10 Most Influential People in History

There have been many influential people in the world’s history and many of them are still remembered to date. Many of them are head of very large organizations with millions if not billions of followers today. These Men and Women include, among others, scientists, explorers, religious figures, humanitarian workers, politicians, and philosophers. All of them have done one or two things to shape the world’s perspective. Here are some of the most influential people in history as well as some of the things they did that made them stand out.

List of The World’s Most Influential People Of All Time

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ tops the list of the world’s most influential people in history and for a good reason. He founded Christianity which happens to be one of the influential religions of the world. The Biblical figure advanced a lot of teachings which shaped most people’s lives especially those practicing Christianity all over the world. Also known as Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ is so influential that he has an entire book, the New Testament, dedicated to his life. To Christians, He is the only son of God who died on the cross to wash away the sins of the earth, not just that he died but that he also rose from the dead currently sitting at the right hand of God the father almighty, Christians also believe that Jesus Christ was begotten and not created, He is also believed to be the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for “Christ”) of the Old Testament?” … literally God Himself, the Divine One living within human flesh? The author and finisher of Christian faith.


Prophet Muhammad – One of the Most Inspirational People to Ever Live

Just like Jesus Christ, Muhammad is also one of the most influential people in history. This is evidenced by the many people who practice Islam. He is not only known as true and only prophet of Allah but he is also said to be the last. Being the most revered figure by Muslims, Muhammad is seen as an active reformist, philanthropist, humanitarian and even military leader. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammed is a Mercy to Mankind and the Messenger of Peace, Muslims beleive that the Koran was delivered to Muhammed by the angel Gabriel, and was made known to the faithful in fragments, at the discretion of the prophet

Confucius – One of the Most Popular Historical Figures

Confucius is a famous Chinese philosopher. He is known for his famous Analects and contribution to the famous classics of China. The Eastern part of the world has never seen a greater thinker like Confucius. Many still go by his teachings and ideologies on personal development, accountability, and devotion. Confucius has been described as a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. One of his most famous teachings was a variant of the Golden Rule also referred to as “Silver Rule”due to its negative form:


“What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.”

Image Source: Asia Society

Isaac Newton – One of the most famous people ever

The world of science has seen remarkable personalities but none can be compared to Sir Isaac Newton. He definitely changed the world’s perspective with his discovery of gravity and his teachings on the same. He helped shape the understanding of science by advancing the three famous laws of motion. He is indeed one of the best scientists in the history of the world. He was a teacher, a physicist and an inventor, all in one. He also published works about light and even invented the reflecting microscope in 1668. To add to his accolades, he also wrote in Latin! He was knighted in 1704 and died in 1727.

Cite this article: Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: Isaac Newton. Acts & Facts. 37 (5): 8.

 Image via ICR

Mahatma Gandhi

He is arguably one of the most influential people in the sphere of  politics, such a  personality the world has ever seen. Mahatma is famous for his championing for peace and rebuking violence. One of his major breakthroughs was when he mediated between Muslims and Hindus in a dispute that arose in South Africa. He also pushed for self-reliance and inclusion in his country, India.

Albert Einstein

Born in 1879, Einstein also joined the list of influential people in the world after he came up with the theory of relativity. Just like Newton, Einstein,he also contributed his fair share in the world of science. He not only wrote science-related academic papers but he also had a passion for discovering new things. What most people do not know is that he was a German, though he was an American citizen. He was also known for his fight against the development of nuclear weapons until he died.


Just like other influential religious leaders in the history of the world, Buddha has been connected with the supernatural. Belief has it that he was born a prince. Throughout his life, he performed miraculous acts. To those who practice Buddhism, Buddha is seen as a savior, redeemer as well as a deliverer.

Saint Paul

Also known as Paul of Tarsus, this Apostle is one of the most influential people in history. He is known for writing the letters in the New Testament of the Bible. He was also a missionary. Paul is  is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. As a Jew, Paul used his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to advantage in his ministry to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Valentin de Boulogne, Saint Paul Writing His Epistles (1620)

Christopher Columbus – One of the most influential people in American history

This famous explorer is credited with the awareness of the Americas by Europe. He not only discovered the continents of America but also navigated the seas to other parts of the world. He made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502. Christopher Columbus did not actually discover the New World as millions of people already live there by the time he got there but his journeys marked the beginning of centuries of trans-Atlantic conquest and colonization.

Mother Teresa – One of the Most Influential Leaders

This list would not be exhaustive without including Mother Teresa in it. The founder of Missionaries for Charity, Mother Teresa is still remembered for her acts of charity. She is actually one of the most influential women in the history of the world. She is so influential that she is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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