The Most Influential People of All Time

1.2M votes 83k voters 1.6M views 2,574 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 227 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 30,196
    - 20,099

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Carpenter, Prophet, Preacher

    ;
  2. 2
    + 17,493
    - 13,310


    Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist

    ;
  3. 3
    + 17,351
    - 12,861


    Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

    ;
  4. 4
    + 15,394
    - 10,717


    Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist

    ;
  5. 5
    + 12,562
    - 10,461


    Tutor, Polymath, Scientist

    ;
  6. 6
    + 11,284
    - 8,798


    Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

    ;
  7. 7
    + 27,620
    - 20,854


    Merchant, Prophet

    ;
  8. 8
    + 9,561
    - 8,469


    Mathematician, Physicist, Writer

    ;
  9. 9
    + 9,084
    - 8,414


    ;
  10. 10
    + 10,595
    - 10,128


    Biologist, Scientist, Naturalist

    ;
  11. 11
    + 8,352
    - 7,360


    Poet, Lyricist, Author

    ;
  12. 12
    + 11,391
    - 9,708


    Politician, Writer, Philosopher

    ;
  13. 13
    + 8,997
    - 7,429


    Philosopher

    ;
  14. 14
    + 9,267
    - 7,467


    Civil rights activist, Writer, Minister of religion

    ;
  15. 15
    + 9,292
    - 7,466


    Statesman, Politician, Lawyer

    ;
  16. 16
    + 6,959
    - 6,950


    Surveyor, Politician, Soldier

    ;
  17. 17
    + 9,675
    - 7,659


    Prophet

    ;
  18. 18
    + 6,461
    - 7,944

    often listed
    Sociologist, Politician, Historian

    ;
  19. 19
    + 8,099
    - 8,080


    Philosopher

    ;
  20. 20
    + 24,380
    - 39,082

    often listed
    Politician, Soldier, Writer

    ;
  21. 21
    + 7,314
    - 6,677


    Politician, Author

    ;
  22. 22
    + 5,043
    - 4,792


    Priest, Theologian, Professor

    ;
  23. 23
    + 8,650
    - 7,028


    Futurist, Physicist, Inventor

    ;
  24. 24
    + 6,251
    - 6,065

    often listed
    Politician, Military Officer

    ;
  25. 25
    + 4,607
    - 3,627

    ranked low on reranks
    Pianist, Musician, Composer

    ;
  26. 26
    + 4,804
    - 4,872

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Engraver, Inventor, Printer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 5,888
    - 5,969

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

    ;
  28. 28
    + 6,084
    - 4,951

    ranked low on reranks
    Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

    ;
  29. 29
    + 7,715
    - 6,404


    Warrior

    ;
  30. 30
    + 3,438
    - 2,548

    ranked low on reranks
    Songwriter, Pianist, Musician

    ;
  31. 31
    + 3,560
    - 3,539

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Poet, Author, Writer

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2,869
    - 2,218


    Physicist, Chemist, Scientist

    ;
  33. 33
    + 3,982
    - 2,954


    Sculptor, Painter, Poet

    ;
  34. 34
    + 4,959
    - 5,445

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Philosopher

    ;
  35. 35
    + 4,444
    - 4,450


    Statesman, Inventor, Author

    ;
  36. 36
    + 5,270
    - 4,652


    Missionary, Prophet, Tentmaker

    ;
  37. 37
    + 4,848
    - 4,115


    Statesman, Librarian, Politician

    ;
  38. 38
    + 4,820
    - 4,618


    Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson

    ;
  39. 39
    + 4,358
    - 3,678


    Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer

    ;
  40. 40
    + 4,595
    - 4,066


    Business magnate, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2,929
    - 3,939


    Politician, Military Officer, Author

    ;
  42. 42
    + 3,628
    - 4,623


    Navigator, Sailor, Explorer

    ;
  43. 43
    + 2,451
    - 3,248


    Politician

    ;
  44. 44
    + 3,537
    - 4,926

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Politician, Economist, Revolutionary

    ;
  45. 45
    + 4,086
    - 4,026

    ranked low on reranks
    Statesman, Painter, Politician

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,656
    - 1,592

    ranked low on reranks & added by acalabr
    Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,930
    - 2,495

    often listed & added by EnriqueSanchez
    Musician, Harpsichordist, Composer

    ;
  48. 48
    + 4,303
    - 3,845

    ranked low on reranks

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,262
    - 1,358


    Physician

    ;
  50. 50
    + 3,507
    - 4,037


    Mathematician, Diplomat, Physician

    ;
2575 +

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