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Portrait of the French mathematician Jean Le Rond D'Alembert, 1717-1783. The illegitimate son of a Parisian aristocrat, he was abandoned and brought up by a glazier and his wife. He graduated from Mazarin College in 1735 and was admitted to the Academy of Sciences in 1741. He investigated gravitational theory, particularly the precession of the equinoxes. He sponsored both Lagrange and Laplace who completed this work. He helped in the preparation of the great encyclopaedia of Diderot, writing the introduction to it. Despite the 'anti- establishment' nature of this work he received a pension from Louis XV.
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