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Important People In History

Important People In History

Many figures stand out in history, men and women who have helped shape the course and destiny of the world. The following article attempts to mention a few important people in history.
Historyplex Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
A few words...
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering - Brandon Lee

There are many figures in history who have stood head and shoulders above other men and women of their generations, they have altered the course of nations, re-written history books in the light of their achievements and many have even influenced our modern way of life in novel ways. They have made it to the museums and into history books around the world, and stay alive through their names and deeds. The following iconic persons are from various ages and time periods, each contributing in some way to the world we live in today. They faced many challenges in life and came through to triumph and etch their names in the golden books of history.
INDEX
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Adams, John (1735 - 1826)
American freedom fighter and the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams was born in Massachusetts, on October 30, 1735, and as an adult was soon involved in opposing British rule over the country. He served on the board that drafted the Declaration of Independence and during the Revolutionary War was head of the Board of War. He ran against George Washington in 1796 and was successful, becoming the second President of the United States.
Agricola, Gnaeus Julius (40 AD - 93 AD)
Agricola was a Roman statesman and soldier, born on 13th July, 40 AD. He was a supporter of Vespasian, who went on to become the Emperor of Rome. Agricola was appointed as a commander of the Roman legion in Britain. He served as a governor of Aquitania in the southeast of France for 3 years and became the governor of Britain in 78 AD. His biography, an extensive account of the life and times was written by his son-in-law, the historian Tacitus. He conquered large parts of Britain and was responsible for establishing Roman rule over the islands.
Alexander the Great (356 BC - 323 BC)
Alexander the Great needs no introduction. He was the only man who single-handedly went on to conquer half the civilized world, in less than a decade. He was educated by Aristotle, the famous philosopher. Alexander fought against and eventually conquered the Persian empire. Alexander fought and won the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. The young King of Macedonia, the leader of the Greeks and Master of Asia Minor became the Great King of Persia. All this when he was just a young man of 25. He went to win many more cities, conquer many more countries and reach as far as the Indian province, Punjab. He was one military genius that few other men can match.
Amenhotep III (c.1391 BC - c.1354 BC)
One of the greatest rulers of ancient Egypt, Amenhotep III became pharaoh when he was just 12 years old. Egypt, during the reign of Amenhotep was at the height of its power, a cultural and military force in the ancient world. The empire extended from the far eastern reaches of Turkey to Sudan in North Africa. Amenhotep resided at his capital, Thebes, and overlooked the construction of huge infrastructure projects such as the temple in Malkata, a massive temple at Luxor and at Amun. Amenhotep III died around 1391 BC and was buried in the Valley of the Kings.
Appleton, Edward (1892 - 1965)
Born on 6th September, 1892, in Bradford, Edward Appleton was educated at Cambridge and conducted extensive research on atmospheric physics, especially in the field of radio technology. In 1926, he used a shortwave BBC radio transmitter to reflect waves from what was later named the Appleton layer, and is now known as the ionosphere. His further research during the war lead to the development of radar and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947.
Archimedes (287 BC - 212 BC)
Archimedes was an ancient Greek mathematician, philosopher and inventor, who is best known for the Archimedes principle, known today as the Law of Hydrostatics, which states that the upward thrust exerted on a body immersed in water is equal to the exact volume of the liquid displaced by its weight. He is known for having shouted Eureka! (I have found it!), and run naked through the streets of Syracuse in his excitement.
Arkwright, Richard (1732 - 1792)
Richard Arkwright is often considered the father of the industrial revolution in the western world. He took the spinning jenny and collaborating with clockmaker John Kay, made significant improvements to the machine, making it easier to use and produce a better yarn. He also started to use the steam engine to run textile machinery and established a string of factories in England and Scotland.
Armstrong, Neil (1930 - 2012)
The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut, aerospace engineer, test pilot and a university professor. The Apollo 11 mission was also Armstrong's last spaceflight, where he and Buzz Aldrin dropped to the moon's surface and explored the alien world for over two hours. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1978 and later took up teaching position at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
Atatürk, Kemal (1881 - 1938)
A soldier, revolutionary and political leader, Kemal Atatürk was the founder of the Republic of Turkey. His surname, given to him by the Turkish Parliament means, Father of the Turks, and cannot be used by any other individual. He was the leader of the Turkish independence movement and after becoming President, initiated a detailed program of social, economic and political reform, transforming Turkey in to a modern nation state.
Attila the Hun (c.410 AD - c.453 AD)
The mightiest of the Huns, Attila was a war monger without equal and carried out massive raids against the Roman Empire on both its eastern and western fronts. He ruled from 440 AD to 453 AD and also carried out campaigns against Gaul and Italy. His raids were meant to strip the wealth of these nations rather than to conquer or enslave them.
Attlee, Clement (1883 - 1967)
Clement Attlee served as the British Prime Minister in the post-World War II-era from 1945 to 1951, and was responsible for many economic and social reforms during this time, such as the establishment of the National Health Service, nationalization of a sizable chunk of the British economy and the granting of independence to several British colonies such as India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon and Jordan.
Augustus (63 BC - AD 14)
The first Roman Emperor, Augustus, was born Gaius Octavius in 63 BC. His great uncle was the famous Roman dictator Julius Caesar, who had been assassinated by his own parliament members. Octavius avenged him and after defeating Mark Antony, a Roman leader and General who controlled part of the nation, he became the supreme ruler of Rome. He adopted the title Augustus meaning The Lofty One and set up a monarchical system of constitutional rules.
Austen, Jane (1775 - 1817)
Jane Austen remains one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century, due to her amazing insights into the life of women at the turn of the century. She wrote many famous novels which remain favorites around the world even today, among them Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park, all of which were published anonymously. Jane was afflicted with Addison's disease and died on 18th July, 1817.

