Scottish

Warm, hospitable, and lovable, the Scotts are among the most loved and regarded people in the world. And why not? They are not just the most welcoming people in the world, but most enterprising too. The world owes a lot to the Scottish. From pedal bicycle and pneumatic tyre to telephone and tele-printer, the Scotts have given the world several new jaw-dropping inventions. But not just James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Patrick Bell, Adam Smith, and Charles Macintosh, Scotland has been home to several great men and from diverse spheres. Be it Robert Bruce, the king, John Logie Baird, the inventor, William Wallace, the leader, Robert Burns, the king or David Hume, the philosopher, the world has known and celebrated legendary Scotsman with extraordinary talent and feats. Let us learn all about the lives of some of the famous Scottish men to ever have walked the earth in the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts covered in the biographies below.

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 Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots.
10
Famous As: Queen of Scotland
Birthdate: December 8, 1542
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Linlithgow Palace, Scotland
Died: February 8, 1587

Mary, Queen of Scots was the ruler of Scotland till 24 July 1567. After an uprising against her, Mary sought protection from her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, the Queen perceived her as a threat and kept Mary in confinement for eighteen and a half years. Ultimately Mary was beheaded for plotting to assassinate the Queen.

 2 Sean Connery

Sean Connery.
16
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: October 31, 2020

The first person to play James Bond on screen, Scottish actor Sean Connery went on to star in seven films of the franchise. The role catapulted him to international fame, but this charismatic actor was not restricted to his iconic role. He also tasted critical and commercial success in other productions including Murder on the Orient Express and The Untouchables

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 3 Adam Smith

Adam Smith.
2
Famous As: Economist and Philosopher
Birthdate: June 16, 1723
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Died: July 17, 1790

Widely considered The Father of Economics, Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher and economist. A pioneer of political economy, Adam Smith played a major role during the Scottish Enlightenment. His book The Wealth of Nations is regarded as the first modern work of economics and a forerunner of today's academic discipline of economics.

 4 Angus Young

Angus Young.
1
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Co-founder & Lead Guitarist of the Hard Rock Band, AC/DC
Birthdate: March 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow
Angus Young, AC/DC co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter, migrated to Australia at 13. After dropping out of school at 15, he started playing instruments. Named the Best Australian Guitarist of All Time by Australian Guitar magazine, he is known for his uniform outfits and for reviving Chuck Berry's "duck walk."

 5 Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Former Manager of Manchester United
Birthdate: December 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Alex Ferguson is known for his 26-year tenure as the manager of the football club Manchester United, from 1986 to 2013. He won 38 trophies with the club, including 13 Premier League titles. The first English Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ferguson has also received the knighthood

 6 Bon Scott

Bon Scott.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: July 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Forfar, Scotland
Died: February 19, 1980
Bon Scott worked with bands such as The Spektors, Valentines, and Fraternity before joining the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, replacing lead singer Dave Evans in 1974. He was one of Classic Rock’s 100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time. Following his death, AC/DC released a best-selling album as a tribute.

 7 Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly.
4
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: November 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Billy Connolly is a retired stand-up comedian, actor, and musician. Known for his observational and idiosyncratic comedy, Connolly is widely considered one of the most influential and greatest stand-up comedians of all time. He has also worked with the British charity, Comic Relief and has appeared in a documentary and a live stage show for the charity.

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 8 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer & Physician
Birthdate: May 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: July 7, 1930
Physician-turned-author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is remembered for creating the iconic character Sherlock Holmes. He wrote four novels and 56 short stories on Holmes’s detective adventures and also created the characters Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard. A sports lover, he had dabbled in cricket, football, and bodybuilding, too.

 9 Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay.
10
Listed In: Food Experts
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: November 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstone, Scotland

A celebrated chef and restaurateur, British national Gordon Ramsay is also a writer and television personality. His TV shows about competitive cookery and food is quite popular. The Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in Chelsea, is his signature restaurant. Known for his bluntness, short temper and strict manner, Ramsay has historically expressed a dislike for vegetarianism and veganism.

