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The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History


The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart, reprinted in 1992 with revisions. It is a ranking of the 100 people who, according to Hart, most influenced human history.

The first person on Hart's list is the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. Hart asserted that Muhammad was "supremely successful" in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad's role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus' collaboration in the development of Christianity. He attributes the development of Christianity to St. Paul, who played a pivotal role in its dissemination.


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RankNameTime FrameImageOccupationInfluence
1 Muhammad c. 570–632 Mohammad Secular and religious leader The central human figure of Islam, regarded by Muslims as a prophet of God and the last messenger. Active as a social reformer, diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, humanitarian, philanthropist.
2 Isaac Newton 1643–1727 Isaac Newto Scientist English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian. His law of universal gravitation and three laws of motion laid the groundwork for classical mechanics.
3 Jesus Christ 7–2 BC – 26–36 AD Jesus Christ Spiritual leader The central figure of Christianity, revered by Christians as the Son of God and the incarnation of God. Also regarded as a major prophet in Islam.
4 Buddha 563–483 BC Buddha Spiritual leader Spiritual teacher and philosopher from ancient India. Founder of Buddhism and is also considered an Gautama Buddha in Hinduism.
5 Confucius 551–479 BC Confucius Philosopher Chinese thinker and social philosopher, founder of Confucianism, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Indonesian thought and life.
6 Paul of Tarsus 5–67 AD El Greco - Saint Paul head.jpg Christian apostle One of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, credited with proselytizing and spreading Christianity outside of Palestine (mainly to the Romans) and author of numerous letters of the New Testament of the Bible.
7 Cài Lún 50–121 AD Cai-lun.jpg Political official in imperial China Widely regarded as the inventor of paper and the papermaking process.
8 Johannes Gutenberg 1398–1468 Gutenberg Inventor German printer who invented the European mechanical printing press.
9 Christopher Columbus 1451–1506 Christopher Columbus Explorer Italian navigator, colonizer and explorer whose voyages led to general European awareness of the American continents.
10 Albert Einstein 1879–1955 Einstein Scientist German-born theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, expressed by the equation E = mc2.



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