Most Influential People Who Ever Lived

by Dom Nozzi

Criteria for this ranking (only one or two of these three need to be met for a person to be added to my list):

• The person had a profound influence over world events.

• The work of the person resulted in enormous benefits to the world

• The person is extremely well admired by a great many people

Important qualifier note: My listing a person on this list is not intended to imply that I find the person generally admirable. Only that they did things that were highly influential to the world – both good and bad.

Isaac Newton


Johannes Gutenberg

Louis Pasteur



Charles Darwin

Nicolas Copernicus

James Watt

Michael Faraday

Thomas Paine

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Edison

Karl Marx

Robert Ingersoll

Orville and Wilbur Wright

Christopher Columbus

Genghis Kahn

Adolf Hitler

Adam Smith

John Dalton

Napoleon Bonaparte


Guglielmo Marconi

Alexander Graham Bell

John Locke


Werner Heisenberg

Rene Descartes

St. Augustine

John Calvin

Max Planck

Joseph Stalin

Julius Caesar

Sigmund Freud

Johann Sebastian Bach


Johannes Kepler

Enrico Fermi

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Nicoli Machiavelli

Thomas Malthus


Mao Zedong

Francis Bacon

Henry Ford

Mikhail Gorbachev

St. Thomas Aquinas

Marie Curie

Benjamin Franklin

Mohandas Gandhi

Abraham Lincoln

Ferdinand Magellan

Albert Einstein



Leonardo da Vinci

Andres Duany


Robert Ingersoll


I urge you to email me ( or leave a comment if you have a suggested addition or subtraction from this list. Or if you have any other thoughts about this list.


Each list in this blog contains my own personal opinions based on my personal experiences. I acknowledge that there may be a need to add or subtract from these lists (or to create a new subject list), and I welcome such suggestions. The lists are not ordered from higher to lower quality. Each list is a work in progress.

50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here:

Paperback = Hardcover =

My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: Car is the Enemy book cover

My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here:

My Adventures blog

My Best-Ever Lists blog

Run for Your Life! Dom’s Dangerous Opinions blog

My Town & Transportation Planning website

My Plan B blog

My Facebook profile

My YouTube video library

My Picasa Photo library

My Author spotlight


About Dom Nozzi

Urban designer, Complete Streets instructor, smart growth specialist, town planner, walkable & bikeable streets & trails specialist, writer, editor, speaker, world adventurer, skier, kayaker, SCUBA diver, bicyclist, hiker, dancer, book reader, urbanist. Make my own beer, wine, pasta, bread. Live by the motto that it is the things we do NOT do that we later regret. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest.
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