 10 Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Taylor-Joy.
36
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 16, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Argentine-British actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, first gained international fame with her role in the period horror film, The Witch. She is trained in ballet dancing and began her career as a model when she was just 16. Her modelling career paved the way for acting and soon she was playing significant roles in TV series and films.

 11 Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi.
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Lewis Capaldi's success story is one of the greatest testimonies to the fact that magical things can happen when talent meets opportunity. From being just another aspiring singer, he quickly became a popular singer-songwriter in the UK and the US after Ryan Walter stumbled upon his iPhone recording on his SoundCloud account. Subsequently, he was signed to Universal Music Group.

 12 Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming.
1
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Biologist, Pharmacologist, Discovered Penicillin
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

 13 James McAvoy

James McAvoy.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, United Kingdom

A frequent performer in West End productions, James McAvoy has also showcased his acting skills in popular Hollywood movies, such as the X-Men series and Split. Although not an adventurer, he did a BASE jump to help raise money for a charity named Retrak, which helps Ugandan children.

 14 Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson.
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist, Poet
Birthdate: November 13, 1850
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: December 3, 1894

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish travel writer, poet, and novelist. A popular writer in his lifetime, Stevenson went about traveling widely and writing prolifically even as he suffered from bronchial trouble; his will power and love for writing won the hearts of many other writers. In 2018, he was ranked as the world's 26th-most-translated author.

 15 David Hume

David Hume.
2
Famous As: Philosopher & Historian
Birthdate: April 26, 1711
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1776

Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, and economist, David Hume, is considered one of the most important philosophers to write in English. His book, A Treatise of Human Nature, is counted among the most influential works in the history of philosophy. His works have influenced numerous thinkers, including German philosopher Immanuel Kant and Christian philosopher Joseph Butler.

 16 William Wallace

William Wallace.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: 1270 AD
Birthplace: Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: August 23, 1305

William Wallace was a Scottish knight who played an important role in the First War of Scottish Independence. Since his death, Wallace has been viewed as an iconic figure whose story of bravery and valor has inspired several works of art, including the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart. Wallace has also inspired video games and brewery companies, such is his popularity.

 17 Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Gerard Butler is one of the most popular and successful actors from Scotland. He came into prominence with the portrayal of King Leonidas in the fantasy war film 300. Apart from acting, he participates in fundraising events and charity programs. Interestingly, Butler tried his hand at acting only after being fired a week before becoming a qualified lawyer!

 18 Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Perth, Scotland

A critically acclaimed actor, known for working in many small independent films, Ewan McGregor’s first notable film was Shallow Grave, followed by Trainspotting which propelled him to stardom. Films like Emma, A Life Less Ordinary and Moulin Rouge and the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the three Star Wars prequels, plus the television series Fargo are his other notable works.

 19 Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell.
0
Famous As: Inventor of Telephone
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 20 Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aberdeen

Rose Leslie is a popular Scottish actress who gained international fame after portraying Ygritte in one of the most popular TV series of all time, Game of Thrones. Thanks to her popularity, she serves as an icon and inspiration to several aspiring Scottish actresses and models.

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 21 Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie.
0
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: Industrialist, Businessman, Entrepreneur and a major Philanthropist.
Birthdate: November 25, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dunfermline
Died: August 11, 1919
Andrew Carnegie revolutionized the 19th-century steel industry by investing in railroads, bridges, and other projects. He donated most of his wealth to philanthropic causes, and built significant establishments, such as the Carnegie Hall and the Carnegie Mellon University. In the Gospel of Wealth, he urged the wealthy to donate.

 22 Robert Burns

Robert Burns.
3
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet and Lyricist
Birthdate: January 25, 1759
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1796
Scottish poet Robert Burns, also known as the National Bard and the Bard of Ayrshire, is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement in English literature. He often drew inspiration from Scottish folk songs. Some of his most notable works include the poems Auld Lang Syne and Scots Wha Hae.

