Famous Czechs

Miss World

Czech beauty Tatana Kucharova was voted for Miss World in Warsaw on September 30, 2006. Eighteen-year-old High School student Tatana (88-63-90) was born in Trnava (Slovakia) and grew up in Opocno (Bohemia). She is beautiful, intelligent and ambitious young woman likewise Czech women often are. Remember also Eva Herzigova, Tereza Maxova, Petra Nemcova or Ivana Trump.

Tatana Kucharova
Tatana Kucharova
Tatana Kucharova
Tatana Kucharova
line

Czech Sportsmen

A lot of excellent hockey players in NHL teams in the USA and Canada came from the Czech Republic. The best known are Jaromir Jagr (born 1972) who played for New York Rangers, Pittsburg Penguines, Washington Capitals and goalkeeper Dominik Hasek (born 1965) who helped the Czech team to get the Olympic Gold in Nagano. In NHL he played for Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings.

Also the Czech tennis school is world famous and a lot of good tennis players came from there. Martina Navratilova (born 1956) is the one of the most successful representative together with Ivan Lendl (born 1960). She has won Wimbledon nine times and in total she has won 164 titles from international tournaments.

Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr
Dominik Hasek
Dominik Hasek
Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova
Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl
line

Read more about Jaromir in an interesting book Jaromir Jagr (Ice Hockey Legends) by Dean Schabner
Find more about Dominik in a wonderful book Dominic Hasek (Ice Hockey Legends) by Mike Burgan
Know more about Martina in a great book The Lesbian Idol : Martina by Louise Allen
Discover more about Ivan in an excellent book Ivan Lendl by Chip Eliot

line

Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) was well known dramatist, essayist, philosopher and the president of the Czech Republic. The central theme of his literary texts is human identity and the mechanisms of dehumanized power. In the 70's and 80's he was something like a spiritual leader of the dissidents. After Velvet Revolution, in January 1990, he became president of the country and he stayed in the presidential office till February 2, 2003. Mr. Havel was very popular in the country and abroad as well. Mr. Havel left on Dec 18, 2011 early morning. RIP.

Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel
line

Find more about Havel - dramatist in book Critical Essays on Vaclav Havel by Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz
Read more about Havel - philosopher in book Disturbing the Peace by Karel Hvizdala
Find more about Vaclav Havel also at his personal web site by Barrandov Studio

line
Jaroslav Heyrovsky
Jaroslav Heyrovsky

Nobel Prize Laureates

Professor Jaroslav Heyrovsky (1890-1967) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1959 for invention and development of the polarographic method, the new branch of electrochemistry. He formed a school of polarographers in the Charles University.

Another Czech Jaroslav Seifert (1901-1986) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984. He published over 30 collections of poems and also the children's literature. In his poems Seifert has celebrated Prague and the cultural heritage of Czech Republic.

Jaroslav Seifert
Jaroslav Seifert
line

Read more about Heyrovsky and Seifert in book 100 Years of Nobel Prizes by Baruch A. Shaley
Enjoy some poetry by Seifert in book The Early Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert translated by Dana Loewy

line
Bedrich Smetana
Bedrich Smetana

Czech Musicians and Composers

A couple of excellent musicians and composers were born in Bohemia or Moravia. One of the most famous is Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904), the author of Slavonic Dances and of the symphony From the New World.

Another famous composer Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) is the author of the Cycle of Symphonic Poems My Fatherland.

Classical music fans probably know other Czech composers Leos Janacek and Zdenek Fibich. By the way, the famous song Roll out the Barrel was composed by another Czech composer Jaroslav Vejvoda in 1929.

 Antonin Dvorak
Antonin Dvorak
line

Read more about Antonin Dvorak in a wonderful book Dvorak and His World by Michael Beckerman

line
Josef Sudek
Josef Sudek

Josef Sudek

Another Czech, Josef Sudek (1896-1976) is one of the world's best photographers. In his works the subjective and objective points of view are intermixed. His fragile and pellucid photographs present, in a fascinating manner, the harmonious beauty of everyday objects, nature and human life.

