100 People who changed the world

This is a list of 100 people who have changed the world. This list is not a judgement about who is ‘best’.

People who changed the world

christ1. Jesus Christ (c.5BC – 30AD) Spiritual Teacher, central figure of Christianity.

2. Thomas JeffersonJefferson (1743 – 1826) 3rd President of US. Principle author of Declaration of Independence

3. Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev(1931 – ) Leader of Soviet Union. Oversaw transition from Communism in Eastern Europe.

4. Lord Buddha buddha (c 563 – 483 BC) Spiritual Teacher and founder of Buddhism.

5. Winston Churchill Churchill(1874 – 1965) Prime Minister of Great Britain during Second World War.

6. William Shakespeare Shakespeare(1564- 1616) English poet and playwright.

Muhammad_Salat7. Muhammad – (570 – 632) Prophet of Islam

8. Martin Luther King christ (1929 – 1968) Non-violent civil rights leader.

9. Abraham Lincoln Lincoln (1809 – 1865) President of US during civil war, helped end slavery.

mandela10. Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) Anti-apartheid leader. First President of democratic South Africa in 1994.

  1. St Paul (5 – AD 67) – Christian missionary
  2. Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) – Dictator of Nazi Germany.
  3. George Washington (1732 – 1799) – 1st President of US
  4. Sri Krishna (c. BC) – Spiritual teacher of Hinduism
  5. Emperor Constantine (272 – 337) First Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity
  6. Martin Luther (1483 – – 1546) – Key figure in Protestant Reformation.
  7. Socrates (469 – 399 BC) – Greek philosopher
  8. Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) – Indian nationalist and politician
  9. Karl Marx (1818 -– 1883) – German philosopher, founder of Marxism
  10. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 –- 1821) – French military and political leader
  11. Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830) – Liberator of Latin American countries
  12. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) US President 1932-1945
  13. Charles Darwin (1809 -– 1882) – Developed theory of evolution
  14. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) – English mathematician and scientist.
  15. Confucius (551 – – 479 BC) – Chinese philosopher.
  16. Akbar (1542 – 1605) – Moghul Emperor
  17. Queen Victoria (1819 –- 1901) – Queen of Great Britain during Victorian age.
  18. Konrad Adenauer (1876 – 1967) – German Chancellor post WWII.
  19. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) – First Indian Prime Minister
  20. Ramses II (1279 – 1213 BC) – Powerful Egyptian king.
  21. Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) – US writer and polymath
  22. Alexander the Great (356 -– 323 BC) – King of Macedonia.
  23. Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) – President of US during WWI
  24. Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) – Italian explorer landed in America.
  25. Marcus Aurelius (121 –- 180)  – Roman Emperor and philosopher
  26. Galileo Galilei (1564 -1642) – Astronomer and physicist
  27. Plato (424 –- 348 BC) – philosopher.
  28. Joan of Arc  (1412 – 1431) – French saint.
  29. Charlemagne (742 – 814) – King of Franks and Emperor of the Romans.
  30. Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) – Greek philosopher.
  31. Saladin (1138 –- 1193) – Leader of Arabs during Crusades.
  32. Babur (1483 – 1531) – Founder of Moghul Empire
  33. Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618) – English explorer.
  34. Voltaire (1694 – – 1778)  – French philosopher.
  35. Catherine the Great (1729 -– 1796) – Russian Queen.
  36. Mozart (1756 –- 1791) – Austrian Music composer.
  37. Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539) – Founder of Sikhism
  38. Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) – Italian scientist, artist, polymath.
  39. Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895) – French chemist and Biologist.
  40. Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) – Russian writer and philosopher
  41. Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) – German physicist.
  42. Ataturk (1881-1938) – founder of the Turkish Republic.
  43. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) – Spanish painter and sculptor
  44. Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) – Polish Pope from 1978-2005
  45. Margaret Thatcher (1925 – ) – British Prime Minister
  46. Mohammed Ali (1942 – ) American boxer
  47. John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) – US President.
  48. Boris Yeltsin (1931 – 2007) – Russian President
  49. Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984) – Third Prime Minister of India.
  50. William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) – Translated Bible into English
  51. Tim Berners Lee (1955 – ) Credited with founding World Wide Web
  52. Rosa Parks (1913-2005) – Civil Rights activist
  53. Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007) – Prime Minister of Pakistan
  54. J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) – German composer
  55. 14th Dalai Lama (1938 – ) Spiritual and political leader of Tibetans
  56. Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) Black nationalist leader
  57. Lech Walesa (1943 – ) Leader of Polish solidarity movement.
  58. Charles de Gaulle (1890 – 1970) French politician.
  59. Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953) Leader of the Soviet Union.
  60. Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) – Chemist and Physicist
  61. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 – 1882) – Independence leader in Italy and Latin America
  62. Johann Gutenberg (1395 – 1468) – Inventor of printing press.
  63. Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) – British Parliamentarian.
  64. V.Lenin (1870 – 1924) – Leader of Russian Revolution in 1917.
  65. Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) – Austrian neurologist / psychoanalyst.
  66. Mother Teresa – (1910-1997) – Nun who served the poor.
  67. Bill Gates (1955 – ) Founder of Microsoft
  68. Ernest Hemingway ( 1899 – 1961) US writer
  69. John Lennon (1940 – 1980) British pop-star and Beatle
  70. Genghis Kahn (1162 – 1227) – Leader and creator of Mongol Empire.
  71. Haile Selassie (1892 – 1975) – Ethiopian leader
  72. John M Keynes (1883 – 1946) Influential economist.
  73. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906). American political activist.
  74. George Orwell (1903 – 1950) – English author
  75. Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) – Inventor and businessman.
  76. Kofi Annan (1938 – ) United Nations Secretary General
  77. Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) – Supreme Allied Commander
  78. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – helped to draft UN declaration of human rights
  79. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891 – 1956) – Indian political activist and social reformer who drafted Indian constitution
  80. Lyndon Johnson (1908 –- 1973)  US President 1963-69
  81. William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) – Campaigner against slavery
  82. Nikola Tesla (1856 –1943) – Scientist, inventor
  83. Alexander Fleming (1881–1955) – Scientist who discover penicillin
  84. Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) – British author and creator of dictionary.
  85. Eva Peron (1919 – 1952) – First Lady of Argentina
  86. Henry Ford (1864-1947) US Industrialist
  87. Princess Diana (1961 –- 1997) – Humanitarian
  88. Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) – Irish writer.
  89. Beethoven (1770 1827) – German composer
  90. Aung San Suu Kyi (1945 – ) Burmese opposition leader

Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “People who changed the world”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net,  First published 2008. Last updated 23 March 2015

Note:  It is hard to select a ‘top 100′. It is also even harder to rank people in terms of influence. I agree there could easily be a different order and ranking. But, hopefully, this will be of help for researching some of the famous people who have made a big difference to the world.

See also:

Related

Book of 100 Most Influential People Book Cover

Books about people who changed the World

Related pages on events that changed the world

Other lists of people who changed the world

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55 Comments

  • List of 100 leaders who really changed our course of history is exceptional but ranking them is not good there are some mythological characters that we have no evidence that they lived I think Gandhi had inspired more than goberchev Mandela and Jefferson please don’t compare and rank the leaders.

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