|Religious Affiliation||% in|
|Chinese traditional religion/Confucianism||5%|
|Protestant (denomination unknown)||6%|
Adherents.com takes no position regarding the validity of Hart's rankings. Certainly ranking the relative historical influence of individuals is a subjective process. We welcome and will by happy to post comments from readers suggesting alternative rankings or names of influential individuals who should be included in the "Top 100." (Please send suggestions to email@example.com).
This list of names and their ranks are solely the work of Michael H. Hart. The columns "Religious Affiliation" and "Influence" are the work of Adherents.com. We will readily modify notes if there are any inaccuracies.
Note that many influential philosophies (such as Marxist Communism or Confucianism) are not always classified as organized "religions" in the traditional sense, but are classified as such by sociologists because they are a primary motivational worldview for individuals, cultures or subcultures. Also, many founders never considered themselves adherents of philosophies or religions which later bore their name (e.g., Martin Luther and Lutheranism).
In the table below, where there are two religions listed, the first one is the religion the person was born into. The second was the religion or philosophy the person later joined or founded. Comments in the "Influence" column are in bold when the influence is mainly in the realm of religion and philosophy.
|1||Muhammad||Islam||Prophet of Islam; conqueror of Arabia; Hart recognized that ranking Muhammad first might be controversial, but felt that, from a secular historian's perspective, this was the correct choice because Muhammad is the only man to have been both a founder of a major world religion and a major military/political leader. More|
|2||Isaac Newton||Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e., |
Athanasianism; believed in the Arianism
of the Primitive Church)
|physicist; theory of universal gravitation; laws of motion|
|3||Jesus Christ *||Judaism; Christianity||founder of Christianity|
|4||Buddha||Hinduism; Buddhism||founder of Buddhism|
|5||Confucius||Confucianism||founder of Confucianism|
|6||St. Paul||Judaism; Christianity||proselytizer of Christianity|
|7||Ts'ai Lun||Chinese traditional religion||inventor of paper|
|8||Johann Gutenberg||Catholic||developed movable type; printed Bibles|
|9||Christopher Columbus||Catholic||explorer; led Europe to Americas|
|10||Albert Einstein||Jewish||physicist; relativity; Einsteinian physics|
|11||Louis Pasteur||Catholic||scientist; pasteurization|
|12||Galileo Galilei||Catholic||astronomer; accurately described heliocentric solar system|
|13||Aristotle||Platonism / Greek philosophy||influential Greek philosopher|
|14||Euclid||Platonism / Greek philosophy||mathematician; Euclidian geometry|
|15||Moses||Judaism||major prophet of Judaism|
|16||Charles Darwin||Anglican (nominal); Unitarian||biologist; described Darwinian evolution, which had theological impact on many religions|
|17||Shih Huang Ti||Chinese traditional religion||Chinese emperor|
|18||Augustus Caesar||Roman state paganism||ruler|
|19||Nicolaus Copernicus||Catholic (priest)||astronomer; taught heliocentricity|
|20||Antoine Laurent Lavoisier||Catholic||father of modern chemistry; philosopher; economist|
|21||Constantine the Great||Roman state paganism; Christianity||Roman emperor who completely legalized Christianity, leading to its status as state religion. Convened the First Council of Nicaea that produced the Nicene Creed, which rejected Arianism (one of two major strains of Christian thought) and established Athanasianism (Trinitarianism, the other strain) as "official doctrine."|
|22||James Watt||Presbyterian (lapsed)||developed steam engine|
|23||Michael Faraday||Sandemanian||physicist; chemist; discovery of magneto-electricity|
|24||James Clerk Maxwell||Presbyterian; Anglican; Baptist||physicist; electromagnetic spectrum|
|25||Martin Luther||Catholic; Lutheran||founder of Protestantism and Lutheranism|
|26||George Washington||Episcopalian||first president of United States|
|27||Karl Marx||Jewish; Lutheran; |
|founder of Marxism, Marxist Communism|
|28||Orville and Wilbur Wright||United Brethren||inventors of airplane|
