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100 Most Influential People of the 2nd Millennium (harder)

In 1999 the documentary series Biography released Biography of the Millennium, in which they profiled the 100 most influential people (good or bad) who lived in the previous 1000 years. The list was compiled with the aid of 360 journalists, scientists, theologians, historians, and scholars from all over the world. They considered these to be the 100 people from that period who had most shaped the world as it existed in 1999.
A few of these are groups rather than individuals
Unlike the easier version, this quiz has a yellow box, so it will not suffice to just list all the philosophers and scientists you can think of!
Quiz by Damangio
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Last updated: June 15, 2021
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First submittedMay 10, 2020
Times taken327
Average score65.3%
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Rank
Clue
Person
100
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire during its apex in the 16th century
Suleiman I
99
Explorer who established the first sea link between Europe and Asia
Vasco da Gama
98
Jazz trumpeter and singer, civil rights activist
Louis Armstrong
97
Biologist who developed the first effective polio vaccine
Jonas Salk
96
Operatic singer, one of the first international recording stars
Enrico Caruso
95
Actor, comedian, and filmmaker known for his silent films
Charlie Chaplin
94
Moniker referring to the unknown first person to have AIDS
Patient Zero
93
First lady of the US, diplomat and civil rights activist, first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights
Eleanor Roosevelt
92
Founder of the profession of nursing
Florence Nightingale
91
Filmmaker of Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List
Steven Spielberg
90
Inventor of the daguerreotype, the first widely used process of photography
Louis Daguerre
89
Activist for women’s suffrage in the US. The constitutional amendment that granted this was nicknamed after her.
Susan B. Anthony
88
Physicist who led the development of the atomic bomb
J. Robert Oppenheimer
87
Biologist whose book Silent Spring brought environmentalism into the mainstream
Rachel Carson
86
Modernist author of Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake
James Joyce
85
President of the US in the 1980s, icon of conservatism
Ronald Reagan
84
Inventor of radio
Guglielmo Marconi
83
Tsar who developed the Russian Empire into a major European power
Peter the Great
82
Physicist who pioneered theories of atomic structure and quantum mechanics
Niels Bohr
81
South African civil rights activist and president
Nelson Mandela
80
Monarch who led England during a golden age in the 16th century
Elizabeth I
79
Totalitarian Soviet dictator during World War II and the early Cold War
Joseph Stalin
78
Monarch of Castile who supported Columbus’s voyages and ended Muslim rule in Iberia
Isabella I
77
17th-century philosopher known for socio-political theories such as the social contract
Thomas Hobbes
76
The most influential band in the history of popular music
The Beatles
75
Biologist who co-invented the birth control pill
Gregory Pincus
74
Physicist who created the first nuclear reactor
Enrico Fermi
73
Human rights activist, extremely popular member of the British royal family
Diana, Princess of Wales
72
Military leader who led several South American countries to independence
Simón Bolívar
71
US civil rights activist and conductor on the Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman
70
European church leader who established the independence of the church from secular authority
Pope Gregory VII
69
Physician who first described the circulatory system in detail
William Harvey
68
Political leader in the early United States, inventor of the lightning rod and bifocal glasses
Benjamin Franklin
67
Inventor who pioneered television technology
Vladimir Zworykin
66
Pioneering filmmaker of The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance
D. W. Griffith
65
Physicist who did pioneering work in quantum mechanics, known for the uncertainty principle
Werner Heisenberg
64
Painter who pioneered Cubism, an art movement in which subjects are portrayed from multiple angles at once
Pablo Picasso
63
18th-century author of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
62
Filmmaker and entrepreneur, pioneer of animation
Walt Disney
61
Physicist who developed theories of electromagnetism and invented the electric generator
Michael Faraday
60
US President during the Great Depression and World War II, known for liberal social policies
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
59
Enlightenment philosopher whose writings deal with the limitations of human knowledge
Immanuel Kant
58
French folk heroine and martyr during the Hundred Years’ War
Joan of Arc
57
Singer known as “The King of Rock and Roll”
Elvis Presley
56
Activist for women’s suffrage in the US, writer of the Declaration of Sentiments
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
55
Explorer whose expedition was the first to circumnavigate the earth
Ferdinand Magellan
54
European explorer who published his account of his travels along the Silk Road and throughout Asia
Marco Polo
53
Physicist who pioneered the study of radioactivity
Marie Curie
52
Prime Minister of Britain during World War II and the early Cold War
Winston Churchill
51
Physician who developed the first vaccine, for smallpox
Edward Jenner
50
Sex educator and activist for birth control in the US
Margaret Sanger
49
Soviet leader who instituted social reforms and played a pivotal role in bringing the Cold War to and end
Mikhail Gorbachev
48
Enlightenment feminist philosopher and activist for women’s rights in Britain
Mary Wollstonecraft
47
19th-century inventor who designed the first programmable computer (which was mechanical, not electronic)
Charles Babbage
46
Renaissance philosopher whose political theories excuse acts of evil for political ends
Niccolò Machiavelli
45
Duke of Normandy who conquered England
William the Conqueror
44
Inventor of the first practical telephone
Alexander Graham Bell
43
Communist revolutionary leader, first chairman of the People’s Republic of China
Mao Zedong
42
Biologist who established the rules of heredity, consider the father of modern genetics
Gregor Mendel
41
Software developer and entrepreneur, co-founder of Microsoft
Bill Gates
40
Inventors of the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft
Wright Brothers
39
Medieval poet who wrote the Divine Comedy, proponent of vernacular poetry
Dante Alighieri
38
Renaissance philosopher who dealt with logic and deduction, credited with developing the scientific method
Francis Bacon
37
Enlightenment philosopher known for his wit, criticism of the church, and advocacy for freedom of speech and religion
Voltaire
36
Physician and biologist who discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic
Alexander Fleming
35
Communist leader of the Russian Revolution, first chairman of the Soviet Union
Vladimir Lenin
34
Enlightenment philosopher whose writings on self-determinism and republicanism spurred the French Revolution
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
33
US civil rights leader known for activism through nonviolence and civil disobedience
Martin Luther King, Jr.
