The Most Famous

FENCERS from France

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This page contains a list of the greatest Fencers. The pantheon dataset contains 174 Fencers, 28 of which were born in France. This makes France the birth place of the most number of Fencers.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Fencers of all time. This list of famous Fencers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Fencers.

Photo of Lucien Gaudin

1. Lucien Gaudin (1886 - 1934)

With an HPI of 49.36, Lucien Gaudin is the most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages on wikipedia.

Lucien Alphonse Paul Gaudin (27 September 1886 – 23 September 1934) was a French fencer. He competed in foil and in épée events at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics and won a gold or silver medal in every event he entered, accumulating four gold and two silver medals total. This record is tied for the best French Olympics performance, matching fencers Christian d'Oriola (four gold and two silver) then followed by both Philippe Cattiau and Roger Ducret (three gold, four silver and one bronze). Gaudin also won two international champion's titles in épée (1905 and 1918), the European title in épée (1921, first edition) and nine consecutive French titles in foil (1906–1914). Some sources claim that Gaudin was on the silver-medal sabre team in 1920, crediting him with an Olympic medal in each weapon. However, the IOC medalist database does not award Gaudin a medal in that event, the full results of the event show that he did not fence, and numerous lists of competitors do not include him on the team.After retiring from competitions Gaudin became a journalist and co-owner of the company Les Films Sportifs, which produced the 1924 Olympic film. Gaudin committed suicide in 1934 when his company went bankrupt.Lucien Gaudin Cocktail There is a cocktail named after Lucien Gaudin. It is a fabulously interesting cocktail; it has the bitterness of Campari with gin, a nod to the Negroni, but with dry vermouth rather than sweet vermouth. Then there is the addition of Cointreau. And unlike the Negroni, the Lucien Gaudin at 2:1 gin to Campari is more gin dominant. 2 ounces gin 1 ounce dry vermouth 1 ounce Campari 1 ounce CointreauA sibling to the Lucien Gaudin is the Gloria, also gin and dry vermouth with Campari and Cointreau. 2 ounces gin 2 ounce dry vermouth ½ ounce Campari ½ ounce CointreauWith equal amounts of gin and dry vermouth, the vermouth in the Gloria becomes the dominant counterpoint to the gin. With the Lucien Gaudin you notice the Campari and Cointreau influence much more, so more of a Negroni riff. The Gloria, with the dry vermouth more dominant is more of a Martini riff.

Photo of Gaston Alibert

2. Gaston Alibert (1878 - 1917)

With an HPI of 48.47, Gaston Alibert is the 2nd most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Gaston Jules Louis Antoine Alibert (22 February 1878 in Paris – 26 December 1917 in Paris) was a French fencer and olympic champion in épée competition.He received a gold medal in épée individual and a gold medal in épée team at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Eight years before, Alibert already participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris placing seventh in the épée individual event. He contracted tuberculosis while at the front in World War I and later died in 1917 aged 39.

Photo of Herman Georges Berger

3. Herman Georges Berger (1875 - 1924)

With an HPI of 48.02, Herman Georges Berger is the 3rd most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Herman Georges Berger (1 August 1875 in Bassens – 13 January 1924 in Nice) was a French épée and foil fencer and Olympic champion in épée competition.He received a gold medal in épée team at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

Photo of Émile Coste

4. Émile Coste (1862 - 1927)

With an HPI of 47.26, Émile Coste is the 4th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Émile Louis François Désiré Coste (2 February 1862 in Toulon – 7 July 1927 in Toulon) was a French fencer who competed in the late 19th century and early 20th century. He participated in Fencing at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris and won the gold medal in the foil, defeating fellow French fencer Henri Masson in the final.

Photo of Charles Collignon

5. Charles Collignon (1877 - )

With an HPI of 46.41, Charles Collignon is the 5th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Charles Collignon (7 September 1877 in Paris - 19 July 1925) was a French fencer and olympic champion in épée competition.He received a gold medal in épée team at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

Photo of Jehan Buhan

6. Jehan Buhan (1912 - 1999)

With an HPI of 46.06, Jehan Buhan is the 6th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Jehan Buhan (5 April 1912 – 14 September 1999) was a French fencer and Olympic champion in foil competition. He received a gold medal in foil individual at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. He received gold medals in foil team both in 1948 and in 1952.

Photo of Michel Pécheux

7. Michel Pécheux (1911 - 1985)

With an HPI of 45.20, Michel Pécheux is the 7th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Michel Pécheux (24 May 1911 – 29 August 1985) was a French fencer. Pécheux competed in the Men's Team Épée event at the 1936 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal for France. He was a team gold medalist at London in 1948, once again in épée.

Photo of Jean-Baptiste Mimiague

8. Jean-Baptiste Mimiague (1871 - 1929)

With an HPI of 45.19, Jean-Baptiste Mimiague is the 8th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Jean-Baptiste Narcisse Mimiague (3 February 1871 in Villefranche-sur-Mer – 6 August 1929 in Nice) was a French fencer who competed in the early 20th century. He participated in Fencing at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris and won both his bouts against the famous Italian fencer Italo Santelli. He won the bronze medal in the individual foil masters.

Photo of Roger Ducret

9. Roger Ducret (1888 - 1962)

With an HPI of 45.06, Roger Ducret is the 9th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Roger Ducret (2 April 1888 – 8 January 1962) was a French fencer who competed at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics. At the 1924 Summer Olympics he entered five events out of six and earned a gold or silver medal in each of them, winning individual medals in all three competitive fencing disciplines: épée, foil and sabre. During his times, only one fencer did better, the Italian Nedo Nadi won five gold medals at the 1920 Summer Olympics. During World War I Ducret was a prisoner of war. After retiring from competitions he worked as a journalist for Le Figaro, L'Echo des Sports and other newspapers.

Photo of Armand Massard

10. Armand Massard (1884 - 1971)

With an HPI of 45.05, Armand Massard is the 10th most famous Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Armand Émile Nicolas Massard (1 December 1884 – 8 April 1971) was a French épée fencer who competed at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics. In 1920 he won an individual gold and team bronze medal, and in 1928 he earned a team silver medal.Massard was a journalist and the editor-in-chief of La Presse, La Liberté and Le Figaro. He was president of the French Fencing Federation and of the Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français from 1933 to 1967. In 1946 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in 1969 its honorary member; he served as the IOC Executive Board Member in 1950–51 and 1956–57, and as Vice-President in 1952–55. Massard was also Vice-President of the Municipal Council of Paris.

Pantheon has 47 people classified as fencers born between 1862 and 1996. Of these 47, 25 (53.19%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living fencers include Daniel Revenu, Jean-Claude Magnan, and Gilles Berolatti. The most famous deceased fencers include Lucien Gaudin, Gaston Alibert, and Herman Georges Berger. As of April 2022, 19 new fencers have been added to Pantheon including Herman Georges Berger, Charles Collignon, and Michel Pécheux.

Living Fencers

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Deceased Fencers

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Newly Added Fencers (2022)

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Which Fencers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 21 most globally memorable Fencers since 1700.