B

Babbage, Charles (1791 - 1871)
Popularly known as the father of computers, Charles Babbage was a pioneer in the field of mechanical computing, working on the Difference Engine, a small device which could perform rudimentary mathematical calculations. He then began to work on his greatest invention , the Analytical Engine, which has been called the precursor to the modern computer, due to its many similarities such as having a memory unit for storing information and the ability to do arithmetic calculations.
Bacon, Francis (1561 - 1626)
Sir Francis Bacon is known today as a famous 16th century thinker, scientist and politician. He wrote a book, Novum Organum, which argued against the old Aristotelian method of gaining knowledge, saying that truth can be ascertained, only if there was proof from the natural world to back it up. He also became the Lord Chancellor of Britain but was later banished from court after being tried for bribery.
Baird, John Logie (1888 - 1946)
Scottish by birth, John Logie Baird succeed in transmitting an image across a few feet of space in 1924, an experiment he would later refine into the first working demonstration of a television in 1926. He then established the Baird Television Development Company (BTDC) which developed prototype televisions that could show both stereoscopic and color images. Baird, however, lost out to Marconi when it came to mass producing the system as Marconi used electricity and could transmit over greater distances.
Beethoven, Ludvig van (1770 - 1827)
One of the most influential composers of all time, Beethoven gave the world symphonies, concertos for piano, piano sonatas and string quartets of sublime beauty. He began to lose his hearing in later life, yet continued composing. His Symphony No.9 is considered the greatest composition of Western classical music.
Barnum, P.T. (1810 - 1891)
The original showman and King of entertainment, P.T Barnum was an American businessman and con-artist, who later founded the hugely successful Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Barnum American Museum, which had the first aquarium in America. He was also active in politics and served in the Connecticut legislature.
Bell, Alexander Graham (1847 - 1922)
Who doesn't know the father of the telephone, the gadget that has today become a part of our lives in so many ways. Also Scottish by birth, Bell became a naturalized US citizen in 1882. It was in 1875 that Bell first created a working telephone, a receiver that could convert electricity into sound. He was granted a patent for it in 1876 and established the Bell telephone company, with the first telephone exchange coming up in the city of Connecticut.
Bhutto, Benazir (1953 - 2007)
The first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was the youngest prime minister of the country at 35 years of age. She led a political opposition against President Zia-ul-Haq and came to power in 1988. Bhutto fought all odds but was overthrown on charges of corruption. She was assassinated on December 27, 2007 while leaving a campaign rally for the Pakistan People's Party, at Liaquat National Bagh.
Bismarck, Otto Von (1815 - 1898)
Known as the Iron Chancellor for his tough political stance and strict rule, Otto Von Bismarck was the force that united the fragmented states of Germany into one unified country. He achieved this by capturing provinces from Denmark and initiating hostilities with Austria and France. Bismarck rose from being a Prussian representative of the King to becoming Germany's first chancellor and ruling from 1871 to 1890, with his visionary and hard-headed conservatism.
Blake, William (1757 - 1827)
Blake is considered one of the greatest poets of all time and though much maligned by his peers, his work is regarded today as epic in its composition and lyrical beauty. Born in London, he studied at the Royal Academy before trying his hand, unsuccessfully, at business. He published his greatest works Songs of Innocence in 1789 and then the powerful, Songs of Experience, in 1794. He is considered a glorious luminary and a poet without equal.
Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769 - 1821)
Called the Little Corporal, Napoleon Bonaparte, born on 15 August, 1769 in Corsica, would go on to conquer much of Europe, becoming Emperor of France in 1804 after he orchestrated a coup d'etat in November 1799. After the French defeat at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, he fought and won against Austria and Russia, and conquered Prussia, dissolving the Holy Roman Empire. He initiated many reforms and policies in France, centralizing government, establishing the Bank of France and creating a set of constitutional law codes known as the Code Napoleon. Napoleon was, however, defeated by the allied forces of Russia and Austria in 1814, being imprisoned at the island of Elba. He broke out and marched on Paris in 1815 but was defeated at the famous Battle of Waterloo and died, incarcerated on the island of St Helena in 1821.
Boyle, Robert (1627 - 1691)
Known today as the father of modern chemistry, Robert Boyle was born on 27 January, 1627 in County Waterford, in Ireland. He was educated at Eton College and in 1655, in a partnership with Robert Hooke created the air-pump or the vacuum chamber. He performed some of the first controlled experiments and is famous today for Boyle's Law which states that the pressure within a gas increases in proportion to the loss of volume. Robert Boyle was also one of the founders of the Royal Society.
Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329)
The man who gave Scotland independence from British subjugation, Robert the Bruce or Robert I, was a Scottish King. Persecuted by the English forces, he was forced to go into exile in Ireland but returned with a force that defeated the British at the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, essentially establishing an independent Scottish monarchy.
Bush, George W (1946 - )
George W Bush was the 43rd President of the United States, he served his first term in office from 2001 to 2004 and was re-elected again, by a narrow margin in 2004, serving till 2008. His time in office was, in short, a controversial one, as the country faced numerous challenges, from the terrorist attacks on 9/11 to the war in Iraq and an economic crises of enormous proportions by the end of his term in 2008. The terrorist attacks in September 2001 led to the War on Terror, a campaign that took up much of his presidency, involving the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq. The poor government response to the disaster-struck residents of New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina dropped his popularity to an all time low, and by the time the sub-prime crises enrolled, Americans were hoping a change in leadership may help the country recover.

