Famous Canadian Intellectuals & Academics

Vote for Your Favourite Canadian Intellectuals & Academics

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Jordan Peterson
(Canadian Clinical Psychologist and Author)
Jordan Peterson
105
Birthdate: June 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Canadian clinical psychologist, writer and YouTuber, Jordan Peterson became internationally known in the 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues. He propogates his views and ideas primarily through YouTube and podcasts. He has shared many videos and podcasts that have received millions of views.

 2 
Albert Bandura
(One of the Most Influential Psychologists of All Time)
Albert Bandura
5
Birthdate: December 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mundare, Canada
Died: July 26, 2021

Albert Bandura is a Canadian-American psychologist who has made significant contributions to several fields of psychology, such as personality psychology, therapy, and social cognitive theory. Regarded as the greatest living psychologist, Bandura is also counted among the most influential psychologists ever. He has been honored with over 16 honorary degrees. In 2016, Albert Bandura received the National Medal of Science.

 3 
Steven Pinker
(Cognitive Psychologist and Advocate of Evolutionary Psychology and the Computational Theory of Mind)
Steven Pinker
10
Birthdate: September 18, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American linguist, cognitive psychologist, and popular science author. He is also a supporter of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary psychology. His works have earned him awards from organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the American Humanist Association. In 2013, he was named in Prospect magazine's World Thinkers list.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Marshall McLuhan
(Canadian Philosopher Known for His Work in the Field of Media Theory)
Marshall McLuhan
8
Birthdate: July 21, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
Died: December 31, 1980
Canadian philosopher Herbert McLuhan revolutionized media theory with his concept of "global village." He predicted the World Wide Web three decades before its invention and is also remembered for coining the expression “the medium is the message.” His works include Understanding Media, The Gutenberg Galaxy, and The Mechanical Bride
Recommended Lists:
 5 
Mark Carney
(Governor of the Bank of England (2013 - 2020))
Mark Carney
9
Birthdate: March 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Smith, Canada

After his 13-year stint with Goldman Sachs, Mark Carney served as the governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England. He was also part of the Canadian finance department. He is an ice-hockey lover and played the sport actively during the school and university days.

 6 
Emma Donoghue
(Novelist)
Emma Donoghue
5
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Alex Awards winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue is best known for authoring award winning novels like Room and Hood. Room, an international best-seller, was adapted into a film bearing same title that not only emerged as a critical and commercial success but also garnered four Oscar nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.

 7 
Mary Ainsworth
(American-Canadian Developmental Psychologist Known for Her Work in the Development of the Attachment Theory)
Mary Ainsworth
6
Birthdate: December 1, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glendale, Ohio, United States
Died: March 21, 1999

American-Canadian developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth is best remembered for her contributions in developing the attachment theory. She devised the Strange situation procedure during the 1970s to observe early emotional connect and relationship between a caregiver and child. She was ranked as the 97th most cited psychologist of the 20th century in a 2002 survey of Review of General Psychology.

 8 
Manly Hall
(Canadian Author, Mystic, Astrologer, and Lecturer)
Manly Hall
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Peterborough, Canada
Died: August 29, 1990
 9 
Ravi Zacharias
(Philosopher)
Ravi Zacharias
12
Birthdate: March 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Died: May 19, 2020

Born in India, Ravi Zacharias was attracted to Christianity while recovering in hospital following a suicide attempt. He moved to Canada and then to the U.S., and gained fame as a Christian apologist and as the host of Let My People Think. He was later accused of sexual abuse.

 10 
Northrop Frye
(Canadian Literary Critic and and Philosopher)
Northrop Frye
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Died: January 23, 1991

Considered one of the most important literary theorists of the century, Herman Northrop Fry gained international fame with his first book, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake and later with Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Prolific writer and respected educator, he went on to write many more, concurrently championing Canadian literature and identity, receiving several honors for his contributions.

 11 
Jean Vanier
(Philosopher, Philanthropist)
Jean Vanier
7
Birthdate: September 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Geneva

A former naval officer, Jean Vanier began working for intellectually disabled people after he met some of them in Paris, eventually founding L'Arche in order to provide them with shelter and support network. Later, he also cofounded Faith and Light to help those with learning disability.  A prolific author; after his death, he was accused of sexually exploiting six women.

 12 
Stéphane Dion
(Canadian Diplomat, Academic and Former Politician)
Stéphane Dion
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada

Canadian diplomat, political-scientist and retired politician Stéphane Dion is the Canadian Ambassador to Germany and special envoy to the EU. He was a Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent for over two decades, and held several ministries. He also held office as Leader of Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Opposition in House of Commons.

