Profile of the Day: Napoleon I
Today marks the 245th birthday of French Emperor Napoleon I, also known as Napoleon Bonaparte. Considered one of the greatest military strategists in history, Napoleon established hegemony over most of continental Europe.
Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769 to Carlo Maria Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Romolino in his family’s ancestral home, Casa Buonaparte, in the French town of Ajaccio.
He gained military and political prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution. In a coup d’état in 1799, he installed himself as First Consul and in 1804, he made himself emperor of France. Napoleon led a string of victories during the Napoleonic Wars, establishing France as the dominate power in Europe. However, after his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was forced to abdicate and go into exile on the Italian island of Elba. In 1815, he escaped and returned to power only to be defeated at the infamous Battle of Waterloo. Despite living the rest of his life in confinement on the island of Saint Helena, Napoleon is remembered as one of the greatest military leaders in history.
Do you have French ancestry? Explore Napoleon I’s family tree on Geni and discover your connection to the French emperor.