Famous French Educators

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 French Educators

 1 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
4
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.

 2 Brigitte Macron

Brigitte Macron
4
Famous As: First Lady of France
Birthdate: April 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amiens, France

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. 

 3 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
4
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: May 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Orcines, France
Died: April 10, 1955

French paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is remembered as someone who deviated from theology to science. He discovered the fossilized remains known as the Peking man in China, but faced a lot of opposition from his religious superiors when it came to publishing his scientific thoughts.

Recommended Lists:

 4 René Girard

René Girard
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Avignon, France
Died: November 4, 2015

René Girard was a French philosopher of social science, literary critic, and historian. Over the years, Girard's work has had an influence on disciplines like philosophy, anthropology, psychology, mythology, theology, economics, sociology, and cultural studies among other important disciplines. In 2006, René Girard was honored by the University of Tübingen with the prestigious Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize.

 5 Pierre de Coubertin

Pierre de Coubertin
6
Famous As: Father of the Modern Olympic Games
Birthdate: January 1, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris
Died: September 2, 1937

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. 

 6 Robert Clary

Robert Clary
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 7 Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger
4
Famous As: Music Teacher
Birthdate: September 16, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 22, 1979

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.

You May Like

 8 John Baptist de La Salle

John Baptist de La Salle
4
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: April 30, 1651
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingdom of France
Died: April 7, 1719

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.

 9 Pierre Joliot

Pierre Joliot
4
Famous As: Biologist and researcher for the CNRS.
Birthdate: March 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 10 Charles-Michel de l'Épée

Charles-Michel de l'Épée
4
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: November 24, 1712
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Versailles, Yvelines, France
Died: December 23, 1789

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.

 11 Allan Kardec

Allan Kardec
4
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: October 3, 1804
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 31, 1869

 12 Paul Dukas

Paul Dukas
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: October 1, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1935

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.

 13 Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
3
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: July 28, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 2020

Her activism and outspokenness had earned Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma the nickname Red Princess. Part of the Spanish royal family, she was educated at the Sorbonne. She later supported the Carlist movement and was a champion of women’s rights, too. She eventually died of COVID-19 at age 86.

 14 Adolphe Adam

Adolphe Adam
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 24, 1803
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 3, 1856

 15 Ernest Renan

Ernest Renan
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 27, 1823
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tréguier, France
Died: October 2, 1892

Ernest Renan was a French Semitic and Orientalist scholar. A multi-talented personality, Renan was also an expert of Semitic civilizations and languages, philologist, philosopher, historian of religion, critic, and biblical scholar. Ernest Renan is credited with writing pioneering and influential works on the origins of Christianity. Ernest Renan is also credited with writing the extremely popular book, Life of Jesus.

 16 Louise Michel

Louise Michel
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 29, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vroncourt-la-Côte, France
Died: January 9, 1905

A significant figure of the Paris Commune, Louise Michel was born as an illegitimate child of a maid. She had initially been trained to be a teacher but later began developing an interest in revolutionary socialist ideas. She was also once sent behind bars for inciting riots.

 17 Claire Denis

Claire Denis
4
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France

 18 Savitri Devi

Savitri Devi
6
Famous As: Writer, Poet
Birthdate: September 30, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: October 22, 1982

Born in Lyon, Frenchwoman Maximiani Julia Portas later changed her name to Savitri Devi and adopted Nazism. The ardent cat lover earned a PhD in philosophy and later acquired Greek nationality and served as an Axis spy. She claimed Adolf Hitler was an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

 19 Alfred Cortot

Alfred Cortot
3
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: September 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nyon, Switzerland
Died: June 15, 1962

 20 Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor
3
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: February 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 12, 1937

 21 Lucie Aubrac

Lucie Aubrac
3
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: June 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mâcon, France
Died: March 14, 2007

 22 Pauline Viardot

Pauline Viardot
3
Famous As: Soprano
Birthdate: July 18, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1910

 23 Jean-Pierre Sauvage

Jean-Pierre Sauvage
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Nobel Prize-winning French chemist Jean-Pierre Sauvage is currently associated with Strasbourg University. He has gained recognition for his research on supramolecular and coordination chemistry, and for creating molecular chains, such as catenane, that mimic the mechanical functions by changing their nature in response to external cues.

