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Influential People of the 20th Century

Influential People of the 20th Century

Keeping in view the drastic transformations in the way of living, the list of the most important people of the 20th century is endless. This article takes account of those who changed the world in a major way, thus, influencing the way we associate with each other today...
Veethi Telang
The 20th century, that lasted from 1901 to 2000, witnessed a phenomenal jump in the lifestyle of people as a result of the social, ideological, political, and most importantly, technological transformations. With the inclusion of expressions like world war, nuclear war, and beliefs in daily usage, a number of people turned out to be an influence on the lives of commoners.
While the 19th century effectively laid the foundation of progression of global communication and motorization, the 20th century expanded horizons of the same in an all new manner with the help of a huge number of important people in history. Here, we will talk in brief about the influential people that the 20th century saw, people who were responsible for not only transforming the world into what it is today, but also bringing in peace and harmony among world masses.
The Time 100 list of the most influential people mentions names of a number of leaders, revolutionaries, builders, scientists, heroes, and icons. Following is a brief description of the top 10 most influential people that the 20th century saw:
Albert Einstein
The most influential scientist of the decade, Einstein is known as the Father of Modern Physics. He received a Nobel Prize for his contribution to the field of Theoretical Physics in the year 1921.
Mahatma Gandhi
Indians call him the Father of the Nation as he is one of the world's greatest leaders, and the father-figure of Indian Independence Movement. Known for his beliefs like total nonviolence and civil disobedience, it was because of him that India got independence in 1947.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Whether or not he was a 'good' president, he made a special place in the list of presidents of USA who were democratic and most revolutionary. This is because he won wars on two fronts, and helped America get out of the economic depression by the progressive norms and policies. He also created a Social Security system that helped senior citizens, thus, prodding the Golden Age of novelty and production in America.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Whether or not he was a 'good' president, he made a special place in the list of presidents of USA who were democratic and most revolutionary. This is because he won wars on two fronts, and helped America get out of the economic depression by the progressive norms and policies. He also created a Social Security system that helped senior citizens, thus, prodding the Golden Age of novelty and production in America.
Winston Churchill
He was a successful leader, Prime Minister, writer who won a Nobel Prize in literature, and a sound statesmen. He was elected halfway through the Second World War, and was the biggest strength for Britishers and Allies all around the world.
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was the most debated personality of the century and a great German leader. He started the biggest war the world saw, and changed the entire borders by leading Germany throughout World War II. However, he committed suicide on April 30th, 1945. Often criticized for being one of the most evil people in world history, he also instigated the Holocaust.
The Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers were responsible for one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century: the airplane. From a mere bicycle repair shop to experiments and research in the field of airplane development, their mania for airplanes led to the creation of the first heavier-than-air airplane.
Mao Tse-tung
By bringing China under unified standards, Mao Tse-tung is considered as one of the most important personalities to have lived in the 20th century, and a legend of a leader in the Chinese Communist Party. He effectively led both the Chinese revolution and the Communist Party.
Henry Ford
He was neither a leader, nor a politician. However, he invented a car that transformed the face of the automobile world. In 1999, from a survey conducted among Americans, Henry Ford made his place among the Gallup's List of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. He was also the innovator of welfare capitalism.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Another president of USA, John F. Kennedy was a phenomenal and liberal leader of the 20th century. He was often criticized for dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was killed in dubious situations which are still far-fetched.
Nelson Mandela
A former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has received more than 100 awards and honors. However, the most notable achievement of Mandela was the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 1993.
Apart from the people listed above, there are many others who were equally impactful, but not as prominent. The following is a compilation of 100 influential individuals of the 20th century who molded the era with their phenomenal achievements and beliefs.
