The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
Ultimate List
16  reranks 45,981 votes 2,368 voters 213,294 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 834
    Down 285
    1955 More
    98
  2. 2
    Up 784
    Down 362

    most listed
    Steve Jobs

    1955 More
    98
  3. 3
    Up 1124
    Down 948

    the people's #1
    Barack Obama

    1961 More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 1347
    Down 415
    1911 More
    88
  5. 5
    Up 600
    Down 609
    1946 More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 800
    Down 657
    1954 More
    76
  7. 7
    Up 846
    Down 617
    1946 More
    74
  8. 8
    Up 429
    Down 584
    1984 More
    70
  9. 9
    Up 496
    Down 385
    1930 More
    63
  10. 10
    Up 650
    Down 310
    1946 More
    63
  11. 11
    Up 660
    Down 696
    1947 More
    62
  12. 12
    Up 341
    Down 550
    1962 More
    60
  13. 13
    Up 443
    Down 356
    1947 More
    60
  14. 14
    Up 382
    Down 370
    1941 More
    60
  15. 15
    Up 193
    Down 463

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rupert Murdoch

    1931 More
    56
  16. 16
    Up 436
    Down 363
    1937 More
    56
  17. 17
    Up 476
    Down 311
    1944 More
    55
  18. 18
    Up 488
    Down 327
    1942 More
    52
  19. 19
    Up 241
    Down 642

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dick Cheney

    1941 More
    50
  20. 20
    Up 419
    Down 640
    1948 More
    49
  21. 21
    Up 234
    Down 422
    1926 More
    48
  22. 22
    Up 308
    Down 287
    1942 More
    48
  23. 23
    Up 447
    Down 296

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Jordan

    1963 More
    46
  24. 24
    Up 316
    Down 258
    1922 More
    44
  25. 25
    Up 289
    Down 412
    1963 More
    44
  26. 26
    Up 284
    Down 556
    1964 More
    43
  27. 27
    Up 298
    Down 514
    1951 More
    43
  28. 28
    Up 353
    Down 338
    1937 More
    42
  29. 29
    Up 262
    Down 225
    1924 More
    40
  30. 30
    Up 156
    Down 355

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Noam Chomsky

    1928 More
    40
  31. 31
    Up 118
    Down 407

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ben Bernanke

    1953 More
    40
  32. 32
    Up 204
    Down 162

    ranked low on reranks
    Condoleezza Rice

    1954 More
    39
    added by: BostonBruins
  33. 33
    Up 158
    Down 509

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    John McCain

    1936 More
    39
  34. 34
    Up 322
    Down 364

    ranked low on reranks
    George H. W. Bush

    1924 More
    39
  35. 35
    Up 247
    Down 327
    1923 More
    37
  36. 36
    Up 173
    Down 306
    1942 More
    37
  37. 37
    Up 123
    Down 370
    1935 More
    35
  38. 38
    Up 167
    Down 316
    1934 More
    35
  39. 39
    Up 95
    Down 301
    1964 More
    35
  40. 40
    Up 216
    Down 335
    1954 More
    34
  41. 41
    Up 36
    Down 33
    1916 More
    34
    added by: jschro1861
  42. 42
    Up 258
    Down 451
    1924 More
    34
  43. 43
    Up 123
    Down 540
    1954 More
    33
  44. 44
    Up 181
    Down 464
    1954 More
    32
  45. 45
    Up 98
    Down 163
    1945 More
    32
  46. 46
    Up 114
    Down 315
    1937 More
    32
  47. 47
    Up 210
    Down 408
    1975 More
    32
  48. 48
    Up 121
    Down 422
    1950 More
    31
  49. 49
    Up 337
    Down 351

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith

    1968 More
    30
  50. 50
    Up 59
    Down 219
    1957 More
    30
  51. 64 +

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