Famous Czech Men

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Whether you are looking for soft adventure, hands-on experience in local life and culture, or a fairly new country brimming with bright, beautiful and extraordinary people, the Czech Republic is the place to explore. Chock-a-block with men of extraordinary merit and achievements, unravelling their lives and feats is something that might pique your interest if you are looking for a fillip. From science and arts to sports and politics and from medicine and psychology to music and movies, the Czechs have left a trail of their geniuses for others to follow. Their achievements are so profound that it will emotionally wrench your gut to sop up their life stories. Be it the deaf music genius Bedřich Smetana or decathlon top dogs Tomáš Dvořák and Roman Šebrle or avant-garde thinkers like František Xaver Šalda, Johan Amos Comenius and Petr Chelčický, the Czech has a gamut of sensational talent to take pride in. Discover the lives of some such famous Czech men in their biographies below. The timeline, trivia, and lesser-known facts capture the essence of their live all too well.
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 1 
Ivan Reitman
(Director Known for His Comedy Film ‘Ghostbusters’ & Owner of the ‘Montecito Picture Company')
Ivan Reitman
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Komárno, Czechoslovakia
Died: February 12, 2022

Ivan Reitman is a screenwriter and film and TV producer and director. He is a co-owner of The Montecito Picture Company. He attended McMaster University, where he studied music. After being fired from his first job at a TV channel, he went on to produce stage productions. Later on, he began producing films as well. 

 2 
Antonín Dvořák
(One of the First Czech Composers to Achieve Worldwide Recognition)
Antonín Dvořák
2
Birthdate: September 8, 1841
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic
Died: May 1, 1904

Antonín Dvořák was a Czech composer who achieved worldwide recognition for his works. His life and career inspired the 1980 historical biographical film Concert at the End of Summer, in which Dvořák was played by actor Josef Vinklář. Canadian children's author Ian Krykorka has based many of his works on some of Antonín Dvořák's operas.

 3 
Kurt Gödel
(Mathematician, Philosopher and One of the Most Significant Logicians in History)
Kurt Gödel
8
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brno, Czech Republic
Died: January 14, 1978

Hailed as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, Kurt Gödel was Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who earned international stardom for his incompleteness theorem. Also credited with developing a technique called Gödel numbering, he later started working on Mathematical Platonism, a philosophical theory that failed to attract wide acceptance.

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 4 
Pavel Nedvěd
(Former Czech Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
Pavel Nedvěd
5
Birthdate: August 30, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheb
Pavel Nedvěd is a Czech retired football player who achieved international recognition when he helped his national team reach the final of Euro 1996. Counted among the greatest footballers of his generation, Nedvěd is also considered one of the most successful footballers to have ever emerged from the Czech Republic. Pavel Nedvěd has been named in Pele's FIFA 100 list.
 5 
Miloš Forman
(Best Known for Directing the 1975 Psychological Comedy Drama Film 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest')
Miloš Forman
4
Birthdate: February 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Čáslav, Czechia
Died: April 13, 2018

Miloš Forman was a Czech and American screenwriter, film director, actor, and professor. He is remembered for directing the 1975 psychological comedy drama film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which became the second film to receive all five major Oscars. During his career, Forman won two Oscars, a César Award, and three Golden Globe Awards among other prestigious awards.

 6 
Tom Stoppard
(Playwright)
Tom Stoppard
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zlín, Czechoslovakia
Born in Czechoslovakia, legendary playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard had lost his father in the Japanese invasion of Singapore during World War II. The five-time Tony winner is best known for the absurdist tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He also co-wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay of Shakespeare in Love.
 7 
Ivan Lendl
(Czech-American Former World No.1 Tennis player)
Ivan Lendl
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czechia

Born to professional tennis players, Czech-American tennis legend Ivan Lendl has eight Grand Slam titles under his belt. Known for his topspin groundstrokes, he later turned coach and was responsible for three Grand Slams of Andy Murray. Lendl also has a few Celebrity Tour golf wins in his kitty.

