phonemic alphabet for the English language

Thomas Sheraton (1751 – 1806) was a furniture designer, one of the ‘big three’ English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite. Starting in 1791 he published in four volumes The Cabinet Maker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book

Sherman Brothers were an American songwriting duo that specialized in musical films, made up of Robert B. Sherman (1925 – 2012) and Richard M. Sherman (born 1928). They wrote more motion-picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history. Film scores of the Sherman Brothers include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, Charlotte's Web and The Aristocats. They also wrote it's a small world (after all) then adapted to each Disney Park it's a small world attraction installation

Bugsy Siegel (1906 – 1947) was an American mobster with the Genovese crime family. He was also a driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip. Siegel was one of the founders and leaders of Murder, Incorporated and became a bootlegger during Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, he turned to gambling

Edith Sitwell (1887 – 1964), Osbert Sitwell (1892 – 1969), Sacheverell Sitwell (1897 – 1988) were three siblings from Scarborough, who formed an identifiable literary and artistic clique around themselves in London in the period roughly 1916 to 1930. This was marked by some well-publicised events, the most prominent of which was probably Edith's Facade with music by William Walton, with its public debut in 1923. The first Sitwell venture was the series of Wheels anthologies produced from 1916 Lived at Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire

Mary Slessor (1848 – 1915) was a Scottish missionary to Nigeria, spreading Christianity and promoting women's rights. Born in Aberdeen

William Slim (1891 – 1970) fought in both the First and Second World Wars and was wounded in action thrice. During World War II he led the 14th Army, the so-called “forgotten army” in the Burma campaign. From 1953 to 1959 he was Governor-General of Australia, regarded by many Australians as an authentic war hero who had fought with the Anzacs at Gallipoli

Joshua Slocum (1844 – 1909) was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world, in the Spray, 1895 (Boston) – 1898 (Newport, Rhode Island). Born in Nova Scotia. He wrote a book about his journey Sailing Alone Around the World

Lydia Sokolova (1896 – 1974) joined Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1913 to become the company's first English ballerina. She was the principal character dancer of the company until it disbanded in 1929. Sokolova's most famous role was that of the Chosen Maiden in The Rite of Spring

Karsten Solheim (1911 – 2000) was a Norwegian-born American golf club designer and businessman. He founded Karsten Manufacturing, a leading golf club maker better known by its brand name of PING, and the Solheim Cup

Richard Sorge (1895 – 1944) was a Soviet military intelligence officer, active before and during the Second World War, working under cover of a German journalist in both the Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. His codename was “Ramsay”. Sorge is most famous for his service in Japan in 1940 and 1941, when he provided information about Adolf Hitler's plan to attack the Soviet Union

Joanna Southcott (1750 – 1814) was a religious prophetess who left a sealed wooden box of prophecies, usually known as Joanna Southcott's Box, with the instruction that it be opened only at a time of national crisis, and then only in the presence of all twenty four bishops of the Church of England

Robert Southwell (1561 – 1595) was an English Roman Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order. He was also a poet and clandestine missionary in post-Reformation England. He was tried and convicted of high treason for his links to the Holy See. Father Southwell was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. In 1970, he was canonized by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Alexey Stakhanov (1906 – 1977) was a miner in the Soviet Union, Hero of Socialist Labor (1970), and a member of the Communist Party (1936). He became a celebrity in 1935 as part of a movement that was intended to increase worker productivity and demonstrate the superiority of the socialist economic system

Joseph Stalin, Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (1878 – 1953) was the leader and dictator of the Soviet Union from 1928 to his death. He was born in Gori, in present-day Georgia. Stalin held the title General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1953). Following the death of Vladimir Lenin, he prevailed over Leon Trotsky in a power struggle during the 1920s. In the 1930s, Stalin initiated the Great Purge, a campaign of political repression, persecution and mass slaughter. Stalin was known as “Uncle Joe”. Stalin was expelled from a theological college in 1899 for reactionary activities

Ilona Staller (born 1951), also known by her stage name Cicciolina, is a Hungarian-born Italian porn-star and occasional singer, turned politician and the first hardcore performer in the world to be elected to a democratic parliament. Married Jeff Koons in 1991

