Famous British 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 John McAfee

John McAfee
4
Famous As: Computer Programmer
Birthdate: September 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: June 23, 2021

John McAfee is an English-American businessman and computer programmer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular software companies of all time, McAfee Associates, which specializes in producing enterprise security software. After leaving the company, which is now owned by TPG Capital and Intel, John McAfee went on to found other companies like Tribal Voice and Future Tense Central.

 2 Emma Walton Hamilton

Emma Walton Hamilton
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Being the daughter of actor-singer Julie Andrews and set designer Tony Walton, Emma Walton Hamilton was no stranger to the entertainment world as a child. While she began her career as an actor and then moved on to stage direction, she also excelled as a children’s author, with the Dumpy series.

 3 Emily Davison

Emily Davison
5
Famous As: Suffragist, Activist
Birthdate: October 11, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 8, 1913

Activist Emily Davison is remembered for her relentless fight for women’s suffrage. As part of her protest, at the 1913 Epsom Derby, she went in front of King George V’s horse, to attach suffragette flags to it, and was tragically trampled to death. Some regard her as a martyr for women’s causes.

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 4 Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh
7
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: West Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 10, 1966

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh was an English author, known for his novels, biographies, and travelogues. Hailed as the most brilliant satirical novelist of his day, he wrote mostly satires before WWII. But during the war, his writings took a serious turn; he published Brideshead Revisited in 1945, a book that continues to appear on the best books list till now.

 5 J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien
19
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 6 Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Royston, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Born to a builder father, Alison Balsom showed an early interest in the trumpet and played regularly with the Royston Town Band. A Guildhall alumna, she is now a 3-time Brit Award winner and has also won the 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year. She is also a fan of yachting.

 7 Anthony Daniels

Anthony Daniels
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK

Best known as C-3PO from the Star Wars film franchise, Anthony Daniels remains the only actor to have appeared in all films, shows, video games, and spin-offs of the franchise. Ironically, he hated science-fiction movies in his youth and had walked out of the theater while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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 8 Mary Beard

Mary Beard
4
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Much Wenlock, United Kingdom

Known as the most famous classicist in the world, Mary Beard is a Cambridge professor who is also quite popular for her controversial blog A Don's Life. A DBE and OBE, she also contributes to BBC radio and TV shows and has been an editor for The Times Literary Supplement.

 9 Cherie Blair

Cherie Blair
4
Famous As: Barrister
Birthdate: September 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bury, England

Apart from being the wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair is also a successful attorney in her own right. The daughter of actor Tony Booth, she is has also taught at the University of Westminster. She is associated with charitable campaigns on breast cancer and other causes, too.

 10 Crispin Bonham-Carter

Crispin Bonham-Carter
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colchester, Essex, England, UK

A distant cousin of actor Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Bonham-Carter is a successful actor and theater director in his own right. Best known as Mr. Bingley from the BBC miniseries based on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, he has previously also taught English in a school for a decade.

 11 Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas
11
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: September 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wallasey, Cheshire, England, UK

 12 Anna Leonowens

Anna Leonowens
4
Famous As: Writer, Educator
Birthdate: November 5, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, India
Died: January 19, 1915

Indian-born British author Anna Leonowens is best remembered for her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which related her experience as a governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam were inspired by her life.

 13 Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Alexander McCall Smith is a British-Zimbabwean writer best known for his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels. A lawyer by qualification, he is a respected expert on medical law and bioethics. His books have sold over 40 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 46 languages. Also an amateur bassoonist, he co-founded The Really Terrible Orchestra.  

 14 Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson
6
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 4, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

Ken Robinson was a British author and speaker. An influential figure, Robinson served as an international advisor to several non-profits, education and arts bodies, and government. From 1989 to 2001, he served as a professor at the University of Warwick. Born into a working class family from Liverpool, Robinson went on to win many honors including the George Peabody Medal.

 15 Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs
6
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 29, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Peter Higgs is a British theoretical physicist. He studied at King's College London and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1954. He went on to have a brilliant academic career and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1983. In 2013, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Belgian physicist François Englert.  

