Famous 19th Century Educators

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 1 
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
(2nd President of India (1962 – 1967), 1st Vice President of India (1952 - 1962))
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
76
Birthdate: September 5, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thiruttani, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: April 17, 1975

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the second President of India and served from 1962 to 1967. He is regarded as one of India’s most eminent scholars and wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion. Lifelong he defended Hindu traditions and culture against criticism from the West. September 5, his birthday, is observed as Teachers Day in India, in his honour.

 2 
Booker T. Washington
(American Educator Who was the Dominant Leader of the African-American Community Between 1890 and 1915)
Booker T. Washington
23
Birthdate: April 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westlake Corner, Virginia, United States
Died: November 14, 1915
Booker T. Washington was born into slavery but rose to be an advisor to many U.S. presidents and also became the director of the Tuskegee Institute. His Atlanta Compromise, initially accepted and later rejected by black leaders, urged the blacks to work for their freedom through education and not revolt.
 3 
Savitribai Phule
(Social Reformer, Poet)
Savitribai Phule
18
Birthdate: January 3, 1831
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naigaon, British India (now in Satara district, Maharashtra)
Died: March 10, 1887

Savitribai Phule was a revolutionary social reformer who dedicated her life to educate girls and bring about gender equality in the face of resistance from the conservative Indian society. Phule, who was illiterate till her marriage, went on to become a teacher, a feat considered first by an Indian woman. With her husband, she established schools for girls in Maharashtra.

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 4 
John Dewey
(Philosopher)
John Dewey
29
Birthdate: October 20, 1859
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Died: June 1, 1952

A staunch advocate of progressive education and liberalism, the American philosopher and psychologist was the founder of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. John Dewey’s famous writings included The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology and Human Nature and Conduct. According to him, passion for knowledge and intellectual curiosity were central to a teacher. He called himself a democratic socialist.

 5 
Anne Sullivan
(Educator)
Anne Sullivan
22
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agawam, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 20, 1936
 6 
Maria Montessori
(Italian Educator and Founder of the 'Montessori Method of Education')
Maria Montessori
20
Birthdate: August 1, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle, Italy
Died: April 30, 1952

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.

 7 
James Naismith
(The Inventor of the Game of 'Basketball')
James Naismith
8
Birthdate: November 6, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almonte, Mississippi Mills, Canada
Died: November 28, 1939
Canadian-American physician and coach James Naismith is considered as the inventor of basketball. He authored the first basksetball rule book and established the University of Kansas basketball team. He served as the Kansas Jayhawks athletic director and coach, and trained legends such as Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.
 8 
Margaret Sanger
(Birth Control Activist Who Opened the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States)
Margaret Sanger
11
Birthdate: September 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corning, New York, United States
Died: September 6, 1966

Margaret Sanger was an American writer and sex educator. She is credited with popularizing the term birth control. A birth control activist, Sanger established the first birth control clinic in America. She also set up organizations that later became the well-known non-profit organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also played a key role in legalizing contraception in the US.

 9 
Franz Liszt
(Composer, Pianist and Teacher of the Romantic Era)
Franz Liszt
10
Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raiding, Austria
Died: July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, conductor, arranger, music teacher, and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. Considered one of the greatest pianists ever, Liszt's works influenced his contemporaries and successors alike. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his work as a teacher, although his rich body of work might suggest otherwise; he taught people like Karl Klindworth among other pianists.

 10 
Arnold Schoenberg
(One of the Most Influential Composers of the 20th Century)
Arnold Schoenberg
8
Birthdate: September 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: July 13, 1951
Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg was part of the German Expressionist Movement and led the Second Viennese School. Being Jewish, he was banned by the Nazis and later became an American citizen. Known for his twelve-tone technique, he coined the term developing variation and formed motifs without a centralized melodic idea.
 11 
Joshua Chamberlain
(Educator & War Hero)
Joshua Chamberlain
5
Birthdate: September 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brewer
Died: February 24, 1914
 12 
Helen Keller
(American Author and First Deaf-Blind Person to Earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree)
Helen Keller
29
Birthdate: June 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died: June 1, 1968

A prolific author, having written 12 published books and several articles, Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, made Keller famous and was adapted for film and stage. She was also an activist and campaigned for women's suffrage, labour rights, socialism and other such causes.

 13 
Antonio Salieri
(Italian Classical Composer, Conductor, and Teacher)
Antonio Salieri
8
Birthdate: August 18, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Legnago, Italy
Died: May 7, 1825

Antonio Salieri was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher considered a key figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. He was a protégé of eminent composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. For several years, he served as the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court. His works were performed widely across Europe during his lifetime. 

