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Top 5 Lists of The Most Influential People in History

By Edited Oct 13, 2016 0 0

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Making a "Most Influential People in History" list can create a lot of controversy in the world.  Making any "best of" list is a purely subjective process - you may disagree with who one person thinks is important or the most influential.  Some groups may believe that their ancestors or religious leaders are more important than yours. 

Here are five lists of influential people that others (some magazine editors, others historians or history enthusiasts) have compiled:

The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History

In 1978, astrophysicist Michael H. Hart published The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.  The list ranks the most influential in history, starting with Muhammad.  The list was recently revised and updated in 1992 to include the previous 10 or so years.

The top three most influential people from this list includes:

Alexander Hamilton

1. Prophet Muhammad
2. Sir Isaac Newton
3. Jesus Christ

(Author's Note: I'm not sure how Christians feel about Newton beating out the Son of God.)


The Everyday Man's List - The Historium

This list was created by a history enthusiast in 2008 in response to Hart's list (see above).  Following the list is a polite debate about the list - Who should be where on the list? Is it missing someone? Does that person really need to be on the list?

The top three most influential people from this list includes:

1. Mohammed
2. Aristotle
3. Jesus of Nazareth

(Author's Note: Once again, a non-religious person beat out Jesus.  Poor guy - his confidence must be pretty low now!)


Andrew Jackson(73591)
The Atlantic - The Top 100 Influential Figures in American History

The Atlantic joined the listmakers in 2006 when they asked ten historians to compile their list of the most influential people in history.  The difference is that their list is not prioritized but rather broken up into categories - filmmakers, musicians, critics, architects, poets, and living. 

(Author's Note: Though the list of pretty extensive, I wish they had prioritized people in a real 1 to 100 list.  I included this list because of the extent that the magazine went to to compile this list.)


USA Today - Most Influential People

In 2007, USA Today published a list of the 25 most influential people in the last 25 years.  This list includes people from our culture, history, politics, and business worlds, picking out the people who changed our world the most.

The top three most influential people from this list includes:

1. Bill Gates
2. Ronald Reagan
3. Oprah Winfrey

(Author's Note: Considering the amount of influence she's had on our world (not the mention the money she has), I'm surprised that Oprah wasn't number one.)


Discovery Curiosity - Top 10 Most Influential Women

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And to close this list of the best of the best lists, here is a celebration of women in history.  The Discovery Channel's Curiosity site ranked the top 10 women in history, centering their attention on those who have had positive change on the world.

The top three most influential people from this list includes:

1. Maria Montessori
2. Helena Rubinstein
3. Margaret Mead

(Author's Note: This list taught me quite a bit about women's role in history, and not just as support but rather leaders in their fields.)

Do you agree with them?  Why or why not?  Feel free to leave a comment below!



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