Influential People of All Times

Influential People of All Times

Some of the most influential people in the world have been those who showed the world a different path. While some have been known for their treachery, others have made this world a better place to live in. Their magnetic personality made them national and international heroes and icons.
Historyplex Staff
History stands testimony to many religious leaders, spiritual gurus, political leaders, scientists, revolutionaries and social reformers who have shaped the destiny of the world. Here's an article dedicated to all those people whose contributions have given this world a new way to think and act.

World's Most Influential People
Here is some information about important people in history who shaped the world.

Isaac Newton
One of the greatest physicists of all times, Sir Isaac Newton proposed the laws of motion and laws of Gravitation. He is also known for his book, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), more commonly known as 'Principia'. This single book became a foundation stone for many of the fundamentals of classical mechanics. Besides Physics, he also contributed in the development of Calculus, a branch of higher mathematics.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest theoretical physicist, the world has ever produced and he is known for widely known for his theory of relativity. Albert Einstein shook the physics world by proposing the magnificent law of relativity and mass energy relevance. In the year 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions and services to the physics world.

Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Edison, also known as 'The Wizard of Menlo Park' invented the light bulb and made more than 1000 inventions in his lifetime. He is said to be one of the biggest inventors of all time and he has majorly contributed in the field of telecommunication management. Besides being a scientist, Edison also had a sharp business acumen and he is said to have started the concept of mass production and large teamwork to produce products in bulk.

Mahatma Gandhi
Known as the 'naked fakir' and 'father of the nation', Mahatma Gandhi was the key player in leading India to independence from the rule of British empire. He used nonviolence as a weapon to force the mighty British empire leave India. Known to be an inspiration for many people in the world, including, Martin Luther King Jr. and the present US president Barack Obama. He is rated to be at the top of world's greatest leaders.

Winston Churchill
A prominent British leader, a great prime minister and a statesman who emerged as the biggest source of indomitable will for British army in the second half of World war. Besides being a great diplomat and leader, he is the only prime minister in the world to have received a Nobel prize in literature. Owing to his charisma and leadership qualities, the US recognized him as the first honorary US citizen. He is known for leading the British army brilliantly in the WWII.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
The 32nd president of the US is still rated to be among the best presidents in the list of presidents of USA. He is regarded to be one of the most outstanding personality in US politics and leadership. He took over as president of the US in tumultuous times of Great Depression and recovered America's position. He brought hope to the country and he was the president who introduced the concept of social security to support people in old ages.

The Wright Brothers
The Wright brothers changed the world's transportation system and helped humans to fly high in the sky. Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) contributed to one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century - the airplanes. These two American brothers were passionate about machines and since their teenage years, they played with machines and made their own bicycles.

Adolf Hitler
The chief of Nazi German Army in second world war, Adolf Hitler has been one of the most powerful, brutal and perhaps an influential figure in the history of world. He is also widely infamous for his treachery as a barbaric leader. His autobiography, Mein Kampf, written while he was imprisoned for a year in 1923, is a story of how a child turns into one of the greatest military and political figures.

Karl Marx
A social philosopher, whose ideas and beliefs led to the Russian revolution, Karl Max works made a crucial contribution in the foundation stone of an equal society and balanced economy. Marxist philosophy had a great influence on social and economic world. His another famous work is 'The Das Capital'.

William Shakespeare
One of the greatest literary genius the world has ever seen, William Shakespeare was one of the most admirable people in the world who made English literature popular worldwide. 'Julius Caesar', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Macbeth' etc., are some of the best novels written by this literary genius.

Alexander Graham Bell
Bell's father and mother were deaf and this was the greatest influence in his life. His deep research and study on speech led the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. History owes a lot to this man who gave the world one of the most fastest and easiest modes of communication, the telephone.

James Watson and Francis Crick
They changed the way of medical research by proposing the first double helix structure of DNA molecule in the year 1953. DNA research got a great boost due to their efforts.

Sigmund Freud
One of the most popular figures in the psychology, and known as Father of psychology, Sigmund Freud's work, 'Interpretations of Dreams' is a world-famous book. Sigmund Freud's work on psychoanalysis, dreams, sex, alter ego, consciousness revolutionized the field of psychology and he made a remarkable contribution in unraveling mysteries underlying human mind and thoughts.

President Barack Obama
The first African-American President of US, President Barack Obama created history in the US presidential elections. Obama was a US senator from Illinois since 2005 and he resigned from his senator post after the presidential elections. His book, 'Dreams from My Father' is an international best seller and is an autobiographical narrative.

