"James Smithson," Master of Arts/MA, Fellow of the Royal Society/FRS (5 June 1765 – 27 June 1829) was an English chemist and mineralogist. He was the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution.
Smithson was the illegitimate child of the Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland/1st Duke of Northumberland, and was born secretly in Paris, possibly in the Pentemont Abbey, as "Jacques-Louis Macie" (later altered to "James Louis"). Eventually, he was naturalized in England and attended university, studying chemistry and mineralogy. At the age of twenty-two, he changed his surname from Macie to Smithson, his father's pre-marriage surname. Smithson traveled extensively throughout Europe publishing papers about his findings. Considered a talented amateur in his field, Smithson maintained an inheritance he acquired from his mother and other relatives.If you enjoy these quotes, be sure to check out other famous scientists! More James Smithson on Wikipedia.