Most Important People in History

Can you name the most influential people in world history (in the personal opinion of the quizmaster)?
Remember: evil people can be very influential
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Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: January 14, 2019
First submittedJanuary 11, 2019
Times taken35,960
Average score41.0%
Rating3.99
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Who They Are / What They Did
Person
1
Messiah of Christianity
Jesus Christ
2
Founded Islam
Muhammad
3
Deeply influenced Chinese thought
Confucius
4
Founded Buddhism
Buddha
5
Rediscovered the New World
Christopher Columbus
6
Started WWII
Adolf Hitler
7
Conquered most of Asia
Genghis Khan
8
Invented the printing press
Johannes Gutenberg
9
Sparked the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther
10
Father of Communism
Karl Marx
11
Founded the Persian empire
Cyrus the Great
12
Conquered most of Europe
Napoleon Bonaparte
13
Won WWII, modernized the USSR, killed millions
Joseph Stalin
14
Led the Communist revolution in China
Mao Zedong
15
Unified China
Qin Shi Huang
16
Conquered the Persian Empire and spread Greek culture
Alexander the Great
17
Led India to independence from the UK
Mohandas Gandhi
18
Expanded the Maurya Empire to most of the Indian subcontinent
Ashoka
19
Started Taoism
Laozi
20
First Roman emperor
Augustus
21
Conquered England
William the Conqueror
22
Discovered calculus and the theory of gravitation
Isaac Newton
23
Father of Western Philosophy
Plato
24
Leader of the American revolution
George Washington
25
Expanded the Frankish empire
Charlemagne
26
Led the Communist revolution in Russia
V. I. Lenin
27
Helped Latin America achieve independence
Simón Bolívar
28
Converted the Gentiles to Christianity
St. Paul
29
Started a once-popular religion called Zoroastrianism
Zoroaster
30
Started the Crusades
Pope Urban II
31
Conquered Gaul. Became dictator of Rome
Julius Caesar
32
Improved the steam engine
James Watt
33
Made huge breakthroughs in disease prevention
Louis Pasteur
34
Discovered evolution
Charles Darwin
35
Allowed Rome to become a Christian empire
Constantine
36
Greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom
Ramesses II
37
Discovered relativity
Albert Einstein
38
Attempted a first comprehensive system of Western thought
Aristotle
39
Father of Economics
Adam Smith
40
Helped invent the lightbulb and much more
Thomas Edison
41
Conquered Central Asia in the late 1300s
Timur
42
Greatly expanded the Russian empire
Peter the Great
43
Unified Spain (two people)
Ferdinand & Isabella
44
Led the U.K. through WWII
Winston Churchill
45
Led England to a period of great discovery and prosperity
Queen Elizabeth I
46
Led the U.S. through the Civil War
Abraham Lincoln
47
First to sail from Europe to India
Vasco da Gama
48
Invented the airplane (two people)
Wright Brothers
49
To Sunnis, the fourth caliph; to shiites, the first imam
Ali
50
Invented the smallpox vaccine
Edward Jenner
51
Preeminent mathematician of the 18th century
Leonhard Euler
52
Made discoveries about radiation
Marie Curie
53
Broke England away from the Catholic church
Henry VIII
54
Invented birth control
Gregory Pincus
55
Figured out how to make artificial fertilizer
Fritz Haber
56
Potentially saved hundreds of millions by improving crop yields
Norman Borlaug
57
Father of Geometry
Euclid
58
Emperor who led China to a golden age during the Tang dynasty
Taizong of Tang
59
Assembly line and automobile pioneer
Henry Ford
60
Led the U.S. through the Great Depression and WWII
Franklin Roosevelt
61
Made huge contributions to mathematics and philosophy in the 17th century
René Descartes
62
Discovered genetics
Gregor Mendel
63
Founded the Umayyad caliphate
Muawiyah I
64
Conquered Persia and much of the Byzantine Empire
Umar
65
Conquered Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire
Mehmed the Conqueror
66
First President of Indonesia
Sukarno
67
Made important discoveries about electromagnetism
Michael Faraday
68
Made important discoveries about electromagnetism
James Maxwell
69
Led Russia to become a great power
Catherine the Great
70
Discovered penicillin
Alexander Fleming
71
First post-apartheid President of South Africa
Nelson Mandela
72
Conquered the Incas
Francisco Pizarro
73
Conquered the Aztecs
Hernán Cortés
74
Founder of Jainism
Mahavira
75
Helped develop the Scientific Method
Francis Bacon
76
Unified Germany under Prussian leadership
Otto von Bismarck
77
Sometimes called the Father of Modern Science
Galileo Galilei
78
Discovered that the Earth revolves around the Sun
Nicolaus Copernicus
79
Father of Modern Chemistry
Antoine Lavoisier
80
Improved the microscope. Observed single-celled organisms
Antony van Leeuwenhoek
81
Promoted sterile surgery
Joseph Lister
82
Father of nuclear physics
Ernest Rutherford
83
Prophet who founded Manichaeism, a now extinct religion
Mani
84
Invented the radio
Guglielmo Marconi
85
Founder of Pakistan
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
86
Emperor of Ethiopia, messiah of a minor religion
Haile Selassie
87
Father of computer science
Alan Turing
88
Most prominent figure in the American Civil Rights movement
Martin Luther King, Jr.
89
Helped overthrow the Shogunate in Japan
Sakamoto Ryōma
90
Hero of Mexican independence
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
91
Founder of psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud
92
Playwright
William Shakespeare
93
Important artist and "Renaissance" man
Leonardo da Vinci
94
Musical composer
Ludwig van Beethoven
95
Renaissance artist
Michelangelo
96
Probably the most influential painter of the 20th century
Pablo Picasso
97
Arguably influenced pop culture more than anyone else
Walt Disney
98
Pop musician
John Lennon
99
19th century novelist
Charles Dickens
100
20th century athlete
Pelé
+16
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
Make sure to read the Blog Article before you complain!
+14
Level 74
Jan 11, 2019
Well done. Makes me eager to compose my own, slightly differently biased Top100.
+4
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
Thanks. It would be cool to see other people's lists as well. Warning: this was a lot of work!
+8
Level 74
Mar 13, 2019
You didn't promise to much, but it was also a great mental exercise. Here is my take on the list and here is an additional list for the most important women.
+10
Level 84
Jan 11, 2019
Well, for a Top 100 list, this is not too bad. A few people that I don't really know but it's nice to learn. I didn't know Sakamoto Ryoma, is he more important than Mutsuhito? Apart from that, my only complain would be Pelé... I like sport but it's hard for me to consider any athlete to be "influential".
+1
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
I wanted to include at least one Japanese person, and after doing research I decide to include Ryoma, but I am not very confident about that one.
+10
Level 74
Feb 26, 2019
I agree, a good quiz with many learning points. I too thought Pelé was a dodgy question - he was a footballer not an athlete. I was sure you must have meant Owens! Now he was influential.
+5
Level 63
Mar 3, 2019
in American English any sportsman is considered an athlete. While outside of the US, athletics is what Americans would call "track and field" so athletes are specifically runners, jumpers and throwers.
+13
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
Pele could both run and jump. I saw him do it in a video once.
+6
Level 71
May 11, 2019
Instead of Ryoma you could also put

Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu or Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

+1
Level 72
Sep 14, 2020
Yeah, I'd vote for Tokugawa because of a simple clue: Founder of Shogunate in Japan.
+1
Level 54
Mar 14, 2022
Since you included Disney, what about Hayao Miyazaki?

