## John Graunt (1620-1674)

John Graunt was a shopkeeper, a city councilman, an officer
of a water company, and a member of the militia. He generally
woke up early to study before opening his shop, which led him
to ponder and study death and its causes. He
examined the church records of London parishes, known as the
Bills of Mortality. These records were likely recorded to
monitor deaths due to the plague. Based on patterns he noticed
in the records, he wrote *Mathematical statistics: Natural
and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality* in
1662. From his observations, he noticed patterns and was able to
guess at reasons for anomalies. Though he was
one of the first to analyze data, his methods have remained a
starting point for
data analysis.

Graunt was the first Englishman known to calculate empirical
probabilities (probabilities based on experimentation) and used
his calculations to estimate the population of London in three
different ways, arriving at similar conclusions each time. After seeing his work, Paris began publishing
their own Bills of Mortality by 1670. His work showed the value
of such records, which likely contributed to the appearance of
birth, marriage, and death registrations for use by the
government. These contributions to the early development of
statistics, specifically initial analysis of collected data, led him to be known as the Father of Modern
Statistics

.