Famous Atheists

Famous Atheists


Ever wonder if somebody famous is an atheist or not?  Well, you’ve come to the right place to (hopefully) find out.  This is an extremely long list that amalgamates all the atheist lists from the Famous Atheists submenu pages.  Category titles (center aligned) are also links to their respective category pages.  You might find the last category particularly interesting: it’s a list of fictitious characters from film and TV who are atheists.

If you’re looking for a specific word, phrase, name or category, press Ctrl-F to do a search of this page.

Famous Atheists: Activists and Educators


Clark Adams (1969–2007): Prominent American freethought leader and activist.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969–): Dutch feminist and politician.

Natalie Angier (1958–): Nonfiction writer and science journalist for The New York Times; 1991 winner of Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

Dan Barker (1949–): American atheist activist, current co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, alongside his wife, Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Walter Block (1941–): Austrian School economist and anarcho-capitalist

Peter Brearey (1939–1998): British secularist, socialist and journalist, Editor of The Freethinker from 1993 until his death.

Maryam Namazie: A human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster. Namazie has served as the executive director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees. She is spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, Infidel

William Montgomery Brown (1855–1937): Episcopal bishop and Communist author.

Richard Carrier (1969–): historian, philosopher, and atheist activist.

Chapman Cohen (1868–1954): English freethought writer and lecturer, and an editor of The Freethinker and president of the National Secular Society.

Richard Dawkins (1941–): British biologist, author of The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain, The Ancestor’s Tale, The Blind Watchmaker, The Extended Phenotype, River Out of Eden, and The Selfish Gene. Founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, a non–profit charitable organization that promotes critical thinking, science-based education, and evidence–based understanding of the world. Richard Dawkins has produced several documentaries, including Root of all Evil? and Enemies of Reason.

Margaret Downey (1950–): an atheist activist who is the current President of Atheist Alliance International.

Joseph Edamaruku (1934–2006): Indian journalist, author, leader in the rationalist movement, and winner of the International Atheist Award in 1979.

Sanal Edamaruku (1955–): Indian rationalist, president of the Indian Rationalist Association.

Reginald Vaughn Finley, Sr. (1974–): (“The Infidel Guy”): Internet radio host and Podcaster in Atlanta, Georgia, co-founder of the Atheist Network and founder of FreethoughtMedia.com.

Christopher Fisher (1967–): American psychiatrist, philosopher and former Buddhist Monk. Professor of Philosophy and Buddhist Studies at Chiang Mai University and Adjunct Professor at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Chiang Mai Thailand. Dr. Fisher has been the poster boy for removing mysticism and teaching “the pure teaching” of truth and reality in Buddhism as a philosophy and a way of life. Dr. Fishers teachings ask everyone to examine their own beliefs with doubt until they reach the truth building on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama (The Buddha) “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books…” He goes on to say in his book “The Buddha was a Non-Believer” (published by Chiang Mai University 2006) “The Buddha did not believe in a God, gods, deities, heaven or hell so, why should any Buddhist?”.

David D. Friedman (1945–): Anarcho-capitalist writer.

Annie Laurie Gaylor (1955–): co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and, with her husband Dan Barker, is the current co-president.

Emma Goldman (1869–1940): Lithuanian-born radical, known for her writings and speeches defending anarchist communism, feminism, and atheism.

Gora (1902–1975): Indian atheist leader, co-founder with his wife of the Atheist Centre in Andhra Pradesh.

Saraswathi Gora (1912–2006): Indian social activist, wife of Gora and leader of the Atheist Centre for many years, campaigning against untouchability and the caste system.

John William Gott (1866–1922): English trouser salesman and leader of the Freethought Socialist League, the last person in Britain to be sent to prison for blasphemy.

Che Guevara (1928–1967): Argentine Marxist revolutionary, politician and author.

E. Haldeman-Julius (1889–1951): American author, editor and publisher of the Little Blue Books series

Erkki Hartikainen (1942–): is a Finnish atheist activist. He is the chairman of the Atheist Association of Finland (Suomen Ateistiyhdistys) and former chairman of the Union of Freethinkers of Finland (Vapaa-ajattelijoiden liitto), the biggest atheistic association in Finland.

George Holyoake (1817–1906): English secularist. Holyoake was the last person in England to be imprisoned (in 1842) for being an atheist. He coined the term “secularism” in 1846.

Ellen Johnson: President of American Atheists, 1995-2008.

Edwin Kagin (1940–): lawyer, activist, founder of the Camp Quest secular summer camp, and American Atheists’ Kentucky State Director.

Paul Kurtz (1925–): Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, best known for his prominent role in the United States humanist and skeptical communities.

Viktor Emanuel Lennstrand (1861–1895): leader of the Swedish Freethought movement in the 1880s and early 1890s.

Joseph Lewis (1889–1968): American freethinker and atheist, president of Freethinkers of America 1920–1968.

Hemant Mehta (c.1983–): Author of I Sold My Soul on eBay, chair of the Secular Student Alliance and author of the blog FriendlyAtheist.com.

William L. Moore (1927–1963): Postal worker and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) member who staged lone protests against racial segregation. He was murdered on his final protest.

Michael Newdow (1953–): American physician and attorney, who sued a school district on the grounds that its requirement that children recite the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, containing the words “under God”, breached the separation-of-church-and-state provision in the establishment clause of the United States Constitution.

Michael Nugent (1961-): Irish writer and activist, chairperson of Atheist Ireland.

Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919–1995): founder of American Atheists, campaigner for the separation of church and state; filed the lawsuit that led the US Supreme Court to ban teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in public schools.

Robert L. Park (born 1931): scientist, University of Maryland professor of physics, and author of Voodoo Science and Superstition.

Keith Porteous Wood (1948–): Executive Director, formerly General Secretary, of the National Secular Society in the United Kingdom.

Philip K. Paulson (1947–2006): American plaintiff in a series of law suits to remove a Christian cross from a prominent summit in the city of San Diego.

James Randi, (1928–): magician, paranormal investigator, and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

A. Philip Randolph, (1889–1979): African-American civil rights leader.

J. M. Robertson (1856–1933): Scottish journalist, advocate of rationalism and secularism, social reformer and Liberal Member of Parliament.

Terry Sanderson (1946–): British secularist and gay rights activist, author and journalist, President of the National Secular Society since 2006.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966): Indian revolutionary freedom fighter, and Hindu nationalist leader.

Ellery Schempp (1940–): American physicist and church-state separation activist.

Charles Lee Smith (1887–1964): an atheist activist in the United States and an editor of the Truth Seeker until his death. He also founded the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. Smith was arrested twice in 1928 for selling atheist literature and for blasphemy. Since he refused to swear an oath to God on the Bible, he was not allowed to testify in his own defense.

Barbara Smoker (1923–): British humanist activist and freethought advocate. Wrote the book Freethoughts: Atheism, Secularism, Humanism – Selected Egotistically from The Freethinker.

Al Stefanelli (1963–): American atheist activist

Polly Toynbee (1946–): British journalist, columnist for The Guardian.

Jimmy Wales: co-founder of Wikipedia.

Nicolas Walter (1934–2000): British anarchist and atheist writer, speaker and activist.”Mr Walter is a third-generation atheist, very proud that his grandparents, on both sides, shrugged off various forms of Protestantism. His father was W Grey Walter, the eminent neurologist, who often appeared on The Brains Trust. “He was a left-wing humanist and believed that science could solve everything.” ” Hunter Davies interviewing Walter, ‘O come all ye faithless: Nicolas Walter, a militant atheist, sees no reason to celebrate Christmas. But he’ll still be singing a carol or two’, The Independent


Other activists and educators

Atheists who are/were activists or educators in other areas (social reform, feminism etc).


Pietro Acciarito (1871–1943): Italian anarchist activist who attempted to assassinate King Umberto I.

Zackie Achmat (1962–): South African anti-HIV/AIDS activist; founder of the Treatment Action Campaign.

Baba Amte (1914–2008): Respected Indian social activist, known for his work with lepers.

Deng Pufang (1944–): Chinese handicap people’s rights activist, first son of China’s former Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.

David D. Friedman (1945–): Economist, law professor, novelist, and libertarian activist.

E. Haldeman-Julius (1889–1951): American social reformer and publisher, most noted as the editor of Appeal to Reason newspaper.

Franklin E. Kameny (1925–): American gay rights activist and former astronomer.

Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921): Russian anarchist communist activist and geographer, best known for his book, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, which refutes social Darwinism.

Taslima Nasrin (1962–): Bangladeshi physician, writer, feminist human rights activist and secular humanist.

Ingrid Newkirk (1949–): British-born animal rights activist, author, and president and co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights organization.

Ron Reagan (1958–): American magazine journalist, board member of the politically activistic Creative Coalition, son of former U. S. President Ronald Reagan.

Henry Stephens Salt (1851–1939): English writer and campaigner for social reform in the fields of prisons, schools, economic institutions and the treatment of animals, a noted anti-vivisectionist and pacifist, and a literary critic, biographer, classical scholar and naturalist, and the man who introduced Mahatma Gandhi to the influential works of Henry David Thoreau.

Margaret Sanger (1879–1966): American birth-control activist, founder of the American Birth Control League, a forerunner to Planned Parenthood. The masthead motto of her newsletter, The Woman Rebel, read: “No Gods, No Masters”.

Rosika Schwimmer (1877–1948): Hungarian-born pacifist, feminist and female suffragist.

Bhagat Singh (1907–1931): Indian revolutionary freedom fighter.

Marie Souvestre (1830–1905): French headmistress, a feminist educator who sought to develop independent minds in young women.


Famous Atheists: Authors


Douglas Adams (1952–2001): British radio and television writer and novelist, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Justin Dennis (1993–): American novelist, author of the Through the Portal Trilogy.

Tariq Ali (1943–): British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner and commentator.

Jorge Amado (1912–2001): Brazilian author.

Sir Kingsley Amis (1922–1995): English novelist, poet, critic and teacher, most famous for his novels Lucky Jim and the Booker Prize-winning The Old Devils.

Eric Ambler OBE (1909–1998): influential English writer of spy novels who introduced a new realism to the genre.

Isaac Asimov (1920–1992): Russian-born American author of science fiction and popular science books.

Diana Athill (1917–): British literary editor, novelist and memoirist who worked with some of the most important writers of the 20th century.

Iain Banks (1954–): Scottish author, writing mainstream fiction as Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks.

Dave Barry (1954–): American author and columnist, who wrote a nationally syndicated humor column for The Miami Herald from 1983 to 2005. Barry is the son of a Presbyterian minister, and decided “early on” that he was an atheist.

Pierre Berton CC, O.Ont (1920–2004): Noted Canadian author of non-fiction, especially Canadiana and Canadian history, and was a well-known television personality and journalist.

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840–1922): English poet, writer and diplomat.

William Boyd CBE (1952–): Scottish novelist and screenwriter.

Lily Braun (1865–1916): German feminist writer.

Howard Brenton (1942–): English playwright, who gained notoriety for his 1980 play The Romans in Britain.

André Breton – (1896–1966): French writer, poet, artist, and surrealist theorist, best known as the main founder of surrealism.

Brigid Brophy, Lady Levey (1929–1995): English novelist, essayist, critic, biographer, and dramatist.

Alan Brownjohn (1931–1995): English poet and novelist.

Charles Bukowski (1920–1994): American author.

Lawrence Bush (19??–): Author of several books of Jewish fiction and non-fiction, including Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist.

Mary Butts (1890–1937): English modernist writer.

João Cabral de Melo Neto, (1920–1999): Brazilian poet, considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time.

Angela Carter (1940–1992): English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism and science fiction works.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008): British scientist and science-fiction author.

Edward Clodd (1840–1930): English banker, writer and anthropologist, an early populariser of evolution, keen folklorist and chairman of the Rationalist Press Association.

Claud Cockburn (1904–1981): Renowned radical British writer and journalist, controversial for his communist sympathies.

G. D. H. Cole (1889–1959): English political theorist, economist, writer and historian.

Ivy Compton-Burnett DBE (1884–1969): English novelist.

Cyril Connolly (1903–1974): English intellectual, literary critic and writer.

Edmund Cooper (1926–1982): English poet and prolific writer of speculative fiction and other genres, published under his own name and several pen names.

William Cooper (1910–2002): English novelist.

Jim Crace (1946–): English writer, winner of numerous awards.

Theodore Dalrymple (1949–): pen name of British writer and retired physician Anthony Daniels.

Rhys Davies (1901–1978): Welsh novelist and short story writer.

Frank Dalby Davison (1893–1970): Australian novelist and short story writer, best known for his animal stories and sensitive interpretations of Australian bush life.

Richard Dawkins (1941–): British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He was formerly held the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford and a fellow of New College, Oxford. Author of books such as The Selfish Gene (1976), The Blind Watchmaker (1986) and The God Delusion (2006).

Marquis de Sade (1740–1814): French aristocrat, revolutionary and writer of philosophy-laden and often violent pornography.

Daniel Dennett (1942–): American author and philosopher.

Isaac Deutscher (1907–1967): British journalist, historian and biographer.

Thomas M. Disch (1940–2008): American science fiction author and poet, winner of several awards.

Roddy Doyle (1958–): Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter, winner of the Booker Prize in 1993.

Ruth Dudley Edwards (19??–): Irish historian, crime novelist, journalist and broadcaster.

Carol Ann Duffy (1955–): Award-winning British poet, playwright and freelance writer.

Turan Dursun (1934–1990): Islamic scholar, imam and mufti, and latterly, an outspoken atheist.

Terry Eagleton (1943–): British literary critic, currently Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester.

Greg Egan (1961–): Australian computer programmer and science fiction author.

Dave Eggers (1970–): American writer, editor, and publisher.

Barbara Ehrenreich (1941–): American feminist, socialist and political activist. She is a widely read columnist and essayist, and the author of nearly 20 books.

George Eliot (1819–1890): Mary Ann Evans, the famous novelist, was also a humanist and propounded her views on theism in an essay called Evangelical Teaching’.

Harlan Ellison (1934–): American science fiction author and screenwriter.

