Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor. His best-known work is the sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln (1920) at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, to Henry Flagg French (1813–1885), a lawyer, Assistant US Treasury Secretary and author of a book that described the French drain. Daniel Chester French was a neighbor and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Alcott family. His decision to pursue sculpting was influenced by Louisa May Alcott's sister May Alcott.
After a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, French worked on his father's farm. While visiting relatives in Brooklyn, New York City, he spent a month in the studio of John Quincy Adams Ward, then began to work on commissions, and at the age of twenty-three received from the town of Concord, Massachusetts, an order for his well-known statue The Minute Man, which was unveiled April 19, 1875 on the centenary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Previously French had gone to Florence, Italy, where he spent a year working with sculptor Thomas Ball.