Georges Louis Leclerc comte de Buffon
* 1707 Montbard bei Dijon
† 1788 Paris
Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, the son of a well-to-do court counsellor to the parliament of Dijon, was born on September 7, 1707 in Montbard near Dijon. Buffon first studied law and medicine. In 1739, he was named director of the Royal Botanical Garden, today's Jardin des Plantes, in Paris. In 1733, Buffon became a member of the Académie des sciences and was later chosen by the Académie française in 1753. The voluminous "Natural History" (Histoire naturelle générale et particulière) is his main work. Buffon's idea of an evolutionary step ladder was extemely influential on the natural sciences of his time and had effects lasting into the 19th century. The French scholar and naturalist died in Paris on April 16, 1788.