Famous French Men

The French man is stylish, sophisticated and loves to smoke! These are the stereotypes that people from other countries associate with the French male. The French’s passion and romance is well known, so is their obsession with cigars and cigarettes. But what people often overlook is that the French man also belongs to the classy, intelligent and cultured breed of men. Apart from having women the world over swoon over them, it should be mentioned that French men have played a pivotal role in world history. On a serious note, France has been the center of western cultural development from centuries, and the influence of French men on the world of fine arts is immeasurable. While artists like Jean Fouquet, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir revolutionized the art of painting, two Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumière introduced the world to the concept of cinema, a new medium they had created.

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 Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: December 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Regarded as one of the best footballers of the current generation, Kylian Mbappé became only the second teenager to score a goal in the final game of a World Cup. Known for his explosive speed and dribbling skills, Mbappé made an impact at a young age. Very mature for his age, he also believes in giving back to society.

 2 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte
Famous As: Emperor of the French (1804-1814)
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 

 3 André the Giant

André the Giant
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: May 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Coulommiers, France
Died: January 27, 1993

André the Giant was one of the most popular French wrestlers ever to appear in WWF. He stood over seven feet tall due to a condition aptly called gigantism, but used his condition to gain popularity. Also an actor, André the Giant continues to be one of the most recognizable faces in the world, several years after his death.

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 4 Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Castellane, Marseille, France

Amongst the greatest footballers of all time, Zinedine Zidane led France to victories in the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. Later, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year took up the position of Real Madrid manager and carved yet another success story by winning major titles like Champions League and UEFA Super Cups.

 5 Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 15, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lagny-sur-Marne, Seine-et-Marne

Paul Pogba is a prominent football player for the English club Manchester United; in 2016 he was transferred from Juventus to Manchester United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3 million, which remains the highest paid fee by any English club. Also an important member of the France national team, he helped France win the 2018 World Cup.

 6 Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mâcon

Antoine Griezmann is a French football player. A key member of the France national team, Antoine Griezmann helped his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup by scoring a goal and assisting another in France's 4-2 win against Croatia. Also an esports enthusiast, Griezmann launched an esports organisation called Grizi Esport in 2020.

 7 Charlemagne

Famous As: King of the Frank
Birthdate: April 2, 0742
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Herstal
Died: January 28, 0814

Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne ruled as the king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and emperor of the Romans at different time periods. Not surprisingly, he had a major impact during the Early Middle Ages as he went about uniting the majority of central and western Europe, for which he is called the Father of Europe.

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 8 William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror
Famous As: King of England (1066-1087)
Birthdate: 1028 AD
Birthplace: Falaise, France
Died: September 9, 1087

William the Conqueror was the first Norman King of England who ruled from 1066 to 1087. William's conquest had a profound impact on England; his government merged elements of the Norman and English systems that laid the foundations of the medieval English kingdom. He is credited with building castles, mottes, and keeps, including the White Tower and Tower of London.

 9 Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry
Famous As: Football Coach, Fotball player
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Les Ulis, France

A football coach, Thierry Henry began his career as a player with Monaco team and later also played for Arsenal and Barcelona. A lethal striker, he became a record goal scorer for both France and Arsenal. He played a crucial role in the French victory in 1998 FIFA World Cup and Arsenal’s win in Premier League and the FA Cup.

 10 N'Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: March 29, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

N'Golo Kante is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team as well as Chelsea FC. Widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, Kanté played a major role in helping his former team Leicester City win their first Premier League title. He also helped France win its second World Cup in 2018.

 11 Voltaire

Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 20, 1694
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 30, 1778
18th-century historian, author, philosopher, and advocate of freedom of speech Voltaire was a leading figure of the French Age of Enlightenment. He often ran into trouble for his criticism of the French nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. He once went to Britain on voluntary exile, fearing imprisonment in France.

 12 Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: September 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chambéry, France

Olivier Giroud is a football player and a prominent member of the France national team. He played a key role in helping his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Thanks to his popularity, Giroud has been a major media personality in France, with appearances in commercials for brands like Hugo Boss and Puma.