|29||Genghis Khan||Mongolian shamanism||Mongol conqueror|
|30||Adam Smith||Liberal Protestant||economist; philosopher; expositor of capitalism; author: The Theory of Moral Sentiments|
|31||Edward de Vere |
a.k.a. William Shakespeare
|Catholic; Anglican||literature; also wrote 6 volumes about philosophy and religion|
|32||John Dalton||Quaker||chemist; physicist; atomic theory; law of partial pressures (Dalton's law)|
|33||Alexander the Great||Greek state paganism||conqueror|
|34||Napoleon Bonaparte||Catholic (nominal)||French conqueror|
|35||Thomas Edison||Congregationalist; agnostic||inventor of light bulb, phonograph, etc.|
|36||Antony van Leeuwenhoek||Dutch Reformed||microscopes; studied microscopic life|
|37||William T.G. Morton||??||pioneer in anesthesiology|
|38||Guglielmo Marconi||Catholic and Anglican||inventor of radio|
|39||Adolf Hitler||Nazism; born/raised in, but rejected Catholicism||conqueror; led Axis Powers in WWII|
|40||Plato||Platonism / Greek philosophy||founder of Platonism|
|41||Oliver Cromwell||Puritan (Protestant)||British political and military leader|
|42||Alexander Graham Bell||Unitarian/Universalist||inventor of telephone *|
|43||Alexander Fleming||Catholic||penicillin; advances in bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy|
|44||John Locke||raised Puritan (Anglican); |
|philosopher and liberal theologian|
|45||Ludwig van Beethoven||Catholic||composer|
|46||Werner Heisenberg||Lutheran||a founder of quantum mechanics; discovered principle of uncertainty; head of Nazi Germany's nuclear program|
|47||Louis Daguerre||??||an inventor/pioneer of photography|
|48||Simon Bolivar||Catholic (nominal); Atheist||National hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia|
|49||Rene Descartes||Catholic||Rationalist philosopher and mathematician|
|50||Michelangelo||Catholic||painter; sculptor; architect|
|51||Pope Urban II||Catholic||called for First Crusade|
|52||'Umar ibn al-Khattab||Islam||Second Caliph; expanded Muslim empire|
|53||Asoka||Buddhism||king of India who converted to and spread Buddhism|
|54||St. Augustine||Greek state paganism; Manicheanism; Catholic||Early Christian theologian|
|55||William Harvey||Anglican (nominal)||described the circulation of blood; wrote Essays on the Generation of Animals, the basis for modern embryology|
|56||Ernest Rutherford||??||physicist; pioneer of subatomic physics|
|57||John Calvin||Protestant; Calvinism||Protestant reformer; founder of Calvinism|
|58||Gregor Mendel||Catholic (Augustinian monk)||Mendelian genetics|
|59||Max Planck||Protestant||physicist; thermodynamics|
|60||Joseph Lister||Quaker||principal discoverer of antiseptics which greatly reduced surgical mortality|
|61||Nikolaus August Otto||??||built first four-stroke internal combustion engine|
|62||Francisco Pizarro||Catholic||Spanish conqueror in South America; defeated Incas|
|63||Hernando Cortes||Catholic||conquered Mexico for Spain; through war and introduction of new diseases he largely destroyed Aztec civilization|
|64||Thomas Jefferson||Episcopalian; Deist||3rd president of United States|
|65||Queen Isabella I||Catholic||Spanish ruler|
|66||Joseph Stalin||Russian Orthodox; Atheist; Marxism||revolutionary and ruler of USSR|
|67||Julius Caesar||Roman state paganism||Roman emperor|
|68||William the Conqueror||Catholic||laid foundation of modern England|
|69||Sigmund Freud||Jewish; atheist; Freudian psychology/psychoanalysis||founded Freudian school of psychology/psychoanalysis (i.e., the "religion of Freudianism")|
|70||Edward Jenner||Anglican||discoverer of the vaccination for smallpox|
|71||Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen||??||discovered X-rays|
|72||Johann Sebastian Bach||Lutheran; Catholic||composer|
|73||Lao Tzu||Taoism||founder of Taoism|
|74||Voltaire||raised in Jansenism; |
|writer and philosopher; wrote Candide|
|75||Johannes Kepler||Lutheran||astronomer; planetary motions|
|76||Enrico Fermi||Catholic||initiated the atomic age; father of atom bomb|
|77||Leonhard Euler||Calvinist||physicist; mathematician; differential and integral calculus and algebra|
|78||Jean-Jacques Rousseau||born Protestant; |
converted as a teen to Catholic;
|French deistic philosopher and author|
|79||Nicoli Machiavelli||Catholic||wrote The Prince (influential political treatise)|
