Who are the most influential people in history?

The answer is no mystery if we join the chunks of human history, all the ideologies, innovations, and contributions that the heroes made.

Our world would never have been the same without these heroes who created history in their name and influenced the whole world.

Most Influential people in history
Most Influential People in History (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

What has human history not gone through?

From the age of darkness to enlightenment, from the theological age to the age of scientific innovation, from wars and terror to a peaceful resolution, human history is revolved around several ups and downs.

So, What caused human history to go through all these? And, Who were the most influential people to change the world forever?

Let’s find out the 100 most influential people in the history of all time.

100 Most Influential People in the History of all Time

This list of the most influential people in history is prepared based on  Historycollection.com.

Names   Short Description 
 100. Mother Teresa She is an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to caring for the helpless and poor and needy in the slums of Calcutta.

Additionally, she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for the same.

 99. Mary Magdelene An influential figure in Christianity who was a witness to Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.
 98. Lao Tzu Chinese philosopher who is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching.

Similarly, he is the founder of philosophical Taoism.

 97. Mao Zedong  Chinese communist revolutionary who initiated the cultural revolution in China.

He is considered the founding father of the People’s Republic of China though millions of people were persecuted in his period. 

 96. Lenin  Leader of the Russian Revolution and new Communist regime from 1917 to 1924.
 95. Michael Jackson American singer and songwriter who dominated the pop music industry of the 20th century.

Also known as the King of Pop.

 94. Nelson Mandela  First black president of South Africa and Black rights activist.
 93. Elvis Presley  One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century.

Also known as “King of Rock and Roll.”

 92. Mahavira  Contributed to position Jainism in its present-day form.
 91. Steve Jobs  Especially known for the digital and technological revolution.

Moreover, he helped change the culture of technology through Apple.

 90. Nicoli Machiavelli 
Italian philosopher and diplomat.

Notable Work- The Prince, Discourses on Livy

 89. Henry ford American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company.
 88. Walt Disney American entrepreneur, animator, writer, and voice actor who pioneered animation in the American industry. 
87. Neil Armstrong American astronaut.

Also, the first person to reach the moon.

 86. Yuri Gagarin Soviet cosmonaut who is the first human to journey into outer space.
 85.  Homer  An influential figure of greek literature popular for the Iliad and the odyssey. 
 84. Marie Curie  Polish-French physicist and chemist who is credited for the discovery of radium and polonium.

Interestingly, she is also two times Nobel prize winner.

 83. Voltaire  A key figure of European Enlightenment whose satirical writings played a role in shaping the French Revolution.
Furthermore, his notable work include Candide, éléments de la philosophie de newton. 
 82. Franklin d Roosevelt 32nd us president.
 81. Mani  Iranian founder of Manichaeism.

Manichaeism is a gnostic religion that focused on elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.

 80. John F. Kennedy 
One of the most influential people in history and the 38th President of the US.

He served at the height of the Cold War and helped defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis protecting the world from a nuclear war.

 79. Mahatma Gandhi  Indian Political leader and anti-colonial nationalist who fought against the British Empire to regain Indian independence.

Moreover, his non-violent resistance was widely followed and popular.

 78. Abraham Lincoln  16th president of the U.S.A who is known for abolishing slavery.

He officially issued the Emancipation Proclamation, calling on the Union army to liberate all enslaved people in states.

 77. Cleopatra Queen of Egypt who actively influenced Roman politics at a crucial period.
 76. Srinivasa Ramanujan An Indian mathematician without formal education who made substantial contributions to mathematics.

Moreover, Ramanujan is most famous for his contributions to number theory and infinite series.

 75. Hippocrates Greek physician attributed as the astounding figure in the history of medicine.

Moreover, he is known as the father of medicine.

 74. Winston Churchill British Prime Minister during the time of World War Two.
 73. Archimedes  Greek mathematician who propounded the hydrostatic principle (known as Archimedes’ principle).

Importantly, he is regarded as the Father of Mathematics.

