Until approximately 400 years ago, it was widely believed that the Universe revolved about the Earth. This theory is clearly incorrect, but had a lot of supporters in high places at the time.
Nicolaus Copernicus was actually the first person to notice this phenomenon, but he was largely ignored because he was Polish, while Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) covered similar subject matter in his work, The Dialogue, and was taken seriously. Seriously enough to land him under house arrest for the remainder of his life*.
On a happier note, Galileo's excommunication by the Catholic Church was even-more-recently repealed, ending his eternity of pain and torment to a meager 350 years or so. This delay is quite odd, since Galileo's body has been buried in the consecrated ground of the Santa Croce church in Florence, Italy, for nearly that entire time.
Galileo's fame has grown exponentially over the years, due to his innumerable additions to the base of human knowledge and understanding, because he challenged the authority of the Catholic Church, and because he had a cool, alliterative name.
Among other honours, he has been the subject of a song by the Indigo Girls, and a play by Bertolt Brecht, who was also immortalised due to a cool, alliterative name.