Or maybe Meiji, who undoubtedly led Japan to the modern age?

+1
Level 70
Mar 14, 2022
I definitely agree with Meiji. Never heard of Ryoma. Nobunaga would also be really good and maybe one of Japan's WW2 leaders (Hirohito or Tojo).
+7
Level 64
Mar 16, 2019
I read the blog article, and I have a complaint! Sorry. Anyway, looking at the general trend of human history, you could argue that the Industrial Revolution was the only development that really mattered. It completely transformed the way the global economy was structured, and rapidly increased quality of life by making goods accessible to everyone. If you want to see its impact most simply, just look at a graph of human population over time. As a result, I think that there's no way you can justify putting James Watt below someone like Zoroaster.
+1
Level 63
May 4, 2022
I would argue the Agricultural Revolution can hold a candle, but it'd be pretty hard to find names to put down for that one :p
+6
Level 49
Mar 14, 2022
I did read it, your choices are fine as it is a quiz about your opinions. But really some questions seem impossible, 20th century athlete? maybe could have narrowed that to his nationality
+1
Level 83
Mar 15, 2022
I agree, or his sport. The same could be said for "19th century author". Not asking to be handed it on a plate, but a little more detail would be welcome.
+27
Level 75
Jan 11, 2019
Still, Nikola Tesla is the man who invented the 20th century :) And yes, I have read the article. For sure my own list would be different, but your point is good, not completely :)
+3
Level 84
Jan 11, 2019
Just for alternative current, he already belongs to such a list, yes.
+2
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
Alternating current wasn't invented by Tesla, but he did invent the induction motor. (Galileo Ferraris also invented one)
+8
Level 72
Jan 14, 2019
He fundamentally changed the way electricity was applied and made it possible for mass consumption. He's undoubtedly more relevant than even just a few of the scientists on the list, never mind all the others.
+1
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
He's at the very least more important than Pincus, and invented a few things by himself.
+8
Level 84
Jan 11, 2019
Not complaining, Freud unfortunately belongs to this list, but he founded psychoanalysis, not psychology.
+2
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
Fixed
+6
Level 77
Jan 11, 2019
That was a far more varied and interesting selection than any equivalent quiz or list that I've seen. The only one I'd take issue with is the "athlete" - I chose different answers for a number of the clues, but could clearly see the reasoning behind each except that one. I understand their inclusion within that category, but...
+6
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2019
He's there for variety. I decided to put one athlete on the list and put him at #100. I think Pelé is the most appropriate choice, although I also considered Muhammad Ali. Funny enough our list also includes Muhammad, Ali, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
+1
Level 84
Jan 11, 2019
Btw, I must have tried ten different spellings to no avail for the latter... I just didn't think of putting two n :(.
+1
Level 77
Mar 16, 2019
Ali was my first thought, actually, but then realised it couldn't be because of the answer to a different clue.
+4
Level 68
Jan 12, 2019
In general a comprehensive list, thanks! But there are three major short-comings I would say: 1) Neil Armstrong is missing. 2) Robert Koch is missing. He should be at s similar rank as Flemings and Pasteur. 3) Any "athlete" is a ridiculous choice for this list.
+7
Level 75
Jan 12, 2019
Why Armstrong?
+8
Level 91
Jan 16, 2019
Neil Armstrong because he was the first actor to pretend to walk on the moon.
+3
Level 66
Mar 6, 2019
He was not. But he still shouldn't be on the list.
+10
Level 80
Jan 13, 2019
Considering how much time the humanity dedicates to playing, watching and discussing sports, someone from the field must be influential.
+12
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
I don't think it's that sports aren't influential it's more that how do you pick out just one athlete? They all have done basically the same thing (be good at sports), most will be forgotten within a few generations after their death, and all within a 150 years or so, because none of them individually were really that important and beyond inspiring the generation that was around to witness their feats (something that all of them did in roughly the same way just at different times and to different audiences), none of them made any lasting contributions to society. I would allow for some possible exceptions to that last statement to include figures like Jesse Owens or Jackie Robinson, or maybe Pele.
+3
Level 67
Dec 2, 2019
Influential is, if they hadnt lived, would that have changed the course of history. Personally I dont think that applies to any athlete. Ideas, actions, inventions make an impact. Not how high someone can jump or how hard they can hit.
+1
Level 67
Dec 2, 2019
Not to be confused with popular, something can be the talk of the day, be very well known, or good in their field. But imo in the grand scheme, that isnt influential. Eventhough certain figures are called influencers these days. If we go by that, this list would be mainly actors, make up artists, rich kids which have become a brand purely based on their last name, popsingers etc. But people (regardless of their direct influence today, usually looks and music..) that will be forgotten 100 years from now have no place on such a list.
+2
Level 54
Apr 2, 2020
When it comes to an athlete who will probably be remembered forever, maybe Babe Ruth or Pele. Probably Robinson and Owens. End of list.
+1
Level 65
Jun 1, 2022
To be fair, no one outside of the US will remember Babe Ruth. But everyone remembers Pele
+5
Level 41
Jan 23, 2019
I am really not sure about Neil Armstrong because while it's important that he walked on the moon. Why not include the head scientist of the team that got him on the moon? If not already included of course.
+2
Level 68
Mar 24, 2019
As a scientist, I appreciate your attitude. Nevertheless, I would say it requires some bravery to depart for a new world which had been much newer than e.g. America. That said, I think that also Jury Gagarin should be on this list and probably way before Armstrong.
+3
Level 68
Mar 24, 2019
I mean in a history book in 3019, almost all of these persons will be probably footnotes. None of the political leaders will be of any relevance. At most some of the philosophers (including Jesus, Mohammed et al.) will be still considered to be of particular importance for the course of history. In contrast, mankind leaving the planet is something completely different, comparable to leaving the trees some million years ago. And although it was definitively not the genius achievment of Gagarin or Armstrong alone, I bet these names will survive until the end of history.
+1
Level 52
Mar 18, 2022
I'd say Bannister should be on here. He broke the 4 minute mile which everyone claimed was impossible.

Once he did it, 37 more did in the next year and hundreds after that.

Until he changed their belief it would never have happened.

