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
+ - 1,701 250
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
+ - 1,427 277
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
+ - 1,557 637
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
+ - 1,003 349
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
+ - 834 404
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
+ - 845 662
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
+ - 935 1,776
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Donald Trump age 70

8
+ - 610 299
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
+ - 1,618 192
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
+ - 923 293
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
+ - 997 263
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
+ - 1,007 694
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
+ - 1,105 763
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
+ - 654 238
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
+ - 1,228 430
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
+ - 978 250
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
+ - 1,135 231
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
+ - 938 256
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
+ - 503 408
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
+ - 793 315
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
+ - 1,017 456
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
+ - 636 381
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

23
+ - 613 283
Douglas MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Douglas MacArthur Died at 84 (1880-1964)

24
+ - 756 410
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
+ - 747 197
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
+ - 561 208
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
+ - 751 342
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
+ - 567 315
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
+ - 689 275
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
+ - 707 301
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
+ - 601 196
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
+ - 466 193
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
+ - 512 239
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
+ - 484 231
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
+ - 443 218
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
+ - 669 233
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

37
+ - 328 153
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
+ - 486 267
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
+ - 504 229
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
+ - 569 225
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
+ - 371 254
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
+ - 385 189
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
+ - 471 178
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
+ - 375 227
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Helen Keller Died at 88 (1880-1968)

45
+ - 523 178
Jonas Salk is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Jonas Salk Died at 81 (1914-1995)

46
+ - 624 273
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
+ - 495 338
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
+ - 416 282
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
+ - 356 116
John Glenn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Glenn age 95

50
+ - 371 139
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
John Paul Jones Died at 45 (1747-1792)