Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (/ˈɡuːtənbɜːrɡ/; c. 1400 – February 3, 1468) was a German goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with his mechanical movable-type printing press. His work started the Printing Revolution in Europe and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history; an overview of the wide acclaim of Gutenberg’s accomplishments is found in several sources. In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg no. 1 on their "People of the Millennium" countdown. In 1997, Time–Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium. Four prominent US journalists did the same in their 1998 resume, ranking his impact high in shaping the millennium. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes Gutenberg’s invention as having made a practically unparalleled cultural impact in the Christian era. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Scientific Revolution, as well as laying the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.
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