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.

Vote For Your Favourite Polish Personality

 1 
Marie Curie
(Physicist)

Marie Curie
72
Listed In: Scientists
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
(Football Player)

Robert Lewandowski
25
Listed In: Sportspersons
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.

 3 

Frédéric Chopin
10
Listed In: Musicians
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.

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Nicolaus Copernicus
(Mathematician)

Nicolaus Copernicus
4
Listed In: Scientists
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.

Recommended Lists:

 5 
Susan Wojcicki
(CEO of YouTube)

Susan Wojcicki
48
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: July 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Clara County, California, United States

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has been the longest-tenured CEO of the organization. She has earlier contributed to the formation of Google and has served them as their VP of product management. The Harvard alumnus was ranked 16 on Forbes’s list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2011.

 6 

Joseph Conrad
4
Listed In: Writers
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.

 7 
Peter Schmeichel
(Football player)

Peter Schmeichel
27
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark
You May Like

 8 
Zbigniew Brzezinski
(United States National Security Advisor (1977-81))

Zbigniew Brzezinski
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
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.
Recommended Lists:

 9 
Benoit Mandelbrot
(Mathematician and polymath)

Benoit Mandelbrot
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: November 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
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".

 10 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Marxist economist)

Rosa Luxemburg
6
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
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

 11 

Mariusz Pudzianowski
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Biala Rawska, Poland

 12 
Jan Blachowicz
(Mixed martial artist)

Jan Blachowicz
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cieszyn, Poland

 13 
Irena Sendler
(Humanitarian & Social worker)

Irena Sendler
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
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.

 14 
Lech Walesa
(Former President of Poland)

Lech Walesa
5
Listed In: Leaders
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. 

 15 

Stanisław Lem
2
Listed In: Writers
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. 

 16 
Wojciech Szczęsny
(Polish footballer)

Wojciech Szczęsny
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 18, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw

 17 
Robert Kubica
(Racing driver)

Robert Kubica
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland

 18 
Witold Pilecki
(Nazi-era Polish Army Officer)

Witold Pilecki
7
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 19 

Arthur Rubinstein
3
Listed In: Musicians
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. 

 20 

Władysław Szpilman
3
Listed In: Musicians
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. 

 21 
Andrzej Sapkowski
(He is best known for his book series The Witcher)

Andrzej Sapkowski
3
Listed In: Writers
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.

 22 
Joanna Krupa
(Actor, Model, Television Personality)

Joanna Krupa
7
Listed In: Fashion
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.

 23 

Pope John Paul II
24
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.

 24 

Zdzisław Beksiński
0
Birthdate: February 24, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sanok, Poland
Died: February 21, 2005

 25 
Tadeusz Kościuszko
(Statesman, Engineer)

Tadeusz Kościuszko
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 24, 1929, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mieračoŭščyna
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.

 26 
Ross Martin
(Actors)

Ross Martin
1
Birthdate: March 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gródek, Poland
Died: July 3, 1981

 27 
Itzhak Stern
(Holocaust Survivor)

Itzhak Stern
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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

 28 

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

 29 

Kazimierz Pułaski
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.

 30 
Joanna Jedrzejczyk
(Mixed Martial Artist)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Olsztyn, Poland

 31 
Konstantin Rokossovsky
(Military officer)

Konstantin Rokossovsky
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.

 32 
Karolina Kowalkiewicz
(Mixed martial artist)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

 33 
Krzysztof Kieślowski
(Film director, Screenwriter)

Krzysztof Kieślowski
1
Birthdate: June 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 13, 1996

 34 
Sebastian Janikowski
(American footballer)

Sebastian Janikowski
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Walbrzych, Dolnoslaskie, Poland

 35 
Marcin Gortat
(Basketball player)

Marcin Gortat
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lódz, Poland

 36 
Arkadiusz Milik
(Polish footballer)

Arkadiusz Milik
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tychy, Poland

 37 
John III Sobieski
(Military leader, Politician)

John III Sobieski
1
Listed In: Leaders
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 
Józef Piłsudski
(Chief of State of Poland (1918-1922))

Józef Piłsudski
4
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 39 

Tamara de Lempicka
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 18, 1980

 40 
Janusz Kamiński
(Cinematographer)

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

 41 
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
(Physicist, Inventor)

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
3
Listed In: Scientists
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. 

 42 
Jadwiga of Poland
(Queen of Poland (1384-1399))

Jadwiga of Poland
0
Birthdate: 1373 AD
Birthplace: Buda, Hungary
Died: July 17, 1399

Jadwiga of Poland reigned over the Kingdom of Poland as its first female monarch from 1384 until her death in 1399. Regarded as one of Poland's greatest rulers, Jadwiga is often compared to Casimir the Great and Bolesław the Brave. Also remembered for her charitable activities, Jadwiga of Poland established new schools, hospitals, and churches.

 43 

Morgane Polanski
4
Birthdate: January 20, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Morgane Polanski is a French-Polish model and actress, best known for her portrayal of Princess Gisla in the historical fantasy drama TV series, Vikings. The daughter of filmmaker Roman Polanski and actress Emmanuelle Seigner, Morgane Polanski followed in the footsteps of her parents to establish herself in the entertainment industry.

 44 

Faustyna Kowalska
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 25, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Głogowiec, Poland
Died: October 5, 1938

Polish Catholic nun Faustyna Kowalska is remembered for her diary, which recorded her multiple visions of Jesus and was later published. She later got an artist to paint the Image of the Divine Mercy, based on her visions. Known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, she was canonized as a saint in 2000.

 45 

Johann Gottfried Herder
1
Birthdate: August 25, 1744
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morąg, Poland
Died: December 18, 1803

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder is best remembered as a significant figure of the Sturm und Drang literary movement. Born into poverty and largely self-educated till 17, he later became a disciple of Immanuel Kant and was associated with Enlightenment and Weimar Classicism. He was eventually ennobled.

 46 
Janusz Korczak
(Former educator, children's author, pedagogue)

Janusz Korczak
0
Listed In: Physicians
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.

 47 
Grzegorz Krychowiak
(Polish footballer)

Grzegorz Krychowiak
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 29, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gryfice

 48 
Łukasz Piszczek
(Football player)

Łukasz Piszczek
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland

 49 
Mateusz Kieliszkowski
(Athletics competitor)

Mateusz Kieliszkowski
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Słubice

 50 

Stanislaw Szukalski
1
Birthdate: December 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warta, Poland
Died: May 19, 1987