The United States is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world; from the time it emerged as an independent nation, the United States has encouraged science and innovation. In fact, two of America’s founding fathers—Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson—were reputed scientists. Most scientists of the late 18th century, including Franklin and Jefferson were involved in the struggle to win American independence during the American Revolution and later engaged in nation building. The 19th century America saw the birth of great inventors like Robert Fulton, Samuel Morse, Eli Whitney, Cyrus McCormick, and Thomas Alva Edison, whose works in diverse fields contributed immensely to the nation’s growth and development. One of the biggest innovations by 19th century Americans was undoubtedly the designing and building of the world's first successful airplane by brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright. In the 20th century, Americans like Herman Hollerith and Robert Goddard made pioneering advances in telecommunications and space technology. American scientists have dominated the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine since World War II. The nation is also home to some of the most prominent scientists alive today. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous American scientists.
Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein
14 March 1879
Physicist
Nikola TeslaNikola Tesla
10 July 1856
Inventor, Father of Radio

Katherine JohnsonKatherine Johnson
26 August 1918
Mathematician

Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden
21 June 1983
Computer Professional, Former CIA Employee

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin
17 January 1706
Founding Father of the United States

J. Robert OppenheimerJ. Robert Oppenheimer
22 April 1904
 
Larry PageLarry Page
26 March 1973
Co-founder of Google

Sergey BrinSergey Brin
21 August 1973
Computer scientist

Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov
02 January 1920
Writer, Professor
George Washington CarverGeorge Washington Carver
01 January 1864
Scientist & Inventor

Neil deGrasse TysonNeil deGrasse Tyson
05 October 1958
Astrophysicist
John Forbes Nash Jr.John Forbes Nash Jr.
13 June 1928
Mathematician

Carl SaganCarl Sagan
09 November 1934
Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Writer

Richard FeynmanRichard Feynman
11 May 1918
Physicist

John von NeumannJohn von Neumann
28 December 1903
Mathematician

Sally RideSally Ride
26 May 1951
Physicist, Astronaut
Grace HopperGrace Hopper
09 December 1906
Computer Scientist

Dian FosseyDian Fossey
16 January 1932
Zoologist, Conservationist

Gabe NewellGabe Newell
03 November 1962
Entrepreneur

Terence TaoTerence Tao
17 July 1975
Mathematician
Jonas SalkJonas Salk
28 October 1914
Medical researcher

Linus PaulingLinus Pauling
28 February 1901
Chemist, Biochemist
James WatsonJames Watson
06 April 1928
Molecular Biologist

Josef Allen HynekJ. Allen Hynek
01 May 1910
Astronomer, Ufologist

Enrico FermiEnrico Fermi
29 September 1901
Nobel Laureate in Physics
Benjamin BannekerBenjamin Banneker
09 November 1731
Compiler of Almanacs

Tom LehrerTom Lehrer
09 April 1928
American musician
Norman BorlaugNorman Borlaug
25 March 1914
Father of the Green Revolution

Rachel CarsonRachel Carson
27 May 1907
Marine biologist

Kurt GödelKurt Gödel
28 April 1906
Mathematician, Philosopher
Jared DiamondJared Diamond
10 September 1937
Scientist & Author

Continue Reading Below
Zbigniew BrzezinskiZbigniew Brzezinski
28 March 1928
Former Diplomat, Political Scientist
Ken ThompsonKen Thompson
04 February 1943
Computer Scientist

Stephen Jay GouldStephen Jay Gould
10 September 1941
 

Edward TellerEdward Teller
15 January 1908
 

Vannevar BushVannevar Bush
11 March 1890
Engineer
Alfred KinseyAlfred Kinsey
23 June 1894
Sexologist
Lewis Howard LatimerLewis Howard Latimer
04 September 1848
Inventor

John James AudubonJohn James Audubon
26 April 1785
Naturalist, Painter, Ornithologist

Robert H. GoddardRobert H. Goddard
05 October 1882
Physicist

Kip ThorneKip Thorne
01 June 1940
Physicist
Har Gobind KhoranaHar Gobind Khorana
09 January 1922
 

