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
+ - 1,708 255
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
+ - 1,435 279
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
+ - 1,566 637
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
+ - 1,011 349
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
+ - 840 404
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
+ - 848 668
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
+ - 945 1,783
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Donald Trump age 70

8
+ - 614 299
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
+ - 1,621 193
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
+ - 927 293
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
+ - 1,000 264
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
+ - 1,012 695
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
+ - 1,113 764
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
+ - 657 239
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
+ - 1,230 432
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
+ - 981 251
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
+ - 1,140 231
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
+ - 941 257
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
+ - 505 410
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
+ - 796 316
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
+ - 1,021 458
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
+ - 617 283
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
+ - 637 382
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
+ - 758 411
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
+ - 749 198
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
+ - 562 209
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
+ - 753 343
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
+ - 569 316
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
+ - 690 276
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
+ - 709 302
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
+ - 603 196
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
+ - 469 193
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
+ - 513 241
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
+ - 485 232
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
+ - 444 218
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
+ - 670 233
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

37
+ - 329 153
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
+ - 486 268
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
+ - 505 230
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
+ - 571 225
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
+ - 372 254
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
+ - 472 178
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
+ - 523 178
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
+ - 626 273
Stonewall Jackson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Stonewall Jackson Died at 39 (1824-1863)

46
+ - 375 228
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Helen Keller Died at 88 (1880-1968)

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
+ - 358 116
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)