“No man is an island” because people cannot live alone. We need company to live happily like our family and friends. As time passes by, we have been together with our friends for so long and we didn’t notice that we were already influenced by our friends or the people surrounding us. We didn’t notice that we have changed to blend in with our friends. Our friends are not the only ones who can influence us. We are also influenced by the religion we choose, our choices of singer and music, our philosophies, the famous writers and through the books that we study and read. These influences are not with us physically. However, they bring great impact in our lives, and even with their absence, they influence and bring changes to us. Those changes may be for the better or worse, but it still depends on how we utilize the changes that they bring for us to become a better human being. So, considering all this, we will list you about the top 20 most influential people in history, who have not only inspired you and me but also millions of humans around the globe. So, let’s get started.

20 Most Influential People In History

Not all people can influence us. No one can dictate and decide for us regarding the things we need to follow. Influence can only happen if we let those people guide and inspire us. However, if it is the opposite, then no influence can ever happen. It is important to note that not all influences make us better; sometimes we change for the worse. It is sad to think that these influences are brought by the peers or friends we choose. Below are certain examples of bad influences brought to us by our peers:

  • Alcoholism
  • Taking drugs
  • Gambling
  • Computer addicts
  • Materialism
  • Bullying

Bad influences tell us why we need to choose our friends wisely. We need to choose friends who can make us a better person. We can be influenced mentally, socially, physically, emotionally and religiously. Usually, scientists and inventors that we read from our books can influence us mentally. The friends that we choose can influence us socially. The writers of the poems, poets and stories can influence us emotionally. The sports athletes that we can see on TV can influence us physically, and our God that is preached by a priest can influence us religiously. So, today we will tell you about such 20 great people, who have moved the entire nation.

These are the most influential people in history:

1. Jesus Christ (Prophet, Preacher, Carpenter)

Top 20 Most Influential People in History

Also known as Jesus of Nazareth, he is the significant symbol of Christianity, whom the wisdoms of many Christian denominations claim to be the Son of God. Christianity honors Jesus as the most anticipated Savior of the Old Testament and mentions him as Jesus Christ. Many Christians trust that Jesus has a unique importance in this world. The name Jesus came from the Latin Word lesus, a translation of the Greek (lesous). The word Christ came from the word christos which is Meshiakh in Greek, meaning “anointed” and typically translated to English as “Messiah”. Christ turns out to be seen as a name – one part of “Jesus Christ” – but basically it was a label. The word “Christian”, which means follower of Christ has been used since the first century.

2. Isaac Newton (Physicist, Chemist, Mathematician)

Top Most Influential People in History

Sir Isaac Newton was an English Mathematician and Physicist who is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in history. He is also a main symbol of the scientific revolution. Isaac Newton was born in England on Christmas day, December 25, 1642 in a Julian calendar. His father, who was a farmer died when he was just three months old. His mother Hannah Ayscough said that Isaac Newton could just fit into a mug because he was born prematurely. However, he created one of the most remarkable inventions that normal people like you and I could ever think of.

 3. Albert Einstein (Physicist, Mathematician, Scientist)

Most Influential People in History

He is a German born physicist. He was born in Ulm located at the Kingdom of Wurttemburg on March 14, 1879. His father, Hermann Einstein, was an engineer and a salesman while his mother Pauline Koch was a homemaker. He and his family transferred to Munich in 1880. Albert Einstein’s works are recognized for its effect on the Philosophy of Science. Today, the entire base in this universe relies only on his invention. Just imagine what would have happened if he had not come up with the formula E= mc2.

4. Leonardo Da Vinci (Musician, Scientist, Military Engineer)

Most Influential People in History

His whole name is Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. He is an Italian painter, polymath, architect, sculpture, engineer, musician, mathematician, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, inventor, writer and botanist. He is broadly known to be one of the extreme painters and possibly, the most variously gifted person ever to have lived. He is also called as the Father of Architecture, Paleontology and Ichnology. Leonardo da Vinci is famous for his paintings named “The Last Supper” and “Monalisa”.

5. Muhammad (Prophet, Merchant)

most influential people in the history

Muhammad’s full name is Muhammad ibn ‘Abd. He was born on c. 570 CE Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia which is presently known as Saudi Arabia. Few months after his birth, his father Abdullah died at Medina on a journey going to Syria. While his mother Amina died in Abwa returning from Mecca. Muhammad is considered to be the ultimate Messenger in Islam and the Prophet of God to lead the humankind to the correct path. This is the reason why he is considered as one of the most influential people in history.

6. Aristotle (Scientist, Tutor, Polymath)

aristotle is one of the most influential people in history

Aristotle is a Greek Scientist and Philosopher, who was born in Macedonia City, located in Stagira, Chalkidice in the Northern part of Greece during 384 BC. His father Nichomachus died when he was still a child and after that, his guardian became Proxenus of Atarnues. He entered the Plato’s Academy located in Athens at the age of 18 until the age of 37. Government, linguistics, politics, biology, physics, zoology, logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, theater, poetry, rhetoric, music and a part of Western Philosophy were the subjects covered in Aristotle’s writings.

7. Galileo Galilei (Physicist, Scientist, Mathematician)

most influential people in the current history

Galileo is the 7th most influential people in history. He was born on February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Dutche of Florence, Italy. Galileo is an Italian physicist, engineer, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. During the Renaissance Period, he played an important part on the scientific revolution. He is called as the Father of Physics, Science and Observational Astronomy. Galileo’s father Vicenzo Galilei was a composer, music theorist and a lutenist while his mother Giulia Ammannati, was a homemaker.

