Famous Canadian Intellectuals & Academics

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

Vote for Your Favourite Canadian Intellectuals & Academics

 1 Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson
19
Famous As: Clinical Psychologist
Birthdate: June 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta

Canadian clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson, became internationally known in the 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues. He became active on YouTube in 2016 and shared many videos that have since received millions of views. He has faced criticism for his sexist and misogynistic views. Despite the controversies, he continues to be popular and is a bestselling author.

 2 Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias
4
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

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 3 Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 21, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edmonton
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

 4 Mark Carney

Mark Carney
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: March 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada
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 5 Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker
0
Famous As: Psychologist, Linguists
Birthdate: September 18, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec

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.

 6 David Suzuki

David Suzuki
2
Famous As: Academic, Enviromental Activist
Birthdate: March 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver
Best known for the CBC show The Nature of Things, Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki has also been a genetics and zoology professor. The UN Environment Programme Medal winner has been a major force against global warming and has written several books, such as An Introduction to Genetic Analysis.

 7 Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell
0
Famous As: 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Alberni
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 8 Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura
0
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: December 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mundare

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.

 9 William Lyon Mackenzie King

William Lyon Mackenzie King
0
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: December 17, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Died: July 22, 1950

 10 Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman
0
Famous As: Sociologist, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: June 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canada
Died: November 20, 1982

 11 Gad Saad

Gad Saad
0
Birthdate: October 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beirut

 12 John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 15, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Iona Station
Died: April 29, 2006

John Kenneth Galbraith was an intellectual, diplomat, economist, and public official. One of the most influential exponents of 20th-century American liberalism, Galbraith published many books concerning the American economy. Galbraith is one of the few individuals to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Freedom. He also received 50 honorary degrees from various institutions.

 13 Jack Layton

Jack Layton
0
Famous As: Politician, University teacher, Political scientist
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: August 22, 2011

 14 Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff
2
Famous As: Journalist, Historian, Politician, Novelist, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto

 15 Deborah Coyne

Deborah Coyne
2
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Canada

 16 Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue
0
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

 17 Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier
2
Famous As: Philosopher, Philanthropist
Birthdate: September 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Geneva

 18 Steven Erikson

Steven Erikson
0
Famous As: Anthropologist, Writer
Birthdate: October 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto

 19 Mary Ainsworth

Mary Ainsworth
2
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: December 1, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glendale, Ohio, United States
Died: March 21, 1999

 20 Anne Carson

Anne Carson
2
Famous As: Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer, University teacher, Literary critic
Birthdate: June 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

 21 Margaret MacMillan

Margaret MacMillan
2
Famous As: historian, university teacher
Birthdate: December 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto

 22 Stéphane Dion

Stéphane Dion
0
Famous As: Politician, Sociologist, Academic, Writer, Professor
Birthdate: September 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Quebec City

 23 Northrop Frye

Northrop Frye
0
Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Educationist, Cleric, Poet, Literary critic
Birthdate: July 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sherbrooke
Died: January 23, 1991

 24 Vaclav Smil

Vaclav Smil
2
Famous As: geographer, economist, university teacher
Birthdate: December 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plzeň

 25 Myron Scholes

Myron Scholes
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Timmins, Ontario, Canada

 26 Ian Stevenson

Ian Stevenson
0
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Parapsychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: October 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: February 8, 2007

 27 John McCallum

John McCallum
2
Famous As: Economist, Politician
Birthdate: April 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montreal

 28 Oswald Avery

Oswald Avery
0
Famous As: Biologist, Physician, Geneticist
Birthdate: October 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halifax
Died: February 20, 1955

A pioneer of molecular biology, Oswald Avery revolutionized science with his research on the chemical processes involved in immunology. The Canadian-American bacteriologist initially aspired to be a musician. He later proved that DNA was the basis of heredity. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, he never won it.

 29 Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky
0
Famous As: researcher, Author, Economist, conspiracy theorist
Birthdate: 1946 AD
Birthplace: Canada

 30 Arthur B. McDonald

Arthur B. McDonald
0
Famous As: Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: August 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sydney

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian physicist Arthur B. McDonald is remembered for his research on neutrino oscillations and for proving that neutrinos have mass. He spent most of his life teaching at the Princeton and Queen’s universities. He also headed a project that mass-produced low-cost ventilators to be used as COVID-19 supplies.

 31 J. Philippe Rushton

J. Philippe Rushton
0
Famous As: Psychologist, Faculty, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: December 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bournemouth
Died: October 2, 2012

 32 S.I. Hayakawa

S.I. Hayakawa
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Died: February 27, 1992

 33 Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Ludwig von Bertalanffy
0
Famous As: Biologist, University teacher
Birthdate: September 19, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atzgersdorf
Died: June 12, 1972

Austrian-Canadian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy is best remembered as one of the pioneers of the general systems theory (GST). While he initially studied philosophy and history, he later switched to biology. It is believed his allegiance to the Nazi Party helped him become a professor at the University of Vienna.

 34 David Easton

David Easton
0
Famous As: Political scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: June 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: July 19, 2014

 35 Sylvana Tomaselli

Sylvana Tomaselli
0
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: May 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

 36 Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher
0
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: May 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States

 37 Robert Bourassa

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

 38 Robert D. Hare

Robert D. Hare
0
Famous As: psychologist, university teacher
Birthdate: 1934 AD
Birthplace: Calgary

 39 Ian Hacking

Ian Hacking
0
Famous As: Philosopher, Professor
Birthdate: February 18, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vancouver

 40 Robert Mundell

Robert Mundell
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

 41 Pierre Berton

Pierre Berton
0
Famous As: Journalist, Historian, Writer
Birthdate: July 12, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitehorse
Died: November 30, 2004

 42 Donald O. Hebb

Donald O. Hebb
0
Famous As: Psychologist, Neuroscientist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chester, Nova Scotia
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.

 43 John Ralston Saul

John Ralston Saul
0
Famous As: Philosopher, Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: June 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa

 44 Simon Newcomb

Simon Newcomb
0
Famous As: Astronomer, Mathematician, Economist, Novelist, Writer, Teacher, University teacher, Science fiction writer
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.

 45 Will Kymlicka

Will Kymlicka
0
Famous As: philosopher, university teacher
Birthdate: 1962 AD
Birthplace: London

 46 Patricia Churchland

Patricia Churchland
0
Famous As: Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oliver

 47 Brenda Milner

Brenda Milner
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist, Psychologist, University teacher
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.

 48 Paul Churchland

Paul Churchland
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Canadian philosopher and academic Paul Churchland is best known for his research on eliminative materialism. Born to a science teacher father, he was obsessed with science fiction and initially aspired to become an aerodynamical engineer. He later studied philosophy and became a significant figure in the field of neurophilosophy.  

 49 Harold Innis

Harold Innis
0
Famous As: Economist, Historian, Philosopher, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: November 5, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Otterville, Ontario
Died: November 8, 1952

 50 John Howe

John Howe
0
Famous As: illustrator
Birthdate: August 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vancouver