|80||Thomas Malthus||Anglican (cleric)||economist; wrote Essay on the Principle of Population|
|81||John F. Kennedy||Catholic||U.S. President who led first successful effort by humans to travel to another "planet"|
|82||Gregory Pincus||Jewish||endocrinologist; developed birth-control pill|
|83||Mani||Manicheanism||founder of Manicheanism, once a world religion which rivaled Christianity in strength|
|84||Lenin||Russian Orthodox; |
|85||Sui Wen Ti||Chinese traditional religion||unified China|
|86||Vasco da Gama||Catholic||navigator; discovered route from Europe to India around Cape Hood|
|87||Cyrus the Great||Zoroastrianism||founder of Persian empire|
|88||Peter the Great||Russian Orthodox||forged Russia into a great European nation|
|89||Mao Zedong||Atheist; Communism; Maoism||founder of Maoism, Chinese form of Communism|
|90||Francis Bacon||Anglican||philosopher; delineated inductive scientific method|
|91||Henry Ford||Protestant||developed automobile; achievement in manufacturing and assembly|
|92||Mencius||Confucianism||philosopher; founder of a school of Confucianism|
|93||Zoroaster||Zoroastrianism||founder of Zoroastrianism|
|94||Queen Elizabeth I||Anglican||British monarch; restored Church of England to power after Queen Mary|
|95||Mikhail Gorbachev||Russian Orthodox||Russian premier who helped end Communism in USSR|
|96||Menes||Egyptian paganism||unified Upper and Lower Egypt|
|97||Charlemagne||Catholic||Holy Roman Empire created with his baptism in 800 AD|
|98||Homer||Greek paganism||epic poet|
|99||Justinian I||Catholic||Roman emperor; reconquered Mediterranean empire; accelerated Catholic-Monophysite schism|
|100||Mahavira||Hinduism; Jainism||founder of Jainism|
Source of list of names: Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Revised and Updated for the Nineties. New York: Carol Publishing Group/Citadel Press; first published in 1978, reprinted with minor revisions (reflected above) in 1992.
In the afterword to his book The 100, Michael H. Hart listed 100 runners-up, all of which are listed here. The book's afterword also included brief discussions about ten of these runners-up (about one page each). These discussions include notes about their influence and about they they were not included in the top 100. Hart states that these ten individuals should not be thought of as numbers 101-110 on the list. The ten runners-up discussed are: St. Thomas Aquinas; Archimedes; Charles Babbage; Cheops; Marie Curie; Benjamin Franklin; Mohandas Gandhi ; Abraham Lincoln; Ferdinand Magellan; Leonardo da Vinci. The other runners-up are simply listed, without further details or discussion.
Also, the "Influence" column in the table is very brief. It is only provided only to refresh one's memory about the identity of the historical person - not to encapsulate or summarize their career.
The most-represented religious group on this list is obviously Catholicism. This should be expected, given the many centuries that the most technologically and economically advanced Western world was synonymous with the Catholic world.
The most obscure faith group represented on this list is the Sandemanians, who were never very numerous. The physicist Michael Faraday (23rd on this list and history's 9th most influential scientist, according to Hart) was a devout member of this now-extinct group. Other small minority religious groups represented here are Jansenists (Voltaire) and some Quakers.
It is worth noting that many of the individuals on this list were the founders, major propagators, or reformers of major world religions: Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha, St. Paul, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Mani, Mahavira, Marx, Plato, Calvin, Martin Luther, Zoroaster, Mao. Many would include Freud among these. Other philosophers on this list made contributions which had an impact on religion but are not founders of a religion or branch of religion.
Of the twelve "classical world religions", the founders of eight are represented on this list (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism). Shinto and Hinduism have no founder. Sikhism and the Bahai Faith (the youngest of the "classical world religions") have founders (Guru Nanak Dev and Baha'u'llah, respectively), but Hart did not include them on his list.