 72. Wright Brothers  Created the first airplane.
 71. Vasco de Gama Portuguese explorer who was the first European to reach India and pioneer a route to flourish European Imperialism.
 70. Marco Polo 
A Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who traveled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295.
 69. Vincent van Gog An Influential figure in western art.

The Dutch painter’s notable paintings include The Starry Night,  The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, Cafe Terrace at Night, The Bedroom. 

 68. Christopher Colombus   Discovered America in 1492.
 67. Elizabeth I of England An influential ruler who created an environment for arts to flourish and maintained peace.

In fact, she established Protestantism in England.

 66.  Johannes Kepler 17th-century German mathematician who discoveredlaws of planetary motion,
 65.  Louis Braille French educator credited for his invention of a system of reading and writing that eased the blind or visually impaired.
 64. Sun Tzu Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher.

His most influential work includes The Art of War that changed the military strategy and perception of the world.

 63. Martin Luther King, Jr. Baptist minister and social activist who took the lead to establish civil rights in America.
 62. Stephen Hawking English theoretical physicist who was especially known for propounding the Hawking radiation.
 61. Benjamin franklin Inventor of lightning Rod, Bifocal lense, Franklin Stove, and Armonica.

Besides his contribution to science, he contributed to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution draft.

Similarly, he also negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which is known to end the Revolutionary War.

 60. Nikola Tesla
He was the first to invent the alternating current (AC) motorand developed AC generation and transmission technology.
 59. Thomas Malthus Influential English economist who contributed in the fields of political economy and demography.

And, also propounded Malthus’s theory of population.

 58. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart A prolific and influential composer of the Classical period.
 57. Leonhard Euler First-person to introduce the study of graph theory and topology.

Similarly, he made influential discoveries in other branches of mathematics including analytic number theory, complex analysis, and infinitesimal calculus.

 56. Herodotus  Greek author who is also known as the father of history.

He wrote a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars.

Similarly, He was the first historian to do a systematic investigation of historical events.

 55. Asoka  Indian King who conquered several empires and established large empire.
 54. Johann Sebastian Bach  German composer and musician of the late Baroque period.

His best-known compositions include “Mass in B Minor,” the “Brandenburg Concertos,” and “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” 

 53. Edward Jenner  Developed the world’s first vaccine, i.e., the smallpox vaccine.

Similarly, he is also called the father of immunology.

 52. Sigmund Freud  Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis who worked on human consciousness, feelings, desires, memories, and dreams.
 51. Julius Caesar  Roman ruler popular for his military and political success.
 50. Adolf Hitler 
Dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945.
Captivated many Germans with his anti-semantic propaganda.Read more about Adolf Hitler and other evil people in history.
 49. Thomas Jefferson  The third President of the United States entitled as American Founding Father.

Most importantly, he is also the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776),

 48. Franciso Pizarro  Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incas and even executed their leader, Atahualpa.
 47. Nikolaus August Otto  An influential figure who led to the modern internal combustion engine through the development of the compressed charge internal combustion engine.
 46. Joseph Lister  Pioneered the use of sterilization and antiseptic surgery.
 45. Umar ibn al-Khattab Powerful Muslim Caliphate and senior companion of Muhammad, who undoubtedly is a central figure in Sunni Islam.
 44. Gregor Mendel  Biologist and mathematician who discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance.

Likewise, he is also considered the father of genetics.

 43. Max Planck  German theoretical physicist who contributed to the field of   Quantum physics.

Likewise, he discovered energy quanta.

Also, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

 42. St. Augustine  Influential theologian in Roman Catholicism and a philosopher.
 41. Rene Descartes  French philosopher and mathematician.

“I think, therefore I am.”

 40. Leonardo da Vinci 
The most influential figure of the renaissance period. He is an Italian painter, mathematician, engineer, and scientist.

Notable Paintings – Mona Lisa, The last supper, Salvator Mundi, Vitruvian man, Adoration of the Magi

Similarly, he is also known for conceptually inventing the parachute and the helicopter.

