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

1 Muhammad Prophet of Islam; conqueror of Arabia
2 Isaac Newton physicist; theory of universal gravitation; laws of motion
3 Jesus Christ founder of Christianity
4 Buddha founder of Buddhism
5 Confucius founder of Confucianism
6 St. Paul proselytizer of Christianity
7 Ts'ai Lun inventor of paper
8 Johann Gutenberg developed movable type; printed Bibles
9 Christopher Columbus explorer; led Europe to Americas
10 Albert Einstein physicist; relativity; Einsteinian physics
11 Louis Pasteur scientist; pasteurization
12 Galileo Galilei astronomer; accurately described heliocentric solar system
13 Aristotle influential Greek philosopher
14 Euclid mathematician; Euclidian geometry
15 Moses major prophet of Judaism
16 Charles Darwin biologist; described Darwinian evolution, which had theological impact on many religions
17 Shih Huang Ti Chinese emperor
18 Augustus Caesar ruler
19 Nicolaus Copernicus astronomer; taught heliocentricity
20 Antoine Laurent Lavoisier father of modern chemistry; philosopher; economist
21 Constantine the Great Roman emperor who completely legalized Christianity, leading to its status as state religion. Convened the First Council of Nicaea that produced the Nicene Creed, which rejected Arianism (one of two major strains of Christian thought) and established Athanasianism (Trinitarianism, the other strain) as "official doctrine."
22 James Watt developed steam engine
23 Michael Faraday physicist; chemist; discovery of magneto-electricity
24 James Clerk Maxwell physicist; electromagnetic spectrum
25 Martin Luther founder of Protestantism and Lutheranism
26 George Washington first president of United States
27 Karl Marx founder of Marxism, Marxist Communism
28 Orville and Wilbur Wright inventors of airplane
29 Genghis Khan Mongol conqueror
30 Adam Smith economist; philosopher; expositor of capitalism; author: The Theory of Moral Sentiments
31 Edward de Vere a.k.a. William Shakepeare literature; also wrote 6 volumes about philosophy and religion
32 John Dalton chemist; physicist; atomic theory; law of partial pressures (Dalton's law)
33 Alexander the Great conqueror
34 Napoleon Bonaparte French conqueror
35 Thomas Edison inventor of light bulb, phonograph, etc.
36 Antony van Leeuwenhoek microscopes; studied microscopic life
37 William T.G. Morton pioneer in anesthesiology
38 Guglielmo Marconi inventor of radio
39 Adolf Hitler conqueror; led Axis Powers in WWII
40 Plato founder of Platonism
41 Oliver Cromwell British political and military leader
42 Alexander Graham Bell inventor of telephone
43 Alexander Fleming penicillin; advances in bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy
44 John Locke philosopher and liberal theologian
45 Ludwig van Beethoven composer
46 Werner Heisenberg a founder of quantum mechanics; discovered principle of uncertainty; head of Nazi Germany's nuclear program
47 Louis Daguerre an inventor/pioneer of photography
48 Simon Bolivar National hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
49 Rene Descartes Rationalist philosopher and mathematician
50 Michelangelo painter; sculptor; architect
51 Pope Urban II called for First Crusade
52 Umar ibn al-Khattab Second Caliph; expanded Muslim empire
53 Asoka king of India who converted to and spread Buddhism
54 St. Augustine Early Christian theologian
55 William Harvey described the circulation of blood; wrote Essays on the Generation of Animals, the basis for modern embryology
56 Ernest Rutherford physicist; pioneer of subatomic physics
57 John Calvin Protestant reformer; founder of Calvinism
58 Gregor Mendel Mendelian genetics
59 Max Planck physicist; thermodynamics
60 Joseph Lister principal discoverer of antiseptics which greatly reduced surgical mortality
61 Nikolaus August Otto built first four-stroke internal combustion engine
62 Francisco Pizarro Spanish conqueror in South America; defeated Incas
63 Hernando Cortes conquered Mexico for Spain; through war and introduction of new diseases he largely destroyed Aztec civilization
64 Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of United States
65 Queen Isabella I Spanish ruler
66 Joseph Stalin revolutionary and ruler of USSR
67 Julius Caesar Roman emperor
68 William the Conqueror laid foundation of modern England
69 Sigmund Freud founded Freudian school of psychology/psychoanalysis (i.e., the "religion of Freudianism")
70 Edward Jenner discoverer of the vaccination for smallpox
71 Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays
72 Johann Sebastian Bach composer
73 Lao Tzu founder of Taoism
74 Voltaire writer and philosopher; wrote Candide
75 Johannes Kepler astronomer; planetary motions
76 Enrico Fermi initiated the atomic age; father of atom bomb
77 Leonhard Euler physicist; mathematician; differential and integral calculus and algebra
78 Jean-Jacques Rousseau French deistic philosopher and author
79 Nicoli Machiavelli wrote The Prince (influential political treatise)
80 Thomas Malthus economist; wrote Essay on the Principle of Population
81 John F. Kennedy U.S. President who led first successful effort by humans to travel to another "planet"
82 Gregory Pincus endocrinologist; developed birth-control pill
83 Mani founder of Manicheanism, once a world religion which rivaled Christianity in strength
84 Lenin Russian ruler
85 Sui Wen Ti unified China
86 Vasco da Gama navigator; discovered route from Europe to India around Cape Hood
87 Cyrus the Great founder of Persian empire
88 Peter the Great forged Russia into a great European nation
89 Mao Zedong founder of Maoism, Chinese form of Communism
90 Francis Bacon philosopher; delineated inductive scientific method
91 Henry Ford developed automobile; achievement in manufacturing and assembly
92 Mencius philosopher; founder of a school of Confucianism
93 Zoroaster founder of Zoroastrianism
94 Queen Elizabeth I British monarch; restored Church of England to power after Queen Mary
95 Mikhail Gorbachev Russian premier who helped end Communism in USSR
96 Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt
97 Charlemagne Holy Roman Empire created with his baptism in 800 AD
98 Homer epic poet
99 Justinian I Roman emperor; reconquered Mediterranean empire; accelerated Catholic-Monophysite schism
100 Mahavira founder of Jainism

Resource: The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History written by Michael H. Hart

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