Phineas Gage

1823 - 1860

Phineas Gage

Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable[B1]:19 survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining 12 years of his life‍—‌effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as "no longer Gage". [H]:14 Long known as the "American Crowbar Case"‍—‌once termed "the case which more than all others is cal­cu­lated to excite our wonder, impair the value of prognosis, and even to subvert our phys­i­o­log­i­cal doctrines" ‍—‌Phineas Gage influenced 19th-century discussion about the mind and brain, par­tic­u­larly debate on cerebral local­i­za­tion,​​[M]:ch7–9[B] and was perhaps the first case to suggest the brain's role in deter­min­ing per­son­al­ity, and that damage to specific parts of the brain might induce specific mental changes. Gage is a fixture in the curricula of neurology, psychology, and neuroscience,[M7]:149 one of "the great medical curiosities of all time"[M8] and "a living part of the medical folklore" [R]:637 frequently mentioned in books and scientific papers;[M]:ch14 he even has a minor place in popular culture. Despite this celebrity, the body of established fact about Gage and what he was like (whether before or after his injury) is small, which has allowed "the fitting of almost any theory [desired] to the small number of facts we have" [M]:290‍—‌Gage acting as a "Rorschach inkblot"  in which proponents of various conflicting theories of the brain all saw support for their views. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Phineas Gage has received more than 4,349,049 page views. His biography is available in 33 different languages on Wikipedia making him the 190th most popular celebrity.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.3M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 72.94

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 33

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 12.49

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 1.58

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Phineas Gages by language


Among celebrities, Phineas Gage ranks 3 out of 140Before him are Wallis Simpson and Ötzi. After him are Jeanne Calment, Kaspar Hauser, Lisa del Giocondo, Robert Wadlow, Lina Medina, Buffalo Bill, Empress Michiko, Joseph Merrick, and Simonetta Vespucci.

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Among people born in 1823, Phineas Gage ranks 2Before him is Abdulmejid I. After him are Max Müller, Alfred Russel Wallace, Ernest Renan, Gyula Andrássy, Sándor Petőfi, Jean-Henri Fabre, Alexandre Cabanel, Édouard Lalo, Leopold Kronecker, and Li Hongzhang. Among people deceased in 1860, Phineas Gage ranks 2Before him is Arthur Schopenhauer. After him are Désirée Clary, Jérôme Bonaparte, Alexandra Feodorovna, János Bolyai, Charles Goodyear, Miloš Obrenović, Stéphanie de Beauharnais, Julia Pastrana, István Széchenyi, and William Walker.

Others Born in 1823

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Phineas Gage ranks 132 out of 12,171Before him are Will Smith (1968), Charles Bronson (1921), Herman Melville (1819), Ray Bradbury (1920), Amelia Earhart (1897), and Dale Carnegie (1888). After him are James Watson (1928), Henry Fonda (1905), Coen brothers (null), Tupac Shakur (1971), Paul Newman (1925), and Jane Fonda (1937).

Among CELEBRITIES In United States

Among celebrities born in United States, Phineas Gage ranks 2Before him are Wallis Simpson (1896). After him are Robert Wadlow (1918), Buffalo Bill (1846), Margaret Brown (1867), Black Dahlia (1924), Monica Lewinsky (1973), Kim Kardashian (1980), Rosemary Kennedy (1918), Don King (1931), Peggy Guggenheim (1898), and Rodney King (1965).