Samuel Johnson in about 1772,
as painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
(1709 - 1784) Though he didn't create the first English dictionary, he did create a work that was so much better researched, organized, and written — and so much more comprehensive — than its predecessors that it is considered the first proper dictionary of the English language.
In 19th-century England, when people looked something up in "the dictionary," they meant Johnson's dictionary.
To peruse an 1828 version of the complete dictionary, click here.
To view some other examples of Johnson's work:
(1) Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language
(2) A Grammar of the English Tongue
(3) Click here to download Johnson's dictionary in full.