C

Caesar, Julius (100 BC - 44 BC)
One of the greatest leaders of ancient Rome, Julius Caesar was born in July, 100 BC, in Rome. He earned great power and respect as a general, conquering France and Belgium and making expeditions into England. He rose to power in 49 BC after revolting against the Senate. After assuming dictatorship Caesar carried out many reforms, such as the drafting of a new constitution, adopting the Julian Calendar and undertaking infrastructure projects. There were however dissidents within the senate who conspired to assassinate him in 44 BC.
Caravaggio (1571 - 1610)
One of the greatest masters of Baroque art, Michelangelo Merisi, better known by the name of his hometown, Caravaggio, painted such masterpieces such as the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, Calling of Saint Matthew, The Crucifixion of Saint Peter and Death of the Virgin. His paintings can be seen in famous museums, galleries and churches all across the world.
Castro, Fidel (1926 - )
Fidel Castro was born on 13 August, 1926 in Cuba. He grew up to be an ardent believer in communism and led an uprising against the dictator Fulgencio Batista, but was captured and imprisoned. He was soon released and in 1956 teamed up with veteran revolutionary Che Guevara and began to attack the government forces. They were successful and Castro became the Prime Minister of Cuba in 1959. He went about changing Cuba into a communist stronghold and was at the center of such epoch making events as the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile crises in 1963.
Catherine the Great (1729 - 1796)
Catherine II was the longest-ruling and the most famous of all the Russian Tsars. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst on 2 May 1729 in Prussia. She married Peter III, grandson of Peter the Great and became the Empress after his assassination. She ruled for more than 30 years and expanded the Russian empire considerably conquering neighboring states like Crimea, Belarus and Lithuania. Under her reign Russia came to be recognized as a great Eastern power.
Churchill, Winston (1874 - 1965)
The iron willed Prime Minister of Britain who infused his nation with spirit and courage, at a time when Nazi bombers were leveling London, is without doubt one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Born on 30 November, 1874 in Oxfordshire, the future wartime prime minister held many important positions in the government before taking up the ultimate task, that of facing a Nazi Germany. The allies were successful in the war and Britain was strengthened by its friendship with the United States, largely due to the efforts of Churchill. He became prime minister again in 1951, but resigned in 1955.
Columbus, Christopher (1451 - 1506)
Christopher Columbus needs no introduction, to only say that he was the man who discovered America would be saying enough. He was, however, on a quest to discover the Orient and new passages toward Asia, when he came upon America. He came ashore on an island on 12 October, 1492, assuming it to be in Asia, although he had just discovered the Bahamas.
Cook, James (1728 - 1779)
James Cook was a radical explorer, navigator and a sailor who rose through the ranks in the Navy, to become a captain, and lead his men where no one had ever been. He was successful in navigating coastlines in the Pacific, Australia and in New Zealand, and was the first voyager to view the east coast of Australia.
Copernicus (1473 - 1543)
Copernicus was born on 19 February, 1473 in Poland and educated at the universities in Bologna and Padua and studied law in Italy. Copernicus is primarily remembered today, as the astronomer who theorized that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way round, as had always been thought. He wrote a famous book called De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres).
Cortés, Hernando (1485 - 1547)
The most famous of the multitude of Spanish conquistadors, Hernando Cortés invaded Mexico and conquered vast parts of the ancient Aztec empire. He looted and plundered cities and set up base in what is today the capital of Mexico, Mexico City. His depredations caused immense suffering to the natives, as they were struck by Western diseases such as Smallpox and died by the thousands.
Curie, Marie (1867 - 1934)
Polish born Marie Curie is known today for her groundbreaking work in the field of radioactivity. She won two Nobel Prizes, one in Physics in 1903 and the other in Chemistry in 1911. Her work in the field of radiation led to the development of the X-ray as a tool for medical diagnosis and she also discovered new elements such as Polonium, which she named after her country of birth, Poland.

D

Darwin, Charles (1809 - 1882)
Known in history textbooks as the father of evolution, Charles Darwin is just that, a man who gave us the reasons for our evolution from lowly beasts to the high human form we have today. His greatest work is the book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, published in 1859, which transformed our outlook about the natural world.
Dickens, Charles (1812 - 1870)
Charles Dickens is one of the most famous Victorian authors, known for his highly vivid depictions of life during that era and the socioeconomic conditions of the people of England. Some of his best works like David Copperfield and Great Expectations endure to this day and are part of school curriculum all round the world. He also wrote the highly acclaimed Pickwick Papers and edited periodicals like Household Words and All Year Round.
Disney, Walt (1901 - 1966)
One of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, Walt Disney was an American film producer, animator, screenwriter and an iconic public figure. He founded Walt Disney Productions, which is today the Walt Disney Company and created some of the most memorable characters in television and cinema such as Mickey Mouse.
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859 - 1930)
One of the most famous authors of the 19th century, Conan Doyle created the greatest fictional characters that ever existed, Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion in mind-boggling mysteries, Dr Watson. Although he wrote of a detective whose technique was rooted in rational thought, Conan Doyle himself was affected by the supernatural and became a believer in many bizarre dogmas, later in life.
Drake, Francis (1540 - 1596)
Sir Francis Drake was an explorer who circumnavigated the globe by going up the coast of South America, then the West coast of North America and tried to find a route across the Atlantic, after which he returned south and continued onward to Moluccas and then Java to cross the Cape of Good Hope. He returned to England to be knighted by the Queen aboard his flagship vessel The Golden Hind.