 13 
Nathaniel Philip Rothschild
(Financier, Economist and Banker)
Nathaniel Philip Rothschild
1
Birthdate: July 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 14 
Deborah Coyne
(Lawyer)
Deborah Coyne
7
Birthdate: February 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Canada

Canadian constitutional-lawyer, professor, and author Deborah Coyne, niece of second Governor of Bank of Canada James Elliott Coyne, worked for some time in Prime Minister's Office of John Turner. Her professional endeavours also include working for Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Her first child, daughter Sarah Elisabeth Coyne, was born through her relationship with former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

 15 
Anne Carson
(Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer, University teacher, Literary critic)
Anne Carson
5
Birthdate: June 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

Born to a banker in Toronto, Anne Carson grew up to study Classics and later taught at institutes such as Princeton University. Her signature style consists of a mix of prose and poetry. One of her notable works, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, was inspired by Greek mythology.

 16 
Vaclav Smil
(Czech-Canadian Scientist and Policy Analyst)
Vaclav Smil
5
Birthdate: December 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pilsen, Czechia

One of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010, Czech-Canadian scientist and University of Manitoba professor Vaclav Smil perhaps developed his love for the environment while living among the Bohemian Forest in childhood. Apart from studying energy and environmental change, he also pens books such as Energy and Civilization.

 17 
Stanley Coren
(Canadian Neuropsychological Researcher, Psychology Professor, and Writer)
Stanley Coren
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 18 
J. Philippe Rushton
(Canadian Author and Psychologist)
J. Philippe Rushton
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bournemouth
Died: October 2, 2012
 19 
Ian Stevenson
(Psychiatrist, Parapsychologist, University teacher)
Ian Stevenson
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: February 8, 2007

Canadian-American psychiatrist and University of Virginia School of Medicine professor Ian Stevenson believed he had developed his love for the paranormal from his mother, who maintained a well-stocked library on theosophy. His studies included unearthing children’s past life memories. He also penned books such as Reincarnation and Biology.

 20 
Myron Scholes
(Canadian-American financial Economist Known for His Work on Black–Scholes Options Pricing Model)
Myron Scholes
5
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Timmins, Canada

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian-American economist Myron Scholes is best known for co-establishing the Black-Scholes options pricing model. He was associated with MIT Sloan and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before moving to Stanford. He has served on the economic boards of companies such as Stamos Partners, too.

 21 
Michel Chossudovsky
(researcher, Author, Economist, conspiracy theorist)
Michel Chossudovsky
5
Birthdate: 1946 AD
Birthplace: Canada

The son of Russian immigrants, Canadian economist and University of Ottawa professor Michel Chossudovsky also heads the Centre for Research on Globalization. Chossudovsky is best known for his conspiracy theories. He believes both 9/11 and COVID-19 were tools of population control, and has often been accused of playing to Russian interests.

 22 
Rudolf Vrba
(Former biochemist became known for having escaped from the camp in April 1944, at the height of the Holocaust)
Rudolf Vrba
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Topoľčany, Slovakia
Died: March 27, 2006
 23 
Sylvana Tomaselli
(Historian)
Sylvana Tomaselli
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
 24 
Andrej Karpathy
(Director of artificial intelligence and Autopilot Vision at Tesla)
Andrej Karpathy
0
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Košice Kosice, Slovakia
 25 
Robert Mundell
(Canadian Economist and Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences)
Robert Mundell
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingston, Canada
Died: April 4, 2021

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian economist Robert Mundell is best remembered for his work on monetary dynamics and optimum currency, which also laid the foundation for the introduction of the euro. The LSE and MIT alumnus had also taught at institutes such as Columbia University and the University of Chicago.

 26 
Ian Hacking
(Canadian Philosopher)
Ian Hacking
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vancouver
 27 
Robert D. Hare
(Canadian Psychologist & Professor Emeritus)
Robert D. Hare
3
Birthdate: 1934 AD
Birthplace: Calgary
 28 
Pierre Berton
(Journalist, Historian, Writer)
Pierre Berton
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitehorse
Died: November 30, 2004
 29 
Helen Fisher
(American Anthropologist)
Helen Fisher
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States

Best known for her research on the biological dynamics of love and sex, anthropologist Helen Fisher has also penned iconic self-help books such as Anatomy of Love and Why We Love. She has also worked with match.com, to develop a personality-based compatibility system and has been a TED speaker.

 30 
William H. McNeill
(Historian)
William H. McNeill
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
Died: July 8, 2016
 31 
Margaret MacMillan
(Canadian Historian and Professor at the University of Oxford)
Margaret MacMillan
5
Birthdate: December 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canadian historian and Oxford professor Margaret MacMillan is the great-granddaughter of former British prime minister David Lloyd George. Best known for her works such as Peacemakers and Women of the Raj, she is also a Royal Society of Literature fellow and has earned several honorary degrees.