 14 
Friedrich Froebel
(Pedagogue)
Friedrich Froebel
7
Birthdate: April 21, 1782
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oberweißbach, Germany
Died: June 21, 1852
 15 
Mary McLeod Bethune
(American Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the 'National Council of Negro Women')
Mary McLeod Bethune
5
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American civil rights activist, educator, womanist, humanitarian, and philanthropist. She is credited with founding the National Council of Negro Women. Bethune also played a key role in the creation of the Black Cabinet while serving as an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt. In 1973, Bethune was made an indutee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 16 
Ali Kemal
(Minister of the Interior of the Ottoman Empire in 1919)
Ali Kemal
8
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922

Ali Kemal was a Turkish journalist, poet, newspaper editor, government official, and liberal-leaning politician. He is best remembered for his brief service as the Minister of the Interior of the Ottoman Empire in 1919. During the Turkish War of Independence, Ali Kemal was assassinated by paramilitary officers.

 17 
Pierre de Coubertin
(Father of the Modern Olympic Games)
Pierre de Coubertin
6
Birthdate: January 1, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris
Died: September 2, 1937

Pierre de Coubertin was a French historian and educator. Credited with founding the International Olympic Committee, Coubertin is often referred to as the father of the modern Olympic Games. Also an important contributor to the sport of rugby union, Coubertin was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007. 

 18 
Adam Weishaupt
(German Philosopher and Founder of Enlightenment-Era Secret Society 'Illuminati')
Adam Weishaupt
7
Birthdate: February 6, 1748
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: November 18, 1830
On a night in 1776, deep within a forest near Ingolstadt, German law professor Adam Weishaupt and four others formed a secret society known as the Illuminati, which was supposed to be a parallel to religion. Since then, many conspiracy theories have held the society responsible for unexplained global events. 
 19 
Felix Frankfurter
(Judge)
Felix Frankfurter
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary small (now Austria)
Died: February 22, 1965
 20 
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
(Indian Islamic Reformer and Educationist Who Founded the ‘Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College’, the First Muslim University in Southern Asia)
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
7
Birthdate: October 17, 1817
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: March 27, 1898
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. He is accredited as the father of Two-Nation Theory and is regarded as the originator of Muslim nationalism in India. A proponent of freedom of speech and democratic ideals, he propelled social and educational reforms.
 21 
Edward Thorndike
(Psychologist)
Edward Thorndike
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Williamsburg, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 9, 1949
 22 
Anna Leonowens
(British Travel Writer, Educator, and Social Activist)
Anna Leonowens
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1834
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, India
Died: January 19, 1915

Indian-born British author Anna Leonowens is best remembered for her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which related her experience as a governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam were inspired by her life.

 23 
Jigoro Kano
(Japanese Educator, Athlete, and the Founder of Judo)
Jigoro Kano
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hyogo, Japan
Died: May 4, 1938

Legendary Japanese athlete Jigoro Kano is remembered as the founder of judo. A fine educator, he had also had a 23-year stint as the principal of 2 schools, which later became the University of Tsukuba. He was also the first Asian to be part of the International Olympic Committee.

 24 
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
(Educator & Social Reformer He is Considered the "Father of Bengali prose")
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1820
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birsingha, West Bengal, India
Died: July 29, 1891

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was an Indian social reformer and educator. He is best remembered for his efforts to modernize and simplify Bengali prose for which he is widely regarded as the father of Bengali prose. As a social reformer, Vidyasagar played a crucial role in enacting the Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, which legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows in India. 

 25 
Emma Willard
(American Women's Rights Activist)
Emma Willard
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870
 26 
Deborah Sampson
(Military woman)
Deborah Sampson
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plympton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: April 29, 1827
 27 
James Murray
(Lexicographer)
James Murray
12
Birthdate: February 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denholm, Scotland
Died: July 26, 1915

James Murray was a Scottish philologist and lexicographer. He is best remembered as the main editor of the famous Oxford English Dictionary from 1879 until his demise in 1915. Murray's contribution to the dictionary and his collaboration with lexicographical researcher William Chester Minor inspired the 2019 film The Professor and the Madman, where the former was portrayed by Mel Gibson.

 28 
Daniel Hale Williams
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 4, 1931

Daniel Hale Williams was a general surgeon known for performing the first documented, successful pericardium surgery in the US in 1893. Born to interracial parents, he faced numerous struggles in his journey to become a physician. He later founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States, Chicago's Provident Hospital. He also founded a nursing school for African Americans. 

 29 
Gabriela Mistral
(Chilean poet)
Gabriela Mistral
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vicuña, Chile
Died: January 10, 1957

Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and educator Lucila Godoy Alcayaga was better known by her pseudonym, Gabriela Mistral. The suicide of her first love inspired her poem Dolor. Her diplomatic assignments later took her to places such as Madrid and Lisbon. She is remembered for her emotional verses and her feminism.

 30 
Mary Harris Jones
(Irish-born American Schoolteacher and Activist)
Mary Harris Jones
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1830
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1930

After losing her husband and children in a yellow fever epidemic and her dress shop in the great Chicago fire, schoolteacher and dressmaker Mary Harris Jones became an activist, earning the nickname Mother Jones. A prominent unionist for coal miners and other workers, she also co-founded the Social Democratic Party.

