The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
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16  reranks 47,985 votes 2,435 voters 215,619 views more info

The Most Influential Contemporary Americans

List Criteria: Americans who are alive today (or who died less than 20 years ago) and have impacted the way Americans live their lives

A list of the Americans who have had the most central influence on, or importance to, the modern era. This would include Americans who have most significantly altered the course of events from roughly the 1980s onward. So while someone like Ronald Reagan or Steve Jobs might very well apply, figures like Franklin D. Roosevelt or even Martin Luther King Jr. would probably not be considered contemporary enough to qualify.

Americans from every walk of life and every industry have managed to profoundly influence the country. This can include efforts to alter the culture or perspective of Americans, technological or scientific innovations that forever changed the way we live, business achievements which altered the course of one or multiple industries, or political decisions that permanently shifted later events in America and the world.

Vote for the Americans below you think had the greatest impact on the way we live today. Or if you don't see your selection, add it by making your own list.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 16 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 797
    Down 388

    most listed
    Steve Jobs

    1955 More
    97
  2. 2
    Up 840
    Down 315
    1955 More
    97
  3. 3
    Up 1128
    Down 984

    the people's #1
    Barack Obama

    1961 More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 1357
    Down 446
    1911 More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 607
    Down 642
    1946 More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 803
    Down 691
    1954 More
    75
  7. 7
    Up 851
    Down 649
    1946 More
    73
  8. 8
    Up 432
    Down 617
    1984 More
    69
  9. 9
    Up 505
    Down 413
    1930 More
    63
  10. 10
    Up 658
    Down 337
    1946 More
    62
  11. 11
    Up 663
    Down 730
    1947 More
    61
  12. 12
    Up 346
    Down 580
    1962 More
    59
  13. 13
    Up 448
    Down 385
    1947 More
    59
  14. 14
    Up 388
    Down 398
    1941 More
    59
  15. 15
    Up 194
    Down 494

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rupert Murdoch

    1931 More
    56
  16. 16
    Up 442
    Down 390
    1937 More
    55
  17. 17
    Up 482
    Down 337
    1944 More
    54
  18. 18
    Up 492
    Down 355
    1942 More
    51
  19. 19
    Up 244
    Down 672

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dick Cheney

    1941 More
    49
  20. 20
    Up 423
    Down 670
    1948 More
    49
  21. 21
    Up 234
    Down 451
    1926 More
    47
  22. 22
    Up 311
    Down 312
    1942 More
    47
  23. 23
    Up 453
    Down 321

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Jordan

    1963 More
    44
  24. 24
    Up 293
    Down 438
    1963 More
    43
  25. 25
    Up 318
    Down 284
    1922 More
    43
  26. 26
    Up 288
    Down 587
    1964 More
    42
  27. 27
    Up 301
    Down 546
    1951 More
    42
  28. 28
    Up 356
    Down 365
    1937 More
    41
  29. 29
    Up 160
    Down 382

    often listed
    Noam Chomsky

    1928 More
    40
  30. 30
    Up 120
    Down 433

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ben Bernanke

    1953 More
    39
  31. 31
    Up 263
    Down 252

    ranked low on reranks
    Lee Iacocca

    1924 More
    39
  32. 32
    Up 159
    Down 536

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    John McCain

    1936 More
    38
  33. 33
    Up 207
    Down 191

    ranked low on reranks
    Condoleezza Rice

    1954 More
    38
    added by: BostonBruins
  34. 34
    Up 326
    Down 394
    1924 More
    38
  35. 35
    Up 249
    Down 355
    1923 More
    36
  36. 36
    Up 174
    Down 333
    1942 More
    35
  37. 37
    Up 124
    Down 397
    1935 More
    34
  38. 38
    Up 169
    Down 343
    1934 More
    34
  39. 39
    Up 95
    Down 328
    1964 More
    34
  40. 40
    Up 218
    Down 361
    1954 More
    33
  41. 41
    Up 125
    Down 569
    1954 More
    33
  42. 42
    Up 260
    Down 481
    1924 More
    33
  43. 43
    Up 39
    Down 59
    1916 More
    32
    added by: jschro1861
  44. 44
    Up 183
    Down 491
    1954 More
    32
  45. 45
    Up 114
    Down 341
    1937 More
    31
  46. 46
    Up 212
    Down 435
    1975 More
    31
  47. 47
    Up 99
    Down 189
    1945 More
    31
  48. 48
    Up 121
    Down 448
    1950 More
    30
  49. 49
    Up 339
    Down 375

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith

    1968 More
    29
  50. 50
    Up 60
    Down 244
    1957 More
    29
  51. 62 +

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