Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is often considered one of the most distinguished man of letters in English history. Johnson is famous for having made notable contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and biographer. His landmark achievement was A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), which played a key role in shaping the English we know and use today. He is the subject of Life of Samuel Johnson, one of the most famous biographies in history and the source for the below quote.

"Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice."

Source: The Life of Samuel Johnson, June 1784, p. 526 (via Wikiquote)