240 Portraits

Below is a list of 240 influential people during the last 240 years from 1773 to 2012 — roughly similar to Time's Person of the Year with dates corresponding approximately to the year of their greatest influence. This influence is measured by what they did to connect us to each other and thereby make us all increasingly interdependent through politics, war, science, and art.

The Wikipedia's 18th and 19th century lists of significant people were used to compile this list. These lists consist of hundreds of names, of which 127 were chosen. Needless to say, this list is only one of many possibilities. For the 20th century, Time Magazine's 100 Persons of the Century list was adopted. The 21st century list is based, with a little modification, on Time's Person of the Year.

There is a bit of irony tracing the development of global interdependence from the time of The Declaration of Independence. Tiffany Shlain wrote a parody about it titled The Declaration of Interdependence . For lack of foreknowledge, the last slide is her portrait. How many of the other 239 do you know without peeking?

Declaration of Interdependence

When In the course of human events, it becomes increasingly necessary to recognize the fundamental qualities that connect us, then we must reevaluate the truths we hold to be self-evident:

That all humans are created equal and all are connected.

That we share the pursuits of life, liberty, happiness, food, water, shelter, safety, education, justice, and hopes for a better future.

That our collective knowledge, economy, technology, and environment are fundamentally interdependent.

That what will propel us forward as a species is our curiosity, our ability to forgive, our ability to appreciate, our courage, and our desire to connect...

That these things we share will ultimately help us evolve to our fullest common potential.

And whereas we should take our problems seriously, we should never take ourselves too seriously.

Because another thing that connects us is our ability to laugh and our attempt to learn from our mistakes.

So that we can learn from the past, understand our place in the world, and use our collective knowledge to create a better future.

We can make the future whatever we want it to be.

So perhaps it's time that we, as a species, who love to laugh, ask questions, and connect...do something radical and true.

For centuries, we have declared independence.

Perhaps it's now time that we, as humans, declare our interdependence!

