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Top 100 Most Influential People in American History
Can you name the Top 100 Most Influential People in American History ?
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US Presidents in Reverse
He saved the Union, freed the slaves, and presided over America's second founding.
He made the United States possible - not only by defeating a king,but by declinig to become one himself.
The author of the words 'All men are created equal.'
He said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and then he proved it.
Soldier, banker, and political scientist, he set in motion an agrarian nation’s transformation into an industrial power.
The Founder-of-all-trades— scientist, printer, writer, diplomat, inventor, and more; like his country, he contained multitudes.
The defining chief justice, he established the Supreme Court as the equal of the other two federal branches
His dream of racial equality is still elusive, but no one did more to make it real.
It wasn’t just the lightbulb; the Wizard of Menlo Park was the most prolific inventor in American history
He made the world safe for U.S. interventionism, if not for democracy.
The man behind Standard Oil set the mold for our tycoons—first by making money, then by giving it away.
He was a poor president, but he was the general Lincoln needed; he also wrote the greatest political memoir in American history.
He fathered the Constitution and wrote the Bill of Rights.
He gave us the assembly line and the Model T, and sparked America’s love affair with the automobile.
Whether busting trusts or building canals, he embodied the “strenuous life” and blazed a trail for twentieth-century America.
Author of our national epic, he was the most unsentimental observer of our national life.
The amiable architect of both the conservative realignment and the Cold War’s end.
The first great populist: he found America a republic and left it a democracy.
The voice of the American Revolution, and our first great radical.
The original self-made man forged America’s industrial might and became one of the nation’s greatest philanthropists
An accidental president, this machine politician ushered in the Atomic Age and then the Cold War.
He sang of America and shaped the country’s conception of itself.
They got us all off the ground.
By inventing the telephone, he opened the age of telecommunications and shrank the world.
His leadership made the American Revolution possible; his devotion to republicanism made it succeed.
The quintessential entertainer-entrepreneur, he wielded unmatched influence over our childhood.
His gin made cotton king and sustained an empire for slavery.
He won a war and two elections, and made everybody like Ike.
His Supreme Court transformed American society and bequeathed to us the culture wars.
One of the first great American feminists, she fought for social reform and women’s right to vote.
One of America’s greatest legislators and orators, he forged compromises that held off civil war for decades.
His greatest scientific work was done in Europe, but his humanity earned him undying fame in America.
The bard of individualism, he relied on himself—and told us all to do the same.
His vaccine for polio eradicated one of the world’s worst plagues.
He broke baseball’s color barrier and embodied integration’s promise.
“The Great Commoner” lost three presidential elections, but his populism transformed the country.
The great financier and banker was the prototype for all the Wall Street barons who followed.
She was the country’s most eloquent voice for women’s equality under the law.
The author of Silent Spring was godmother to the environmental movement.
He sought to make the public school a training ground for democratic life.
Her Uncle Tom’s Cabin inspired a generation of abolitionists and set the stage for civil war.
She used the first lady’s office and the mass media to become “first lady of the world.”
One of America’s great intellectuals, he made the “problem of the color line” his life’s work.
His brilliance gave us civil-rights laws; his stubbornness gave us Vietnam.
Before the Internet, there was Morse code.
Through his newspaper, The Liberator, he became the voice of abolition.
After escaping from slavery, he pricked the nation’s conscience with an eloquent accounting of its crimes.
The father of the atomic bomb and the regretful midwife of the nuclear era.
The genius behind New York’s Central Park, he inspired the greening of America’s cities.
This one-term president’s Mexican War landgrab gave us California, Texas, and the Southwest.
The ardent champion of birth control—and of the sexual freedom that came with it.
The founder of Mormonism, America’s most famous homegrown faith.
Known as “The Great Dissenter,” he wrote Supreme Court opinions that continue to shape American jurisprudence.
The Rockefeller of the Information Age, in business and philanthropy alike.
The Monroe Doctrine’s real author, he set nineteenth-century America’s diplomatic course.
His tireless advocacy of universal public schooling earned him the title “The Father of American Education.”
He was a good general but a better symbol, embodying conciliation in defeat.
The voice of the antebellum South, he was slavery’s most ardent defender.
The father of architectural modernism, he shaped the defining American building: the skyscraper.
The most gifted chronicler of America’s tormented and fascinating South.
The country’s greatest labor organizer, he made the golden age of unions possible.
The mind behind Pragmatism, America’s most important philosophical school.
As a general, he organized the American effort in World War II; as a statesman, he rebuilt Western Europe.
The founder of Hull House, she became the secular saint of social work.
The original American dropout, he has inspired seekers of authenticity for 150 years.
The king of rock and roll. Enough said.
The circus impresario’s taste for spectacle paved the way for blockbuster movies and reality TV.
He codiscovered DNA’s double helix, revealing the code of life to scientists and entrepreneurs alike.
As the founding publisher of The New York Herald, he invented the modern American newspaper.
They went west to explore, and millions followed in their wake.
He didn’t create American English, but his dictionary defined it.
He promised us “Every Day Low Prices,” and we took him up on the offer
His mechanical reaper spelled the end of traditional farming, and the beginning of industrial agriculture.
What Joseph Smith founded, he preserved, leading the Mormons to their promised land.
He saved the national pastime in the wake of the Black Sox scandal—and permanently linked sports and celebrity.
America’s most significant architect, he was the archetype of the visionary artist at odds with capitalism.
She spoke to the discontent of housewives everywhere—and inspired a revolution in gender roles.
Whether a hero, a fanatic, or both, he provided the spark for the Civil War.
His talent and charisma took jazz from the cathouses of Storyville to Broadway, television, and beyond.
The press baron who perfected yellow journalism and helped start the Spanish-American War.
With Coming of Age in Samoa, she made anthropology relevant—and controversial.
He asked Americans what they thought, and the politicians listened.
The novels are unreadable, but he was the first great mythologizer of the frontier.
As a lawyer and a Supreme Court justice, he was the legal architect of the civil-rights revolution.
His spare style defined American modernism, and his life made machismo a cliché.
She got off her sickbed and founded Christian Science, which promised spiritual healing to all.
With a single book—and a singular approach—he changed American parenting.
A giant of physics, he helped develop quantum theory and was instrumental in building the atomic bomb.
The last man who could swing an election with a newspaper column.
Forget the fire and brimstone: his subtle eloquence made him the country’s most influential theologian.
This clergyman earned fame as an abolitionist and an evangelist.
As the creator of Tom Joad, he chronicled Depression-era misery.
He was the most successful rebel slave; his specter would stalk the white South for a century.
The founder of Kodak democratized photography with his handy rolls of film.
A producer for forty years, he was the first great Hollywood mogul.
He made the cars we drive safer; thirty years later, he made George W. Bush the president.
America’s first great songwriter, he brought us “O! Susanna” and “My Old Kentucky Home.”
As an educator and a champion of self-help, he tried to lead black America up from slavery.
He broke the New Deal majority, and then broke his presidency on a scandal that still haunts America.
Moby Dick was a flop at the time, but he is remembered as the American Shakespeare.
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