Famous Polish Men

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Situated in Central Europe, Poland is ninth largest country in Europe and ranks as the 34th most populous in the world. With a population of more than 38.5 million people, polish nationals rank amongst the world’s most ingenious lot. Coming to Polish men, their contribution to the world history, civilization and science have been noteworthy. Be it Jan Szczepanik and his bulletproof vest that secured the life of millions of men and women around the globe or Jan Jozef Ignacy Łukasiewicz’s paraffin lamp that made way for light to enter the dark households, Polish men are noted for a lot of inventions and discoveries that shaped modern living. And that it not all for Polish men are responsible for a lot more than just inventions.

Vote for Your Favourite Polish Men
 1 
Robert Lewandowski
(One of the Most Successful Football Players in Bundesliga History)
Robert Lewandowski
37
Birthdate: August 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland

Considered one of the best football players in the world, Robert Lewandowski plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and leads the Poland national team as its captain. Known for his exceptional goal scoring ability and striking skills, Lewandowski has earned several accolades including Polish Player of the Year title for eight consecutive years. Besides, he is also a venture capitalist.

 2 
Frédéric Chopin
(Polish Composer and Virtuoso Pianist of the Romantic Period)
Frédéric Chopin
13
Birthdate: March 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: October 17, 1849

Romantic Era virtuoso pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, nicknamed The Poet of the Piano, is remembered as the inventor of the instrumental ballade. The legendary composer mostly created solo piano masterpieces but also experimented with piano concertos and chamber pieces. He was influenced by Bach, Mozart, and Polish folk music.

 3 
Nicolaus Copernicus
(Polish Astronomer Who Proposed That the Earth Revolves Around the Sun)
Nicolaus Copernicus
10
Birthdate: February 19, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toruń, Poland
Died: May 24, 1543

Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with formulating Heliocentrism, which led to the Copernican Revolution. Although Aristarchus of Samos had formulated Heliocentrism 18 centuries earlier, Copernicus was responsible for popularizing it. Copernicus is also credited with formulating an economic principle, which was later called Gresham's law.

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 4 
Peter Schmeichel
(Football player)
Peter Schmeichel
36
Birthdate: November 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark
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 5 
Joseph Conrad
(Known for Short Stories and Novels Like Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness and the Secret Agent)
Joseph Conrad
5
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berdychiv, Ukraine
Died: August 3, 1924

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer. Considered one of the greatest English-language novelists of all time, Conrad is credited with bringing a non-English sensibility into English-language literature. Many of his works have inspired several films, TV series, and video games. His anti-heroic characters and narrative style have influenced many authors like Salman Rushdie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S. Eliot.

 6 
Mariusz Pudzianowski
6
Birthdate: February 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Biala Rawska, Poland
 7 
Władysław Szpilman
(Pianist Widely Known as the Central Figure in the 2002 'Roman Polanski' Film 'The Pianist')
Władysław Szpilman
5
Birthdate: December 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sosnowiec, Poland
Died: July 6, 2000

Władysław Szpilman was a Polish pianist of Jewish descent. He was a popular performer on Polish radio and in concert in the 1930s. He was also a prolific composer. He survived the Holocaust and was the central figure in the 2002 Roman Polanski film The Pianist. His son, Andrzej Szpilman, is also a composer and music producer. 

 8 
Stanisław Lem
(Polish Novelist Best Known for His Novel 'Solaris')
Stanisław Lem
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: March 27, 2006

Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer who specialized in the science fiction genre. He was also a noted essayist who wrote on varied subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. His books, which have been translated into over 50 languages, have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. 

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 9 
Jan Blachowicz
(Mixed martial artist)
Jan Blachowicz
7
Birthdate: February 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cieszyn, Poland
 10 
Lech Walesa
(Former President of Poland)
Lech Walesa
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Popowo, Gmina Tłuchowo, Poland

Lech Walesa is a Polish dissident and statesman. From 1990 to 1995, Walesa served as the first elected president of Poland. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Walesa was adjudged Time Person of the Year in 1981. In 1999, he was named in the magazine's most important people of the 20th century list. 

 11 
Maximilian Kolbe
(Polish Catholic Priest and Conventual Franciscan Friar)
Maximilian Kolbe
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zduńska Wola, Poland
Died: August 14, 1941

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar and a Catholic priest. Venerated as Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Maximilian is best remembered for volunteering to die at the death camp of Auschwitz in place of a stranger during World War II. In 1982, Pope John Paul II declared Maximilian Kolbe a martyr of charity.

 12 
Andrzej Sapkowski
(Polish Novelist and Economist Best Known for His Six-Volume Series of Books ‘The Witcher’)
Andrzej Sapkowski
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski is best known for his widely translated iconic book series The Witcher, which has also been made into a Netflix series. While he initially studied economics and worked as a sales representative, he soared to fame with the short story Wiedźmin, which later became The Witcher.

