French mathematician, naturalist, and biologist, born in Montbard, Côte-d'Or (1707-1788). In 1727, Leclerc discovered the binomial theorem. In the 1730s, he published Mémoire sur le jeu de franc-carreau (Thesis on the game of franc-carreau), which combined differential and integral calculus with probability theory. His most famous works are in natural history, where his ideas influenced the thinking of Lamarck and Darwin. His great work, Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière (General and specific natural history) consists of 36 volumes, published in 1749-1778, plus 8 more volumes published after his death.