 8 
Gavrilo Princip
(Assassinator of Archduke Franz Ferdinand)
Gavrilo Princip
23
Birthdate: July 25, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Obljaj
Died: April 28, 1918
Gavrilo Princip was a Bosnian Serb member of the Young Bosnia movement who wished to end the Austro-Hungarian reign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He thus assassinated Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at age 19. This eventually contributed to the start of World War I
 9 
Petr Čech
(Former Czech Footballer Who Played as a Goalkeeper)
Petr Čech
6
Birthdate: May 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pilsen, Czechia

Petr Čech is a Czech retired football player who is currently serving as a performance and technical advisor for the popular English club Chelsea. During his playing career, Čech played as a goalkeeper and is often counted among the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Petr Čech is also considered the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the Premier League.

 10 
Jaromír Jágr
(Czech Ice Hockey Player and An Olympic, World, and European Champion)
Jaromír Jágr
6
Birthdate: February 15, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kladno, Czechia
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 11 
Milan Kundera
(Czech Writer Best Known for His Novel 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being')
Milan Kundera
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brno, Czechia

Milan Kundera is a Czech writer who became a naturalized French citizen in 1981 after going into exile in France in 1975. Although his Czechoslovak citizenship was revoked four years after going into exile, he received Czech citizenship in 2019, thanks to his achievements as a writer. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Jerusalem Prize.

 12 
Joseph Schumpeter
3
Birthdate: February 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Třešť, Czechia
Died: January 8, 1950
Business students remember Austrian economist and sociologist Joseph Schumpeter for his contribution to the concepts of entrepreneurship, creative destruction, and business cycles. An academic, who had also taught at Harvard, Schumpeter believed capitalism would someday automatically give way to socialism, a thought he expressed in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
 13 
Ferdinand Porsche
(Founder of Porsche Automobile Company)
Ferdinand Porsche
10
Birthdate: September 3, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: ratislavice nad Nisou, Liberec, Czechia
Died: January 30, 1951

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.

 14 
Alphonse Mucha
0
Birthdate: July 24, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivancice, Czechia
Died: July 14, 1939
 15 
Václav Havel
(The Last President of Czechoslovakia (1989 - 1992) and the First President of The Czech Republic (1993 - 2003))
Václav Havel
1
Birthdate: October 5, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: December 18, 2011

Vaclav Havel was a Czech statesman, poet, playwright, and author. He is best remembered for his service as the President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. He also served as the President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until its dissolution in 1992. Havel was a recipient of several awards including the Gandhi Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 16 
Josef Bican
(Austrian-Czech Professional Footballer Who Played as a Forward)
Josef Bican
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 12, 2001

Josef Bican was an Austrian-Czech footballer who played as a forward. According to Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, Bican scored more than 950 goals in 624 official matches, which makes him the second-most prolific goalscorer of all time in recorded history. In 2000, Josef Bican was honored with the Golden Ball by the IFFHS

 17 
Jiří Procházka
(Czech Mixed Martial Artist and the Current 'UFC' Light Heavyweight Champion)
Jiří Procházka
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hostěradice, Czechia

Jiří Procházka is a Czech mixed martial artist and the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He first achieved national prominence in 2011 when he won the gold medal at the Czech National Championships for Muay Thai. Jiří Procházka also won the inaugural Czech GCF Light Heavyweight Championship title as well as the inaugural Rizin FF Light Heavyweight Championship title.

 18 
Herbert Lom
(Czech Actor Renowned For His Versatility)
Herbert Lom
1
Birthdate: September 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic
Died: September 27, 2012

Herbert Lom was a Czech actor best remembered for his versatility as he portrayed suave villains during his younger days and then moved on to playing professional men as he aged. He also proved his comedy skills in The Pink Panther franchise. Lom worked well into his 80s before retiring in 2002. He died 10 years later in his sleep.

