Famous 19th Century Educators

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Famous As: Confident, Ambitious
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

Booker T. Washington.
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.
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 3 John Dewey

John Dewey.
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

 4 Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule.
Famous As: Social Reformer, Poet
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.

 5 Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan.
Famous As: American Teacher, Instructor
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Feeding Hills
Died: October 20, 1936

 6 Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori.
Famous As: Physician and Educator
Birthdate: August 31, 1870
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle (Ancona), Italy
Died: May 6, 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 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt.
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: October 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 1962

Feminist and civil rights icon Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the longest-serving U.S First Lady. She was a prominent human rights activist, wrote columns, and hosted a radio show. She was named to Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century in 1999.

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 8 Friedrich Froebel

Friedrich Froebel
Famous As: Pedagogue
Birthdate: April 21, 1782
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oberweißbach, Germany
Died: June 21, 1852

 9 Joshua Chamberlain

Joshua Chamberlain.
Famous As: Educator & War Hero
Birthdate: September 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brewer
Died: February 24, 1914

 10 Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji.
Birthdate: September 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, British India
Died: June 30, 1917

 11 Apolinario Mabini

Apolinario Mabini
Famous As: Revolutionary leader
Birthdate: July 23, 1864
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Talaga, Philippines
Died: May 13, 1903

 12 Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
Famous As: Founder of Aligarh Muslim University
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.

 13 Emma Willard

Emma Willard
Famous As: American activist
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870

 14 Madan Mohan Malaviya

Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Famous As: Politician & Educationist
Birthdate: December 25, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Allahabad, India
Died: November 12, 1946

 15 Sister Nivedita

Sister Nivedita
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: October 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Died: October 13, 1911

 16 Pierre de Coubertin

Pierre de Coubertin.
Famous As: Father of the Modern Olympic Games
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. 

 17 Deborah Sampson

Deborah Sampson
Famous As: Military woman
Birthdate: December 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plympton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: April 29, 1827

 18 Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral.
Famous As: Chilean poet
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.

 19 Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Shadd
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: October 9, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Died: June 5, 1893

The first North American Black woman to publish a newspaper, USA-born Mary Ann Shadd was the founder of the Canadian newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. Concurrently serving as its anonymous editor and contributor, she also became one of the first women to pursue journalism in Canada. She was also one of the first Black women to earn a degree in law.

 20 Lillian Moller Gilbreth

Lillian Moller Gilbreth.
Famous As: Mother of Modern Management
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland
Died: January 2, 1972

 21 W. C. Handy

W. C. Handy
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 16, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Alabama, United States
Died: March 28, 1958

 22 Matthew Fontaine Maury

Matthew Fontaine Maury
Famous As: Astronomer
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.

 23 Allan Kardec

Allan Kardec
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: October 3, 1804
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 31, 1869

 24 Carl Czerny

Carl Czerny
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1791
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 15, 1857

 25 Richard Allen

Richard Allen
Famous As: Minister
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.

 26 Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 13, 1780
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hof, Germany
Died: March 24, 1849

 27 Ernest Renan

Ernest Renan
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 27, 1823
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tréguier, France
Died: October 2, 1892

 28 Dhondo Keshav Karve

Dhondo Keshav Karve.
Famous As: Social Reformer and Educator
Birthdate: April 18, 1858
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ratnagiri
Died: November 9, 1962

 29 Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 10, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 21, 1936

 30 A. V. Dicey

A. V. Dicey
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: February 4, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: April 7, 1922

 31 Adolphe Adam

Adolphe Adam
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 24, 1803
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 3, 1856

 32 Louise Michel

Louise Michel
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 29, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vroncourt-la-Côte, France
Died: January 9, 1905

A significant figure of the Paris Commune, Louise Michel was born as an illegitimate child of a maid. She had initially been trained to be a teacher but later began developing an interest in revolutionary socialist ideas. She was also once sent behind bars for inciting riots.

 33 Joseph Joachim

Joseph Joachim
Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: June 28, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kittsee, Austria
Died: August 15, 1907

Hungarian violinist and composer Joseph Joachim was trained in Budapest and London before he became the director of the Hochschule für Ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin. He formed the Joachim Quartet and gained fame as a music teacher. He is best known for his versions of works by legends such as Beethoven.

 34 Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: December 10, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: September 10, 1851

 35 Laura Bridgman

Laura Bridgman
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: December 21, 1829
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanover, New Hampshire,United States
Died: May 24, 1889

 36 William Holmes McGuffey

William Holmes McGuffey
Famous As: College professor
Birthdate: September 23, 1800
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Claysville, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 4, 1873

 37 Edmund Ignatius Rice

Edmund Ignatius Rice
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: June 1, 1762
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Died: August 29, 1844

 38 Henry Van Dyke

Henry Van Dyke.
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 10, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 10, 1933

 39 Thomas Arnold

Thomas Arnold
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: June 13, 1795
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Cowes, England
Died: June 12, 1842

 40 Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays

Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays
Birthdate: August 1, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Carolina
Died: March 28, 1984

 41 Catharine Beecher

Catharine Beecher
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: September 6, 1800
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Hampton, New York, United States
Died: May 12, 1878

 42 Nicholas Murray Butler

Nicholas Murray Butler.
Famous As: Philosopher, Educator
Birthdate: April 2, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Elizabeth
Died: December 7, 1947

 43 Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 27, 1777
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: June 15, 1844

 44 Gideon Blackburn

Gideon Blackburn
Famous As: Evangelist
Birthdate: August 27, 1772
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Augusta County, Virginia, United States
Died: August 23, 1838

Part of the second Great Awakening, Presbyterian clergyman Gideon Blackburn had been a missionary to Cherokee areas. Apart from establishing schools for Cherokee children, he had also introduced the communities to new farming methods. He later retired to Nashville, where he taught, and also founded the Blackburn Theological Seminary in Illinois.

 45 Franz Xaver Gruber

Franz Xaver Gruber
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: November 25, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hochburg-Ach, Austria
Died: June 7, 1863

 46 Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: February 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 12, 1937

 47 Abraham Flexner

Abraham Flexner.
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: November 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Louisville
Died: September 21, 1959

 48 Henry Liddell

Henry Liddell
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 6, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, United Kingdom
Died: January 18, 1898

 49 Alexander von Zemlinsky

Alexander von Zemlinsky
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: October 14, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 15, 1942

 50 Pauline Viardot

Pauline Viardot
Famous As: Soprano
Birthdate: July 18, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1910