I have been writing about Very Important People (VIPs) for nearly five years. Since I wrote two or more posts about some of the people, I estimate that I have written about two hundred different VIPs. I reached a point where I am having a difficult time coming up with still another VIP.
I decided to ask Google for some new names and discovered a site about the top one hundred influential leadersin American history. While going through the names, I was surprised to see Abraham Lincoln listed as #1 and George Washington as #2 and wondered about the ranking. Is it more important to save the Union, free the slaves, and preside over America’s second founding than it is to preside over the first founding of America and then declining to make himself king? I personally believe the first founding is more important because the second founding would never take place without the first one. I noticed that not all Presidents of the United States were included, such as John F. Kennedy.
The next observation I made was the inclusion of the names of the first two presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was closely followed by the names of authors, entertainers, musicians, inventors. I have already written about many of the people on the list and look forward to researching other names. There are some names that I will probably never consider.
I did not recognize some of the names and thought the list leaned toward liberalism. What do you think of the list in general and any particular ranking? Do you recognize all the names? Do you think they belong on the list of the 100 most influential people in American history? Who do you think should be on the list but is not?
Here are the names and their ranking: (1) Abraham Lincoln, (2) George Washington, (3) Thomas Jefferson, (4) Franklin D. Roosevelt, (5) Alexander Hamilton, (6) Benjamin Franklin, (7) John Marshall, (8) Martin Luther King, Jr., (9) Thomas Edison, (10) Woodrow Wilson,
(11) John D. Rockefeller, (12) Ulysses S. Grant, (13) James Madison, (14) Henry Ford, (15) Theodore Roosevelt, (16) Mark Twain,
(17) Ronald Reagan, (18) Andrew Jackson, (19) Thomas Paine, (20) Andrew Carnegie,
(21) Harry Truman, (22) Walt Whitman, (23) Orville and Wilbur Wright, (24) Alexander Graham Bell, (25) John Adams,
(26) Walt Disney, (27) Eli Whitney, (28) Dwight D. Eisenhower, (29) Earl Warren, (30) Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
(31) Henry Clay, (32) Albert Einstein, (33) Ralph Waldo Emerson, (34) Jonas Salk, (35) Jackie Robinson, (36) William Jennings Bryan, (37) J. P. Morgan, (38) Susan B. Anthony, (39) Rachel Carson), (40) John Dewey,
(41) Harriet Beecher Stowe, (42) Eleanor Roosevelt, (43) W.E.B. Dubois, (44) Lyndon B. Johnson, (45) Samuel F. B. Morse,
(46) William Lloyd Garrison, (47) Frederick Douglas, (48) Robert Oppenheimer, (49) Frederick Law Olmstead, (50) James K. Polk,
(51) Margaret Sanger, (52) Joseph Smith, (53) Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., (54) Bill Gates, (55) John Quincy Adams, (56) Horace Mann, (57) Robert E. Lee, (58) John C. Calhoun, (59) Louis Sullivan, (60) William Faulkner,
(61) Samuel Gompers, (62) William James, (63) George Marshall, (64) Jane Addams, (65) Henry David Thoreau, (66) Elvis Presley, (67) P. T. Barnum, (68) James D. Watson, (69) James Gordon Bennett, (70) Lewis and Clark,
(71) Noah Webster, (72) Sam Walton, (73) Cyrus McCormick, (74) Brigham Young, (75) George Herman “Babe” Ruth, (76) Franklin Lloyd Wright, (77) Betty Friedan, (78) John Brown, (79) Louis Armstrong, (80) William Randolph Hearst,
(81) Margaret Mead, (82) George Gallup, (83) James Fenimore Cooper, (84) Thurgood Marshall, (85) Ernest Hemingway, (86) Mary Baker Eddy, (87) Benjamin Spock, (88) Enrico Fermi, (89) Walter Lippman, (90) Jonathan Edwards,
(91) Lyman Beecher, (92) John Steinbeck, (93) Nat Turner, (94) George Eastman, (95) Sam Goldwyn, (96) Ralph Nader, (97) Stephen Foster, (98) Booker T. Washington, (99) Richard Nixon, and (100) Herman Melville.