Home / Features / Jesus is the most famous person in history, followed by Napoleon and then Muhammad.

Jesus is the most famous person in history, followed by Napoleon and then Muhammad.

Jesus is the most famous person in history, followed by Napoleon and then Muhammad.

A new book has ranked the most famous figures from history according to internet based meme strength and historical reputations (whatever that means). The book, Who’s Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank (Cambridge University Press, 2013), is the brainchild of Steven Skiena and Charles Ward and places Jesus in first place, followed by Napoleon and then Muhammad.

It comes as no surprise to see no females in the top ten – women are treated as second class citizens even today. British royals do rather well, with Henry VIII taking eleventh place and Elizabeth I owning thirteenth – the highest ranked woman. The only non-royal female entry is child-saint Joan of Arc. Unless my eyes deceive me, there appears to be only one more women on the list, Queen Victoria. Not a great list for women it must be said.

What do you think? Personally I find it a little worrying that King Arthur has made the list. I’m pleased to see the Stuarts have ranked quite well though.



1. Jesus

2. Napoleon

3. Muhammad

4. William Shakespeare

5. Abraham Lincoln

6. George Washington

7. Adolf Hitler

8. Aristotle

9. Alexander the Great

10. Thomas Jefferson

11. Henry VIII of England

12. Charles Darwin

13. Elizabeth I of England

14. Karl Marx

15. Julius Caesar

16. Queen Victoria

17. Martin Luther

18. Joseph Stalin

19. Albert Einstein

20. Christopher Columbus

21. Isaac Newton

22. Charlemagne

23. Theodore Roosevelt

24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

25. Plato

26. Louis XIV of France

27. Ludwig van Beethoven

28. Ulysses S. Grant

29. Leonardo da Vinci

30. Augustus

31. Carl Linnaeus

32. Ronald Reagan

33. Charles Dickens

34. Paul the Apostle

35. Benjamin Franklin

36. George W. Bush

37. Winston Churchill

38. Genghis Khan

39. Charles I of England

40. Thomas Edison

41. James I of England

42. Friedrich Nietzsche

43. Franklin D. Roosevelt

44. Sigmund Freud

45. Alexander Hamilton

46. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

47. Woodrow Wilson

48. Johann Sebastian Bach

49. Galileo Galilei

50. Oliver Cromwell

NUMBERS 51-100

51. James Madison

52. Gautama Buddha

53. Mark Twain

54. Edgar Allan Poe

55. Joseph Smith, Jr.

56. Adam Smith

57. David, King of Israel

58. George III of the United Kingdom

59. Immanuel Kant

60. James Cook

61. John Adams

62. Richard Wagner

63. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

64. Voltaire

65. Saint Peter

66. Andrew Jackson

67. Constantine the Great

68. Socrates

69. Elvis Presley

70. William the Conqueror

71. John F. Kennedy

72. Augustine of Hippo

73. Vincent van Gogh

74. Nicolaus Copernicus

75. Vladimir Lenin

76. Robert E. Lee

77. Oscar Wilde

78. Charles II of England

79. Cicero

80. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

81. Francis Bacon

82. Richard Nixon

83. Louis XVI of France

84. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

85. King Arthur

86. Michelangelo

87. Philip II of Spain

88. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

89. Ali, founder of Sufism

90. Thomas Aquinas

91. Pope John Paul II

92. René Descartes

93. Nikola Tesla

94. Harry S. Truman

95. Joan of Arc

96. Dante Alighieri

97. Otto von Bismarck

98. Grover Cleveland

99. John Calvin

100. John Locke




About Rebecca Rideal

Rebecca Rideal
Founder and editor of The History Vault, Rebecca is a historian of seventeenth-century England, a former specialist factual television producer, and the author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire.

Check Also

Inventing an Outlaw: Joseph Ritson’s Robin Hood (1795)

Most people have heard of Robin Hood. He is the outlawed Earl of Huntingdon who …