 13 
Wojciech Szczęsny
(Polish footballer)
Wojciech Szczęsny
7
Birthdate: April 18, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw
 14 
Arthur Rubinstein
(One of the Greatest Pianists and Chopin Interpreters of His Time)
Arthur Rubinstein
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: December 20, 1982

Arthur Rubinstein was a Polish-American pianist counted amongst the greatest pianists of all time. He had an extensive career spanning eight decades, during which he earned much international acclaim. He played music performed by several illustrious composers and is especially remembered for his interpretation of Chopin’s music. Renowned pianists François-René Duchâble and Avi Schönfeld were his students. 

 15 
Witold Pilecki
(Polish World War II Cavalry Officer, Intelligence Agent and Resistance Leader)
Witold Pilecki
8
Birthdate: May 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Olonets, Russia
Died: May 25, 1948

Known as prisoner number 4859 at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Witold Pilecki voluntarily got himself arrested to be sent to the camp, so that he could start an anti-Nazi resistance movement. He set up the underground campaign ZOW and was eventually able to escape. Nevertheless, he was executed by communists.

 16 
Sebastian Janikowski
(American footballer)
Sebastian Janikowski
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Walbrzych, Dolnoslaskie, Poland
 17 
Pope John Paul II
35
Birthdate: May 18, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wadowice, Poland
Died: April 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He is hailed for helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and improving the Catholic Church's relations with Islam, Judaism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was a lifelong football fan, having himself played the sport in his youth.

 18 
Zdzisław Beksiński
0
Birthdate: February 24, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sanok, Poland
Died: February 21, 2005
 19 
Robert Kubica
(Racing driver)
Robert Kubica
5
Birthdate: December 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland
 20 
Arkadiusz Milik
(Polish footballer)
Arkadiusz Milik
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tychy, Poland
 21 
Ross Martin
(Actors)
Ross Martin
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gródek, Poland
Died: July 3, 1981
 22 
Tadeusz Kościuszko
(Polish Military Engineer and Statesman)
Tadeusz Kościuszko
6
Birthdate: February 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Belarus
Died: October 15, 1817

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian statesman, military leader, and military engineer. Thanks to his participation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's fight against Prussia and Russia and his role in the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko is widely regarded as a national hero in the United States, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

 23 
Itzhak Stern
(Holocaust Survivor)
Itzhak Stern
5
Birthdate: January 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: 1969 AD

Itzhak Stern was a Polish-Israeli Jewish Holocaust survivor. An accountant by profession, he was closely involved with industrialist Oskar Schindler and assisted him in his rescue activities during the Holocaust. Both Stern and Schindler survived the Holocaust and remained friends until Stern’s death in 1969. Stern was played by English actor Ben Kingsley in the film Schindler's List

 24 
Andrew Golota
0
Birthdate: January 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
 25 
Kazimierz Pułaski
1
Birthdate: March 6, 1745
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: October 11, 1779

Kazimierz Pułaski was a Polish nobleman, military commander, and soldier. Dubbed the father of the American cavalry, Pulaski is credited with creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reorganizing the American cavalry. He played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and is remembered for fighting for the independence of Poland and the United States.

 26 
Józef Piłsudski
(Prime Minister of Poland (1926 - 1928))
Józef Piłsudski
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1867
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zalavas, Lithuania
Died: May 12, 1935

Józef Piłsudski was a Polish statesman and one of the most influential personalities in Polish politics post World War I. From 1918 to 1922, he served as the Chief of State. From 1926 to 1935, he was regarded as the de facto leader of the Second Polish Republic and was largely viewed as the father of Interwar Poland.

 27 
Konstantin Rokossovsky
(Soviet and Polish Military Officer)
Konstantin Rokossovsky
6
Birthdate: December 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 3, 1968

Konstantin Rokossovsky was a Soviet and Polish officer. One of the most important Red Army commanders during the Second World War, Rokossovsky also served as Poland's Defence Minister from 1949 to 1956. He also served as the Marshal of Poland and as the Marshal of the Soviet Union.

 28 
Krzysztof Kieślowski
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Krzysztof Kieślowski
2
Birthdate: June 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 13, 1996
 29 
Marcin Gortat
(Basketball player)
Marcin Gortat
1
Birthdate: February 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lódz, Poland
 30 
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
(Physicist, Inventor)
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
5
Birthdate: May 24, 1686
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gdańsk
Died: September 16, 1736

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was a scientific instrument maker, inventor, and physicist. One of the most prominent and influential personalities of the Dutch Golden Age of science and technology, Fahrenheit is credited with many important inventions, including the mercury-in-glass thermometer and Fahrenheit scale. His inventions helped shape the history of thermometry. 

 31 
Hubert Hurkacz
(Tennis player)
Hubert Hurkacz
2
Birthdate: February 11, 1997
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
 32 
Janusz Korczak
(Former educator, children's author, pedagogue)
Janusz Korczak
1
Birthdate: July 22, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 7, 1942

A reputed Polish doctor, Henryk Goldszmit was better known by his pseudonym, Janusz Korczak, which he used to write several children’s books. Apart from working as a pediatrician and a military doctor, he also owned a Jewish orphanage and stayed with the children while the Germans deported him and other staff to Treblinka.

