history The Most Influential People of All Time  

1.5M votes 99k voters 1.3M views 2,625 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.

1
+ - 34,900 25,326
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
+ - 23,063 18,455
Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Isaac Newton Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist

3
+ - 23,675 18,432
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Albert Einstein Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

4
+ - 20,976 15,617
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
+ - 17,365 15,246
Aristotle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Aristotle Tutor, Polymath, Scientist

6
+ - 36,341 28,965
Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Muhammad Merchant, Prophet

7
+ - 16,289 13,386
Galileo Galilei is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Galileo Galilei Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist

8
+ - 15,338 14,962
Charles Darwin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Charles Darwin Biologist, Scientist, Naturalist

9
+ - 13,964 12,892
Plato is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Plato Mathematician, Physicist, Writer

10
+ - 13,487 12,843
Alexander the Great is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

11
+ - 13,020 11,834
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
William Shakespeare Poet, Lyricist, Author

12
+ - 13,431 11,702
Socrates is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Socrates Philosopher

13
+ - 16,837 14,910
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Mahatma Gandhi Politician, Writer, Philosopher

14
+ - 15,183 13,035
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
+ - 14,441 12,000
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
+ - 14,765 12,283
Moses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Moses Prophet

17
+ - 34,905 49,468
Adolf Hitler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Adolf Hitler Politician, Soldier, Writer

18
+ - 11,080 11,105
Gautama Buddha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Gautama Buddha Philosopher

19
+ - 9,924 10,539
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
George Washington Surveyor, Politician, Soldier

20
+ - 9,778 12,196
Karl Marx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Karl Marx Sociologist, Politician, Historian

21
+ - 9,393 9,042
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Julius Caesar Politician, Author

22
+ - 10,748 9,113
Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nikola Tesla Futurist, Physicist, Inventor

23
+ - 7,795 8,028
Napoleon Bonaparte is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Napoleon Bonaparte Politician, Military Officer

24
+ - 6,672 7,078
Martin Luther is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Martin Luther Priest, Theologian, Professor

25
+ - 7,498 7,849
Thomas Edison is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Edison Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Film Producer

26
+ - 5,939 6,498
Johannes Gutenberg is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Johannes Gutenberg Engraver, Inventor, Printer

27
+ - 8,744 7,664
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nelson Mandela Statesman, Politician, Peace activist

28
+ - 8,993 7,921
Genghis Khan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Genghis Khan Warrior

29
+ - 5,661 5,428
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
+ - 4,501 3,715
Marie Curie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Marie Curie Physicist, Chemist, Scientist

31
+ - 4,346 4,859
Homer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Homer Poet, Author, Writer

32
+ - 4,371 3,863
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Songwriter, Pianist, Musician

33
+ - 6,344 6,187
Bill Gates is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Bill Gates Programmer, Software Architect, Businessperson

34
+ - 5,803 6,682
Confucius is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Confucius Philosopher

35
+ - 5,700 5,109
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Henry Ford Business magnate, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

36
+ - 6,209 5,857
Paul the Apostle is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Paul the Apostle Missionary, Prophet, Tentmaker

37
+ - 5,822 5,185
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Benjamin Franklin Statesman, Librarian, Politician

38
+ - 4,805 4,120
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Michelangelo Sculptor, Painter, Poet

39
+ - 5,308 5,563
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Thomas Jefferson Statesman, Inventor, Author

40
+ - 5,142 4,610
Pythagoras is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Pythagoras Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer

41
+ - 4,301 5,653
Christopher Columbus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Christopher Columbus Navigator, Sailor, Explorer

42
+ - 3,729 5,157
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
John F. Kennedy Politician, Soldier, Screenwriter

43
+ - 3,216 4,130
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
+ - 4,657 6,573
Vladimir Lenin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Vladimir Lenin Politician, Economist, Revolutionary

45
+ - 4,849 5,209
Winston Churchill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Winston Churchill Statesman, Painter, Politician

46
+ - 2,309 2,337
Archimedes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Archimedes Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor

47
+ - 4,987 4,690
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time

48
+ - 3,970 4,687
Nicolaus Copernicus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Nicolaus Copernicus Mathematician, Diplomat, Physician

49
+ - 2,403 3,329
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
+ - 4,057 4,283
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Alexander Graham Bell Businessperson, Physicist, Entrepreneur