 32 
Donald O. Hebb
(Canadian Psychologist Best Known for Cell-Assembly-Theory)
Donald O. Hebb
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: August 20, 1985

Though born to physicians, Donald O. Hebb had initially aspired to be a novelist. He later pioneered neuropsychology by merging elements of psychology and neuroscience, and thus establishing psychology as part of bio science. His iconic work The Organization of Behavior spoke about many innovate concepts such as Hebb’s Rule.

 33 
Robert Bourassa
(Politician, Lawyer, Non-fiction writer, Economist)
Robert Bourassa
5
Birthdate: July 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: October 2, 1996

Robert Bourassa made headlines when, in 1970, he became the youngest premier of Quebec. After a crushing defeat 6 years later, following corruption scandals, he moved to Europe and the U.S., where he taught while in exile. In the mid-1980s, he reclaimed the Liberal Party leadership and became a premier again.

 34 
Yoshua Bengio
(Computer scientist, and Artificial intelligence researcher)
Yoshua Bengio
0
Birthdate: March 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
 35 
Steve Kaufmann
(Known for Polyglottism)
Steve Kaufmann
0
Birthdate: October 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sweden
 36 
S.I. Hayakawa
(Canadian-born American Politician and Academic)
S.I. Hayakawa
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Died: February 27, 1992
 37 
David Easton
(Political scientist, University teacher)
David Easton
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: July 19, 2014
 38 
John Howe
(illustrator)
John Howe
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vancouver
 39 
Simon Newcomb
(Astronomer, Mathematician, Economist, Novelist, Writer, Teacher, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Simon Newcomb
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Died: July 11, 1909

Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.

 40 
John Ralston Saul
(Canadian Writer, Public Intellectual, and Political Philosopher)
John Ralston Saul
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa
 41 
Mario Bunge
(Argentine-Canadian Philosopher and Physicist)
Mario Bunge
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florida Oeste, Argentina
Died: February 24, 2020

Argentine-Canadian philosopher, physicist, and educator Mario Bunge is best remembered for his work on social sciences, metaphysics, and the philosophy of the mind. Part of the school of scientific realism, he had published more than 400 papers and was named to Science magazine’s Science Hall of Fame.

 42 
Brenda Milner
(Neuroscientist, Psychologist, University teacher)
Brenda Milner
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manchester

Considered a pioneer in her field, centenarian neuropsychologist Brenda Milner is known for her immense contribution to clinical neuropsychology. Especially known for her work on memory and cognition, she has contributed immensely to the study of temporal lobe. Her papers on the frontal lobes in problem-solving and the lateralization of hemispheric function in language are also highly regarded by scholars.

 43 
Will Kymlicka
(Canadian Political Philosopher)
Will Kymlicka
3
Birthdate: 1962 AD
Birthplace: London
 44 
D. A. Carson
(Canadian Evangelical Biblical Scholar)
D. A. Carson
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
 45 
Harold Innis
(Canadian Political Philosopher)
Harold Innis
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Otterville, Canada
Died: November 8, 1952

Born into a farming community, Harold Innis was encouraged to be a Baptist minister but became a political economist and academic instead. The former University of Toronto professor is remembered for his work on the staple thesis. He had also fought on the front lines in World War I.

 46 
Jacques Parizeau
(Politician, Economist)
Jacques Parizeau
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: June 1, 2015

Canadian economist and Parti Québécois member Jacques Parizeau is remembered for his support for the Quiet Revolution and was a significant Quebec separatist. Born into a family of finance tycoons, he studied at LSE and later served as Quebec’s finance minister, before taking over as the premier of Quebec.

 47 
Bernard Lonergan
(Canadian Philosopher, Jesuit Priest, and Theologian)
Bernard Lonergan
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Buckingham, Quebec
Died: November 26, 1984
 48 
Don Tapscott
(Manager, Economist, Teacher, Author, Writer)
Don Tapscott
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

The author of the bestselling book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Canadian writer and business strategist Don Tapscott specializes in innovation and the impact of technology on business policies. He has co-established the Blockchain Research Institute and taught at INSEAD. Thinkers50 named him the second most influential management thinker.

 49 
Endel Tulving
(Neuroscientist, Psychologist)
Endel Tulving
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pechory

Endel Tulving is an Estonian-born Canadian experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist. He is best known for his pioneering research on human memory. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and began his academic work at the University of Toronto, where he remained for the rest of his career. He is a recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award. 

 50 
George Stanley
(Canadian Historian, Author, Soldier and Designer of the Canadian Flag)
George Stanley
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada
Died: September 13, 2002