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The All-Time Greatest People in History

Updated July 7, 2020 290.3k votes 11.7k voters 84.2k views458 items

List RulesThe person does not necessarily have to be a perfect saint. Some of the people on this list did controversial things (Thomas Edison, LBJ, George Washington, etc.). They just have to be someone who has had a very positive influence overall.

These are the most influential people in history for good. Some of these figures are not without controversy, but they nevertheless have impacted humanity much more positively than negatively. These are people who promoted peace and good values. They are people who are sterling examples of character. They are people who have fought for freedom. They are people who made advancements in science, technology, politics, economics, medicine, and so on. They are people who gave us great art, plays, literature and movies.
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  • 1
    Jesus Christ
    4,543
    2,884

    Jesus Christ

    Carpenter, Prophet

    BirthplaceJudea

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  • 2
    Isaac Newton
    1,335
    851

    Isaac Newton

    Mathematician, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 84 (1643-1727)

    BirthplaceWoolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom

  • 3
    Albert Einstein
    1,460
    935

    Albert Einstein

    Mathematician, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

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  • 4
    Abraham Lincoln
    1,145
    897

    Abraham Lincoln

    Statesman, Politician

    AgeDec. at 56 (1809-1865)

    BirthplaceHodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    CreditsThe Perfect Tribute, Atlanta Symphony Golden Anniversary, A Tribute to John F. Kennedy from the Arts, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

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  • 5
    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    1,467
    1,165

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Civil rights activist, Writer

    AgeDec. at 39 (1929-1968)

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    CreditsFreedom Writers,I Am Curious (Yellow),The UCLA Dynasty,Pariah

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  • 6
    Abraham
    281
    194

    Abraham

    Prophet

    BirthplaceMesopotamia

  • 7

    AgeDec. at 99 (1910-2009)

    BirthplaceGreenville, South Carolina

    Invented the first video game
  • 8
    Alexander Graham Bell
    326
    259

    Alexander Graham Bell

    Businessperson, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 75 (1847-1922)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom

    Inventor of the telephone

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  • 9
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    503
    418

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Musician, Harpsichordist

    AgeDec. at 65 (1685-1750)

    BirthplaceEisenach, Germany

    CreditsThe Godfather, Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs, The Pianist

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  • 10
    Galileo Galilei
    1,468
    1,292

    Galileo Galilei

    Mathematician, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 78 (1564-1642)

    BirthplacePisa, Italy

  • 11
    Alexander the Great
  • 12
    Alberto Santos-Dumont
    314
    251

    Alberto Santos-Dumont

    Pilot, Inventor

    AgeDec. at 59 (1873-1932)

    BirthplaceSantos Dumont, Brazil

  • 13
    Michaelangelo
  • 14
    Moses
    2,760
    2,557

    Moses

    Prophet

    BirthplaceLand of Goshen

  • 15
    Aristotle
    1,413
    1,296

    Aristotle

    Tutor, Polymath

    AgeDec. at 62 (383 BC-321 BC)

    BirthplaceStagira, Greece

  • 16
    Plato
    1,302
    1,197

    Plato

    Mathematician, Physicist

    BirthplaceClassical Athens

    CreditsThe Cave: An Adaptation of Plato's Allegory in Clay, Die Nacht, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The War That Never Ends

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  • 17
    Alexander von Humboldt
    590
    527

    Alexander von Humboldt

    Scientist, Naturalist

    AgeDec. at 90 (1769-1859)

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Charles Darwin described him as "the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived." He is widely respected as one of the founders of modern geography. Alexander von Humboldt's travels, experiments, and knowledge transformed western science in the nineteenth century.
  • 18
    Gandhi
    1,190
    1,105
  • 19
    Leonardo da Vinci
    1,787
    1,677

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Military Engineer, Musician

    AgeDec. at 67 (1452-1519)

    BirthplaceVinci, Italy

  • 20
    Immanuel Kant
    414
    367

    Immanuel Kant

    Writer, Philosopher

    AgeDec. at 80 (1724-1804)

    BirthplaceKönigsberg, Germany

  • 21
    Nikola Tesla
    1,666
    1,575

    Nikola Tesla

    Futurist, Physicist

    AgeDec. at 87 (1856-1943)

    BirthplaceSmiljan, Croatia

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  • 22
    Archimedes
    902
    840

    Archimedes

    Mathematician, Physicist

    BirthplaceSyracuse, Italy

  • 23
    Jane Goodall
    246
    209

    Jane Goodall

    Anthropologist, Researcher

    Age86

    BirthplaceLondon, England

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  • 24
    Marco Polo
    161
    127

    Marco Polo

    Merchant, Explorer

    AgeDec. at 70 (1254-1324)

    BirthplaceRepublic of Venice

  • 25
    Max Planck
    397
    361

    Max Planck

    Physicist

    AgeDec. at 89 (1858-1947)

    BirthplaceKiel, Germany

    More Max Planck 

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