Famous Buddhists

There are probably a lot more famous Buddhist people than you realize. This is a list of Buddhist famous figures, featuring well-known individuals who practice or have heavily studied Buddhism. All branches of Buddhism have been included. Buddhism is a philosophy and religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known to most of us as "the Buddha."

Though it's found throughout the world, Buddhism is most popular in Asia, and it originated within India. There are two major branches of Buddhism, Mahayana and Theravada, the former being the most popular. The common thread among all branches of Buddhism is the concept of "dependent origination," that reality is an interwoven web of cause and effect.

Though its origins are distant, there are plenty of famous American Buddhists. Beloved Star Wars director George Lucas is Buddhist, as is Goldie Hawn and Orlando Bloom. They are far from the only celebrity Buddhist followers though. David Bowie and Steve Jobs were both known Buddhists. Tiger Woods is one of the Buddhist athletes. 

Did you know that Richard Gere studied Buddhism? Read on below to learn more about famous important people in Buddhism. 

Photo: Erik Charlton / flickr / CC-BY 2.0