Karl Pearson's contributions in the development of statistics are so ubiquitous that most users take his assumptions for granted. One key contribution and mistake of his was to claim that all distributions are parametric. Such models are still predominantly used in social and behavioral sciences, but his insistence led to a lot of interesting and very useful developments in mathematical statistics and its applications by people who published refutations of his work (like R.A. Fisher).
As a non-math mistake, Karl Pearson avidly advocated eugenics towards racial purity. Big mistake.