Widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer has won the most number of men's Grand Slam singles titles. He is the only person to be honored with the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award on four occasions. Despite enduring several injuries, Federer continues to dominate the tennis court.
Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, composer, and writer. His political philosophy influenced aspects of the French Revolution. He also helped develop modern economic, political, and educational thought. His writing inspired a transformation in French drama and poetry. His works also influenced such writers around the world as Tolstoy. His works as a composer were acknowledged by composers like Mozart.
Leonhard Euler was a Swiss physicist, mathematician, logician, geographer, astronomer, and engineer. He is credited with making influential and important mathematical discoveries, such as graph theory and infinitesimal calculus. Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific mathematicians of all time, Leonhard Euler also made pioneering contributions to analytic number theory and topology.
The Paris-born French-Swiss director and screenwriter had the reputation of adding new dimensions to filmmaking with his experimentation, a trend which came to be known as the French New Wave. The director of acclaimed films like Breathless, My Life to Live and Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard was married to actress Anna Karina. He is regarded as an all-time great director.
Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer, painter, architect, writer, and urban planner. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. During his illustrious career, which spanned 50 years, Le Corbusier designed buildings in India, Japan, Europe, and North and South America. He is also credited with revolutionizing urban planning.
Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss tennis player who has won three Grand Slam titles so far in his career. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Wawrinka won the gold medal for Switzerland in the doubles event along with teammate Roger Federer. At the 2014 Davis Cup, Stan Wawrinka played a key role in the Swiss team's victory.
Romain Grosjean is a racing driver who spent nine Formula One seasons with several teams. In 2011, he won the GP2 Series as well as the GP2 Asia Series, becoming the first two-time GP2 Asia champion. He currently competes in the US-based IndyCar Series.
German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. He explored individuals’ search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality in his works. An intense and headstrong person from childhood, he developed an early interest in reading. He started writing as a young man and became an influential author in the German-speaking world.
Born to Albanian-origin working-class immigrant parents in Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri had a tough childhood. His talent in football led him to join Basel’s youth team at age 8. The Swiss footballer is now better known for his stints with clubs such as Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
Popular Croatian central midfielder Ivan Rakitić now represents FC Barcelona. Though born in Switzerland, the talented footballer has never played for the country. Known for his energy on the field, he was instrumental in taking his team to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Swiss footballer and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka wasn’t just part of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning Swiss team but has also been part of 2 FIFA World Cups. In 2022, he posted an apology on social media following his red-card exit in a game against Liverpool.
H. R. Giger was a Swiss artist remembered for his airbrushed images of machines and humans intertwined in cold biomechanical relationships. He is also remembered for his work as part of the special effects team that worked in Ridley Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, for which the team won an Academy Award.
Best known for his History Channel show Ancient Aliens, Swiss ufologist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is a major supporter of the Ancient Astronaut Theory. One of the few people to have conducted alien-related expeditions to remote areas of the Earth, he was, surprisingly, a bodybuilding promoter in his early days.
Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was the first known person to synthesize the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Interested in science from a young age, he studied chemistry at the University of Zürich. As a chemist, he conducted several significant studies and authored more than 100 scientific articles and books. He was a recipient of the prestigious Scheele Award.
Swiss WWE wrestler Cesaro had initially been part of the Swiss army. He then began a promising career in European rugby but was soon banned for his aggression. His next destination was the US, where he made waves in wrestling. Cesaro speaks 5 languages and loves to travel, too.
Swiss footballer Yann Sommer is best known as the goalkeeper for Borussia Mönchengladbach. He has also been part of the 2 FIFA World Cups and 2 UEFA European Championships for Switzerland. Starting his career with youth teams such as Basel, he later became one of the greatest Bundesliga goalkeepers.
Bruno Ganz was a Swiss actor best remembered for his collaborations with acclaimed directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Werner Herzog, and Wim Wenders. Ganz achieved immense popularity for his performance in movies like The American Friend and Nosferatu the Vampyre. Bruno Ganz was the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Swiss Film Prize and the European Film Award.
Swiss basketball player Clint Capela made history when he became his country’s highest-earning athlete of team sports. Known for his stints with the NBA teams Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets, the African-origin sports star had a tough childhood and grew up partly in foster care.
Maximilian Schell was an Austrian-born Swiss actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hans Rolfe in the 1961 courtroom drama film, Judgment at Nuremberg. Remembered for his versatility, Schell received the Golden Globe Award for playing Vladimir Lenin in the 1992 TV film, Stalin. A multi-talented personality, Schell was also an accomplished conductor and pianist.
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss painter, sculptor, printmaker, and draftsman. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most important sculptors, Giacometti's career and his friendship with American writer James Lord inspired the 2017 British-American drama film Final Portrait, in which Alberto Giacometti is portrayed by Australian actor Geoffrey Roy Rush.
Initially a hotel operator, Erich von Däniken is now known for his bestselling books such as Chariots of the Gods? and Twilight of the Gods. He has also co-founded AAS RA, a research organization, and has appeared on shows such as Ancient Aliens, propagating the Ancient Astronaut theory.
