Polish

Whether you savor the old world charm of Poland or totally swear by its Zubrowka Vodka or are simply mesmerized by its Oscypek, a kind of stunning-looking carved cheese, you will totally lap up reading more about the country’s rich and famous here. Agreed, for a country teeming with history and a heart-warming culture, it is not altogether impossible to get swayed. But besides all the amazing attractions that Poland boasts of, there is this incredible lot of people who have inspired greatness in the country. Be it Copernicus, Chopin, Marie Curie, Pope John Paul II, Robert Kubica or Joanna Krupa, Poland prides itself on its superlative lot of nationals who have inspired a world way beyond their country’s border. Let us delve deep into the lives of some of the famous Polish people to have ever walked the earth and get inspired as we trail their timeline, learn some interesting trivia and unearth some lesser known facts about them in these biographies.

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 Marie Curie

Marie Curie.
23
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 2 Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski.
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: August 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw

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.

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 3 Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin.
3
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola
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.

 4 Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus.
1
Birthdate: February 19, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toruń
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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 5 Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad.
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berdychiv
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 Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: November 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark

 7 Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former Diplomat, Political Scientist
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: May 26, 2017
Polish-American diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski had been a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He believed in the realist school of international relations. He also taught foreign policy and was seen in programs such as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
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 8 Heinz Guderian

Heinz Guderian.
5
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: German General
Birthdate: June 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chełmno
Died: May 14, 1954

German military general Heinz Guderian was part of World War II and led the successful invasions of Poland and France. He was dismissed after the failed Operation Typhoon. He used the blitzkrieg approach and was in charge of training the panzer forces. He wrote a bestselling memoir, following the war.

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 9 Tommy Wiseau

Tommy Wiseau.
4
Famous As: Actor, Director, Filmmaker
Birthdate: October 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poznań

Tommy Wiseau is an American actor and filmmaker who is best known for the film, The Room, which he wrote, produced, directed and acted in. Though the film was panned by many critics, it has achieved a cult status. Tommy is very secretive about his personal  details and this has led to intense speculation among his fans.

 10 Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II.
7
Famous As: Pope
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.

 11 Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala.
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: November 15, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Laguna Larga

Argentine professional footballer Paulo Dybala currently plays for football club Juventus and the Argentina national team. He plays as a forward and is known for his creative style of play, pace, talent, and technique. Revered for his playing skills, he is considered one of the world's most valuable players. He loves tattoos and has many on his body. 

 12 Wernher Von Braun

Wernher Von Braun.
5
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Aerospace Engineer
Birthdate: March 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wyrzysk, Poland
Died: June 16, 1977

German-born American aerospace engineer and space architect, Wernher Von Braun, worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program as a young man. After World War II, he moved to the United States where he became a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the nation. In his later career, he became director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center.

 13 Anna-Maria Sieklucka

Anna-Maria Sieklucka
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 31, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lublin, Poland

 14 Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: August 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Olsztyn, Poland

 15 Meyer Lansky

Meyer Lansky.
4
Listed In: Criminals
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: July 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus
Died: January 15, 1983
Meyer Lansky, or the "Mob's Accountant,” was key to the formation of the National Crime Syndicate along with Charles "Lucky" Luciano. A member of the Jewish mob, he built a worldwide gambling empire that included casinos in Las Vegas. Hyman Roth from The Godfather Part II was based on him.

 16 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Marxist Theorist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamos'c'
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution

 17 Mariusz Pudzianowski

Mariusz Pudzianowski
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Strongman
Birthdate: February 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Biala Rawska, Poland

 18 Emerson Fittipaldi

Emerson Fittipaldi
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Formula One driver, Champ Car driver
Birthdate: December 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil

 19 Wojciech Szczęsny

Wojciech Szczęsny
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Polish footballer
Birthdate: April 18, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw

 20 Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler.
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: February 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Otwock
Died: May 12, 2008
Polish social worker and nurse Irena Sendler was part of the Polish Underground Resistance in German-occupied Poland, during World War II. She was arrested for smuggling Jewish children out of Poland but never revealed much about her work. She had received many awards, such as Israel’s Righteous Among the Nations.