F.M. Esfandiary/FM-2030 (1930–2000): Transhumanist writer and author of books such as Identity Card,The Beggar, UpWingers, and Are You a Transhuman. In several of his books, he encouraged readers to “outgrow” religion, and that “God was a crude concept-vengeful wrathful destructive.”

Gavin Ewart (1916–1995): British poet.

Michel Faber (1960–): Dutch author who writes in English, most famous for the Victorian-set postmodernist novel The Crimson Petal and the White.

Oriana Fallaci (1929–2006): Italian journalist, author, and political interviewer.

Vardis Fisher (1895–1968): American writer and scholar, author of atheistic Testament of Man series.

Tom Flynn (19??–): American author and Senior Editor of Free Inquiry magazine.

Ken Follett (1949–): British author of thrillers and historical novels.

E. M. Forster OM (1879–1970): English novelist, short story writer, and essayist, best known for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th century British society.

John Fowles (1926–2005): English novelist and essayist, noted especially for The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Magus (novel).

Maureen Freely (1952–): American journalist, novelist, translator and teacher.

James Frey (1969–): American author, screenwriter and director.

Stephen Fry (1957–): British author, actor and television personality

Frederick James Furnivall (1825–1910): English philologist, one of the co-creators of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Alex Garland (1970–): British novelist and screenwriter, author of The Beach and the screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine.

Constance Garnett (1861–1946): English translator, whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics first introduced them widely to the English and American public.

Nicci Gerrard (1958–): British author and journalist, who with her husband Sean French writes psychological thrillers under the pen name of Nicci French.

Rebecca Goldstein (1950–): American novelist and professor of philosophy.

Nadine Gordimer (1923–): South African writer and political activist. Her writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. She won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991.

Robert Graves (1895–1985): English poet, scholar, translator and novelist, producing more than 140 works including his famous annotations of Greek myths and I, Claudius.

Graham Greene OM, CH (1904–1991): English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer and critic.

Germaine Greer (1939–): Australian feminist writer. Greer describes herself as a “Catholic atheist”.

David Grossman (1954–): Israeli author of fiction, nonfiction, and youth and children’s literature.

Jan Guillou (1944–): Swedish author and Journalist.

Mark Haddon (1962–): British author of fiction, notably the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003).

Daniel Handler (1970–): American author better known under the pen name of Lemony Snicket. Declared himself to be ‘pretty much an atheist’ and a secular humanist. Handler has hinted that the Baudelaires in his children’s book series A Series of Unfortunate Events might be atheists.

Sam Harris (1967–): American author, researcher in neuroscience, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.

Harry Harrison (1925–): American science fiction author, anthologist and artist whose short story The Streets of Ashkelon took as its hero an atheist who tries to prevent a Christian missionary from indoctrinating a tribe of irreligious but ingenuous alien beings.

Tony Harrison (1937–): English poet, winner of a number of literary prizes.

Seamus Heaney (1939–): Irish poet, writer and lecturer, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988): American science fiction writer.

Zoë Heller (1965–): British journalist and novelist.

Dorothy Hewett (1923–2002): Australian feminist poet, novelist, librettist, and playwright.

Archie Hind (1928–2008): Scottish writer, author of The Dear Green Place, regarded as one of the greatest Scottish novels of all time.

Christopher Hitchens (1949–): Author of God Is Not Great, journalist and essayist.

Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1792–1862): British biographer, and co-author with Percy Bysshe Shelley of The Necessity of Atheism.

R. J. Hollingdale (1930–2001): English biographer and translator of German philosophy and literature, President of The Friedrich Nietzsche Society, and responsible for rehabilitating Nietzsche’s reputation in the English-speaking world.

Michel Houellebecq (1958–): French novelist.

A. E. Housman (1859–1936): English poet and classical scholar, best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad.

Keri Hulme (1947–): New Zealand writer, known for her only novel The Bone People.

Stanley Edgar Hyman (1919–1970): American literary critic who wrote primarily about critical methods.

Howard Jacobson (1942–): British author, best known for comic novels but also a non-fiction writer and journalist. Prefers not to be called an atheist.

Susan Jacoby (1945–): American author, whose works include the New York Times best seller The Age of American Unreason, about anti-intellectualism.

Clive James (1939–): Australian author, television presenter and cultural commentator.

Robin Jenkins (1912–2005): Scottish writer of about thirty novels, though mainly known for The Cone Gatherers.

Neil Jordan (1950-): Irish novelist and filmmaker.

S. T. Joshi (1958–): American editor and literary critic.

Ismail Kadare (1936–): Albanian novelist and poet, winner of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca and the inaugural Man Booker International Prize.

James Kelman (1946–): Scottish author, influential and Booker Prize-winning writer of novels, short stories, plays and political essays.

Douglas Kennedy (1955–): American-born novelist, playwright and nonfiction writer.

Ludovic Kennedy (1919–2009): British journalist, author, and campaigner against capital punishment and for voluntary euthanasia.

Marian Keyes (1963–): Irish writer, considered to be one of the original progenitors of “chick lit”, selling 22 million copies of her books in 30 languages.

Paul Krassner (1932–): American founder and editor of the freethought magazine The Realist, and a key figure in the 1960s counterculture.

Pär Lagerkvist (1891–1974): Swedish author who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1951. He used religious motifs and figures from the Christian tradition without following the doctrines of the church.

Philip Larkin CH, CBE, FRSL (1922–1985): English poet, novelist and jazz critic.

Marghanita Laski (1915–1988): English journalist and novelist, also writing literary biography, plays and short stories.

Stieg Larsson (1954–2004): Swedish journalist, author of the Millennium Trilogy and the founder of the anti-racist magazine Expo.

Rutka Laskier (1929–1943): Polish Jew who was killed at Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 14. Because of her diary, on display at Israel’s Holocaust museum, she has been dubbed the “Polish Anne Frank.”

Stanislaw Lem (1921–2006): Polish science fiction novelist and essayist.

Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837): Italian poet, linguist, essayist and philosopher. Leopardi is legendary as an out-and-out nihilist.

Primo Levi (1919–1987): Italian novelist and chemist, survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799): German scientist, satirist, philosopher and anglophile. Known as one of Europe’s best authors of aphorisms. Satirized religion using aphorisms like “I thank the Lord a thousand times for having made me become an atheist.”

Pierre Loti (1850–1923): French novelist and travel writer.

H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937): American horror writer.

Franco Lucentini (1920–2002): Italian writer, journalist, translator and editor of anthologies.

Norman MacCaig (1910–1996): Scottish poet, whose work is known for its humour, simplicity of language and great popularity.

Colin Mackay (1951–2003): British poet and novelist.

Naguib Mahfouz (19??–): Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature.

David Marcus (1924–2009): Irish Jewish editor and writer, a lifelong advocate and editor of Irish fiction.

Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958): French author, winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Stephen Massicotte (1969–): Canadian playwright, screenwriter and actor.

W. Somerset Maugham CH (1874–1965): English playwright, novelist, and short story writer, one of the most popular authors of his era.

Charles Maurras (1868–1952): French author, poet, and critic, a leader and principal thinker of the reactionary Action Française.

Joseph McCabe (1867–1955): English writer, anti-religion campaigner.

Mary McCarthy (1912–1989): American writer and critic.

Ian McEwan, CBE (1948–): British author and winner of the Man Booker Prize.

China Miéville (1972–): British Science Fiction author.

Arthur Miller (1915–2005): American playwright and essayist, a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are widely studied.

Christopher Robin Milne (1920–1996): Son of author A. A. Milne who, as a young child, was the basis of the character Christopher Robin in his father’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and in two books of poems.

David Mills (author) (1959–): Author who argues in his book Atheist Universe that science and religion cannot be successfully reconciled.

Terenci Moix (1942–2003): Spanish writer who wrote in both Spanish and in Catalan.

Brian Moore (1921–1999): Irish novelist and screenwriter, awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1975 and the inaugural Sunday Express Book of the Year award in 1987, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.

Sir John Mortimer CBE QC (1923–2009): English barrister, dramatist and author, famous as the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey.

Andrew Motion FRSL (1952–): English poet, novelist and biographer, and Poet Laureate 1999–2009.

Clare Mulley, author of The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of Save the Children (2009).

Dame Iris Murdoch (1919–1999): Dublin-born writer and philosopher, best known for her novels, which combine rich characterization and compelling plotlines, usually involving ethical or sexual themes.

Taslima Nasreen, former Muslim and current activist against Islamic atrocities in Bangladeshcitation needed

Aziz Nesin (1915–1995): Turkish humorist and author of more than 100 books.

Michael Nugent (1961-): Irish writer and activist, chairperson of Atheist Ireland.

Joyce Carol Oates (1938–): American author and Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University.

Redmond O’Hanlon (1947–): British author, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

George Orwell (1903–1950): English writer and journalist, a novelist, critic, and commentator on politics and culture, one of the most admired English-language essayists of the twentieth century, and most famous for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general (Nineteen Eighty-Four), and Stalinism in particular (Animal Farm).

John Oswald (activist) (c.1760–1793): Scottish journalist, poet, social critic and revolutionary.

Frances Partridge (1900–2004): English member of the Bloomsbury Group and a writer, probably best known for the publication of her diaries.

Camille Paglia (born 1947): American post-feminist literary and cultural critic.

Robert L. Park (born 1931): scientist, University of Maryland professor of physics, and author of Voodoo Science and Superstition.

Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975): Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer.

Edmund Penning-Rowsell (1913–2002): British wine writer, considered the foremost of his generation.

Calel Perechodnik (1916–1943): Polish Jewish diarist and Jewish Ghetto policeman at the Warsaw Ghetto.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson: American essayist and author of The Perfect Vehicle and other books.

Fiona Pitt-Kethley (19??–): British poet, novelist, travel writer and journalist.

Neal Pollack (1970–): American satirist, novelist, short story writer, and journalist.

Terry Pratchett (1948–): English Fantasy author known for his satirical Discworld series.

Kate Pullinger (19??–): Canadian-born novelist and author of digital fiction.

Philip Pullman CBE (1946–): British author of His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy for young adults, which have atheism as a major theme.

Craig Raine (1944–): English poet and critic, the best-known exponent of Martian poetry.

Ayn Rand (1905–1982): Russian-born American author and founder of Objectivism.

Derek Raymond (1931–1994): English writer, credited with being the founder of English noir.

Stan Rice (1942–2006): American poet and artist, Professor of English and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, and husband of writer Anne Rice.

Joseph Ritson, (1752–1803): English author and antiquary, friend of Sir Walter Scott.

Michael Rosen (1946–): English children’s novelist, poet and broadcaster, Children’s Laureate 2007–2009.

Alex Rosenberg (1946–): Philosopher of science, author of The Atheist’s Guide to Reality ,

José Saramago (1922–2010): Portuguese writer, playwright and journalist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.

Dan Savage (1964–): Author and sex advice columnist. Despite his atheism, Savage considers himself Catholic “in a cultural sense.”

Bernard Schweizer (1962–): English professor and critic specializing in literary manifestations of religious rebellion. Schweizer reintroduced the forgotten term misotheism (hatred of God) in his most recent book Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism, Oxford University Press, 2010. Schweizer, who has published several books on literature, is not a misotheist but a secular humanist.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822): British Romantic poet, contemporary and associate of John Keats and Lord Byron, and author of The Necessity of Atheism.

Michael Shermer (1954–): Science writer and editor of Skeptic magazine. Has stated that he is an atheist, but prefers to be called a skeptic.

Joan Smith (1953–): English novelist, journalist and human rights activist.

Warren Allen Smith (1921–): Author of Who’s Who in Hell.

David Ramsay Steele (19??–): Author of Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy

George Warrington Steevens (1869–1900): British journalist and writer.

Bruce Sterling (1954–): American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894): Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer, especially famous for his works Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Vladimir Tendryakov (1923–1984): Russian short story writer and novelist.

Tiffany Thayer (1902–1959): American author, advertising copywriter, actor and founder of the Fortean Society.

James Thomson (‘B.V.’) (1834–1882): British poet and satirist, famous primarily for the long poem The City of Dreadful Night (1874).

Miguel Torga (1907–1995): Portuguese author of poetry, short stories, theatre and a 16 volume diary, one of the greatest Portuguese writers of the 20th century.

Sue Townsend (1946–): British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books.

Freda Utley (1898–1978): English scholar, best-selling author and political activist.

Frances Vernon (1963–1991): British novelist.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007): American author, writer of Cat’s Cradle, among other books. Vonnegut said “I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in churches quite a lot).”

Sarah Vowell (1969–): American author, journalist, humorist, and commentator, and a regular contributor to the radio program This American Life.

Ethel Lilian Voynich (1864–1960): Irish-born novelist and musician, and a supporter of several revolutionary causes.

Marina Warner CBE, FBA (1946–): British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer, known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth.

H.G. Wells (1866–1946): one of the fathers of science fiction, and an outspoken socialist.

Edmund White (1940–): American novelist, short-story writer and critic.

Sean Williams (1967–): Australian science fiction author, a multiple recipient of both the Ditmar and Aurealis Awards.

Simon Winchester OBE (1944–): British author and journalist.

Tom Wolfe: Noted author and member of ‘New Journalism’ school

Leonard Woolf (1880–1969): Noted British political theorist, author, publisher, and civil servant, husband of author Virginia Woolf.

Gao Xingjian (1940–): Chinese émigré novelist, dramatist, critic, translator, stage director and painter. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000.



Writers who are primarily known for their journalism.


David Aaronovitch (1954–): British journalist, author and broadcaster.

Amy Alkon (19??–): American advice columnist known as the Advice Goddess, author of Ask the Advice Goddess, published in more than 100 newspapers within North America.

Lynn Barber (1944–): British journalist, currently writing for The Observer.

Paul Barker (1935–): English journalist and writer.

Anna Blundy (1970–): British journalist and author.

Richard Boston (1938–2006): English journalist and author, dissenter and pacifist.

Jason Burke (1970–): British journalist, chief foreign correspondent of The Observer.

Chandler Burr (1963–): American journalist and author, currently the perfume critic for the New York Times.

Michael Bywater (1953–): British writer and broadcaster.

Nick Cohen (19??–): British journalist, author, and political commentator.

John Diamond (1953–2001): British broadcaster and journalist, noted for his column chronicling his fight with cancer.