 23 Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Disc Jockey, Record Producer, Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Grammy-winning DJ Calvin Harris soared to fame with his album I Created Disco. His track We Found Love, a collaboration with Rihanna, charted on the US Billboard Hot 100. He owns a record label and topped Forbes's list of the highest-paid DJs of the world for 6 years.

 24 James Maxwell

James Maxwell.
0
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Mathematician & Physicist
Birthdate: June 13, 1831
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 5, 1879

Scottish physicist James Maxwell’s contributions included the formulation of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation and the production of the first light-fast color photograph. His Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution explored the kinetic theory of gases. He has also written poems and was an Elder of the Church of Scotland.

 25 Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce.
0
Famous As: King of Scotland
Birthdate: July 11, 1274
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Turnberry Castle, Scotland
Died: June 7, 1329
King of Scots Robert I, better known as Robert the Bruce, is revered as a Scottish national hero. He successfully led his country against England in the First War of Scottish Independence. Legends state he was inspired by a spider’s relentless effort to spin a web, to ultimately defeat England.

 26 Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Galloway, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

 27 Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle.
0
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blackburn
Susan Boyle shot to fame with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables in an audition for Britain's Got Talent. Her first album, I Dreamed a Dream, was the best-selling debut album in U.K. history. She has also performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

 28 Kelly Macdonald

Kelly Macdonald.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

Kelly Macdonald is a Scottish actress known for playing Diane Coulston in the 1996 black comedy-drama film, Trainspotting. Kelly Macdonald received critical appreciation for portraying Gina in the made-for-television drama film, The Girl in the Café, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award. Eastwood High School, where she studied, has a theatre and drama studio named in her honor.

 29 David McCallum

David McCallum.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

David McCallum is a Scottish musician and actor who gained recognition for portraying Illya Kuryakin in the popular spy fiction TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He gained international recognition for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the action police procedural TV series NCIS. David McCallum has also contributed as a writer, publishing a novel titled Once a Crooked Man.

 30 Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 14, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow

Peter Capaldi is a Scottish filmmaker and actor. He is best known for playing Malcolm Tucker in the British comedy TV series The Thick of It. Also known for his charity work, Capaldi joined hands with other celebrities to help raise awareness about the ill-effects of the global refugee crisis. He is also a patron of the Aberlour Child Care Trust.

 31 David Livingstone

David Livingstne.
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Explorer, Missionary
Birthdate: March 19, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Died: May 1, 1873

David Livingstone was a Scottish physician who played a major role at the London Missionary Society, where he was a pioneer Christian missionary. He is also remembered for his work as a missionary in Africa. Widely considered one of the most famous British heroes of the late Victorian era, Livingstone was mentioned in the 100 Greatest Britons list in 2002.

 32 David Byrne

David Byrne.
2
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: American-Scottish musician
Birthdate: May 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dumbarton, Scotland
Talking Heads lead vocalist and avant-garde musician David Byrne has won several awards, including the Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe. He has spoken at TED Talks, launched his own record label, and held visual arts exhibitions. He advocates for cycling and has mostly used a bike throughout his life.

 33 Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox.
0
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Known for her androgynous look, four-time Grammy-winning artist Annie Lennox became an international sensation with Eurythmics, a duo she formed with Dave Stewart, delivering hits such as Sweet Dreams. Her song Into the West from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received an Academy Award.

 34 Sir James Matthew Barrie

Sir James Matthew Barrie.
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 9, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland
Died: June 19, 1937

Sir James Matthew Barrie was a Scottish playwright and novelist. He is credited and remembered for creating the famous fictional character, Peter Pan. In the 1922 New Year Honours, Barrie was made a member of the Order of Merit. Before his death, he gifted the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children with the rights of his Peter Pan works.