Henry Morton Stanley (1841 – 1904) was born in Denbigh. He was known by Africans as Bula Matari (‘breaker of rocks’) for showing them how to break up rocks in the construction of roads. He was working for the New York Herald when he travelled to Africa to find David Livingstone. In 1874, the New York Herald, in partnership with the Daily Telegraph, financed Stanley on another expedition to the African continent. One of his missions was to trace the course of the Congo River to the sea

Philippe Starck (born 1949) is a French designer, New Design style. His most recent notable designs include an optical mouse for Microsoft, yachts, and new packaging for a beer company. He was commissioned to design the Virgin Galactic spaceport in New Mexico

Freya Stark (1893 – 1993) was a British explorer and travel writer. She wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as several autobiographic works and essays. She was one of the first non-Arabians to travel through the southern Arabian Deserts

Ralph Steadman (born 1936) is a British cartoonist best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson. He has also illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and Animal Farm

Gloria Steinem (born 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. She was a founder of Ms. magazine

John Lloyd Stephens (1805 – 1852) was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America. He was also involved in the planning of the Panama railroad

Robert Stevenson (1772 – 1850) was a Scottish civil engineer and famed designer and builder of lighthouses. One of his finest achievements was the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Apprentice to Thomas Smith. Three of Stevenson’s sons became engineers: David, Alan, and Thomas. Grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson

Joseph Stiglitz (born 1943) is known for his critical view of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls “free market fundamentalists”) and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001. He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank

Robert Stigwood (born 1934) is an Australian impresario and entertainment entrepreneur who relocated to England in 1954. In the 1960s and 1970s he was one of the most successful figures in the entertainment world, through his management of music groups like Cream and The Bee Gees, theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar and film productions including Saturday Night Fever

Pyotr Stolypin (1862 – 1911) served as Prime Minister and the leader of the third Duma in Russia, from 1906 to 1911. His tenure was marked by efforts to counter revolutionary groups and by the implementation of noteworthy agrarian reforms. Stolypin's reforms aimed to stem peasant unrest by creating a class of market-oriented smallholding landowners

Lucy Stone (1818 – 1893) was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. She helped form the largest group of like-minded women's rights reformers, the politically-moderate American Woman Suffrage Association, which worked for decades at the state level in favor of women's right to vote. Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone have been called the 19th century ‘triumvirate’ of women's suffrage and feminism. Women who continue to use their birth name after marriage are still occasionally known as "Lucy Stoners" in the United States

Oliver Stone (born 1946) enlisted in the United States Army in 1967, requesting combat duty in Vietnam. He fought with the 25th Infantry Division, then with the First Cavalry, earning before he was discharged after a 15-month tour in 1968 a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster. He is known for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War

Strabo (c. 64 BC – C. 24 AD) was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher. Strabo is mostly famous for his 17-volume work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era

Lee Strasberg (1901 – 1982) became director of the non-profit Actors Studio, in New York City, considered the nation's most prestigious acting school, in 1951. He is considered the “father of method acting” in America

Benjamin Strong (1872 – 1928) served as Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for 14 years until his death in 1928. Strong exerted great influence over the policy and actions of the entire Federal Reserve System

William Stukeley (1687 – 1765) was an English antiquarian who pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury. Stukeley was also one of the first biographers of Isaac Newton

Antonio Jose de Sucre (1795–1830) was a Venezuelan independence leader. Sucre was one of Simon Bolivar's closest friends, generals and statesmen. A state of Venezuela and a city in Bolivia have been named after him

Algernon Swinburne (1837 – 1909) was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in every year from 1903 to 1907 and again in 1909

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (1754 – 1838) was a French diplomat. He worked successfully from the regime of Louis XVI, through the French Revolution and then under Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, Charles X, and Louis-Philippe. Known since the turn of the 19th century simply by the name Talleyrand, he is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and influential diplomats in European history, although some people believe he was a traitor

Henry Tate (1819 – 1899) was an English sugar merchant who created Henry Tate & Sons. In 1872, he purchased the patent for making sugar cubes, and in the same year built a new refinery in Liverpool. In 1889 he donated his collection of 65 contemporary paintings to the government, on the condition that they be displayed in a suitable gallery, toward the construction of which he also donated £80,000. The National Gallery of British Art, nowadays known as Tate Britain, was opened in 1897

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1915) was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management and was one of the first management consultants. Taylor was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in the Progressive Era

