As part of the 150th anniversary of the Edinburgh Evening News, we’ve taken a look at the 150 most famous faces to have emerged from the Capital in the past 150 years.
In alphabetical order, we will be looking at the most popular names from Edinburgh over the coming days, to mark 150 years since the Evening News was first published in 1873. In this first installment, from A-B, we delve into the lives and careers of some of the Capital’s most well known faces, including the inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell, Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle and children’s author Aileen Paterson who brought Maisie the cat MacKenzie to the world. We also shine the spotlight on Scotland’s biggest ever music stars The Bay City Rollers, Olympic champion runner Allan Wells and a penguin from Edinburgh Zoo who is the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King's Guard.
1. Adam Black
Adam Black, member of the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, lived from February 20, 1784 – January 24 1874. He was a Scottish publisher and politician. He founded the A & C Black publishing company, and published the 7th, 8th and 9th editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica. He served as an MP for Edinburgh from 1856 - 1865 and was Lord Provost of Edinburgh twice. Photo: Creative Comms
2. Aileen Paterson
Aileen Francis Paterson MBE was a Scottish writer and illustrator, best known for her series of children's books about Maisie MacKenzie, the kitten. She died in 2018 aged 83. For most of her adult life, she lived in Edinburgh and was a passionate supporter of that city. She worked as an art teacher from the 1960s to the 1980s. Maisie Mackenzie, the heroine of Paterson's series of children's books, wears a kilt and Fair Isle jumper and lives in Morningside, a suburb of Edinburgh. In 2011, Lothian Buses made Maisie the face of the Number 5 bus, which goes through Morningside. Several stories were also turned into an animated TV series called Meeow! starring Stanley Baxter. Photo: Esme Allen
3. Alastair Sim
Alastair George Bell Sim, CBE was a Scottish character actor who began his theatrical career at the age of thirty and quickly became established as a popular West End performer, remaining so until his death in 1977, aged 75. He appeared in more than 50 British films, including an iconic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol, released in 1951 as Scrooge in Great Britain and as A Christmas Carol in the United States. Though an accomplished dramatic actor, he is often remembered for his comically sinister performances. Photo: Radio Times/ Getty
4. Alexander McCall Smith CBE
Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith CBE became a hugely successful novelist through his The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, The Sunday Philosophy Club and 44 Scotland Street book series, the latter of which is set in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town. The 74-year-old is now one of the world's best-loved writers for both adults and children and his books are published in 47 languages.
He is pictured, full of pride, after receiving the Edinburgh Award in 2021. Photo: Lisa Ferguson