+4
Level 73
Jan 13, 2019
Can the spelling "Soekarno" be used for the Indonesian president? It is an alternate spelling and the one used for the airport in Jakarta. I tried it and when it didn't work I didn't think to try it with a u.
+1
Level 37
Jun 6, 2019
^ Definitely. "Soekarno" is how I learned to spell his name. But in English, the Dutch "oe" is converted to "u".
+12
Level 67
Jan 13, 2019
Beethoven but no Mozart? Think both or neither would be appropriate.
+6
Level 71
Jan 14, 2019
I agree that if there's to be a classical composer and just one, Mozart's your guy.
+8
Level ∞
Jan 14, 2019
Agree to disagree
+18
Level 63
Mar 3, 2019
I think many experts would say that the pre-eminent musician of western music is J.S. Bach. Bach was better at music than anyone else has ever been at any thing.
+6
Level 66
Mar 6, 2019
Beethoven was more influential than Mozart because he was the inspiration for the Romantic period, whereas Mozart was just a Classical composer. Bach was also very influential, and while I prefer his music over Beethoven's I would say in terms of influence they are pretty close.
+3
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
Beethoven is my personal favorite by a big margin.
+2
Level 78
Mar 18, 2019
I'm with musiclistsareus. I'm shocked that the majority guessed Beethoven based on just "musical composer." Having grown up playing and listening to classical music (though by no means an expert), I couldn't imagine it being anyone other than Bach.
+4
Level 83
Mar 19, 2019
The most obvious answers to that clue are 1. Bach 2. Beethoven 3. Mozart... it's not a long list to go through.
+2
Level 68
Mar 21, 2019
I think Bach and Mozart are more influential than Beethoven, just due to the impact their compositions had on society.
+1
Level 74
Mar 14, 2022
'Best composer' is of course your own opinion. 'Most influential' is by far Beethoven. His music was completely revolutionary at the time and without him, music history would have been very different. Bach and Mozart were (according to most) the best composers of their times, but never deviated much from the forms and styles that were dominant in their days.
+1
Level 71
Mar 14, 2022
My favourite composers are the two Bachs: Johann Sebastian and Jacques Offen.
+1
Level 76
Mar 15, 2022
Beethoven was a musical genius no doubt, but Bach was my first answer to the question.
+14
Level 60
Jan 13, 2019
I read it. And of course, Moses existed. Who else could have written the Pentateuch (and perhaps Job).

But more important than that, Lennon over Elvis? Lennon would have strongly disagreed.

+7
Level 66
Mar 6, 2019
Who else could have written the Pentateuch? Maybe, as is now scholarly consensus, a variety of different authors over many centuries? I would also like to point out that Moses dies in Deuteronomy 34.
+7
Level ∞
Mar 16, 2019
To quote Ned Flanders: "I've done everything the Bible says - even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"
+1
Level 36
Mar 14, 2022
I’d like to point there no one mentioned here Moses was immortal (I just did)...
+1
Level 66
Mar 14, 2022
No, but typically people do not write about what the circumstances of their own death were, as they are dead by the time the information is known.
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
And who else could have written the Book of Mormon except for the prophet Mormon, right? Someone other than what the tradition of the religion holds despite being contradicted by all archaeological evidence availble? Unthinkable!
+1
Level 67
Jun 14, 2019
Mickey Mouse is not a person, and neither he nor Mario are real
+1
Level 83
Sep 16, 2019
You can't prove that so stop being so arrogant.
+2
Level 75
Jul 23, 2019
Obstinately toeing the party line and insisting that Moses authored the Pentateuch is completely ridiculous
+2
Level 71
Jan 14, 2019
Wow! This was very brave of you to attempt! I have one comment about Ashoka (it was great to see him on here!). He didn't exactly "conquer India", he more or less legitimately ascended to the throne (although there was contention between him and one of his brothers, who Ashoka apparently offed). The only war of invasion he undertook after that was Kalinga, which is indeed in India, but is just a little area. Other expansions were into modern Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but didn't appear to be as bloody. Anyway, all this is neither here nor there, it's more just that "conquered India" makes it sound like he was some outsider invading, rather than the son of the emperor of what was already the vast majority of India, who then became emperor.
+1
Level ∞
Jan 14, 2019
Tweaked the clue a little
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
I was also pleased to see Ashoka, Umar bin Khattab, and Qin Shi Huang. I think I suggested them all before in the comments of the first quiz.
+1
Level 74
Mar 16, 2019
After I looked into it, I actually disagree with Ashoka. He expanded the Maurya empire, but there were many empires in India with a similar record. His only bigger achievment seems to be the spread of buddhism, but all we know about Ashoka comes almost exclusively from buddhist sources, so there is much room for doubt. Not to mention that the places he 'converted' to Buddhism back then are predominantly not-buddhist today.
+3
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
Because Garibaldi, Mussolini, and Julius Caesar all existed does that mean we shouldn't know about Augustus? Yeah there have been other Indian empires but Ashoka was a very significant figure.
+2
Level 74
Mar 16, 2019
Sure, I didn't want to say, that he wasn't important. But I don't see him in a Top100, especially so high, especially when Akbar and Nehru are not listed at all.
+2
Level 83
Mar 17, 2019
Ashoka was in the Civilization video games; those other guys weren't. :D Gandhi was, too.
+7
Level 71
Jan 14, 2019
Oh, and how come Stalin got credit for killing millions, but Mao, who appeared right under him, did not? :-/
+2
Level 41
Jan 24, 2019
Mao did kill more of his own people then Stalin to.
+3
Level 75
Jan 14, 2019
It's a cool list, and an interesting quiz. I think the only reason people might feel provoked into criticising it is because of the label "Most Important People". There's no way of being able to say that a particular 100 people are more important than another 100 or 1000 people. How about just calling the quiz "Important People in History"? That would save triggering arguments about whether Beethoven was "more" important than Mozart, Plato "greater" than Socrates, and whether any economist was more important than Enrico Fermi.
+4
Level ∞
Jan 14, 2019
That's part of the fun.
+6
Level 71
Jan 14, 2019
I'm not one to complain about who is included in these kinds of lists because they are subjective. I only have two issues. 1. Stalin ended WWII while Churchill and Roosevelt are only noted as leading their respective countries? Don't think so. Stalin was as much at a stalemate as UK was until US entered the war. The three of them working together won. 2. The clues toward the end were just getting lazy, especially for a subjective quiz.
+3
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
The USA was important to the European theater of WW2, and obviously had more to do with defeating the Japanese than anyone (which, surprise to many Europeans, was important)... but the Russians definitely deserve the lion's share of the credit when it comes to putting down Hitler. And your characterization of the war between the Axis and Soviets as in stalemate is inaccurate. D-Day came 16 months after the Battle of Stalingrad had concluded and the Soviets had put the Axis powers on the defensive. Hitler had lost control over Ukraine and Belarus already and the siege of Leningrad had been lifted months before the Americans landed in Normandy. I'm not trying to diminish the importance of Allied bombing efforts etc but what you said is inaccurate.
+1
Level 36
Mar 14, 2022
The French won WWII not the USSR or the US (though they will throw hissy fits about it for propaganda purposes)
+3
Level 91
Jan 16, 2019
You should accept Jim Thorpe and Jackie Robinson as type-ins for Pele.
+9
Level 72
Jan 16, 2019
And Mohammed Ali....

My only real quibble with the list is perhaps John Lennon, whose significance I would never diminish, but in terms of pop musicians, I am not sure his actual influence is as profound as that of Elvis or Michael Jackson or Frank Sinatra

+5
Level 63
Mar 3, 2019
The Beatles as a group were extremely important, but Lennon by himself might not surpass the singular Elvis. But since some of the other clues are two people (Wright bros, Ferdinand & Isobella), you might consider Lennon & McCartney; together they do comprise the heart of the greatest band in history.
+3
Level 37
Jun 6, 2019
^ Totally agree. While Lennon composed one of the greatest songs ever (Imagine), I don't believe that his popularity will never eclipse that of Sinatra and Elvis in cultural influence or popularity; their music is truly timeless.
+2
Level 78
Jan 17, 2019
Pele never entered my mind. I tried Thorpe, Robinson and Babe Didrikson Zarahias.
+1
Level 36
Mar 14, 2022
You should accept Hitler and Mussolini as type-ins for Lenin.
+2
Level 69
Jan 19, 2019
Quizmaster, did you mean to repeat the same hint for 67 and 68?
+2
Level 45
Jan 22, 2019
I believe so – they both were responsible for the discoveries made about electromagnetism.
+4
Level 67
Jan 22, 2019
QM maybe you could tweak the "athlete" question and narrow it a little more. I was thinking Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan. Good job otherwise, I widely agree
+1
Level 41
Jan 28, 2019
Michael Jordan most likely but maybe Lebron as well.
+4
Level 61
Mar 16, 2019
The clue asks for a 20th century athlete. Lebron is 21st century.
+3
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
I remember reading something when I was about 8 or 9 about Michael Jordan being the 3rd-most-recognized person in the world, after Mario and Mickey Mouse. Personally I don't think any athletes should be included at all but Pele or Jesse Owens maybe are semi-reasonable inclusions.