E

Edison, Thomas (1847 - 1931)
Thomas Alva Edison was the inventor of such devices as the light bulb, the motion-picture camera and the phonograph. There are 1093 US patents in his name, putting him fourth on the list of persons with the most number of inventions. He developed a system of distributing electricity to homes, using DC currents, however, this was replaced later by the AC system.
Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)
Einstein was unarguably the greatest mind of the 20th century, his most important contribution coming in the year 1905 when he published four papers, one of which introduced the Special Theory of Relativity and the other, his famous equation E = mc², the formula for converting mass into energy. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, for his explanation of the Photoelectric Effect. He fled to America when Hitler took power in 1933 and stayed at the Institute of Advanced Sciences in Princeton, New Jersey. He continued to work on his Unified Field Theory and quantum mechanics through the years, until his death in 1955.
Eisenhower, Dwight D (1890 - 1969)
Dwight David Eisenhower or Ike, was the Supreme Allied Commander of the allied forces during World War II and later, the 34th President of the United States. He was a West Point graduate who gained command of the European theater of the war, soon becoming Supreme Allied Commander and initiated the Normandy invasion, which proved to be a turning point in the war. His success during the war helped him gain a nomination for the presidency and his terms in office, from 1953 to 1961, saw the United States and Soviet Russia plunge into a decades long cold war.

F

Fermi, Enrico (1901 - 1954)
The Italian physicist is credited with discoveries in Quantum Theory and the development of the first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1938 and is often considered the father of the atomic bomb, along with colleague Robert Oppenheimer.
Fleming, Alexander (1881 - 1955)
One often forgets the name of Alexander Fleming, a Scottish bacteriologist, who gave the world one its first antibiotic, Penicillin, a treatment for several diseases which were thought to be incurable and hopeless in previous years. His discovery was accidental when in 1928, he found disease-free mold around the dishes of influenza in his laboratory, a substance he named penicillin.
Ford, Henry (1863 - 1947)
The pioneer of mass-production and assembly lines, Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company in Michigan. He gave the world its first mass-produced vehicle, the Ford Model-T, which became the largest selling car in the world at that time. Ford was also responsible for introducing the franchise system of dealerships, which are popular today as sales and service centers for vehicles.
Franklin, Benjamin (1706 - 1790)
One of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, inventor, author, politician, musician, printer and noted polymath of the 18th century. His work in the field of electricity was groundbreaking and he invented such gems as the lightning rod, bifocal lenses, the Franklin stove and the glass armonica. He was part of the committee of five that drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He is often referred to as The First American for his pioneering efforts toward regional unity and as a spokesman for American independence.
Freud, Sigmund (1856 - 1939)
Known today as the father of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud was the founder of Psychoanalysis, a radical new method of understanding the human psyche. He was an Austrian, educated at the University of Vienna, where he learned medicine. He published his greatest work The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900, analyzing dreams with respect to hidden sub conscious desires. He also put forth theories about the Ego and the Id, concepts which attempted to explain human nature.

G

Galilei, Galileo (1564 - 1642)
One of the greatest astronomers of the 17th century, Galileo is famous for his experiments on gravity, pendulums and creating a powerful telescope. He faced persecution during his lifetime by the Catholic Church, for supporting the Copernican view that the earth revolved around the sun, when it was widely believed that the opposite was true. He published famous books like the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems and Discourses Concerning Two New Sciences.
Gama, Vasco Da (1460 - 1524)
Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese adventurer and navigator who forged a link between Europe and India, the first of its kind. He swung around the Cape of Good Hope and sailed up the coast of Africa, a sea route that became the traditional trading route for all merchant vessels to the Indian subcontinent.
Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869 - 1948)
MK Gandhi was the leading light of the Indian Freedom Movement and is known as the Mahatma (great soul), and the father of the nation. His tenets of non violence and Satyagraha (force of truth) energized Indians to take up the struggle for freedom and Gandhi was jailed numerous times, for initiating salt marches and civil disobedience in the country. He was assassinated by a Hindu extremist on 30 January, 1948, 6 months after India gained independence from British rule.
Gandhi, Indira (1917 - 1984)
The daughter of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi became the first woman prime minister of India. She was intelligent and charismatic, enacting many policies and initiatives for the progress of the nation and was known as the Iron Lady of India. Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984.
Gaulle, Charles de (1890 - 1970)
Charles de Gaulle led the French through the Second World War as Brigadier General, a title which he held throughout his life. He was President of France from 1959 to 1969 and considered to be the most influential leader of that country in modern times. As president, he introduced a new currency, controlled inflation and began the development of atomic weapons. He also withdrew from NATO and vetoed Britain's entry into the European Community. De Gaulle was immensely patriotic and wanted France to establish itself as a major power in Europe once again. He oversaw he writing of a new constitution and the establishment of the Fifth French Republic.
Guevara, Ernesto 'Che' (1928 - 1967)
Ernesto Che Guevara was born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, on 14 June, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. He studied medicine at Buenos Aires University, but was influenced by Marxism and later traveled to Mexico where he met revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Together they launched the 26th of July Movement, an uprising which seized power from the dictator Batista and established a communist regime in Cuba. Che Guevara went on to Africa to instigate further revolutions but was caught in Bolivia and executed.

H

Halley, Edmond (1656 - 1742)
Halley was a 17th century astronomer who published a book, A Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets in 1705, which had descriptions of the orbits of 24 comets which had been observed over the past 300 years. He observed that a particular comet was so similar in description over the years that it must be the same object, and predicted its return in 1758. We know this piece of celestial rock as Halley's comet.
Hemingway, Ernest (1899 - 1961)
An American author and journalist and one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He wrote seven novels, two collections of short-stories and two works of non-fiction. Some of his classic novels are A farewell to arms, For whom the bell tolls, The sun also rises and The old man and the sea.
Himmler, Heinrich (1900 - 1945)
One of the many officials that surrounded Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler took it upon himself to rid Nazi Germany of Jews and deviants, by enacting the Final Solution, a program of systematic genocide. He was also the head of the SS and controlled the concentration camps all across Europe. His place on this list is secured only by his being the cause of untold loss and suffering. When the allies won the Second World War, Himmler was captured, but committed suicide in custody.
Hitler, Adolf (1889 - 1945)
When it comes to being the face of evil in the 20th century, Adolf Hitler has no rival. As supreme dictator and the architect of Nazism in Germany, Hitler was responsible for starting the Second World War and causing the deaths of millions of people all over the world, not to mention the murder of over 6 million Jews in Germany and the countries he subjugated in Europe. The allied powers, led by the United States, finally pushed Hitler back into Berlin, where he committed suicide on April 30, 1945.
Homer (c.750 BC - c.650 BC)
Iliad and Odyssey, the two great epics from ancient Greece that have survived the atrocities of time are both credited to a mysterious figure, a blind, bearded man called Homer. We know these poems today as the story of Troy in Iliad, and the adventure of Odysseus in the Odyssey.