 33 
Jerzy Dudek
(Polish footballer)
Jerzy Dudek
1
Birthdate: March 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rybnik
 34 
Sigismund III Vasa
0
Birthdate: June 20, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gripsholm Castle
Died: April 30, 1632

Sigismund III Vasa was the elder son of Swedish king John III Vasa. As the king of Poland and Sweden, he not only enjoyed prosperity but also tried to unite the two states, although he ended up creating conflicts between them. His lust for power also resulted in the Zebrzydowski Rebellion.

 35 
Grzegorz Krychowiak
(Polish footballer)
Grzegorz Krychowiak
3
Birthdate: January 29, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gryfice
 36 
Stanislaw Szukalski
1
Birthdate: December 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warta, Poland
Died: May 19, 1987
 37 
John III Sobieski
(Military leader, Politician)
John III Sobieski
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1629
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Olesko
Died: June 17, 1696

Well-educated and well-traveled, John III Sobieski initially joined the Swedes as a soldier, in opposing Polish ruler John Casimir. He then switched to the Polish side. He gradually rose through the ranks to become a grand marshal and a grand-hetman, and eventually became the king of Poland.

 38 
Janusz Kamiński
(Cinematographer)
Janusz Kamiński
2
Birthdate: June 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ziebice, Poland
 39 
Isaac Bashevis Singer
4
Birthdate: November 21, 1902
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Leoncin, Congress Poland
Died: July 24, 1991

Nobel Prize-winning Polish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer is best remembered for his short stories and novels that mirrored Jewish life with a tinge of irony. Born into a family of rabbis, he got a traditional education and later became a journalist. His works include the iconic novel The Family Moskat.

 40 
Mateusz Kieliszkowski
(Athletics competitor)
Mateusz Kieliszkowski
1
Birthdate: August 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Słubice
 41 
Łukasz Piszczek
(Football player)
Łukasz Piszczek
2
Birthdate: June 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland
 42 
Andrzej Wajda
(Polish film director)
Andrzej Wajda
2
Birthdate: March 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Suwałki
Died: October 9, 2016
 43 
Stanisław August Poniatowski
(King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1764 - 1795))
Stanisław August Poniatowski
5
Birthdate: January 17, 1732
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Voŭčyn, Belarus
Died: February 12, 1798

Stanisław August Poniatowski reigned as the King of Poland from 1764 to 1795. He is best remembered as the last ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Poniatowski made several attempts to reform and strengthen the ailing Commonwealth, which proved to be difficult due to several external and internal oppositions. He is often criticized for his failure to prevent the partitions.

 44 
Krzysztof Penderecki
(Polish Composer and Conductor Who Created New Sounds From the Forms and Styles of Works From Past Centuries)
Krzysztof Penderecki
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Debica, Poland
Died: March 29, 2020

Krzysztof Penderecki was a Polish composer and conductor who achieved international recognition for his works, which include compositions like Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima and Anaklasis. Krzysztof Penderecki was honored with several prestigious awards such as four Grammy Awards, the Wihuri Sibelius Prize, and the Wolf Prize in Arts.

 45 
Herschel Grynszpan
6
Birthdate: March 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: May 8, 1960

Herschel Grynszpan was a German Jew best remembered for assassinating a German diplomat named Ernst vom Rath to avenge the persecuted Jews. Rath's assassination had a huge impact on the Jews as the Nazis cited his murder as justification for their planned antisemitic pogroms against the Jews in Germany. Herschel Grynszpan disappeared in 1944 and was declared dead in 1960.

 46 
Kamil Glik
(Polish footballer)
Kamil Glik
1
Birthdate: February 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jastrzębie-Zdrój
 47 
Adam Mickiewicz
(Best Known as One of Poland's 'Three Bards' & A Primary Figure in European Romanticism)
Adam Mickiewicz
1
Birthdate: December 24, 1798
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zavosse, Belarus
Died: November 26, 1855

Adam Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, and political activist. He was a major figure in Polish Romanticism and considered one of Poland's "Three Bards." He has long been regarded as Poland's national poet and is often compared to Byron and Goethe. The vast majority of his work is available only in Polish and has been reprinted numerous times. 

 48 
Furious Pete
(Competitive Eater)
Furious Pete
1
Birthdate: November 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Pete Czerwinski, or Furious Pete, had been an anorexic child. Following his recovery, the Canadian realized he could eat a lot of food easily and began posting his competitive eating videos on YouTube. Pete is also a cancer survivor and believes in the motto “Eat big or go home.”

 49 
Artur Boruc
(Football player)
Artur Boruc
1
Birthdate: February 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Siedlce, Poland
 50 
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
(Former Prime Minister of Poland, Pianist)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1860
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kurylivka, Ukraine
Died: June 29, 1941

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish musician who went on to become the third Prime Minister of Poland after being a spokesman for Polish independence for a long time. He also played a significant role as the nation's foreign minister in 1919 when he signed the Treaty of Versailles, an important event that marked the end of World War I.

Who can forget the contribution of Nicolaus Copernicus in the field of astronomy or Frederic Chopin’s piano compositions to music or Joseph Conrad’s distinguished books that stirred the literary world? Each of them gave Poland an eminent place in world history through their exemplary deeds and works. Brief yourself with the life and works of these famous Polish men whose contribution in world history is totally immeasurable.