 13 Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: December 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lyon, France

Karim Benzema is a French football player often described as strong, powerful, and immensely talented striker. Over the years, Karim has gained the reputation of not missing an opportunity to score a goal once he gets inside the penalty area. In 2010, he got into legal trouble after visiting a 16-year-old prostitute in Paris. The charges were dropped in 2014.

 14 René Déscartes

René Déscartes
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer
Birthdate: March 31, 1596
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Haye en Touraine, Touraine, France
Died: February 11, 1650
René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, laid down the idea of rationalism, later followed by Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes also contributed to the field of analytical geometry and led to the Cartesian coordinate system being named after him. His Meditations on First Philosophy is still taught at many universities.

 15 Claude Monet

Claude Monet
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rue Laffitte, Paris, France
Died: December 5, 1926

Claude Monet was a French painter. The founder of French Impressionist painting, Monet's painting Impression, soleil levant gave rise to the term Impressionism. Often dubbed the driving force behind Impressionism, Monet mastered the art of painting the same scene several times so as to capture the changing of the light. Since his death, his paintings have sold for record prices.

 16 Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: December 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Massy, France
Footballer Anthony Martial began his career playing for Les Ulis, Lyon, and AS Monaco. He then signed with Manchester United for the highest fee paid to a teenager back then, and won the 2015–2016 FA Cup. He won the Golden Boy Award for the best European player under 21.

 17 Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo
Famous As: Novelist & Poet
Birthdate: February 26, 1802
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Besançon, France
Died: May 22, 1885

Victor Hugo was a French poet, dramatist, and novelist of the Romantic movement. Regarded as one of the best-known and greatest French writers of all time, Victor Hugo wrote abundantly during his career that spanned over six decades. Thanks to his works, such as Hernani and Cromwell, Victor Hugo was one of the leading figures of the Romantic literary movement.

 18 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, & Composer
Birthdate: June 28, 1712
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: July 2, 1778

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, composer, and writer. His political philosophy influenced aspects of the French Revolution. He also helped develop modern economic, political, and educational thought. His writing inspired a transformation in French drama and poetry. His works also influenced such writers around the world as Tolstoy. His works as a composer were acknowledged by composers like Mozart.

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 19 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur
Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, Jura, Franche-Comté, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 20 Louis XVI of France

Louis XVI of France
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: August 23, 1754
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Died: January 21, 1793

Louis XVI of France reigned as the last king of France from 1774 to 1792 before the French Revolution, which ended the monarchy in France. During his reign, Louis made attempts to remove land and labor tax, abolish serfdom, and improve tolerance toward non-Catholics. However, the proposed reforms were opposed by the French nobility.

 21 Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle
Famous As: President of France (1959-1969)
Birthdate: November 22, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: November 9, 1970

Charles de Gaulle was a French statesman and army officer. Charles de Gaulle fought against Nazi Germany in the Second World War by leading the Free French Forces. He also worked towards re-establishing democracy in France. He founded the Fifth Republic, France's current republican system, and rewrote the Constitution of France. He then served as the president of France.

 22 Albert Camus

Albert Camus
Famous As: Philosopher & Novelist
Birthdate: November 7, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Drean, Algeria
Died: January 4, 1960

Albert Camus was a French philosopher and the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His philosophical views contributed to the rise of absurdism, a philosophical concept. Also a prolific writer, Albert Camus had an illustrious literary career; most of his philosophical essays and novels are still influential.

 23 Napoleon III

Napoleon III
Famous As: First President of France (1848-1852)
Birthdate: April 20, 1808
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 9, 1873
Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was the first president of France, from 1848 to 1852, and the French emperor from 1852 to 1870. He rebuilt Paris and other French cities, apart from reforming the French banks, railways, and marines. He lost the Franco-Prussian War and eventually died in exile.

 24 Tony Parker

Tony Parker
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: May 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium

Tony Parker is a French-American former basketball player. During his playing career, he helped the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA win four NBA championships. He currently plays a major role in France's professional basketball league 'LNB Pro A' where he owns one of the league's team, ASVEL Basket. Also a philanthropist, Parker serves as the ambassador for Make-A-Wish France.

