Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769. He was most notably known as a French military and political leader, who became prominent during the French Revolution. Bonaparte was the de facto ruler of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804. He is one of the most celebrated and contentious authorities in history. Let’s delve into some facts and insights on his birthday.
The Little Corporal
August 15, 1769
May 5, 1821 (age 51)
Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military and political leader, is of Italian origin and was born to parents Carlo Maria di Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino, in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica. When Bonaparte was nine years old, he moved to the French mainland and attended a religious school in 1779. Shortly after, he moved with a scholarship to a military academy at Brienne-le-Château, in Northern-Central France. Once Bonaparte finished his studies at Brienne-le-Château in 1784, he attended the École Militaire in Paris, where he trained to become an artillery officer.
In 1789 when the Revolution broke out, Bonaparte moved back to Corsica to command a troop of soldiers, after which he was promoted to captain in the regular army in 1792. After fighting in various towns and cities around France, in 1796, Bonaparte married Joséphine de Beauharnais and two days later took control of the Army of Italy. In his time, Bonaparte fought in over 60 battles — and only lost seven of them, with his greatest victory being the Battle of Austerlitz.
Come 1805, Bonaparte had become the Emperor of France and married Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma in 1810. After a failed military campaign in 1813, Bonaparte was defeated by a large coalition army at the Battle of Leipzig, where they captured Paris. Bonaparte was later exiled to the island of Elba, between Corsica and Italy, and then to Saint Helena Island in 1815 after the Battle of Waterloo. He died in 1821 from suspected stomach cancer.
He attends the École Militaire in Paris, where he is trained to become an artillery officer.
Bonaparte is promoted from commanding a troop of soldiers to captain in the regular army.
Bonaparte fights in one of his greatest battles, the Battle of Austerlitz.
After the Battle of Waterloo, he is exiled to the island of Saint Helena, where he passes away.
Why We Love Napoleon Bonaparte
He was an exceptional general
Bonaparte grew to become one of the greatest generals of all time. He famously fought in over 60 battles, while only losing eight of them.
He saved France
Bonaparte saved France from the violent turmoil experienced at the time. He provided stability and unity by appointing key talented ‘émigrés’ to work in government.
He invented the “Napoleonic Code”
He created the “Napoleonic Code,” which served as the Civil Code of the French. This code is still used today, however, it is regularly amended for modern times.
5 Surprising Facts
He wrote a novel
He wrote a romance novel called “Clisson et Eugénie” when he was 26 years old.
He was tone deaf
Although he loved to sing and hum, Bonaparte was tone-deaf.
He helped discover the Rosetta Stone
During his expedition to Egypt, his soldiers discovered the famed Rosetta Stone.
He wore poison around his neck
Bonaparte wore a vial of poison around his neck in case of capture so that he could free himself by way of death.
His death remains a mystery
His death was ruled a case of stomach cancer, however, some think he may have been poisoned, either intentionally or from the arsenic in his wallpaper.
Napoleon Bonaparte FAQs
What is Napoleon Bonaparte famous for?
He is famed for being one of the greatest military generals of all time.
Did Napoleon Bonaparte have children?
Bonaparte had three children, Napoleon II, Charles Leon, and Eugène de Beauharnais.
What does “Napoleon Syndrome” mean?
“Napoleon Complex” is a theorized inferiority complex, generally attributed to people of short stature.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthday dates