On second thought, no, no athletes should be on this quiz at all.

+2
Level 41
Jan 23, 2019
I'm not complaing but why not reconsider if figures like Queen Victoria of England, Johannes Kepler and Francesco Petrarca should be in the list.
+6
Level 60
Jan 23, 2019
Arguably, Gavrilo Princip could be considered the most influential person of the 20th century...
+1
Level 67
Jan 24, 2019
Who?
+2
Level 60
Jan 25, 2019
He assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
+5
Level 67
Jan 31, 2019
To expand on what Kyle72211 said, Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austrian Archduke, which started off World War I. The causes of World War II are all rooted in what happened during and after WW1, and most of the rest of the 20th century is shaped by WW2. So indeed, Gavrilo Princip is arguably the person who had the greatest influence in that century.
+8
Level 52
Feb 7, 2019
He was the guy who belonged to this group who hadn't been able to assassinate him. So Princip, being very sad, decided to go buy a sandwich. Fortunately (for him, at least), Ferdinand's procession rolled by as he was eating his hoagie. So actually, whoever founded that deli shop should be on here.
+5
Level 74
Feb 11, 2019
He only started a war that was inevitable. The assassination was just a convenient excuse for Europe to settle the disputes and tensions that had built up since Napoleon. There probably was no way to stop it. If WWI would not have happened if not for the assassination, I would wholeheartedly agree with you, because, undoubtedly, WWI has shaped history since then dramatically and is the foundation of the world's political landscape. However, Princip was just a match that set the fire of WWI, a war that was bound to happen.
+4
Level ∞
Mar 16, 2019
Agreed. It's not the person who tips the dominos that counts, it's the person who sets them up in the first place.
+4
Level 60
Mar 19, 2019
I was just quoting Dan Carlin, thought it'd make for good conversation.
+2
Level 70
Apr 2, 2021
In a sense though, I'd say he was pretty significant. I was reading a discussion on Reddit about this the other day. While it's undoubtedly true that WW1 would've happened anyway, there's a possibility it wouldn't have started in 1914. Even 2 or 3 more years of peace could have made a difference in the war in terms of technology, geopolitics, etc.

Most influential person in the 20th century? Definitely not. Most consequential person of the 20th century? Not #1, but he might be up there.

+5
Level 73
Jan 29, 2019
Wow, I have a lot of comments. 1) Some choices made on this quiz were very good. Norman Borlaug and Fritz Haber, e.g., are important people who can easily be overlooked. 2) With a Japanese person, I don't know who that person is, but I felt like the Meiji emperor ought to be a shoo-in for this last. 3) As acknowledged in the blog post, there is a shortage of Asians. I personally think Nehru might be more important than Gandhi - plus, Jinnah is included and Nehru is pretty important too. I think Deng Xiaoping's policies has had a massive impact on the world economy in the last decades and he certainly deserves to be included. 4) Other people I think should be added: Justinian (law code), Locke (political science), Keynes (major influence on economic policy of last century), IDK who else. 5) For pop musician I tried Elvis, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan - I think all these artist had a pretty significant impact and legacy. It's a tough choice. I missed Disney, but I think it's good.
+2
Level 63
Mar 3, 2019
Yes, Nehru is vastly underrated as the popularizer of the jacket with an upturned collar.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 16, 2019
All good suggestions @Froststar101.
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
yeah I would have thought Emperor Meiji, Hideki Tojo, or Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
+1
Level 73
Apr 18, 2022
Strongly agree with Deng Xiaoping. There are a few others I would quibble about including, but that was the one truly glaring omission in my mind.

That said, this is a very impressive list. It's a hard thing to assemble and in most respects it's very good.

+2
Level 75
Feb 8, 2019
Have read the blog article and you said the list might evolve so just a couple of ideas in case you didn't consider them -

1. Florence Nightingale developed the nursing profession into what it is today, saving and improving countless lives around the world

2. The Manhattan Project caused huge changes all over the world, though I'm not sure which 1 person that would be attributable to (Richard Feynman was involved and also helped popularise science but maybe there would be someone else more appropriate)

+2
Level 66
Mar 3, 2019
Should the UK decide to go through with Brexit, you might want to add Cameron
+2
Level 66
Mar 3, 2019
You also might want to put Che Guevara on the list
+5
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
That guy is more overrated than Tesla.
+1
Level 66
Mar 3, 2019
Sorry to bother, but how about Adam Ries, who implied use of the arabic numeric system in Europe. That had quite a big influence. Numbers are everywhere...
+3
Level 68
Mar 6, 2019
Max Plank, Schrodinger or Heisenberg instead of Rutherford. no quantum physics = no atomic theory.

And who is Pelé? only Messi could be on that short list of athletes.

Al-Khwaritzmi should make the cut also. For such thing of The Numbers

+2
Level 84
Mar 16, 2019
I was surprised at the omission of some of the scientists as well. I also expected to see Gauss. I would also think someone like a James Clark Maxwell might rate higher but I am quite biased given my interests.
+1
Level 43
Mar 16, 2019
yay a question about zoroastianism.

Reply if you are.

+3
Level 50
Mar 16, 2019
lol where tesla at
+1
Level 84
Mar 16, 2019
Not a bad list (and certainly impressive, both for the amount of time it must have taken and the willingness to open oneself up to criticism). Norman Borlaug is one of my favorite "incredibly important people that no one has ever heard of." I was all prepared to argue with whatever came up for "Arguably influenced pop culture more than anyone else," but then when I saw the answer, I actually thought you made a pretty good call on that one.

For the one Japanese person, I probably would have chosen Tokugawa Ieyasu (reunified Japan after centuries of regional warfare) or maaaaybe Murasaki Shikibu (author of the Tale of Genji) over Sakamoto, but I do agree with the choice to go with him over the Emperor Meiji--anyone who's studied Japanese history knows the emperor is never the most influential person.

