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Jean-Claude Rage (1943-2018) was a renowned vertebrates paleontologist who dedicated his career to fossil amphibians and reptiles, which earned him the highest reputation. He was CNRS Emeritus Director of Research in Paris and worked in the laboratory of paleontology of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN) together with the authors of this article (JSS and MA were also his Master and PhD students). Jean-Claude has established himself as an outstanding herpetologist and taxonomist with numerous publications (more then 250 articles, see below) throughout his career. The aim of this article is not to describe in details his very rich career (see Steyer & Buffetaut 2012 for details) but to show how important his research was, and is still, and to go deeper in his personality to show that his intellectual legacy should be considered as a model today.