For good or for bad, our leaders can be powerful forces for change in the world. But who are the most impaction people to ever hold prominent positions of power? This is a list of the most important and influential leaders in the history of the world. Who are the most important world leaders? Anyone can vote on this definitive list of the men and women who shaped our civilization – for better or worse – making it a collaborative list of the greatest leaders of all time.
Visionaries, pragmatists, conquerors, and humanitarians (of all physical sizes) share this list. Rank these famous world leaders in terms of importance and add anyone you see missing. But remember: the most influential leaders (those who changed the face of world politics and forever altered their own countries) weren't necessarily good leaders. Some famous conquerors changed the world but let destruction in their wake. Others actually worked for the good of their people and became the great leaders in history.
So, who are the historical leaders that left their permanent mark (for good or bad)? Find out below!
- 1Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γʹ ὁ Μακεδών; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323... more
- 2Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a... more
- 3Plato (; PLAY-toe Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn, pronounced [plá.tɔːn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or... more
- 4Genghis Khan (born Temüjin, c. 1162 – August 18, 1227) was the founder and first Great Khan... more
- 5Augustus (Latin: Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14)... more
- 6Aristotle (; Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης Aristotélēs, pronounced [aristotélɛːs]; 384–322 BC) was a... more
- 7Kemal Atatürk (until 1934: Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى كمال پاشا; after 1935:... more
- 8Frederick II (German: Friedrich II.; 24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) ruled the Kingdom of... more
- 9Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer,... more
- 10Theodoric the Great (454 – 30 August 526), also spelled Theoderic or called Theodoric the Amal... more
- 11Mehmed II, also known as Muhammed bin Murad, Mehmed the Conqueror, Grand Turk, Kayser-i Rûm... more
- 12Martin Luther, , (; German: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈlʊtɐ]; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a... more
- 13Catherine II (Russian: Екатери́на Алексе́евна, romanized: Yekaterina Alekseyevna; 2 May [O.S.... more
- 14Suleiman I (Ottoman Turkish: سلطان سليمان اول Sultan Süleyman-ı Evvel; Turkish: Birinci... more
- 15Charles V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519, King of... more
- 16Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (; Xhosa: [xolíɬaɬa mandɛ̂ːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was... more
- 17Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛɐ̯t ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April... more
- 18Defeated the Tatars at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. First step of the liberation of the Russian people from the Mongolic suppressors.
- 19Cnut the Great (; Old English: Cnut se Micela; Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki; c. 995 – 12 November... more
- 20Frederick William I (German: Friedrich Wilhelm I.; 14 August 1688 – 31 May 1740), known as the... more
- 21Constantine the Great (Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; Greek:... more
- 22Together with Swedish forces, he defeated the Polish-Lithuanian Commenwealth at the Battle of Warsaw (1656). In 1675 he defeated the Swedes at the Battle of Fehrbellin. His military reforms were the first step of the epic rise of Brandenburg-Prussia.
- 23Titus was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his... more
- 24Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British... more
- 25Gaius Julius Caesar (12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who... more