I

Imhotep (2667 BC - 2648 BC)
Imhotep is regarded as one of the foremost architects of ancient times and was the chief architect to the Egyptian pharaoh Djoser, who reigned sometime between 2630 BC to 2611 BC. He designed the first stone monument in the world, the step pyramid at Saqqara. He is the first ancient architect that is named in texts and scrolls surviving from those days.

J

Jack the Ripper
The infamous unidentified serial killer, possibly the world's first extensively documented one, terrorized the London neighborhood of Whitechapel in the closing years of the 19th century. Five murders are attributed to Jack the Ripper and possibly a sixth, between the months of August and November 1888. The killings stopped as abruptly as they began and police never learned the identity of the Ripper, although multiple theories have been put forth in the years since.
Jefferson, Thomas (1743 - 1826)
The multi-talented man who authored the Declaration of American Independence, Thomas Jefferson is revered as the founding father and the third President of the United States. He served as Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War and later, as president, oversaw the purchase of Louisiana from France. Jefferson also signed a bill into law, which banned the importing of slaves into the country.

K

Keats, John (1795 - 1821)
John Keats remains one of the greatest poets of the English language and an icon of the Second Romantic Movement, which included such greats as Lord Byron and Percy Bryce Shelley. His greatest work is unarguably the 6 odes he penned in 1819, namely, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode on Indolence, Ode on Melancholy, Ode to a Nightingale, and Ode to Psyche, and To Autumn. They are considered among the best poems ever written and are much read and debated on even today. Genius often does not live long enough to fade away and John Keats was no exception, dying of tuberculosis, at the age of 25, in 1821.
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917 - 1963)
One of the most popular leaders of the United States, John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of America. The Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crises were important events during his tenure. JFK is also known for introducing domestic reforms and extending the civil rights of African-Americans. JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on 22nd November 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald. His assassination is still widely debated, with numerous theories of conspiracy.
Khomeini, Ayatollah (1900 - 1989)
An Iranian religious and political leader, Khomeini was instrumental in transforming Iran into the world's first Islamic republic. He announced Islamic law across the country and his preachings against American influence lead to a group of militant Islamic students to storm the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Many American hostages were held as captives for more than a year.
Khrushchev, Nikita (1894 - 1971)
Known as The Butcher of the Ukraine, for his remorseless execution of Communist Party members during Stalin's purges, Khrushchev became the Premier of the Soviet Union in 1953. His term was fraught with confrontations with the United States, with such incidents as the American U2 spy plane being shot down over Russian airspace, the building of the Berlin Wall and most importantly, the Cuban Missile Crises. He undertook a massive weapons and space program, with the success of the Sputnik mission, which became the first spacecraft to orbit the earth.
King, Martin Luther, Jr (1929 - 1968)
The leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a clergyman who rose to prominence with his impassioned speeches exhorting equality and freedom for millions of blacks suppressed by racial discrimination. He led the March on Washington in 1963 and gave his I have a dream speech, regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

L

Laden, Osama bin (1957 - 2011)
Osama bin Laden was the founder and leader of Al-Qaeda, the global terrorist outfit that carried out attacks like the US Embassy bombings in 1998, the bombing of the USS Cole and ultimately the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was tracked to a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed by a team of Navy Seals in 2011.
Lee, Bruce (1940 - 1973)
Bruce Lee was a martial artist, actor, film-maker, author, martial-art instructor and the founder of the fighting style called Jeet Kune Do (Way of the intercepting fist). Lee starred in several movies, both in China and in the United States, his most memorable being The Fists of Fury (1972), Return of the Dragon (1972) and the film that catapulted him to legendary status - albeit after his sudden death of a brain aneurysm - Enter the Dragon (1973).
Leeuwenhoek, Antonie van (1632 - 1723)
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch textile merchant. He used magnifying glass and observed mouth parts, stings, human louse and fungus in details. In 1676, van Leeuwenhoek observed water under his magnifying glass and saw tiny organisms moving. This was probably the first time man may have observed bacteria. He is therefore, known as the father of microbiology and went on to lay a foundation for plant anatomy and animal reproduction. Leeuwenhoek was the first person to discover sperm and described the spermatozoa from mollusks, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals. His discovery led to the conclusion that spermatozoa penetrated the egg, that lead to fertilization.
Lennon, John (1940 - 1980)
As the founder and lead singer of the greatest pop-act in history- The Beatles, John Lennon is arguably the most famous musician in history. He was a singer, songwriter, superstar and a crusader for peace, who unleashed Beatlemania on the world, and later wrote songs that became anti-establishment anthems, immortal tracks like Give peace a chance and Imagine. He was assassinated in 1980.
Lewis and Clark (1774 - 1809; 1770 - 1838)
The Lewis and Clark expedition undertaken in 1804, was the first American transcontinental expedition to chart the Pacific coast of the country. It was commissioned by President Jefferson and led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They were the fore-runners of the many exploration missions undertaken in later years, to uncover the secrets of the Pacific Northwest.
Lincoln, Abraham (1809 - 1865)
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of United States of America, considered one of the greatest visionaries of his time. He was a staunch opponent of slavery that lead to the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves under Confederate control. This marked an official end to slavery in America and the emergence of a United States.
Louis XVI (1754 - 1793)
Louis XVI was the last king of France, before the French Revolution abolished the monarchy, and established the First French Republic. He was a popular king early in his reign, but economic and social problems faced by the common people of France instigated a revolt and after trying to escape from Paris with his family, King Louis was caught and brought back. He was tried and executed by guillotine, the only French King to ever meet such a gruesome fate.
Luther, Martin (1483 - 1546)
An Augustinian friar who spearheaded the Protestant Reformation in Europe, Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany. He was appalled at the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church, which granted exemption from sin for people living or dead and wrote his famous 95 Theses, attacking the corrupt practices of the Church. He was excommunicated and went into hiding, but kept writing scholarly treatises on reformation and also translated the Bible into German.