32
17th-century rationalist philosopher known for methodological skepticism, mathematician who invented coordinate geometry
Rene Descartes
31
Biologists who discovered the structure of DNA
James Watson
Francis Crick
30
Classical composer whose dramatic music was pivotal in the the transition to the Romantic Era
Ludwig van Beethoven
29
Entrepreneur who was the first to mass-produce automobiles
Henry Ford
28
Baroque composer often considered the greatest composer of all time
Johann Sebastian Bach
27
19th-century French emperor and highly successful military leader
Napoleon Bonaparte
26
Prodigious composer whose work is often considered the best of the Classical Era
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
25
Inventor of the steam engine which was fundamental to the Industrial Revolution
James Watt
24
Medieval philosopher who sought to reconcile Catholic Church doctrines with classical philosophy
Thomas Aquinas
23
President of the US during the American Civil War, instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the US
Abraham Lincoln
22
Conqueror who ruled the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire in history
Genghis Khan
21
Military leader in the American Revolution; first president of the United States
George Washington
20
Enlightenment philosopher known as the father of economics, laid the foundations of free market economic theory
Adam Smith
19
Renaissance artist known for sculptures such as David and the Pietà and paintings in the Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo
18
17th-century philosopher known as the father of liberalism, known for writings on the natural rights of people
John Locke
17
Leader of the nonviolent revolution that led to India’s independence
Mahatma Gandhi
16
Leader of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
15
Political leader and early president of the US, principal writer of the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson
14
Inventor of the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the first practical electric light bulb
Thomas Edison
13
Scientist known as the father of microbiology, proved germ theory correct, developed processes to prevent the growth of bacteria
Louis Pasteur
12
Psychologist who founded psychoanalysis, a clinical method for psychological treatment through dialogue with a patient
Sigmund Freud
11
Renaissance polymath, painter of the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, inventor who designed many mechanical devices
Leonardo da Vinci
10
Renaissance scientist who developed foundational laws of physics, discovered Jupiter’s moons, proponent of heliocentrism
Galileo Galilei
9
Renaissance polymath who developed the heliocentric model, in which the earth orbits the sun, and the quantity theory of money
Nicolaus Copernicus
8
Physicist who developed the theory of relativity
Albert Einstein
7
19th-century philosopher and sociologist, proponent of socialism and communism
Karl Marx
6
Explorer who established contact between Europe and the Americas, beginning the era of trans-Atlantic colonization and trade
Christopher Columbus
5
English Renaissance playwright and poet, known for plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare
4
Naturalist who introduced the theories of evolution and natural selection
Charles Darwin
3
Church leader who started the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther
2
Scientist and mathematician who developed calculus and foundational laws of motion and gravitation
Isaac Newton
1
Inventor who developed processes to mass-produce books using a movable-type printing press
Johann Gutenberg
+1
Level 64
May 10, 2020
360 smart people is a lot, but these choices are still of course subjective. What names do you think they should have included?
+1
Level 64
Jun 14, 2021
Well for starters, they probably should have added more than a handful of people to represent the eighty percent of the world that wasn't European or American. This is pretty clearly a list of the most important people in the western world in the past millennium, but really mostly the last 500 years: even inclusions such as Mao or Gandhi are on here primarily because of their interactions with the west. The Kangxi or Yongle emperors would have been my first two adds, but I'm a lot more knowledgeable about China than the rest of the non-western world and suspect that more than a few other people from the continent with three quarters of the world's people might qualify. Timur is usually in the conversation with Napoleon in terms of greatest military minds, and the ideology of Al-Wahhab is still causing major international incidents today, for example. And I'm just an amateur.
+1
Level 67
Sep 6, 2022
Fritz Haber for developing fertilizer allowing the world population to rise massively