This chapter identifies the person who invented the modern sense of the word race. The term race played an important role in nobiliary thought, and was associated with the idea of transmission by birth, in a tradition which Henri de Boulainvilliers inherited. The chapter examines the formation and formulation of an idea of races in three early taxonomists: Franois Bernier, Carl Linnaeus, and G. L. Leclerc de Buffon. The historiography of race has emphasized the key role of an article written by the Gassendist Franois Bernier that was anonymously published in 1684 in the Journal des Savants. Buffon also occupies a decisive, albeit ambiguous, place in the historiography of race. Anthropology often credits Linnaeus with having included the human in zoological classification, a point from which his predecessors, like John Ray, tended to shy away. These three are not, of course, the only potential candidates: other scholars point to Immanuel Kant, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, or John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.