Sir Thomas More

Writer / Saint

Born: 7 February 1478
Died: 6 July 1535 (beheading)
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: The author of Utopia
Thomas More was called "a man for all seasons," a nickname reflecting his multi-talented life as an author, humanist, statesman and (finally) martyred Catholic saint. More is remembered as the counselor who clashed with King Henry VIII, refused to acknowledge the king's supremacy over the church, and was finally imprisoned and beheaded. (More was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.) More is also known as the author of the book Utopia (1516), which describes a fictional country in which crime and poverty don't exist, possessions are shared, and humanistic ideals prevail. More coined the term Utopia (from the Greek "no place"), and it is now used to mean any fictional place of idealized perfection.
Extra credit: The 1966 movie A Man For All Seasons, based on Robert Bolt's play, won six Oscars including the best actor award for Paul Scofield.

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