Famous Czechs

Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884)
The father of genetics and the laws of heredity - Mendel's Laws. Born in Heinzendorf (now Hynčice, Czech Republic), Mendel received his education at the Augustinian monastery in Brno where he also performed his experiments with plants. Mendel also taught at the technical school in Brno. He coined the terms dominance and recessiveness, still used in present-day genetics.
Gregor Mendel: Father of Genetics
Gregor Mendel: Father of Genetics
Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939)
Art nouveau painter and poster designer who spent most of his life in France. Many of his works were created for the French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Mucha also designed unique advertisements for various products.  A number of his paintings have become part of Ivan Lendl's private collection.  Visit My Czech Republic's Alphonse Mucha Gallery to see Mucha's art!
Alphonse Mucha on Amazon.com
Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau
Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of...
Ema Destinnová (1878-1930)
A great Czech soprano and patriot, also known as Emmy Destinn. She sang at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, including the Covent Garden, the Berlin Hofoper, and the New York Metropolitan Opera, and also sang with Enrico Caruso.
The Complete Destinn (Box Set)
The Complete Destinn
Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
Austrian-Czech writer born in Prague, a significant figure in the 20th century literature. He wrote in German and his best known novels are The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926), and America (1927).
Franz Kafka on Amazon.com
Franz Kafka: The Castle
The Castle
Karel Čapek (1890-1938)
Czech writer and playwright.  He and his brother Josef first introduced the word "robot" in their science-fiction play R.U.R. in 1921.  The abbreviation stands for "Rossum's Universal Robots" and the word itself comes from an old Czech word "robota" (hard work, drudgery), which is still used in some Czech dialects.
Karel Čapek on Amazon.com
Karel Capek: War with the Newts
War With
the Newts
Otto Wichterle (1913-1998)
Invented the soft contact lens in 1961.
Miloš Forman (1932)
Czech born Academy Award winning movie director who emigrated to the USA in 1968. The movies he directed include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), Valmont (1989), Amadeus (1984), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Man on the Moon (1999).
Miloš Forman on Amazon.com
Amadeus (1984)
Martina Navrátilová (1956)
Professional tennis player born in Prague, Czechoslovakia*. Started playing professional tennis in 1972 and emigrated to the USA in 1975. Won Wimbledon six times in a row (1982 - 1987) and set several records during her career. Won 167 singles championships and 158 professional tennis titles, and became the oldest tennis player who beat a no. 1 ranked tennis professional (then Monica Seles) at the age of 37. Retired from playing singles in 1994.
Martina Navratilova on Amazon.com
Adrianne Blue: Martina (The Lives and Times of Martina Navratilova)
Martina: The
Lives and
Ivan Lendl (1960)
Professional tennis player born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia*. Emigrated to the USA in the 1980s. His active tennis career lasted from 1979 to 1994. Many consider him the best male tennis player of all time. He stayed on the top of the ATP rankings for 270 weeks (1983 - 1989), which is the longest time a single tennis player was ranked no. 1 since the ATP rankings were started in 1973.  He is a passionate collector of Alphonse Mucha paintings.
Ivan Lendl on Amazon.com

Dominik Hašek (1965)
Ice-hockey goalie nicknamed "the Dominator", born in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia*. He played for the NHL (Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres) for 12 years and retired in June 2002. He was voted NHL Most Valuable Player and awarded the Hart Trophy twice, the Vezina Trophy (best goalie) six times, the Jennings Trophy in 1994, and the Stanley Cup in 2002.
Dominik Hašek on Amazon.com

Jaromír Jágr (1972)
Professional ice-hockey player born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia*. He played for the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins (Right Wing) for several years.
Jaromír Jágr on Amazon.com
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Although not Czech by nationality, the "father of psychoanalysis" was born in a town called Příbor, which was then a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and today is located in the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic. Freud spent the first three years of his life there (1856 - 1859) before his family moved to Leipzig (today's Germany), and then to Vienna (today's Austria).
Sigmund Freud on Amazon.com
Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams
of Dreams

* The term "Czechoslovakia" was officially used from 1918 through 1992. On January 1, 1993, the country split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.