But his eponym is as familiar in American schools as Lord Nelson is in ours. The first naval hero of the US Revolutionary War, he survived the bloody Battle of Flamborough Head, even though his ship was lost.
The revelation that its wreck is not six miles offshore, as had been thought, but walkable and visible from the Yorkshire coast, is said to be an opportunity for our thriving tourism sector to drill deeper into the US market.
Heritage trails, lookout posts and a museum are all on the horizon following the registration of the wreck by a deep sea surveying company in landlocked Harrogate.
The search for Bonhomme Richard has fascinated historians for decades. Let us hope its resting place can become a haven for educational tourism.