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Who were the most influential people in the world and for what?

I think i'm a bit ignorant in this area and i'd like to gain some information on the subject.

Detailed answers are appreciated. The more knowledge the better :)

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Congratulations on your desire to learn more about this subject.

    Michael Hart wrote a book called The 100, giving details about the 100 most influential people in history. Following is a quote from a review of the book at Amazon (where you can buy it if you are interested):

    A reviewer named MRSJEM wrote: "First off, this book is not western european inclined, even though a great deal of influence on the world came from western europe according to the author...

    18 are from the Asian area. 4 more from the African and South American areas.

    The emphasis of this book is on the individual's influence. I ran this as a contest of sorts on a message board and here's some info to help you decide if the book might be interesting to you:

    (1) Look to how this person influenced the people around him, for good or bad, and also how it impacted later people.;

    (2) people who impacted their generation but not later ones in any sense got less of a ranking or far less;

    (3) this guy is pretty fair in giving rankings to non European types;

    (4) sometimes the person's goals weren't fulfilled but they did something indirectly that later became a big deal;

    (5) some did only one thing out of many, that may have looked small at the time, that ranked them on the list.

    (6) the uniqueness of the person is sometimes taken into account, meaning the event is unlikely to have happened without this person; and

    (7) some people build upon the ideas or methods of others so the first one will sometimes get more credit.

    Here's a ranking of the types of professions to help a little:






    EXPLORERS (2)"

    Finally - here is the list of names - if you want to do more research online, this site has links to information about each of them:

    � Muhammad � Isaac Newton � Jesus Christ � Buddha � Confucius � St. Paul � Ts'ai Lun � Johann Gutenberg � Christopher Columbus � Albert Einstein � 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 � Martin Luther � George Washington � Karl Marx � Orville and Wilbur Wright � Genghis Kahn � Adam Smith � Edward de Vere � John Dalton � Alexander the Great � Napoleon Bonaparte � Thomas Edison � Antony van Leeuwenhoek � William T.G. Morton � Guglielmo Marconi � Adolf Hitler � Plato � Oliver Cromwell � Alexander Graham Bell � Alexander Fleming � John Locke � Ludwig van 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 � Thomas Jefferson � Queen Isabella I � Joseph Stalin � Julius Caesar � William the Conqueror � Sigmund Freud � 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 � Mahavira �


    � St. Thomas Aquinas � Archimedes � Charles Babbage � Cheops � Marie Curie � Benjamin Franklin � Mohandas Gandhi � Abraham Lincoln � Ferdinand Magellan � Leonardo da Vinci �


    You may agree or disagree with some of the names and their ranking, but it's a well considered source and a great place to begin.

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  • 4 years ago

    Honestly, I think that it is Al Gore. I think that his popularity among people is going to continue to increase as more and more countries turn to the "green revolution." I know people laugh at him, but he is a great and passionate spokesman. I would also say Bono from U2. The guy is extremely bright and passionate about making the world a better place. In 2005, it was rumored that he was being looked at as a possible replacement sor President of the World Bank. The fact that it would even be discussed lends to the potential that he has. Lastly, Oprah. What can I say...that girl's got it goin' on!

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