The Most Influential Contemporary Americans People
Ultimate List
16  reranks 46,800 votes 2,383 voters 213,807 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 785
    Down 375

    most listed
    Steve Jobs

    1955 More
    98
  2. 2
    Up 834
    Down 298
    1955 More
    98
  3. 3
    Up 1124
    Down 961

    the people's #1
    Barack Obama

    1961 More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 1347
    Down 429
    1911 More
    88
  5. 5
    Up 600
    Down 622
    1946 More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 800
    Down 670
    1954 More
    75
  7. 7
    Up 846
    Down 630
    1946 More
    73
  8. 8
    Up 429
    Down 597
    1984 More
    70
  9. 9
    Up 496
    Down 398
    1930 More
    63
  10. 10
    Up 650
    Down 323
    1946 More
    63
  11. 11
    Up 660
    Down 709
    1947 More
    61
  12. 12
    Up 341
    Down 563
    1962 More
    60
  13. 13
    Up 443
    Down 369
    1947 More
    59
  14. 14
    Up 382
    Down 383
    1941 More
    59
  15. 15
    Up 193
    Down 476

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rupert Murdoch

    1931 More
    56
  16. 16
    Up 436
    Down 376
    1937 More
    55
  17. 17
    Up 476
    Down 324
    1944 More
    55
  18. 18
    Up 488
    Down 340
    1942 More
    52
  19. 19
    Up 241
    Down 655

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dick Cheney

    1941 More
    49
  20. 20
    Up 419
    Down 653
    1948 More
    49
  21. 21
    Up 234
    Down 435
    1926 More
    48
  22. 22
    Up 308
    Down 300
    1942 More
    47
  23. 23
    Up 447
    Down 309

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Jordan

    1963 More
    45
  24. 24
    Up 316
    Down 271
    1922 More
    44
  25. 25
    Up 289
    Down 425
    1963 More
    44
  26. 26
    Up 284
    Down 569
    1964 More
    42
  27. 27
    Up 298
    Down 527
    1951 More
    42
  28. 28
    Up 353
    Down 351
    1937 More
    41
  29. 29
    Up 156
    Down 368

    often listed
    Noam Chomsky

    1928 More
    40
  30. 30
    Up 262
    Down 238
    1924 More
    40
  31. 31
    Up 118
    Down 420

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ben Bernanke

    1953 More
    39
  32. 32
    Up 158
    Down 522

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    John McCain

    1936 More
    39
  33. 33
    Up 204
    Down 175

    ranked low on reranks
    Condoleezza Rice

    1954 More
    39
    added by: BostonBruins
  34. 34
    Up 322
    Down 377
    1924 More
    38
  35. 35
    Up 247
    Down 340
    1923 More
    36
  36. 36
    Up 173
    Down 319
    1942 More
    36
  37. 37
    Up 123
    Down 383
    1935 More
    35
  38. 38
    Up 167
    Down 329
    1934 More
    34
  39. 39
    Up 95
    Down 314
    1964 More
    34
  40. 40
    Up 216
    Down 348
    1954 More
    34
  41. 41
    Up 258
    Down 464
    1924 More
    33
  42. 42
    Up 123
    Down 553
    1954 More
    33
  43. 43
    Up 36
    Down 46
    1916 More
    33
    added by: jschro1861
  44. 44
    Up 181
    Down 477
    1954 More
    32
  45. 45
    Up 98
    Down 176
    1945 More
    32
  46. 46
    Up 114
    Down 328
    1937 More
    32
  47. 47
    Up 210
    Down 421
    1975 More
    31
  48. 48
    Up 121
    Down 435
    1950 More
    31
  49. 49
    Up 337
    Down 363

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith

    1968 More
    30
  50. 50
    Up 59
    Down 232
    1957 More
    29
  51. 64 +

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