The Top 100 Most Influential Men/Women in American History

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most influential men and women in american history, even if not born here

Simply put, America wouldn't be where it is today without the influential men and women who've led their lives for the better of those around them. From Rosa Parks to Alfred Hitchcock, each of these individuals pushed for progress in many regards, and because of them, America has come a very long way. 

These influential men and women, and their stories, speak for themselves. So without further ado, check out the list of eminent people to follow. Don't forget to cast your vote up or down accordingly to help determine just who was the most influential


  • 1
    637 VOTES
    Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator and Congressman. In 1849, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of ...more
    • Profession: Statesman, Politician, Lawyer
    • Age: Dec. at 56 (1809-1865)
    • Birthplace: Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Ballistic trauma, Assassination
    • Credits: The Perfect Tribute, Atlanta Symphony Golden Anniversary, A Tribute to John F. Kennedy from the Arts, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    637 votes
  • George Washington
    Photo: patrickhashley / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention that drafted the United States Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation and remains the supreme law of the land. Washington was unanimously elected President by the electors in both the 1788–1789 and 1792 elections.
    • Profession: Surveyor, Politician, Soldier, Military Officer, Farmer
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)
    • Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America
    747 votes
  • Benjamin Franklin
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the ...more
    • Profession: Statesman, Librarian, Politician, Diplomat, Musician
    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1706-1790)
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Pleurisy
    303 votes
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
    Photo: The U.S. National Archives / Flickr
    Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire. King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and in 1957 became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 ...more
    • Profession: Civil rights activist, Writer, Minister of religion
    • Age: Dec. at 39 (1929-1968)
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Assassination by firearm
    • Credits: Freedom Writers,I Am Curious (Yellow),The UCLA Dynasty,Pariah
    838 votes
  • Thomas Jefferson
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual with worldwide influence. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia, and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France and later the first United States Secretary of State serving under President George Washington. In opposition to Alexander Hamilton's Federalism, Jefferson and his close friend, James ...more
    • Profession: Statesman, Inventor, Author, Farmer, Architect
    • Age: Dec. at 83 (1743-1826)
    • Birthplace: Shadwell, Virginia, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Natural causes
    445 votes
  • Alexander Hamilton
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of George Washington's administration. He took the lead in the Federal government's funding of the states' debts, as well as establishing a national bank, a system of ...more
    • Profession: Politician, Author, Economist, Financier, Lawyer
    • Age: Dec. at 47 (1757-1804)
    • Birthplace: Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Paul Charlestown Parish, Caribbean Sea, Charlestown
    • Cause Of Death: Firearm, Duel
    273 votes