The son of a tailor, I was orphaned at age 8 but gained entrance and an education at a local military school, thanks to a friend.
Though once a scientific adviser to Napoleon in Egypt, I suffered most of my career due to negative factors associated with politics and changes in goverment.
I am most recognized for my equations dealing with heat flow, which later served as a paradigmn for later physics such as acoustics.
My two minor mathematical successes were the use of dimensional analysis and an improvement of Newton's method for approximating roots.
My major mathematical success was the use of my eponymic series to represent arbitrary functions....despite my "cavalier" treatment of limits and convergence.
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768 - 1830)