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James Madison (1751 - 1836)
A founding father of the United States of America and the fourth president of the country, James Madison is also referred to as the Father of the Constitution, for his efforts in drafting the US Constitution. He was also instrumental in authoring the United States Bill of Rights. He was president from 1809 to 1817 and led the nation in the war against Britain in 1812.
Magellan, Ferdinand (1480 - 1521)
A famous explorer of the 15th century, Ferdinand Magellan became the first man to circumnavigate the earth and was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean. He faced numerous challenges during his trip, overcoming scurvy, starvation and mutinous crewmen to reach Guam in the Western Pacific, but was caught in a feud between warring tribes and killed. A lone ship from his expedition to the Moluccas reached Spain, becoming the first vessel to have circumnavigated the globe.
Mandela, Nelson (1918 - )
An apostle of racial equality and equal opportunity, Nelson Mandela needs no introduction. He was the leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and was imprisoned for 27 years in a solitary cell on Robbens Island prison, off the coast of Cape Town, for plotting to overthrow the government. His party the ANC, carried on his struggle and he was released in 1990, going on to become the President of South Africa and receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993.
Marconi, Guglielmo (1874 - 1937)
Marconi is the father of radio, an Italian inventor and scientist who made breakthroughs in the science of radio transmissions, radio telegraphy and developed the law named after him. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909.
Marx, Karl (1818 - 1883)
Known as the Father of Communism, Karl Marx wrote two of the most influential pieces of literature in modern history, The Communist Manifesto, in 1848, which theorized about class struggle and the drawbacks of the capitalist system and Das Kapital, published first in 1867, an analytical look at the failures of capitalism and a new system of political ideology, namely communism.
Michelangelo (1475 - 1564)
Hailed as the greatest artist of the Italian Renaissance, and probably the greatest artist who ever lived, Michelangelo was a painter, sculptor, poet and architect of the 14th century known for such timeless masterpieces as The Statue of David, the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City and The Last Judgment.
Minh, Ho Chi (1890 - 1969)
Known as the father of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh led the movement for Vietnamese freedom from the Japanese, then against France and finally against a US-backed South Vietnam. He declared Vietnam a free nation after the end of World War II, and fought against French occupation for many years until the country was separated. War however continued as the North Vietnamese fought against the South for control, and finally re-united the country after hostilities ended in 1975. Saigon was re-named Ho Chi Minh City in his honor.
Monroe, Marilyn (1926 - 1962)
The Blonde bombshell as she was often called, Marilyn Monroe was one of the most popular Hollywood actors of all time. Her portrayal of the typical dumb blond in films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955), made her a superstar and a sex-symbol, the likes of which Hollywood had never seen before. Feeling typecast, Monroe starred in the hit, Bus Stop (1956), a role which garnered her a Golden Globe. She was married thrice and divorced as many times, the media linking her to many great personalities of the day, including President John F. Kennedy. Her personal life remained troubled, however, and she was found dead of a suspected barbiturate overdose on August 5, 1962.
Morgan, J. P. (1837 - 1913)
John Pierpont Morgan was one of the most powerful men in America during his career as a banker, financier, philanthropist and art-collector in the late 19th century. He was instrumental in the formation of giant multi-national corporations such as General Electric and United States Steel.
Mussolini, Benito (1883 - 1945)
The founder of Fascism, Benito Mussolini became the leader of Italy from 1922 to 1943. He allied with Nazi Germany and plunged Italy into the Second World War. Mussolini, the Italian dictator, drunk with power, was captured by Italian partisans and shot dead on 28th April 1945.

