The Greatest Minds of All Time

List Rules
Vote up the individuals who you think had the most influential ideas throughout history.

List of the Greatest Minds of All Time, throughout history. This list represents the most influential thinkers across various disciplines, ranked in a way that represents the power of their ideas and their impact on the world. The wisest men and women include top philosophers, physicists, famous poets, thinkers, teachers, physiologists, artists, inventors, engineers, the most irreplaceable CEOs in the world, economists and politicians and those whose talents span across many fields of study.

This list takes a historic perspective, so the greatest thinkers who are included on this list come from many different eras. The greatest minds of the 21st century may be quite different from great geniuses from the distant past, but each person should be judged within the context of the time that they were living. For example, inventing a new type of telephone in 2013 would not qualify one as "the most brilliant mind of all time," but in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell first patented the telephone, it was an act of genius not seen before.

See Also: The Most Influential People of All Time.
Ranked by
  • Nikola Tesla
    1
    Dec. at 86 (1856-1943)
    • Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
  • Albert Einstein
    2
    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Ulm
  • Isaac Newton
    3
    Dec. at 84 (1643-1727)
    • Birthplace: Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom
  • Leonardo da Vinci
    4
    Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)
    • Birthplace: Vinci, Italy
  • Galileo Galilei
    5
    Dec. at 77 (1564-1642)
    • Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
  • Aristotle
    6
    Dec. at 62 (383 BC-321 BC)
    • Birthplace: Stagira, Greece
  • Archimedes
    7
  • Socrates
    8
  • Euclid
    9
  • Pythagoras
    10
  • Alan Turing
    11
    Dec. at 41 (1912-1954)
    • Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom
  • Plato
    12
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
    13
    Dec. at 70 (1473-1543)
    • Birthplace: Toruń, Second Polish Republic
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    14
    Dec. at 57 (1770-1827)
    • Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
  • Michael Faraday
    15
    Dec. at 75 (1791-1867)
    • Birthplace: Newington Butts, United Kingdom
  • Michelangelo
    16
    Dec. at 88 (1475-1564)
    • Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
  • Johannes Kepler
    17
    Dec. at 58 (1571-1630)
    • Birthplace: Weil der Stadt, Germany
  • Blaise Pascal
    18
    Dec. at 39 (1623-1662)
    • Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Max Planck
    19
    Dec. at 89 (1858-1947)
    • Birthplace: Kiel, Germany
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss
    20
    Dec. at 77 (1777-1855)
    • Birthplace: Braunschweig, Germany
  • Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
    21
    Dec. at 87 (1752-1840)
    • Birthplace: Gotha, Germany
  • Edwin Hubble
    22
    Dec. at 63 (1889-1953)
    • Birthplace: Marshfield, Missouri
  • Johannes Vermeer
    23
    Dec. at 43 (1632-1675)
    • Birthplace: Delft, Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Alexander Fleming
    24
    Dec. at 73 (1881-1955)
    • Birthplace: Lochfield
  • Niels Bohr
    25