 19 
Tomáš Rosický
(Former Czech Footballer and Fourth-Highest Goal-Scorer from the Czech Republic)
Tomáš Rosický
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague
 20 
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor (1355-78))
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1316
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: November 29, 1378

Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the king of Bohemia from 1346 until his death in 1378. In 1355, he became the first king of Bohemia to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Later, he was crowned king of Burgundy in 1365, making him the sole king of the Holy Roman Empire and all its kingdoms.

 21 
Bedrich Smetana
(Czech Composer Best Known for His Opera ‘The Bartered Bride’)
Bedrich Smetana
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1824
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Litomysl, Czechia
Died: May 12, 1884

Bedrich Smetana was a Czech composer remembered for his opera, The Bartered Bride. Considered the father of Czech music, Smetana was a prodigy whose first public performance came at age six. He then went on to establish himself as one of the most important composers of Czech music. Smetana has been honored with a Walk of Fame star in Vienna.

 22 
Adam Ondra
(Czech Professional Rock Climber Considered the Greatest of All Time)
Adam Ondra
1
Birthdate: February 5, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brno, Czechia

Adam Ondra is a Czech rock climber who specializes in bouldering and lead climbing. Widely regarded as the leading climber of his generation, Adam is the first and only male athlete so far to win World Championship titles in both lead climbing and bouldering in the same year. Adam Ondra is considered the greatest professional rock climber of all time.

 23 
Dominik Hašek
(Former Czech Ice Hockey Player Who Played as a Goaltender)
Dominik Hašek
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pardubice, Czech Republic

Dominik Hašek is a Czech retired ice hockey player who played as a goaltender. He is counted among the greatest goaltenders and is credited with leading his national team to its first Olympic gold medal. In 2014, he was made an inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2017, Hašek was mentioned in the 100 Greatest NHL Players list.

 24 
Leos Janacek
(One of the Most Important Czech Composers of the 20th Century)
Leos Janacek
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1854
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hukvaldy, Czechia
Died: August 12, 1928

Leos Janacek was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, and teacher. He is credited to have created an original, modern musical style inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music. He was deeply influenced by folklore and by the works of his contemporary and friend,  Antonín Dvořák. The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra is named in his honor. 

 25 
Alexander Dubcek
(Politician)
Alexander Dubcek
5
Birthdate: November 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Uhrovec
Died: November 7, 1992

The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubček, was no stranger to politics as a child, being the son of a Communist Party member. He resisted the Nazi occupation, while his liberal policies later led Soviet authorities to invade Czechoslovakia. He eventually died in a car crash.

 26 
Miloš Zeman
(Current President of the Czech Republic)
Miloš Zeman
1
Birthdate: September 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kolín

Miloš Zeman is a Czech politician and the current President of the Czech Republic. An influential politician, Zeman served as the Prime Minister of the country from 1998 to 2002. Miloš Zeman achieved popularity as the leader of the Social Democratic Party and is credited with reviving the party into one of the major political forces in the Czech Republic.

 27 
Tomáš Berdych
(Former Czech Tennis Player Counted Among the Best Players to Have Never Won a Grand Slam Title)
Tomáš Berdych
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valasske Mezirici, Czechia

Tomáš Berdych is a Czech retired tennis player. Renowned for his powerful serve and forehand, Berdych is often counted among the best players to have never won a grand slam title. One of the most popular players to have emerged from the Czech Republic, Tomáš Berdych helped his team win the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013.  

 28 
Vladimir Kulich
(Czech-Canadian Actor Best Known for His Role in the Film 'The 13th Warrior')
Vladimir Kulich
1
Birthdate: July 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia

Vladimir Kulich is a Czech-Canadian actor best known for his portrayal of Buliwyf in the 1999 American historical action film, The 13th Warrior. He has also appeared in popular TV series like Vikings. Prior to his acting career, Vladimir Kulich played professional ice hockey and tried his hand at many other things, including a whitewater river rafting business.

