Most Influential Americans of the 20th and 21st Centuries

The Top Ten

1 Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong Neil Alden Armstrong was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer who was the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor.
2 Martin Luther King jr. Martin Luther King jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
3 John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the establishment ...read more.
4 Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the ...read more.
5 Franklin Roosevelt
6 Bill Clinton Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States. He previously served as governor of Arkansas. He became president after unseating incumbent president George H.W. Bush in 1992. He was re-elected in 1996 after defeating Senator Bob Dole. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton ...read more.
7 Dwight Eisenhower Dwight Eisenhower Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American politician and general who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.
8 George Patton
9 Richard Nixon Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974 when he became the only U.S.
10 Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. Born in Staunton, Virginia, he spent his early years in Augusta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina.

The Contenders

11 Gerald Ford Gerald Ford Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was an American politician who served as the 38th President of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977.
12 Steve Jobs Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and business magnate. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and a co-founder of Apple Inc., chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following ...read more.
13 Harry Truman Harry Truman Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States, an American politician of the Democratic Party.
14 Bill Gates Bill Gates William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and programmer.

I know Martin Luther King was the most influential in the United States but across the world Bill Gates is just as influential. Without him we wouldn't have Microsoft, and he gave Apple over 100 million dollars when they were almost bankrupt, if he hadn't have done those things, not only would Steve Jobs be a very unsuccessful person but technology would probably still be only to specific people for VERY specific reasons. He has become the richest person, but he has given over 30 BILLION to charity to cure things such as malaria. - techisawesome

Great as he was, Dr. King was NOT the most influential in the USA; there are several names who had far more and more lasting influence here. Bill Gates being one of them.

15 Eminem Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.
16 Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos
17 Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (January 17th 1942 - June 3rd 2016) was an American former professional boxer . He was generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport.
18 LeBron James LeBron James LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.
19 Barack Obama Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th president of the United States of America. He was elected in 2008 after serving in the Senate from 2005-08, beating John McCain and becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. He was elected again in 2012, beating Mitt Romney.

Influence somewhat negative in the long run, he never seemed to really like America too much.

20 George H.W. Bush George H.W. Bush George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to assuming the presidency, Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
21 Colonel Sanders Colonel Sanders Colonel Harland David Sanders was an American businessman, best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken and later acting as the company's brand ambassador and symbol.
22 Brady Olson

No - 445956

23 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. ...read more.

Made American music / American styles popular all over the world in the fifties. Big influence in pop-culture.

24 Bobby Fischer Bobby Fischer
25 Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, Trump received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, ...read more.
26 Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, singer and model. Decades after her unexpected death, she has remained one of Hollywood's greatest sex symbols with her eye-catching style, champagne blond hair, and breathless manner of speaking. ...read more.
27 Walt Disney Walt Disney Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.
28 Eleanor Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt
29 Billy Graham
30 Albert Einstein Albert Einstein Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.
31 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz.
32 Malcolm X Malcolm X Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him ...read more.
33 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth George Herman Ruth Jr., better known as Babe Ruth, was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935.
34 Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.
35 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under ...read more.
36 Henry Ford Henry Ford Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.
37 Rosa Parks Rosa Parks Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
38 Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.
39 Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and actor who was 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 . Prior to his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader .
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Top Remixes

1. Martin Luther King jr.
2. Neil Armstrong
3. John F. Kennedy
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1. Martin Luther King jr.
2. John F. Kennedy
3. Neil Armstrong
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