united states The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History  

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List Rules American leaders only. Note: "Most important" or "most influential" does not equal "best."

List of the most important leaders in U.S. history. Love 'em or hate 'em, these leaders shaped American history from its founding through today. Men and women who have truly defined America through their work and leadership, even if it did not mean serving political office, are ranked here on this master list of leaders. Pioneers who changed the landscape, from the Civil Rights Movement, to Women's Suffrage, to the atom bomb, appear on this list of American leaders who changed the world.

The most important American presidents are ranked here, like Harry S. Truman and George Washington to name a few, along with First Ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt. Industry leaders like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller cannot be overlooked, nor can leaders who were not in the U.S. government itself, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony.

Leadership takes many forms throughout American history, and famous American leaders pervade all of history, but this list gives props to those who were the most influential. Vote up the most important U.S. leaders below, or if the United States is too small for you, make sure to peruse this list of The Most Important Leaders in World History.
list ordered by

1
+ - 1,680 245
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
George Washington Died at 67 (1732-1799)

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2
+ - 1,416 266
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Thomas Jefferson Died at 83 (1743-1826)

3
+ - 1,539 633
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Abraham Lincoln Died at 56 (1809-1865)

4
+ - 995 347
James Madison is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
James Madison Died at 85 (1751-1836)

5
+ - 831 398
Thomas Paine is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Thomas Paine Died at 72 (1737-1809)

6
+ - 835 625
Eleanor Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Eleanor Roosevelt Died at 78 (1884-1962)

7
+ - 903 1,736
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Donald Trump age 70

8
+ - 607 295
Patrick Henry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Patrick Henry Died at 63 (1736-1799)

9
+ - 1,602 190
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Benjamin Franklin Died at 84 (1706-1790)

10
+ - 915 290
John Hancock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Hancock Died at 56 (1737-1793)

11
+ - 988 259
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Adams Died at 91 (1735-1826)

12
+ - 990 688
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John F. Kennedy Died at 46 (1917-1963)

13
+ - 1,081 757
Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Martin Luther King, Jr. Died at 39 (1929-1968)

14
+ - 652 231
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
James Monroe Died at 73 (1758-1831)

15
+ - 1,216 422
Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Franklin D. Roosevelt Died at 63 (1882-1945)

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16
+ - 972 246
Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Dwight D. Eisenhower Died at 79 (1890-1969)

17
+ - 1,125 228
Theodore Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Theodore Roosevelt Died at 61 (1858-1919)

18
+ - 926 253
Alexander Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Alexander Hamilton Died at 47 (1757-1804)

19
+ - 501 398
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Died at 65 (1929-1994)

20
+ - 787 312
Ulysses S. Grant is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Ulysses S. Grant Died at 63 (1822-1885)

21
+ - 1,003 453
Ronald Reagan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Ronald Reagan Died at 93 (1911-2004)

22
+ - 610 279
Douglas MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Douglas MacArthur Died at 84 (1880-1964)

23
+ - 630 378
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Henry Ford Died at 84 (1863-1947)

24
+ - 751 402
Andrew Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Andrew Jackson Died at 78 (1767-1845)

25
+ - 744 194
George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
George S. Patton Died at 60 (1885-1945) -  (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945)

26
+ - 558 203
Harry S. Truman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Harry S. Truman Died at 88 (1884-1972)

27
+ - 744 338
Robert E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Robert E. Lee Died at 63 (1807-1870)

28
+ - 564 313
William Tecumseh Sherman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
William Tecumseh Sherman Died at 71 (1820-1891)

29
+ - 686 273
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Mark Twain Died at 75 (1835-1910)

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30
+ - 703 293
Thomas Edison is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Thomas Edison Died at 84 (1847-1931)

31
+ - 598 194
Samuel Adams is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Samuel Adams Died at 81 (1722-1803)

32
+ - 465 191
Paul Revere is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Paul Revere Died at 83 (1735-1818)

33
+ - 509 235
Susan B. Anthony is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Susan B. Anthony Died at 86 (1820-1906)

34
+ - 482 230
John Marshall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Marshall Died at 80 (1755-1835)

35
+ - 441 216
Chester W. Nimitz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Chester W. Nimitz Died at 81 (1885-1966)

36
+ - 665 231
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

37
+ - 325 152
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
George Marshall Died at 79 (1880-1959)

38
+ - 483 265
Andrew Carnegie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Andrew Carnegie Died at 84 (1835-1919)

39
+ - 496 227
Sitting Bull is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Sitting Bull Died at 59 (1831-1890)

40
+ - 567 224
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Alexander Graham Bell Died at 75 (1847-1922)

41
+ - 370 252
Henry Clay is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Henry Clay Died at 75 (1777-1852)

42
+ - 383 188
Samuel Morse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Samuel Morse Died at 81 (1791-1872)

43
+ - 468 177
Robert Oppenheimer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Robert Oppenheimer Died at 63 (1904-1967)

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44
+ - 522 177
Jonas Salk is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Jonas Salk Died at 81 (1914-1995)

45
+ - 373 226
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Helen Keller Died at 88 (1880-1968)

46
+ - 620 273
Stonewall Jackson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Stonewall Jackson Died at 39 (1824-1863)

47
+ - 492 337
John D. Rockefeller is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John D. Rockefeller Died at 98 (1839-1937)

48
+ - 415 282
James K. Polk is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
James K. Polk Died at 54 (1795-1849)

49
+ - 355 113
John Glenn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Glenn age 95

50
+ - 380 229
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Babe Ruth Died at 53 (1895-1948)