 24 Rose Philippine Duchesne

Rose Philippine Duchesne
3
Famous As: Sister
Birthdate: August 29, 1769
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grenoble, France
Died: November 18, 1852

 25 Jules Joseph Lefebvre

Jules Joseph Lefebvre
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 14, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tournan-en-Brie, France
Died: February 24, 1911

 26 Wanda Landowska

Wanda Landowska
3
Famous As: Harpsichordist
Birthdate: July 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 16, 1959

 27 Verónika Mendoza

Verónika Mendoza
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Sebastián, Peru

 28 Guy Gilbert

Guy Gilbert
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: September 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rochefort, France

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.

 29 Julie Billiart

Julie Billiart
3
Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: July 12, 1751
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cuvilly, France
Died: April 8, 1816

 30 Thomas Couture

Thomas Couture
3
Famous As: Fine art artist
Birthdate: December 21, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Senlis, France
Died: March 30, 1879

 31 Edward Frederick Sorin

Edward Frederick Sorin
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: February 6, 1814
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ahuille, France
Died: October 31, 1893

 32 Violette Verdy

Violette Verdy
3
Famous As: Ballerina
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pont-l'Abbé, France
Died: February 8, 2016

Violette Verdy was a French ballet dancer, teacher, choreographer, and writer. From 1958 to 1977, Verdy served as the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet where she was a star. She also served as the director for popular ballet companies like the Boston Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. During her lifetime, Verdy was honored with several awards.

 33 Marie Souvestre

Marie Souvestre
3
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 28, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brest, France
Died: March 30, 1905

 34 Fromental Halévy

Fromental Halévy
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: May 27, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1862

 35 Stanley Hoffmann

Stanley Hoffmann
3
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: November 27, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 13, 2015

 36 Ambroise Thomas

Ambroise Thomas
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 5, 1811
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Metz, France
Died: February 12, 1896

 37 Jean Dieudonné

Jean Dieudonné
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 1, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: November 29, 1992

 38 Henri Louis Le Chatelier

Henri Louis Le Chatelier
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 8, 1850
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 17, 1936

French chemist Le Chatelier is most noted for his work on Le Chatelier's principle as also on varying solubility of salts in an ideal solution. The Le Chatelier's principle, which chemists and chemical engineers use for predicting the effect a changing condition, like temperature or pressure, has on a system in chemical equilibrium was devised by him.

 39 Charles Koechlin

Charles Koechlin
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 27, 1867
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 31, 1950

 40 Antoine Bourdelle

Antoine Bourdelle
3
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: October 30, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne, France
Died: October 1, 1929

Antoine Bourdelle was a French sculptor and teacher. A prominent personality in the Art Deco movement, Bourdelle played a major role during the transition to modern sculpture from the Beaux-Arts style. A prolific and influential teacher, Antoine Bourdelle is credited with mentoring several future sculptors like Alberto Giacometti, Athanase Apartis, and Josefina de Vasconcellos.

 41 Gilles Lipovetsky

Gilles Lipovetsky
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Millau, France

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.

 42 Jean-Christophe Yoccoz

Jean-Christophe Yoccoz
2
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 3, 2016

 43 Francis Rapp

Francis Rapp
3
Famous As: Medievalist
Birthdate: June 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: March 29, 2020

 44 Laurent Lafforgue

Laurent Lafforgue
2
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 6, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Antony, France

 45 Gershom ben Judah

Gershom ben Judah
2
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0960 AD
Birthplace: Metz, France
Died: 1040 AD

 46 Jean de Gerson

Jean de Gerson
2
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: December 13, 1363
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingdom of France
Died: July 12, 1429

 47 Philipp Spener

Philipp Spener
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 13, 1635
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ribeauvillé, France
Died: February 5, 1705

 48 Théodore Dubois

Théodore Dubois
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rosnay, France
Died: June 11, 1924

 49 Eugène Carrière

Eugène Carrière
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 16, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gournay, France
Died: March 27, 1906

French symbolist artist Eugène Carrière was a significant figure of the Fin de siècle period. It is believed his works influenced much of his friend Pablo Picasso’s artworks. His signature style included gray shades and soft tones. He also taught art at Académie de La Palette.

 50 Valentin Haüy

Valentin Haüy
2
Famous As: Founder
Birthdate: November 13, 1745
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Just-en-Chaussee, France
Died: March 19, 1822