I may not be much of a mathematician, but I have a favorite mathematician: Kurt Gödel.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Bertrand Russell started an ambitious project. They would begin from basic principles of logic (truth, falsity and sets), and gradually derive the whole of modern mathematics. The work began to be published as a series of volumes named Principia Mathematica. After 379 pages, they’d gotten as far as conclusively proving that 1+1=2, so it looked as if they were well on the way to deriving integers, fractions, and so on.