Samuel ColtSamuel Colt
19 July 1814
Inventor

Robert BallardRobert Ballard
30 June 1942
Deep Sea Explorer

John BardeenJohn Bardeen
23 May 1908
Nobel Laureate in Physics

Charles Sanders PeirceCharles Sanders Peirce
10 September 1839
Scientist, Philosopher
Thomas KuhnThomas Kuhn
18 July 1922
Physicist

E. O. WilsonE. O. Wilson
10 June 1929
Biologist
William ShockleyWilliam Shockley
13 February 1910
Physicist

Alfred North WhiteheadAlfred North Whitehead
15 February 1861
Mathematician, Philosopher

Percy Lavon JulianPercy Lavon Julian
11 April 1899
Chemist
Arthur D. LevinsonArthur D. Levinson
31 March 1950
Microbiologist

Alan KayAlan Kay
17 May 1940
Computer Scientist
Norbert WienerNorbert Wiener
26 November 1894
Father of Cybernetics

Lynn MargulisLynn Margulis
05 March 1938
Author

Barbara McClintockBarbara McClintock
16 June 1902
Scientist

John Archibald WheelerJohn Archibald Wheeler
09 July 1911
Physicist

Manjul BhargavaManjul Bhargava
08 August 1974
Mathematician
James Harris SimonsJames Harris Simons
1938 AD
Mathematicians & Hedge Fund Manager

Murray Gell-MannMurray Gell-Mann
15 September 1929
Physicist

Steven ChuSteven Chu
28 February 1948
Former United States Secretary of Energy

Glen T. SeaborgGlenn T. Seaborg
19 April 1912
Chemist
Aldo LeopoldAldo Leopold
11 January 1887
 

David BohmDavid Bohm
20 December 1917
Scientist
Judea PearlJudea Pearl
04 September 1936
Computer Scientist

Steven WeinbergSteven Weinberg
03 May 1933
 

Eugene Paul Eugene Wigner
17 November 1902
Physicist & Mathematician
Peggy WhitsonPeggy Whitson
09 February 1960
Astronaut, Biochemist

Erwin ChargaffErwin Chargaff
11 August 1905
Biochemist
Hans BetheHans Bethe
02 July 1906
Physicist

Stephanie KwolekStephanie Kwolek
31 July 1923
Chemist

Luis Walter AlvarezLuis Walter Alvarez
13 June 1911
Physicist
Tommy RettigTommy Rettig
10 December 1941
Child Actor

Thomas Hunt MorganThomas Hunt Morgan
25 September 1866
Geneticist
Henrietta Swan LeavittHenrietta Swan Leavitt
04 July 1868
Astronomer

Robert Andrews MillikanRobert Andrews Millikan
22 March 1868
Physicist

Albert Abraham MichelsonAlbert A. Michelson
19 December 1852
Physicist

Louis AgassizLouis Agassiz
28 May 1807
Geologist
John Wesely PowellJohn Wesley Powell
24 March 1834
Explorer, Geologist
Radia PerlmanRadia Perlman
18 December 1951
Computer Network Engineer

Karl LandsteinerKarl Landsteiner
14 June 1868
Physician

Ernest Everett JustErnest Everett Just
14 August 1883
Biologist

Harold E. VarmusHarold E. Varmus
18 December 1939
Physician
Ernst MayrErnst Mayr
05 July 1904
Biologist

Elizabeth BlackburnElizabeth Blackburn
26 November 1948
American-Australian researcher

Gertrude B. ElionGertrude B. Elion
23 January 1918
Biochemist, Pharmacologist

Walter Houser BrattainWalter Houser Brattain
10 February 1902
Physicist

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland
14 November 1863
Chemist & Inventor
David BaltimoreDavid Baltimore
07 March 1938
Virologist

Ernest LawrenceErnest Lawrence
08 August 1901
Physicist
Venkatraman RamakrishnanVenkatraman Ramakrishnan
1952 AD
Structural biologist

Joseph HenryJoseph Henry
17 December 1797
Scientist
Julian SchwingerJulian Schwinger
12 February 1918
Physicist
Charles Hard TownesCharles H. Townes
28 July 1915
Physicist