history The Most Influential People of All Time  

Originally by
1.6M votes 103k voters 1.8M views 2,648 items Follow Embed

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
+ - 36,084 25,922
Jesus Christ is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Jesus Christ Carpenter, Prophet, Preacher

Famous Suicides List The 10 Strangest, Most Terrifying Creatures Ever Found

2
+ - 23,677 18,917
Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Isaac Newton Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist

3
+ - 24,420 18,794
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Albert Einstein Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

4
+ - 21,562 15,969
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
+ - 17,839 15,589
Aristotle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Aristotle Tutor, Polymath, Scientist

6
+ - 16,671 13,593
Galileo Galilei is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Galileo Galilei Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

7
+ - 37,429 29,644
Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Muhammad Merchant, Prophet

8
+ - 14,300 13,079
Plato is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Plato Mathematician, Physicist, Writer

9
+ - 15,779 15,305
Charles Darwin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charles Darwin Biologist, Scientist, Naturalist

10
+ - 13,872 13,060
Alexander the Great is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

11
+ - 13,736 11,824
Socrates is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Socrates Philosopher

12
+ - 13,329 12,031
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
William Shakespeare Poet, Lyricist, Author

13
+ - 17,277 15,141
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Mahatma Gandhi Politician, Writer, Philosopher

14
+ - 15,632 13,228
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
+ - 14,827 12,156
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Abraham Lincoln Statesman, Politician, Lawyer

24 Old Celebrities You Didn't Realize Are Still Alive The 50+ Most Hilarious Signs

16
+ - 15,120 12,451
Moses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Moses Prophet

17
+ - 35,429 49,936
Adolf Hitler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Adolf Hitler Politician, Soldier, Writer

18
+ - 11,418 11,263
Gautama Buddha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Gautama Buddha Philosopher

19
+ - 10,258 10,709
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
George Washington Surveyor, Politician, Soldier

20
+ - 10,027 12,501
Karl Marx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Karl Marx Sociologist, Politician, Historian

21
+ - 9,658 9,163
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Julius Caesar Politician, Author

22
+ - 11,147 9,225
Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nikola Tesla Futurist, Physicist, Inventor

23
+ - 8,038 8,184
Napoleon Bonaparte is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Napoleon Bonaparte Politician, Military Officer

24
+ - 6,893 7,206
Martin Luther is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Martin Luther Priest, Theologian, Professor

25
+ - 6,137 6,606
Johannes Gutenberg is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Johannes Gutenberg Engraver, Inventor, Printer

26
+ - 7,711 8,064
Thomas Edison is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Edison Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

27
+ - 9,023 7,908
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nelson Mandela Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

28
+ - 9,301 8,044
Genghis Khan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Genghis Khan Warrior

29
+ - 5,853 5,522
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pianist, Musician, Composer

Celebrities You Wouldn't Want as Neighbors Actors You Would Watch Read the Phone Book

30
+ - 4,726 3,824
Marie Curie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Marie Curie Physicist, Chemist, Scientist

31
+ - 4,597 3,934
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
+ - 4,482 4,951
Homer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Homer Poet, Author, Writer

33
+ - 5,544 5,647
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Jefferson Statesman, Inventor, Author

34
+ - 5,882 5,212
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Henry Ford Business magnate, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

35
+ - 6,601 6,424
Bill Gates is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Bill Gates Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson

36
+ - 6,039 5,248
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Benjamin Franklin Statesman, Librarian, Politician

37
+ - 6,380 5,955
Paul the Apostle is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Paul the Apostle Missionary, Prophet, Tentmaker

38
+ - 5,957 6,769
Confucius is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Confucius Philosopher

39
+ - 4,958 4,181
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Michelangelo Sculptor, Painter, Poet

40
+ - 5,302 4,671
Pythagoras is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Pythagoras Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer

41
+ - 4,435 5,742
Christopher Columbus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Christopher Columbus Navigator, Sailor, Explorer

42
+ - 3,876 5,315
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
+ - 3,314 4,200
Charlemagne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charlemagne Politician

Who Did These Eventually Famous Kids Grow Up To Be? The Worst Ways to Die

44
+ - 4,774 6,791
Vladimir Lenin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Vladimir Lenin Politician, Economist, Revolutionary

45
+ - 5,036 5,297
Winston Churchill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Winston Churchill Statesman, Painter, Politician

46
+ - 2,429 2,389
Archimedes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Archimedes Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor

47
+ - 5,143 4,747
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

48
+ - 4,085 4,741
Nicolaus Copernicus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nicolaus Copernicus Mathematician, Diplomat, Physician

49
+ - 2,499 3,404
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
+ - 4,188 4,334
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Alexander Graham Bell Businessperson, Physicist, Entrepreneur