Time Magazine: 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century

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The official list of Time Magazine's most influential people.

The list is not ranked and is in alphabetical order, (except for Einstein, FDR, and Ghandi, for they are ranked 1,2, and 3 respectively.)  

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  1. #1 Person of the Century

    Claim to Fame: E=MC2, Theory of Relativity, Synonomus with "Genius" 

    Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. Einstein is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence ...more

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    • Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist, Theoretical Physicist, Author, + more
    • Age: Died at 76 (1879-1955)
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Ulm
  2. #2 Person of the Century.

    Claim to Fame: U.S. President during World War 2.
    Ended the "Great Depression." 

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four elections and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events ...more

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    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Corporate lawyer, Writer, Lawyer
    • Age: Died at 63 (1882-1945)
    • Birthplace: New York City, Hyde Park, New York, USA
    • Credits: Zeitgeist: The Movie, World War II in HD Colour, The President's Mystery, Fala: The President's Dog
  3. #3 Person of the Century.

    Claim to Fame: Gained India's independence from Britain.
     Most famous Pacifist in History

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma —applied to him first in 1914 ...more

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    • Profession: Politician, Writer, Philosopher, Lawyer
    • Age: Died at 79 (1869-1948)
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, India, Porbandar, Porbandar district, Gujarat
  4. Claim to Fame: Greatest Boxer of all time.

    Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. A controversial and polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded for the skills he displayed in the ring plus the values he exemplified outside ...more

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    • Profession: Professional Boxer, Philanthropist, Social activist
    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Credits: The Greatest, Freedom Road, Muhammad Ali Tribute - Celebrity Fight Night & Fighting Irishmen, I Am Ali
  5. Claim to Fame: Popularized Jazz Music

    Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and an influential figure in jazz music. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective ...more

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    • Profession: Musician, Actor, Trumpeter, Singer
    • Age: Died at 70 (1901-1971)
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Credits: Hello, Dolly!, Cabin in the Sky, The Glenn Miller Story, High Society, + more
  6. Leo Baekeland
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Claim to Fame: Invented practical plastic.

    Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland FRSE was a Belgian-born American chemist. He invented Velox photographic paper in 1893 and Bakelite in 1907. His invention of Bakelite, an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile, and popular plastic, marked the beginning of the modern plastics industry.more

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    • Profession: Chemist, Inventor, Engineer
    • Age: Died at 81 (1863-1944)
    • Birthplace: Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
  7. Claim to Fame: Television Star of the 50s/60s

    Lucille Désirée Ball was an American actress, comedian, model, and film studio executive. She was the star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy. Ball's career in the spotlight began in 1929, when she landed work as a model. Shortly ...more

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    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Model, Actor, Singer
    • Age: Died at 78 (1911-1989)
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Jamestown
    • Credits: I Love Lucy, All the Right Moves, Top Hat, Stage Door, The Lucy Show, + more
  8. The Beatles

    Claim to Fame: Greatest selling musical artists of all time.

  9. Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. is an American businessman and engineer. He is, with his son Riley, co-owner of the Bechtel Corporation. He is the son of Stephen David Bechtel, Sr. and grandson of Warren A. Bechtel who founded the Bechtel Corporation.more

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    • Profession: Businessperson
    • Age: age 90
  10. David Ben-Gurion
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Claim to Fame: Gained independence for the Jewish state of Israel.
    First prime minister of Israel.

    David Ben-Gurion was the primary founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel. Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946. As head of the Jewish Agency, and later president of the ...more

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    • Profession: Politician
    • Age: Died at 87 (1886-1973)
    • Birthplace: Europe, Poland, Masovian Voivodeship, Płońsk, Central Europe, + more
    • Credits: I Was There in Color
  11. Claim to Fame: Conceived the idea of the World Wide Web.

    Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA, DFBCS, also known as TimBL, is an English computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989, and he implemented the first successful communication ...more

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    • Profession: Professor, Researcher, Inventor, Computer scientist, Scientist
    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
  12. Louis B. Mayer
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Claim to Fame: Invented the Hollywood "star" system. 

    Louis Burt Mayer Louis B. Mayer, born Lazar Meir, on July 4, 1885, in Minsk, Russia, was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1924. Mayer was skilled at developing star actors, including child actors, then placing them in consistently slick productions, such as ...more

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    • Profession: Film Producer
    • Age: Died at 73 (1884-1957)
    • Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
    • Credits: Greed, Ben-Hur, Seven Chances, Redemption, The Fire Brigade, + more
  13. Marlon Brando
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Claim to Fame: Considered to be the greatest film actor of all time.

    Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor and film director. He is hailed for bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time. A cultural icon, Brando is most famous for his Academy Award-winning performances as Terry ...more

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    • Profession: Actor
    • Age: Died at 80 (1924-2004)
    • Birthplace: USA, Nebraska, Omaha
    • Credits: The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman, On the Waterfront, Superman Returns, + more
  14. Claim to Fame: Advertising business magnate. 

    Leo Burnett was an American advertising executive and the founder of the Leo Burnett Company, Inc., also known as Leo Burnett Worldwide. He was responsible for creating some of advertising's most well-known characters and campaigns of the 20th century including Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Tuna, the ...more

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    • Profession: Copywriter, Advertising Executive
    • Age: Died at 80 (1891-1971)
    • Birthplace: St. Johns, Michigan, United States of America
  15. Willis Carrier
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Claim to Fame: Invented the Air Conditioner 

    Willis Haviland Carrier was an American engineer, best known for inventing modern air conditioning.more

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    • Profession: Inventor, Mechanical engineer, Engineer
    • Age: Died at 74 (1876-1950)
    • Birthplace: Angola, New York, United States of America
  16. Rachel Carson
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in ...more

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    • Profession: Marine biologist, Biologist, Conservationist, Author, Essayist, + more
    • Age: Died at 57 (1907-1964)
    • Birthplace: Springdale, Pennsylvania, United States of America
  17. Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor and filmmaker who rose to fame in the silent film era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 ...more

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    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Comedian, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Film Editor, + more
    • Age: Died at 88 (1889-1977)
    • Birthplace: England
    • Credits: City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Cinema Paradiso, + more
  18. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. Along with Paul Poiret, Chanel was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette" and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard in the ...more

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    • Profession: Fashion designer, Designer, Costume Designer
    • Age: Died at 88 (1883-1971)
    • Birthplace: Saumur, France
  19. Ho Chi Minh
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Côn, or Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of ...more

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    • Profession: Politician
    • Age: Died at 79 (1890-1969)
    • Birthplace: Kim Lien, Vietnam
    • Credits: 79 primaveras
  20. Winston Churchill
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the ...more

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    • Profession: Statesman, Painter, Politician, Journalist, Orator, + more
    • Age: Died at 91 (1874-1965)
    • Birthplace: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, United Kingdom
    • Credits: World War II in HD Colour, Apocalypse: The Second World War
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