1773Samuel Adams leader of the first Tea Party
1774George III king of Great Britain & Ireland
1775Paul Revere revolutionary silversmith
1776Adam Smith economist and philosopher
1776Thomas Jefferson author of Declaration of Independence
1779Samuel Johnson author and biographer
1781Immanuel Kant philosopher
1781Marquis de Lafayette military officer
1781William Herschel astronomer
1783Leonhard Euler mathematician
1785James Watt scientist and inventor
1786Robert Burns poet
1787Alexander Hamilton first US treasurer
1787James Madison author of US constitution
1788Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composer
1789William Blake artist and poet
1789Antoine Lavoisier father of modern chemistry
1789George Washington & Liberty first US President
1790Benjamin Franklin scientist and statesman
1791John Jay first US chief justice
1791Thomas Paine political philosopher
1792Georges Danton revolutionary leader
1793Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette king and queen of France
1794Maximilien Robespierre revolutionary leader
1795Francisco de Goya painter
1796Catherine the Great empress of Russia
1797John & Abigail Adams first US vice president
1800Napoleon Bonapartegeneral and emperor of France
1801Carl Friedrich Gaussmathematician and scientist
1804Samuel Taylor Coleridgepoet
1805Meriwether Lewis & William Clark & Sacajaweaexplorers
1806Johann Wolfgang von Goetheauthor of Faust
1807William Wordsworthpoet
1807Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegelphilosopher
1813Jane Austennovelist
1815Charles Maurice de Talleyrandfirst prime minister of France
1818Lord Byronpoet
1818Mary Shelleyauthor of Frankenstein
1820Percy Bysshe Shelleypoet
1821Michael Faradayscientist
1824Ludwig van Beethovencomposer
1828Andrew Jacksongeneral and US president
1830Thomas Colepainter
1830Frederic Chopincomposer
1836Samuel F. B. Morseinventor & painter
1836Ralph Waldo Emersonphilosopher
1836David Crockettking of the wild frontier
1837Queen Victoriaqueen of the United Kingdom
1843Soren Kierkegaardphilosopher
1844Gustave Courbetpainter
1845Frederick Douglassabolitionist
1845Edgar Allan Poepoet of The Raven
1847Anne & Emily & Charlotte Brontenovelists
1847Emily Dickinsonpoet
1848Karl Marxeconomist
1848Victor Hugoauthor of Les Miserables
1849Harriet Tubmanunderground railroad abolitionist
1851Herman Melvilleauthor of Moby Dick
1851Napoleon IIIlast emperor of France
1852Harriet Beecher Stoweauthor of Uncle Tom's Cabin
1854Henry David Thoreaunaturalist and journalist
1854Bernhard Riemannmathematician
1854Florence Nightingalenursing pioneer
1855Walt Whitmanpoet
1855Susan B. Anthonywomen's rights advocate
1856Lewis Carrollauthor of Alice in Wonderland
1856Richard Francis Burtonexplorer
1857Gustave Flaubertauthor of Madam Bovary
1858Charles Dickensauthor of David Copperfield
1859John Stuart Millpolitical philosopher
1859John Brownabolitionist
1859Evangelis Zappasinitiated international olympics
1860Gregor Mendelbiologist
1861Jefferson Davispresident of the CSA
1861Mathew Bradyphotographed US civil war
1862Ulysses S. Grantgeneral and US president
1863Robert E. Leeconfederate general
1863Baha'u'llah founder of Baha'i faith
1864Abraham LincolnUS president
1864Louis Pasteurmicrobiologist and chemist
1867Tokugawa Yoshinobulast shogun of Japan
1868Emile Zolarealist novelist
1869Leo Tolstoyauthor of War and Peace
1870Cornelius Vanderbiltshipping & railroad magnate
1871Otto von Bismarckfirst German chancellor
1871Richard Wagnercomposer of operas
1872John Muirnaturalist and conservationist
1873Clara Bartonpioneer of American Red Cross
1873James Clerk Maxwellphysicist
1874Edouard Manetimpressionist painter
1874Georg Cantorfather of modern mathematics
1875John D. Rockefelleroil tycoon
1875Alexander Graham Bellinventor
1875Buffalo Bill Codywild west legend and showman
1876Jesse Jameslegendary wild west outlaw
1876Stephane Mallarmeimpressionist poet
1876George Armstrong Custersoldier with a last stand
1877Eadweard Muybridgepioneer motion photographer
1878Benjamin Disraelinovelist and prime minister
1878Sarah Bernhardtactress
1878Andrew Carnegieindustrialist
1879Thomas Edisoninventor
1881P. T. Barnumshowman
1881Wyatt Earpwild west lawman
1882John L. Sullivanheavyweight boxer
1882Paul Cezannepainter
1884William Ewart Gladstoneprime minister
1884Mark Twainauthor of Huckleberry Finn
1885Friedrich Nietzschephilosopher
1885Georges Seuratpointilist painter
1885Johannes Brahmscomposer
1886Claude Monetimpressionist painter
1887GeronimoChiricahua Apache leader
1887Arthur Conan Doyleauthor of Sherlock Holmes
1888Vincent van Goghexpressionist painter
1888George Eastmaninvented film roll & box camera
1889Anton Chekhovplaywright