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Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889 - 1964)
The first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the leading figures of the independence movement in the country and also the President of the Indian National Congress. His term in office was turbulent with such events as the Kashmir war in 1947 and the conflict with China in 1962.
Nero (37 AD - 68 AD)
Nero was the last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and according to ancient historians and scholars, was a despot and a tyrant. His infamy today rests on the acts of persecution against Christians in the 1st century, and his many executions, including that of his mother and stepbrother. Nero built great theaters and held public revels to boost his image but his reign was marred by revolts against the Roman Empire in Britain and the rebellion of Gaul, which dethroned him and he was forced to commit suicide.
Newton, Isaac (1642 - 1726)
The English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and gave the world his Laws of Motion, Orbital Dynamics, the Tidal Theory and the Theory of Universal Gravitation. He laid the foundations of physical optics and even worked on the calculus fundamentals.
Nicholas II (1868 - 1918)
Nicholas II was the last Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, ruling from 1894 till his dethroning and execution by Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918. He was canonized by the Russian Catholic Church after his assassination and is also known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer. Russia faced an unprecedented decline during his time as regent, suffering a humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War and losing over 3 million soldiers in the First World War. When the Bolsheviks seized power after the February Revolution, Nicholas was forced to abdicate. The Tsar, his wife the Empress Alexandra, his son and four daughters were shot to death at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg in July 1918.
Nightingale, Florence (1820 - 1910)
Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp, was the pioneer of modern nursing, a statistician and social reformer. She made her mark serving the wounded soldiers during the Crimean war in 1854, when she worked to provide better living conditions for the men. She trained many volunteers or Nightingale nurses during her lifetime and wrote Notes on Nursing, a book that is considered to be the best introduction to nursing practices.
Nixon, Richard (1913 - 1994)
The only American president to ever resign from office, Richard Nixon served as the President of the United States from 1968 to 1972 and was again re-elected in 1972, before being implicated in the Watergate scandal and forced to resign. His term in office saw America intensify the war-effort in Vietnam, land on the moon and make diplomatic progress with the Soviet Union and China.
Nobel, Alfred (1833 - 1896)
The Swedish chemist who invented dynamite is none other than Alfred Nobel. He invented a number of synthetic materials and registered 355 patents in his lifetime. Alfred Nobel, through a clause in his will, established the prestigious Nobel Prize for people with outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics and peace.

O

Oppenheimer, J. Robert (1904 - 1967)
Known today as the father of the atomic bomb, Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and architect of the Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic bomb during World War II. He later advocated nuclear proliferation and an end to the arms race with the Soviet Union.
Orwell, George (1903 - 1950)
The credit for writing two of the most famous novels of the 20th century, Animal Farm and 1984, goes to a British author and journalist, George Orwell. Both the novels remain cult classics for their portrayal of totalitarian authority and terms like doublethink and Big Brother is watching you, became popular catch-phrases of the 20th century.

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Pasteur, Louis (1822 - 1895)
The inventor of pasteurization, Louis Pasteur demonstrated the process of removing bacteria from milk and preventing it from going bad. He was a French chemist and biologist who put forth the Germ Theory of disease. He went on to explain the cause of cholera, TB and Smallpox and proved the importance of vaccination.
Picasso, Pablo (1881 - 1973)
The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso is unarguably the greatest painter of the 20th century, credited with inspiring the Cubism style of painting with one of his greatest works Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The popular art of collage is a co-invention of Picasso and Georges Braque, inspired from one of his paintings of the same name. Picasso also created stunning works of sculpture and ceramics, his total output during his lifetime is estimated to be nearly 50,000 pieces of art.
Polo, Marco (c.1254 - 1324)
Born into a wealthy Venetian family, Marco Polo has the distinction of being one of the first Europeans to visit China. He stayed in China for 17 years, as a guest of the emperor Kublai Khan and traveled far and wide across the Eastern country. Later in life, his experiences were published as a book, Marco Polo's travels, which gives us an insight into the world as it was in the 13th century.
Presley, Elvis (1935 - 1977)
The King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley remains a legend in the world of music and modern culture. Some of his greatest albums were the self-titled Elvis Presley, G.I Blues and Roustabout and super-hit singles like Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock.
Pythagoras (c.580 BC - c.500 BC)
We have very little information about Pythagoras as he was written about many centuries after he died, however, he is best known today for the Pythagorean theorem, which deals with the relationship between the three sides of a right-angled triangle. His students and followers came to be known as Pythagoreans and he was the leader of a religious movement called Pythagoreanism.

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Reagan, Ronald (1911 - 2004)
The 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan served two terms in office from 1981 to 1989. His anti-communist stance and increased defense spending is stated as one of the reasons of the downfall of Soviet Russia. His terms in office were marked by various socioeconomic policy changes, often called Reaganomics and later by various world events such as the end of the Cold War, the invasion of Grenada, bombings in Libya, and the much debated Iran-Contra affair.
Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)
A great Dutch master and one of the greatest artists of all time, Rembrandt van Rijn is known for such exquisite works as The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp painted in 1632, Syndics of the Drapers' Guild, The Jewish Bride and one of the most famous paintings in the world The Night Watch, which he completed in 1642.
Rockefeller, John D. (1839 - 1937)
The man who founded Standard Oil, one of the largest corporations in the world, John Davison Rockefeller was a leading American industrialist and philanthropist. He also founded the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Institute and also established many foundations for the promotion of science, medicine and education. Adjusted for inflation in the 21st century, Rockefeller's wealth is estimated to be between $400-$600 billion, making him the richest person in history.
Roosevelt, Franklin D (1882 - 1945)
One of the greatest presidents to have led the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to office four times and successfully saw the country through the hardships of the Great Depression and then through the Second World War. Paralyzed with polio in 1921, he remained in politics with the support of his wife Eleanor and when elected as President in 1932, pursued a program of economic reconstruction. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into the theater of war, and Roosevelt was instrumental in bringing together the allied powers to defeat Germany and her allies.
Roosevelt, Theodore (1858 - 1919)
Theodore Roosevelt was the 20th President of the United States, elected after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. He was re-elected again in 1904 and his presidency is memorable for the evolution of America into a superpower and her growing influence on regional and international affairs. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for his role in ending the Russo-Japanese war.
Ruth, George Herman (1895 - 1948)
George Herman Ruth, known popularly as Babe Ruth was arguably the greatest baseball player of all time, setting records for most home runs (714), slugging percentage (.690) and runs batted in (2217), among several others. Babe Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox, The New York Yankees and at the end of his career for the Boston Braves.