 16 Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall
6
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: February 10, 2014

Jamaican-British Marxist sociologist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall is remembered as a pioneering figure of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. A skilled academic, he was also the founding-editor of the New Left Review. His encoding and decoding model remains one of his most remarkable contributions to culture studies.

 17 Fred Hoyle

Fred Hoyle
6
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: June 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bingley, England
Died: August 20, 2001

Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer known for his theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. He spent most of his career at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, serving as its director for six years. He was also an author of science fiction novels, short stories, and plays and appeared in a series of radio talks on astronomy for the BBC.  

 18 Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage
6
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

 19 Andrew Jack

Andrew Jack
6
Famous As: Voice coach
Birthdate: January 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 31, 2020

 20 Mary Whitehouse

Mary Whitehouse
4
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: June 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died: November 23, 2001

While she was initially a schoolteacher, who specialized in sex education, Mary Whitehouse later began a campaign against the moral standards of the media in Britain, particularly the BBC. She launched the Clean Up TV campaign, vocalizing her opposition toward content such as war and child pornography.

 21 N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright
6
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morpeth, Northumberland, England

N. T. Wright is an English New Testament scholar. Also a Pauline theologian and Anglican bishop, he served as the bishop of Durham from 2003 to 2010. He calls for a biblical re-evaluation of theological matters and has authored several books and seminars about theology and Christian life. He is highly regarded in academic and theological circles. 

 22 Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton
4
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

British-American economist and Nobel laureate Angus Deaton revolutionized applied economics with his work on consumption, savings, poverty, and development. Apart from teaching at Princeton, he has penned multiple award-winning papers and given rise to concepts such as the Deaton Paradox. He was also the first to receive the Frisch Medal.

 23 Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton
6
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Borough of Salford Salford, England

English literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton, presently serving as Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is a prominent critic of postmodernism and the New Atheism. His oeuvre includes over forty books among which Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which describes the emerging literary theory of the period, is considered to be one of his most notable works.   

 24 William Brewster

William Brewster
6
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: April 10, 1644

William Brewster was an English official. He was among the passengers that traveled in Mayflower from England to the New World. When the ship landed at Plymouth Colony, William Brewster was accepted as the senior elder and hence became the religious leader of the colony. Eventually, he ended up serving as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.

 25 Charles Freer Andrews

Charles Freer Andrews
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: February 12, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: April 5, 1940

Charles Freer Andrews was a Christian missionary and Anglican priest. He was also an educator and social reformer. A close friend of Indian freedom fighters Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, he supported the Indian struggle for independence. Gandhi fondly called him Deenabandhu, or "Friend of the Poor". Even today, Andrews is widely respected in India. 

 26 Alcuin

Alcuin
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0735 AD
Birthplace: York, Northumbria
Died: May 19, 0804

Eighth-century Anglo-Latin poet and cleric Alcuin served as the head of the Palatine school, established by Charlemagne. A significant figure of the Carolingian Renaissance, he introduced English learning methods into Frankish schools and reformed Roman Catholicism. He also wrote extensively on education, philosophy, and theology.

 27 Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 14, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

The son of world-renowned composer William Lloyd Webber and his piano teacher wife, Julian Lloyd Webber is also the brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. A talented celloist in his own right, he has taught at Guildhall and has collaborated with musical legends such as Yehudi Menuhin and Elton John.

 28 Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins

Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sipson, Middlesex, England
Died: May 15, 1984

A leading free-market and neoclassical economist, Lionel Charles Robbins, or Baron Robbins, was known for his association with the London School of Economics. The son of a farmer, he trained to fight at World War I but went back home wounded. He also laid down his own definition of economics.

 29 A. V. Dicey

A. V. Dicey
3
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: February 4, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: April 7, 1922

British jurist A. V. Dicey is best known for his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, which forms the basis of the modern British constitution. Apart from teaching law at Oxford, he also served as the principal of the Working Men’s College of London.

 30 Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason
3
Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: January 1, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bangor
Died: 1946 AD

Renowned educator of the 1800s, Charlotte Mason introduced a new way of teaching children, which included the use of books which engage the reader, or what she called “living books,” maintaining a nature journal, and using music and art as resources. She helped develop homeschooling techniques that are in use to this day.