Also, Hart's outlook was essentially secular in outlook. He did consider the doctrinal role of Jesus in human salvation as taught by Christianity. Muhammad, on the other hand, carved out an actual, geographic empire during his lifetime. Christians as well as historians agree that Jesus himself conquered no lands and led no armies during his lifetime.
John H. Kerr, an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Canada wrote us on this topic. His ideas, echoed by many and presented here with his permission are below:
In my opinion no one has come near to Jesus Christ with respect to His influence on so many aspects of our world and society. Most schools of higher learning in the English speaking world and many in the non-English speaking world exist because of Christ. Women and children throughout this world, with the exception of a few countries have a much better way of life because of what Christ taught and people accepted. The peace, good will and renewal that result each year from the celebration of His birth is astounding. Many of the internalional charities that exist today are Christian based. The Christian work ethic has spurred inventions of all sorts that have benefited mankind enormously. Just think of the influence Christians have had down through the centuries, every bit of their influence is either directly or indirectly associated with the influence Christ had on them. Many of these Christians are on Hart's list.
Even Karl Marx owed his fanatical promotion of communism to the revenge he sought for being bounced out of a Christian Seminary, by a misdirected priest.
To a point the creation of such a list is as you point out subjective, and subject to the bias of the individual or group that prepare it. But, for the life of me, I cannot conceive how any well read individual with eyes to see and ears to hear, would not place Jesus Christ at the top of such a list, so far ahead of the next most influential person that one would leave at least the subsequent 9 spaces on the list vacant, to emphasize this point.
All of the creation wouldn't exist if it were not for Jesus Christ. When one begins to dwell on what would or would not have been, had Christ not existed in the beginning, let alone had He not come to earth 2000 years ago it boggles the mind. When I think of the thousands of prayers answered, lives changed, wars ended or avoided, I can't help but thank such a benevolent Lord. Was it not the influence of a Christian mother on her son, the leader of the Soviet Union, and a Christian American President, working with Mikhail Gorbachev that brought an end to the cold war. When we look at the cause and effect of so many major positive events in our history, we see the hand of Christ working on one or more of His servants.
John McDonagh (22 July 2005), who identifies himself as an informal proponent of freethought (a secular movement dedicated to reasoning independently of authority, especially religious dogma and revelation), wrote in response to John H. Kerr's statements:
John Kerr's comment may seem puzzling to the uniniated reader when he says that "All of the creation wouldn't exist if it were not for Jesus Christ. When one begins to dwell on what would or would not have been, had Christ not existed in the beginning". To the uninitiated reader, Jesus was born within the last 3000 years, so they may feel baffled as to how he could have participated in the creation of the universe billions of years ago. In fact, Mr. Kerr has let slip in the Gospel of John idea that Jesus eternally preexisted as the cosmic Logos.
Mr. Kerr would do well to read this quote:"Muslims believe that Jesus did not die on the cross (Koran 4:157), but this does not mean that historians (even Muslim historians) can use this belief as historical evidence that Jesus was not crucified. What one believes and what one can demonstrate historically are usually two different things."[John Kerr also wrote:] "Most schools of higher learning in the English speaking world and many in the non-English speaking world exist because of Christ."
-Robert J. Miller, Bible scholar, (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p. 9)
[John McDonagh responds:] As shown by Joseph McCabe in his Rationalist Encyclopedia, education in the Roman Empire suffered upon the acceptance of Trinitarian Christianity.
[John Kerr also wrote:] "Women and children throughout this world, with the exception of a few countries have a much better way of life because of what Christ taught and people accepted."
[John McDonagh responds:] Mr. Kerr seems ignorant of the worldwide history of ethics. In fact, many of the helpful ideas espoused by Jesus were espoused by the Buddha, Confucius, etc. hundreds of years before Jesus allegedly lived and were common knowledge internationally already. Jesus' relatively original ideas, such as his emphasis on eternal damnation, his discouragement of intellectualism and critical thinking, his authoritarian leadership style, and his childish intolerance have not contributed to the improvement of social conditions.
