Denis Diderot was born in Langres (in the Département Haute-Marne) in 1713, he died in Paris in 1784. He is mainly known as a philosopher of the Encyclopédie, for the development of which he was responsible. He managed to get the greatest thinkers of his time to work together to create the masterpiece. Rousseau, Voltaire, d' Alembert, Montesquieu and more were envolved in this. His Encyclopédie was forbidden by the Catholic church for a while, his critical opinion towards the Church even brought him to prison for some time.
The Encyclopédy was planned to be a translation of into French of Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, undertaken in the first instance by the Englishman John Mills, and the German, Gottfried Sellius. However, he developed this project further and transformed it into a collection of new knowledge, collected by great thinkers and writers of France. He led the project of up to 1000 people to be published in 1751, after 20 years of hard work.