The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
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16  reranks 47,825 votes 2,468 voters 216,841 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
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    • Region
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 805
    Down 396

    most listed
    Steve Jobs

    1955 More
    97
  2. 2
    Up 846
    Down 323
    1955 More
    97
  3. 3
    Up 1131
    Down 999

    the people's #1
    Barack Obama

    1961 More
    90
  4. 4
    Up 1367
    Down 452
    1911 More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 611
    Down 654
    1946 More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 805
    Down 703
    1954 More
    75
  7. 7
    Up 856
    Down 658
    1946 More
    73
  8. 8
    Up 439
    Down 625
    1984 More
    69
  9. 9
    Up 507
    Down 421
    1930 More
    62
  10. 10
    Up 665
    Down 345
    1946 More
    62
  11. 11
    Up 665
    Down 744
    1947 More
    61
  12. 12
    Up 349
    Down 590
    1962 More
    59
  13. 13
    Up 392
    Down 405
    1941 More
    59
  14. 14
    Up 197
    Down 501

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rupert Murdoch

    1931 More
    56
  15. 15
    Up 447
    Down 396
    1937 More
    55
  16. 16
    Up 486
    Down 343
    1944 More
    54
  17. 17
    Up 494
    Down 364
    1942 More
    51
  18. 18
    Up 248
    Down 680
    1941 More
    49
  19. 19
    Up 426
    Down 680
    1948 More
    49
  20. 20
    Up 236
    Down 461
    1926 More
    47
  21. 21
    Up 9
    Down 8
    1947 More
    47
  22. 22
    Up 314
    Down 320
    1942 More
    46
  23. 23
    Up 456
    Down 328

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Jordan

    1963 More
    44
  24. 24
    Up 296
    Down 446
    1963 More
    43
  25. 25
    Up 322
    Down 289
    1922 More
    43
  26. 26
    Up 290
    Down 593
    1964 More
    42
  27. 27
    Up 307
    Down 552
    1951 More
    42
  28. 28
    Up 361
    Down 371
    1937 More
    41
  29. 29
    Up 163
    Down 389

    often listed
    Noam Chomsky

    1928 More
    39
  30. 30
    Up 120
    Down 442

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ben Bernanke

    1953 More
    39
  31. 31
    Up 266
    Down 259

    ranked low on reranks
    Lee Iacocca

    1924 More
    39
  32. 32
    Up 162
    Down 542

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    John McCain

    1936 More
    38
  33. 33
    Up 331
    Down 400
    1924 More
    38
  34. 34
    Up 209
    Down 198
    1954 More
    37
    added by: BostonBruins
  35. 35
    Up 253
    Down 360
    1923 More
    36
  36. 36
    Up 176
    Down 339
    1942 More
    35
  37. 37
    Up 127
    Down 403
    1935 More
    34
  38. 38
    Up 171
    Down 349
    1934 More
    34
  39. 39
    Up 96
    Down 334
    1964 More
    33
  40. 40
    Up 219
    Down 368
    1954 More
    33
  41. 41
    Up 126
    Down 579
    1954 More
    33
  42. 42
    Up 262
    Down 489
    1924 More
    33
  43. 43
    Up 42
    Down 66
    1916 More
    32
    added by: jschro1861
  44. 44
    Up 184
    Down 500
    1954 More
    32
  45. 45
    Up 116
    Down 348
    1937 More
    31
  46. 46
    Up 213
    Down 443
    1975 More
    31
  47. 47
    Up 101
    Down 196
    1945 More
    31
  48. 48
    Up 123
    Down 456
    1950 More
    30
  49. 49
    Up 342
    Down 381

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith

    1968 More
    29
  50. 50
    Up 62
    Down 252
    1957 More
    29
  51. 62 +

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