The most famous Algerian of antiquity was St. Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus, 354–430), a Church father and theologian who was born in eastern Numidia. An important 19th-century figure was Abd-el-Kader ('Abd al-Kadir bin-Muhyi ad-Din al-Hasani, 1808–73), emir of Mascara, who led the resistance against the French invaders from 1830 to 1847. Two early figures in the drive for Algerian independence were Messali Hadj (1898?–1974), who organized several political movements, and Ferhat Abbas (1900–86), who led the first provisional government and was elected first speaker of the National Assembly in 1962. Other important nationalist leaders include Ahmed Ben Bella (b. 1916), a founder of the FLN and the first premier of independent Algeria, who, after becoming president in 1963, was overthrown and imprisoned for 15 years (until 1980); Belkacem Krim (1922–70), political leader in Kabilia; Benyoussef Ben Khedda (1922–67), head of the provisional government in 1961–62; and Houari Boumedienne (Muhammad Boukharrouba, 1927–78), who overthrew Ben Bella in 1965 and became president in 1976. Boumedienne's successor as president and FLN leader was Col. Chadli Bendjedid (b. 1929).
Two renowned French Algerian writers are playwright Jules Roy (1907–2000) and novelist, playwright, and essayist Albert Camus (1913–60), winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Frantz Fanon (b. Martinique, 1925–61), a psychiatrist, writer, and revolutionary, was a leading analyst of colonialism.