Tecumseh (1768 – 1813) was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy (known as Tecumseh's Confederacy) which opposed the United States during the War of 1812. Killed at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario. Union Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman was named after Tecumseh

'John Tenniel (1820 – 1914) drew many topical cartoons and caricatures for Punch in the late 19th century, but is best remembered today for his illustrations in Lewis Carroll's Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Norman Thelwell (1923 – 2004) was an English cartoonist well known for his humorous illustrations of ponies and horses. His first collection of cartoons, Angels on Horseback, was published in 1957. Girl was Penelope, pony was Kipper

William Thornton (1759 – 1828) was a British-American physician, inventor, painter and architect who designed the United States Capitol. He also served as the first Architect of the U.S. Capitol and first Superintendent of the United States Patent Office

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1933) was an American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass and is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements. Particularly known for lamps with glass shades

Thomas Tompion (1639 – 1713) was an English master clockmaker and watchmaker known today as the “father of English watchmaking”. He also made the sundials in Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Gardens

Wolfe Tone (1763 – 1798) was a leading figure in the United Irishmen Irish independence movement and is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism. He died from a wound that he received after being sentenced to death for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, thus avoiding being hanged as a convicted traitor to the British Crown

Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852 – 1917) founded the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1904 and was knighted, for his contributions to theatre, in 1909. His illegitimate children included film director Carol Reed. Oliver Reed was one of his grandchildren

Charles Trevelyan (1807 – 1886) was assistant secretary to HM Treasury from 1840 to 1859, during both the Irish famine and the Highland Potato Famine of 1846 to 1857. In Ireland he was responsible for administering famine relief. Trevelyan was Governor of Madras from 1859 to 1860. He was also a civil service reformer and is widely regarded as the founder of the modern British civil service

Sarah Trimmer (1741 – 1810) was a writer and critic of 18th century British children's literature, as well as an educational reformer. Her periodical, The Guardian of Education, helped to define the emerging genre by seriously reviewing children's literature for the first time. She founded several Sunday schools and charity schools in her parish

Leon Trotsky, Lev Davidovich Bronstein (1879 – 1940) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. Founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War. He was also a founding member of the Politburo. Following a power struggle with Joseph Stalin in the 1920s, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party and deported from the Soviet Union. He was eventually assassinated in Mexico by Ramón Mercader, a Soviet agent, with an ice axe. Trotsky was protected by Diego Rivera, and had an affair with Frida Kahlo. Trotsky was a war correspondent in Macedonia in 1912

Sophie Tucker (1887 – 1996) was a Russian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio personality. She was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century. She was widely known by the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas”

Frederic Tudor (1783 – 1864) was known as Boston's “Ice King”, and was the founder of the Tudor Ice Company. During the early 19th Century, he made a fortune shipping ice to the Caribbean, Europe, and India from sources of fresh water ice in New England

Madame Tussaud (1761 – 1850) was born Marie Grosholtz in Strasbourg. Tussaud was arrested during the Reign of Terror, and was then employed to make death masks of the victims of the time. In 1835, she established her first permanent exhibition in Baker Street, London

James Ussher (1581 – 1656) was Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He published a chronology that purported to time and date Creation to the night preceding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC

Karl Valentin (1882 – 1948) was a Bavarian comedian, cabaret performer, clown and film producer. He had significant influence on German Weimar culture. Valentin starred in many silent films in the 1920s, and was sometimes called the “Charlie Chaplin of Germany”

Eamon de Valera (1882 – 1975) was a leader of Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain, and the anti-Treaty opposition in the ensuing Irish Civil War (1922–23), in which he opposed Michael Collins, but was defeated. In 1926, he founded Fianna Fail, and became prime minister (1932–48, 1951–54, and 1957–58). His political creed evolved from militant republicanism to a social and cultural conservatism that reflected his pious Catholicism

Ninette de Valois (1898 – 2001) was an Irish-born British dancer, teacher, choreographer and director of classical ballet. Most notably, she danced professionally with Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, later establishing The Royal Ballet, one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century and one of the leading ballet companies in the world today. She also established the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School

John Vanbrugh (1664 – 1726) was an English architect and dramatist, the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. He wrote two argumentative and outspoken Restoration comedies, The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697). He was part of the scheme to overthrow James II, put William III on the throne and protect English parliamentary democracy, and he was imprisoned by the French in the Bastille as a political prisoner

