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
1,757 269
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
1,466 294
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
1,615 644
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
1,026 359
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
855 412
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
866 698
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
999 1,881
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Ashutosh Kumar added Donald Trump age 70

8
626 309
Patrick Henry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
null98Jeff added Patrick Henry Died at 63 (1736-1799)

9
1,656 194
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
939 301
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
1,017 268
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
1,036 703
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
1,148 772
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
670 246
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
1,247 445
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
999 255
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
1,156 235
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
956 261
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
515 421
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
808 322
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
1,042 465
Ronald Reagan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
AmandaHall added Ronald Reagan Died at 93 (1911-2004)

22
626 289
Douglas MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
AmandaHall added Douglas MacArthur Died at 84 (1880-1964)

23
647 390
Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

24
776 417
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
762 200
George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
sev674475 added George S. Patton Died at 60 (1885-1945) -  (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945)

26
571 213
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
771 348
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
575 320
William Tecumseh Sherman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
jschro1861 added William Tecumseh Sherman Died at 71 (1820-1891)

29
702 279
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
723 312
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
614 199
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
479 196
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
522 253
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
491 237
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
450 220
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
684 237
Wright brothers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

37
332 157
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
RobLein added George Marshall Died at 79 (1880-1959)

38
494 271
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
582 226
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Alexander Graham Bell Died at 75 (1847-1922)

40
512 236
Sitting Bull is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Valdave added Sitting Bull Died at 59 (1831-1890)

41
378 257
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
390 192
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
638 275
Stonewall Jackson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Stonewall Jackson Died at 39 (1824-1863)

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44
475 182
Robert Oppenheimer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Robert Oppenheimer Died at 63 (1904-1967)

45
382 232
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
RobLein added Helen Keller Died at 88 (1880-1968)

46
527 183
Jonas Salk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
Jonas Salk Died at 81 (1914-1995)

47
502 341
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
421 286
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
368 121
John Glenn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History
RobLein added John Glenn age 95

50
391 238
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)