Gilberto Freyre was a Brazilian anthropologist, sociologist, painter, writer, historian, and journalist. He is best remembered for his sociological treatise titled Casa-Grande & Senzala, which is translated as The Masters and the Slaves. This book caused a revolution in Brazil and helped create a modern Brazil.
Aécio Neves is a Brazilian economist turned politician. He is the former president of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and was the 17th governor of Minas Gerais. He is currently a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. He was born into a family of politicians and has been the subject of many controversies, including corruption charges.
Edir Macedo is a Brazilian evangelical bishop, writer, and billionaire businessman. He is the founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) and the co-owner of RecordTV, the third-largest TV network in Brazil. He began his career as a civil servant before moving to a religious career. He has been accused of racism and misogyny.
Wagner Lamounier is a Brazilian musician and economist. He is best known as the original vocalist of the popular heavy metal band Sepultura. He is also credited with creating and leading the band Sarcófago from 1985 to 2000. Sarcófago continues to be revered by death metal fans for having influenced the most extreme spectrum of heavy metal music worldwide.
Vilém Flusser was a Czech-born Brazilian philosopher and writer. Born into a family of Jewish intellectuals, he enrolled at the Juridical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. Most of his family was killed during the Holocaust. He survived and went on to pursue an academic career. He wrote many books, including the vastly popular Towards a Philosophy of Photography.
Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian theologian and philosopher writer. He was formerly a Catholic priest and actively supported Latin American liberation theology. As a young man, he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained a Catholic priest after a few years. He worked as an educator in the academic fields of theology, ethics, and philosophy for many years.
Carlos Chagas was a Brazilian sanitary physician and bacteriologist. Also a clinician and researcher, he discovered Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, in 1909. He was working at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Rio de Janeiro at that time. He was also the first to discover the parasitic fungal genus Pneumocystis. He founded a nursing school as well.
José Bonifácio de Andrada was a Brazilian statesman. He was also a naturalist, mineralist, and professor. He was a significant proponent of Brazilian independence and also spearheaded the abolition project in Brazil. He was of the opinion that a new national capital should be created in Brazil's underdeveloped interior. As a naturalist, he discovered four new minerals.
Euclides da Cunha was a Brazilian engineer and journalist. He attended Escola Militar da Praia Vermelha as a young man. He then studied civil engineering and began his career as a journalist. He was elected to the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters) in 1903. He was murdered by his wife’s affair partner in 1909.
Celso Furtado was a Brazilian economist counted amongst the most distinguished intellectuals during the 20th century. He focused on issues related to development and underdevelopment in peripheral countries throughout the world. Along with Raúl Prebisch, he is regarded as one of the main formulators of economic structuralism. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2004.
Gonçalves Dias was a Brazilian lawyer, poet, playwright, ethnographer, and linguist. A major figure of Brazilian Romanticism, he is credited with having composed Canção do exílio, often considered the best known poem of Brazilian literature. He was posthumously awarded the title of national poet of Brazil and is the patron of the 15th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Milton Santos was a Brazilian geographer and geography scholar. He is known for his pioneering works in numerous branches of geography, primarily urban development in developing countries. In his home country, he is revered as the father of critical geography. He was honored with the Vautrin Lud Prize, often regarded as geography's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Peter Wilhelm Lund was a Danish paleontologist, zoologist, and archeologist. He spent most of his life working in Brazil and is considered the father of Brazilian paleontology as well as archaeology. He became the first person to describe dozens of species of pre-historic Pleistocene megafauna and discovered the fossilized remains of human beings among the remains of long-extinct species.
Cláudio Villas-Boas was a Brazilian activist for indigenous peoples. Along with his brothers, Orlando and Leonardo, he succeeded in getting the entire upper Xingu—a massive indigenous area—legally protected. The brothers were considered pioneers in indigenous activism in many ways. Claudio and Orlando were jointly awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s gold medal in 1967.
Ruth Cardoso was a Brazilian anthropologist. She was a member of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters, and Human Sciences at the University of São Paulo (FFLCH-USP). She was married to politician Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who served as the 34th President of Brazil. With him, she co-founded the research institute Cebrap. She was also the author of several influential books.
Herbert Jose "Betinho" de Souza was a sociologist who actively fought against economic injustice and government corruption in Brazil. He launched the Movement for Ethics in Politics and founded the Brazilian Institute of Social Analysis and Economics (IBASE). The Betinho Prize is offered by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in his honor.
Roberto Campos was a Brazilian economist, writer, and diplomat. He studied philosophy and theology at a seminary in Belo Horizonte and entered the Brazilian Foreign Service. He served in numerous capacities as a diplomat, including Brazilian ambassador to the United Kingdom and the United States. He was also a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Caio Narcio was a Brazilian politician who served as a state representative from Minas Gerais from 2015 to 2019. The son of politicians, he was exposed to politics at an early age. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais before beginning his political career. Sadly, he died during the Covid-19 pandemic at the young age of 33.
Arolde de Oliveira was a Brazilian soldier, economist, and politician who served as the federal deputy for Rio de Janeiro for nine consecutive terms from 1986 to 2019. He was strongly opposed to same-sex marriages. He was chosen to be a federal senator in 2019. He died in the middle of his tenure during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
José Comblin was a theologian. He has a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Leuven. He worked as an advisor to the Young Catholic Workers and was a professor at the Dominican Theological School in São Paulo. He played a major role in the creation of rural seminaries in Pernambuco and Paraíba. He authored around 65 books.
Angela von Nowakonski was a Brazilian physician who worked as a professor at the Unicamp's Institute of Clinical Pathology. She played a major role in training the residents of Clinical Pathology and Infectology at the Clinical Pathology Division of Unicamp. Angela von Nowakonski died at the age of 67 after contracting COVID-19 in 2020.
Capistrano de Abreu was a Brazilian historian best remembered for his work Capítulos de História Colonial, which continues to serve as an important reference for those who study Brazilian history. As a historian, Capistrano de Abreu was well-known for investigating the sources rigorously to achieve utmost accuracy.
Carlos Lessa was a Brazilian economist and academician. He was born into a wealthy family and received his doctorate in human sciences from the University of Campinas. He had a brilliant academic career at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Rio Branco Institute. He also served as president of the Brazilian Development Bank.
Dinaldo Wanderley was a Brazilian lawyer, politician, and economist. He is best remembered for serving as the Mayor of Patos from 1997 to 2004. Dinaldo Wanderley is also known as the father of Dinaldinho, the current Mayor of Patos.
José de Oliveira Fernandes was a Brazilian economist, politician, and professor. He is best remembered for his service as the mayor of Manaus from 1979 to 1982. As a professor, Fernandes has taught at prestigious institutions like Federal University of Amazonas. He died at the age of 76 due to COVID-19.