Scientists From Illinois

Illinois has produced a number of Scientists who have made it big. These include James Watson, Lynn Margulis, J. Allen Hynek, Robert Andrews Millikan, Thomas Cech and others.

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 Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis
7
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: November 22, 2011

Lynn Margulis was an evolutionary theorist, biologist, educator, and science author. She was a modern proponent of the significance of symbiosis in evolution. Along with British chemist James Lovelock, Margulis was the co-developer of the Gaia hypothesis. She was a strong critic of neo-Darwinism. In 2001, she was honored with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. 

 2 Hilary Putnam

Hilary Putnam
4
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher
Birthdate: July 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: March 13, 2016

 3 James Watson

James Watson
13
Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries

James Watson is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and zoologist. He is credited with co-authoring the academic paper that propounded the double helix structure of nucleic acids such as DNA for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. In 1977, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

 4 J. Allen Hynek

J. Allen Hynek
6
Famous As: Astronomer, Ufologist
Birthdate: May 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: April 27, 1986

When the American government, baffled by unexplained sightings of flying objects, assigned J. Allen Hynek the task of solving the mystery, Hynek was sceptical. However, he later became the first person to scientifically analyze such sightings. He also established the "Close Encounter" classification system to study UFOs.

 5 David A. Johnston

David A. Johnston
4
Famous As: Volcanologist
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: May 18, 1980

 6 Frank Drake

Frank Drake
3
Famous As: American astronomer
Birthdate: May 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini

American astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake is best-known for developing Drake equation and for his involvement in search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including founding of modern SETI. He performed Project Ozma, the first SETI experiment for searching signs of life in distant planetary systems. He also designed content of Arecibo message, an interstellar radio message, sent to globular star cluster M13.

 7 Mason Gamble

Mason Gamble
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 16, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
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 8 Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty
8
Famous As: Businesswomen
Birthdate: July 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo

Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was named to the World's Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes in 2018. She led IBM through its conversion to a leading data company. The Northwestern University alumna has also earned the Edison Achievement Award. She became part of Time 100 in 2012.

 9 Ed Boon

Ed Boon
4
Famous As: Programmer, Engineer, Screenwriter, Computer scientist
Birthdate: February 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces

 10 C. W. Post

C. W. Post
6
Famous As: Nutritionist
Birthdate: October 26, 1854
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: May 9, 1914

 11 Robert Andrews Millikan

Robert Andrews Millikan
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 22, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: December 19, 1953

Nobel Prize-winning experimental physicist Robert Andrews Millikan had begun his career as a faculty member at the University of Chicago and penned countless physics books. He later devoted himself to his research on elementary electronic charge and the photoelectric effect. His famous oil-drop experiment is known to all physics enthusiasts.

 12 Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs
6
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer

Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, academic, and crime writer. She has been certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of numerous technical books and has also written many novels. She also produced the TV series Bones, based on her works. 

 13 Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: August 14, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo

 14 Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh
9
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: December 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Tony Hsieh showed his entrepreneurial spirit since his Harvard days, when he managed a pizza delivery outlet for his dorm. He later founded the Las Vegas-based online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos. He tragically died from smoke inhalation at a house fire during Thanksgiving, shortly before turning 47.

 15 Richard Hamming

Richard Hamming
5
Famous As: Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, University teacher
Birthdate: February 11, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: January 7, 1998

 16 Ted Nelson

Ted Nelson
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini

Ted Nelson is an American sociologist and philosopher. A pioneer of information technology, Nelson coined the terms hypermedia and hypertext in 1963. He is also credited with coining several new words, including transclusion, intertwingularity, and virtuality. In 1960, he founded Project Xanadu in an attempt to create a computer network with an unambiguous user interface.

 17 George Ellery Hale

George Ellery Hale
2
Famous As: Astronomer, Journalist
Birthdate: June 29, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: February 21, 1938

George Ellery Hale was an American solar astronomer. He discovered magnetic fields in sunspots, a discovery that gained him international fame. He played key roles in the planning or construction of several world-leading telescopes, including the 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory. He was a major figure in the foundation of the International Union for Cooperation in Solar Research. 

 

 18 Harold Lasswell

Harold Lasswell
3
Famous As: Political scientist, Scientist, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: December 18, 1978

 19 Clinton Davisson

Clinton Davisson
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 22, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: February 1, 1958

 20 Karl Patterson Schmidt

Karl Patterson Schmidt
3
Famous As: American zoologist
Birthdate: June 19, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: September 26, 1957

Karl Patterson Schmidt was a herpetologist. He studied biology and geology at Cornell University and realized his keen interest in herpetology. He later worked as a scientific assistant in herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History. He undertook many collecting expeditions for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He died after being bitten by a boomslang snake. 

 21 Saul Perlmutter

Saul Perlmutter
4
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: September 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo

Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter has been associated with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Born to a chemical engineering professor, Perlmutter grew up to co-discover the accelerating expansion of the Universe and later introduced innovative Berkeley courses such as Physics & Music.