Robert Fisk (1946–): Multi-award-winning British journalist, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain” according to the New York Times.

Paul Foot (1937–2004): British investigative journalist, political campaigner, author, and long-time member of the Socialist Workers Party.

Masha Gessen (1967–): Russian journalist and author.

Linda Grant (1951–): British journalist and novelist.

Muriel Gray (1958–): Scottish journalist, novelist and broadcaster.

Johann Hari (1979–): British journalist and writer, columnist for The Independent and the London Evening Standard.

John Harris (1969–): British journalist, writer, and critic.

Simon Heffer (1960–): British journalist and writer.

Anthony Holden (1947–): British journalist, broadcaster and writer, especially of biographies.

Mick Hume (1959–): British journalist – columnist for The (London) Times and editor of Spiked. Described himself as “a longstanding atheist”, but criticised the ‘New Atheism’ of Richard Dawkins and co.

Tom Humphries (19??–): English-born Irish sportswriter and columnist for The Irish Times.

Simon Jenkins (1943–): British journalist, newspaper editor, and author. A former editor of The Times newspaper, he received a knighthood for services to journalism in the 2004 New Year honours.

Oliver Kamm (1963–): British writer and newspaper columnist, a leader writer for The Times.

Terry Lane (1943–): Australian radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist.

Dominic Lawson (1956–): British journalist, former editor of The Spectator magazine.

Magnus Linklater (1942–): Scottish journalist and former newspaper editor.

Heather Mallick (1959–): Canadian columnist, author and lecturer.

Andrew Marr (1959–): Scottish journalist and political commentator.

Jules Marshall (1962–): English-born journalist and editor.

Padraic McGuinness AO (1938–2008): Australian journalist, activist, and commentator.

Gareth McLean (19??–): Scottish journalist, writer for The Guardian and Radio Times, shortlisted for the Young Journalist of the Year Award at the British Press Awards in 1997 and 1998.

Jonathan Meades (1947–): English writer and broadcaster on food, architecture and culture.

Stephanie Merritt (1974–): British critic and feature writer for a range of newspapers, Deputy Literary Editor at The Observer since 1998.

Martin O’Hagan (1950–2001): Northern Irish journalist, the most prominent journalist to be assassinated during the Troubles.

Deborah Orr (19??–): British journalist and broadcaster, married to writer and satirist Will Self.

Ruth Picardie (1964–1997): British journalist and editor, noted for her memoir of living with breast cancer, Before I Say Goodbye.

Claire Rayner OBE (1931–2010): British journalist best-known for her role for many years as an agony aunt.

Jay Rayner (1966–): British journalist, writer and broadcaster.

Ron Reagan (1958–): American magazine journalist, board member of the politically activist Creative Coalition, son of former U. S. President Ronald Reagan.

Ariane Sherine (1980–): British comedy writer, journalist and creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign.

Jill Singer (19??–): Australian journalist, columnist and television presenter.

Matt Taibbi (1970–): American journalist and political writer, currently working at Rolling Stone. note: he calls himself an agnostic/atheist.

Jeffrey Tayler (1970–): American author and journalist, the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly.

Bill Thompson (1960–): English technology writer, best known for his weekly column in the Technology section of BBC News Online and his appearances on Digital Planet, a radio show on the BBC World Service.

Nicholas Tomalin (1931–1973): British journalist and writer, one of the top 40 journalists of the modern era.

Jerzy Urban (1933–): Polish journalist, commentator, writer and politician, editor-in-chief of the weekly Nie and owner of the company which owns it, Urma.

Gene Weingarten (1951–): American humor writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Francis Wheen (1957–): British journalist, writer and broadcaster.

Peter Wilby (1944–): British journalist, former editor of The Independent on Sunday and New Statesman.

Adrian Wooldridge (19??–): British journalist, Washington Bureau Chief and ‘Lexington’ columnist for The Economist magazine.


Famous Atheists: Film, Radio, Television, Theater


Douglas Adams (1952–2001): British radio and television writer and novelist, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Mary Adams (1898–1984): English producer and administrator in the BBC, instrumental in setting up the BBC’s television service.

Phillip Adams (1939–): Australian broadcaster, writer, film-maker, left-wing radical thinker, and iconoclast. He was the Australian Humanist of the Year in 1987.

Adithya (1974–): Indian actor.

Joe Ahearne (1963–): British television writer and director, best known for his work on several ‘cult’ fantasy-based programmes including Ultraviolet and Doctor Who.

Brandy Alexandre (1964–): American adult actress.

Keith Allen (1953–): British comedian, actor, singer and writer, father of Lily Allen.

Woody Allen (1935-): American film director, writer, actor, comedian, and playwright.

Robert Altman (1925–2006): American film director of MASH.

Alejandro Amenábar (1972–): Spanish-Chilean film director, whose Mar adentro (“The Sea Inside”) was awarded the Grand Prix of the Jury at the International Venice Film Festival in 2004 and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005.

Wil Anderson (1974–): Australian comedian, radio presenter, and former host of The Glass House.

Jane Asher (1946–): English actress, who is well known in the United Kingdom for her numerous appearances in film and television dramas.

Kevin Bacon (1958–): American film and theater actor.

Joan Bakewell CBE (1933–): English television presenter and journalist.

Javier Bardem (1969–): Spanish actor and former rugby player best known for his roles in Jamón, jamón and No Country For Old Men.

Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923): French stage actress referred to as “the most famous actress in the history of the world”. She was asked by French composer Charles Gounod if she ever prayed. Bernhadt replied “No, never. I’m an atheist”.

Paul Bettany (1971–): English actor, known for his roles in A Knight’s Tale, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and The Da Vinci Code.

Lewis Black (1948–): American comedian and actor.citation needed

Orla Brady (1961–): Irish actress.

Brannon Braga (1965–): American TV producer and writer, creator of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Jim Broadbent (1949–): English theatre, film, and television actor.

Jeremy Brock (1959–): British actor, producer, writer, and director, whose work includes Mrs. Brown and the BAFTA award winning screenplay for The Last King of Scotland.

Charlie Brooker (1971–): British writer and satirist best known for his TV show Screenwipe.

Derren Brown (1971–): English psychological illusionist, mentalist, and skeptic of paranormal phenomena. Professed to being an atheist in his book Tricks of the Mind and described Bertrand Russell’s collection of essays Why I Am Not a Christian “an absolute joy.”

Luis Buñuel (1900–1983): Spanish film-maker, activist of the surrealist movement. Known for his one-liner, “Thank God I’m still an atheist.”

Kari Byron (1974–): American television host and artist, best known for her featured role on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.

Louis C.K. (1967–): American comedian, writer and director.

Peter Caffrey (1949–2008): Irish actor, best known for playing Padraig O’Kelly in Series 1-4 of Ballykissangel.

James Cameron (1954–): Canadian film director known for directing Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic and Avatar.

Richard Carleton (1943–2006): Current affairs journalist for Australia’s 60 Minutes.

George Carlin (1937 – 2008): American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums. In 2004, Carlin placed second on the Comedy Central list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time.

Adam Carolla (1964–): American comedian, actor, author, radio host, and podcaster. Regularly refers to himself as an atheist.

Jimmy Carr (1972–): English comedian, author, actor, and presenter of radio and television.

Asia Carrera (1973–): Former American pornographic actress.

Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977): English comedian, actor, director and producer.

Matthew Chapman (19??–): English journalist, screenwriter, and director.

Jeremy Clarkson (1960–): English journalist and broadcaster. Presenter of Top Gear and columnist in The Times.

George Clooney (1961–): American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and humanitarian.

Billy Connolly (1942–): Scottish comedian, actor, former musician.

Jim Cornette (1961–): American professional wrestling manager, commentator, promoter, and booker.

Sir Noël Coward (1899–1973): English actor, playwright, and composer of popular music.

David Cronenberg (1943–): Canadian film director, one of the principal originators of the ‘body horror’ genre.

Mackenzie Crook (1971–): English actor and comedian, known for playing Gareth Keenan in The Office and Ragetti in Pirates of the Caribbean.

David Cross (1964–): American actor, writer, and Emmy winner, best known for his role as Tobias Fünke on Arrested Development.

Adrianne Curry (1982–): American model, television host, and film actress, well-known as the winner of the modelling competition America’s Next Top Model.

Alan Davies (1966–): English comedian, writer, and actor.

Russell T Davies (1963–): Welsh television producer and writer, most famous for reviving Doctor Who on British television.

Terence Davies (1945–): English screenwriter, film director, actor, and novelist.

William B. Davis (1938–): Canadian actor, known for his role as the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files.

Daniel Day-Lewis (1957–): British actor. When asked by poet Eileen Myles in an Index Magazine interview whether he believed in God, he answered, “I’m still not sure. I suppose I’m a die-hard agnostic. I don’t know.”

Guillermo del Toro (1964–): Mexican director and screenwriter best known for directing Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Andrew Denton (1960–): Australian comedian and television presenter host of the ABC’s weekly interview program Enough Rope.

Marlene Dietrich (1901–1992): German-born American actress, singer and entertainer. She is considered to be the first German actress to flourish in Hollywood.

Stanley Donen (1924–): American film director, best known for his musicals including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Singin’ in the Rain; awarded honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

Amanda Donohoe (1962–): English film, stage, and television actress.

Natalie Dormer (1982–): English film and television actress.

John Doyle (1953–): Australian comedian, actor, and writer, famous as “Rampaging” Roy Slaven in the comedy duo Roy and HG.

Troy Allen Dyer: (1965–): American film producer. “My father corrected me as a freshman in high school, because I neither confirm or deny the existantce of a higher power. Son, you’re an agnostic, but so are the best thinkers, theologists, pastors and priests, and that’s why they got into this whole business of finding God.”citation needed

Christopher Eccleston (1964–): English stage, film, and television actor, known for his roles in Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, and as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who.

David Edgar (1948–): British playwright, noted for his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Nicholas Nickleby.

Ben Elton (1959–): English comedian, writer and director.

Frances Farmer (1913–1970): American film, television, and theater actress.

Diane Farr (1969–): American actress perhaps best known for her role as FBI agent Megan Reeves in the television CBS series Numb3rs.

Harvey Fierstein (1952—): American actor, playwright, and screenwriter best known for his work in the Torch Song Trilogy.

Brian Flemming (1966–): American film director and playwright, notable for his 2005 film The God Who Wasn’t There.

Dave Foley (1963–): Canadian actor best known for his work in The Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio.

Peter Fonda (1940–): American actor.

Sir Denis Forman (1917–): British Director (1949–1954) and later Chair (1971–1973) of The British Film Institute, Chairman and Managing Director of Granada Television, and Director of the Royal Opera House in London.

Jodie Foster (1962–): American film actress, director, and producer.

Nick Frost (1972–): English actor, comedian, and writer.

Stephen Fry (1957–): British humourist, writer, actor, and filmmaker.

Ricky Gervais(1961-): British (voice) actor, film and TV director, screenwriter, producer, and comedian.

Paul Giamatti (1967–): American film and television actor.

Ira Glass (1959-): American radio personality and host of This American Life. He has stated that he is a staunch atheist.

Theo van Gogh (1957–2004): Dutch film director, television producer, publicist, and actor, murdered following the broadcasting of his film Submission.

Dan Gordon (1961–): Northern Irish actor, director and author. Calls himself agnostic.

Richard E. Grant (1957–): British actor perhaps most well known for portraying the world-weary, drug-crazed alcoholic Withnail in Withnail and I.

Eva Green (1980–): French actress and model, notable for her roles in Casino Royale and The Golden Compass.

Peter Greenaway, CBE (1942–): Welsh-born English film director.

Kathy Griffin (1960–): American actress, comedian, and media personality. As well as the star of show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.

Rachel Griffiths (1968–): Australian film and television actress.

Kamal Haasan (1954–): Indian film actor and film director, considered among the leading method actors of Indian cinema.

Brian Hall (1937–1997): English actor best known for his role as Terry the chef in Fawlty Towers.

Tony Hancock (1924–1968): British actor and comedian, star of the popular Hancock’s Half Hour.

Sir David Hare (1947–): English dramatist and theatre and film director.

Nina Hartley (1959–): American pornographic actress, film director, author, and sex educator.

Amber Heard (1986–): American film and television actress.

Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003): American actress who appeared in 53 films from 1932 to 1994.

Mathew Horne (1978–): English comedian and actor, best known for playing Gavin Shipman in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.

Kenny Hotz (1973–): Canadian comedian, filmmaker, actor, producer, director, photographer, and co-star of the Canadian television show Kenny vs. Spenny.

John Humphrys (1943–): Welsh journalist, author and radio and television presenter, who has won many national broadcasting awards. Prefers the term agnostic.

John Huston (1906–1987): American film director and actor, especially known for the films The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Asphalt Jungle, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Misfits, and The Man Who Would Be King.

Jamie Hyneman (1956–): American visual effects expert, best known as the co-host of the television series MythBusters.

Eddie Izzard (1962–): British comedian.

Clive James AM (1939–): Australian expatriate author, poet, critic, memoirist, travel writer, and cultural commentator, though perhaps best known as a talk show host and television presenter.

David Jason (1940-): British actor, best known for playing the role of Del Boy in Only Fools & Horses.

Penn Jillette (1955–): American magician, co-host of the television show Penn and Teller: Tell a Lie. He has also taken the Blasphemy Challenge.

Angelina Jolie (1975–): American actress.

Dom Joly (1967–): Award-winning British television comedian and journalist, best known as the star of Trigger Happy TV.

Sarah Kane (1971–1999): English playwright.

Jonathan Katz (1946–): American comedian, actor, and voice actor who is best known for his starring role in the animated sitcom Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. When asked by Bill Maher on the talk show Politically Incorrect if he was an atheist, Katz responded “Yes. And my parents were atheists”.citation needed

Gene Kelly (1912–1996): American dancer, singer, actor and director.

Skandar Keynes (1991–): English actor (Chronicles of Narnia films).

Rajeev Khandelwal (1975–): Indian Television actor.

Margot Kidder (1948–): Canadian American film and television actress best known for playing Lois Lane in the Superman movies of the 1970s and 1980s.

Michael Kinsley (1951–): American political journalist, commentator, and television host.

Jerzy Kawalerowicz (1922–2007): Polish film director.