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 – 1877) was an American entrepreneur of Dutch origin who built his wealth in shipping and railroads and was the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family. Vanderbilt University in Nashville is named in honour of Vandebilt, who provided the school its initial $1 million endowment

Mordechai Vanunu (born 1954), also known by his baptismal name John Crossman, is an Israeli former nuclear technician who revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently abducted in Rome by Israeli Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel, where he was tried in secret and convicted of treason. Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, and was released in 2004

Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) was an Italian painter, writer, historian and architect, who is today famous for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. In Florence, Vasari also built the long passage, now called Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi with the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the river via the Ponte Vecchio

Eugene Vidocq (1775 – 1857) was a French criminal who later became the first director of Surete Nationale and one of the first modern private investigators. Vidocq was Victor Hugo's inspiration for both reformed criminal Jean Valjean and his pursuer, police inspector Javert, in the novel Les Miserables. Vidocq is considered to be the father of modern criminology

Pancho Villa, born Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula (1878 – 1923) was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals. Villa and his supporters seized hacienda land for distribution to peasants and soldiers. He robbed and commandeered trains. After Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916, U.S. Army General John J. Pershing tried unsuccessfully to capture Villa

Vitruvius (c. 70 – c. 15 BC) was a Roman author, architect, and civil engineer, known for his multi-volume work entitled De Architectura. Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by Vitruvius

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (c. 1043 – 1099), nicknamed El Cid and El Campeador, was a Castilian military and political leader in medieval Spain. El Cid means ‘sir’ or ‘lord’, campeador means ‘champion’. His sword was called Tizona, and was used to fight the Moors. His warhorse was called Babieca

Murray Walker (born 1923) graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys. He went on to command a Sherman Tank and participate in the Battle of the Reichswald with the 4th Armoured Brigade. He then worked in advertising and is often wrongly attributed with having invented the slogan "A Mars a day helps you work rest and play”. Walker did, however, create the slogan "Trill makes budgies bounce with health" as well as the slogan "Opal Fruits, made to make your mouth water”. Walker made his first broadcast as a motorsport commentator at Shelsley Walsh hillclimb in 1948

Raoul Wallenberg (1912 – 1945) was a Swedish architect who is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian Fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory saving tens of thousands of lives. In 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army, Wallenberg was detained by Soviet authorities on suspicion of espionage and subsequently disappeared

Horatio Walpole (1717 – 1797), 4th Earl of Orford, was also known as Horace. He is largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors, and for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. Along with the book, his literary reputation rests on his Letters, which are of significant social and political interest. He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, and cousin of Lord Nelson. He called Mary Wollstonecraft “a hyena in petticoats”

Carl Walther (1858 – 1915) is a German arms manufacturer. For more than 100 years, Walther made major breakthroughs in the development of pistols. Some are legendary, like the PPK and the P99 – both pistols of choice for James Bond, and the P38, often used by Nazi movie villains

Booker T Washington (1856 – 1915) was the dominant figure in the African American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. He was representative of the last generation of black leaders born in slavery and spoke on behalf of blacks living in the South. In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited Washington to dine with him and his family at the White House; he was the first African American to be invited there

Mary Watts (1849 – 1938) was the wife of painter George Frederic Watts. Largely worked in the fields of Celtic and Art Nouveau bas-reliefs, pottery, metalwork and textiles. She co-founded the Compton Potters' Arts Guild and the Arts & Crafts Guild in Compton, Surrey

Beatrice Webb (1858 – 1943) co-founded the London School of Economics and Political Science along with her husband Sidney, and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society. She coined the term "collective bargaining”. Also co-founded the New Statesman

Josiah Wedgwood (1730 – 1795) is credited with the industrialisation of the manufacture of pottery. A prominent abolitionist, Wedgwood is remembered for his Am I Not a Man And a Brother? anti-slavery medallion. He was the grandfather of Charles Darwin and Emma Darwin. Josiah Wedgwood also invented the pyrometer – for this he was elected a member of the Royal Society. He was a major backer of the Trent and Mersey Canal

Rebecca West (1892 – 1983) was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of Yugoslavia. Anthony West is the son of H.G. Wells and Rebecca West, who had a ten-year affair