+3
Level 50
Mar 16, 2019
Agree with your point on Tokugawa.
+2
Level 84
Mar 16, 2019
Also, just to be a good pedantic Jetpunker, Pincus invented the birth control pill, not birth control itself.
+1
Level 61
Mar 16, 2019
Not a perfect quiz by any means, but I liked the list. A lot of people who make lists like this like to put random people at the top to be edgy. Great job putting the obvious choices (religious leaders) at the top of the chart. I think I'll make my own list/quiz (with all respect to the Quizmaster)
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
I read the blog entry. I'd say it's an improvement over the old quiz. But..

you took off Moses for being a figure of mythology. (good call) You should have also taken off Jesus for the same reason. We don't even know if he was a real person let alone much about him or how influential he really was. Or at least put him below Paul. There's a growing scholarly consensus that Muhammad should fall in to the same category, as there is almost nothing written about Muhammad that actually survives from his lifetime. (though there is a lot more than we have for Jesus, aka nothing)

You left Pincus on the quiz?? He absolutely doesn't belong. This was one of the dumbest things about the original quiz. The man is the CO-inventor of combined oral contraceptives. Not even the sole inventor. Not the inventor of birth control (which had been being practiced for hundreds of years various ways). As I said on the previous quiz, you could have given his spot to Margaret Sanger, who underwrote his

+1
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
research, and was ultimately far more influential for a variety of other things she did. Upped your woman count from 4 to 5, and given credit to the person who was ultimately more responsible for influencing the world at the same time.
+1
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
If you made the smart move of removing or demoting Jesus and Muhammad, (at least) quasi-mythological figures at the center of their respective cults, and promoting figures like St Paul who we actually know were real people who had real influence on turning a backwater marginal Jewish apocalypse cult into the major world religion we actually know today, then the closest Muslim equivalent to Paul would probably be Abu Bakr, who doesn't show up on the list.
+2
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
Read this and explain to me why Pincus was more influential than Sanger. He's mentioned in the article, too.
+1
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
and for non readers
+1
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
and this article is about John Rock, who was one of the other "co-inventors" of the pill. The article also mentions Sanger. But I think I might argue that Rock deserves a place on the quiz more than Pincus, as well. Though not as much as Sanger.
+3
Level 74
Mar 16, 2019
Your point regarding historicity are valid, but I think that in this format, their inclusion can be justified. It is, by design, a subjectiv list, and a certain amount of speculation is ok, if not necassary. There is case for an actual historic prefigure of Jesus, not the least because the characteristics attributed to him are wholly inside the jewish normalcy of that time (there were many messiai(?) at that time in this geographic location).

I agree, that Paulus had a bigger influence on the christian doctrine than any theoretical predecessor. That is again the question, what kind of influence is meant and to be held higher. There are also a lot of figures of early christianity with a similar record than him, that were one by one purged from the records, yet who still had influence on the legacy.

If you'd apply higher standards for historicity, that's good, but I also think it is interesting to see, how people asses that question from a more personal point of view.

+2
Level 83
Mar 17, 2019
I can definitely see a potential point being made for figures impacting history and society in ways beyond even what they did directly. I mean, the myth of Jesus, even if he was entirely fabricated (and I don't think he was), has influenced billions of lives and continues to today. But.... do we credit the man who is the subject of the myth? Or those that created or made the myth influential? (Paul, Constantine, the anonymous authors of the gospels) If you're going to remove Moses from the quiz, then it seems to me that you are going more for the latter... and in that case I'd either remove Jesus, or rank him much lower on the list. If you were going to go by the former standard, then someone like Luke Skywalker could show up on the list, to the exclusion of George Lucas.

In short I see your point and could see it either way it just seems inconsistent to me to remove Moses from the list entirely, and then rank Jesus #1.

+2
Level 68
Mar 24, 2019
I entirely second kalbahamut's logical derivation.
+3
Level 85
Mar 16, 2019
I agree about Sanger being a better option. She was also my first and only guess for that question. Overall fun quiz though.
+3
Level 47
Mar 16, 2019
edward jenner > kylie jenner
+3
Level 34
Mar 16, 2019
Last question should be more precise
+3
Level 60
Mar 16, 2019
Good list. I'd have included Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
+4
Level 59
Mar 16, 2019
Surely you should have included Tim Berners Lee? Without him we’d wouldn’t be doing this quiz
+2
Level 46
Mar 16, 2019
I really think that Carl Linnaeus belongs on this list. One of the most influential scientists of all time and probably on par with Darwin as the most important people in biology as a whole. If people like Lavoisier made the list it should be criminal to not put Linnaeus on it.

If this is not enough, he also happens to be the most mentioned person on all of Wikipedia

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/06/11/the-most-influential-person-on-wikipedia-is-someone-youve-probably-never-heard-of/?utm_term=.e07279044fda

+2
Level 45
Mar 18, 2019
Completely agree!
+1
Level 82
Mar 16, 2019
My version

https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/42254/top-100-people-of-the-millennium

+3
Level 77
Mar 16, 2019
I was surprised not to see Oppenheimer on this list. It seems to me that anyone who led the Manhattan Project and was known as the "father of the atomic bomb" deserves a place here.
+1
Level 57
Oct 7, 2021
agree
+5
Level 41
Mar 16, 2019
Who the heck is Pele--

I know I don't follow sports much but what makes him more influential than Mozart or Thomas Jefferson or some other people not here?

+4
Level 83
Mar 17, 2019
Brazilian soccer player. Arguably the most famous in history, though to younger fans I'm sure Messi is better known.
+1
Level 68
Mar 28, 2019
Although some athletes can be arguably influential on his generation, they never can be highly influential on the long run. Each generation will have his own heroes. To put the blame on a single person I would choose the reintroducer of the modern Olympic Games but I cannot think of a single athlete that cannot be bested out as the time goes on.
+1
Level 83
Apr 3, 2019
Funny, I was just learning about a famous boxer of ancient Greece the other day. Accounts of his life and feats have survived for quite a long time. Not that anyone would know who I was talking about if I mentioned his name...
+5
Level 61
Mar 16, 2019
Pele? I think an athelete is not appropriate in this list, considering "important" implies "contributing/damaging lots to society". Maybe Bill Gates (a contemporary) is more influential. He brought PCs closer to people and leveraged software industry. (He also "killed" some other companies, thereby changing global software development.)
+2
Level 61
Mar 16, 2019
I second Bill Gates.
+2
Level 61
Mar 16, 2019
I nominate for consideration to displace others: Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, and Ben Franklin. All inventors whose inventions had great impact on global communication.
+1
Level 30
Mar 16, 2019
Great quiz even though of course subjective choices are always arguable.

It's sad how few women there are (not a critic to you, it's obviously true to reality)

+2
Level 77
Mar 16, 2019
First of all this was a great quiz with a great variation of people!

The one person i feel is left out is Carl Linnaeus the botanist. After all he is the person responsible for the naming of basically all flora and fauna. No Homo Sapiens or Canis Lupus and such without Linnaeus.

Also i dont know why Sukarno is so high up, but that might just be ignorance on my part.

