10 Most Influential People of the 20th Century

The 20th century witnessed a good lifestyle of people as a result of the social, political and technological transformation. The 20th Century is very important because of the foundation of the global communication and motorization. There are some people who are well known for changing the world for better purpose. They are the people who change the world and inspiring us. They are categorized into Leaders, Scientists, Builders, Artists and Icons. Here are the 10 Most Influential People of the 20th Century who were responsible for not only transforming the world, but also bringing in peace and harmony around the world.

10. Steven Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg born on 18th December 1946 is an American film director, film producer and business magnate. He is also the cofounder of the DreamWorks movie studio. He is considered as one of the popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He started his career with science fiction and addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, slave trade, war and terrorism. His three films, Jaws, ET and Jurassic Park became the highest grossing movies at that time. According to the Forbes magazine, Steven Spielberg’s wealth is $3.3 billion.

9. Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul IIPhoto credit: wikipedia

Pope John Paul II born on 18th May 1920 was the head of the catholic church from 16th October 1978 to his death. He was the second longest serving pope in history. He was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century and the most traveled world leaders, visiting 129 countries during his preach. He is known for his implementation of some papal documents related to the role of the church in the modern world. On 2nd April he died in his private apartment due to the heart failure.

8. Nelson Mandela

Nelson MandelaPhoto credit: wikipedia

Nelson Mandela born on 18th July 1918 in Umtata and was a South African anti apartheid revolutionary, politician, activist, lawyer and philanthropist. He was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black chief executive of South Africa and serve as the President of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997. He spent more than 27 years in prison and released in 1990. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990, Nobel Prize for peace in 1993 and Presidential medal of freedom. He died on 5th December 2013 at the age of 95 in Johannesburg.

7. Steve Jobs

Steve JobsPhoto credit: wikimedia

Steve Jobs was born on 24th February 1955 in San Francisco, California. He was an entrepreneur, inventor and Cofounder of Apple Inc. He dropped out of Reed College after 6 months due to the excessive financial burden. He left Apple in 1985 and later founded NeXT (computer platform development company) and Pixar animation Studio. He practically changed the world with his creative ideas and revolutionized the computer industry. He died on 5th October 2011 due to the pancreatic cancer resulting in respiratory arrest.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Photo credit: wikipedia

Oprah Winfrey born on 29th January 1954 in Mississippi. She is an actress, talk show host,  producer, and philanthropist. Winfrey rose from poverty, abuse and prejudice and now she is one of the most influential people in the world. Her childhood life was very tough and she had gone through some unusual experiences. She got raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14, her son died in infancy. Oprah began her career by announcing the news in local radio station and known for her multi award winning show “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.

5. Bill Gates

Bill GatesPhoto credit: wikimedia

Bill Gates is born on 28th October 1955 in Washington. He is an American inventor, programmer, philanthropist, best known as a cofounder of software giant company Microsoft.  He dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft along with friend Paul Allen. He is one of the most successful dropout and the world’s richest man for more than a decade. Till December 2013, he has the total worth of US $76.8 billion. It is estimated that he had donated over $30 Billion through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

4. James Watson & Francis Crick

James Watson & Francis CrickPhoto credit: wikipedia

James Watson is a molecular biologist, geneticist, zoologist and widely known as the discoverer of the structure of DNA in 1953. Francis Crick was a molecular biologist, biophysicist, neuroscientist and widely known as the Co-discoverer of the molecule of the DNA molecule. Both are awarded with the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine 1962. James Watson has written many books including Molecular biology of the gene and his bestselling book The Double Helix in 1968.

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. RooseveltPhoto credit: wikimedia

Franklin D. Roosevelt born on 30th January 1882, was the 32nd President of the Unites States from 1933-1945. He was the only US president who served more than eight years. He was a central figure and known worldwide in the mid of 20th century while leading the US during the crucial time of war and economic depression. On 7th December 1941, he made in Japan and Germany after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He is considered as one of the top three US presidents along with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. He died on 12th April 1945 in Georgia, Unites States.

2. Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - Most Influential PeoplePhoto credit: wikimedia

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born on 2nd October 1869 and was the leader of Indian nationalism during British rule in India. He is also called Bapu, father in India. He led the Indians challenging the British to remove salt tax, Dandi salt march in 1930 and later in calling for the Britisher to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years for his country. On his birthday, 2nd October is commemorated as the International day of nonviolence. He died on 30th January 1948 when his assassin Nathuram Godse fired three bullets into his chest.

1. Albert Einstein

Albert EinsteinPhoto credit: flickr

Also Read: Greatest Scientist Ever who completely Transformed the World

Albert Einstein was a great scientist of the 20th century born on 14 March 1879 in Ulm. According to the Time magazine, he was the most influential people of the 20th century. Well, he is best known for his energy, mass equivalence formula E=mc2 which is the most famous equation in the world. He has a learning disability in childhood and can’t even read till 8 despite that he won the Nobel prize for physics. His theory of photoelectric effect, electromagnetic field, general theory of relativity, quantum theory, particle theory and motion of molecules has revolutionized the whole world. He died on 18th April 1955 leaving behind the world with ideas for future technology.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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