The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
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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.

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  1. 1
    + 1143
    - 1129

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Seattle, Washington, United States of America

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1092
    - 1217

    California, United States of America

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1354
    - 1954

    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1584
    - 1311

    Tampico, Illinois, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 771
    - 1507

    Hope, Arkansas, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 585
    - 1462

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    White Plains, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 946
    - 1552

    Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1003
    - 1554

    New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 483
    - 1385

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 842
    - 986

    ranked low on reranks
    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 771
    - 1574

    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 519
    - 1073

    Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 649
    - 1227

    Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 815
    - 496

    ranked low on reranks & added by nico
    Columbus, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 479
    - 763

    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 607
    - 873

    Modesto, California, United States of America

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 259
    - 1448

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Melbourne, Australia

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 574
    - 1296

    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 476
    - 856

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 167
    - 498

    Portland, Maine, United States of America

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 646
    - 1221

    ranked low on reranks
    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 310
    - 1139

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 553
    - 1456

    Washington, D.C., United States of America

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 331
    - 629

    added by jschro1861
    Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States of America

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 648
    - 1040

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 563
    - 873

    Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 342
    - 735

    Pretoria, South Africa

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 325
    - 862

    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 378
    - 1096

    Flint, Michigan, United States of America

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 364
    - 1070

    Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 423
    - 1049

    East Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 479
    - 1162

    Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 544
    - 901

    ranked low on reranks
    Kapuskasing, Canada

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 409
    - 1173

    Coco Solo

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 355
    - 1424

    Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 527
    - 903

    ranked low on reranks
    Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 476
    - 1291

    Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States of America

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 516
    - 1049

    Harlem, New York City, New York

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 424
    - 1037

    Fürth, Germany

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 398
    - 721

    added by BostonBruins
    Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 329
    - 903

    Winsted, Connecticut, United States of America

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 283
    - 1002

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Wichita, Kansas, United States of America

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 315
    - 616

    Glasgow, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 142
    - 44

    ranked low on reranks & added by TerriDoughertyy
    Wilmette, Illinois, United States of America

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 64
    - 9

    Yate, United Kingdom

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 105
    - 68

    added by Amy Lindorff
    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 102
    - 73

    added by Amy Lindorff
    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 539
    - 1065

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 454
    - 1034

    Milton, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 372
    - 1452

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sandpoint, Idaho, United States of America

    ) open
72 +

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