Friday, May 26, 2006
Bigger than da Vinci?
The rise of The Da Vinci Code phenomenon -- book and now movie -- began with the dropping of a name that, unequivocally, means genius: Leonardo da Vinci. So we decided to take a look at the person behind that name.

Born to an unwed mother in a town outside Florence, Italy, da Vinci displayed extraordinary artistic talent as a child and as a young adult was already producing masterful drawings, sculptures, and paintings.

But his range of talent went far beyond art alone. He was also a scientist who made contributions to biology, geography, botany, geology ... the list goes on and on.

And as an inventor, da Vinci drew intricate designs for flying machines, palaces, tanks, submarines, and so much more, long before the technology even existed to implement some of his ideas.

And, by the way, he also created what might be the most famous painting of all time: Mona Lisa.

If I created a list of the top ten most significant figures in the history of this world, I would assuredly put Leonardo near the top. Who else would you put on the list?
Posted By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent: 5:40 PM ET
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