Wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron was, interestingly, her husband’s literature and theater teacher at Lycée la Providence. She was the chief strategist during Macron’s 2016-2017 election. Twenty-four years Macron’s senior, Brigitte, was to be the official “First Lady” of France, until a signature campaign thwarted such plans.
Pierre de Coubertin was a French historian and educator. Credited with founding the International Olympic Committee, Coubertin is often referred to as the father of the modern Olympic Games. Also an important contributor to the sport of rugby union, Coubertin was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.
Born to a music instructor father, French composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger was no stranger to music as a kid. The first woman to conduct prime orchestras, she had the who’s who of the music industry, such as Elliott Carter, Roy Harris, and Quincy Jones, on her list of students.
Fernand Braudel was a French historian who led a group of historians who were associated with the Annales School. Braudel is credited with popularizing the school in France. As the leader of the school during the 1950s and 1960s, Braudel had a major influence on historical writings around the world. He is also counted among the forefathers of world-systems theory.
Eighteenth-century philanthropic educator Charles-Michel de l'Épée is regarded as the Father of the Deaf for pioneering the education of the deaf and dumb. He laid down the Signed French system, which enabled the deaf to participate in legal proceedings. His French Sign Language laid the path to the American Sign Language.
Allan Kardec was a French educator, author, and translator. The founder of Spiritism, Kardec is best remembered for writing five books which are collectively known as the Spiritist Codification. His work with Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi helped lay the foundation for the teaching model in France and Germany.
Best known for his masterpiece The Sorcerer's Apprentice, French composer Paul Dukas was admired by both conservative and progressive French musicians. Born to a pianist mother, Dukas had begun composing while recovering from an ailment at age 14. Shortly before his death, he destroyed most of his manuscripts.
Lucie Samuel was a French history-teacher and member of French Resistance during Second World War. She obtained an agrégation of history, an uncommon feat for a woman of her time. Her husband Raymond Aubrac, a leader of French Resistance, was given death-sentence. Lucie helped in organising his escape from prison. The couple later joined Charles de Gaulle’s government in exile.
French Roman Catholic priest Guy Gilbert was trained in Algeria and later began his spiritual career working with juvenile delinquents in France. He has mentored Belgian prince Laurent and has also worked for Radio Notre-Dame and La Croix. The Légion d’Honneur winner has also penned several books.
Verónika Mendoza is a Peruvian-French politician, educator, and psychologist. She is currently serving as the president of a left-wing political party called New Peru, which she founded in 2017. Verónika Mendoza is also known for her association with the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano de Puno, where she worked as a professor before commencing her political career.
Frédéric Ozanam was a French lawyer, literary scholar, equal rights advocate, and journalist. He is credited with co-founding the Conference of Charity, which came to be known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. in 1997, Frédéric Ozanam was beatified at Notre Dame de Paris by Pope John Paul II and his feast day is observed on 9 September.
John Baptist de La Salle, also known as La Salle, is remembered as the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or the de La Salle Brothers. Apart from setting up charitable boarding schools, he also trained teachers. He is revered as the patron saint of school teachers and educators.
Gilles Lipovetsky is a French sociologist, philosopher, and writer. He also serves as a professor at the prestigious Stendhal University in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. An influential figure, Lipovetsky has written about important topics like globalization, feminism, consumerism, and modern culture.
Lucien Lévy-Bruhl was a French scholar best remembered for his contributions to the fields of ethnology and sociology. Although he was trained in philosophy, Lévy-Bruhl helped further anthropology. His work had a major influence on the works of Carl Gustav Jung, especially his psychological theory.
Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron was a French orientalist, considered to be the first professional French Indologist. He is credited to have created the blueprint for the new professional field. He developed an early interest in oriental languages as a young man and traveled to India to study Indian languages. He also had a keen interest in the occult.
A professor at Paris’s National Museum of Natural History, French naturalist Théodore Monod founded the cultural institute IFAN in Senegal. He spent a huge chunk of his life studying natural life in the Sahara and had several plant, insect, crustaceans, and fish species named after him.