Famous Austrian Intellectuals & Academics

A very famous Chinese proverb goes, “A nation's treasure is in its scholars." And rightly so! No matter how absurd or farfetched it might sound, there is little denying the power that erudite exert on a country's fate and fortune. The more scholars a country has, the more advanced it is likely to be. A country's intellectuals and academics are not only responsible for its path-breaking advances, but also inspiring generations, becoming the voice of its vox populi, and steering the country towards growth and expansion. Over the years, history has chronicled a gamut of famous intellectuals and academics who have inspired the world for better and for worse. They are a bunch of visionaries and innovators who defined the contours of humanity’s future and shaped the world with their intellect and wisdom. Let us explore the timelines, life stories and interesting trivia & facts related in the biographies of some of the greatest intellectuals & academics that Austria has ever produced.

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 Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
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Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: May 6, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian
Died: September 23, 1939

Regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Despite suffering criticism, psychoanalysis remains influential in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; such is the influence Freud has on humanities. Scholars believe that Freud is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and that his impact is comparable to that of Marxism and Darwinism.

 2 Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian, British
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

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 3 Friedrich von Hayek

Friedrich von Hayek
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: May 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian, German, British
Died: March 23, 1992

A winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Friedrich von Hayek, was an advocate of classical liberalism. The Austrian-British economist, who was also a political philosopher, co-founded the Mont Pelerin Society. He worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Chicago and the University of Freiburg and authored the popular book, The Road to Serfdom.

 4 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler
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Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

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 5 Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: September 2, 1997

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl founded logotherapy. He also authored several books, most notably his bestselling autobiographical depiction of his ordeal at various Nazi concentration camps, Man's Search for Meaning. He had lost his parents, brother, and wife in the Holocaust. He later won honors such as the Oskar Pfister Award.

 6 Joseph Schumpeter

Joseph Schumpeter
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: February 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian, Czech
Died: January 8, 1950
Business students remember Austrian economist and sociologist Joseph Schumpeter for his contribution to the concepts of entrepreneurship, creative destruction, and business cycles. An academic, who had also taught at Harvard, Schumpeter believed capitalism would someday automatically give way to socialism, a thought he expressed in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
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 7 Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises
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Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, Sociologist
Birthdate: September 29, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 10, 1973
A polyglot at age 12, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises grew up to acquire a doctorate in law and taught at the universities of New York and Vienna. Known for his works such as The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, he supported free-market liberalism and opposed socialism. 
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 8 Herbert von Karajan

Herbert von Karajan
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Famous As: Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: April 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 16, 1989

 9 Edmund Husserl

Edmund Husserl
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian, German
Died: April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.  

 10 Anna Freud

Anna Freud
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Famous As: Founder of psychoanalytic child psychology
Birthdate: December 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 9, 1982

Anna Freud was a British psychoanalyst. The daughter of Sigmund Freud, Anna followed in the footsteps of her father and made important contributions to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein and Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, Anna Freud is counted among the founders of psychoanalytic child psychology. Her work and contributions were featured in a documentary titled The Century of the Self.

 11 Martin Buber

Martin Buber
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 8, 1878
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian, Israeli
Died: June 13, 1965

Martin Buber was an Austrian and Israeli philosopher who received ten nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature and seven nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. Renowned for his philosophy of dialogue, Buber is best known for his famous essay, I and Thou. In 1951, he was honored by the University of Hamburg with the prestigious Goethe Award.

 12 Joy Adamson

Joy Adamson
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Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: January 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Austrian, Czech, British
Died: January 3, 1980

 13 Ivan Illich

Ivan Illich
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Famous As: Writer, Historian, Educationist, Philosopher, Literary critic, Anthropologist
Birthdate: September 4, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Austrian
Died: December 2, 2002

 14 Paul Feyerabend

Paul Feyerabend
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Famous As: Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: January 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Austrian
Died: February 11, 1994

 15 Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein
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Famous As: Psychanalyst
Birthdate: March 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian, British
Died: September 22, 1960

 16 Otto Rank

Otto Rank
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Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: April 22, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 31, 1939