Jan Kott (1914–2001): Polish theatre theoretician and influential critic.

Stanley Kubrick (1928–1999): American film director, writer, film producer, and photographer. Claudio Masenza said of his friend: “He was an atheist Jew who celebrated Christmas.”

Burt Lancaster (1913–1994): American film actor.

Elsa Lanchester (1902–1986): English-born American actress. Atheism is mentioned in her autobiography.

Charles Laughton (1899–1962): English-born American actor. Atheism is mentioned in his wife’s autobiography.

Hugh Laurie OBE (1959–): English actor, comedian, writer, and star of the television show House.

Nigella Lawson (1960–): English journalist, food writer, broadcaster, and television presenter.

Cloris Leachman (1926–): actress.

Bruce Lee (1940–1973): martial artist, actor and philosopher. John Little states that Lee was an atheist. When asked in 1972 what his religious affiliation was, he replied “none whatsoever.” Also in 1972, when asked if he believed in God, he responded, “To be perfectly frank, I really do not.”

Tom Leykis (1956–): American radio talk-show host.

Rebecca Lord (1973–): French pornographic actress.

Kevin Macdonald (1967–): Scottish two-time BAFTA winning director, most famous for his films The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void.

Seth MacFarlane (1973–): Creator, animator, executive producer, actor, writer for American Dad! and Family Guy.dead link

Bill Maher (1956–): American comedian, author, political satirist and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

John Malkovich (1953–): American actor, producer, and director.

Paul Mazursky (1930–): American director, producer, and actor.

Sylvester McCoy (1943–): Scottish actor, best known for playing the seventh incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who

John McCririck (1940–): English television horse racing pundit.

Ian McDiarmid (1944–): Scottish theatre actor and director, with occasional film and television roles, most famous worldwide for his role as Palpatine in both Star Wars trilogies.

Sir Ian McKellen (1939–): English stage and screen actor.

Butterfly McQueen (1911–1995): American actress, most renowned for her performance as Prissy, the young maid in Gone with the Wind.

Stephen Merchant (1974–): British actor and writer, co-creator of The Office.

George Meyer (1956–): American television producer and writer, notably for The Simpsons.

Dame Helen Mirren (1945–): English stage, television, and Oscar-winning film actress.

Warren Mitchell (1926–): English actor, most famously in the long-running BBC TV series Till Death Us Do Part.

Dylan Moran (1971–): Irish comedian, most famous for the creation and role in hit British sitcom Black Books, as well as his work with Simon Pegg in movies such as Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run.

Dermot Morgan (1952–1998): Irish comedian and actor, who achieved international renown as Father Ted Crilly in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.

Cillian Murphy (1976–): Irish stage and screen actor.

Jonathan Myerson (1960–): British television and radio dramatist.

Mike Nichols (1931–): American television, stage and film director, writer, and producer.

Jack Nicholson (1937–): American actor, film director, producer and writer.

Gaspar Noé (1963–): Argentinian-born French filmmaker, most famous for his film Irréversible.

Dara Ó Briain (1972–): Irish comedian and television presenter. Describes himself as an atheist, but “ethnically Catholic” for comic effect.

Bree Olson (1986–): American pornographic actress.

Patton Oswalt (1969–): American comedian and actor. In his standup special “No Reason To Complain,” he calls himself a “stone-cold atheist.”citation needed

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE (1935–): English broadcaster and journalist, best known as a television interviewer on his programme Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and 1998 to 2007.

Bruce Parry (1969–): English former Royal Marines instructor who presents the BBC / Discovery Channel documentary Tribe.

Julia Pascal (1949–): British Jewish playwright and theatre director.

Simon Pegg (1970–):English actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director.

Sam Perrin (1901–1998): American screenwriter.

Peter Purves (1939–): English actor and television presenter, best known for a role in Doctor Who and presenting Blue Peter.

Julia Phillips (1944–2002): film producer and author, the first woman to win an Oscar as a producer.

Brad Pitt (1963–): American actor and producer, best known for the films Fight Club, Se7en and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, has stated that he does not believe in God, and that he is partly atheist, partly agnostic.

Michael Pitt (1981–): American actor and musician.

Roman Polanski (1933–): Polish director. Describes himself as an atheist in his autobiography Roman.

Sarah Polley (1979–): Canadian actress and director.

Gail Porter (1971–): Scottish television presenter.

Daniel Radcliffe (1989–): English actor. Most notable for his role in the movie productions of the J.K. Rowlings books, Harry Potter.

Keanu Reeves (1964–): Canadian-American actor best known for his portrayal of Neo in The Matrix trilogy and Ted Logan in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.

Carl Reiner (1922–): American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian.

Griff Rhys Jones (1953–): Welsh comedian, writer, actor, and television presenter.

Anna Richardson (1971–): English presenter, television producer, writer, and journalist.

Fyfe Robertson (1902–1987): Scottish television journalist.

Gene Roddenberry (1921–1991): American screenwriter and producer, best known as the creator of Star Trek.

Richard Rodgers (1902–1979): American composer of the music for more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television.

Pascual Romero (1980–): American musician and television producer.

Andy Rooney (1918–2011): Humorist, American radio and television writer, and commentator best known for his weekly broadcast on the television program 60 Minutes.

Adam Savage (1967–): American television co-host on the program MythBusters.

Alan Scarfe (1937–): Canadian actor, director and novelist.

Ridley Scott (1946–): English film director and producer.

Andy Serkis (1964–): English actor and director, best known for his portrayal of Sméagol/Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.

Elyse Sewell (1982–): American fashion model based in Hong Kong, and a finalist in the reality television modeling competition America’s Next Top Model.

Don Siegel (1912–1991): Influential American film director and producer.

Sarah Silverman (1970–): American comedian, writer and actress.

Marc Sinden (1954–): English Theatre producer and actor.

Ian Smith (1938–): Australian soap opera character actor and television scriptwriter, best known today for his long-running role as Harold Bishop in Neighbours.

Dan Snow (1978–): English television presenter and historian, working on many popular history programmes for the BBC such as the “History Hunter” for The One Show.

Stellan Skarsgård (1951–): Swedish actor known internationally for his film roles in Angels & Demons, Breaking the Waves and Good Will Hunting.

Steven Soderbergh (1963–): American filmmaker, director of such films as Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

Todd Solondz (1959–): American screenwriter and independent film director known for his style of dark, thought-provoking satire.

Doug Stanhope (1967–); American comedian and brief stint as co-host of The Man Show.

David Starkey CBE (1945–): English historian, television and radio presenter, and specialist in the Tudor period.

Juliet Stevenson (1956–): English actress.

Matt Stone (1971–), co-creator of South Park.

J. Michael Straczynski (1954–): American writer and producer, creator of Babylon 5.

Sir Alan Sugar (1947–): English entrepreneur, businessman, and television personality.

Paul Taylor (1930–): American choreographer, one of the foremost of the 20th century.

Teller (1948–): American magician, co-host of the television show Penn and Teller: Tell a Lie.

Pat Tillman was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Emma Thompson (1959–): English actress, comedian, and screenwriter.

Fernando Trueba (1955–): Spanish book editor, screenwriter, and film director.

Wendy Turner Webster (1967–): English TV presenter and animal rights campaigner.

Tom Tykwer (1965–): German film director.

Kenneth Tynan (1927–1980): Influential and often controversial British theatre critic and writer.

Ram Gopal Varma (1962–): Indian film director, writer, and film producer.

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas CBE (1908–1987): Welsh newspaper journalist and radio and television broadcaster with a lengthy career.

Paul Verhoeven (1938–): Dutch film director, screenwriter, and film producer, filming in both the Netherlands and the United States, best known for the American feature films RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, and Starship Troopers and Dutch films Black Book and Soldier of Orange.

Paolo Villaggio (1932–): Italian actor, writer, director, and comedian, especially famous for his grotesque irony and satire, who often worked with Federico Fellini.

Joss Whedon (1964–): American screenwriter and director, most famous for creating the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise.

Lalla Ward (1951–): English actress and illustrator, best known for playing Romana in Doctor Who; she is married to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

Wil Wheaton (1972–): American actor and author, best known for playing Gordie LaChance in the film Stand by Me and Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Peter White (1947–): English broadcast journalist and DJ; blind since birth, he is closely associated with disability issues.

Gene Wilder (1933–): American actor best known for his role as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Robyn Williams (1944–): Australian science journalist and broadcaster, interviewer and host of the Science Show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ted Willis (1914–1992): British television dramatist, also politically active in support of the Labour Party.

Terry Wogan KBE DL(1938–): Irish radio and television broadcaster, working for the BBC for most of his career; a leading media personality in Ireland and the UK since the late 1960s, and is often referred to as a “national treasure” of both the United Kingdom and his native Ireland.


Famous Atheists: Music


Larry Adler (1914–2001): American harmonica player.

Javed Akhtar (1945–): Indian lyricist, poet and scriptwriter.

Béla Bartók (1881–1945): Hungarian composer.

Roy Bailey (1935–): British socialist folk singer.

Stephen Baird (1944–): American “scientific gospel” singer.

Hector Berlioz (1803–1869): French composer.

Pierre Boulez (1925–): French composer and conductor.

Isaac Brock (1975–): American singer, guitarist, banjoist, and songwriter for the indie rock band Modest Mouse.

Chico Buarque (1941–): Brazilian singer, composer, poet and writer, one of most famous of MPB.

Geoffrey Burgon (1941–2010): British composer notable for his television and film themes.

Mike Burkett (1967–): (a.k.a. Fat Mike) American bassist and vocalist for the punk rock band NOFX. Many of their lyrics include atheist views.

Myles Kennedy (1969–): American musician and singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Alter Bridge.

Henry Burstow (1826–1916): English shoemaker, singer and bellringer from Horsham, Sussex, best known for his vast repertoire of songs, many of which were collected in the folksong revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924): Italian composer, pianist, teacher of piano and composition, and conductor.

Kevin Cameron (1986-): Australian guitarist, who is most notable for being a member of the metalcore band I Killed the Prom Queen.

Nick Cave (1957–) Australian musician and writer, frontman of bands Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Birthday Party

Vic Chesnutt (1964–2009): American singer-songwriter.

Eddie Collins (a.k.a. Greydon Square) (September 28, 1981–): African-American hip hop artist.

Wayne Coyne (1961–): American rock musician, lead singer of The Flaming Lips.

Jonny Craig (1986–): Post-hardcore singer-songwriter, poet, lead vocalist for Emarosa and co-leader for Isles & Glaciers.

Frederick Delius CH (1862–1934): Noted English composer.

King Diamond (1956–): Danish heavy metal singer.

Ian “Dicko” Dickson (1963–): English-born music industry and television personality in Australia, best known as a judge on the television shows Australian Idol and The Next Great American Band.

Ani DiFranco (1970–): Singer, guitarist, and songwriter.

Beth Ditto (1981–): American vocalist with the band Gossip.

Brian Eno (1948–): English electronic musician, music theorist and record producer, known as the father of modern ambient music.

Fenriz (1971–): Norwegian drummer and lyricist for the two-piece black metal band Darkthrone.

Bob Geldof, (1951–): Irish singer/songwriter, organized the Live Aid and Live 8 charity concerts.

David Gilmour CBE (1946–): English guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Pink Floyd.

Dave Godin (1936–2004): English champion of African-American music who coined the term ‘Northern soul’.

Greg Graffin (1964–): Lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion. Received his zoology PhD with the thesis Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.

Percy Grainger, (1882–1961): Australian-born composer and pianist.

David Gray (1968–): English Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who came to prominence with his multi-platinum selling album White Ladder.

Kathleen Hanna (1968–): Lead singer of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill.

Jeff Hanneman (1964–): American guitarist, a founding member of the thrash metal band Slayer.

Yip Harburg (1896–1981) Hollywood lyricist and poet, most notably wrote the lyrics for Somewhere Over the Rainbow and It’s Only a Paper Moon.

Roy Harper (1941–): English rock / folk singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for his longtime associations with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and for his guest lead vocals on Pink Floyd’s song ‘Have a Cigar’.

Paul Heaton (1962–): English singer-songwriter, leading member of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South.

Anthony Heilbut (19??–): American record producer of gospel music and writer, a Grammy Award winner and noted for his biography of Thomas Mann.

George Hrab (1971–): American rock & funk musician & podcaster.

Leoš Janáček (1854–1928): Czech composer, famous for his Glagolitic Mass.

Stephan Jenkins (1964—): Musician, lead singer for the American rock band, Third Eye Blind.

Alex Kapranos (1972–): Lead singer of Scottish band Franz Ferdinand.

Paul Kelly (1955—): Australian rock music singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player.

Kerry King (1964—): American guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the thrash metal band Slayer.

Linton Kwesi Johnson (1952–): British-based dub poet.

Simon Le Bon (1958–): English lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia.

Geddy Lee (1953–) : Canadian singer and bassist of the progressive rock band Rush.

Lemmy (1945–): English rock singer and bass guitarist, most famous for founding the rock band Motörhead.

Till Lindemann (1963–): Lead singer of the German industrial metal band, Rammstein.

Dave Lombardo (1965–): Cuban American heavy metal drummer, best known for his work with American thrash metal band Slayer.

Emcee Lynx (1980–): anarchist hip hop musician who identifies as potentially pantheist, agnostic or atheist.

Shirley Manson (1966–): Lead singer of the British-American alternative rock band, Garbage.

Ida Maria (1984–): Norwegian rock musician.

George Marshall-Hall (1862–1915): English-born Australian composer, conductor and professor of music.

Nick Mason: English drummer for Pink Floyd.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CBE (1934–): English composer and conductor, currently Master of the Queen’s Music.

Mc Chris (1975–): Underground hip-hop artist.

Andy Mckee (1979–): American composer and guitarist.

George Melly (1926–2007): English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer.

Tim Minchin (1975–): British-Australian comedian, actor, and musician. Many of his songs and beat poems involve Tim’s thoughts on his own atheism and organised religion.

Vinicius de Moraes (1913–1980): Brazilian composer and poet, best known as one of the first songwriters of bossa nova.

Napalm Death: grindcore/death metal band from Birmingham, England. All members hold atheistic outlooks.

