Pierre de Fermat was a famous mathematician.  He was born on August 17, 1601 and Died January 12, 1665. He was born in Beaumont-de-Lomagne.  He was the son of a wealthy leather merchant.  He had a brother and two sisters.  He attended the University of Toulouse before moving to Bordeaux, where he began his first serious mathematical researches.  He recieved a degree in civil law and became a lawyer and government official in Toulouse.

In mathematics, with Pascal, formulated the theory of probability and, by showing that light travels along the shortest path, founded the science of geometric optics.  Although math was not a first with Fermat, it was a hobby and was notorious for not providing proofs to his work.  He also calculated a law for light travel before Newton was born.