Some people in history have left a remarkable impact to the society. To access the most influential people in history, we need to measure how they left a lasting impression to the world. Even today, these people are remembered and are an inspiration. Some were amazing enough to influence people by a model of teaching and to follow life the right way. There were also people who took up science and technology as their method of supremacy. Their stories are not just inspiring but a great lesson to learn in our life.
Here are 10 most influential people in history who left an everlasting impact to the world:
10. Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin became one of the most important books ever written in human history. Born in 1809 in England, Charles Darwin is famous for his theory – “human beings are descendants of apes”. His contribution to the field of scientific theory of evolution has a historical prominence. But before going public, he underwent mental agony fearing ostracisation from society, suffered terrible sea sickness, dogged by chronic illness and personal loss, etc. The world of natural history and geology is influenced by this eminent biologist. He often used the phrase “survival of the fittest” which is a famous phrase today. The phrase was actually first used by English philosopher Herbert Spencer. After Darwin’s death, he sleeps peacefully in the prestigious London’s West-minister Abbey allocated as a gesture of high honor.
9. Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)
China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, political theorist, Confucius was born in 551 BC. He is famous for his teachings called as Confucianism. Today, millions of people all over the world follow Confucianism as a spiritual and religious discipline. He was a noble person and wise sage who educated moral perceptions. His teachings serve as antidote to today’s troubled minds. His influence was so powerful that the entire East Asia was affected by the principles of Confucianism. Moral philosophy, social philosophy and ethics are his core teachings which impacted the people greatly. He also emphasized personal and governmental morality, better social relationships and justice to all. Some view Confucianism as a religion. Many people in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam have been following Confucianism for more than two millennia.
8. Leonardo da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519)
Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest painters of all time. He has a high style of renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 in Italy. His life is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind to artists all over the world even today. He had unlimited desire for knowledge, unusual powers of observation and an investigative mind. Ahead of his time, Leonardo da Vinci drew the bicycle, airplane, helicopter and parachute which weren’t invented yet.
His most famous artworks are Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Salvator Mundi, The Vitruvian Man and Lady with an Ermine. Even today, millions of copies of Mona Lisa paintings are printed. The Last Supper is the most famous wall paper in the world. Salvator Mundi was sold for a record 450.3 million dollars in New York in 2017. The Virtuvian Man is on the Italian Euro coin. Lady with an Ermine is regarded as a signal of breakthrough in the art of psychological portraiture.
7. Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955)
The German born genius, Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist. World would never forget his brain-child, E = mc2. In his school days, he was a dim and slow learner. Later, he went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics for his contribution in Quantum Theory. He won the award in 1921. He published more than 300 scientific papers and nearly 150 non-scientific works. Albert Einstein traveled around the world, gave many lecturers and became an internationally recognized figure.
In 1933, Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship when Dictator Adolf Hitler rose to power. He moved to the U.S. to become a professor in Theoretical physics. His contribution to the field of astronomy is enormous. He gave us some of the biggest breakthroughs in the scientific world such as the theory of special relativity, quantum theory and theory of photoelectric effect. These contributions helped and influenced to study the gravitational waves occurring after collision of black holes, mercury’s orbit and gravitational lensing (bending of light rays).
Albert Einstein once quoted “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind”.
6. Buddha (c. 563/480 – c. 483/400 BCE)
Undoubtedly, one of the most influential figures in the world history is Buddha. He was born as a prince in Lumbini, Nepal in 6th Century. The son of a king left home at an early age when he witnessed the harsh realities of sickness, sufferings, old age and death. Later, his profound insight inspired the world which taught people to realize enlightenment and the freedom from suffering.
At the age of 35, after completing 49 days of meditation, he was said to have attained Enlightenment. He became known as the Buddha which translates to “Awakened One” or “The Enlightened One”. His teachings had only one intention, i.e., to liberate people permanently to the eternal bliss. He called these steps of teachings as “The Four Noble Truths”. People inspired from his teaching became his followers and were called as Buddhists. They later propagated the religion that is known as Buddhism. Currently, Buddhists are living in more than 10 countries: China, Thailand and Vietnam are examples of dominant Buddhism.
5. Alexander the Great (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC)
Alexander the Great created one of the largest and most powerful ancient empires in the world. The region under his control was spanning from Greece to northwestern India. He created a powerful influence on the people and land that were under his power. He was born in 356 BC in Macedonia. Alexander was taught by Aristotle who went on to become a war hero at a very young age. A total of 20 battles from 338 BC to 325 BC, he won all of his campaigns such as the Balkan Campaign, Persian Campaign and Indian Campaign.
He became the King of Persia, Babylon and Asia that stretched across three continents covering two million square miles. Over 70 cities were formed in these regions by him. He ruled millions of ethnically diverse people but they were all linked together internationally in the vast network of trade and commerce. At a young age of 33, Alexander the Great died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylon.
4. Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27)
17th Century saw a scientific revolution. Isaac Newton was responsible for the revolution. The Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation found by Isaac Newton was the center point of the 17th Century scientific revolution. This led to Isaac Newton becoming one of the most influential scientists of all time. Some of his discoveries and inventions are compositions of colors in white light, theories of calculus, reflecting telescope, theory of gravity and many more. He was highly versatile.
“Principia” by Isaac Newton is the greatest science book ever written and it explains the activities of solar system. Isaac Newton’s contribution to calculus is amazing. Calculus is all about studying the rate of change of a quantity over time and it has uses in all the branches of engineering, pure mathematics and economics. As a word of wonder, Newton invented Calculus at the age of 24. Industries such as health and medicine, science of light, electricity, vehicle development, acoustics, astronomy use Newton’s inventions and discoveries. He has been an influential scientists to humanity.
3. Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)
Aristotle, the most revered philosopher of all time was born in 384 BC in Greece. The Father of western philosophy is still considered as a philosophical touchstone in the study of ethics. His extant writings span a very wide range of disciplines such as logic, biology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, politics, mathematics, literature, medicine, theater. He knew everything! He was a disciple of Plato and teacher to Alexander the Great. Aristotle’s findings are the subject of study by millions of scholars throughout the ages, across the globe. Surprisingly, his writings were respected by the Christian, Muslim and Jewish clerics. He was one of the greatest influential figures in history.
2. Muhammad (c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE)
Born in the city of Mecca in 570 CE, Muhammad founded Islam. He was a prophet and God’s messenger according to Islamic doctrine. His teaching has immense repercussions on world history up to the present day. He is amongst the most revered and important religious figures in the world. He preached the teachings of Allah and presented Muslims with the Holy Quran, the book to guide them through out their lives. Islam is the second largest religion in the world which is followed by Muslims. Muslims believe Muhammad to be the final prophet in a tradition stretching back to Moses.
1. Jesus Christ (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30)
Jesus Christ, the undisputed leader is believed to be the incarnation of God by Christians. Christianity founded by Jesus is the largest religion in the world. Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God and his purpose on Earth was redemption and salvation. He was born in Israel who lived between 5 BC and 30 AD. His supernatural abilities cured blind, leprosy, exorcism and resurrection. He is the source of humanity’s moral and spiritual nature. He died by crucification as a sacrifice to accomplice atonement.
Jesus last name wasn’t Christ. People often believe that his surname is indeed Christ but it isn’t a fact. He got the last name “Christ” from the Greek word Christos which means “anointed one”. Another interesting thing about Jesus was that he might have been a carpenter. His extraordinary magical skills were enough to make people as his followers.