Swiss

Who could have thought that a fancy sounding country best known for its chocolates, watches, banks, the Alps and knives could also bear superstars like Roger Federer, Martina Hingis, Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Jean Piaget, and Gottfried Keller? That is right. It is easy to associate Switzerland to fine timepieces, luxurious chocolates, and unassailable knives than these great men. Nevertheless, Switzerland owes its place under the sun to these stalwarts who have ushered in magnanimous name, fame, and wealth for their country with their undertakings. It is because of these enterprising minds that Switzerland ranks among some of the most enlightened, progressive thinking countries in the world. Be it sports, science, art, music, invention, or acting, the Swiss have waved their victory flag in diverse arenas and with aplomb. We dig down the inspiring lives of the famous Swiss people in the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts in the biographies here. Rest assured, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

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 
Roger Federer
(Tennis player)

Roger Federer
20
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

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.

 2 
Carl Jung
(Psychiatrist)

Carl Jung
6
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Switzerland
Died: June 6, 1961

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.

 3 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
(Philosopher, Writer, & Composer)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
15
Birthdate: June 28, 1712
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: July 2, 1778

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.

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 4 
Martina Hingis
(Tennis player)

Martina Hingis
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Košice, Switzerland

Swiss tennis sensation Martina Hingis made waves when she won the Australian Open at age 16, becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles winner of the 20th century. The youngest world number 1, too, she was named after Martina Navratilova and was the daughter of a Czech tennis player and a tennis coach.

 5 
Leonhard Euler
(Mathematician, Physicist)

Leonhard Euler
13
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: April 15, 1707
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Basel
Died: September 18, 1783

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.

Jean Piaget
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: September 16, 1980
Swiss psychologist and academic Jean Piaget is remembered for his work on child development and genetic epistemology, consisting of his theory of cognitive development. He also established the International Center for Genetic Epistemology and was the director of the International Bureau of Education. He was an honorary Harvard doctorate.

 7 
Le Corbusier
(Architect)

Le Corbusier
8
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: October 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died: August 27, 1965

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.  

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 8 
Jean-Luc Godard
(Film Director)

Jean-Luc Godard
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

The Paris-born French-Swiss director and screenwriter has the reputation of adding new dimensions to filmmaking with his experimentation, a trend which came to be known as 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.

 9 
Hermann Hesse
(Poet & Novelist)

Hermann Hesse
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 2, 1877
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calw, Germany
Died: August 9, 1962

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. 

 10 
Paracelsus
(Physician, Botanist, Astrologer)

Paracelsus
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1493
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Died: September 24, 1541
German-Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus, son of a poor chemist, grew up into a key figure of the German Renaissance. Known as the "father of toxicology," he explored the importance of chemistry in medical science. His interest in chemistry was ignited by his stint at the Bergschule in childhood. 

 11 
Xherdan Shaqiri
(Football player - Winger)

Xherdan Shaqiri
15
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gjilan, Kosovo

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.

 12 

Ursula Andress
9
Birthdate: March 19, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ostermundigen, Switzerland

 13 
Ivan Rakitić
(Football player)

Ivan Rakitić
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rheinfelden, Switzerland

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.

 14 
Otto Frank
(Father of Anne Frank)

Otto Frank
6
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: May 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Province of Hesse-Nassau
Died: August 19, 1980
Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, published her journal, detailing her experience during the Holocaust, as The Diary of a Young Girl, after her death. Otto was the only person in his family to survive the Holocaust. A former banker, he had also served in the German army.

 15 
Mabel
(Singer-songwriter)

Mabel
6
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain

Born to a music producer father, Cameron McVey, and a singer mother, Neneh Cherry, Mabel McVey was destined to make a career in music. The English singer-songwriter debuted on SoundCloud with her track Know Me Better. It is believed she had initially used music as a therapy for her anxiety.

 16 
Mirka Federer
(Tennis Player)

Mirka Federer
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bojnice, Slovakia

Mirka Federer is a Swiss former tennis player best known as the wife of legendary tennis player Roger Federer whom she met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Having supported Federer throughout his career, Mirka is often praised for being a pillar of strength and is largely credited for Roger Federer's achievements on the tennis court. 

 17 
Stan Wawrinka
(Tennis player)

Stan Wawrinka
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

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.

 18 
H. R. Giger
(Painter)

H. R. Giger
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 5, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chur
Died: May 12, 2014

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

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 19 
Granit Xhaka
(Football Player)

Granit Xhaka
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

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.

 20 
Cesaro
(Wrestler)

Cesaro
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 27, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland

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.

 21 
Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
(Ufologist, Writer)

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland

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.

 22 
Albert Hofmann
(The First Person to Synthesize LSD)

Albert Hofmann
4
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: January 11, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baden
Died: April 29, 2008

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.

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 23 
Clint Capela
(Basketball player)

Clint Capela
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 18, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

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.

 24 
Bruno Ganz
(Actor)

Bruno Ganz
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seebach, Switzerland
Died: February 16, 2019

 25 

Jocelyn Wildenstein
52
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 5, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lausanne
Catwoman Jocelyn Wildenstein apparently spent $5 million on surgical procedures to please her former husband, Alec Wildenstein, who loved cats. The Swiss-born American model and socialite later secured one of the costliest divorce settlements. She has reportedly denied having gone under the knife for any cosmetic surgery.

