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James Naismith

1861 - 1939

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James Naismith (NAY-smith; November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain, and sports coach, best known as the inventor of the game of basketball. After moving to the United States, he wrote the original basketball rule book and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of James Naismith has received more than 4,482,236 page views. His biography is available in 52 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 49 in 2019). James Naismith is the 27th most popular inventor, the 6th most popular biography from Canada (up from 7th in 2019) and the most popular Canadian Inventor.

James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.5M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 70.68

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 52

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.51

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.40

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of James Naismiths by language


Among inventors, James Naismith ranks 27 out of 354Before him are Karl Ferdinand Braun, Samuel Colt, Charles K. Kao, Thomas Newcomen, Antonio Meucci, and Werner von Siemens. After him are Steve Wozniak, Denis Papin, Ernő Rubik, Bartolomeo Cristofori, George Westinghouse, and Robert Fulton.

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Among people born in 1861, James Naismith ranks 8Before him are Mehmed VI, Rudolf Steiner, Fridtjof Nansen, Georges Méliès, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. After him are Victor Horta, Erich von Falkenhayn, Charles Édouard Guillaume, Alfred North Whitehead, Robert Bosch, and Halford Mackinder. Among people deceased in 1939, James Naismith ranks 5Before him are Sigmund Freud, Pope Pius XI, Alphonse Mucha, and Howard Carter. After him are Nadezhda Krupskaya, Joseph Roth, W. B. Yeats, Eugen Bleuler, Werner von Fritsch, Edward Sapir, and Anton Makarenko.

Others Born in 1861

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Others Deceased in 1939

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In Canada

Among people born in Canada, James Naismith ranks 6 out of 1,350Before him are Leonard Cohen (1934), Albert Bandura (1925), Leslie Nielsen (1926), Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874), and Donald Sutherland (1935). After him are Justin Trudeau (1971), Erving Goffman (1922), Jim Carrey (1962), Frank Gehry (1929), Alice Munro (1931), and Marshall McLuhan (1911).

Among INVENTORS In Canada

Among inventors born in Canada, James Naismith ranks 1After him are Reginald Fessenden (1866), Gerald Bull (1928), Joseph-Armand Bombardier (1907), and Yvonne Brill (1924).