Alfred Kempe

lived from 1849 to 1922

Alfred Kempe published a false "proof" of the four colour theorem in 1879 which stood until Heawood showed the mistake 11 years later. The 'proof' is however still the basis for the computer aided proof discovered 100 years later.

Find out more at:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Kempe.html