In 2006, The Atlantic magazine asked 10 eminent historians to compile a list of the most influential figures in US history.

1. Abraham Lincoln (lawyer, statesman, President)
2. George Washington (military general, revolutionary, Founding Father, President)
3. Thomas Jefferson (Founding Father, statesman, President)
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt (statesman, President)
5. Alexander Hamilton (soldier, Founding Father, statesman, founder of several US institutions)
6. Benjamin Franklin (writer, statesman, scientist, Founding Father)
7. John Marshall (politician, Supreme Court Chief Justice)
8. Martin Luther King Jr. (Baptist minister, civil rights activist)
9. Thomas Edison (inventor)
10. Woodrow Wilson (university academic, statesman, President)
11. John D. Rockefeller (oil magnate, philanthropist)
12. Ulysses S. Grant (civil war general, President)
13. James Madison (Founding Father, Bill of Rights and Constitution writer, statesman, President)
14. Henry Ford (automobile pioneer)
15. Theodore Roosevelt (soldier, statesman, President, explorer)
16. Mark Twain (writer)
17. Ronald Reagan (actor, politician, President)
18. Andrew Jackson (soldier, statesman, President)
19. Thomas Paine (revolutionary writer)
20. Andrew Carnegie (industrialist, philanthropist)
21. Harry S. Truman (soldier, statesman, President)
22. Walt Whitman (poet)
23. Orville and Wilbur Wright (aviation pioneers)
24. Alexander Graham Bell (telecommunications inventor)
25. John Adams (lawyer, revolutionary, Founding Father, statesman, President)
26. Walt Disney (animator, entertainment mogul)
27. Eli Whitney (cotton gin inventor, arms manufacturer)
28. Dwight D. Eisenhower (military general, statesman, President)
29. Earl Warren (district attorney, governor, Supreme Court Justice)
30. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (writer, suffragist, women’s rights activist)
31. Henry Clay (lawyer, statesman)
32. Albert Einstein (physicist)
33. Ralph Waldo Emerson (writer, transcendentalist movement leader)
34. Jonas Salk (polio vaccine creator)
35. Jackie Robinson (baseball player)
36. William Jennings Bryan (populist politician)
37. J.P. Morgan (financier/banker)
38. Susan B. Anthony (suffragist, women’s rights activist)
39. Rachel Carson (writer, environmentalist)
40. John Dewey (philosopher, education reformist)
41. Harriet Beecher Stowe (writer, abolitionist)
42. Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady, civil/human rights activist)
43. W.E.B. Du Bois (academic, writer, civil rights advocate)
44. Lyndon B. Johnson (statesman, President)
45. Samuel F.B. Morse (painter, telegraph innovator)
46. William Lloyd Garrison (abolitionist, suffragist, abolitionist newspaper founder)
47. Frederick Douglass (ex-slave, preacher, abolitionist, civil rights advocate)
48. Robert Oppenheimer (theoretical physicist, professor, atomic bomb pioneer)
49. Frederick Law Olmsted (journalist, city parks planner)
50. James K. Polk (lawyer, statesman, President)
51. Margaret Sanger (family planning advocate)
52. Joseph Smith (founder of Mormon Church)
53. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (soldier, lawyer, judge, Supreme Court Justice)
54. Bill Gates (technology pioneer, philanthropist)
55. John Quincy Adams (diplomat, statesman, President)
56. Horace Mann (politician, education activist)
57. Robert E. Lee (military commander, civil war general)
58. John C. Calhoun (politician, pre-civil war slavery advocate)
59. Louis Sullivan (architect)
60. William Faulkner (writer, Nobel Prize winner)
61. Samuel Gompers (labor/trade unionist)
62. William James (philosopher, psychologist)
63. George Marshall (military commander, statesman)
64. Jane Addams (social worker, suffragist, peace activist)
65. Henry David Thoreau (writer, philosopher)
66. Elvis Presley (musician/singer)
67. P.T. Barnum (circus founder, celebrity hoax promoter)
68. James D. Watson (molecular biologist, DNA discoverer)
69. James Gordon Bennett Sr. (newspaper founder)
70. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (soldiers, explorers)
71. Noah Webster (lexicographer, dictionary writer)
72. Sam Walton (retail mogul)
73. Cyrus McCormick (agriculture engineer, business model innovator)
74. Brigham Young (Mormon leader, founder of Salt Lake City)
75. Babe Ruth (baseball player)
76. Frank Lloyd Wright (architect, writer)
77. Betty Friedan (feminist, writer)
78. John Brown (abolitionist, militant activist)
79. Louis Armstrong (jazz musician/singer)
80. William Randolph Hearst (newspaper mogul, politician)
81. Margaret Mead (anthropologist)
82. George Gallup (polling/survey pioneer)
83. James Fenimore Cooper (writer)
84. Thurgood Marshall (lawyer, Supreme Court Justice)
85. Ernest Hemingway (writer)
86. Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science founder, spiritualist)
87. Benjamin Spock (pediatrician, family dynamics psychologist, writer)
88. Enrico Fermi (nuclear physicist, nuclear reactor creator, atomic bomb pioneer)
89. Walter Lippmann (reporter, columnist)
90. Jonathan Edwards (preacher, theologian)
91. Lyman Beecher (evangelist, Temperance Movement co-founder, abolitionist)
92. John Steinbeck (writer, Nobel Prize winner)
93. Nat Turner (slave rebel)
94. George Eastman (photography pioneer)
95. Samuel Goldwyn (film producer)
96. Ralph Nader (writer, political activist)
97. Stephen Foster (songwriter)
98. Booker T. Washington (writer, African American community leader, Presidential advisor)
99. Richard Nixon (statesman, President)
100. Herman Melville (writer)