Philippe Petit

1949 - Today

Photo of Philippe Petit

Icon of person Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit (French pronunciation: [filip pəti]; born 13 August 1949) is a French highwire artist who gained fame for his unauthorized highwire walks between the towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1971 and of Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1973, as well as between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on the morning of 7 August 1974. For his unauthorized feat 400 metres (1,312 feet) above the ground – which he referred to as "le coup" – Petit had gathered together a team consisting of two of his closest, childhood friends from France (Jean-Louis Blondeau, and Jean Francois Heckel) joined by four recruited Americans (Alan Welner, David Forman, Barry Greenhouse, and Jim Moore) plus a seventh comrade of Petit's (Mark Lewis, hailing from Australia, had previously been instrumental in aiding Petit wire-walk across Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1973). The group spent many months collaborating in detailed preparation, travelling to the World Trade Center multiple times, building an "outdoor" scale model of the roofs of both buildings, brainstorming and theorizing ways to bypass security, how to transport the hundreds of pounds of necessary materials from the street level up 104 stairs, and subsequently rigging the wire Petit would ultimately need for his walk. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Philippe Petit has received more than 7,832,069 page views. His biography is available in 28 different languages on Wikipedia. Philippe Petit is the 34th most popular celebrity (down from 17th in 2019), the 1,268th most popular biography from France (down from 755th in 2019) and the 4th most popular French Celebrity.

Philippe Petit is most famous for walking on a wire between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Memorability Metrics

  • 7.8M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 60.96

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 28

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 5.67

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.96

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Philippe Petits by language

Over the past year Philippe Petit has had the most page views in the with 499,434 views, followed by Spanish (68,422), and Russian (62,927). In terms of yearly growth of page views the top 3 wikpedia editions are Dutch (387.87%), Czech (131.72%), and Egyptian Arabic (104.89%)


Among celebrities, Philippe Petit ranks 34 out of 265Before him are Margaret Brown, Peggy Guggenheim, Thérésa Tallien, Keke Geladze, Besarion Jughashvili, and Blanche Monnier. After him are Rosemary Kennedy, Don King, Rodney King, Sarah Knauss, Jacques Mayol, and Albert Pierrepoint.

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Among people born in 1949, Philippe Petit ranks 71Before him are Tom Berenger, Teófilo Cubillas, Sissy Spacek, Issei Sagawa, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, and Cliff Williams. After him are Valery Leontiev, Philippe Starck, Ivana Trump, Vicky Leandros, Mick Taylor, and Morten Olsen.

Others Born in 1949

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In France

Among people born in France, Philippe Petit ranks 1,268 out of 6,770Before him are André Masson (1896), Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (1774), Aimé Jacquet (1941), Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil (1831), Jean-Pierre Serre (1926), and Joël Robuchon (1945). After him are Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz (1936), Emmanuelle Charpentier (1968), Élisée Reclus (1830), Eva Gonzalès (1849), Queen Anne of Romania (1923), and Roger Ducos (1747).


Among celebrities born in France, Philippe Petit ranks 4Before him are Jeanne Calment (1875), Marie Duplessis (1824), and Blanche Monnier (1849). After him are Joseph Meister (1876), Jean-Marie Loret (1918), Nicolas Chopin (1771), Denise Perrier (1935), Michel Lotito (1950), Apollonie Sabatier (1822), Sébastien Foucan (1974), and Iris Mittenaere (1993).