20th Century's 100 Most Influential People
Leaders and Politicians
Sr. No. Name Occupation/Influence
1. Ayatullah R. Khomeini Leader of Iran's Revolution
2. Bill Clinton Former U.S. President
3. David Ben-Gurion Israel's 1st Prime Minister
4. Eleanor Roosevelt Former U.S. First Lady
5. Fidel Castro Dictator of Cuba
6. Harry Truman Former U.S. President
7. Ho Chi Minh First President of North Vietnam
8. Joseph Stalin Soviet Politician
9. Lech Walesa Polish Union Organizer
10. Mao Zedong Leader of Communist China
11. Margaret Sanger Birth Control Crusader
12. Margaret Thatcher British Prime Minister
13. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Leader
14. Mikhail Gorbachev Soviet Reformer
15. Pope John Paul II Religious Leader
16. Ronald Reagan Former U.S. President
17. Theodore Roosevelt Former U.S. President and Environmentalist
18. Tony Blair Former U.K. Prime Minister
19. Unknown Rebel Photographer of Tiananmen Square protests
20. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Founder of Soviet Union
Scientists and Thinkers
Sr. No. Name Occupation/Influence
1. Alan Turing Computer Scientist
2. Alexander Fleming Bacteriologist
3. Edwin Hubble Astronomer
4. Enrico Fermi Atomic Physicist
5. James Watson and Francis Crick Molecular Biologists
6. Jean Piaget Child Psychologist
7. John Maynard Keynes Economist
8. Onas Salk Virologist
9. Kurt Godel Mathematician
10. Leo Baekeland Plastics Pioneer
11. Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosopher
12. Marie Curie Scientist and Discoverer of Radium
13. Niels Bohr Physicist
14. Philo Farnsworth Inventor of Electronic Television
15. Rachel Carson Environmentalist
16. Robert Goddard Rocket Scientist
17. Sigmund Freud Psychoanalyst
18. The Leakey Family Anthropologists
19. Tim Berners-Lee Internet Designer
20. William Shockley Solid-state Physicist
Artists and Entertainers
Sr. No. Name Occupation/Influence
1. Aretha Franklin Soul Musician
2. Bart Simpson Cartoon Character
3. Bob Dylan Folk Musician
4. Charlie Chaplin Comic Genius
5. Coco Chanel Designer
6. Frank Sinatra Singer
7. Igor Stravinsky Classical Musician
8. James Joyce Novelist
9. Jim Henson Puppeteer and Creator of TV's Muppets
10. Le Corbusier Architect
11. Louis Armstrong Jazz Musician
12. Lucille Ball TV Star
13. Marlon Brando Actor
14. Martha Graham Dancer and Choreographer
15. Oprah Winfrey TV Talk-show Host
16. Pablo Picasso Artist
17. Rogers and Hammerstein Broadway Showmen
18. Steven Spielberg Movie Maker
19. The Beatles Rock Musicians
20. T.S. Eliot Poet
Builders and Titans
Sr. No. Name Occupation/Influence
1. A.P. Giannini Architect of Nationwide Banking
2. Akio Morito Co-founder of Sony
3. Bill Gates Co-founder of Microsoft
4. Charles Merill Advocate of Small Investor
5. David Sarnoff Father of Broadcasting
6. Estee Lauder Cosmetics Tycoon
7. Joseph Blatter President of Fifa
8. Juan Trippe Aviation Entrepreneur
9. Leo Burnett Advertising Genius
10. Louis B. Mayer Hollywood Mogul
11. Lucky Luciano Criminal Mastermind
12. Pete Rozelle Football-league Commissioner
13. Ray Kroc Hamburger Meister
14. Sam Walton Wal-Mart Dynamo
15. Stephen Bechtel Construction Magnate
16. Thomas Watson Jr. IBM President
17. Walt Disney Creator of Animation and Multimedia
18. Walter Reuther Labor Reader
19. William Levitt Creator of Suburbia
20. Willis Carrier Maker of Air-conditioning systems
Icons and Heroes
Sr. No. Name Occupation/Influence
1. Andrei Sakharov Soviet Dissident
2. Anne Frank Diarist and Holocaust Victim
3. Bill Wilson Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
4. Billy Graham Evangelist
5. Bruce Lee Actor and Martial-arts Star
6. Charles Lindbergh Transatlantic Aviator
7. Che Guevara Guerrilla Leader
8. Diana Princess of Wales
9. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Conquerors of Mount Everest
10. Emmeline Pankhurst Suffragist
11. Harvey Milk Gay-rights Leader
12. Helen Keller Champion of the Disabled
13. Jackie Robinson Baseball Player
14. Marilyn Monroe Actress
15. Mother Teresa Missionary Nun
16. Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing Champion
17. Pele Soccer Champion
18. Rosa Parks Civil Rights Torchbearer
19. The American G.I. Soldier for Freedom
20. The Kennedys Dynasty
It was amongst these wars, conflicts, and revolutions that the aforementioned individuals proved to be the effective contributors to the world. It was because of their efforts and participation that the life we are living now could be thought of. Good or bad, these people have and will always influence our lives from time to time.