Simon Napier-Bell (1939–): English music producer, songwriter, journalist and author, best known as manager of (among others) The Yardbirds, Marc Bolan, T. Rex and Wham!.

Alice Nutter (1962–): British singer and percussionist for Chumbawamba.

Tyler Okonma (1991—): American rapper and producer, best known for fronting West-Coast rap group OFWGKTA

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): Soviet composer, very popular for his music.

Jim Reid (1961—): Scottish singer, songwriter and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. “I think religious belief is some sort of mental illness, some sort of unrecognized schizophrenia. Your mind is so freaked-out, so fucked-up by the thought of dying and nothingness, that it just invents heaven. It’s a weird area, religion.”

Marc Riley (1961—): British musician, alternative rock critic and radio DJ.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908): Russian Nationalist composer, member of “The Five”, best-known for the symphonic suite Scheherazade.

Richard Rodgers (1902–1979): American composer of the music for more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals, best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Henry Rollins (1961–): American punk/rock musician, author, spoken word performer and actor. When asked “Henry, Do you believe in any form of afterlife or form of “God”? Also, what makes you get up out of bed every morning?” Henry responded- “No. Curiosity/anger.”

Pascual Romero (1980–): American musician and television producer.

Ned Rorem (1923–): American composer.

Eric Sams (1926–2004): British musicologist and Shakespeare scholar.

Justin Sane (1973–): Lead Singer of Anti-Flag, lyrics include many atheist views.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975): Soviet composer, one of the most popular of the 20th century.

Robert Smith (1959–): British musician, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the band The Cure.

Donita Sparks (1963–): American vocalist, guitarist and song-writer with her band Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments and co-founder of grunge band L7.

Wayne Static (1965–): Frontman for Industrial Metal band Static-X.

Richard Thomas (1964–): British musician, writer, and comedy actor, best known for composing and scoring the award-winning Jerry Springer – The Opera.

Tracey Thorn (1962–): English pop singer and songwriter, best known as one half of the duo Everything but the Girl.

Sir Michael Tippett OM (1905–1998): English composer, regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century.

Björn Ulvaeus (1945–): Swedish musician, composer, a former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA.

Edgard Varèse (1883–1965): Franco-American composer and pioneer of electroacoustic music.

Eddie Vedder (1964–): lead singer and lyricist of the band Pearl Jam.

Caetano Veloso (1942–): Brazilian singer-songwriter, musician. Best known for his participation in the tropicalia moviment.

Roger Waters (1943–): English rock musician; singer, bassist, guitarist, songwriter and composer, best known for his career with Pink Floyd.

Jerry Wexler (1917–2008): American music journalist and producer, regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s, coiner of the term Rhythm & Blues.

Earl Wild (1915–2010): American classical pianist, considered a leading virtuoso of his generation.

Frank Zappa (1940–1993): American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director.


Famous Atheists: Philosophy


John Anderson (1893–1962): Scottish-born Australian philosopher, founder of the empirical philosophy known as ‘Sydney realism’.

Hector Avalos (1958–): Mexican-American professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and author of several books about religion.

A. J. Ayer (1910–1989): British philosopher and an advocate of logical positivism. Though technically he viewed the concept of God existing as meaningless, he was happy to call himself an atheist.

Julian Baggini (1968–): British writer specialising in philosophy, author of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction.

Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876): Russian philosopher, writer and anarchist.

Bruno Bauer (1809–1882): German philosopher, theologian and historian, the first propounder of the Jesus myth hypothesis.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986): French author and existentialist philosopher. Beauvoir wrote novels and monographs on philosophy, politics, social issues and feminism.

Simon Blackburn (1944–): British academic atheist philosopher known for his efforts to popularise philosophy.

Yaron Brook (1961–): Israeli-born president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Ludwig Büchner (1824–1899): German philosopher, physiologist and physician who became one of the exponents of 19th century scientific materialism.

Albert Camus (1913–1960): French philosopher and novelist, a luminary of existentialism. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.

Rudolf Carnap (1891–1970): German philosopher who was active in central Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a leading member of the Vienna Circle and a prominent advocate of logical positivism.

Robert Todd Carroll (1945–): American writer and academic, professor of philosophy at Sacramento City College until 1997, and keeper of the Skeptic’s Dictionary website.

David Chalmers (1966-): Australian philosopher of mind.

Noam Chomsky (1928–): American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer, Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar.

Auguste Comte (1798–1857): French positivist thinker, credited with coining the term “sociologie” (sociology).

André Comte-Sponville (1952–): French philosopher, author of L’Esprit de l’athéisme (2006) and The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality (2007).

Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794): French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist who devised the concept of a Condorcet method.

Benedetto Croce (1886–1952): Italian philosopher and public figure.

Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995): French philosopher of the late 20th century. From the early 1960s until his death, Deleuze wrote many influential works on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art.

Daniel Dennett (1942–): American philosopher, author of Breaking the Spell.

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1809–1831): Anglo-Indian poet and teacher.

Diagoras of Melos (5th century BCE): Ancient Greek poet and sophist known as the Atheist of Milos, who declared that there were no Gods.

Denis Diderot (1713–84): editor-in-chief of the Encyclopédie.

Theodore Drange (1934–): Philosopher of religion and Professor Emeritus at West Virginia University. Drange authored Nonbelief & Evil: Two arguments for the nonexistence of God.

Paul Edwards (1923–2004): Austrian-American moral philosopher and editor of The Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Dylan Evans (1966–): British philosopher, known for his work on emotion and the placebo effect.

Fan Zhen (circa 450 – 515): Chinese philosopher remembered today for his treatise Shén Miè Lùn (“On the Annihilation of the Soul”).

Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1804–1872): German philosopher whose major work, The Essence of Christianity, maintains that religion and divinity are projections of human nature.

Friedrich Karl Forberg (1770–1848): German philosopher and classical scholar.

Michel Foucault (1926–1984) : French philosopher and social theorist famous for his influential analysis of power and discourse. He is best known for his revolutionary philosophical analyses of social institutions such as Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality.

A. C. Grayling (1949–): British philosopher and author of, among others, Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness.

John Harris (1947–): British professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester, and member of the UK Human Genetics Commission.

Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715–71): French philosopher whose ethical and social views helped shape the school of utilitarianism later made famous by Jeremy Bentham.

Baron d’Holbach (1723–1789): French philosopher and encyclopedist, most famous as being one of the first outspoken atheists in Europe.

David Hume (1711–1776): Scottish philosopher, economist, historian and a key figure in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment.

Corliss Lamont (1902–1995): American humanist and Marxist philosopher, and advocate of various left-wing and civil liberties causes.

David Kellogg Lewis (1941–2001): American philosopher. One of the leading thinkers of the second half of the 20th century.

Peter Lipton (1954–2007): British philosopher, the Hans Rausing Professor and Head of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University until his unexpected death in November 2007. He was “one of the leading philosophers of science and epistemologists in the world.”

Kazimierz Łyszczyński (1634–1689): Polish noble and philosopher, author of a philosophical treatise De non existentia Dei (On the Non-existence of God), condemned to death and executed for atheism.

John Leslie Mackie (1917–1981): Australian philosopher who specialized in meta-ethics as a proponent of moral skepticism. Wrote The Miracle of Theism, discussing arguments for and against theism and concluding that theism is rationally untenable.

Michael Martin (1932–): analytic philosopher and professor emeritus at Boston University, author of, amongst others, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (1989) and The Impossibility of God (2003).

Harriet Martineau (1802–1876): an English writer and philosopher, renowned in her day as a controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist.

Karl Marx (1818–1883): philosopher, political economist, sociologist, humanist, political theorist and revolutionary. Often called the father of communism, Marx was both a scholar and a political activist. In 1843, Karl Marx published Contribution to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, in which he dealt more substantively with religion, describing it as “the opiate of the people”.

Colin McGinn (1950–): British philosopher and author, best known for his work in the philosophy of mind.

Jean Meslier (1678–1733): French village Catholic priest who was found, on his death, to have written a book-length philosophical essay, entitled Common Sense but commonly referred to as Meslier’s Testament, promoting atheism.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–51): French physician and philosopher, earliest materialist writer of the Enlightenment, claimed as a founder of cognitive science.

John Stuart Mill (1806–1873): The famous philosopher declared his atheism, and that of his father, in a famous essay published posthumously.

Nāgārjuna (ca. 150–250 CE) was an important Buddhist teacher and philosopher. Along with his disciple Āryadeva, he is credited with founding the Mādhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Michael Neumann (1946–): American professor of philosophy at Trent University, noted for his work on utilitarianism, rationality and anti-Semitism.

Kai Nielsen (1926–): adjunct professor of philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900): German philosopher whose Beyond Good and Evil sought to refute traditional notions of morality. Nietzsche penned a memorable secular statement of the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence in Thus Spake Zarathustra and is forever associated with the phrase, “God is dead” (first seen in his book, The Gay Science).

Piergiorgio Odifreddi (1950–): Italian mathematician and popular science writer.

Michel Onfray (1958–): French philosopher, founder of Université populaire de Caen, and author of Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Graham Oppy (1960–): Australian philosopher and Associate Dean of Research at Monash University, and Associate Editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. His main area of research is the philosophy of religion.

Leonard Peikoff (1933–): an Objectivist philosopher, Ayn Rand’s legal heir. He is a former professor of philosophy, a former radio talk show host, and founder of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Herman Philipse (1951–): professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Philipse has written many philosophical works in Dutch, including the widely-read Atheist Manifesto and the Unreasonableness of Religion (Atheistisch manifest & De onredelijkheid van religie.

Karl Popper (1902-1994): Austrian-British philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics.citation needed

James Rachels (1941–2003): American philosopher who specialized in ethics.

Ayn Rand (1905–1982): Russian-American founder of Objectivism and novelist.

Jean-François Revel (1924–2006): French politician, journalist, author, prolific philosopher and member of the Académie française.

Michael Ruse (1940–): English philosopher of science, known for his work on the argument between creationism and evolutionary biology.

Bertrand Russell (1872–1970): British philosopher and mathematician. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950. Though he considered himself an agnostic in a purely philosophical context, he said that the label atheist conveyed a more accurate understanding of his views in a popular context.

George Santayana (1863–1952): Philosopher in the naturalist and pragmatist traditions who called himself a “Catholic atheist.”

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980): French existentialist philosopher, dramatist and novelist who declared that he had been an atheist from age twelve. Although he regarded God as a self-contradictory concept, he still thought of it as an ideal toward which people strive. He rejected the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964. According to Sartre, his most-repeated summary of his existentialist philosophy, “Existence precedes essence,” implies that humans must abandon traditional notions of having been designed by a divine creator.

Michael Schmidt-Salomon (1967–): German philosopher, author and former editor of MIZ (Contemporary Materials and Information: Political magazine for atheists and the irreligious)

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860): Pessimistic German philosopher and author of the book The World as Will and Representation.

John Searle (1932–): American philosopher, Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, widely noted for contributions to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and to social philosophy.

Peter Singer (1946–): Australian utilitarian philosopher, proponent of animal rights, and Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.

George H. Smith (1949–): Libertarian philosopher, author and educator. Smith authored Atheism: The Case Against God.

Quentin Smith (1952–): Philosopher and professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University. Smith co-authored the book Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology with William Lane Craig.

Theodorus the Atheist (lived around 300 BCE): Philosopher of the Cyrenaic school who taught that the goal of life was to obtain joy and avoid grief.

Sir Bernard Williams FBA (1929–2003): British philosopher, widely cited as the most important British moral philosopher of his time.

Sherwin Wine (1928–2007): Founder of the non-theistic Society for Humanistic Judaism, who has also called himself an “ignostic”.

Slavoj Žižek (1949–): Slovenian sociologist, postmodern philosopher, and cultural critic.

Mirza Fatali Akhundov former – Akhundzade (12 July 1812, Nukha – 9 March 1878, Tiflis), was a celebrated Azerbaijani author, playwright, philosopher, and founder of modern literary criticism, “who acquired fame primarily as the writer of European-inspired plays in the Azeri language”


Famous Atheists: Politics and Law



Alex Erwin (1948–): South African politician, the country’s Minister of Public Enterprises since 2004.

Joe Slovo (1926–1995): South African Communist politician, leader of the South African Communist Party and leading member of the African National Congress.

Samora Moisés Machel (1933–1986): Mozambiqan socialist revolutionary



Jiang Zemin (1926–): Chinese communist politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China 1989–2002 and President of China 1993–2003.

Mao Zedong (1893–1976): Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China to victory in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Under his leadership, China officially became an atheist state.


Subhashini Ali (19??–): Indian Marxist politician and President of the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

Kanimozhi (1968–): Indian politician and poet, and daughter of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

M. Karunanidhi (1924–): Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964): First prime minister of India (1947–1964).

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, known as Periyar (1879–1973): Indian social reformer and politician, the ‘Socrates of South East Asia’, who founded the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam.

Manabendra Nath Roy (1887–1954): born Narendra Nath Bhattacharya, popularly known as M. N. Roy, was a Bengali Indian revolutionary, internationally known political theorist and activist, founder of the Communist parties in Mexico and India. He later denounced communism, as exponent of the philosophy of radical humanism.

Bhagat Singh (1907–1931): Indian freedom fighter. Wrote a pamphlet entitled Why I am an atheist.

Harkishan Singh Surjeet (1916–2008): Indian politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 1992 to 2005 and a member of the party’s Polit Bureau from 1964 to 2008.

A. K. Gopalan (1904–1977): Indian communist leader from kerala and former Leader of the Opposition (India).

E. M. S. Namboodiripad (1909–1998) : Indian politician, renowned socialist and a Marxist theorist, first Chief Minister of Kerala. He also became the leader of the first democratically elected communist government in the world.

Prakash Karat : Indian politician, The General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 2005 onwards.

Middle East

Uri Avnery (1923–): German-born Israeli journalist, left-wing peace activist, and former Knesset member.

George Hawi (1938–2005): Lebanese politician and former secretary general of the Lebanese Communist Party.

Russia/Soviet Union

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870—1924): Marxist revolutionary and leader of the Bolsheviks. Lenin considered atheist and anti-religious propaganda to be essential to promoting communism.

Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971): Soviet General Secretary, 1953–1964.,

Joseph Stalin: General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953.