 17 Hans Kelsen

Hans Kelsen
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Famous As: Lawyer, Judge, Philosopher, Educationist, University teacher
Birthdate: October 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Austrian, American
Died: April 19, 1973

 18 Otto Weininger

Otto Weininger
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, Psychologist
Birthdate: April 3, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 4, 1903

 19 Carl Menger

Carl Menger
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Famous As: Economist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 23, 1840
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Austrian, Polish
Died: February 26, 1921

 20 Ernst Gombrich

Ernst Gombrich
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Famous As: Art Historian
Birthdate: March 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian, British
Died: November 3, 2001

 21 Josef Breuer

Josef Breuer
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Famous As: Physician, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: January 15, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Austrian
Died: June 20, 1925

 22 Paul Watzlawick

Paul Watzlawick
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Famous As: Philosopher, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sociologist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Communication scholar
Birthdate: July 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Austrian, American
Died: March 31, 2007

 23 Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Nikolaus Harnoncourt
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Famous As: Conductor, Musician, Choir director, Viol player, Cellist, Writer, Composer
Birthdate: December 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: March 5, 2016

 24 Georg Luger

Georg Luger
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Famous As: Inventor, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 6, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Austrian
Died: December 22, 1923

 25 Valentin Inzko

Valentin Inzko
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Famous As: Linguist, Diplomat
Birthdate: May 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Austrian

 26 Christoph Schönborn

Christoph Schönborn
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Famous As: Catholic priest, Theologian, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: January 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian

 27 Ingeborg Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann
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Famous As: Poet, Writer, Journalist, Screenwriter, Philosopher, Essayist, Playwright
Birthdate: June 25, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 17, 1973

 28 Alfred Schutz

Alfred Schutz
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 13, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: May 20, 1959

 29 Otto Neurath

Otto Neurath
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Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, Sociologist, Graphic designer, Statistical graphics
Birthdate: December 10, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: December 22, 1945

 30 Karl Böhm

Karl Böhm
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Famous As: Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: August 28, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Austrian, German
Died: August 14, 1981

 31 Richard von Mises

Richard von Mises
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Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher, Engineer, University teacher
Birthdate: April 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 14, 1953

 32 Paul Felix Lazarsfeld

Paul Felix Lazarsfeld
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: February 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: August 30, 1976

 33 Jean Améry

Jean Améry
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Famous As: Writer, Philosopher
Birthdate: October 31, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 17, 1978

 34 Oskar Morgenstern

Oskar Morgenstern
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: January 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian, German, American
Died: July 26, 1977

 35 Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
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Famous As: Philosopher, University teacher, Journalist, Literary critic
Birthdate: July 31, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Austrian
Died: May 26, 1999

 36 Eric Wolf

Eric Wolf
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: February 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian, American
Died: March 6, 1999

 37 Alexius Meinong

Alexius Meinong
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 17, 1853
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Austrian
Died: November 27, 1920

 38 Rudolf Dreikurs

Rudolf Dreikurs
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: May 25, 1972

 39 Friedrich von Wieser

Friedrich von Wieser
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 10, 1851
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 22, 1926

 40 Otto Bauer

Otto Bauer
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 5, 1881
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 4, 1938

 41 Othmar Spann

Othmar Spann
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Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 8, 1950

 42 Eugen Ehrlich

Eugen Ehrlich
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: September 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Austrian, Ukrainian
Died: May 2, 1922

 43 Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: February 12, 1851
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: August 27, 1914

 44 Leopold Kohr

Leopold Kohr
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 5, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Austrian
Died: February 26, 1994

 45 Otto Of Freising

Otto Of Freising
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Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 1114 AD
Nationality: Austrian, German
Died: September 22, 1158

 46 Julius Pokorny

Julius Pokorny
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Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: June 12, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Austrian
Died: April 8, 1970

 47 Christian von Ehrenfels

Christian von Ehrenfels
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 20, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Austrian
Died: September 8, 1932

 48 Gottfried Haberler

Gottfried Haberler
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 20, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Austrian, American
Died: May 6, 1995

 49 Friedrich von Hügel

Friedrich von Hügel
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 5, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Austrian
Died: January 27, 1925

 50 Wilhelm Schmidt

Wilhelm Schmidt
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Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: February 16, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Austrian
Died: February 10, 1954