history The Most Influential People of All Time  

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List Rules Vote on humans who have had the most influence on the history of the world--good or bad. They can be from any period of time.

This is a list of the most influential people of all of human history. This means that the individuals on this list have had a significant effect on how regular people live their lives today and have had a large impact on how modern society works. The names on this list include religious figures, scientists and inventors, and some of the most important leaders in world history. Vote for your top choices and re-rank this list your way.

What makes an individual worthy of a spot on a list of the most influential people ever? Certainly, some of the greatest minds of all time deserve to be ranked highly. Examples include Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, and certainly Albert Einstein. Each one of these incredible people used the power of their minds to change the world. Not surprisingly, several names on this list are also among the most famous role models we'd like to meet in person.

And modern-era figures also deserve to be listed here. Can anyone argue that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg aren't among the most influential contemporary Americans? It's time to add your opinions on who you believe are the most influential people who ever lived, with your votes and your rankings.
list ordered by

1
+ - 35,721 25,737
Jesus Christ is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Jesus Christ Carpenter, Prophet, Preacher

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2
+ - 23,484 18,783
Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Isaac Newton Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist

3
+ - 24,191 18,687
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Albert Einstein Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

4
+ - 21,392 15,866
Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Leonardo da Vinci Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist

5
+ - 17,688 15,498
Aristotle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Aristotle Tutor, Polymath, Scientist

6
+ - 37,105 29,441
Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Muhammad Merchant, Prophet

7
+ - 16,543 13,529
Galileo Galilei is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Galileo Galilei Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

8
+ - 15,639 15,195
Charles Darwin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charles Darwin Biologist, Scientist, Naturalist

9
+ - 14,197 13,031
Plato is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Plato Mathematician, Physicist, Writer

10
+ - 13,739 13,000
Alexander the Great is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

11
+ - 13,642 11,786
Socrates is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Socrates Philosopher

12
+ - 13,234 11,969
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
William Shakespeare Poet, Lyricist, Author

13
+ - 17,142 15,072
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Mahatma Gandhi Politician, Writer, Philosopher

14
+ - 15,485 13,176
Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil rights activist, Writer, Minister of religion

15
+ - 14,703 12,119
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Abraham Lincoln Statesman, Politician, Lawyer

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16
+ - 15,020 12,398
Moses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Moses Prophet

17
+ - 35,270 49,802
Adolf Hitler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Adolf Hitler Politician, Soldier, Writer

18
+ - 11,334 11,206
Gautama Buddha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Gautama Buddha Philosopher

19
+ - 10,147 10,659
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
George Washington Surveyor, Politician, Soldier

20
+ - 9,946 12,404
Karl Marx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Karl Marx Sociologist, Politician, Historian

21
+ - 9,568 9,127
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Julius Caesar Politician, Author

22
+ - 11,012 9,188
Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nikola Tesla Futurist, Physicist, Inventor

23
+ - 7,948 8,136
Napoleon Bonaparte is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Napoleon Bonaparte Politician, Military Officer

24
+ - 6,821 7,169
Martin Luther is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Martin Luther Priest, Theologian, Professor

25
+ - 6,087 6,571
Johannes Gutenberg is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Johannes Gutenberg Engraver, Inventor, Printer

26
+ - 7,645 7,989
Thomas Edison is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Edison Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

27
+ - 8,931 7,824
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nelson Mandela Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

28
+ - 9,201 8,008
Genghis Khan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Genghis Khan Warrior

29
+ - 5,800 5,491
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pianist, Musician, Composer

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30
+ - 4,651 3,800
Marie Curie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Marie Curie Physicist, Chemist, Scientist

31
+ - 4,536 3,911
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Songwriter, Pianist, Musician

32
+ - 4,434 4,926
Homer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Homer Poet, Author, Writer

33
+ - 5,463 5,619
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Jefferson Statesman, Inventor, Author

34
+ - 5,823 5,181
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Henry Ford Business magnate, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

35
+ - 6,521 6,346
Bill Gates is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Bill Gates Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson

36
+ - 5,908 6,742
Confucius is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Confucius Philosopher

37
+ - 5,959 5,231
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Benjamin Franklin Statesman, Librarian, Politician

38
+ - 6,328 5,917
Paul the Apostle is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Paul the Apostle Missionary, Prophet, Tentmaker

39
+ - 4,908 4,158
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Michelangelo Sculptor, Painter, Poet

40
+ - 5,246 4,655
Pythagoras is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Pythagoras Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer

41
+ - 4,390 5,710
Christopher Columbus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Christopher Columbus Navigator, Sailor, Explorer

42
+ - 3,833 5,262
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
John F. Kennedy Politician, Military Officer, Author

43
+ - 3,279 4,177
Charlemagne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charlemagne Politician

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44
+ - 4,741 6,714
Vladimir Lenin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Vladimir Lenin Politician, Economist, Revolutionary

45
+ - 4,970 5,272
Winston Churchill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Winston Churchill Statesman, Painter, Politician

46
+ - 2,390 2,374
Archimedes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Archimedes Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor

47
+ - 5,089 4,733
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

48
+ - 4,043 4,726
Nicolaus Copernicus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nicolaus Copernicus Mathematician, Diplomat, Physician

49
+ - 2,474 3,381
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Musician, Harpsichordist, Composer

50
+ - 4,152 4,319
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Alexander Graham Bell Businessperson, Physicist, Entrepreneur