One hundred years after his death, Jean Baptiste Paulin Trolard's name endures in the medical literature primarily because of his work on the anastomotic veins of the cerebral circulation. Specifically, and known to all neurosurgeons, the great anastomotic vein, or the vein of Trolard, underscores a portion of Trolard's contribution to neuroanatomy. The country of Algeria has also remembered this influential colonist because of his life's work as a physician, professor, humanitarian, environmentalist, and French nationalist. Trolard fought deforestation, injustice, epidemics, and bureaucracy in northern Africa and tragically died in the midst of these struggles. In this historical vignette, the authors review the life and contributions of this pioneer of early neuroanatomy.