8. Charles Darwin (Scientist, Naturalist, Biologist)

most influential people in the history

His full name is Charles Robert Darwin. He is an English geologist and naturalist, who was best recognized for his contributions to evolutionary theory. The one who published the Theory of Evolution was none other than Charles Darwin, which was also connected to his book, “On the Origin of Species”. Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. His father Robert Darwin was a rich society financier and a doctor while his mother Susannah Darwin, was a great homemaker.

9. Mahatma Gandhi (Philosopher, Writer, Politician)

most influential people in history

He was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India. Gandhi directed India to liberation and stimulated actions for civil human rights and liberty all over the world. Gandhi’s full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and he acted as the leader of freedom movement when British ruled India. His father’s Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi was the chief minister of Porbandar region at that time.

10. Plato (Writer, Physicist, Mathematician)

most influential people in history

Plato was a great mathematician and philosopher in Greece. He established the Academy of Athens. Due to the lack of proper sources, we can only know a little of Plato’s early life but many say that he came from one of the politically active and richest family in Greece and his father’s name was Ariston.

11. Alexander the Great

most influential people in history

His full name was Alexander III of Macedon and he was born on 356 B.C. The Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon was ruled by Alexander the Great and he was also an associate of the Argead Dynasty. At the age of 20, Alexander succeeded the throne from his father named Philip II. When Alexander was still young, his tutor was the great philosopher named Aristotle.

12. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Minister, Minister of Religion, Civil Rights Activist)

most influential people in history

He was an American Baptist activist, minister and humanitarian. He was born on January 15, 1929 at Atlanta, Georgia. King’s father was Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and his mother, Alberta Williams King. Michael King was Martin’s legitimate name but it was changed by the elder King and was replaced by Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor of Martin Luther.

13. Socrates (Philosopher)

most influential people in history

He was a Greek philosopher recognized as one of the creators of Western Philosophy. He was famous for his Socratic Method, an art of reasoning. Socrates was born on 469 B.C. in Alopeke. His father, Sophroniscus was a Stonemason (or a sculptor) and his mother, Phaenarete was a midwife. Socrates was married to Xanthippe who had a not-so-good temperament. Xanthippe gave birth to three sons who were Menexenus, Lamprocles and Sophroniscus.

14. William Shakespeare (Lyricist, Author, Poet)

most influential people in history

He was an English actor, playwright and poet. He was known as a great writer in English language and one of the greatest dramatists. William was baptized on April 26, 1964 in Startford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, West Midlands, England. At his age of 18, he was married to Anne Hathaway, with whom he had 3 children namely: the twins Hamnet and Judith, and Susanna.

15. Moses (Prophet)

 most influential people in history

He was a seer in Abrahamic religions and he was a former Egyptian prince who later became a lawgiver and a leader. He was considered as the most significant seer in Judaism as well as in Christianity, Islam and in other faiths. Pharaoh’s daughter was the one who gave the name of Moses and he was born in Goshen, Lower Egypt.

16. Abraham Lincoln (Politician, Lawyer, Statesman)

most influential people in history

He was a former President of the United States, where he served from March 1861 until he was murdered on April 1865. He was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky but later grew up in Indiana and Kentucky. His father’s name was Thomas Lincoln who was murdered and his mother’s name was Nancy Hanks Lincoln.

17. Nikola Tesla (Physicist, Inventor, Futurist)

most influential people in history ever

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American electrical engineer, inventor, physicist, futurist and mechanical engineer who was recognized for his assistance in the proposal of alternating current (AC) for the system of electricity. He was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Austrian Empire which is presently known as Croatia. His father was named Milutin Tesla and was an Orthodox Priest. While his mother, Duka Tesla, was good in making home mechanical appliances, craft tools and had the skill to memorize Serbian poems.

18. Gautama Buddha (Philosopher)

most influential people in history ever

He was also known for his full name Siddhartha Gautama. He was born on c. 563 BCE or c. 480 BCE in Lumbini, Shakya Republic which is presently known as Nepal and he grew up in Kapilavastu. His father, Suddhodana, was the dominant of the Shakiya clan and his mother, Maya, was a Koliyan princess. Buddha was a wise person and he influenced the Buddhism teaching.

19. Julius Caesar (Author, Politician)

most influential people in history ever

His full name was Gaius Julius Caesar. He was a Roman general, statesman and prominent writer of Latin prose. Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC in Rome. His father, Gaius Julius Caesar, was a Governor of the Province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from a powerful family. It was on 85 BC when Caesar’s father died unexpectedly.

20. Nelson Mandela (Peace Activist, Politician, Statesman)

most influential people in history ever

He was a South-African politician, philanthropist and an anti-apartheid who was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Cape Province, Union of South Africa. His full name was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, “Rolihlahla” means troublemaker. His father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was a resident councilor and chief to the emperor and his mother, Noseki Fanny, was Gadla’s 3rd wife.


There are people who influence not only a few members of the society but the majority of the population. The individuals mentioned in this list influenced many for the reason that they were known through many books or portrayed by actors in various documentaries or been preached in different churches. The reason why they are called the most influential people in history is because they influenced all humankind before and even now. These people tend to influence the present and upcoming generations. In short, they are “evergreen” and no one else can replace them.