Leon Trotsky (1879–1940): Marxist theorist.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931–): Former Soviet president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Other in Asia

Xuan Thuy (1912–1985): North Vietnamese political figure, foreign minister for North Vietnam 1963–65, official leader of the delegation to the secret talks with Henry Kissinger, and the main negotiator at the earliest meetings with Kissinger.

Pol Pot (1925–1998): birthname Saloth Sar, genocidal dictator of Cambodia.

Australia and Oceania


Dick Gross (1954–): Australia politician, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and former three-time Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Australia.

Bill Hayden (1933–): Governor-General of Australia (1989–1996).

Montague Miller (1839–1920): Australian unionist, secularist and revolutionary socialist.

William Trenwith (1846–1925): Australian trade union official and labour movement politician.

Frederick Vosper (1869–1901): Australian newspaper journalist and proprietor, and politician, known for his ardent views and support of Australian republicanism, federalism and trade unionism.

Sir John Latham: Attorney-General and Chief Justice of the High Court

New Zealand

Norman Douglas (1910–1985): New Zealand Labour Party politician.

Sir Dove-Myer Robinson (1901–1989): New Zealand politician, Mayor of Auckland from 1959–1965 and 1968–1980.



Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929): French statesman, physician and journalist, prime minister of France 1906–1909 and 1917–1920. Led France during World War I and was one of the major voices behind the Treaty of Versailles.

Gilbert Romme (1750–1795): French politician and mathematician who developed the French Republican Calendar.


Eamon Gilmore (1955–): Irish Tánaiste / Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and leader of the Labour Party.

Jim Kemmy (1936–1997): Irish socialist politician.

Proinsias De Rossa (1940–): Irish politician, former President of the Workers’ Party, leader of Democratic Left, and later a senior member of the Labour Party.

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington (1877–1946): Irish suffragist and nationalist.

Owen Sheehy-Skeffington (1909–1970): Irish university lecturer and Senator.

William Thompson (1775–1833): Irish socialist and economist.


Giuliano Ferrara (1952–): Italian politician, journalist, and occasional talk show host.

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882): Leader of the Italian Risorgimento, unifier of Italy, “Hero of the Two Worlds”.

Nilde Iotti (1920–1999): Italian politician, the first woman to became president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies for three consecutive legislatures 1979–1992.

Benito Mussolini (1883–1945): Fascist dictator of Italy.

Palmiro Togliatti (1893–1964): Italian politician, the leader of Italian Communist Party from 1927 to his death in 1964.


Władysław Gomułka (1905–1982): Polish Communist leader.

Zbigniew Religa (1938–2009): prominent Polish cardiac surgeon, pioneer in human heart transplantation and a Minister of Health of the Republic of Poland.


Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia (1936–2008): Spanish duchess, holder of the ducal title Medina-Sidonia, known as the “Red Duchess”.

Santiago Casares Quiroga (1884–1950): Spanish politician, Prime Minister of Spain from May 13 to July 19, 1936.

United Kingdom

Guy Aldred (1886–1963): English anarchist communist and a prominent member of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation.

William Crawford Anderson (1877–1919): British socialist politician, a founder member of the Union of Democratic Control.>

Clement Attlee 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (1883–1967): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, under whose government the National Health Service and Welfare State were established.

Edward Aveling (1849–1898): English Marxist activist and partner of Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor.

Bessie Braddock JP (1899–1970): British Labour politician, vice-chairman of the party in 1968.

Charles Bradlaugh (1833–1891): Political activist and one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century.

James Callaghan KG, PC (1912–2005): British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and the only person to have served in all four of the Great Offices of State.

Alastair Campbell (1957–): Director of Communications and Strategy for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2003.

Michael Cashman (1950–): British actor turned Labour politician, a Member of the European Parliament since 1999.

Colin Challen (1953–): British Labour politician.

Charles Clarke (1950–): British Labour Party politician, a Member of Parliament since 1997 and former Home Secretary.

Robin Cook (1946–2005): Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of the UK (1997–2001), whose funeral service was held in the High Kirk of Scotland, where he was described as a “Presbyterian atheist.”

Meghnad Desai, Baron Desai (1940–): British economist, writer and Labour politician.

Donald Dewar (1937–2000): British Politician and Scottish first minister, from May 1999 until his sudden death in October 2000

Frank Dobson (1940–): British Labour politician and member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras.

Jack Dormand (1919–2003): British educationist and Labour politician.

Herbert Fisher OM (1865–1940): English historian, educator, and Liberal politician.

Donald Findlay QC (1951–): Senior Scottish advocate and Queen’s Counsel.

Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather (1934–): British Conservative peer in the House of Lords, the first Asian woman to receive a peerage.

Michael Foot (1913–2010): British politician and writer, leader of the Labour Party 1980–1983.

Sir George Taubman Goldie (1846–1925): Manx administrator who, as founder of the Royal Niger Company, played a major role in the founding of Nigeria.

Evan Harris (1965–): British Liberal Democrat politician and former MP.

Roy Hattersley PC (1932–): British Labour Party politician, author and journalist, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1983–1992.

Douglas Houghton PC CH (1898–1996): British Labour politician.

Robert Hughes, Baron Hughes of Woodside (1932–): British Labour politician.

Tommy Jackson (1879–1955): English founder of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and later the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Joel Joffe, Baron Joffe CBE (1932–): South Africa-born British Labour peer in the House of Lords.

Sir Reginald Johnston (1874–1938): Scottish diplomat and tutor of Puyi, the last emperor of China, later appointed as commissioner of British-held Weihaiwei.

Oona King (1967–): Former Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow (1997–2005).

Neil Kinnock PC (1942–): British Labour politician, Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party leader 1983–1992.

Ken Livingstone (1945–): Mayor of London 2000-08.

Gus Macdonald, Baron Macdonald of Tradeston CBE, PC (1940–): distinguished British Labour politician.

John Maxton, Baron Maxton (1936–): Scottish politician, MP and now member of the House of Lords.

David Miliband (1965–): British Labour politician, Foreign Secretary from 2007 to 2010.

Ed Miliband (1969–): British Labour politician, Leader of the Labour Party from 2010 to the present.

Violet Milner (1872–1958): English Edwardian society Lady and editor of the political monthly, National Review.

John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn OM, PC (1838–1923): British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor.

Mo Mowlam (1949–2005): Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Elaine Murphy, Baroness Murphy (1949–2005): British politician and a member of the House of Lords, and a doctor and academic, formerly Professor of Psychiatry of Old Age at Guy’s Hospital.

Marion Phillips (1881–1932): Australia-born Labour Party politician and British Member of Parliament.

Phil Piratin (1907–1995): British member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and one of their few Members of Parliament.

Michael Portillo former British Member of Parliament for the Conservative party, former Minister of Defence. Now a TV writer and presenter whose work includes UK Channel 4’s documentary Christianity: A History – Rome

Phil Sawford (1950–): British politician and former Member of Parliament for Kettering.

Brian Sedgemore (1937–): former left-wing British Labour Party politician.

Clare Short (1946–): British politician, former Labour Secretary of State for International Development.

Dennis Skinner (1932–): British politician, who has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Bolsover since 1970.

Peter Tatchell, Australian-born British human rights activist

Phillip Whitehead (1937–2005): British Labour politician, television producer and writer.

Other in Europe

Edvard Brandes (1847–1931): Danish politician, critic and author, Minister of Finance 1909-1910 and 1913–1920.

Gaudenz Canova (1887–1962), Swiss lawyer and Social Democratic member of the National Council of Switzerland from Graubünden (Grisons).

Dimitris Christofias (1946–): Greek Cypriot politician, President of Cyprus 2008–Present.

Vaso Čubrilović (1897–1990): Bosnian student, a conspirator in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Theodor Herzl (1860–1904): Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist and founder of modern political Zionism.

Enver Hoxha (1908–1985): Communist ruler who declared Albania the first atheist state, and who has been identified as an “arch-atheist.”

Zoran Janković (1953–): Slovenian businessman and current mayor of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Aleksander Kwaśniewski (1954–): Former President of Poland (1995–2005).

Alexander Lukashenko (1954–): President of Belarus, describes himself as “an Orthodox atheist.”

Karl Marx (1818–83): a 19th-century philosopher, political economist, sociologist, political theorist, often called the father of communism.

Slobodan Milošević (1941–2006): Serbian politician, former President of Serbia and of Yugoslavia.

Ivica Račan (1944–2007): former Croatian leftist politician who led the Social Democratic Party of Croatia between 1989 up to 2007. He was also the last leader and democratic transformer of the League of Communists of Croatia.

Hedi Stadlen (1916–2004): Austrian Jewish political activist, philosopher and musicologist.

Jens Stoltenberg (1959–): Prime Minister of Norway (2000–2001, 2005–).

Veton Surroi (1961–): Kosovo Albanian publicist and politician.

Erkki Tuomioja (1946–): Finnish politician, Minister for Foreign Affairs 2000–2007.

Bengt Westerberg (1943–): Swedish politician, leader of the Liberal People’s Party from 1983 to 1995. Minister for Social Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994. Currently holds office as the Deputy President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland.


North America


Dale Jackaman (b. 1956), a Canadian politician.

United States

Bob Avakian (b. 1943), chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and author of Away With All Gods!.

Charles T. Beaird (1922–2006), Republican Party member and newspaper publisher.

Lori Lipman Brown (b. 1958), American politician, lobbyist, lawyer, educator, and social worker supporter, Nevada state senator from 1992 to 1994.

Douglas Campbell (b. 1959), atheist advocate and member of the Green Party of Michigan and of the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. Co-founder, Michigan Godless Americans Political Action Committee. Green Party candidate for governor of Michigan in both 2002 and 2006.

Clarence Darrow (1857–1938), American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending John T. Scopes in the so-called Monkey Trial.

Vincent Hallinan (1896–1992), American lawyer who ran for president of the United States in 1952, the third highest polling candidate in the election.

James Kennedy, the former mayor of Rahway, New Jersey. An American politician and member of the Democratic Party.

Heather Mac Donald (b. 1956), American writer and lawyer, member of the Manhattan Institute and author of The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society.

Culbert Olson (1876–1962), American politician and Governor of California from 1939 to 1943.

Pete Stark (b. 1931), U.S. Representative (D-CA), the first openly atheist member of Congress.

Eddie Tabash, an American lawyer and atheist activist and debater.

Jesse Ventura (b. 1951), American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host.

Alan Wolfe, an American political scientist and sociologist, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.



Famous Atheists: Science and Technology


Peter Atkins (1940–): English chemist, Professor of chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford in England.

Julius Axelrod (1912–2004): American Nobel Prize winning biochemist, noted for his work on the release and reuptake of catecholamine neurotransmitters and major contributions to the understanding of the pineal gland and how it is regulated during the sleep-wake cycle.

Sir Edward Battersby Bailey FRS (1881–1965): British geologist, director of the British Geological Survey.

Sir Patrick Bateson FRS (1938–): English biologist and science writer, Emeritus Professor of ethology at Cambridge University and president of the Zoological Society of London.

William Bateson (1861–1926): British geneticist, a Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he eventually became Master. He was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity and biological inheritance, and the chief populariser of the ideas of Gregor Mendel following their rediscovery.

Patrick Blackett OM, CH, FRS (1897–1974): Nobel Prize winning English experimental physicist known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism.

Susan Blackmore (1951–): English psychologist and memeticist, best known for her book The Meme Machine.

Sir Hermann Bondi KCB, FRS (1919–2005): Anglo-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist, best known for co-developing the steady-state theory of the universe and important contributions to the theory of general relativity.

Paul D. Boyer (1918–): American biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1997.

Calvin Bridges (1889–1938): American geneticist, known especially for his work on fruit fly genetics.

Sheldon Brown (1944–2008): Bicycle mechanic and technical authority on almost every aspect of bicycles.

Ruth Mack Brunswick (1897–1946): American psychologist, a close confidant of and collaborator with Sigmund Freud.

Sean M. Carroll (1966–): American cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995): Indian American astrophysicist known for his theoretical work on the structure and evolution of stars. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.

William Kingdon Clifford FRS (1845–1879): English mathematician and philosopher, co-introducer of geometric algebra, the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry, and coiner of the expression “mind-stuff”.

Frank Close OBE (1945–): British particle physicist, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, known for his lectures and writings making science intelligible to a wider audience, for which he was awarded the Institute of Physics’s Kelvin Medal and Prize.

Brian Cox OBE (1968–): English particle physicist, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Professor at the University of Manchester. Best known as a presenter of a number of science programmes for the BBC. He also had some fame in the 1990s as the keyboard player for the pop band D:Ream.

Jerry Coyne (1949–): American professor of biology, known for his books on evolution and commentary on the intelligent design debate.

Francis Crick (1916–2004): English molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist; noted for being one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.

Sir Howard Dalton FRS (1944–2008): British microbiologist, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from March 2002 to September 2007.

Richard Dawkins (1941–): British zoologist, biologist, creator of the concepts of the selfish gene and the meme; outspoken atheist and popularizer of science, author of The God Delusion and founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

Arnaud Denjoy (1884–1974): French mathematician, noted for his contributions to harmonic analysis and differential equations.

Paul Dirac (1902–1984): British theoretical physicist, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, predicted the existence of antimatter, and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.

Thomas Edison: American inventor, one of the best inventors of all time. During his career Edison patented more than 1,000 inventions, including the electric light, the phonograph, and the motion-picture camera.

Albert Ellis (1913–2007): American psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Sandra Faber (1944–): American University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, also working at the Lick Observatory, who headed the team that discovered ‘The Great Attractor.

Leon Festinger (1919–1989): American social psychologist famous for his Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

Richard Feynman (1918–1988): American theoretical physicist, best known for his work in renormalizing Quantum electrodynamics (QED) and his path integral formulation of quantum mechanics . He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939): Father of psychoanalysis.

Erich Fromm (1900–1980): renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

Christer Fuglesang (1957–): Swedish astronaut and physicist.

Vitaly Ginzburg (1916–2009): Russian theoretical physicist and astrophysicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003. He was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/95.

Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002): American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science, one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation.

Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE (1950–): British scientist, writer and broadcaster, specialising in the physiology of the brain, who has worked to research and bring attention to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Jonathan Haidt (c.1964–): Associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, focusing on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures, and author of The Happiness Hypothesis.

E. T. ‘Teddy’ Hall (1924–2001): English archaeological scientist, famous for exposing the Piltdown Man fraud and dating the Turin Shroud as a medieval fake.

Sir James Hall (1761–1832): Scottish geologist and chemist, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment.

Beverly Halstead (1933–1991): British paleontologist and populariser of science.

W. D. Hamilton (1936–2000): British evolutionary biologist, widely recognised as one of the greatest evolutionary theorists of the 20th century.

G. H. Hardy (1877–1947): a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis.

Stephen Hawking: arguably the world’s pre-eminent scientist advocates atheism in The Grand Design

Peter Higgs (1929–): British theoretical physicist, recipient of the Dirac Medal and Prize, known for his prediction of the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, nicknamed the “God particle”.

Lancelot Hogben (1895–1975): English experimental zoologist and medical statistician, now best known for his popularising books on science, mathematics and language.

Nicholas Humphrey (1943–): British psychologist, working on consciousness and belief in the supernatural from a Darwinian perspective, and primatological research into Machiavellian intelligence theory.

Sir Julian Huxley FRS (1887–1975): English evolutionary biologist, a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis, Secretary of the Zoological Society of London (1935–1942), the first Director of UNESCO, and a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund.

Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–1958): French physicist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1935.

Steve Jones (1944–): British geneticist, Professor of genetics and head of the biology department at University College London, and television presenter and a prize-winning author on biology, especially evolution; one of the best known contemporary popular writers on evolution.

Stuart Kauffman (1939-): American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher concerning the origin of life on Earth. He is best known for arguing that the complexity of biological systems and organisms might result as much from self-organization and far-from-equilibrium dynamics as from Darwinian natural selection, as well as for applying models of Boolean networks to simplified genetic circuits.

Lawrence Krauss (1954-): Professor of physics at Arizona State University and popularizer of science. Krauss speaks regularly at atheist conferences, like Beyond Belief and Atheist Alliance International.

Harold Kroto (1939–): 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

Alfred Kinsey (1894–1956): American biologist, sexologist and professor of entomology and zoology.

Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749 –1827): French mathematician and astronomer whose work was pivotal to the development of mathematical astronomy and statistics, and anticipated the discovery of galaxies other than the Milky Way and the existence of black holes.

Richard Leakey (1944–): Kenyan paleontologist, archaeologist and conservationist.

Sir John Leslie (1766–1832): Scottish mathematician and physicist best remembered for his research into heat; he was the first person to artificially produce ice, and gave the first modern account of capillary action.

H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins FRS (1923–2004): English theoretical chemist and a cognitive scientist.

Samarendra Maulik (1881–1950): Indian entomologist specialising in the Coleoptera, who worked at the British Museum (Natural History) and a Professor of Zoology at the University of Calcutta.

John Maynard Smith (1920–2004): British evolutionary biologist and geneticist, instrumental in the application of game theory to evolution, and noted theorizer on the evolution of sex and signalling theory.

Ernst Mayr (1904–2005): a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, historian of science, and naturalist. He was one of the 20th century’s leading evolutionary biologists.

John McCarthy (1927–2011): American computer scientist and cognitive scientist who received the Turing Award in 1971 for his major contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was responsible for the coining of the term “Artificial Intelligence” in his 1955 proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Conference and was the inventor of the Lisp programming language.

Sir Peter Medawar (1915–1987): Nobel Prize-winning British scientist best known for his work on how the immune system rejects or accepts tissue transplants.

Jeff Medkeff (1968–2008): American astronomer, prominent science writer and educator, and designer of robotic telescopes.

Jonathan Miller CBE (1934–): British physician, actor, theatre and opera director, and television presenter. Wrote and presented the 2004 television series, Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world.

Peter D. Mitchell (1920–1992): 1978-Nobel-laureate British biochemist. His mother was an atheist and he himself became an atheist at the age of 15.

Jacques Monod (1910–1976): French biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965 for discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.

Desmond Morris (1928–): English zoologist and ethologist, famous for describing human behaviour from a zoological perspective in his books The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo.

Fritz Müller (1821–1897): German biologist who emigrated to Brazil, where he studied the natural history of the Amazon rainforest and was an early advocate of evolutionary theory.

Hermann Joseph Muller (1890–1967): American geneticist and educator, best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (X-ray mutagenesis). He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1946.

PZ Myers (1957–): American biology professor at the University of Minnesota and a blogger via his blog, Pharyngula.

Paul Nurse (1949–): 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

Robert L. Park (born 1931): scientist, University of Maryland professor of physics, and author of Voodoo Science and Superstition.

Linus Pauling (1901–1994): American chemist, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1954) and Peace (1962)

John Allen Paulos (1945–): Professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia and writer, author of Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up (2007)

Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936): Nobel Prize winning Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician, widely known for first describing the phenomenon of classical conditioning.

Sir Roger Penrose (1931–): English mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College. He is renowned for his work in mathematical physics, in particular his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher and refers to himself as an atheist.

Francis Perrin (1901–1992): French physicist, co-establisher of the possibility of nuclear chain reactions and nuclear energy production.

Massimo Pigliucci (1964–): Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the Stony Brook University who known as an outspoken critic of creationism and advocate of science education.

Steven Pinker (1954–): Canadian-born American psychologist.

Norman Pirie FRS (1907–1997): British biochemist and virologist co-discoverer in 1936 of viral crystallization, an important milestone in understanding DNA and RNA.

Ronald Plasterk (1957–): Dutch prize-winning molecular geneticist and columnist, and Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the fourth Balkenende cabinet for the Labour Party.

Derek J. de Solla Price (1922–1983): British-American historian of science.

Frank P. Ramsey (1903–1930): British mathematician who also made significant contributions in philosophy and economics.

Richard J. Roberts (1943–): British biochemist and molecular biologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing.

Steven Rose (1938–): Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London, and author of several popular science books.

Marshall Rosenbluth (1927–2003) American physicist, nicknamed “the Pope of Plasma Physics”. He created the Metropolis algorithm in statistical mechanics, derived the Rosenbluth formula in high-energy physics, and laid the foundations for instability theory in plasma physics.

Oliver Sacks (1933–): United States-based British neurologist, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings.

Carl Sagan (1934–1996): American astronomer and astrochemist, a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences, and pioneer of exobiology and promoter of the SETI. Although Sagan has been identified as an atheist according to some definitions, he rejected the label, stating “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know.” He was an agnostic who, while maintaining that the idea of a creator of the universe was difficult to disprove, nevertheless disbelieved in God’s existence, pending sufficient evidence.

Robert Sapolsky (1957–): Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University.

Marcus du Sautoy (1965–): mathematician and holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science.

Amartya Kumar Sen (1933–): 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Claude Shannon (1916–2001): American electrical engineer and mathematician, has been called “the father of information theory”, and was the founder of practical digital circuit design theory.

Edwin Shneidman (1918–2009): American suicidologist and thanatologist.

Michael Smith (1932–2000): British-born Canadian biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1993.

Richard Stallman (1953–): American software freedom activist, hacker, and software developer.

Victor J. Stenger (1935–): American physicist, emeritus professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Author of the book God: The Failed Hypothesis.

Jack Suchet (1908–2001): South African born obstetrician, gynaecologist and venereologist, who carried out research on the use of penicillin in the treatment of venereal disease with Sir Alexander Fleming.

Eleazar Sukenik (1889–1953): Israeli archaeologist and professor of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, undertaking excavations in Jerusalem, and recognising the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Israel.

Leonard Susskind (1940–): American theoretical physicist; a founding father of superstring theory and professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University.

Raymond Tallis (1946–): Leading British gerontologist, philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic.

Frank J. Tipler (1947–): American mathematical physicist and professor at Tulane University.

Gherman Titov (1935–2000): Soviet cosmonaut and the second human to orbit the Earth.

Linus Torvalds (1969–): Finnish software engineer, creator of the Linux kernel.

Alan Turing (1912–1954): English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer; often considered to be the father of modern computer science. The Turing Award, often recognized as the “Nobel Prize of computing”, is named after him.

Matthew Turner (died ca. 1789): chemist, surgeon, teacher and radical theologian, author of the first published work of avowed atheism in Britain (1782).

J. Craig Venter (1946–): American biologist and entrepreneur, one of the first researchers to sequence the human genome, and in 2010 the first to create a cell with a synthetic genome.

W. Grey Walter (1910–1977): American neurophysiologist famous for his work on brain waves, and robotician.

James D. Watson (1928–): 1962-Nobel-laureate and co-discover of the structure of DNA.

Joseph Weber (1919–2000): American physicist, who gave the earliest public lecture on the principles behind the laser and the maser, and developed the first gravitational wave detectors (Weber bars).

Steven Weinberg (1933–): American theoretical physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for the unification of electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force.

David Sloan Wilson (1949–): American evolutionary biologist, son of Sloan Wilson, proponent of multilevel selection theory and author of several popular books on evolution.

E. O. Wilson (1929–): American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants.

Lewis Wolpert CBE FRS FRSL (1929–): developmental biologist, author, and broadcaster.

Steve Wozniak (1950–): co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II.

Elizur Wright (1804–1885): American mathematician and abolitionist, sometimes described as the “father of life insurance” for his pioneering work on actuarial tables.

Will Wright (1960–): American computer game designer and co-founder of the game development company Maxis.

Victor Weisskopf (1908–2002): Austrian-American theoretical physicist, co-founder and board member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.


Famous Atheists: Miscellaneous



John Baskerville (1706–1775): English typesetter, printing innovator and typefounder, designer of the typeface that bears his name.

Felix Dennis (1947–): British magazine publisher and philanthropist.

Larry Flynt (1942–): American publisher and the head of Larry Flynt Publications.

Stephen Girard (1750–1831): French sailor turned American banker and philanthropist.

Allan Pinkerton (1819–1884): Scottish-born American detective and spy, best known for creating the Pinkerton Agency, the first detective agency of the United States.

Graeme Samuel (1946–): Australian businessman, currently serving as the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Sir Clive Sinclair (1940–): British entrepreneur and inventor of the world’s first ‘slim-line’ electronic pocket calculator and early personal computers.

Christer Sturmark (1964–): Swedish IT entrepreneur and chairman of The Swedish Humanist Organisation.

Sir Alan Sugar (1947–): English entrepreneur, businessman, and television personality.

Will Wyatt (1942–): British media consultant and company director, formerly a journalist, television producer and senior executive at the BBC.

Mark Zuckerberg (1984–): Founder and CEO of Facebook



Dave Allen (1936–2005): Irish comedian, popular on United Kingdom and Australian television in the 1960s, 1970s and also in the 1990s.

Dara Ó Briain (1972–): Irish comedian and television presenter.

Keith Allen (1953–): British comedian, actor, singer and writer, father of Lily Allen.

Wil Anderson (1974–): Australian television, radio and stand-up comedian, former host of ABC’s The Glass House.

Matt Besser (1967–): American comedian.

Abie Philbin Bowman (19??–): Irish comedian and columnist, writer/director/performer of Jesus: The Guantanamo Years.

Marcus Brigstocke (1973–): English comedian, satirist and presenter of The Late Edition.

George Carlin (1937–2008): American comedian, actor and author; outspoken atheist who has described religion as being “the greatest bullshit story ever told.”

Adam Carolla (1964–): American comedian, actor and comedy writer.

Jimmy Carr (1972–): English-Irish comedian.

Pat Condell (1951–): English stand up comedian, writer and secularist.

Billy Connolly (1942–): Scottish comedian, musician and presenter, also known as an actor in films such as Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Man who Sued God and Mrs. Brown.

David Cross (1964–): American actor and comedian.

Larry David (1947–): American actor, writer, comedian, and producer.

Catherine Deveny (1968–): Australian comedy writer, stand-up comedian and sometimes controversial opinion columnist in the Age newspaper.

Emery Emery (1963–): American comedian, producer/director/editor and author and webshow host; outspoken atheist who is a contributing author of “The Atheist’s Guide To Christmas.” and host of webshow “Ardent Atheist with Emery Emery

Ben Elton (1959–): English comedian, writer and director.

Janeane Garofalo (1964–): American actress and comedian.

Ricky Gervais (1961–): British comedian and actor, co-creator of the original version of The Office.

Kathy Griffin (1963–): American comedian.

Andy Hamilton (1954–): English comedian, game show panellist, director and comedy scriptwriter for television and radio.

Jeremy Hardy (1961–): English alternative comedian, frequently on BBC Radio 4 shows such as The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Richard Herring (1967–): British comedian and writer, best known as part of Lee and Herring.

Robin Ince (1969–): English stand-up comedian, actor, writer and impressionist.

Eddie Izzard (1962–): English stand-up comedian and actor, winner of several awards.

Jim Jeffries (1977–): Australian comedian.

Dom Joly (1967–): Award-winning British television comedian and journalist, best known as the star of Trigger Happy TV.

Stewart Lee (1968–): English stand-up comedian, writer and director, best known as one half of Lee and Herring and for co-writing and directing the critically acclaimed and controversial stage show Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Bill Maher (1956–): American comedian, author, political satirist and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

Tim Minchin (1975–): Australian comedian, actor, composer, songwriter, pianist, musical director, winner of the 2005 Best Newcomer Perrier Comedy Award.

Dylan Moran (1971–): Irish comedian, most famous for the creation and role in hit British sitcom Black Books, as well as his work with Simon Pegg in movies such as Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run.

Dermot Morgan (1952–1998): Irish comedian and actor, who achieved international renown as Father Ted Crilly in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.

Patton Oswalt (1969–): American actor and comedian.

Paula Poundstone (1959–): An American stand-up comedian. She is known for her quiet, self-deprecating style, political observations, and her trademark style of dress: a suit and tie.

Joe Rogan (1967–): American stand-up comedian and Color Commentator For the UFC.

Arthur Smith (1954–): English alternative comedian and writer.

Linda Smith (1958–2006): English comedian and comedy writer, president of the British Humanist Association from 2004 until her death.

Doug Stanhope (1967–): American stand-up comedian, former host of Comedy Central’s The Man Show.

