Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (January 24, 1732 - May 18, 1799) was, among other accomplishments, a writer and librettist.
Born Pierre-Augustin Caron in Paris, he changed his surname to "Caron de Beaumarchais" in 1757, in reference to land inherited by his wife.
Though Beaumarchais is perhaps best known as writer of the comedies on which Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro were based, he was also an accomplished musician, watch-maker, secret agent, architect, politician, inventor, arms dealer, and more.
He was among the major supporters in France of American Independence. It is generally admitted that Beaumarchais was not republican, but his writings contributed to an acceleration of the events which led to the Revolution.
He died of apoplexy related to long-term excessive drinking, and is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.