 26 
Kate Burton
(actor, stage actor, television actor)

Kate Burton
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Geneva

 27 
Yehudi Menuhin
(Volinist)

Yehudi Menuhin
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 22, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 12, 1999

Grammy Award-winning legendary 20th-century violinist Yehudi Menuhin was born to Lithuanian Jews in the US. Starting his training in the violin at age 4, he later studied music in Paris. He also experimented with fusion, collaborating with jazz and Indian classical musicians. He later launched the Yehudi Menuhin School.

 28 

Barıs Arduc
9
Birthdate: October 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Münsterlingen, Switzerland

Barış Arduç is a Swiss-born Turkish actor best known for his portrayal of Ömer İplikçi in the romantic drama TV series Kiralık Aşk for which he won a couple of Golden Butterfly TV Awards. Also a humanitarian, Arduç has been serving as a goodwill ambassador for an organization called Life Without Cancer Society of Turkey since 2016.

 29 
Bernhard Caesar Einstein
(The son of Hans Albert Einstein)

Bernhard Caesar Einstein
1
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dortmund, Germany
Died: September 30, 2008

Swiss-American physicist and engineer Bernhard Caesar Einstein was better known as the only grandchild of Albert Einstein to have survived beyond childhood. While two of his biological brothers died in infancy, his parents adopted a girl child, too. He grew up to work on night vision and laser technology.

 30 
Stephan Lichtsteiner
(Association football player)

Stephan Lichtsteiner
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 16, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adligenswil

Known for his 20-year stint as a footballer and his successful tenures with teams such as Arsenal and Juventus, Stephan Lichtsteiner has, post-retirement, begun training as a watchmaker with the Swiss timepiece manufacturer Maurice de Mauriac. His powerful runs on the field earned him the nickname Forrest Gump.

 31 

Maximilian Schell
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 1, 2014

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.

 32 
Alberto Giacometti
(Sculptor, Painter)

Alberto Giacometti
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Borgonovo, Bregaglia, Switzerland
Died: January 11, 1966

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.

 33 

Erich von Däniken
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 14, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zofingen

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.

 34 
Yann Sommer
(Association football player)

Yann Sommer
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morges

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.

 35 
Robert Miles
(Producer)

Robert Miles
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fleurier, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: May 9, 2017

Italian DJ Roberto Concina, better known as Robert Miles, redefined dream-house music. Born into a military family in Switzerland, he mastered the piano and started DJ-ing as a teen. His chartbusting track Children was inspired by a set of photos taken by his father in war-torn Yugoslavia.

 36 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: July 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland
Died: August 24, 2004

Best known for her pathbreaking bestseller On Death and Dying, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross also made pioneering research in areas such as near-death studies. Her five stages of grief, or the Kübler-Ross model, has been adopted by corporates to help employees deal with loss and change.

 37 
Alain de Botton
(Philosopher, Author)

Alain de Botton
2
Birthdate: December 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland

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. 

 38 
Sofia Milos
(Actress)

Sofia Milos
2
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: September 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland

Sofia Milos is an Italian Greek actress and model best known for her portrayal of Yelina Salas in the popular American police procedural TV series, CSI: Miami. Before establishing herself as an actress, Milos entered several beauty pageants, winning provincial, regional, and national contests.

 39 

Huldrych Zwingli
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 1, 1484
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wildhaus, Switzerland
Died: October 11, 1531

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.

 40 
Romain Grosjean
(French GP2 series champion, began competing in Formula One in 2009)

Romain Grosjean
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 17, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

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.

 41 
Daniel Bernoulli
(Mathematician)

Daniel Bernoulli
4
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 8, 1700
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Groningen
Died: March 17, 1782

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.

 42 
William Wyler
(Film director)

William Wyler
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Died: July 27, 1981

 43 
Thabo Sefolosha
(Basketball player)

Thabo Sefolosha
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 2, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vevey, Switzerland

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.

 44 
Louis Chevrolet
(Co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company)

Louis Chevrolet
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 25, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died: June 6, 1941

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.

 45 
Carla Juri
(Actress)

Carla Juri
1
Birthdate: January 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Locarno, Switzerland

Carla Juri is a Swiss actress best known for her role in the biographical film Paula. She studied theater in London and Los Angeles and traveled across Berlin, London, and Rome to find jobs early in her career. She started acting professionally in the mid-2000s and has since appeared in many critically acclaimed films and TV shows. 

 46 
Robert Louis-Dreyfus
(Businessperson)

Robert Louis-Dreyfus
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 4, 2009

 47 
Henry Dunant
(Co-Founder of the Red Cross)

Henry Dunant
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: October 30, 1910

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.

 48 
Robert Frank
(Photographer)

Robert Frank
2
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: November 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 2019

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.

 49 
Mikhail Bakunin
(Philosopher)

Mikhail Bakunin
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 30, 1814
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Russia
Died: July 1, 1876

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.    

 50 
Nico Hischier
(Ice hockey player)

Nico Hischier
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 4, 1999
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naters, Valais, Switzerland

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.