 25 David Guetta

David Guetta
Famous As: Disc Jockey
Birthdate: November 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio

David Guetta is a French songwriter, record producer, and DJ. Over the years, Guetta has been one of the most popular DJs in the world; in 2011 and 2020, he was voted the best DJ in a poll conducted by DJ Magazine. Referred to as the grandfather of EDM, Guetta has several prestigious awards under his belt, including two Grammys.

 26 Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 24, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Villers-Cotterêts, France
Died: December 5, 1870

One of the most widely read French authors of all time, Alexandre Dumas was prolific in several genres. He joined the army as a young man and later became a full-time writer. Starting his writing career as a playwright, he moved on to writing novels. His novels have been adapted into nearly 200 films in the past century.

 27 Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona
Famous As: Football player, Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marseille, France

Eric Cantona is a French actor, filmmaker, and former football player. During his playing career, Cantona was a key player for the popular football club Manchester United and is often credited with reviving the club's reputation as a footballing force. Nicknamed King Eric by Manchester United fans, Eric Cantona continues to enjoy an iconic status within the club.

 28 Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 29 Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 15, 1980

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, writer, literary critic, and political activist. One of the most important personalities in the philosophy of phenomenology and existentialism, Sartre played a crucial role in 20th-century French philosophy. His work continues to influence literary studies, post-colonial theory, sociology, and critical theory. He was honored with the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature.

 30 Henry IV of France

Henry IV of France
Famous As: King of France (1589-1610)
Birthdate: December 13, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: May 14, 1610

Henry IV of France reigned as the King of France from 2 August 1589 until his death on 14 May 1610. Remembered for his concern about the welfare of the people of France, Henry worked to eliminate corruption, promote agriculture, encourage education, and regularize state finance. The character of Ferdinand in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost was loosely based on Henry.

 31 Jules Verne

Jules Verne
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: March 24, 1905
French author Jules Verne, also known as the “Father of Science Fiction,” is best remembered for his legendary adventure novels Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also became the world’s second most-translated writer since 1979.

 32 Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
Died: November 3, 1954

Henri Matisse was a French artist. Although he was known for his skills as a painter, Matisse was also a renowned sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. Along with Picasso, Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who contributed immensely to the revolutionary developments in visual arts. His works also influenced other painters who would adopt a technique called intense colorism.

 33 Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 22, 1862
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: March 25, 1918

Claude Debussy was a French composer whose career spanned over 30 years. Regarded as one of the most influential composers of his generation, Claude Debussy's works have influenced several other composers, such as Bill Evans, George Benjamin, Olivier Messiaen, and Béla Bartók. Claude Debussy is also regarded as the first Impressionist composer, though he rejected the term.

 34 Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 15, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vernon, Eure Vernon, France

Ousmane Dembele is a footballer who currently plays for the France national team as well as Barcelona. Renowned for his speed, agility, and technical ability, Dembele helped his national team win its second FIFA World Cup in 2018. A skillful player, Dembele can use either foot while playing. Although a mid-fielder, he is also known for his ability to score.  

 35 Jean Reno

Jean Reno
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Casablanca, Morocco
French-Moroccan actor Jean Reno is best known for his roles in Godzilla, The Pink Panther, and Mission Impossible. He has also been part of French, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish films, and was nominated for a European Film Award for his role in Les Rivières pourpres, or Crimson Rivers.

 36 Franck Ribéry

Franck Ribéry
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: April 7, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Franck Ribéry is a French football player who currently plays for the Italian football club, Salernitana. Ribéry plays as a midfielder and is renowned for his precise passing, pace, and skill. Recognized as one of the best footballers of his generation, Franck Ribéry was once referred to as the jewel of French football by former captain Zinedine Zidane.

 37 Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade
Famous As: Novelist, Philosopher
Birthdate: June 2, 1740
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 2, 1814
Marquis de Sade is remembered for his erotic books such as The 120 Days of Sodom. He was known for his peculiar way of deriving sexual pleasure by torturing his victims, now known as “sadism.” He was jailed for several years for sexual abuse against men, women, and children. 