 22 Donald Johanson

Donald Johanson
3
Famous As: Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian, Paleoanthropologist, University teacher
Birthdate: June 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer

Donald Johanson is a paleoanthropologist. He collaborated with Yves Coppens and Maurice Taieb to discover the fossil of a female hominin australopithecine in the Afar Triangle region of Hadar, Ethiopia. This fossil was named “Lucy". As an academician, he established the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. 

 23 Charles R. Walgreen

Charles R. Walgreen
3
Famous As: American pharmacologist
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: December 11, 1939

 24 Owen Daniels

Owen Daniels
0
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: November 9, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
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 25 Robert Axelrod

Robert Axelrod
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Professor, Political scientist
Birthdate: May 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini

 26 David Blackwell

David Blackwell
4
Famous As: Statistician
Birthdate: April 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: July 8, 2010

 27 John Robert Schrieffer

John Robert Schrieffer
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini

 28 Edward Mills Purcell

Edward Mills Purcell
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: March 7, 1997

 29 David Patterson

David Patterson
0
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: November 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 30 Thomas Cech

Thomas Cech
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 31 James Cronin

James Cronin
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 29, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: August 25, 2016

 32 Anita Borg

Anita Borg
2
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: April 6, 2003

 33 Jerome Isaac Friedman

Jerome Isaac Friedman
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries

 34 Gregory Chaitin

Gregory Chaitin
2
Famous As: mathematician, computer scientist,philosopher, university teacher
Birthdate: November 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 35 George Gaylord Simpson

George Gaylord Simpson
2
Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: June 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: October 6, 1984

George Gaylord Simpson was an American paleontologist. He was one of the 20th century's most influential paleontologists. Simpson, who wrote extensively on the taxonomy of extant mammals and fossils, is credited with coining the word hypodigm. From 1945 to 1959, he served as the curator of the Department of Paleontology and Geology at the American Museum of Natural History.

 36 Mark Weiser

Mark Weiser
2
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: July 23, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: April 27, 1999

 37 Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon
2
Famous As: chemist
Birthdate: January 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn

 38 Lester Frank Ward

Lester Frank Ward
3
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 18, 1841
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: April 18, 1913

 39 Martin Chalfie

Martin Chalfie
2
Famous As: American scientist
Birthdate: January 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn

 40 Bruce Beutler

Bruce Beutler
2
Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: December 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Immunologist Bruce Beutler is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning research on the innate immune system of the human body. The son of a scientist and physician, he was a child prodigy and graduated at age 18. He grew up to be associated with institutes such as the Scripps Research Institute.

 41 Bruce Alberts

Bruce Alberts
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: April 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries

Bruce Alberts switched to biophysics at Harvard after getting bored with physical chemistry. He later led the NAS as its president and co-wrote iconic text books such as Molecular Biology of the Cell. Apart from teaching at Princeton and Harvard, he worked to improve science education in schools.

 42 Susan Lindquist

Susan Lindquist
4
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: June 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: October 27, 2016

Cell biologist and MIT professor Susan Lindquist is best remembered for her research on protein folding and its impact on diseases. The Harvard alumna had also taught at the University of Chicago for 23 years. She was also the first female director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

 43 Paul Flory

Paul Flory
2
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: June 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: September 9, 1985

 44 Paul Sereno

Paul Sereno
2
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: October 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra

Paul Sereno is an American professor of paleontology who works at the University of Chicago. Sereno also serves as an explorer-in-residence for National Geographic and is credited with discovering many new dinosaur species, including an almost complete specimen of SuperCroc. Over the years, Paul Sereno and his discoveries have been featured in several documentaries. 

 45 H. Robert Horvitz

H. Robert Horvitz
2
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: May 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus

 46 Robert W. Holley

Robert W. Holley
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: January 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: February 11, 1993

Biochemist and Nobel laureate Robert W. Holley is best known for his research on the genetic code and its impact on protein synthesis. The Cornell alumnus focused on studying RNA after his year-long stint at Caltech in the mid-1950s. He has also worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

 47 Ben Roy Mottelson

Ben Roy Mottelson
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer

 48 Edmund Beecher Wilson

Edmund Beecher Wilson
2
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: October 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: March 3, 1939

Edmund Beecher Wilson was an American geneticist and zoologist. He is credited with writing a textbook titled The Cell which is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important books in modern biology. Regarded as America's first cell biologist, Wilson is also credited with discovering the XY sex-determination system which is used to classify several mammals, including humans.

 49 Alfred Sturtevant

Alfred Sturtevant
2
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: November 21, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: April 5, 1970

Alfred Sturtevant was an American geneticist. He is credited with constructing a chromosome's first genetic map in 1911. Throughout his career, Sturtevant did extensive research on Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and his research on the Drosophila genome allowed other geneticists to map chromosomes of higher organisms like human beings. Alfred Sturtevant received the prestigious National Medal of Science in 1967.

 50 Andrew E. Lange

Andrew E. Lange
2
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: July 23, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: January 22, 2010