Celebrity Go Players
A list of people who became famous or well-known for achievements or activities outside Go, but who maintain a current interest in Go or have played Go.
People whose achievements are in the field of Go are listed at Names in Go.
Please add famous - current or ancient - Go playing actors, artists, authors, company founders, journalists, heroes, managers, mediciners, musicians, Nobel prize winners, philosophers, politicians, Pullitzer prize winners, popes, scientists, software developers, sport stars, V.I.P.s, war lords, etc. See also http://www.britgo.org/general/celeb/.
- Albert, Michael. Co-founder of ZMagazine.
- Anderson, Phillip W. Theoretical physicist, Nobel laureate. He said he was the second strongest go player among Nobel laureates after Kawabata.
- Barry, Daniel (1953-). Astronaut. (See http://www.houstongoclub.org/GoInSpace/space.html
- Borges, Jorge Luis (1899-1986). Argentinian poet, essayist and short story writer. Did not play Go, but wrote a poem about it.
- Brin, Sergey. Co-Founder of Google. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=482sitMhspo#t=46m38s)
- Bushnell, Nolan. Founder of Atari Inc.
- Cao Cao (155-220 AD). Chinese sovereign.
- Cheadle, Don (1964-). American actor.
- Chen Yi (1901-1972). Foreign minister (1958-1966) and vice premier of China. Played with Li Lisan.
- Chevalley, Claude (1909-1984) Mathematician, one of the founders of the Bourbaki Group, was one of the first Go players in in France in the mid-60's.
- Conway, John Horton (Mathematician) was the progenitor of Surreal Numbers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surreal_number, which were inspired by Go, and used in modern mathematical analysis of the game.
- Culver, Michael (1938-). Actor.
- Dirac, Paul Adrien Maurice (1902-1984). Theoretical Physicist, won the Nobel Prize in 1933. Source: The Strangest Man by Graham Farmelo
- Duan Qirui (or Duan Zhiquan, 1865-1936), Warlord and provisional president of the republic of China.
- Einstein, Albert (1879-1955). Physicist who proposed the theory of relativity and the quantum theory of light.
- Emelyanov, Nikolai, Mayor of Cheboksary city (Russia) . Photo: http://forum.weiqi.ru/read.php?f=1&i=22244&t=22244#reply_22244
- Endo Shusaku (1923-1996). Japanese Writer. His novel "Silence" was adapted to a Martin Scorsese film in 2016.
- Erdös, Paul (1913-1996). Mathematician.
- Fortin (nee Styczynska), Karolina. First foreign woman (Polish) to qualify as professional shogi player in Japan (returned to Poland in 2021). Also ranked as an 8-kyu amateur in go by the European Go Federation.
- Fox, Ralph H. Pricenton mathematician
- Gates, Bill. Founder of Microsoft. ( Mentions Go in a 1997 Q&A)
- Gailly, Jean-loup. Author of gzip data compression program
- Giles,Herbert Sinologist, part inventer of the Wade-Giles Chinese transliteration system.
- Habu Yoshiharu (1970-). Shogi champion.
- Hatoyama Ichiro (1883-1959). Prime minister of Japan (1954-1956).
- Holland, John. First Ph.D. in Computer Science, Complex Systems researcher.
- Julesz, Bela (1928-2003). Neuroscientist
- Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). Nobel Prize winning writer, author of Master of Go
- Kan Naoto (1946-). Prime Minister of Japan (2010-2011).
- Kim Ok-Kyun (1851-1894), Korean politician
- Lasker, Edward (1885-1981). Chess player. Okura Prize winner in 1971.
- Lasker, Emanuel (1868-1941). Chess world champion.
- Li Lisan (1899-1967). Helped found communist party in China. See biography, Before Mao by Patrick Lescot
- Maas, Anton. Bridge player.
- Mao Tse-Tung / Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Famous chinese military/politician.
- Marks, Howard (1945-). Author/ex-international cannabis smuggler.
- McMahon, Lee E. (1941-1989). Unix developer.
- Meitner, Lise (1878-1969). Austrian Physicist
- Morozevich, Alexander. Russian chess Grandmaster, once 4th in the World ranking.
- Muramatsu Shofu (1889-1961). Writer.
- Nash, John Forbes Jr. (1928-2015) Mathematician, Nobel Laureate.
- Nechaev, Aleksey. The owner of "Faberlic", one of the largest cosmetic companies in Russia. Photo: http://goama.upstream.ru/gallery/albums/Champ-of-Russia/normal_DSC_0260.jpg
- Newman, Max Mathematician and codebreaker, solved part of Hilbert's fifth problem
- Nichiren (1222-1282). Establisher of Nichiren Buddhism.
- Perec, Georges (1936-1982). French writer and Oulipo member. With Roubaud and Lusson he wrote a book about go "Small treatise inviting to discover the subtle art of go".
- Rebattu, Max. Bridge player (5 dan, longtime Dutch champion in the 1960s and 1970s)
- Roth, David Lee Lead singer of the band Van Halen.
- Salmon, Emeric. Member of the French parliament
- Shibukawa Shunkai (1639-1715). Scholar ((professional) 7 dan, was heir to Yasui Santetsu (as Yasui Santetsu II) until getting involved in calendar reform in 1683)
- Stewart, Rod (musician). Taught Go by tour doctor Geoffrey Gray.
- Strauss-Kahn, Dominique. Former head of the International Monetary Fund.
- prince Su (18??- 19??). Chinese prince, later a high official.
- Suzuki Ichiro. Baseball legend (Mariners/Yankees/Merlins).
- Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837-1913). Shogun.
- Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934). Japanese admiral, victor of the naval battle of Tsushima.
- Turing, Alan(1912-1954). Mathematician.
- Trevanian, author of Shibumi. Pseudonym (His real name was Dr. Rodney William Whitaker )
- Ueshiba Morihei, founder of the martial art Aikido
- Wright, Will - Computer game guru (The Sims, Spore, Sim City)
- Xi Jinping. Current secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party. He was a friend of Nie Weiping at a middle high school in Beijing.
- Yamanaka Shinya. Stem cell researcher, Nobel laureate. He shares birthplace with Iyama Yuta and played a game with him.
- British Go association: http://www.britgo.org/general/celeb and http://www.britgo.org/history/ukhist,
- life in 19x19: http://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1633
I got several of the East Asian famous persons from http://www.msoworld.com/mindzine/news/orient/go/special/records/famous.html . Does Shibukawa Shunkai apply? He does not fall under the title, having been a pro, but he does apply under the heading, being famous for something else than playing Go. - Andre Engels
tderz: ... 22.214.171.124 wrote "removed Mattern, not famous for non-Go accomplishments". If this is true, does it also hold for Max Rebattu (bridge , table tennis etc.)? Would you remove him as well, or are here (unconscious) selective criteria at play? If Max is very famous for bridge (World Champion), then this should be reported here. Reading the name of Max gave me the incentive to enter Jürgen in the first place ...
Dieter: Yes, I assume Max' presence here is due to his fame as a bridge player. I agree with you that we're at the edge here. If Max is only known for Go accomplishments then I agree he should be mentioned at names in Go only. Btw, when checking and modifying recent changes, I do not always completely revise a page.
 In Noir and Blanc, Issue 12 Maitre Lim writes that Perec had never played a game of Go, a barb directed at his lack of human emotion and interaction; the implication being that if we cannot play a game together then we cannot play a game.