 38 John Calvin

John Calvin
Famous As: Protestant Reformer, Theologian, Pastor
Birthdate: July 10, 1509
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Noyon, France
Died: May 27, 1564

French theologian, pastor, and reformer John Calvin was a major figure during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He was influential in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church to embrace Protestantism. As an apologetic writer, he generated much controversy.

 39 Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 19, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: August 19, 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on projective geometry, at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest inventors of the mechanical calculator, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on probability theory influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

 40 Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV of France
Famous As: King of France (1643-1715)
Birthdate: September 5, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: September 1, 1715

Louis XIV of France reigned as the King of France from 1643 to 1715. Louis XIV is the longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign country in the history of Europe. Under his rule, France often asserted its military prowess and emerged as the most dominant European monarchy. His life inspired several films, such as The Taking of Power by Louis XIV.

 41 Vincent Cassel

Vincent Cassel
Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: November 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

While he first came to prominence with his role in La Haine, French actor Vincent Cassel later got typecast in roles of short-tempered men. He has also won a César Award for his portrayal of Jacques Mesrine in the 2008 movie Mesrine. He is a trained martial artist, too.

 42 DJ Snake

DJ Snake
Famous As: Record producer, DJ
Birthdate: June 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

DJ Snake is a French record producer and DJ. He is best known for his English-Spanish song Taki Taki, which won several awards, including BMI Latin Awards. Over the years, Snake has won many prestigious awards, such as Billboard Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. In 2019, he was ranked 16th on DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs list.

 43 Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied
Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: June 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
French dancer Benjamin Millepied was initially associated with the New York City Ballet. He launched the LA Dance Project and was the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. He gained fame as the choreographer of the iconic movie Black Swan, and later married its lead actor, Natalie Portman.

 44 Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau
Famous As: French Explorer
Birthdate: June 11, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint-André-de-Cubzac
Died: June 25, 1997

Jacques Cousteau was a French explorer, naval officer, filmmaker, conservationist, scientist, photographer, researcher, and author. Renowned for his exploration of various forms of life in water, Jacques Cousteau is credited with pioneering marine conservation and co-developing the Aqua-Lung, the first underwater breathing apparatus to achieve popularity and commercial success.

 45 Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent
Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: August 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria
Died: June 1, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who founded his eponymous fashion label in 1961. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most popular and influential fashion designers, Saint Laurent is credited with helping women all over the world find confidence by looking both elegant and comfortable at the same time. His life and career inspired many films.

 46 Louis XIII of France

Louis XIII of France
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: September 27, 1601
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France
Died: May 14, 1643

Louis XIII of France reigned as the King of France between 1610 and 1643. He is best remembered for saving the kingdom from the mismanagement of his mother Marie de' Medici, who was exiled by a 16-year-old Louis XIII. He is also credited with popularizing wigs among men, which had not been fashionable since antiquity.

 47 Louis XV of France

Louis XV of France
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: February 15, 1710
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Died: May 10, 1774
After losing his parents and his brother to measles, Louis XV became the king of France at the tender age of 5. Known for his extravagances and his reliance on his mistresses, Louis XV was disliked by most. His reign also witnessed judicial reforms and the Seven Years’ War.

 48 Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 7, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 8, 1903
French Post-Impressionist artist, sculptor, and writer Paul Gauguin was a major figure in the Symbolist movement. He had worked as a stockbroker and businessman before gaining fame as an artist. He influenced the French avant-garde and modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and also led the way for Primitivism.

 49 Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: May 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dakar, Senegal

 50 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 24, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albi, France
Died: September 9, 1901
French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most significant figures of the Post-Impressionist period. He was also an illustrator and poster painter, who was known for his colorful depictions of cabaret from Paris's Moulin Rouge. His painting The Laundress sold for US$22.4 million at a 2005 Christie’s auction.

France produced literary geniuses in the form of Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre who were more than just writers; they were deep thinkers and key contributors to the Existential philosophy. Browse on to discover many more fascinating details about the famous men of France.