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
+ - 35,797 25,775
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
+ - 23,512 18,813
Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Isaac Newton Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist

3
+ - 24,226 18,711
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Albert Einstein Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

4
+ - 21,420 15,888
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
+ - 17,707 15,519
Aristotle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Aristotle Tutor, Polymath, Scientist

6
+ - 37,156 29,485
Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Muhammad Merchant, Prophet

7
+ - 16,567 13,540
Galileo Galilei is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Galileo Galilei Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

8
+ - 15,668 15,217
Charles Darwin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charles Darwin Biologist, Scientist, Naturalist

9
+ - 14,210 13,043
Plato is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Plato Mathematician, Physicist, Writer

10
+ - 13,767 13,006
Alexander the Great is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

11
+ - 13,654 11,793
Socrates is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Socrates Philosopher

12
+ - 13,252 11,977
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
William Shakespeare Poet, Lyricist, Author

13
+ - 17,163 15,082
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Mahatma Gandhi Politician, Writer, Philosopher

14
+ - 15,509 13,184
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
+ - 14,718 12,127
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
+ - 15,044 12,407
Moses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Moses Prophet

17
+ - 35,301 49,824
Adolf Hitler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Adolf Hitler Politician, Soldier, Writer

18
+ - 11,347 11,215
Gautama Buddha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Gautama Buddha Philosopher

19
+ - 10,168 10,668
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
George Washington Surveyor, Politician, Soldier

20
+ - 9,953 12,427
Karl Marx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Karl Marx Sociologist, Politician, Historian

21
+ - 9,586 9,129
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Julius Caesar Politician, Author

22
+ - 11,032 9,198
Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nikola Tesla Futurist, Physicist, Inventor

23
+ - 7,971 8,142
Napoleon Bonaparte is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Napoleon Bonaparte Politician, Military Officer

24
+ - 6,834 7,175
Martin Luther is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Martin Luther Priest, Theologian, Professor

25
+ - 6,093 6,578
Johannes Gutenberg is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Johannes Gutenberg Engraver, Inventor, Printer

26
+ - 7,656 8,006
Thomas Edison is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Edison Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

27
+ - 8,945 7,842
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nelson Mandela Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

28
+ - 9,222 8,016
Genghis Khan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Genghis Khan Warrior

29
+ - 5,809 5,498
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
+ - 4,660 3,805
Marie Curie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Marie Curie Physicist, Chemist, Scientist

31
+ - 4,546 3,916
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
+ - 4,441 4,934
Homer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Homer Poet, Author, Writer

33
+ - 5,479 5,624
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Jefferson Statesman, Inventor, Author

34
+ - 5,832 5,187
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Henry Ford Business magnate, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

35
+ - 5,918 6,747
Confucius is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Confucius Philosopher

36
+ - 6,535 6,360
Bill Gates is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Bill Gates Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson

37
+ - 5,977 5,236
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Benjamin Franklin Statesman, Librarian, Politician

38
+ - 6,339 5,922
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
+ - 4,920 4,163
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Michelangelo Sculptor, Painter, Poet

40
+ - 5,256 4,659
Pythagoras is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Pythagoras Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer

41
+ - 4,398 5,716
Christopher Columbus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Christopher Columbus Navigator, Sailor, Explorer

42
+ - 3,837 5,272
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
+ - 3,287 4,179
Charlemagne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charlemagne Politician

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44
+ - 4,747 6,729
Vladimir Lenin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Vladimir Lenin Politician, Economist, Revolutionary

45
+ - 4,981 5,278
Winston Churchill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Winston Churchill Statesman, Painter, Politician

46
+ - 5,097 4,736
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

47
+ - 2,394 2,378
Archimedes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Archimedes Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor

48
+ - 4,051 4,729
Nicolaus Copernicus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nicolaus Copernicus Mathematician, Diplomat, Physician

49
+ - 2,478 3,385
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
+ - 4,160 4,321
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Alexander Graham Bell Businessperson, Physicist, Entrepreneur