Timothy W. Foutz (28 June 2002) also wrote to us about the ranking of Jesus on Hart's list:
Hart's criteria is clearly biased. His list is supposed to be about the most influential people, but he put Muhammad first because he was both a religious and military leader. Apparently one has to have a diverse resume to make the list. But there is a huge difference between what a person did themselves and how much of an influence they were. When Jesus ascended into heaven, there were only 120 people he could call his followers, so personally he was not very influential. But the movement he started is undoubtedly the most influential of all human history. I think Hart's list has value, but why make such a list if he wasn't going to be honest with the data? My suspicion is that Hart didn't want Jesus to be first on the list for personal reasons regardless of what history has clearly shown.
Alan Thibideau wrote (9 October 2002):
Aside from my religious affiliations and the present climate (after 9/11), it makes more sense that Christ sit atop the list of most influential individuals simply because history turned on his life more so than it did any other single figure. No one else can claim that history turned on a dime after his life.
The fact that someone was both a spiritual and national leader is not relevant in this sense. That is a personal accomplishment and might make that person more successful in his lifetime but does not make him necessarily a more influential person in history. So whoever did this ranking is simply incorrect if their criteria was the most influential person in history.
The Rev. Anthony J. Felich, (Pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America) in Overland Park, Kansas; www.redeemer-pca.org) offered the following comments (9 April 2004):
While I appreciate the idea that Muhammad was both a founder of religion and a political/military leader, he should not displace Jesus Christ. Newton should be third at best. My obvious religious convictions aside:
1. Our dating system is based on Christ
2. 80% of the people in your top 100 were Christian or some sect thereof, not Islamic.
3. For good or bad, many wars have been fought over Christianity.
4. Christianity has mingled with "the state" in hundreds of countries for centuries.
Technically, Muhammad invented a religion somewhat based on Zoroastrianism. It was not very unique, when analyzed. Jesus Christ is the forecasted Jewish Messiah and the founder of the Christian Church. Hard to get more influential than that.
John F. Kennedy over FDR? Seriously? Other than the Cuban Missle Crisis, what did he really do? Cultural icon maybe, but over FDR? Even Truman was more influential.
Whoever invented the television [Philo Farnsworth] should be way up near the top. It has forever changed communication... probably not for the better.
Rev. Felich wrote (above): "Technically, Muhammad invented a religion somewhat based on Zoroastrianism. It was not very unique, when analyzed. Jesus Christ is the forecasted Jewish Messiah and the founder of the Christian Church. Hard to get more influential than that."
John McDonagh (22 July 2005) wrote in response to this statement (and another item on this page):
Mr. Felich steps into matters beyond the ambit of the historian. A historian would have to discount Jesus as the forecasted Jewish messiah, since 99.999999999% of all rabbis would not accept Jesus as the forecasted messiah. For that matter, Christianity, as with Islam, remains quite derivative.
Also, most historians would credit Paul with the establishment of the Christian Church.
Partially as a response to Rev. Felich's comments (and other comments shown here), M. S. Abdullah has written a list of 16 Reasons why Muhammad (not Jesus) should be ranked first on the list of history's most influential people.
Churchiaya@aol.com, an Evangelical Christian, said he agreed with Mr. Hart's choice for the top 2 spots, and that Jesus should be listed even lower. His explanation is here.
Mark Aubart expressed the opinion that Jesus should not even be on a list of mortal men. You can read his explanation here.
Musa Raza's response to Aubart, and his reasons why Muhammad should be at the top of the list are here.
Patrick Egbuchunam of Lagos, Nigeria wrote this thoughtful and detailed essay explaining why Jesus should be ranked #1 on the list of history's most influential people.
I just glanced at your list of the 100 most influential people and their religion and all I can say is this list is terrible at best. Jesus would have to be number one, Marx/Muhammad tie for number 2... Issac Newton was put above Marx who influences social-economic policy to this day.
Aki Nestori Vainio, a self-described atheist from Finland, does not believe that Moses existed (9 June 2003):
The book [The 100] is indeed very subjective, as you remark on your page. My main problem with it is the fact that Moses is seated at 15. I would've omitted him completely. He probably did not exist. He is a mythological character, just like Sankara, who did not make it into the book.[Most people would probably disagree with Vainio, simply because the existence of the books attributed to Moses -- books which are the mostly widely published texts in human history -- strongly suggest that somebody had to write them. That person (or persons) would clearly be highly influential on human history, regardless of the particulars of his life.]
