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10 Famous People You Probably Didn't Know Were Swiss

10 Famous People You Probably Didn't Know Were Swiss

Did you know famous German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein became a Swiss before developing his popular theory of relativity formula in the country's capital city? No, you probably didn't.  

Switzerland is one of the most popular countries in Europe. While the country is always quickly associated with posh banks, luxury watches, majestic mountains, and quality chocolate, there are much more details worth knowing about the mountainous country.  

Before proceeding to read this, do note that this list includes notable people that were born in Switzerland as well as those that acquired Swiss citizenship during their stay in the country.

10.   Albert Einstein

(1879 to 1955)

As earlier stated, Albert Einstein was not born in Switzerland. He was born in Germany in 1879 and died in 1955 in the USA. However, he lived in Switzerland from 1895 to 1914, during which he became a Swiss.

Einstein developed his famous E = mc2 formula and the theory of relativity in Bern, Switzerland.

9. Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris)

(1887 to 1965)

Widely referred to as the pioneer and father of modern architecture, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris left a strong legacy as one of the top architects and designers of the 20th century. He is also known for creating the famous steel frame furniture line in 1928, a design that has since been adopted worldwide.  

Dedicated to finding a solution to people's poor living conditions in crowded cities and countries, he designed several buildings in America, Japan, India, and some other countries in Europe.  

A testament to his quality designs, 17 of his architectural projects were selected from seven different countries and listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2016.  

Some of his signature projects worth checking out include the Villa Savoye in Paris, the Immeuble Clarte in Geneva, as well as France's Notre Dame du Haut church.

8. Alberto Giacometti

(1901 to 1966)

Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss painter and Sculptor but spent most of his adulthood in Paris. He gained worldwide recognition in 1962 after winning the Venice Biennale Grand Prize for Sculpture.  

In tribute to his contributions, Giacometti's "L'Homme qui marche I" artwork currently appears on the Swiss 100-franc banknote.  

7. Louis-Joseph Chevrolet

(1878 to 1941)

Reading his names, the popular luxury motor car company, Chevrolet, definitely comes to mind, and for a good reason. Born in 1878 in the canton of Neuchatel, Louis-Joseph spent most of his adult life in the United States of America.  

During his stay in the US, he co-founded the Chevrolet car company in 1911. After the success of his first motor car company, he established another one, the Frontenac Motor Company, in 1916.

6. Herman Hesse

(1877 to 1962)

Herman Hesse is a Swiss writer who won the 1946 Nobel Prize Award. He was born across the Swiss border and spent most of his life in the country.  

Before he became recognized as a writer, Hesse tried working other jobs but failed. This is probably one reason why his books often feel dark, with many of the characters in his book mirroring his despair and doubts.  

Herman Hesse's most popular books include Steppenwolf and Siddhartha. These two books, in particular, share a lot in common. They detail the story of a man's troubled journey to finding his identity.

4. Carl Gustav Jung

(1875 to 1961)

Considered one of the founding fathers of Modern psychology alongside Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung created several psychological concepts we now use to define ourselves. Some of these concepts include introversion, extroversion, archetypes, among others. Part of his work later became the foundation for creating the popular psychometric test.  

The Swiss psychiatrist was born in the canton of Thurgau.

3. H.R. Giger

(1940 to 2014)

If you are an avid fantasy lover, there is a big chance you might have heard of H.R. Giger or at least some of his works. Regarded as one of the World's most inspiring fantasy artists, he has worked on several popular films and created surreal music album covers.

His most famous work was captured in Ridley Scott's Alien. He also did some job in Alien 3 and Poltergeist II. His most famous music album cover includes KooKoo by Debbie Harry and Attahk by Magma.  

2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(1712 to 1778)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss-born philosopher but was forced to leave his country of birth following multiple blasphemy charges. He then went to France, which was where he made good contributions to the French Revolution and Europe's political philosophy.

Some of his writings, including "Discourse on Inequality" and "The Social Contract," majorly influence today's educational and political thoughts.  

2. Ursula Andress

(born: 1936)

Unless you live under a rock, you would have probably either seen one or two James Bond movies. One of the biggest stars of the first movie in the James Bond franchise is Ursula Andress.  

While she was heavily judged about her accent in the movie, her appearance gained her the recognition to continue to play other top roles in Hollywood.  

Some other movies she was cast in include Texas, Fun in Acapulco, The 10th Victim.  

1. Roger Federer

(born: 1981)

Roger Federer is probably the only one on this list you probably already know about. Born in Basel, Switzerland, he is one of the best professional tennis players globally and is currently ranked No.5 in the World, men's category.  

Federer has won several trophies and titles since he began his career and is considered one of the greatest male tennis players of all time.

Note: This ranking is based on our own experience and research. No uniform rating scheme is followed. We have no claim to the correctness of the ranking. What counts for us is to show the diversity and beauty of Switzerland. Have we published incorrect information? Let us know:

Photo credits: 1. Albert Einstein I, Albert Einstein II, Albert Einstein III 2. Charles Edouard I, Charles Edouard II, 3. Alberto Giacometti I, Alberto Giacometti II 4. Louis-Joseph Chevrolet 5. Herman Hesse I, Herman Hesse II, Herman Hesse III 6. Carl Gustav Jung I, Carl Gustav Jung II 7. H.R. Giger 8. Jean-Jacques Rousseau 9. Ursula Andress 10. Roger Federer I, Roger Federer II, Roger Federer III