100 People who changed the world

This is a list of 100 people who have changed the world (for better or worse). Also see: People who made a difference and changed the world for the better.

People who changed the world

christ1. Jesus Christ (circa 5 BCE – 30 CE) Spiritual Teacher, central figure of Christianity.

2. Thomas JeffersonJefferson (1743 – 1826) American President 1801 – 1809. Author of Declaration of Independence

3. Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev(1931 – ) Leader of Soviet Union 1985 – 1991, oversaw the transition from Communism to democracy in Eastern Europe.

4. Lord Buddha buddha (circa 563 BCE – 483 BCE) 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) Founder of Islam.

8. Martin Luther King christ (1929 – 1968) Civil Rights leader

9. Abraham Lincoln Lincoln (1809 – 1865) American President 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 BCE – 67 CE) Christian missionary
  2. Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) Dictator of Nazi Germany
  3. Augustus Caesar (63 BCE – AD 14) First Roman Emperor.
  4. George Washington (1732 – 1799) First President of USA
  5. Sri Krishna (circa 2-3000 BCE) Spiritual teacher, prominent figure in Hinduism
  6. Emperor Constantine (272 – 337) First Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity
  7. Martin Luther (1483 – – 1546) Key figure in Protestant Reformation
  8. Socrates (469 BCE – 399 BCE) Greek philosopher
  9. Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) Indian nationalist and politician
  10. Karl Marx (1818 –– 1883) German philosopher, founder of Marxism
  11. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 –– 1821) French military and political leader
  12. Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830) Liberator of South American countries
  13. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) US President 1932-1945
  14. Charles Darwin (1809 –– 1882) Developed theory of evolution
  15. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) English mathematician and scientist
  16. Confucius (551 BCE– – 479 BCE) Chinese philosopher
  17. Akbar (1542 – 1605) Mughal Emperor
  18. Queen Victoria (1819 –– 1901) British monarch 1837 – 1901
  19. Konrad Adenauer (1876 – 1967) German Chancellor post WWII
  20. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) First Prime Minister of India
  21. Ramses II (1279 BCE – 1213 BCE) Egyptian Pharoah
  22. Alexander the Great (356 BCE –– 323 BCE) King of Macedonia
  23. Moses (1391 – 1271 BC) Jewish prophet of Old Testament.
  24. Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) American president during WWI
  25. Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) Italian explorer
  26. Marcus Aurelius (121 –– 180) Roman emperor and philosopher
  27. Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) Astronomer and physicist
  28. Plato (424 BCE –– 348 BCE) Philosopher
  29. Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431) French saint
  30. Charlemagne (742 – 814) King of Franks and Emperor of the Romans
  31. Aristotle (384BCE –– 322BCE) Greek philosopher
  32. Saladin (1138 –– 1193) Leader of Arabs during Crusades
  33. Babur (1483 – 1531) Founder of Mughal Empire
  34. Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 –– 1618) English explorer
  35. Voltaire (1694 – – 1778) French philosopher
  36. Catherine the Great (1729 –– 1796) Empress of all the Russias 1762 – 1796
  37. Mozart (1756 –– 1791) Austrian composer
  38. Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539) Spiritual teacher, founder of Sikhism
  39. Leonardo da Vinci (1452 –– 1519) Italian scientist, artist, polymath
  40. Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895) French chemist and Biologist
  41. Leo Tolstoy (1828 –– 1910) Russian writer and philosopher
  42. Albert Einstein (1879 –– 1955) German physicist
  43. Ataturk (1881 – 1938) Founder of the Turkish Republic
  44. Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) Spanish painter and sculptor
  45. Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) Polish Pope from 1978-2005
  46. Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013) British Prime Minister 1979 – 1990
  47. Mohammed Ali (1942 – 2016) American boxer and human rights activist
  48. John F. Kennedy (1917 –– 1963) American President 1961 – 1963
  49. Boris Yeltsin (1931 –– 2007) First President of Russia 1991 – 1999
  50. Indira Gandhi (1917 –– 1984) Prime Minister of India 1980 – 1984
  51. William Tyndale (1494 – 1536)  Translated Bible into English
  52. Tim Berners Lee (1955 – ) Inventor of World Wide Web
  53. Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) Civil Rights activist
  54. Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007) Prime Minister of Pakistan 1993 – 1996
  55. J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) German composer
  56. 14th Dalai Lama (1938 – ) Spiritual and political leader of Tibetans
  57. Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) Black Civil Rights activist
  58. Lech Walesa (1943 – ) Leader of Polish solidarity movement
  59. Charles de Gaulle (1890 – 1970) French politician
  60. Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953) Leader of the Soviet Union 1922 – 1952
  61. Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) Chemist and physicist
  62. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 – 1882) Independence leader in Italy and South America
  63. Johann Gutenberg (1395 – 1468 Inventor of the printing press
  64. Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) British Parliamentarian
  65. Vladimir Lenin (1870 – 1924) Leader of Russian Revolution in 1917
  66. Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) Austrian neurologist, psychoanalyst
  67. Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Macedonian Catholic nun and missionary
  68. Bill Gates (1955 – ) Founder of Microsoft
  69. Ernest Hemingway ( 1899 – 1961) American author
  70. John Lennon (1940 – 1980) British musician and member of the Beatles
  71. Genghis Kahn (1162 – 1227) Ruler of Mongol Empire
  72. Haile Selassie (1892 – 1975) Emperor of Ethiopia 1930 – 1974
  73. John M Keynes (1883 – 1946) Influential economist
  74. Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) English scientist who enabled  electricity to become a viable source of power.
  75. George Orwell (1903 – 1950) English author of ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’
  76. Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) Inventor and businessman
  77. Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) Supreme Allied Commander WWII
  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 – 1969
  81. William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) Campaigner against slavery
  82. Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) Scientist, inventor
  83. Alexander Fleming (1881–1955) Scottish biologist who discovered antibiotics
  84. Lao Tzu (6th Century BC – ) Author of Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism
  85. Eva Peron (1919 – 1952) First Lady of Argentina 1946 – 1952
  86. Henry Ford (1864 – 1947) American industrialist
  87. Princess Diana (1961 –– 1997) Humanitarian
  88. Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011) Entrepreneur who led digital revolution
  89. Beethoven (1770 – 1827) German composer
  90. Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) American writer and polymath