1890Henrik Ibsenplaywright
1890J.P. Morganbanker
1892Franz Boasanthropologist
1892Gustav Mahlercomposer
1893Oscar Wildeplaywright
1893Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovskycomposer
1894Nikola Teslainventor
1895Alfred Nobelchemist engineer inventor
1896Auguste & Louis Lumierepioneer filmmakers
1898Marie Curiephysicist & chemist
1901Theodore Roosevelt U.S. President and environmentalist
1903The Wright Brothers visionary aviators
1906Pablo Picasso artist
1907Leo Baekeland plastics pioneer
1913Emmeline Pankhurst suffragist
1914Coco Chanel designer
1914Igor Stravinsky classical musician
1915Charles Merrill advocate of the small investor
1915Charlie Chaplin comic genius
1915Willis Carrier inventor of air-conditioning
1916Margaret Sanger birth-control crusader
1918James Joyce novelist
1919Henry Ford founder of Ford Motor Company
1920Helen Keller champion of the disabled
1920Vladimir Ilyich Lenin founder of the Soviet Union
1921Albert Einstein physicist
1921Sigmund Freud psychoanalyst
1922David Sarnoff father of broadcasting
1923T.S. Eliot poet
1924Robert Goddard rocket scientist
1925Edwin Hubble astronomer
1927Charles Lindbergh transatlantic aviator
1928Alexander Fleming bacteriologist
1928Amadeo Giannini architect of nationwide banking
1930Louis B. Mayer Hollywood mogul
1931Kurt Godel mathematician
1931The Leakey Family anthropologists
1933Franklin Delano Roosevelt U.S. President of New Deal
1933Juan Trippe aviation entrepreneur
1933Le Corbusier architect
1936John Maynard Keynes economist
1936Lucky Luciano criminal mastermind
1936Martha Graham dancer and choreographer
1936Sam Walton Wal-Mart dynamo
1936Stephen Bechtel construction magnate
1937Adolf Hitler German dictator
1937Walt Disney animator and multimediast
1938Bill Wilson founder Alcoholics Anonymous
1939Alan Turing computer scientist
1939Philo Farnsworth inventor of electronic television
1941Winston Churchill British Prime Minister
1942Anne Frank diarist and Holocaust victim
1942Enrico Fermi atomic physicist
1944Rachel Carson environmentalist
1944The American G.I. a soldier for freedom
1945Mohandas Gandhi father of modern India
1945Walter Reuther labor leader
1946Ho Chi Minh first President of North Vietnam
1947Ludwig Wittgenstein philosopher
1948Eleanor Roosevelt U.S. First Lady
1951Lucille Ball TV star
1952William Levitt creator of suburbia
1953Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay conquerors of Mount Everest
1953James Watson & Francis Crick molecular biologists
1953Louis Armstrong jazz musician
1953Marlon Brando actor
1954Jackie Robinson baseball player
1954Leo Burnett advertising genius
1954Ray Kroc hamburger meister
1955Frank Sinatra singer
1955Rosa Parks civil rights torchbearer
1956Jonas Salk virologist
1956Thomas Watson Jr. IBM president
1958Pele soccer star
1959David Ben-Gurion Israel's first Prime Minister
1959Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway showmen
1960Che Guevara guerrilla leader
1960The Kennedys dynasty
1962Jean Piaget child psychologist
1962Marilyn Monroe actress
1963Bob Dylan folk musician
1964Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights leader
1964Muhammad Ali heavyweight boxing champion
1964The Beatles rock musicians
1966Akio Morita co-founder of Sony
1966Billy Graham evangelist
1966Estee Lauder cosmetics tycoon
1967Mao Zedong leader of communist China
1968Aretha Franklin soul musician
1969Pete Rozelle football-league commissioner
1973Bruce Lee actor and martial-arts star
1975Andrei Sakharov Soviet dissident
1975William Shockley solid-state physicist
1978Harvey Milk gay-rights leader
1981Ayatullah R. Khomeini leader of Iran's revolution
1981Margaret Thatcher British Prime Minister
1981Ronald Reagan U.S. President
1982Bill Gates co-founder of Microsoft
1983Lech Walesa Polish union organizer
1986Mother Teresa missionary nun
1987Bart Simpson cartoon character
1987Diana Spencer Princess of Wales
1987Mikhail Gorbachev Soviet reformer
1987Oprah Winfrey TV talk-show host
1989Jim Henson creator of the Muppets
1989Tank Man Tiananmen Square rebel
1989Tim Berners-Lee Internet designer
1993Nelson Mandela South African President
1993Pope John Paul II religious leader
1999Steven Spielberg moviemaker
2000Al GoreUS vice president and environmentalist
2001Osama Bin LadenAl-Qaeda terrorist leader
2002Jeff BezosAmazon founder
2003Saddam HusseinIraqi leader
2004George W. BushUS president
2005Bonomusician and philanthropist
2006Steve JobsApple founder
2007Vladamir PutinRussian leader
2008Barack ObamaUS president
2009Ben Bernankeeconomist
2010Mark Zuckerbergcreator of Facebook
2011Larry PageGoogle co-founder
2012Tiffany Shlainfilmmaker founded the Webbys

Who's on your list?