The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 100 Most Influential People of the Twentieth Century, published in Time magazine in 1999. People, who are recognized for changing the world, for better or for worse. They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world. The following is a brief description of the ten most important people the twentieth century saw.
10. Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company and a sponsor of the development of mass production assembly line technique. He was not a leader, nor a politician. However, he invented a car that transformed the face of the automobile world. In 1999, from a survey of Americans, Henry Ford entered Gallup’s list of widely admired twentieth-century people. He was also the innovator of social capitalism.
9. Mahatma Gandhi
One of the most famous pacifists who ever lived, Mahatma Gandhi was the most important political figure in the history of India. The Indians call him the Father of the Nation, as he is one of the greatest leaders in the world and the father figure of the Indian Independence Movement. Known for his beliefs as total nonviolence and civil disobedience, it was because of this that India gained independence in 1947. This is how he made his place among the most influential people in history.
8. Mao Zedong
Chinese communist revolutionary and political theorist Mao Zedong. Founding father of the People’s Republic of China since its establishment in 1949, he ruled the country as chairman of the Communist Party of China until his death. By placing China under unified standards, Mao Zedong is considered one of the most important personalities to have lived in the twentieth century and a legend of a leader of the Chinese Communist Party. He effectively led the Chinese revolution and the Chinese Communist Party.
7. The Wright Brothers
The most important people of the twentieth century, no doubt the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were two American brothers, inventors and pioneers of aviation, responsible for one of the greatest and most significant inventions of the twentieth century; the airplane. From a mere bicycle workshop to experiments and research in the field of aircraft development, his aircraft craze led to the creation of the first aircraft heavier than air.
6. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party). He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler was in the center of Nazi Germany, World War II in Europe and the Holocaust. He was the most debated personality of the century and a great German leader. He launched the largest war the world has ever seen and changed the entire face of the world, leading Germany during World War II. However, he committed suicide on April 30, 1945. Often criticized for being one of the cruelest rulers in world history, he also instigated the Holocaust.
5. Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He was a successful leader, prime minister, writer who won a Nobel Prize for literature and a solid statesman. He was elected in the middle of World War II and was the largest force for British and allies worldwide.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945) and a central figure in world events in the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a period of world economic depression and total war. Whether or not he was a “good” president, he took a special place on the list of US presidents who were democratic and most revolutionary. That’s because he won wars on two fronts and helped the United States out of the depression by progressive norms and policies. He also created a Social Security system that helped the elderly, thus stimulating the Golden Age of novelty and production in America.
3. Nelson Mandela
A former South African president and anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician Nelson Mandela. He was the first president elected in a fully representative multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling apartheid’s legacy and reducing racism, poverty and inequality. Politically democratic socialist, he served as president of the political party of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1990 to 1999. He received over 100 awards and distinctions. However, Mandela’s most notable achievement was the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 1993, which made him one of the most influential people of the twentieth century.
He was in prison for 28 years because of the struggle for human equality in South Africa. He died after a long fight against cancer on December 5, 2013, at age 95.
2. Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the most influential figure in the history of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. He was a great leader, lawyer and politician. Jinnah served as leader of the Muslim League of India from 1913 until Pakistan’s independence on August 14, 1947, and as Pakistan’s first governor general from independence until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader) and Baba-i-Qaum (Father of the Nation).
1. Albert Einstein
The most influential scientist of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is known as the Father of Modern Physics. It may have revolutionized scientific thinking, but what made the audience love him was his realistic sense of humor. Known for making small jokes, Einstein was the people’s scientist. Despite being one of the most brilliant men of the twentieth century, Einstein seemed approachable, in part because he always had tousled hair, shaggy clothes and a lack of socks. Throughout his life, Einstein worked diligently to understand the world around him and in so doing developed the Theory of Relativity, which opened the door to the creation of the atomic bomb. He received a Nobel Prize for his contribution to the field of Theoretical Physics in the year 1921.