Steve Petersen [firstname.lastname@example.org] made the following suggestion (27 April 2002:
Yes, indeed, I think you need to add another person to your list! What about Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist Church? She wrote more books than any other woman in history!
On 6 August 2002, Jukka Vatanen of Finland wrote with the following suggestion:
My vote for the list of "Top 100" is NICOLA TESLA, who was the actual inventor of the radio. Marconi was most successiful in capitalizing the usage of it, but TESLA was first. He also invented the Tesla turbine that powered the Niagara Falls alternating current generators. The alternating current being propably his greatest invention, making it possible to transfer high voltage current long distances. This invention alone would make him of same importance as Marconi etc...
Charles Benedetti wrote:
I predict that the most influential person of all time will be L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology (1954). It may take 10 years, or 25 or 50, but that day will surely come. I make this statement after 20 years of experiencing and drawing from the deep reservoir of this spiritual philosophy and Wisdom. Only those who have experienced Scientology would understand these words, and therefore I would not expect others to understand or agree with me. For those who may seek to know more about Scientology, see my website: www.our-home.org/charliebenedetti.
- Dean Knoblauch of Canada made many suggestions, including the suggestion to add Philo Farnsworth and Miguel de Cervantes to the list. His detailed suggestions are here.
- Dr. M. A. Hafeez suggested that Ibn Nafis replace William Harvey on the list. More.
- Mark Soakai suggested Joseph Smith, Jr. should be on the list. More.
- Dragon Atma explained why he felt Columbus isn't so influential, and discussed who should really be #1. More.
Of course, the most ridiculous ommission of all from Hart's list is Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the television. His invention came relatively late in history, and so he had no impact on humanity during the first thousands of years of civilization. But today television has so completely transformed human culture, values, beliefs, etc. that its inventor is easily one of the most influential people in history with regards to people now living.
Excerpt from Hart's book:
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels...M. S. Abdullah has written a list of 16 Reasons why Muhammad (not Jesus) should be ranked first on the list of history's most influential people.
Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive... Like all religions, Islam exerts an enormous influence upon the lives of its followers. It is for this reason that the founders of the world's great religions all figure prominently in this book. Since there are roughly twice as many Christians as Moslems in the world, it may initially seem strange that Muhammad has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. First, Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (insofar as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament.
Muhammad, however, was responsible for both the theology of Islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition, he played the key role in proselytizing the new faith, and in establishing the religious practices of Islam. Moreover, he is the author of the Moslem holy scriptures, the Koran, a collection of certain of Muhammad's insights that he believed had been directly revealed to him by Allah. Most of these utterances were copied more or less faithfully during Muhammad's lifetime and were collected together in authoritative form not long after his death. The Koran therefore, closely represents Muhammad's ideas and teachings and to a considerable extent his exact words. No such detailed compilation of the teachings of Christ has survived. Since the Koran is at least as important to Moslems as the Bible is to Christians, the influence of Muhammed through the medium of the Koran has been enormous It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. On the purely religious level, then, it seems likely that Muhammad has been as influential in human history as Jesus.
Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time... the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
Musa Raza's his reasons why Muhammad should be at the top of the list are here.
|Elvis Presley||Assemblies of God||624,574|
|Billy Graham||Presbyterian, Baptist||470,477|
|Martin Luther King Jr.||Baptist||381,462|
|Pope John Paul II||Catholic||372,015|
|Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley||Latter-day Saint||255,026|
|Mohandas Gandhi||Hindu, Jain||163,940|
| Source: Time Web site: www.pathfinder.com/time/
*Hinckley is president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In choosing their Person of the Century, Time did not use the poll results, but made their own decision. They chose Albert Einstein (Jewish).
The runners-up for Time's Person of the Century were Franklin Roosevelt (an Episcopalian) and Mohandas Gandhi (a devout Hindu whose mother was a Jain and whose beliefs and practices were partially Jain).
[Source: Nisid Hajari. "Asians of the Century" in Time Asia, August 23-30, 1999 Vol. 154 No. 7/8; URL: http://www.cnn.com/ASIANOW/time/asia/magazine/1999/990823/cover1.html]