The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
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originally by  tags 104,255 votes 5,302 voters 271,012 views 96 items f p @

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.

  • 23 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1195
    - 1233

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1148
    - 1322

    California, United States of America

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1389
    - 2085

    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1624
    - 1429

    Tampico, Illinois, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 796
    - 1631

    Hope, Arkansas, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 611
    - 1586

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 970
    - 1683

    Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 974
    - 526

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1030
    - 1686

    New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 875
    - 1075

    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 521
    - 1493

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 538
    - 1164

    Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 672
    - 1311

    Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 783
    - 1694

    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 639
    - 882

    Modesto, California, United States of America

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 503
    - 776

    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 593
    - 1413

    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 499
    - 865

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 185
    - 511

    Portland, Maine, United States of America

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 30
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 674
    - 1054

    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 671
    - 1317

    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 267
    - 1567

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Melbourne, Australia

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 346
    - 637

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

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 567
    - 1475

    Washington, D.C., United States of America

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 572
    - 882

    ranked low on reranks
    Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 324
    - 1148

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 357
    - 743

    Pretoria, South Africa

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 556
    - 909

    Kapuskasing, Canada

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 91
    - 18

    Yate, United Kingdom

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 162
    - 49

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 339
    - 870

    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 501
    - 1169

    Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 389
    - 1107

    Flint, Michigan, United States of America

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 431
    - 1057

    East Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 420
    - 1182

    Coco Solo

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 372
    - 1080

    often listed
    Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 539
    - 946

    Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 25
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 115
    - 85

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

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 527
    - 1063

    Harlem, New York City, New York

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 409
    - 734

    added by BostonBruins
    Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 114
    - 81

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 485
    - 1316

    Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States of America

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 432
    - 1045

    Fürth, Germany

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 363
    - 1438

    Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 319
    - 626

    Glasgow, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 33
    - 14

    added by but chickens double d
    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 335
    - 911

    Winsted, Connecticut, United States of America

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 289
    - 1011

    Wichita, Kansas, United States of America

    ) open
97 +

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