Weird History

The Most Influential People of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
2.3M votes 164.1k voters 2.6M views 2,863 items

List Rules Vote on humans who have had the most influence on the history of the world--good or bad. They can be from any period of time.

This is a list of the most influential people of all of human history. This means that the individuals on this list have had a significant effect on how regular people live their lives today and have had a large impact on how modern society works. The names on this list include religious figures, scientists and inventors, and some of the most important leaders in world history. Vote for your top choices and re-rank this list your way. 

What makes an individual worthy of a spot on a list of the most influential people ever? Certainly, some of the greatest minds of all time deserve to be ranked highly. Examples include Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, and certainly Albert Einstein. Each one of these incredible and inspirational people used the power of their minds to change the world. Not surprisingly, several names on this list are also among the most famous role models we'd like to meet in person.

Featuring historical figures, interesting men, and impactful people, this list of top 100 and more of the world's most inspirational figures have had all kinds of effects on the biggest and historic events.

And modern-era figures also deserve to be listed here. Can anyone argue that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg aren't among the most influential contemporary Americans? It's time to add your opinions on who you believe are the most influential people in history, with your votes and your rankings.

Jesus Christ is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain
1 94,904 VOTES

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the biblical Jesus reflects the historical Jesus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi from Galilee who preached his message orally, was baptized ...more on Wikipedia

Birthplace: Judea

Profession: Carpenter, Prophet, Preacher

Cause Of Death: Crucifixion

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Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Photo:  janeb13/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
2 64,918 VOTES

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 formula E = mc². He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "services to theoretical physics", in particular his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory. Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

Birthplace: Ulm, Germany

Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist, Theoretical Physicist, Author, + more

Cause Of Death: Abdominal aortic aneurysm

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Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Photo: Shutterstock
3 60,922 VOTES

Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687, laid the foundations for classical mechanics. Newton made seminal contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus. Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 84 (1643-1727)

Birthplace: Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom

Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist, Scientist, Philosopher, + more

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Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People of All Time
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons
4 54,538 VOTES

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)

Birthplace: Vinci, Italy

Profession: Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist, Inventor, Architect, + more

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