 Milos Forman
Milos Forman

Milos Forman

A film director Milos Forman (born 1932) is considered one of the most significant film directors in the world today. He received the Oscars for his films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. He also directed a film version of the musical Hair.

line

Find more about Josef Sudek's work in a wonderful book Josef Sudek by Anna Farova
Read more about Milos Forman's career in an excellent book Milos Forman by Thomas J. Slater

line
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
in Wax Muzeum

Czech Writers

The famous Jewish writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924) spent the most portion of his life in Prague. You probably know his best works Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle.

Another Czech writer Milan Kundera (born 1929) reached the international fame by his novels The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1985) and Immortality (1990). He got some prestigious literary awards for his work and he is acknowledged as one of the world's best contemporary writers.

It is surprising but the word robot is not the English one but has its origin in the Bohemia. In 1920 another Czech writer Karel Capek used this word for the first time in his theater play RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots).

Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera
line

Read more about Kafka in an excellent book Franz Kafka by Ronald Speirs
Read one of the most famous Kundera's novel Immortality in translation by Peter Kussi
Read another famous Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being in translation by Michael Henry Heim

line
Emil Zatopek
Emil Zatopek

Another Czech Sportsmen

The most famous Czech athlete is Emil Zatopek (1922-2000), winner of 1948 Olympic gold medal at 10 000 meters, and unprecedented winner Olympic triple crown (5 000 meters, 10 000 meters and marathon) in Helsinki 1952. During his long career he set 20 world records at distances ranging from 5 000 to 30 000 m.

Another famous Czech, Vera Caslavska (born 1942) won two golds, on the vault and beam, at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She ruled women's gymnastics between the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.

Vera Caslavska
Vera Caslavska
line

Czech Inventors

A lot of inventions has its origin in the Czech lands. Let's mention some of the most famous Czech scientists and inventors.

  1. Prokop Divis (1698-1765), The Invention of Lightning Rod
  2. Frantisek Krizik (1847-1941), The Construction of the Arc Lamp with Automatic Regulation
  3. Jan Jansky (1873-1921), Classified Four Blood Groups
  4. Karel Raska (1909-1987), Carried Out the Project to Wipe Out Smallpox
  5. Otto Wichterle (1888-1986), The Inventor of the Soft (Hydrogel) Contact Lenses and the Inventor of the Silon
  6. Jan Evangelista Purkyne (1787-1869), Formulation of the Cell Theory and the Examination of the Skin Surface as the Basis of Fingerprints Identification
  7. Ales Hrdlicka (1869-1943), Formulated the Theory of the Global Origin of Human Beings and Formulated Three General Laws on the Spread of Man
  8. Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), The Founder of Genetics and the Discoverer of the Essential Laws of Inheritance
  9. Frantisek Burian (1881-1965), Accompished that Plastic Surgery was Acknowledged as an Independent Surgery Specialization
  10. Josef Sousedik (1894-1944), The Inventor in the Field of Electrical Machines such as Asynchronous Motor with an Automatic Starter
  11. Viktor Kaplan (1876-1934), Constructed Water Turbine with Adjustable Blades of the Propeller Wheel
  12. Josef Ressel (1793-1857), Construction of the Screw Propeller
  13. Alois Senefelder (1771-1834), The Inventor of Lithography
  14. Frantisek Veverka (1796-1849) & Vaclav Veverka (1799-1849), The Cylindr Shaped Mouldboard Plough
  15. Frantisek Hruska (1819-1888), Invented Honey Separator
  16. Jakub Husnik (1837-1916), Heliotype Inventor
  17. Karel Klic (1841-1926), Photogravure Inventor
  18. Jan Amos Komensky (1592-1670), Modern Pedagogy Founder
  19. Bedrich Hrozny (1879-1952), Deciphered the Hittite Language

line

© CzechSite, San Francisco, Prague, 1996-2014. All Rights Reserved.
| Back Home | Close Window |