 31 
César Franck
(Composer and Pianist Famous for His Works 'Symphonic Variations' and 'Symphony in D Minor')
César Franck
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1822
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium
Died: November 8, 1890

Cesar Franck was a Belgian-born French Romantic composer, organist, pianist, and music teacher. Franck, who worked in Paris, is credited with popularizing new instruments made by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll all over France. From 1858 until his death in 1890, Franck also served as an organist at the Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Paris. Franck also taught future composers like Vincent d'Indy.

 32 
W. C. Handy
(Composer)
W. C. Handy
6
Birthdate: November 16, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Alabama, United States
Died: March 28, 1958
 33 
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
(German Mathematician Who Founded the Theory of Elliptic Functions)
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: February 18, 1851

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to differential equations, dynamics, number theory, determinants, and elliptic functions. He is the first Jewish mathematician to work as a professor at a German university. Jacobi has a crater on the Moon named after him in recognition of his contribution to science.

 34 
Max Bruch
(German Romantic Composer, Conductor & Educator)
Max Bruch
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: October 2, 1920

Max Bruch composed his first song at 9 for his mother’s birthday and then earned a scholarship after creating a symphony at the tender age of 14. He worked extensively with the choral societies of Germany and is remembered for his iconic Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor.

 35 
Ottorino Respighi
(Composer)
Ottorino Respighi
4
Birthdate: June 9, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: April 18, 1936
 36 
Richard Allen
(American Clergyman Who was the First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Richard Allen
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1760
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 26, 1831

Born to slave parents, American clergyman Richard Allen became a Methodist convert at 22. He later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church and served as its first bishop. Apart from establishing the first church for Blacks in the U.S., he worked on various aspects to improve the lives of Blacks.

 37 
Katharine Drexel
(American Heiress, Philanthropist, Religious Sister, and Educator)
Katharine Drexel
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 3, 1955

Roman Catholic saint Katharine Drexel, the founder of Xavier University, was born to Philadelphia banker Francis Anthony Drexel and picked up he philanthropic habits from her father. In spite of inheriting a massive fortune, she devoted her life to building schools and churches for the racially underprivileged.

 38 
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: January 2, 1972
 39 
Matthew Fontaine Maury
(American Astronomer, Oceanographer, Meteorologist, Geologist and Naval Officer)
Matthew Fontaine Maury
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1806
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Died: February 1, 1873

American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.

 40 
Lafcadio Hearn
(Irish Writer, Translator, and Teacher Who Introduced the Culture and Literature of Japan to the West)
Lafcadio Hearn
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lefkada, Greece
Died: September 26, 1904

Lafcadio Hearn was a writer best remembered for writing about Japanese culture. His writings about Japan threw light on the previously unknown but fascinating culture of Japan. It also helped the Western world understand Japanese culture. Many of his stories have been adapted into films and theatrical productions.

 41 
Mykola Leontovych
(Legendary Ukrainian Composer Known for His A Cappella Choral Music)
Mykola Leontovych
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1877
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Monastyrysche, Ukraine
Died: January 23, 1921
 42 
Madan Mohan Malaviya
(Politician & Educationist)
Madan Mohan Malaviya
6
Birthdate: December 25, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Allahabad, India
Died: November 12, 1946

Madan Mohan Malaviya was an Indian educational reformer and politician. He is best remembered for playing an important role in India's freedom struggle. He served as the president of the Indian National Congress on three occasions and founded a political party named Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. He also co-founded Central Hindu College and worked towards promoting modern education in India.

 43 
William G. Morgan
(American Educator and Inventor of Volleyball)
William G. Morgan
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
Died: December 27, 1942
 44 
Laura Spelman Rockefeller
5
Birthdate: September 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wadsworth, Ohio, United States
Died: March 12, 1915
 45 
Maggie Lena Draper Walker
(Entrepreneur)
Maggie Lena Draper Walker
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1864
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Died: December 15, 1934
 46 
Paul Dukas
(French Composer Best Known for the Orchestral Piece 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice')
Paul Dukas
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 17, 1935

Best known for his masterpiece The Sorcerer's Apprentice, French composer Paul Dukas was admired by both conservative and progressive French musicians. Born to a pianist mother, Dukas had begun composing while recovering from an ailment at age 14. Shortly before his death, he destroyed most of his manuscripts.

 47 
Melvin Tolson
(Poet)
Melvin Tolson
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moberly, Missouri, United States
Died: August 29, 1966
 48 
Alexander Glazunov
(Composer)
Alexander Glazunov
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 21, 1936
 49 
Alain LeRoy Locke
(American Writer and Philosophe)
Alain LeRoy Locke
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 9, 1954
 50 
Reginald Johnston
(Commissioner of Weihaiwei (1927–1930) ,Former diplomat who served as the tutor and advisor to Puyi, the last Emperor of China)
Reginald Johnston
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: March 6, 1938