Julia Sweeney (1959–): American actor and comedian. Alumna of Saturday Night Live, author/performer of a one-woman autobiographical stage show about finding atheism: Letting Go of God.

Mark Thomas (1963–): English comedian, presenter, political activist and reporter, best known for political stunts on his show, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product on UK Channel 4.

Gene Weingarten (1951–): Humor writer for The Washington Post.



Richard Carrier (1969-): American historian and advocate for both atheism and metaphysical naturalism.

G. E. M. de Ste. Croix (1910–2000): British historian, specializing in examining the classical era from a historical materialist perspective.

Constantine Fitzgibbon (1919–1983): Irish-American historian and novelist.

George Grote (1794–1871): English classical historian, best known in the field for a major work, the voluminous History of Greece, still read.

Keith Hopkins (1934–2004): British classical historian and sociologist, professor of ancient history at the University of Cambridge 1985–2001.

Robin Lane Fox (1946–): English academic and historian, currently a Fellow of New College, Oxford, Lecturer in Ancient History at Exeter College, Oxford and University Reader in Ancient History.

James Murdoch (Scottish journalist) (1856–1921): Scottish scholar and journalist, whose three-volume History of Japan was the first comprehensive history of Japan in the English language.

Tony Parker (1923–1996): English oral historian, whose work was dedicated to giving a voice to British and American society’s most marginalised figures.

Francesca Stavrakopoulou (19??–): Senior lecturer in the University of Exeter’s department of Theology and Religion and presenter of the BBC series The Bible’s Buried Secrets.

Pierre Vidal-Naquet (1930–2006): French classical historian.



Abdul Rashid Dostum (1954–): Afghani military figure, the current leader of Uzbek-Afghan northern provinces.

William Sholto Douglas, Baron Douglas of Kirtleside, Marshal of the Royal Air Force GCB, MC, DFC (1893–1969): Distinguished British airman, a senior figure in the Royal Air Force up to and during World War II.

Jeremy Hall (1985–): American army specialist who sued the U.S. Department of Defense, alleging his atheism led to discrimination, death threats and being denied promotions.

Lakshmi Sahgal (1914–): Activist of the Indian independence movement, an ex-officer of the Indian National Army, and the Minister of Women’s affairs in the Azad Hind Government.


Social sciences

Scott Atran (1952–): American anthropologist.

Herbert de Souza (1935–1997): Brazilian sociologist and activist against economic injustice and government corruption in Brazil, and founder of the Brazilian Institute of Social Analysis and Economics (IBASE).

Émile Durkheim (1858–1917): French sociologist whose contributions were instrumental in the formation of sociology and anthropology.

Norman Finkelstein (1953–): American political scientist and author, specialising in Jewish-related issues, especially the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sir Raymond Firth CNZM, FBA (1901–2002): New Zealand ethnologist, considered to have singlehandedly created a form of British economic anthropology.

Michel Foucault (1926–1984): French philosopher, historian, critic and sociologist.

Thor Heyerdahl (1914–2002): Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer, famous for his Kon-Tiki expedition.

Mayer Hillman (1931–): British political scientist, architect and town planner, a Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute.

Baruch Kimmerling (1939–2007): Romanian-born professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Kemal Kirişci (19??–): Turkish political scientist, professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.

Peter Lawrence (1921–1987): British-born Australian anthropologist, pioneer in the study of Melanesian religions noted for his work on cargo cults.

Sir Edmund Leach (1910–1989): British social anthropologist, a Fellow of the British Academy.

James H. Leuba (1868–1946): American psychologist, one of the leading figures of the early phase of the American psychology of religion movement.

Franz Leopold Neumann (1900–1954): German political scientist, known for theoretical analyses of National Socialism, and considered among the founders of modern political science in Germany.

Alfred Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955): English social anthropologist who developed the theory of Structural functionalism.

Herbert Simon (1916–2001): American political scientist and economist, one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century.

Robert Spitzer (19??–): American psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, a major architect of the modern classification of mental disorders.

Laurie Taylor (1936–): British sociologist and radio presenter.



Lance Armstrong, (1971–): Road racing cyclist, won the Tour de France seven consecutive times.

Brian Clough, (1935–2004): Soccer manager, of Hartlepool United, Derby County, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest. Said in his 1994 autobiography that he didn’t believe in an afterlife or a god.

Fausto Coppi (1919–1960): Italian racing cyclist, nicknamed Il Campionissimo (“the greatest champion”) one of the most successful and popular cyclists of all time.

Robin Dixon CBE (1935–): British Olympic gold medal bobsledder, army Major, businessman, British and Northern Irish politician, latterly a member of the House of Lords.

Jan Hein Donner (1927–1988): Dutch chess grandmaster and writer.

Jonathan Edwards (1966–): British triple jumper. Former Olympic, European and World champion. Holds the current world record in the event.

Hugh Falkus (1917–1996): British writer, film maker, World War II pilot, but best known as an angler, with seminal books on salmon and sea trout fishing.

David Feherty (1958–): Irish golfer, a former European Tour and PGA Tour professional who now works as a writer and broadcaster.

Olga Galchenko (1990–): Juggler.

Bruce Lee (1940–1973): American born Chinese martial artist and actor.

Jason Miller (1980–): Popular American mixed martial arts fighter and host of MTV’s Bully Beatdown. Is noted for stating “After my victory, I would like to thank science.”

Joe Simpson (1972–): British mountaineer, author and motivational speaker, famous for his book Touching the Void, subsequently filmed.

Robert Smith (1972–): former Minnesota Vikings running back and NFL Network football analyst.

Matthew Syed (1970–): English table tennis international, three times the Men’s Singles Champion at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships and competing for Great Britain in two Olympic Games, now a Times journalist.

Savielly Tartakower (1887–1956): Polish and French chess Grandmaster, the king of chess journalism in the 1920s and 30s.

Pat Tillman (1976–2004): Former NFL linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals and United States Army Ranger, killed by friendly fire in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Dana White (1969–) President of Ultimate Fighting Championship

Bob Woolmer (1948–2007): English international cricketer, professional cricket coach and commentator, playing in 19 Test matches and 6 One Day Internationals for England and later coaching South Africa, Warwickshire and Pakistan.

Fernando Alonso: Formula One racer and Two-time World Champion


Visual arts

Abu Abraham (1924–2002): Indian political cartoonist, journalist, and author.

Franko B (1960–): British performance artist who uses his own body in his art.

Francis Bacon (1909–1992): Irish-born figurative painter whose work is known for its bold, austere, and often grotesque or nightmarish imagery.

Jemima Blackburn (1957–): Scottish painter and illustrator, especially of evocative images of rural life in 19th century Scotland.

Iwona Blazwick OBE (1955–): British art gallery curator, Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

Berkeley Breathed (1957–): American cartoonist, children’s book author/illustrator, director, and screenwriter, best known for the cartoon strip Bloom County.

Joan Brossa (1919–1998): Catalan graphic designer and plastic artist, one of the leading early proponents of visual poetry in Catalan literature.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004): French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography, who helped develop the influential “street photography” style.

Mitch Clem (1982–): American cartoonist and webcomic author.

Walter Crane (1845–1915): English artist and book illustrator, a main contributor to the child’s nursery motif in English children’s illustrated literature of the latter 19th century.

Eric de Maré (1910–2002): British architectural photographer.

Vincent Deporter (1959–): Writer/illustrator and cartoonist. Published in Europe (Spirou, Glenat, Dupuis…) and the United States (DC Comics, Nickelodeon Magazine…), and writer-illustrator for the SpongeBob Comics.

Barry Driscoll (1926–2006): British painter, wildlife artist and sculptor.

John Ernest (1922–1994): American-born artist, a key member of the British constructivist art movement.

Ernst Ludwig Freud (1892–1970): German/Austrian architect, the youngest son of Sigmund Freud.

Sam Fullbrook (1922–2004): Prize-winning Australian artist.

Peter Fuller (1947–1990): British art critic and magazine editor, founding editor of the art magazine Modern Painters and art critic of The Sunday Telegraph.

Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854–1934): English sculptor and goldsmith, central participant in the New Sculpture movement.

Sir Ernst Gombrich OM, CBE (1909–2001): Austrian-born British art historian.

Antony Gormley OBE, RA (1950–): English sculptor, famous for his Angel of the North.

George Grosz (1893–1959): German draughtsman and painter, a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity group.

Damien Hirst (1965–): English artist, internationally renowned and the most prominent member of the group known as “Young British Artists”.

Alfred Hrdlicka (1928–2009): Austrian sculptor, draughtsman, painter and artist, whose 2008 religious work about the Apostles, Religion, Flesh and Power, attracted criticism over its homoerotic theme.

Mark Hofmann (1954–): Prolific counterfeiter and ex-Mormon who murdered two people in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sebastian Horsley (1962–2010): English artist and writer, best known for having undergone a voluntary crucifixion.

Waldemar Januszczak (1954–): British art critic, former Guardian arts editor and maker of television arts documentaries.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier (1887–1965): Swiss-born architect, designer, urbanist, writer and also painter, famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture.

Giulio Mancini (1558–1630): Italian biographer and writer on art, art collector and noted physician.

Alexander McQueen CBE (1969–2010): English fashion designer.

Oscar Niemeyer (1907–): Brazilian architect, considered one of the most important names in international modern architecture.

Jorge Oteiza (1908–2003): Basque sculptor, painter, designer and writer, renowned for being one of the main theorists on Basque modern art.

Grayson Perry (1960–): English artist, best known for his ceramics and for cross-dressing, the first ceramic artist and public transvestite to win the Turner Prize.

Gwen Raverat (1885–1957): English wood engraving artist who co-founded the Society of Wood Engravers in England.

Gerhard Richter (1932–): German artist, considered one of the most important German artists of the post-World War II period.

Bryan Robertson OBE (1925–2002): English curator and arts manager, “the greatest Director the Tate Gallery never had”.

Mark Rothko (1903–1970): Latvian-born American painter and printmaker, classified as an abstract expressionist, although he rejected the label.

Martin Rowson (1959–): British political cartoonist, novelist and satirist.

Maurice Sinet, known as Siné (1928–): French radical left-wing cartoonist.

Brendan Powell Smith (19??–): American artist, author, and creator of The Brick Testament, which illustrates stories from the Bible by dioramas of LEGO bricks.

“Normal” Bob Smith (1969–): American graphic artist, who prompted controversy with his creation of Jesus Dress Up.

Kurt Westergaard (1935–): Danish cartoonist, creator of a controversial cartoon of the Muslim prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb as a turban which was part of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.


Famous Atheist Characters from Film and TV


Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg), from the British action comedy film Hot Fuzz

Eleanor Ann Arroway (played by Jodie Foster), from the science fiction film Contact

Jonathan Ames (played by Jason Schwartzman), from the show Bored to Death


Ken Barlow (played by William Roache), from the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street

Temperance Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel), from the American drama television series Bones

Karen Brockman (played by Ramona Marquez, from Outnumbered

Jake Brockman (played by Tyger Drew-Honey), from the show Outnumbered

Cleveland Brown, Jr. from Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, though he states his aversion for the term “atheist”.

Ruth Buggs (played by Kristen Wiig), from the film Paul


Allison Cameron (played by Jennifer Morrison), from the Emmy and Peabody-winning American medical drama House

Brenda Chenowith (played by Rachel Griffiths), from the show Six Feet Under

Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons), from the show The Big Bang Theory

Perry Cox (played by John C. McGinley), from the comedy-drama television series Scrubs


Donnie Darko (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), from the film Donnie Darko

Sally Draper (played by Kiernan Shipka), from the show Mad Men

Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt from the film Fight Club

Debbie Gallagher (played by Rebecca Ryan) from the British TV series Shameless.


Liam Gallagher (played by Johnny Bennett) from the British TV series Shameless.

Ronnie Gardocki (played by David Rees Snell), from the American drama series The Shield

Clive Gollings (played by Nick Frost), from the film Paul

Brian Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), from the show Family Guy


Laine Billings Hanson (played by Joan Allen), from the political thriller The Contender

Ben Harper (played by Robert Lindsay), from the British comedy show My Family

Madeline “Maddie” Hayes (played by Cybill Shepherd), from the American television series Moonlighting

Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie), from the Emmy and Peabody-winning American medical drama House

Kurt Hummel (played by Chris Colfer), from the show Glee


Patrick Jane, the titular character from the American detective show The Mentalist

Sid Jenkins (played by Mike Bailey, from the British TV show, Skins


Billy Keikeya (played by Paul Campbell), from the science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica


Gabe Lewis (played by Zach Woods), from the show The Office

Jen Lindley (played by Michelle Williams), from the American primetime television drama Dawson’s Creek

Märta Lundberg (played by Ingrid Thulin), from the film Winter Light


Oscar Martinez (played by Oscar Nunez), from the show The Office

Andy Millman (played by Ricky Gervais), from the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy-winning British television sitcom Extras

Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall), from the show Dexter

Daria Morgendorffer (played by Tracy Grandstaff), from the shows Beavis and Butt-Head and Daria


Maxxie Oliver (played by Mitch Hewer), from the British TV show, Skins


Paul (played by Seth Rogen), from the film Paul

Britta Perry (played by Gillian Jacobs), from the American comedy-drama television series Community

Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day-Lewis from the film There Will Be Blood


Dennis Reynolds (played by Glenn Howerton), from the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Malcolm Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion), from the show Firefly and the film Serenity


Sara Sidle (played by Jorja Fox), from CSI

Hayley Smith (played by Rachael MacFarlane), from the comedy series American Dad!

Roger Smith (played by Seth MacFarlane), from the comedy series American Dad!

Michael Stivic and his wife Gloria Stivic from the TV comedy All in the Family

Effy Stonem (played by Kaya Scodelario), from the British TV series Skins

Tony Stonem (played by Nicholas Hoult), from the British TV series Skins

Neil Sutherland (played by Blake Harrison, from the British comedy TV series The Inbetweeners


Tara Thornton from the TV show True Blood.


Lindsay Weir (played by Linda Cardellini), from the American comedy-drama television series Freaks and Geeks

Graeme Willy (played by Simon Pegg), from the film Paul

Jeff Winger (played by Joel McHale) from the American television series Community


Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh), from the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy

Choose to think

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