The 100 Most Influential Figures in American History

Who are the most influential figures in American history? We asked 10 eminent historians. The result, collected here, is The Atlantic’s 100 picks. (More on America’s most influential filmmakers, musicians, critics, architects, and poets—and how we put these lists together—below.)

Was Walt Disney really more influential than Elizabeth Cady Stanton? John D. Rockefeller than Bill Gates? Babe Ruth than Frank Lloyd Wright? Let us know what you think. Ross Douthat explains how our panel came up with these selections here. Readers respond and offer their own nominations here. Explore more from The Atlantic on the most influential figures in American history right here.

See More:

The Five Most Influential Filmmakers, selected by David Thomson

The Five Most Influential Musicians, selected by Terry Teachout

The Five Most Influential Critics, selected by Robert Messenger

The Five Most Influential Architects, selected by Michael J. Lewis

The Five Most Influential Poets, selected by Christian Wiman

The 33 Most Influential Living Americans

About the List

In Their Words