Top 10 Most Influential People in the World

When we think of the most influential people in the world, it’s likely that some of the names that come to mind are those of well-known politicians, business tycoons and media personalities. But influences can also be found in less glamorous walks of life.

Take, for example, the Top 10 Most Influential People in the World list compiled by Business Insider in collaboration with Google. The list features influential figures from a range of different backgrounds, visualize the top 10 influential people in the world below.

Bill Gates

Who better to start off a list of the most influential people in the world than with the world’s richest man? Bill Gates is not only the creator of Microsoft and one of the most powerful people in the world, but he’s also one of the most generous, with a tremendous passion for helping others. With a personal fortune estimated at $86 billion, Gates has dedicated his wealth to a variety of charitable causes. He and his wife, Melinda, launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 with a goal of helping the world’s poor. Since then, they’ve donated more than $28 billion to charities focused on everything from vaccination to global education. Gates is also the co-founder of the Giving Pledge, alongside fellow billionaires Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, which encourages the wealthiest people in the world to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

Barack Obama

As the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama was one of the most influential people in the world for his 8 years in office. He was a vocal proponent of improving the lot of the less fortunate, and his election in 2008 was a major milestone for the LGBT community, who had previously lacked high-level political representation. As the first African-American President, Obama also became the first person to have been African-American to hold the Presidency, as well as the first to have been born in a foreign country.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is arguably the most significant figure in the history of modern South Africa, and as such, he has been called the “Father of the Nation.” He was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years, and served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela led South Africa through a difficult transition from white minority rule to a racially-united, democratic society. He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the British Order of Merit, among many other honors.

Steve Jobs

Although he passed away in 2011, Steve Jobs remains one of the most important figures in the history of modern technology. As co-founder of Apple, Jobs was at the forefront of the computing revolution, and his products – particularly the iMac, iPod, and iPhone – continue to play an important role in the daily lives of billions of people. Jobs was also known for his strong public persona – the man who proclaimed “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Mother Teresa

Known as the “Nun who became a Superstar,” Mother Teresa was one of the most influential people ever. Her contributions to society have been compared to those of Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln, and she has been praised both domestically and internationally for her work with the poor, sick, and dying. In 1983, Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.”

Elon Musk

Musk is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the world today. In addition to being the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, he is also a co-founder of PayPal, and an investor in a variety of other high-profile companies. He is often called the “Jeffrey Bezos of Mars,” a comparison to the e-commerce baron Jeffrey Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post. Musk is also somewhat of a Twitter celebrity, with more than 21 million followers on the microblogging site.

Jeff Bezos

Bezos is the founder of, one of the most influential companies in the world. The online retailer is famous for its cheap prices and vast selection, and it’s also become a household name thanks to its many successful television programs. Amazon is also one of the most generous companies in the world, with founder Bezos having donated more than $100 million to charity in his lifetime.

Salman Khan

Salman Khan is an Indian film actor and producer, known for his work in Bollywood. Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, an online resource for math and science that has been described as “an MIT project for K-12 students.” Khan Academy has grown from a website to an entire empire, with brick-and-mortar locations and even its own university program. Khan is also a humanitarian aid worker, having helped victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.

Alan Turing

One of the most influential figures in the history of modern computing, Alan Turing was also one of the most influential people in the world during his short life. He is most famous for his work on breaking Germany’s Enigma Code, which helped the Allies win World War II. Turing was also a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, and is considered to be the father of computer science. He was arrested in 1952 for being gay, which at the time was a criminal offense in the United Kingdom. Turing committed suicide the following year, months after his conviction.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett – another one of the most fascinating people in the world. Like Carlos Slim, he is also a great storyteller, having also written books and has given interviews about his experiences. One of the things that makes him so fascinating is that he doesn’t pass off anyone as having his ear. This enables him to keep everyone in the know about what he’s really thinking, which is always a good sign. When people want to learn about his investment strategy or how he made so much money, he’s ready to share his knowledge with them. What’s even more fascinating about him is that he has such an easy going and easy-going nature that anyone can get along with.


There are many people throughout history who have had a significant impact on the world and will go down in history as greats. Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos are just a few of the people who have shaped our world and our future. The definition of influence is often subjective, but these people have influenced millions of people across the globe through their actions and beliefs.

For these reasons, these are the top 10 most influential people in the world.


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