b. 1779 d.1869
Dr. Peter Mark Roget created and published Roget's Thesaurus
. The Thesaurus
has been cited as one of three most important books ever published -- right beside the Bible
and Webster's Dictionary
. First published in 1852, Roget's Thesaurus
has not been out of print since. From the 15,000 words in the first edition it has grown to over 350,000 words.
Roget graduated from Edinburgh University with an M.D. at age nineteen. He practiced medicine for most of his life and was also secretary of the Royal Society for more than twenty years. He completed the first draft of his Thesaurus in 1805, but kept it strictly for personal use. Only in retirement, at age 72, did he choose to publish it.
Roget is also given credit for sparking interest in the visual phenomena known as the "Persistence of Vision" -- his 1824 paper on the subject eventually led to the motion pictures we watch today.