45 Impressive People Named Richard

One of Richard Trevithick's steam railway locomotives.
The steam railway locomotive was invented by Richard Trevithick.
The baby name Richard is based on two Germanic elements, the first meaning “ruler,” the second meaning “strong, hard.”

Here are close to four dozen impressive people named Richard:


  1. Richard B. Alley (1957), American geologist.
  2. Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) British industrialist and inventor. Established the factory system and helped bring about the Industrial Revolution.
  3. Richard Axel (1946), American molecular biologist.
  4. Richard E. Bellman (1920-1984), American mathematician. Created dynamic programming in 1953.
  5. Richard B. Bernstein (1923-1990), American physical chemist.
  6. Richard Brauer (1901-1977), German-born American mathematician.
  7. Richard F. Burton (1821-1890), British explorer and scholar.
  8. C. Richard Dawkins (1941-), Kenyan-born British evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and writer.
  9. Richard Dedekind (1831-1916), German mathematician.
  10. Richard Doell (1923-2008), American geophysicist.
  11. Richard S. Doll (1912-2005), British physiologist and epidemiologist. Discovered a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer in 1950.
  12. Richard G. Drew (1899-1980), American inventor. Invented both masking tape (1922) and cellophane tape (1930).
  13. Richard R. Ernst (1933), Swiss physical chemist.
  14. Richard Etheridge (1842-1900), African-American surfman. Became the first African-American to command a life-saving station in 1880.
  15. Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), American theoretical physicist.
  16. Richard H. Frenkiel (1943-), American engineer.
  17. Richard Garwin (1928-), American physicist.
  18. Richard J. Gatling (1818-1903), American inventor. Invented the first successful machine gun in 1862.
  19. Richard J. Griffith (1784-1878), Irish geologist and civil engineer. Created the first geological map of Ireland in 1835.
  20. Richard F. Heck (1931-2015), American chemist.
  21. Richard von Hertwig (1850-1937), German biologist.
  22. Richard M. Hoe (1812-1886), American inventor. Invented the rotary printing press in 1843.
  23. One of Richard Hoe's rotary printing presses.
    One of Richard Hoe’s rotary printing presses.
  24. Richard T. James (1914–1974), American naval engineer. Invented the Slinky spring toy in the mid-1940s.
  25. Richard Karp (1935), American mathematician and computer scientist.
  26. Richard Lazarus (1922-2002), American psychologist.
  27. Richard Leakey (1944), Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist.
  28. Richard Lewontin (1929), American evolutionary biologist.
  29. Richard R. Lower (1929-2008), American cardiac surgeon.
  30. Richard F. Lyon (1952-), American inventor and engineer. Invented the optical mouse in 1981.
  31. Richard von Mises (1883-1953), Austrian-born American mathematician.
  32. Richard D. Oldham (1858-1936), British geologist. Found the first evidence of Earth’s central core in 1906.
  33. Richard Rado (1906-1989), German-born British mathematician.
  34. Richard J. Roberts (1943-), British molecular biologist. Independently discovered “split genes” in eukaryotic DNA.
  35. Richard R. Schrock (1945-), American chemist.
  36. Richard E. Schultes (1915-2001), American ethnobotanist.
  37. Richard E. Smalley (1943-2005), American chemist and physicist. Co-discovered a new form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene, in 1985.
  38. Richard Stallman (1953-), American computer programmer. Launched the GNU Project in 1983 and the Free Software Foundation in 1985.
  39. Richard Stone (1913-1991), British economist.
  40. Richard L. M. Synge (1914-1994), British biochemist. Co-developed partition chromatography in the 1940s.
  41. Richard E. Taylor (1929-) Canadian physicist. Co-discovered evidence for the existence of quarks.
  42. Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), British mechanical engineer and inventor. Built the world’s first steam railway locomotive in 1803.
  43. Richard Vollenweider (1922–2007), Swiss-born Canadian limnologist.
  44. Richard T. Whitcomb (1921-2009), American aeronautical engineer.
  45. Richard N. Zare (1939-), American chemist.
  46. Richard A. Zsigmondy (1865-1929), Austrian-born German chemist. Invented the ultramicroscope in 1902.

Do you know of any other equally impressive people named Richard?

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