Here is a list of some of the most famous people in history, whose ideas and lives changed our perception about several things in this world:
  • Confucius
  • St. Paul
  • Johann Gutenberg
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Louis Pasteur
  • Galileo Galilei
  • Aristotle
  • Euclid
  • Moses
  • Charles Darwin
  • Shih Huang Ti
  • Augustus Caesar
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Antoine Laurent Lavoisier
  • Constantine the Great
  • James Watt
  • Michael Faraday
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • George Washington
  • Genghis Khan
  • Adam Smith
  • Edward de Vere
  • John Dalton
  • Alexander the Great
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Antony van Leeuwenhoek
  • William T.G. Morton
  • Guglielmo Marconi
  • Plato
  • Oliver Cromwell
  • Alexander Fleming
  • John Locke
  • Beethoven
  • Werner Heisenberg
  • Louis Daguerre
  • Simon Bolivar
  • Rene Descartes
  • Michelangelo
  • Pope Urban II
  • 'Umar ibn al-Khattab
  • Asoka
  • St. Augustine
  • William Harvey
  • Ernest Rutherford
  • John Calvin
  • Gregor Mendel
  • Max Planck
  • Joseph Lister
  • Nikolaus August Otto
  • Francisco Pizarro
  • Hernando Cortes
  • Queen Isabella I
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Julius Caesar
  • William the Conqueror
  • Edward Jenner
  • Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Lao Tzu
  • Voltaire
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Enrico Fermi
  • Leonhard Euler
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Nicoli Machiavelli
  • Thomas Malthus
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Gregory Pincus
  • Mani, Lenin
  • Sui Wen Ti
  • Vasco da Gama
  • Cyrus the Great
  • Peter the Great
  • Mao Zedong
  • Francis Bacon
  • Henry Ford
  • Mencius, Zoroaster
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Menes
  • Charlemagne, Homer
  • Justinian I
Influential People in American History

The American history is full of examples of some really great personalities. Here is a list of some of them:
  • Herman Melville
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Marshall
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • James Madison
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Mark Twain
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Thomas Paine
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Harry Truman
  • Walt Whitman
  • John Adams
  • Walt Disney
  • Eli Whitney
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Earl Warren
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Henry Clay
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Jonas Salk
  • Jackie Robinson
  • William Jennings Bryan
  • J. P. Morgan
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Rachel Carson
  • John Dewey
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • W. E. B. DuBois
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Samuel F. B. Morse
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Robert Oppenheimer
  • Frederick Law Olmsted
  • James K. Polk
  • Margaret Sanger
  • Joseph Smith
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
  • Bill Gates
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Horace Mann
  • Robert E. Lee
  • John C. Calhoun
  • Louis Sullivan
  • William Faulkner
  • Samuel Gompers
  • William James
  • George Marshall
  • Jane Addams
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Elvis Presley
  • James D. Watson
  • James Gordon Bennett
  • Lewis and Clark
  • P.T. Barnum
  • Noah Webster
  • Sam Walton
  • Cyrus McCormick
  • Brigham Young
  • George Herman "Babe" Ruth
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Betty Friedan
  • John Brown
  • Louis Armstrong
  • William Randolph Hearst
  • Margaret Mead
  • George Gallup
  • James Fenimore Cooper
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Mary Baker Eddy
  • Benjamin Spock
  • Enrico Fermi
  • Walter Lippmann
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Lyman Beecher
  • John Steinbeck
  • Nat Turner
  • George Eastman
  • Sam Goldwyn
  • Ralph Nader
  • Stephen Foster
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Richard Nixon
Influential Women in History
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Saint Joan of Arc
  • Aspasia of Miletus
  • Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Jane Austen
  • Ella Baker
  • Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
  • Cleopatra
  • Juana Ines de la Cruz
  • Marie Curie
  • Agnes George de Mille
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Eleanor of Aquitane
  • Beatrix Jones Farrand
  • Edith Flanigen
  • Anne Frank
  • Rosalind Elsie Franklin
  • Betty Naomi Friedan
  • Elizabeth Gurney Fry
  • Margaret Fuller
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke
  • Caroline Lucretia Herschel
  • Judith E. Heumann
  • Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin
  • Ariel Hollinshead
  • Mary Phelps Jacob
  • Helen Keller
  • Billie Jean King
  • Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai
  • Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Susette La Flesche Tibbles
  • Maya Lin
  • Juliette Gordon Low
  • Anne Sullivan Macy
  • Wilma Mankiller
  • Barbara McClintock
  • Catherine de Medici
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Lise Meitner
  • Rigoberta Menchu Tum
  • Maria Montessori
  • Mother Theresa
  • Baroness Murasaki Shikibu
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit
  • Emmeline Pankhurstv
  • Rosa Parks
  • Eva Peron
  • Christine de Pizan
  • Pocahontas
  • Queen Anne
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Queen Isabella
  • Queen Victoria
  • Jeannette Rankin
  • Sally Ride
  • Alexandra Romanov
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Sakajawea
  • Margaret Sanger
  • Sappho
  • Rose Schneiderman
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Lucy Stone
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Harriet Russell Strong
  • Bertha von Suttner
  • Emma Tenayuca
  • Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshkova
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Tz'u Hsi
  • Yoshiko Uchida
  • Phyllis Wheatley
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
  • Clara Barton
  • Florence Bascom
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Aphra Behn
  • Ruth Fulton Benedict
  • Shirley Temple Black
  • Elizabeth Blackwell
  • Bonnie Kathleen Blair
  • Rosa Bonheur
  • Louise Arner Boyd
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo
  • Rachel Carson
  • Catherine the Great
  • St. Catherine
  • Chien-shiung Wu
  • Michelle Obama
  • Indrya Nooyi
  • Sonia Gandhi
  • Mayawati
Reading autobiographies of the above great men and women is always a great source of learning, as you can easily find lots of life lessons embedded in them. So if you find time, do go through some of the books based on their life and works. Here is a list of some of the leaders who have moved the world in more than one way.