 29 
Milan Baroš
(Czech Football Striker, Who Won the UEFA Euro 2004 Golden Boot)
Milan Baroš
3
Birthdate: October 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vigantice
 30 
Adolf Loos
(Architect)
Adolf Loos
0
Birthdate: December 10, 1870
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brno
Died: August 23, 1933

Austrian architect Adolf Loos is often compared to American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in terms of his contribution. Loos believed architecture shouldn’t contain the extra elements and ornaments promoted by Art Nouveau. Mostly known for his residential projects, he built modern buildings such as the Goldman and Salatsch Building.

 31 
Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia
(King of Bohemia)
Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia
1
Birthdate: February 26, 1361
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: August 16, 1419
 32 
John Amos Comenius
(Czech Philosopher and Pedagogue Regarded as the 'Father of Modern Education')
John Amos Comenius
0
Birthdate: March 28, 1592
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nivnice, Czechia
Died: November 15, 1670

John Amos Comenius was a Czech philosopher, theologian, and pedagogue. Regarded as the father of modern education, Comenius is credited with introducing many educational concepts and innovations such as education for women, equal opportunity for poor children, and universal and practical instruction among other innovations. He also led schools and served as an adviser for governments across Protestant Europe.

 33 
Jan Palach
(Activist)
Jan Palach
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melnik
Died: January 19, 1969
 34 
Petr Korda
(Former Czech Tennis Player Who Won the 'Australian Open' Singles in 1998)
Petr Korda
2
Birthdate: January 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia

Petr Korda is a Czech retired tennis player best known for winning the Australian Open singles in 1998. He also won the Australian Open doubles in 1996 as well as the 1994 Hopman Cup for his country. In July 1998, Petr Korda tested positive for doping. He retired the following year shortly before he was to serve a 12-month ban.

 35 
Jan Žižka
(Czech General and Military Leader Who is Considered a National Hero)
Jan Žižka
1
Birthdate: November 30, 1375
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Trocnov, Borovany, Czechia
Died: October 11, 1424

Jan Žižka was a Czech general and military leader. Today, he is regarded as a national hero in the Czech Republic for his role in the Battle of Grunwald and the Hussite Wars. Renowned for his innovative and unorthodox war tactics, Jan Žižka pioneered the usage of gunpowder.  He has been immortalized in video games, novels, and films.

Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
0
Birthdate: 0907 AD
Birthplace: Prague
Died: September 28, 0935
 37 
Albrecht von Wallenstein
(Bohemian Statesman and Military Leader Best Remembered For His Role in 'The Thirty Years' War')
Albrecht von Wallenstein
0
Birthdate: September 24, 1583
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heřmanice, Czechia
Died: February 25, 1634

Albrecht von Wallenstein was a Bohemian statesman and military leader best remembered for his role in the Thirty Years' War. During the war, he served as the supreme commander of the armies of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.  By the time of his death, Wallenstein was one of the most influential and richest men in the Holy Roman Empire.

 38 
Jan Veselý
(Czech Basketball Player Who Plays as a Power Forward)
Jan Veselý
1
Birthdate: April 24, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czechia

Jan Veselý is a Czech basketball player who has represented his country in important tournaments like the EuroBasket Championships and Olympic Games. A four-time Turkish League champion and three-time Turkish Cup winner, Veselý is renowned for his versatility as he can play as a power forward as well as in center positions.

 39 
Jan Hammer
(Czech-American Composer Best Known for His Work in the Crime Drama Series 'Miami Vice')
Jan Hammer
4
Birthdate: April 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prague

Jan Hammer is a Czech-American musician, record producer, and composer. He is best known for his work in the popular American crime drama series, Miami Vice, for which he composed and produced music for 90 episodes. Jan Hammer is also known for his collaboration with some of the most influential rock and jazz musicians like John McLaughlin and Mick Jagger.