 39. Michelangelo  Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance especially famous for The statue of David, The Last Judgment, The Pietà, The creation of Adam, Crucifixion 
 38. Simon Bolivar  Worked for Liberating Latin American countries.
 37. Louis Daguerre French artist and photographer considered influential for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography.
 36. Werner Heisenberg  German physicist who is one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics.

In fact, Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1932.

 35. Ludwig Van Beethoven  A key composer in the history of the western world.

Notable composition-  Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (1808), Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op 92 (1813).

 34. Alexander Fleming  Scottish physician, best known for discovering penicillin.
 33. Alexander Graham Bell   Invented the first practical telephone.
 32. Karl Marx  Philosopher and the founder of Communism.
 31. Plato  The Athenian philosopher who is also the author of  Republic, Apology, Phaedo, Crito. 
 30. Guglielmo Marconi 
Italian inventor who invented Radio.
 29. Antony Van Leewenhoek  Dutch scientist, also regarded as the Father of Microbiology.

He discovered blood cells and microscopic nematodes. 

 28. Thomas Edition  American inventor and scientist.

He invented many devices relating to electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.

However, his most influential invention is regarded as the invention of electric light.

 27. Napoleon Bonaparte  French military and political leader who successfully conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century.
 26. Alexander the Great  The ancient Greek king of the kingdom of Macedon.

Furthermore, he stretched his empire from Macedonia to Egypt and from Greece to part of India.

 25. William Shakespeare  One of the prolific English poets, playwrights, and actors famous for his works such as Macbeth, Romeo, and Juliet, and Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The tempest.
 24. Adam Smith  Scottish economics widely known as the founder of classical economics. 
23. Genghis Khan He founded and became the first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.

Similarly, he ventured to establish the largest land empire in history.

 22. Socrates Greek philosopher.

“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

 21. George Washington  The first president of America.
 20. Martin Luther
He started the Protestant Reformation to reform the Roman Catholic Church.
 19. James Clerk Maxwell  Scottish mathematician who influenced the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. 

Moreover, he described electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon.

 18. Michael Faraday  English scientist who contributed to the field of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Some of his main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and electrolysis.

 17. James Watt Scottish inventor remembered for his improvements to the steam engine.
 16. Constantine the Great Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 who developed Christianity as the main religion of Rome.
 15. Nicolaus Copernicus Formulated a model of the universe where the sun is at the center.
 14. Shih Huang Ti King of the state of Qin.

He successfully conquered and united different regions of China in 221 BC.

 13. Charles Darwin British naturalist and biologist renowned for his works in evolutionary science, especially the theory of evolution.
 12. Moses One of the prominent figures of Jewish / Christian history who gave 10 Commandments of the Old Testament.
 11. Euclid Greek mathematician who is also the founder of geometry. 
 10. Aristotle
Greek philosopher and the founder of lyceum.

In addition,  Nicomachean Ethics, Metaphysics, Politics are some of his notable works.

 9. Galileo Galilei Italian astronomer and the person to design the first pendulum clock.

Also called  “father of observational astronomy,” the “father of modern physics,” the “father of the scientific method,” and the “father of modern science.”

 8. Louis Pasteur  French chemist who discovered the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization.
 7. Albert Einstein German/Us theoretical physicist known for the theory of relativity and the law of photoelectric effect.

Similarly, one of the influential figures to work for the development of quantum Mechanics.

Likewise, he received the Nobel prize in physics in the year 1921.

Furthermore, he was named Time Magazine person of the century in 1999.

 6. Paul of Tarsus  He is also known as Paul the Apostle or more commonly as Saint Paul.

Christian apostle who spread the teachings of Jesus in the first-century world.

 5. Confucius  Chinese philosopher and politician who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages.
 4. Gautam Buddha  Founder of Buddhism
 3. Jesus of Nazareth Also known as Jesus of Nazareth.

A spiritual and religious teacher and especially a Jewish preacher.

Most importantly, he is the central figure of Christianity.

 2. Isaac Newton British mathematician and scientist who established classical mechanics.

Also, propounded laws of motion and universal gravitation.

1. Muhammad  Arab religious leader and the founder of Islam

So, do you agree with our list of the 100 most influential people in the history of all time?

Comment below!

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