+5
Level 65
Mar 16, 2019
Why Muhammad Ali Jinnahand Suharto? How is founding Pakistan one of the biggest changing factors in world society? It was both Pele AND Diego Mardona, how did one contribute more than the other? By the way, that's actually a common myth that Henry Ford invented the modern automobile; it was actually Karl Benz who did that, but don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself. Also I'd include Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone and Von Bron for his contributions to modern rocket science which helped pave the way for space exploration.
+1
Level 76
Mar 16, 2019
Henry 8th didnt exactly break England away from the Catholic Church. He went to his deathbed a Catholic. What he did was to establish a branch of the Catholic church in England with himself as its head. Later, under Edward and Elizabeth, this branch adopted Protestant theology but this would not have pleased Henry, whom the Pope gave the title Defender of the Faith as a result of Henry's answer to Luther. So the question as it stands could be a candidate for your upcoming April Fools Quiz.
+4
Level ∞
Mar 17, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_excommunicated_by_the_Catholic_Church
+2
Level 83
Mar 17, 2019
Though the Anglican church was basically Catholic in almost every way, if you don't answer to the Pope you are not really Catholic.
+1
Level 37
Jun 6, 2019
WanderingWalrus: If Henry did not "break away", then what did he do? - The Catholic Church does not accept Divorce. Henry was divorced several times; ergo, he was no longer a Catholic in good standing. Had he not "broken away" he would have, at best, been denied the sacraments of the Church and at worst, been excommunicated.
+2
Level 77
Mar 16, 2019
Great quiz! Please accept Mehmet for Mehmed?
+2
Level 50
Mar 16, 2019
I would nominate Thomas Midgley, who singlehandedly created CFCs and got the bright idea of adding lead to petrol, therefore spelling doom to millions of people and the atmosphere. Also Archimedes for his contributions.
+1
Level ∞
Mar 17, 2019
I added an interesting fact about Midgely. The poor guy couldn't catch a break.
+5
Level 61
Mar 17, 2019
I think that Dmitri Mendeleev should be added to this list. Definitely more influential than Pelé
+1
Level 45
Mar 18, 2019
Somehow remembered Ashoka from 6th grade history :)
+1
Level 45
Mar 18, 2019
Knew Lavoisier and Leeuwenhoek right away but couldn't for the life of me remember how to spell their names, ugh.
+4
Level 62
Mar 18, 2019
Who in the world decided to describe John Lennon as a "Pop musician" as opposed to a "Rock musician"? :-\

Calling him a "pop musician" isn't exactly wrong, but it's really misleading. No wonder so few people are guessing that one correctly.

(For reference, the word "pop" shows up twice on his Wikipedia page. "Rock" is used 15 times (plus another 15 in the References section.)

+1
Level 61
Mar 19, 2019
I would agree. Even his work beyond The Beatles could hardly be called pop, if anything "Avant- Garde" would be a much better descriptor.
+3
Level 67
Mar 21, 2019
No, it's pop. "Pop" has taken on a negative connotation because people think of it as Madonna, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, etc., but in the academic sense, it is always used to mean popular music generally -- usually songs ranging between two and six minutes, written for one to ten musicians, that operate in basic major/minor modalities with vocals and the verse/chorus/verse foundation. John Lennon, both during and after the Beatles, is definitely a pop musician.
+3
Level 64
Mar 19, 2019
I think some of the clues are just too broad where they relate to personal preference. Thinking specifically the composer athlete and pop singer

Also pedant alert. You can't invent evolution. And to be accurate Darwin didn't even "invent" the theory of Evolution. That was already around. He came up with the mechanism for it to work i.e. Natural Selection. The Theory (since proved) is Natural Selection. Evolution is a fact and always was. This is the rebuttal to intelligent designers who go Oh but Evolution is only a Theory

+2
Level 76
Mar 20, 2019
No one is mentioning Volta (Alessandro), so I'm mentioning him. Besides that, I'm surprised by the underrepresentation of culture and certain fields of science.
+1
Level 39
Mar 21, 2019
Only one woman?
+1
Level 39
Mar 21, 2019
Sorry. Maybe more than one. Just browsed through the list quickly.
+3
Level 38
Mar 24, 2019
Sorry, I didn't read the blog. I think I get the gist of what you're going for, and understand everyone would have a different list. I just want to say, if you wanted to include at least one Japanese person, Tokugawa Ieyasu is by far the most influential. He unified Japan, expelled Europeans and banned Christianity, and created what at the time was arguably the most "modern" state in the world that lasted 250 years, allowing Japan to not only thrive economically but significantly influence European art and philosophy despite being almost completely cut off from the world. I lived in Sakamoto's hometown, and appreciate his importance, but he was one of many figures who helped overthrow the system Ieyasu created. If you wanted a more modern figure, Ito Hirobumi was *significantly* more influential than Sakamoto in that time period. Either Ieyasu or Ito could easily belong on this list with or without seeking out a Japanese person especially.
+3
Level 83
Mar 28, 2019
Minor quibble but I think I'd put Buddha over Confucius. Buddhist teachings have had a major impact in India, Nepal, SE Asia, China, Japan, Tibet... Confucius may have had a bigger impact in China (and Japan, Korea, Vietnam), but that influence didn't flow all the way back west to India. Close call either way, though.
+1
Level 40
Apr 17, 2019
What, no Amerigo Vespucci? Trump never would've gained support if his campain slogan was "Make That Western Country Great Again" :)
+1
Level 67
Jun 14, 2019
There is now growing doubt that he ever made the missions to the Americas. America may have been named after a fraud
+2
Level 40
Apr 17, 2019
Also, a future quiz suggestion? Maybe Most Influential Cities In History?
+1
Level 67
Jun 14, 2019
I'm furious I missed Ford, Lennon, Pasteur, and Borlaugh, I'm still happy with a 71 though
+1
Level 66
Jul 23, 2019
I'm not critizising i'm just saying that I would have added him: Che Guevara
+4
Level 75
Jul 23, 2019
You've already said that
+2
Level 70
Jul 25, 2019
For the most part, great job! I have a few disagreements about the placements on the list, but I'll put those aside to admire how much work was put into making this.

There were 2 clues that I thought could be better though. Ashoka expanded the Mauryan Empire by conquering Kalinga, but I feel like the work he did to expand Buddhism is both more well known and more important and thus should be highlighted in the clue.

I also feel that the Pasteur clue is somehow too vague--the way it's phrased, I somehow thought it was a doctor or epidemiologist. It might be a good idea to highlight his work in microbiology and popularizing the germ theory of disease.

+1
Level 70
Mar 14, 2022
Also, I know this has been mentioned above, but Nehru. If Jinnah and Sukarno are mentioned, who presided over less populous and important countries, I don't see why he shouldn't. His political philosophy was the foundation of modern India and his family dominated Indian politics for the rest of the century. Also, his influence stretched beyond India through his major role in founding the Non-Aligned Movement.
+1
Level 37
Aug 13, 2019
First of all, great job! In a subjective, yet fun list like this, it's nice to see some people from all over the world. As a non-native speaker I had lots of troubles with some spellings (e.g. Catharine the great, Genghis Khan). As for the people you chose: For me Bach is rated higher than Beethoven. If you really want to include a sportsmen, I would have chosen Eddy Merckx, Jesse Owens or Nadya Comaneci. People that are missing in my opinion: Louis XIV, Ada Lovelace, Tim-Berners-Lee, Charles Babbage, Fibonacci.
+3
Level 63
Sep 8, 2019
Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara. Jainism had existed long before him. But he compiled the previous teachings and his spirituality into texts which we study today.
+4
Level 82
Oct 11, 2019
So weird only 3% of people have ever heard of Walt Disney. Unless there's something particularly vague about the clue...
+6
Level 59
Oct 23, 2019
vague clue
+1
Level 47
Nov 8, 2019
It would be the clue.
+2
Level 67
Dec 2, 2019
Or people didnt get that far down the list in time
+4
Level 59
Oct 23, 2019
Great quiz, however, I feel some clues could be just slightly more descriptive.
+1
Level 47
Nov 8, 2019
I hate it when you misread or miss one of the clues to an answer you know and then miss it.
+3
Level 59
Dec 17, 2019
Massively disagree on a lot of these but that is just opinion.
+2
Level 63
Feb 3, 2020
Interesting list, but my first thought for "invented birth control" would be Marie Stopes or Margaret Sanger. Gregory Pincus invented the birth control Pill, which isn't quite the same thing. Perhaps the clue could be clarified?
+1
Level 54
Mar 18, 2020
Great! Love it. (: Just a comment - will you consider adding Steve Jobs? Thanks!
+2
Level 51
Apr 19, 2020
Surprised only 3% of the people guessed Walt Disney.
+3
Level 43
Jun 1, 2020
Indeed, I think the hint is quite misleading...I typed a bunch of writers/artists before giving up since time here is unforgiving....
+6
Level 92
Jun 14, 2020
The hint was way too vague
+3
Level 66
Jul 3, 2020
It is nearly impossible to be completely objective and fair in such selections, but I think it is still a very good and well-thought list. Although it is a reactional and an alternate list to the book by Michael H. Hart, it is still influenced by it; especially apparent in the inclusion of Michelangelo, Beethoven and Shakespeare but not Mozart, for example. I notice that the political figures in the list from the 20th century are predominantly those who were the leaders of superpowers and/or founding presidents of countries with large populations, such as Jinnah or Sukarno. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk should also be in the list, not only because he was a victorious military general or the founding father of Republic of Turkey, but also because he set an example to many Muslim countries struggling to gain their independence against great powers (such as Pakistan) and aiming to achieve a modern state through following his reforms (such as Iran).
+3
Level 55
Nov 26, 2020
I think it would help if you made the list more vague. I mean, we all know who you mean when you say '20th century athlete'.
+1
Level 84
Jan 20, 2021
There are person in this list that are amazingly low, some are amazingly high, some important ones are left, some are in the list, but maybe shouldn't be there, but more less is not that bad (i didn't say it's good). But, MARCONI AND EDISON OVER TESLA, COME ON...