 31 Stephen Toulmin

Stephen Toulmin
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 25, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 4, 2009

Stephen Toulmin was a British author and philosopher. He is remembered for his efforts to develop practical arguments, which have been proved useful to evaluate the ethics behind morality. Toulmin's works were applied effectively in the field of rhetoric. The Toulmin model of argumentation, which was published in his book The Uses of Argument, is considered his most important work.

 32 Halford Mackinder

Halford Mackinder
3
Famous As: Geographer
Birthdate: February 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gainsborough, England
Died: March 6, 1947

Halford Mackinder was an English geographer, politician, and academic. He is considered one of the founding fathers of geostrategy as well as geopolitics. Mackinder’s work helped establish geography as a separate discipline in the UK. An influential academic, Halford Mackinder held important positions in popular universities, including the University Extension College and the London School of Economics.

 33 George Gissing

George Gissing
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wakefield, England
Died: December 28, 1903

English novelist George Gissing is known for the way he showcased the realism of the lower-middle class in his works such as The Nether World. In spite of being a brilliant student, he was expelled from Owens College for theft. He specialized in the literary study of Charles Dickens and his works.

 34 Konstantin Novoselov

Konstantin Novoselov
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nizhny Tagil, Russia

Konstantin Novoselov is a Russian-British physicist, currently serving as a professor at the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials, National University of Singapore. He is the Langworthy Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester as well. Along with Andre Geim, he jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. 

 35 Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards
3
Famous As: Cellist
Birthdate: May 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 3, 2010

 36 Thomas Arnold

Thomas Arnold
3
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: June 13, 1795
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Cowes, England
Died: June 12, 1842

 37 Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 2, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

 38 Venetia Phair

Venetia Phair
3
Famous As: Amateur astronomer
Birthdate: July 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: April 30, 2009

 39 John Bayley

John Bayley
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: March 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: January 12, 2015

 40 Malcolm Bradbury

Malcolm Bradbury
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: November 27, 2000

 41 I. A. Richards

I. A. Richards
4
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: February 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sandbach, England
Died: September 7, 1979

British scholar and poet I. A. Richards is known for contributing to the New Criticism movement. While he initially taught English and moral sciences, he later focused on developing a new way of reading literature, known as practical criticism. The Meaning of Meaning remains one of his best-known works.

 42 Thomas The Rhymer

Thomas The Rhymer
3
Famous As: Scottish poet
Birthdate: 1220 AD
Birthplace: Earlston, United Kingdom
Died: 1298 AD

 43 Ninette de Valois

Ninette de Valois
3
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: June 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Blessington, Ireland
Died: March 8, 2001

 44 Henry Liddell

Henry Liddell
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 6, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, United Kingdom
Died: January 18, 1898

 45 Hubert Parry

Hubert Parry
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 27, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bournemouth, England
Died: October 7, 1918

British composer Hubert Parry was a major figure behind the 19th-century revival of British music. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he later produced gems such as Songs of Farewell and Jerusalem, with the latter becoming an anthem of sorts during World War I. He was also a passionate sailor.

 46 Benjamin Jowett

Benjamin Jowett
3
Famous As: Tutor
Birthdate: April 15, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, England
Died: October 1, 1893

Proving himself to be a brilliant classical scholar in school, Benjamin Jowett gained a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he was eventually elected a master and vice-chancellor. The 19th-century academic and Anglican theologian is remembered for his translation of The Dialogues of Plato and other classical texts.

 47 David Cox

David Cox
3
Famous As: Statistician
Birthdate: July 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, England

 48 R. M. Hare

R. M. Hare
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Backwell, England
Died: January 29, 2002

Best known for his theory on universal prescriptivism, British moral philosopher R. M. Hare initially studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford. He had also been part of World War II and captured by Japan. Essays on Political Morality remains one of his most significant works.

 49 Richard Hoggart

Richard Hoggart
3
Famous As: Academic
Birthdate: September 24, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Died: April 10, 2014

 50 William Sterndale Bennett

William Sterndale Bennett
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 13, 1816
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Died: February 1, 1875