司马迁 (Sīmă Qiān) is the Grand Historian of China. He lived in the Hàn Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and was responsible for writing horoscopes for the emperor. The two had a dispute regarding foreign policy towards the invading tribes from the North, and Sīmă Qiān was punished and sentenced to – ugh – castration.
Instead of committing suicide afterwards (as many did after such treatment!) he sat down and wrote the Records of the Grand Historian, a national treasure which has been the cornerstone of Chinese historiography since. It chronicles China’s earliest legendary history and is – for its time – impressively critical of its sources.
Chairman Máo would often quote the volume, most famously a passage about the inevitability of death, which he cited when his favorite bodyguard died in an accident.
Sīmă Qiān’s family name is one of very few Chinese family names that have two syllables.
No funny comments. You'd look the same in his shoes. Wikimedia Commons