Most famous Marconi's invention was stolen from Tesla (which is proved), so it's nonsense to put him in this list instead of Tesla.

Edison was surely material for this list, but not more important than Tesla. Because Edison is realy high on the list, my opinion is that, you should have put Tesla on the list also.

+1
Level 67
Feb 12, 2021
This is a personal gripe but I think you massively underrate many military figures throughout history. For example a conqueror such as Cnut massively shaped European history by introducing a Danish nobility to England that would help to shape the culture of that island for the rest of time. It is undoubtable that he was more influential than someone like Pele.
+2
Level 66
Sep 2, 2021
This is not a complaint about the people on the quiz; I know you get enough of those. But some of the clues are super vague? e.g. "Helped overthrow the Shogunate in Japan" weren't there quite a lot of people who did that? "Pop musician" aren't there quite a lot of those? "20th century athlete" ditto?

Mightn't greater specificity help? e.g. "Renaissance physicist and astronomer from Pisa" for Galileo, "19th century British novelist and social critic" for Dickens, "20th century Brazilian footballer" for Pele?

+1
Level 62
Sep 14, 2021
This list atrocious... Issac Newton not in the top 10?
+2
Level 57
Oct 7, 2021
Should have had Dostoevsky or Tolstoy instead of Dickens
+1
Level 72
Nov 30, 2021
Guru Nanak founded Sikhism (30,000,000 followers worldwide)

Mahavira was an early Jain (6,000,000 followers, mainly in India)

Just saying…

+1
Level 59
Mar 17, 2022
It's about the total influence over time, not just today. Sikhism might be more important today, but Jainism has been more important overall.
+1
Level 72
Nov 30, 2021
Can’t believe nobody mentioned Bob Marley. I’ve travelled the world over, and an almost universal human trait is appreciation of reggae music, culture and Bob’s simple message of love and unity. Jah Rastafari… xx
+1
Level 65
Jan 8, 2022
Honestly I think this list is very very good. I would add Deng Xiaoping. Single biggest architect of modern China after Mao, his "reforming and opening up" set the stage for China to be the major superpower of the 21st century.
+1
Level 59
Jan 8, 2022
Great quiz! As a Greek myself, I was happy to see three Greeks in your list
+4
Level 51
Jan 9, 2022
Putting Edison (who stole most of his inventions) and not Tesla is a farce.
+1
Level 26
Jan 29, 2022
Read the blog article,I am a proud New Jersian so...stop talking trash about Thomas Edison.Edison didn't "steal" any inventions.In your mind Tesla invented the light bulb,I mean sure he is a father of modern electricity but that was Edison's own invention.
+2
Level 26
Jan 29, 2022
(Just a question) isn't Socrates the father of western philosophy?
+2
Level 63
Feb 23, 2022
Please accept Mahavir or Mahaveer. In several Indian languages(including Hindi and Sanskrit), it is pronounced this way.
+3
Level 55
Mar 14, 2022
This quiz is sooo arbitrary. "A" composer? "A" musician? "An" athlete? "(i)nfluenced pop culture more than anyone else?" Really? Not only are a number of these answers one out of a number of random possibilities, but alternate spellings of correct answers weren't accepted. Here are questions that could be added: "The best poet," ""The prettiest woman," and "The nicest person." These quizzes aren't meant to be random opinions.
+1
Level 62
Mar 14, 2022
I'd add Dante, whose Commedia was the first great work in a European vernacular, helping establish not only the modern Italian language, but the literature of that and many other languages. Not to mention that the Comedy is great literature itself, still read and influencing others today.
+2
Level 56
Mar 14, 2022
Some of the items are too vague, eg about pop musicians or athletes. Re blog, no problem with Eurocentricism, etc, European men have influenced the world more than others.
+3
Level 55
Mar 14, 2022
You should be a little more lenient about spellings. Mehmet isn't allowed, but Mehmed is. That's only convention. And Leeuwenhoek? Come on.
+1
Level 69
Mar 16, 2022
Yeah, it took me a while to figure out why it wasn't accepting Mehmet.
+1
Level 70
Mar 14, 2022
I'm taking Justinian over a couple of these guys
+3
Level 66
Mar 14, 2022
Something I just can't understand is omission of Tesla. You added both Edison and Marconi, both were put really high, yet they contributed far less than Tesla did.

Of all the mathematicians and scientists you added, you left out Gauss!?!?

You clearly forgot artists so you just decided to put them at the end.

If you are looking for an influential sports figure, it would have to be either Ali or Jordan over Pele.

So many things I disagree with that I have to call this bad...just bad

+2
Level 69
Mar 14, 2022
It's not the first time I see Hitler above Stalin in such rating- can someone give me the logic for that?

Stalin was in power for longer, killed more people, made USSR into a global power that lasted for 60 years, decided the modern borders of half of Eurasia, resettled millions of people, forever changing the demographics of many regions, set up the Cold War and Iron Curtain etc. Basically defined the world's geopolitics for 50 years to come.

Most of Hitler's deeds, although very significant and horrible, seem to have smaller reach in terms of time scale, number of people and amount of area affected, unless you decide that starting WWII makes him automatically more influencial than Stalin, which if you do, I would like to hear some arguments for, not necessarily that I want to challenge you on this but because I would like to know your line of reasoning.

