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Bertrand Russell

Mathematician / Philosopher

Born: 18 May 1872
Died: 2 February 1970
Birthplace: Trelleck, Wales
Best known as: The deep-thinking co-author of Principia Mathematica
While teaching mathematics at Cambridge University, Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead published Principia Mathematica (1910-13), an ambitious attempt to prove that mathematics was grounded in logic. Russell's ideas led to the dominance of analytical logic on western philosophy in the 20th century. An active social reformer, he also wrote on politics, religion and education, and his vocal protests against World War I led to a brief jail sentence in 1918. Although he supported British aims in World War II, later in life Russell became an outspoken advocate of nuclear disarmament. With his graying hair, impish grin, and ubiquitous pipe, Russell also became a 20th-century image of unorthodox genius.
Extra credit: Russell won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"... Russell's grandfather, Lord John Russell, was twice Prime Minister of England, from 1846-52 and from 1865-66; he was the first Earl Russell... Bertrand Russell became the third Earl Russell after his brother died in 1931... He was married four times and had a reputation as a ladies' man.

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