 35 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell
0
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 13, 1831
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 5, 1879

James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist known for co-developing the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution with Ludwig Boltzmann. He made tremendous contributions to the field of mathematical physics and formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. He is also regarded as a founder of the modern field of electrical engineering. He received the Royal Society's Rumford Medal in 1860.  

 36 John Knox

John Knox.
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Protestant Leader
Birthdate: 1514 AD
Birthplace: Giffordgate, Haddington, Scotland
Died: November 24, 1572

John Knox was a Scottish minister, writer, and theologian. Knox, who played a major role in the Scottish Reformation, is also credited with founding the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Considered a major contributor to the field of theology, John Knox's statue stands tall at New College in the University of Edinburgh, UK.

 37 Thomas Doherty

Thomas Doherty.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 21, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scotland
Scottish actor Thomas Doherty is best known as Sean Matthews from the Disney series The Lodge and as Harry Hook from the Descendants movie franchise. He will appear in the upcoming the HBO Max remake of Gossip Girl. Vogue named him one of the world’s 50 fittest boys in 2017.

 38 Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rutherglen, Scotland

 39 Robert Carlyle

Robert Carlyle
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Maryhill

 40 Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw
4
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

 41 John Muir

John Muir.
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

 42 Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: First Minister of Scotland
Birthdate: July 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish politician. Since 2014, Sturgeon has been serving as the leader of the Scottish National Party and first minister of Scotland. Being the first woman to serve in these positions, Nicola Sturgeon is seen as a major inspiration to women across Scotland.

 43 Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton.
0
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: April 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bellshill
Two-time Grammy-winning artist Sheena Easton first gained attention on The Big Time. With the singles Modern Girl and 9 to 5, she became the second female to feature twice on the same Top Ten chart. Easton is the only artist with a top 5 hit on all Billboard singles charts.

 44 David Moyes

David Moyes.
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football Coach
Birthdate: April 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow
Scottish footballer and coach David Moyes had a 19-year playing stint as a center-back for football teams such as Celtic, Preston North End, and Bristol City. He currently manages the Premier League club West Ham United and has been named the League Managers Association Manager of the Year thrice. 

 45 James Watt

James Watt.
0
Famous As: Inventor of Steam Engine
Birthdate: January 19, 1736
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1819
Eighteenth-century Scottish inventor James Watt developed the Newcomen steam engine, by inventing the Watt steam engine, which brough about the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. He also co-owned the firm Boulton and Watt and laid down concepts such as horsepower and the watt, the SI unit of power.

 46 James V of Scotland

James V of Scotland.
1
Famous As: Former King of Scotland
Birthdate: April 10, 1512
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Died: December 14, 1542
James V was the son of Scottish King James IV and Margaret Tudor, Henry VII's daughter. He ruled Scotland from 1513 till his death following his loss at the Battle of Solway Moss. His daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, succeeded him, supported by regents, when she was 6 days old.

 47 David Coulthard

David Coulthard.
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Racecar Driver
Birthdate: March 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Twynholm
Former race-car driver David Coulthard, also known as DC, gained fame for his 15-season stint with Formula One. He has 13 Grand Prix wins and 62 podium finishes to his credit. Following his retirement from F1, he worked a BBC commentator and later joined the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series.

 48 Margaret Tudor

Margaret Tudor.
0
Famous As: Queen Consort of Scotland
Birthdate: November 28, 1489
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Westminster Palace, London, Middlesex, Kingdom of England
Died: October 18, 1541
Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England, served as the Queen consort of Scotland, as wife of James IV, from 1503 to 1513. Following her husband’s death, she served as the regent till 1515. She was the great-grandmother of Scottish king James VI, or James I of England.

 49 James Cosmo

James Cosmo.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

James Cosmo is a Scottish actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as Game of Thrones. He has also appeared in several epic historical films like Braveheart, Troy, and Ben-Hur. Apart from being an actor, James Cosmo has also been serving as a patron of a charity named Chance for Childhood.

 50 William Murdoch

William Murdoch
0
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: August 21, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lugar, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1839