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The 25 most important historical figures

The 25 most important historical figures

June 17, 2024

Very often we talk about the successes achieved in humanity as a collective feat of teamwork. It is considered that without this group component many historical events and inventions would not have been possible individually.

However, and from my point of view, this is still a half truth. There are hundreds of illustrious and famous people who have decisively influenced the world, either with their ideas, inventions, actions or discoveries.

The most important historical figures

You can find below a list of the most important historical figures and influential, mentioning and highlighting their most relevant characteristics and successes.


1. Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882)

This famous English naturalist was the one who postulated that all species of living beings have evolved over time from a common ancestor through a process called "natural selection". His theory of evolution forms the basis of the modern evolutionary synthesis and it constitutes a logical explanation that unifies the observations on the diversity of life.

  • Related article: "The theory of biological evolution"

2. Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

He is considered by the academic world as the first scientist and researcher of all time , whose influence has lasted for two thousand years. He was a scholar, a sage, an eminence in different areas of the sciences and humanities: politician, philosopher, logician and scientist in Ancient Greece. He is recognized as the first founder of logic and biology.


  • Related article: "The 90 Best Famous Phrases of Aristotle"

3. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)

Ambition, will, courage, intelligence, arrogance, cruelty, greatness ... are names that could perfectly describe this character in the story. Despised by some, magnified by others, exalted, reviled, contradictory spirits that can be read and heard about. With your military intelligence he was able to conquer Eastern and Western Europe arriving to North Africa.

4. Julio César (100 BC - 44 BC)

Political and military leader of the great Roman Empire, resulting in the first living Roman leader whose face appeared on a coin On circulation. Apart from his political and military career, this historical figure stood out as an orator and writer on topics such as the Roman republican religion, astronomy or Latin.


5. Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

Together with Socrates and Aristotle, he is considered one of the most influential philosophies in the thinking of modern Europe . Unlike Socrates, Plato wrote and preserved all his works, introducing a new style for the time novel: dialogue. The contrast of different points of view and the psychological characterization of the interlocutors, was an alternative tool to poetic or oracular expression.

  • You may be interested: "The impressive contributions of Plato to Psychology"

6. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

"The mind is like a parachute, it only serves if we have it open." German physicist is considered the most important and popular scientist of the 20th century . In 1905, still a young unknown researcher, he published his theory of spatial relativity. Ten years later, he would present the theory of general relativity, which completely reformulated the concept of gravity.

  • It may interest you: "125 sentences of Albert Einstein on science and life"

7. George Washington (1723 - 1799)

He was the first president of the United States between 1789 and 1797, Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Continental Army in the War of Independence of the United States against England (1775-1783) and one of the authors of the American Constitution . In the USA he is considered the Father of the Homeland.

8. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

English poet, playwright and actor, recognized as the most important writer of the English language and one of the most illustrious authors of universal literature. Its reputation did not reach worldwide success until well into the nineteenth century. Already in the twentieth century, all his works were adapted on many occasions and in all kinds of scenarios: film, books and theater.

9. Cristóbal Colón (1436 - 1506)

His greatest achievement and success was the discovery of America by the West on October 12, 1492, when disembarking on Guanahani Island, now known as the Bahamas. Prior to this, he was a navigator, cartographer, admiral, viceroy and Governor General of the West Indies in the service of the Crown of Castile.

10. Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727)

Mathematician, philosopher, alchemist, theologian and English physicist. Author of "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica", more commonly known as Principia, where describes the law of universal gravitation and established the foundations of classical mechanics through the laws that bear his name.

11. Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)

Of Jewish origin, this controversial historical figure was a neurologist, considered the founder of psychoanalysis . Despite his controversial psychological theories, having sex as a central theme, Freud is considered one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, despite his addiction to cocaine that led to his death in 1939.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Sigmund Freud: life and work of the famous psychoanalyst"

12. Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895)

He was a French chemist whose discoveries had a huge impact on the various fields of natural science. The "pasteurization" technique is due honor. Further, he categorically rejected the theory of spontaneous generation and developed the germinal theory of infectious diseases.

