Profession: French Enlightenment Philosopher
Why Famous: French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.
Historical Events in the Life of Voltaire
1718-11-18 - Voltaire's "Oedipe" premieres in Paris
1730-12-11 - Voltaire's "Brutus" premieres in Paris
1732-08-13 - Voltaire's "Zaire," premieres in Paris
1753-03-25 - Voltaire leaves the court of Frederik II of Prussia
1762-03-10 - French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, dies after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform
1765-01-11 - Frisia bans Voltaires "Traité sur la tolérance"
1765-03-09 - After a public campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son had actually committed suicide.
1778-03-30 - Playwright Voltaire crowned with laurel wreath