Swiss cultural historian and historiographer Jacob Burckhardt is best remembered for his work on the history of Italian Renaissance, Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien. Born to a Protestant clergyman, he initially studied theology but later switched to history. He was associated with the University of Basel for most of his life.
Swiss pop sensation Luca Hanni created history by becoming the youngest and the first non-German winner of the German talent show Deutschland sucht den Superstar. Though he had mastered the guitar and the piano at an early age, his first job was that of a bricklayer.
A Swiss cultural icon, journalist and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach was raised by a bisexual mother, who was an Olympic equestrian. Known for her signature androgynous style of dressing up, Annemarie was herself openly lesbian. She traveled the world, clicking major events but died in a bicycle accident at 34.
American journalist Edgar Snow started his career with the newspaper Kansas City Star. His work took him to China, and he later penned some of the most authentic reports on Communism from a Western perspective. His 1937 report, Red Star Over China, remains one of his best-known works.
Swiss-born Cuban author Alejo Carpentier is regarded as one of the greatest Latin American literary personalities. The Cervantes Prize-winning writer was one of the pioneers of magic realism. Known for novels such as The Lost Steps, he also contributed to the Afro-Cuban movement and was the Cuban ambassador to France.
Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Topffer is remembered as the pioneer of comic strips. The son of a caricaturist, he initially taught at and ran a boarding school, where he first began drawing caricatures to attract his students’ attention. He also taught literature at the University of Geneva.
10 René Burri
Born to a publisher and bookseller, Salomon Gessner initially focused on landscape painting and etching and later devoted himself to poetry and pastoral prose. He co-founded the Helvetic Society and also served as a town councillor. Idyllen and Der Tod Abels remain his most significant written works.
Initially a priest, Heinrich Federer decided to switch to journalism when his church career came to halt due to his asthma attacks. He later took to writing on religious themes. Saint Francis of Assisi and Mountains and Men remain two of his most notable works.