  • Related article: "The 30 best phrases of Louis Pasteur"

13. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Composer and pianist of Austrian origin, master of Classicism, is considered as one of the most influential characters in the world of music of all times. His music has been used in movies, series, theater and even video games. Mozart's work covers all musical genres that include around 700 works.

14. Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968)

He was an American pastor of the Baptist church who developed crucial work in the United States at the head of the Civil Rights Movement for African-Americans In addition, he participated as an activist against general poverty and the Vietnam War.

  • Related article: "The 70 Best Famous Phrases of Martin Luther King"

14. Muhammad Ali (1942 - 2016)

Surely it is the most famous character of the twentieth century, as magazines such as The Times or The Esquire have been sentenced on numerous occasions. He changed the rules of the game in the world of boxing breaking ties with the mafia that controlled the business to impose his fight not only inside the ring, but outside of it being the spokesman against universal racial segregation and refusing to go to the Vietnam War, which meant his entry into prison.

15. Pythagoras (569 BC - 475 BC)

Philosopher and Greek mathematician, is considered the father of pure mathematics . He contributed significantly in the advancement and development of Hellenic mathematics, geometry and arithmetic, derived mainly from numerical relationships, applied to the theory of weights and measures, music or astronomy.

16. Genghis Khan (1162 - 1227)

At the beginning of the 13th century, the Mongol armies led by Genghis Khan, played a leading role one of the most important military expansions in history . In little more than twenty years, they conquered much of northern China, then occupied by King Xi Xia and the Yurchen empire, and destroyed the Muslim empire in Juarezm, located in Central Asia.

17. Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)

Socialist thinker and revolutionary activist of German origin . Rarely has the work of a philosopher had such vast and tangible historical consequences as those of Karl Marx: from the Russian Revolution of 1917 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, almost half of humanity lived in countries maintained by political governments who declared themselves heirs of his thought.

18. Lenin (1870 - 1924)

Known as Lenin, his original name is Vladímir Ilich Ulyanov. Influenced directly by Marxism, he was a political theorist, revolutionary and communist of Russian origin . Being part of the most radical core of the socialist movement, he became the main leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

19. Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

Passing by a private and low profile in the German army during the First World War, his frustration and anger led Adolf Hitler to govern Germany from 1933 to 1945, provoking World War II , 17 million dead and being the main responsible for the Jewish Holocaust. It remains the most enigmatic historical figure of the 20th and 21st centuries.

20. Bill Gates (1955)

Computer scientist and American businessman, is the founder of the Microsoft computer company. The fortune of this precocious programmer who at 31 years old was already a multimillionaire, comes from the success of its sweeping operating system, the MS-DOS (1981) that would evolve into the ubiquitous Windows system. Interestingly, Gates would never be able to finish his studies.

21. Jesus of Nazareth (1 - 33)

Also known as Jesus, Christ or Jesus Christ, he is the central figure of Christianity and one of the most influential people in Western culture. It is probably the most studied theological entity in the history of mankind.The religious movement that began, was transformed into Christianity, which currently has more than 2,100 million parishioners.

22. Muhammad (570 - 632)

He was the prophet and founder of the last monotheistic religion: Islam. Muhammad, also known as Muhammad, is called the "seal of the prophets" because he is considered the last of a long chain of messengers sent by God to transmit and update his message. It is estimated that currently Some 1.2 billion followers practice Islam .

23. Michelangelo (1475 - 1564)

Was a Italian architect, sculptor and painter of the Renaissance style . He is considered one of the greatest artists in history since he triumphed in each and every one of the arts in which he dedicated his time and work, since his main characteristic was perfectionism.

24. Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943)

Inventor, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and physicist of Serbian origin settled in the United States. It is considered as the most illustrious promoter of the birth of commercial electricity . It is also famous for its numerous and revolutionary achievements in the field of electromagnetism, developed in the early nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Currently, one of the best electric car manufacturers bears his name (Tesla Motors).

25. Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931)

Perhaps it is the most paradoxical case of all the historical characters mentioned. Thomas Edison, illustrious for being the creator of more than a thousand inventions such as the light bulb, the incandescent lamp, the pheograph or the film projector, he could only attend school for a period of three months .


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