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “People who changed the world”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, First published Jan 2008. Last updated 1 March 2018.

Related pages

communist-manifesto-100Books that changed the world: Important books which influenced and changed society and the world. Including The Republic, The Iliad, The Communist Manifesto and The King James Bible

Martin_Luther_King_JrInspirational people: People who made a difference in a positive way and left the world a better place

MariecurieWomen who changed the world: Famous women who changed the world, including Sappho, Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, and Catherine the Great

un-logoQuotes that changed the world: Inspiring quotes that changed the world from some of the world’s leading minds, including Einstein, Buddha, Darwin, and Galileo

ideasIdeas that changed the world: Scientific, political, religious and technological ideas that transformed the world, including democracy, feminism, human rights and relativity

Inventions that changed the world: Famous inventions that made a great difference to the progress of the world, including aluminium, the telephone and the printing press

Related

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100 Most influential people in the world by Michael H. Hart (Author) at Amazon.com

Books about people who changed the World

Related pages on events that changed the world

Other lists of people who changed the world

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.

84 Comments

  • Why is Stalin in the group of 1000 people who changed the world? He is considered by historians as one of the worst leaders in the world, murdering his own people.
    Please research his biography before putting his name on this list!

    • “People who Changed the world” doesn’t mean “People who changed the world for the better.”

  • I Love all these people except those whom are Military Leader

  • And what about Forrest Morton Bird
    M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., D.S…. know him? You should!

  • His name Gavrilo Princip, age 19 yrs. old

  • It’s impossible to not add this person to 100 People who changed the world, not only change the world it, it action changed the way the map of the world it look like and still to this day have his influences of his action vibrate in our wold.

    Many will not know his name or relate to his action, but truly he changed the wold 100%

    His name Gavrilo Princip, age 19 yrs. old

    he should be # 1 in this list

  • The thing with historic characters is that they are enhanced through centuries by researchers, professors, teachers, and through the oral tradition. Their legacy usually ends up being more important than it really was. For those of us who live in the XXI century, Steve Jobs was a revolutionary genius who brought a powerful tool to help science, education, and mankind as probably only a few more had done previously.

  • This is not a “Top 100” just a list of 100 influential people.

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

  • archimedes should be on there. he inspired Galileo Galilee who is on here.

  • alluhu akbar

  • Lu Tze the author of ‘Tao Tak Ching’ is the most read book next to the Bible, Confuscious used to visit him couple times; in my view, he is like Plato in the western world. He should be in.