+1
Level 57
Mar 14, 2022
Starting WW2 lead to the foundation of the UN (as well as the long peace), it also caused the decline of fascism as an ideology
+4
Level 74
Mar 14, 2022
Ah yes, the Russian speaking jewish president who is a neo nazi and commits genocide on Russian speakers. Away, troll!
+1
Level 65
Mar 14, 2022
@GloryToRussia You do realize Russia is basically fascist, right?
+1
Level 56
Mar 14, 2022
Nice quiz, it got me thinking differently for a change. I reckon 50% of the answers I got correct came from playing Sid Meier's Civilisation games when I was younger :)
+4
Level 27
Mar 14, 2022
I have not read all comments, so apologies if I am repeating a comment already made. I have one minor quibble and that is about using the word "discovering" for things like Relativity or Evolution. Those are THEORIES and therefore have not actually been discovered...only theorized. I realize this is mere semantics, but it bothers me just the same.
+5
Level 44
Mar 14, 2022
Seriously, “pop artist” and “20th century athlete”. Do you know how many of those there are?
+1
Level 22
Mar 14, 2022
Exactly, some of these clues were waaay too vague
+4
Level 26
Mar 14, 2022
I don't have an issue with the list. It is what it is, and the creator admits it's flawed. But the explanations are sometimes extremely vague, especially at the tail end of quiz. "Arguably influenced pop culture more than anyone else", "pop musician", and "20th century athlete" all could describe a number of people. Nor do the clues best sum up the achievements of their people. When I think Walt Disney, I don't think "pop culture influencer". I think "notable animator who founded what would become a major movie studio". The clues could be much more precise while still keeping the same people. Just my two cents.
+4
Level 65
Mar 14, 2022
Really goes to show what an irrelevant country the US is.
+1
Level 69
Mar 16, 2022
Still relevant enough for you to think about.
+4
Level 73
Mar 14, 2022
I know a lot of people have said this but some of these clues are super vague, especially the last 10 or so. Even providing things like the kind of sport the athlete plays or where the musician and novelist are from may be incredibly helpful; it at least gives a starting point for guesses as opposed to "guess literally every athlete from the 20th century"
+2
Level 48
Mar 14, 2022
Lots of fun - but I'd have appreciated some alternate spellings for names that aren't originally English or written in Latin script. For instance Omar is at least as common as Umar for the name of the caliph.
+1
Level 67
Mar 14, 2022
3 women and only 1 of them not royalty??? Maybe we can hope for a 100 most important women quiz for balance?
+1
Level 59
Mar 17, 2022
The metric isn't fairness. It's which individual people have actually have been the most influential. I'm sure there would be a lot more women on the list if history were fair, but that's not the case.

Having said that, I do think Margaret Sanger probably deserves the spot over Gregory Pincus.

+3
Level 74
Mar 14, 2022
Don't care so much about the people on the list and the order they're in, but listing "pop star" and "20th century athlete" are about as vague as one can get. How is anyone supposed to pore through every pop artist ever to settle specifically on John Lennon? More clue needed. Same with Pele. You gotta give more specific clues.
+1
Level 63
Mar 14, 2022
Well, I figured out he meant Lennon from the clue. "Imagine" is now a standard fixture at the Olympics. What 20th century pop figure stands out more?

I took the Pele one as a bit of a gag. It is #100 after all. Threw in a fun one - that one one else seems to appreciate.

+1
Level 67
Mar 14, 2022
Well, if you can't consider the list of "every pop artist ever" and pick out a handful of candidates to try for this answer, then .... Nevermind. You're just being unreasonable.
+1
Level 36
Mar 14, 2022
Shakespeare over Cervantes. Dickens over Dostoevsky. Delusion.
+1
Level 54
Mar 14, 2022
Nice list. Personally would’ve added Oppenheimer, as the development of the atomic bomb is arguably the most significant scientific development of the 20th century, for scientific and geopolitical reasons. There were a few other inclusions/omissions I found odd, but overall a solid list!
+1
Level 65
Mar 14, 2022
While Edison is certainly deserving of his place in this list, I think you also have to consider Tesla as well. While Edison invented many things including the light bulb and phonograph, Tesla invented the means by which we supply and transmit electric power across the globe. I don't personally buy into the theory that Edison stole Tesla's ideas as some do, but I believe that both men were equally as influential in their contributions.
+2
Level 16
Mar 14, 2022
Gautama or Siddhartha Gautama should be accepted for the founder of Buddhism question
+1
Level 57
Mar 14, 2022
Interesting and weird list. I could not spell Leeuwenhoek to save my life lmao
+1
Level 53
Mar 14, 2022
made important discoveries about electromagnetism is on there twice
+1
Level 67
Mar 14, 2022
With two different plausible answers. Quizmaster likes to have a little fun.
+1
Level 20
Mar 14, 2022
Who invented the airplane was Santos Dumont (Brazil)
+1
Level 63
Mar 14, 2022
Very fun. Thank you! Learned a lot!
+2
Level 55
Mar 14, 2022
The greatest achievement in all of human history was landing on the moon. Why? Because there is nothing more important that people do than explore. That should be represented.
+2
Level 71
Mar 14, 2022
Interesting list, and impressive work.

I could've done with some more time, but I was taking it pretty slow.

+2
Level 60
Mar 14, 2022
Cool quiz, but some of the clues are too vague. "Musical composer", "Pop musician", "20th Century athlete", etc. could be so many different people.
+1
Level 26
Mar 14, 2022
Funny story, William the Conqueror was occasionally called "William the Bastard" because he was born out of wedlock.
+1
Level 26
Mar 14, 2022
The true Father of Western Philosophy (according to Google so you can't get mad at me) was Socrates.
+1
Level 53
Mar 14, 2022
Question 15: Unified China

This is quite ambiguous, as China had fractured and united over and over through millennia. we can say that every emperor who united China is a correct answer.

+1
Level 53
Mar 14, 2022
Also can you accept Taizong for Taizong of Tang? It's self explanatory.
+2
Level 58
Mar 14, 2022
Yuri Gagarin should be on here.
+1
Level 59
Mar 17, 2022
If there was no Gagarin, there would've been another pilot to send into space. Gagarin is certainly important, but if you want someone related to the space program, an important scientist behind the technology would be more appropriate.
+1
Level 43
Mar 15, 2022
Churchill before Da Vinci?
+1
Level 67
Mar 15, 2022
Can't believe Banting (discoverer of insulin) and Bell (inventor of telephone) are not on the list. Ok I'm biased because I'm Canadian but still.
+1
Level 76
Mar 15, 2022
I could make a case for these names ahead of some on this list: Cook, Bach, Mendeleev, Presley, Nightingale, Tokugawa, al-Majriti
+2
Level 57
Mar 16, 2022
Not going to bother arguing with the actual picks too much since it's subjective but can we not get some better clues than "pop musician", "20th century athelte" and "arguably influenced popular culture more than anyone else" which just require me to blindly guess who you're thinking of?
+1
Level 50
Mar 18, 2022
Good list. Except there should be Maradona, not Pele :)
+1
Level 62
Mar 19, 2022
Nice quiz. Fun seeing where others place historical figures.

Obligatory nitpick. Gutenberg did not invent the printing press. The printing press had existed in numerous cultures for many years before he made his improvement. He is notable for inventing the movable type printing press. That made changing a print job much easier and cheaper. Prior to his contribution, every printing plate had to be either cast out of metal or carved out of wood.

+1
Level 82
Apr 27, 2022
Accept Mehmet for 65
+1
Level 65
May 13, 2022
Fun one, had 55 at last attempt. And at the end knowing that you'll be sighing when you see the list. Always a few that you know you will recognize once you read it, even having the picture in mind but not the name (like with Van Leeuwenhoek in my case).
+1
Level 75
May 31, 2022
I'm very interested why the only athlete on the list was Pele. He's a fine inclusion, but my understanding about Pele is that he was just really really good at soccer. Meanwhile, I was trying athletes like Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens who transcended their respected sports by being a symbol of something greater than athletics.