The first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton had also been a senior judge at the High Court of Australia. The federation movement leader was also a major force behind the drafting of the constitution of his country. After rejecting the knighthood thrice, he finally accepted the honor in 1902.
Canadian-American frontiersman, hardware store owner, sheriff, U.S. Marshal, horse breeder and hotel owner Seth Bullock is best known for building the Bullock Hotel, the oldest hotel in Deadwood. Bullock was appointed the first sheriff of the then lawless Dakota where he eventually emerged as a prominent figure civilizing the rowdy camp without killing anyone.
August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, painter, essayist, novelist, and poet. He wrote over 30 works of fiction and more than 60 plays in an illustrious career that spanned 40 years. Widely regarded as the father of modern Swedish literature, Strindberg is best remembered for his work The Red Room, which is considered the first modern Swedish novel.
Johns Hopkins Hospital co-founder William Osler was also an avid historian. He redefined medical education with his emphasis on clinical experience and his book The Principles and Practice of Medicine. Born to a missionary father in Canada, he was to follow in his father’s footsteps but decided to study medicine instead.
A laborer’s son, George Washington Williams had been a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, when he was barely 14. He had then been a Baptist minister, a politician, a lecturer, a lawyer, and a journalist, but is best remembered for being the first to write about Black history.
Felix Christian Klein was a German mathematician and educator remembered for his work on complex analysis, group theory, and non-Euclidean geometry. He is also popular for his work on the relationship between group theory and geometry. He is credited with teaching advanced courses to students like Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro, who went on to become a renowned mathematician in his own right.
Before he revolutionized 19th-century erotica as Paul Avril, Édouard-Henri Avril was a soldier. An injury sustained in the Franco-Prussian War cut short his military life, and he was pushed into Paris sex salons to study art. His most notable works, such as the illustrations for Fanny Hill, were largely banned.
August von Mackensen was a German field marshal during the First World War. He was considered one of the German Empire's most prominent military leaders. Following his retirement, he became a Prussian state councilor. He supported right-wing monarchists and nationalist groups. His attitude towards the Nazi regime was ambiguous. He died in 1945 at the age of 95.
Best known for his short poem Invictus, William Ernest Henley was a Victorian-era British poet and author. A disease he contracted in childhood caused one of his legs to be amputated. It is believed, he was the inspiration behind the crippled character Long John Silver in RL Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Apart from being a baseball player, A. G. Spalding was also sports goods manufacturer who co-owned A.G. Spalding and Brothers. Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he also penned the annual Spalding’s Official Baseball Guide and the history of baseball named America’s National Game.
One of the 10 children of legendary English author Charles Dickens, Henry Fielding Dickens was named after author Henry Fielding. A Cambridge alumnus, he had initially studied math. However, he later took up law and became a successful barrister. He had also been a Liberal Party member.
Born into nobility, Saionji Kinmochi came to prominence early in his life when he took part in the Meiji Restoration. He later entered politics and eventually rose to become the Prime Minister of Japan. During his reign, he tried to curtail military expenditure and keep the cabinet under party control. He wielded a moderating influence in Japanese politics even after retirement.
Michael Ancher was a Danish realist artist best remembered for his portrayal of fishermen, lakes, and scenes from the fishing community in Skagen. In 1889, he was honored with the prestigious Eckersberg Medal. Today, many of Michael Ancher's paintings are preserved at the National Gallery of Denmark, Skagens Museum, and Ribe Art Museum.
Edmund Gosse was an English author, poet, and critic. His book Father and Son inspired the popular TV play Where Adam Stood as well as Peter Carey's novel Oscar and Lucinda. Gosse also helped promote the works of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in England. He is also credited with helping James Joyce and W. B. Yeats establish themselves as writers.
Basil Zaharoff was a Greek industrialist and arms dealer. Dubbed the mystery man of Europe and merchant of death, Zaharoff is remembered as a cunning and manipulative businessman who employed corrupt business tactics during the First World War. Interestingly, he was also a philanthropist, and his life inspired several fictional characters, including Ian Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
German author and philosopher Paul Rée, whose writings influenced much of his friend Friedrich Nietzsche’s works, was born to affluent Jewish parents. While he initially studied philosophy and law, Rée later became a physician. He died while hiking on the Swiss Alps, though some feel he had committed suicide.
Friedrich von Bernhardi was a Prussian general and author. A best-selling author prior to the First World War, Bernhardi is best remembered for his book. Germany and the Next War. A militarist, Bernhardi proposed that Germany should ignore treaties. As a general, he played an important role during World War I where he had success in the Eastern Front.
Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime was the Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne under the moniker Alfonso Carlos I. A popular military leader, Alfonso fought against the Italian Army and defended Rome in 1870. He also played an important role during the Third Carlist War from 1872 to 1874.
John Ambrose Fleming was an English electrical engineer and physicist. He is known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube and designing the radio transmitter with which the first transatlantic radio transmission was made. Along with Douglas Dewar and Bernard Acworth, he helped establish the Evolution Protest Movement. Fleming was also a noted photographer and artist.
Swiss physicist Alfred Kleiner is best remembered for his studies on statistical physics. A physics professor at the University of Zurich, he was later also associated with ETH Zurich. He also became the doctoral thesis supervisor of Albert Einstein after Einstein had major differences with his previous advisor, Heinrich F. Weber.
Hungarian physician and author Max Nordau was the son of a rabbi. After practicing medicine in Budapest for a while, he went to Paris and began writing for Neue Freie Presse. A major figure behind the Zionist Organization, he penned The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization, which was banned in several countries.