Robert de Sorbon (1201–74), philosopher and theologian, founded the Sorbonne, which became the University of Paris.
Nostradamus (b. Michel de Notredame, 1503–66), philosopher and astrologer.
René Descartes (1596–1650), father of modern mathematics.
Louis XIV, the "Sun King" (1638–1715), built the palace of Versailles.
Molière (b. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622–1673), playwright.
Napoleon Bonaparte (b. Napoleone Buonaparte, 1769–1821), Emperor of France from 1805 to 1809 and from 1810 to 1814.
Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832), discovered the Rosetta Stone.
Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Claude Monet (1840–1926), Edouard Manet (1832–83)—all French painters of the Impressionist style.
Victor Hugo (1802–85), one of the greatest and most prolific of all French writers, wrote Notre-Dame de Paris (Hunchback).
Alfred Dreyfus (1859–1935), involved in exposing the French government's policy of anti-Semitism, accused of treason, and exonerated in a famous court-martial.
Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann (1809–91), created wide boulevards which mark modern Paris and improved sewer system.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832–1923), engineer and one of the founders of aerodynamics, built the Eiffel Tower for the World's Fair of 1889 and designed the locks for the Panama Canal.
Georges Bizet (1838–75), composer of the operas Carmen and The Pearl Fishers.
General Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), famous World War II general who helped Eisenhower with the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy to defeat Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Maurice Chevalier (1888–1972), French singer and movie star (Gigi).
Edith Piaf (1915–63), songstress nicknamed the "sparrow".
François Truffaut (1932–84), cinematographer who invented the nouvelle vague of the film industry.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80), father of the philosophical movement of existentialism.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908–86), author of The Second Sex.
Albert Camus (1913–60), philosopher and writer.
Antoine de St. Exupéry (1900–44), World War II pilot, best known for his short novel The Little Prince.
Brigitte Bardot (b. Camille Javal, 1934), most famous French female movie star.
Gérard Dépardieu (b. 1948), French and American movie star.