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.

1
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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
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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
+ - 1,433 606
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
+ - 966 315
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
+ - 799 370
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
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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
+ - 584 251
Patrick Henry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Patrick Henry Died at 63 (1736-1799)

8
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Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Donald Trump age 70

9
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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
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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
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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
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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
+ - 635 213
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
James Monroe Died at 73 (1758-1831)

14
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Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Martin Luther King, Jr. Died at 39 (1929-1968)

15
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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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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
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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
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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Died at 65 (1929-1994)

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Ulysses S. Grant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Ulysses S. Grant Died at 63 (1822-1885)

20
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Alexander Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Alexander Hamilton Died at 47 (1757-1804)

21
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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
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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
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Andrew Jackson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Andrew Jackson Died at 78 (1767-1845)

24
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George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 24 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)

25
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Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Henry Ford Died at 84 (1863-1947)

26
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Robert E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Robert E. Lee Died at 63 (1807-1870)

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William Tecumseh Sherman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
William Tecumseh Sherman Died at 71 (1820-1891)

28
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Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Mark Twain Died at 75 (1835-1910)

29
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Harry S. Truman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Harry S. Truman Died at 88 (1884-1972)

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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
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John Marshall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Marshall Died at 80 (1755-1835)

32
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Chester W. Nimitz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Chester W. Nimitz Died at 81 (1885-1966)

33
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Samuel Adams is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Samuel Adams Died at 81 (1722-1803)

34
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George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
George Marshall Died at 79 (1880-1959)

35
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Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

36
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Paul Revere is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Paul Revere Died at 83 (1735-1818)

37
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Andrew Carnegie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Andrew Carnegie Died at 84 (1835-1919)

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Susan B. Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Susan B. Anthony Died at 86 (1820-1906)

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Samuel Morse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Samuel Morse Died at 81 (1791-1872)

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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)

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Sitting Bull is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Sitting Bull Died at 59 (1831-1890)

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Stonewall Jackson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Stonewall Jackson Died at 39 (1824-1863)

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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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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)

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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)

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James K. Polk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
James K. Polk Died at 54 (1795-1849)

47
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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)

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John Glenn is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Glenn age 95

49
+ - 364 129
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Paul Jones Died at 45 (1747-1792)

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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)