One of the most fascinating topics in history is that of the truly influential people who shaped our world. On this list, you’ll find some familiar names and perhaps a few you’ve never heard before. Either way, their contributions to society are undeniable, so here’s to them!
1. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity and arguably the most influential person in history. The son of God and Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ has had a profound impact on the lives of billions of people around the world. His teachings have been adopted by billions more as their primary approach to morality, spirituality, and ethics.
His influence extends beyond his own followers; his teachings have inspired countless individuals throughout history to better themselves and their societies through charity work or other selfless pursuits. His influence is so great that even those who do not believe in him still look up to him as an example of how one should act in society. This makes him unique among historical figures because very few people can claim such widespread appeal across cultures over many millennia – even if they are not religious themselves!
Moses was the prophet of the Old Testament, the lawgiver, and the leader of the Israelites. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. He was also the first prophet to receive Torah. In addition, he set up laws for how people were supposed to live their lives and wrote down everything God had said so that future generations could know what happened in their history.
Why does Moses make it to this list? Because without him there may not have been any other religions.
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. He is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, strategies rooted in Christian activism.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance (satyagraha). Through his leadership, he became a defining figure of 20th-century social progressivism.
Buddha is a figure of historical importance, as well as one who has been adopted as a spiritual teacher by many. Although he was born into great wealth and privilege, he renounced his riches to become a monk. He taught that life is suffering and death is inevitable without inner peace. Buddha taught Four Noble Truths:
- There is suffering in the world
- The origin of suffering is attachment or desire (craving)
- Suffering can be ended by overcoming attachment/desire
- There are eight “paths” to help us reach this goal
5. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821) was a military and political leader of France during the French Revolution and beyond. He was a general during the French Revolution, ruler of France as First Consul of the French Republic, a military leader during the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814, and King of Italy from 1805 to 1814 (also known as Napoleon I), King of Spain from 1808 to 1813 (also known as Napoleon II), and Lord Protector over Switzerland in 1797.
Why does he make it to the list of most influential people?
Napoleon’s actions had far-reaching consequences on history. His successes on land led him to invade Russia where he suffered defeat at Borodino but still pursued his campaign despite being outnumbered greatly by Russian soldiers who eventually forced him back into Poland where they got involved with siege warfare tactics around Smolensk which ultimately ended in failure again due to low morale amongst his troops so they retreated back towards Moscow where they finally surrendered after suffering heavy losses due to starvation along with disease outbreaks like typhoid fever that took many lives away too quickly for them even realize what happened until it was too late!
6. Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was one of the greatest military commanders in history. He was a student of Aristotle, who was himself a great scholar and philosopher. Alexander was born on July 20th in 356 BC and died at age 32 on June 10th 323 BC.
Alexander’s father, King Philip II of Macedon taught him how to command an army and lead it into battle as well as how to govern a kingdom. By watching his father rule over Macedonia, he learned that if you want people to respect you, they need food more than anything else!
He conquered most of the known world during his reign as king (336-323 BC), which allowed him to gain wealth that few people could even imagine today!
7. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is one of the most influential people in history. He was a theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, which proposed that no matter how fast something moves, the laws of physics are the same for all observers regardless of their relative velocity. This principle led to his insights into gravity, light, and energy which helped shape modern science.
Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879 and later moved to Munich with his family when he was 3 years old. He excelled at mathematics and science at school but struggled with languages so much that he failed his entrance exam for admission into Zurich Polytechnic Institute (now ETH Zurich). In 1900 he passed another entrance exam at Swiss Federal Polytechnic School that allowed him admission into Zürich University where he studied under Professor Hermann Minkowski who greatly influenced Einstein’s theories about space-time geometry and four-dimensional geometry.
After publishing several papers on theoretical physics during 1905-1906 including “Does The Inertia Of A Body Depend On Its Energy Content?,” Einstein received his doctorate degree from ETH Zurich on June 19th, 1909 although he had been teaching there since 1908! Later that same year Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory was proven wrong by American physicist Robert A Millikan who used an oil drop experiment rather than mathematical calculations as Maxwell had done before him
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath who lived from 384 to 322 BC. He was a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, and he wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, and government. Aristotle’s writings were not generally accepted during his own lifetime; they were later criticized by Neoplatonists who believed in themselves having had direct contact with godly ideas through mystical experience rather than reason or empirical observation.
However, this did not stop Aristotle from making it onto our list because even though he was wrong about things like motion and infinity that doesn’t matter because what he got right is so important!
9. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, the Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of Nazi Germany, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was central to the Holocaust.
10. Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is one of the most influential people in history. He made many notable achievements while he was an astronaut and has inspired millions with his famous quote “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong’s impact on society goes beyond space exploration; he was also a pioneer in aviation technology and electrical engineering research at NASA. His work helped create better planes that could fly faster than ever before.
11. Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus is one of the great explorers, and his discoveries have had a lasting impact on the world. He was born in Genoa, Italy, on October 31, 1451.
In 1492 he set out on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to reach Asia (Asia being known as Cathay at that time). His expedition landed on an island in what is now called the Bahamas; this discovery led to further exploration and contact with indigenous people that resulted in the European colonization of North America from 1513 until 1776 when it became part of an independent United States.
12. George Washington
George Washington is the first president of the United States. He was also a general in the Continental Army and led American forces to victory over British troops in the Revolutionary War.
Washington was unanimously elected as president in 1788, and he served two terms (from 1789 to 1797). He was not only responsible for leading the country through its infancy but also established many foundational principles that we still use today: federalism, separation of powers between branches of government, executive veto power, and judicial review (the idea that courts can declare laws unconstitutional), among others.
13. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and, in terms of his impact on American history, may well be considered one of our greatest presidents. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln moved to Illinois when he was eight years old; he lived in Indiana for a short time before becoming a lawyer.
Lincoln first met John Brown during Brown’s trial after conflict with slavery supporters escalated into violence. While some viewed Brown as an extremist who didn’t understand how much racism existed in America, Lincoln disagreed—and defended him at his trial. When asked if he would try again if pardoned by President James Buchanan (the man who later succeeded him), Brown replied: “I prefer not answering this question.”
Lincoln faced many challenges as president due to both political and personal reasons; however, nothing could stop him from making sure that slavery would eventually be abolished once and for all—with or without consent from slave owners themselves!
14. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States (1801–09). The author of many books regarding political philosophy, he is considered one of America’s most influential founders. In addition to his work in politics, Jefferson had a profound interest in science, invention, and architecture. He designed his home Monticello as well as many other public buildings. As a diplomat during his lifetime, he promoted trade with Europe on behalf of America.
15. George W. Bush
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 6th, 1946—the same year that the Nuremberg Trials began and three years after the end of World War II—George W. Bush was the first President to be born after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. As 43rd United States President for two terms from 2001 until 2009, his legacy will forever be marked by 9/11 and the wars it spawned around the globe. Though his policies have been heavily criticized across political parties during his time as Commander-in-Chief (or CINC), he did bring an end to a period where America was defined by its divisiveness over social issues like gay marriage or abortion rights; during his tenure as president, these issues were largely relegated to state governments rather than national debate.
It also bears mentioning that Bush is only one of three presidents who served their entire term without being impeached (that’s right—Richard Nixon didn’t get impeached either!). And considering how often we hear about presidents getting impeached nowadays? Well…
16. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963. His death caused an uproar in the country, and it’s one of those events that everyone remembers where they were when they heard about it.
President Kennedy was a Democrat, which means he opposed Republicans (the party in control at that time). He also supported social programs like Medicare and Medicaid that helped people who couldn’t afford healthcare otherwise; additionally, he fought for fair housing laws because he wanted everyone to be treated equally regardless of their race or gender identity – this is known as civil rights for everyone!
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917 which makes him 98 years old right now if he were still alive today!
17. Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR)
Franklin D Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1945. He was a central figure in world events during much of the 20th century. During his 12 years as president, he led America through two of its most challenging periods: The Great Depression and World War II.
Roosevelt was born into one of New York City’s wealthiest families on January 30, 1882. He graduated from Harvard University in 1904 with an A.B., cum laude; then studied law at Columbia Law School where he earned an LLB degree after completing three years’ work in two-and-a-half years (1905). While at Columbia Law School he joined his father’s law firm—like his grandfather before him—which handled many important cases on Wall Street including representing J P Morgan against Theodore Roosevelt (no relation) over anti-trust laws which were being used against his company Northern Securities Company by Theodore Roosevelt who wanted them broken up because they were considered monopolistic by some people.
After graduating from Columbia Law School Franklin married Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905 when she was still a teenager; together they had six children: Anna Eleanor “Sistie,” James “Jim”, Elliott “Elliottdell”, Franklin Delano Jr., John Aspinwall Bullitt (“Johnnie”), and William Aspinwall (“Billy”).
18. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is credited with developing the theory of evolution. His work centered on natural selection, which he described in his book “On the Origin of Species.”
The theory of evolution by means of natural selection states that all life on earth has descended from a common ancestor and that species evolve through changes in hereditary characteristics over time. In addition to explaining how life developed, this theory also provides evidence for why humans are here today: We survived because we adapted better than other animals.
These are just some of the most influential people of all time. There are so many more that deserve recognition and respect for their contributions to our world as well. It is important to remember how lucky we are to live in a time when we have access to information about these people and others like them without having to travel or even go outside of our homes!
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