S

Salk, Jonas (1914 - 1995)
If there was ever a boon for mankind, it came in the form of Jonas Salk, an American virologist who developed the first Polio vaccine, its success being announced on April 12, 1955 and bringing safety to millions of children around the world. When asked who held the patent for his discovery Salk famously said There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?
Shakespeare, William (1564 - 1616)
Arguably the greatest writer and playwright in the English language, William Shakespeare needs special mention in any list of important historical personalities. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and is also known as the Bard of Avon. It is, however, also a fact that many aspects of his life remain a mystery to us even today. Shakespeare was also an actor who worked with the Kings company and staged plays at the Globe and Blackfriar theaters. Famous for tragic dramas like Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth, Shakespeare also wrote plays in a lighter vein such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merchant of Venice.
Smith, Adam (1723 - 1790)
As the Scottish-born economist who wrote the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, possibly the first treatise on economic theory, Adam Smith had a huge impact on 18th century economics. His ideas are the basis of the capitalist system of economy and free trade practices, observed all over the world today. He was also a founding member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Stalin, Joseph (1879 - 1953)
Joseph Stalin, one of the most powerful and ruthless dictators in history, was born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, in Georgia, a part of the Russian Empire. He rose through the ranks to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922 and implemented policies of rapid industrialization which resulted in famine, starvation and death of millions of people. He also initiated the Great Purge, which executed thousands of people whom Stalin deemed a threat to his power. In the Second World War, he aligned with the allies and the Russian army stemmed the Nazi tide and helped win the war. Stalin held power till his death in 1953, reconstructing the country in what is today termed Stalinist architecture.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (1815 - 1902)
The pioneer of women's rights in the United States, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a leading American social activist during the 19th century, known for her Declaration of Sentiments, a document detailing the social political and religious rights of women at the first women's rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.

T

Thatcher, Margaret (1925 - )
Margaret Thatcher was the first lady Prime Minister of Britain. She was not only the first female prime minister, but went on to serve three consecutive terms in office. She built a very close political and personal relationship with US President Ronald Reagan. She was nicknamed the Iron Lady by a Soviet journalist.
Thoreau, Henry David (1817 - 1862)
An influential author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist and historian, Henry David Thoreau is remembered today for his exemplary work Walden, a treatise on natural living and independent thought and his essay, Civil Disobedience, which described the individuals resistance to oppressive government.
Twain, Mark (1835 - 1910)
Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, one of the greatest American authors ever, responsible for such as classics as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876 and a book that is often termed as The Great American Novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in 1885.

U

Updike, John (1932 - 2009)
John Updike is considered one of the great American novelists of the post-modern era. He is best known for his Rabbit series of novels, and won the Pulitzer Prize twice, once for Rabbit is Rich (1982) and again for Rabbit at Rest (1991).

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Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901)
Alexandrina Victoria was born to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld on May 24, 1819, and ascended to the throne of the British Empire at the age of 18 in 1837. Queen Victoria remains the longest reigning monarch of England, and the longest female monarch of all time, with a reign of 63 years and 7 months. She married Prince Albert and had nine children, all later marrying into various royal families in Europe. She was also proclaimed Empress of India in 1876, and celebrated both her Golden and Diamond jubilees.
Vinci, Leonardo da (1452 - 1519)
Possibly the greatest creative genius who lived during the Renaissance, Da Vinci was an artist, sculptor, scientist and inventor all rolled into one. He is often credited with inventing such advancements as airplanes, bicycles and helicopters, hundreds of years before they would even be thought of. His most famous painting is the Mona Lisa.

W

Washington, George (1732 - 1799)
The first President of the United States, George Washington led the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and was part of the committee that drafted the Constitution. He served two terms in office, and was an exemplary leader, managing a fledgling country, establishing government and winning approval from Americans throughout the land.
Walton, Sam (1918 - 1992)
A pioneer in the field of retailing, Sam Walton gave America and the world such brands as Walmart and Sam's Club. Walmart is one of the largest corporations in the world today with revenues exceeding $400 billion (2012). He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Wright, Frank Lloyd (1967 - 1959)
One of the greatest American architects of the 20th Century, Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 1000 buildings during his lifetime and developed a style known as organic architecture. His famous works include the Fallingwater residence, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City and many famous residences all across the country.
Wright, Orville (1871 - 1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867 - 1912)
It's hard to imagine where the world would be today if the Wright brothers had given up on their dreams of flying. It was on December 17, 1903 that they created history, flying the first airplane that moved under its own power and had a controlled flight.

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Xerxes I of Persia (519 BC - 465 BC)
Xerxes the Great was a Persian Emperor who reigned from 486 to 465 BC, famous for his campaigns against the Greeks and the Spartans. He led a huge army from the ancient city of Sardis and attacked Athens, fighting one of the most famous battles of the ancient world against the Spartans at Thermopylae, where his passage was hindered by King Leonidas and a small force of Spartan warriors.

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Yeltsin, Boris (1931 - 2007)
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, has the distinction of being the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999. His economic policies of liberalization and privatization nearly collapsed the Russian economy and resulted in widespread corruption and the rise of oligarchy. He resigned in 1999, leaving the Presidency to his successor, Vladimir Putin.

Z

Zedong, Mao (1893 - 1976)
Responsible for the revolutionary policies of The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in China, Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, after a long civil war with anti-communist factions to unite the country, and was the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, governing from 1945 to 1976. He tried to industrialize the nation and improve agricultural productivity by launching various disastrous schemes which brought the country to the brink of starvation and rebellion. However, he is regarded as one of the most influential persons of the 20th century, transforming China from an agrarian economy to a thriving world power.
Ziglar, Zig (1926 - 2012)
Hilary Hinton Zig Ziglar, was a famous motivational speaker, salesman and author of the 20th century. Some of his famous books are See You at the Top (1975), Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale (1982) and Born to Win: Find Your Success Code (2012).
These were just a few names of important people in history and this list is by no means exhaustive. However, the Internet and the library are two vast sources of information, if one wants to know about historical figures who played their part in shaping the world we know today.