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Profile of the Day: John Locke

On this day in 1632, English philosopher John Locke was born. Regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment, Locke’s work formed the foundation of modern philosophical empiricism and political liberalism.

Profile of the Day: John Locke

Image: John Locke / Library of Congress

Locke was born on August 29, 1632 in Wrington, Somerset, England to John Locke, a lawyer, and Agnese Keene. His father served as a captain during the English Civil War. After completing his studies in medicine, Locke became the personal physician for Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, a prominent political figure and founder of the Whig party.

While under the patronage of Shaftesbury, Locke composed several political pieces, including his most influential work Two Treatises of Government, which outlined his revolutionary ideas on liberty and the social contract. His writings would later significantly influence American revolutionaries during the American Revolutionary War, especially in the creation of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Locke died on October 28, 1704 at the age of 72.

View John Locke’s Geni Profile


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