Huldrych Zwingli was a Swiss pastor who played an important role in the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. Also a well-known scholar and humanist, Zwingli was popular with the masses. Although he is remembered as a stern reformer, he had a great sense of humor; he often used puns, satiric fables, and spoofing in his writings.
Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physicist and mathematician. Born into the popular Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Daniel Bernoulli is renowned for his applications of mathematical equations to mechanics. He is also remembered for his pioneering work in statistics and probability. In 2002, he was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss race car driver. He is credited with co-founding the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, which is currently a major manufacturer of cars. He is also credited with founding the Frontenac Motor Corporation. Louis Chevrolet was inducted into several halls of fame, including the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Born to a South African father and a Swiss mother, Thabo Sefolosha is well-traveled and speaks several languages. The former Swiss basketball player is known for his stints with NBA teams such as Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks. Having been a victim of police brutality earlier, he supported the BLM movement wholeheartedly.
Swiss-born British philosopher and author, Alain de Botto,n is best known for his work, Essays in Love, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. He is one of the founders of the educational company, The School of Life, launched in 2008. He is a recipient of "The Fellowship of Schopenhauer", an annual writers' award from the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman, social activist, and humanitarian. He is credited with co-founding and promoting the Red Cross. In 1901, he became the first Swiss Nobel laureate when he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Dunant is also credited with founding the Swiss branch of YMCA. His life inspired the 1948 historical drama film, Man to Men.
Nico Hischier scripted history when he became the highest-drafted Swiss-born player ever in NHL history, after he was drafted number 1 by the New Jersey Devils. The Swiss ice-hockey center has also done wonders in the Canadian Hockey League. In 2020, he made it to the NHL All-Star Game.
Born into a family of drug merchants, Jacob Bernoulli was forced to study theology by his father but later deviated to math. He taught math and laid down the Bernoulli’s equation and calculus of variations. Apart from him and his brother, Johann Bernoulli, his family later produced more great mathematicians.
Robert Frank was a Swiss documentary filmmaker and photographer best remembered for his photographic book The Americans which earned him comparisons with the likes of Tocqueville. An acclaimed photographer, Robert Frank won many prestigious awards, such as Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 1996 and the Edward MacDowell Medal in 2002.
Jorge Paulo Lemann is a Brazilian billionaire businessman and investment banker. Lemann is credited with co-founding 3G Capital, a Brazilian investment firm, which owns brands like Anheuser-Busch, Burger King, and Heinz. In 2019, Jorge Paulo Lemann was named the world's 37th richest person by Forbes magazine, thanks to his net worth of 24.6 billion US dollars.
Brother and colleague of Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and part of the famous Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Johann Bernoulli was initially pushed to join his family business of drug and spices. He later took up medicine, eventually deviating to math and contributing to infinitesimal calculus, along with Jacob.
Anthony Radziwill was a Swiss-born American filmmaker and television executive. The son of Polish Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł and socialite Lee Radziwiłł, Anthony started his career as a television producer, winning the prestigious Peabody Award in 1990 for his investigation on the revival of Nazism in the US. Anthony Radziwill died at the age of 40 due to cancer.
Swiss-born Belgian physicist Auguste Piccard is best remembered for his research on the Earth’s upper stratosphere. He designed his own ships to explore the depth of the seas and also built balloons to study cosmic rays. His bathyscaphe remains one of his best-known inventions. He also co-discovered the magnetocaloric effect.
Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian socialist and anarchist. He is credited with founding an anarchist school of thought called collectivist anarchism. Regarded as one of the most influential personalities of anarchism, Mikhail Bakunin has had a major influence on thinkers like Peter Kropotkin, Herbert Marcuse, Errico Malatesta, Neil Postman, E. P. Thompson, and A. S. Neill.
Lucien Favre is one of the best-known football managers from Switzerland. A favorite of various French and Swiss clubs, he is known for bringing the best out of players such as Marco Reus and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He also played a role in making Hertha and Borussia Mönchengladbach major European teams.
Oceanic engineer Jacques Piccard is remembered for his revolutionary inventions such as the mesoscaphe and the bathyscaphe, which he had built for under-sea exploration. The son of renowned engineer and explorer Auguste Piccard, he was initially an economics teacher but later began collaborating with his father on various inventions.
Swiss artist Henry Fuseli is remembered for the drama and sensuality showcased in his paintings. Though born to a landscape and portrait painter, he was initially taught theology. After leaving the country due to political risks, he made it to Britain and Italy. He later contributed to the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.
Remembered for inventing the inkblot test to uncover the hidden traits of a subject’s personality, known as the Rorschach test, Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach was born to an art teacher in Zürich and had thus wished to be an artist initially. His Rorschach test was later criticized for its subjectivity.
Viktor Korchnoi was a writer and chess grandmaster. He is widely regarded as one of the best players never to have achieved the World Chess Championship title. He played chess until old age and became the oldest player to be ranked in the top 100 players list when he won the World Senior Chess Championship in 2006 at age 75.