 21 Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: President of the European Council
Birthdate: April 22, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gdańsk

Born to former Polish slave laborers of the Nazi period, Donald Tusk initially wished to become a footballer but was drawn to the Solidarity movement. He later formed the LDC and the PO parties. He has been the president of the European Council.and now presides over the EPP.

 22 Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former President of Poland
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. 

 23 Blanka Lipinska

Blanka Lipinska
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 22, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pulawy, Poland

 24 Władysław Szpilman

Władysław Szpilman
1
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: December 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sosnowiec, Poland
Died: July 6, 2000

 25 Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: October 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

 26 Maximilian Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Friar
Birthdate: January 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zdunska 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.

 27 Benoit Mandelbrot

Benoit Mandelbrot
0
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist, Writer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: November 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: October 14, 2010

Noted mathematician and polymath, Benoit B. Mandelbrot is perhaps best known for his work on fractal. He not only coined the term, but also used computer-constructed images to illustrate the mathematical definition. Also credited with the discovery of Mandelbrot set and Mandelbrot law, he established that even those things which were apparently chaotic or rough had a "degree of order".

 28 Witold Pilecki

Witold Pilecki.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Nazi-era Polish Army Officer
Birthdate: May 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Olonets
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.

 29 Joanna Krupa

Joanna Krupa.
0
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actor, Model, Television Personality
Birthdate: April 23, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Apart from gracing the Maxim Hot 100 list, the Dancing with the Stars and The Real Housewives of Miami star Joanna Krupa also works actively for PETA. Now a mother, she was also in the news when at 35, she had decided to freeze her eggs.

 30 Arkadiusz Milik

Arkadiusz Milik
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Polish footballer
Birthdate: February 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tychy, Poland

 31 Lukas Podolski

Lukas Podolski.
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gliwice

Lukas Podolski is a German football player renowned for his powerful and accurate kicks, technique, and explosive style of play. The third most-capped player in the history of German football, Podolski helped the German national team win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is also the third-highest goalscorer in the history of German soccer.

 32 Konstantin Rokossovsky

Konstantin Rokossovsky.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Soviet Officer
Birthdate: December 21, 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.

 33 Ross Martin

Ross Martin
0
Famous As: Actors
Birthdate: March 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gródek, Poland
Died: July 3, 1981

 34 Sebastian Janikowski

Sebastian Janikowski
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American footballer
Birthdate: March 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Walbrzych, Dolnoslaskie, Poland

 35 Dagmara Dominczyk

Dagmara Dominczyk.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kielce, Poland

Dagmara Domińczyk is a Polish-American actress best known for playing Karolina Novotney in the black comedy-drama TV series, Succession. The wife of popular actor Patrick Wilson, Domińczyk has also appeared in several films, including movies starring her husband. Also an author, Domińczyk published a novel titled, The Lullaby of Polish Girls, based on her upbringing in Poland, in 2013.

 36 Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka
0
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 18, 1980

 37 Tadeusz Kościuszko

Tadeusz Kościuszko.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: February 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mereczowszczyzna
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.

 38 Itzhak Stern

Itzhak Stern.
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Holocaust Survivor
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

 39 Kazimierz Pułaski

Kazimierz Pułaski
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Soldier
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.

 40 Grzegorz Krychowiak

Grzegorz Krychowiak
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Polish footballer
Birthdate: January 29, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gryfice

 41 Marika Domińczyk

Marika Domińczyk
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 7, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kielce, Poland

 42 Andrew Golota

Andrew Golota
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland

 43 Krzysztof Kieślowski

Krzysztof Kieślowski
0
Famous As: Polish film director
Birthdate: June 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: March 13, 1996

 44 Józef Piłsudski

Józef Piłsudski.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Statesman
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.

 45 Stanisław Lem

Stanisław Lem
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: March 27, 2006

 46 Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: December 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland

 47 Janusz Kamiński

Janusz Kamiński
0
Famous As: Cinematographer
Birthdate: June 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ziebice, Poland

 48 Eddie Slovik

Eddie Slovik
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Military personnel, Soldier
Birthdate: February 18, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit
Died: January 31, 1945

 49 Izabella Miko

Izabella Miko
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

 50 Faustyna Kowalska

Faustyna Kowalska
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: August 25, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Łódź
Died: October 5, 1938