Mortimer Wheeler (1890 – 1976) and his wife Tessa performed many major excavations within Britain, including that of the Roman villa at Lydney Park, Roman Verulamium (modern-day St Albans), and the late Iron Age hill-fort of Maiden Castle, Dorset. They worked together on establishing an Archaeological Institute in London. After WWII he become Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India, exploring in detail the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization at Mohenjodaro

Jeffrey Wigand (born 1942) was vice president of research and development at Brown & Williamson in Louisville, Kentucky. He became known as a whistleblower when, on the CBS news program 60 Minutes, he exposed his company's practice of ‘impact boosting’ – intentionally manipulating the effect of nicotine in cigarettes. He was portrayed in the movie The Insider by Russell Crowe

Samuel Wilberforce (1805 – 1873) was a bishop of Oxford known as “Sopay Sam” who attempted to pour scorn on Charles Darwin's Origin of Species at a meeting of the British Association in Oxford in 1860, where he asked Thomas Henry Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey, receiving the answer that "[he] would not be ashamed to have a monkey for [his] ancestor, but [he] would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth”

William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) was born in Hull and is buried in Westminster Abbey. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for 26 years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807. His campaigning also led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) was born in Dublin. He made a complaint of criminal libel against the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Alfred Lord Douglas, known as ‘Bosie’. Oscar Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labour in 1895. When Oscar Wilde was released from prison in 1897, he went under the assumed name of Sebastian Melmoth. Upon his release he left immediately for France, and died in Paris. Oscar Wilde’s father was an eye surgeon

William of Wykeham (c. 1324 – 1404) was Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, founder of Winchester College, New College, Oxford, New College School, Oxford, and builder of a large part of Windsor Castle

Samuel Wilson (1766 – 1854) was a meat-packer in New York. He has a good claim to being the source of the personification of the United States known as “Uncle Sam”. Supplied meat for troops during the War of 1812

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717 – 1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist. He first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology

Orde Wingate (1903 – 1944) was a British Army officer and creator of special military units in Palestine in the 1930s and in World War II. He is most famous for his creation of the Chindits, airborne deep-penetration troops trained to work behind enemy lines in the Far East campaigns against the Japanese during World War II

Edward Winslow (1595 – 1655) was a Separatist who traveled on the Mayflower in 1620. He was one of several senior leaders on the ship and also later at Plymouth Colony. In Plymouth he served in a number of governmental positions such as assistant governor, three times was governor and also was the colony’s agent in London

John Winthrop (1587 – 1649) obtained a royal charter, along with other wealthy Puritans, from King Charles for the Massachusetts Bay Company and led a group of English Puritans to the New World in 1630. He was elected the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony the year before

Nicholas Winton (born 1909) organized the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Winton found homes for them and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. The UK press has dubbed him the ‘British Schindler’

Anna May Wong (1905 – 1961 was an American actress, the first Chinese American movie star, and the first Asian American to become an international star. Her long and varied career spanned both silent and sound film, television, stage, and radio

Donald Woods (1933 – 2001) was editor of the Daily Dispatch from 1965 to 1977. He befriended Steve Biko, leader of the anti-apartheid Black Consciousness Movement, and was banned by the government soon after Biko's death, which had been caused by serious head injuries, sustained while in police custody. Woods fled to London, where he continued to foster opposition to apartheid. In 1978, he became the first private citizen to address the United Nations Security Council

Leonard Woolley (1880 – 1960) was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia. Ur, in present-day Iraq, was the burial site of what may have been many Sumerian royals. Woolley discovered tombs of great material wealth

Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723) was an architect and scientist. Responsible for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, completed in 1711. He was a founder of the Royal Society, and president from 1680 to 1682. Wren performed the first successful injection of a substance into the bloodstream (of a dog)

Francis Xavier (1506 – 1562) was a 16th century Navarrese pioneering Roman Catholic Christian missionary and one of the original members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). The Roman Catholic Church considers him to have converted more people to Christianity than anyone since St. Paul. He spent three years as a missionary in Goa, where he was buried

“Weird Al” Yankovic (born 1959) is an American musician, satirist, parodist, accordionist, and television producer. Alfred Matthew Yankovic is known in particular for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, including Eat It. Plays the accordion

Emiliano Zapata Salazar (1879 – 1919), known as Zapata, was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, which broke out in 1910, and which was initially directed against the president Porfirio Díaz. He formed and commanded an important revolutionary force, the Liberation Army of the South, during the Mexican Revolution