 40 
Jan Švankmajer
(Former Czech Artist and Filmmaker Famous For His Stop-Motion Animation Work)
Jan Švankmajer
0
Birthdate: September 4, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia

Jan Švankmajer is a Czech former artist and filmmaker. A self-proclaimed surrealist, Švankmajer's stop-motion animation work has greatly influenced artists like Brothers Quay, Terry Gilliam, Caroline Leaf, Vera Neubauer, Nina Gantz, and Tomasz Bagiński among many others. Jan Švankmajer is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as the Golden Bear, FIAF Award, and Raymond Roussel Society Medal.

 41 
Karel Čapek
(Czech Writer and Playwright Who is Best Known for His Science Fiction)
Karel Čapek
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Malé Svatoňovice, Czechia
Died: December 25, 1938

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer, critic, and playwright. He is best remembered for his science fiction work, including his play Rossum's Universal Robots and his novel War with the Newts. Credited with introducing the word robot, Karel Čapek's works were celebrated after World War II. He was also nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature on seven occasions.

 42 
Radek Štěpánek
(Czech Retired Tennis Player)
Radek Štěpánek
1
Birthdate: November 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Karvina, Czech Republic

Radek Štěpánek is a Czech retired tennis player best known for winning the 2012 Australian Open and the 2013 US Open along with Leander Paes in men's doubles. Štěpánek also won the Davis Cup for his country in 2012 and 2013. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Radek Štěpánek won the bronze medal in the mixed doubles event.

 43 
Otto Wichterle
1
Birthdate: October 27, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prostějov, Czechia
Died: August 18, 1998
 44 
Jiří Veselý
(Czech Tennis Player Who Was Part of the 2013 Davis Cup Winning Team)
Jiří Veselý
0
Birthdate: July 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Příbram, Czechia

Jiří Veselý is a Czech tennis player who was part of the 2013 Davis Cup winning team The current Czech No. 1 in singles, Veselý has won two titles on the ATP Tour so far. His best Grand Slam result came in the 2016 and 2018 Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round of the competition on both occasions.

 45 
John Huss
(Translator ||| Religious scholar ||| Theologian ||| Educator ||| Professor ||| Writer ||| Philosopher)
John Huss
2
Birthdate: May 1, 1369
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Husinec, Czechia
Died: July 6, 1415

John Huss was a Czech philosopher and theologian. He is credited with inspiring a Proto-Protestant Christian movement called Hussitism, which started in the Kingdom of Bohemia before spreading across the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. He also inspired the Bohemian Reformation, which is regarded as one of the most important social, political, and religious movements of the early modern period.

 46 
Karel Gott
(Singer)
Karel Gott
0
Birthdate: July 14, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pilsen, Czechia
Died: October 1, 2019
 47 
Karel Čurda
(Soldier)
Karel Čurda
0
Birthdate: October 10, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Czechia
Died: April 29, 1947
 48 
John of Nepomuk
(Saint of Bohemia Who is Considered as the First Martyr of the 'Seal of the Confessional')
John of Nepomuk
0
Birthdate: 1345 AD
Birthplace: Nepomuk, Czechia
Died: March 20, 1393

John of Nepomuk was the saint of Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) who is usually depicted with a halo of five stars, symbolizing the stars that hovered over the Vltava River at the time of his murder. John of Nepomuk, who was drowned at the behest of Wenceslaus of Luxembourg, was beatified and canonized in 1721 and 1729 respectively. 

 49 
Patrik Berger
(Former Czech Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
Patrik Berger
0
Birthdate: November 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia

Patrik Berger is a Czech retired footballer who won four trophies playing for Liverpool between 1996 and 2003. Renowned for his powerful strikes and strong left foot, Berger was named Czech Footballer of the Year in 1996. He also competed in important tournaments for his national team and helped his team reach the finals of the 1996 UEFA European Championship.

 50 
Antonín Panenka
(Former Czech Footballer Who Played as an Attacking Midfielder)
Antonín Panenka
0
Birthdate: December 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague

Antonín Panenka is a Czech former football player best known for winning the 1976 UEFA European Football Championship with the Czechoslovakia national team. In 1980, he was named Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year. Antonín Panenka is credited with popularizing panenka, a style of penalty named after him.