What are the most important statisticians, and what is it that made them famous?
(Reply just one scientist per answer please.)
How has Sir David Roxbee Cox not been mentioned yet?
Some feats: Cox proportional hazards models, experimental design, he did a lot of work on stochastic processes and binary data. He also advised many students who went on to do great work (Hinkley, McCullagh, Little, Atkinson, etc.)
And the man was knighted!
Samuel S. Wilks was a leader in the development of mathematical statistics. He developed the theorem on the distribution of the likelihood ratio, a fundamental result that is used in a wide variety of situations.
He also helped found the Princeton statistics department, where he was Fred Mosteller's advisor, among others, and has a prestigious ASA award named after him.