His may not be a household name, but it's time to learn it.
All students of Chinese might take a moment to wish Professor Zhou a Happy 106th Birthday.
In the 1950s, Zhou spent about 3 years developing the romanization system for writing Mandarin, which is called Pinyin. Other systems have come and gone, but this is the one that stuck. Pinyin is not a perfect system, but without it, the struggles of learning Chinese would be even harder, at least for me.
There are some lovely picture of Zhou here. He looks like a feisty 106. Should we all be so lucky.
(photo from Chinadaily.com. Thanks to Sinocism.com for the birthday heads-up.)