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Fascinating Photos of Historical Figures



Welcome to a collection of the most impactful leaders throughout history. Do you think you know everything about the most influential people of all time? Well you likely forgot about some of the most important people who changed the world forever.
Here we feature a wide array of depictions of the most pivotal figures throughout humanity’s modern history. Enjoy this look back through the world’s biggest game changers of all time. Have you heard of them all?

John F. Kennedy

JFK was the 35th President of the United States, best known for his leadership during the Cold War era.

Elvis Presley

The “King of Rock & Roll” is a quintessential American music icon, whose music was massively popular in the 50s and 60s.

Benjamin Franklin

This founding father and great American inventor was also the 6th President of the United States and major figure of the Enlightenment movement.

Rosa Parks

The face of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks was an outspoken activist who’s often known as the “First Lady of Civil Rights.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK was a minister and the most prominent figure of the American civil rights movement, best known for his non-violent activism and invigorating public speeches.

Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps the most respected American president, Lincoln led the Union to victory in the Civil War, subsequently abolished slavery, and modernized the federal government and US economy.

Mark Twain

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, this great American author is known for popular works like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

Malcom X

A major champion of racial justice, Malcolm X was on the more controversial side of American Civil Rights, but still played a huge role, especially during his time with the Nation of Islam.

Charles Darwin

English biologist and natural scientist Charles Darwin is mainly known for his theory of evolution that came in his book On the Origin of Species, determining that all living things come from common ancestors. This included ideas like natural selection, and his findings are now considered a staple in the scientific world, making him one of the most influential humans.

Bob Marley

Robert Nesta Marley was the most famous Jamaican singer and songwriter in history, pioneering reggae with ska, rocksteady and socially conscious lyrics that made him a pop culture icon around the world. His songs of suffrage, love and justice resonated, and he was also a major figure in the Rastafarian and pro-marijuana movements. To this day, he remains a massive musical influence.

John D. Rockefeller

Perhaps the most successful American businessman of all time, John Rockefeller was also a big philanthropist, despite being the richest person in modern history. Most of his money came from oil refining, where he founded the Standard Oil Company, which blossomed in business thanks to the newfound necessity of oil. He heavily influenced capitalism and social Darwinism.

Adolf Hitler

The infamous leader of abhorrent Nazi Germany, Hitler will always go down as one of the worst people ever, perpetuating World War II and overseeing the Holocaust which killed millions combined.

Harriet Tubman

Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman became a famous abolitionist and civil rights icon, as she famously freed around 70 people during 13 trips through an underground railroad system. She also served as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, as well as fighting for women’s suffrage.

Richard Nixon

Nixon was the 36th vice president and 37th President of the United States, famously known for being the only US president to resign from the ladder office. Though he is infamous for the Watergate scandal, he also struggled with the Vietnam War, China relations, and the EPA.

Muhammad Ali

AKA Cassius Clay, he’s also nicknamed “The Greatest” because he’s the best boxer the world has ever seen. After refusing to be drafted in the Vietnam War, he was stripped of his boxing titles (they were reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1971). This led to his role as an activist, playing a big part in counterculture and African American civil rights in the ‘60s.

Ulysses S. Grant

Grant served as the Commanding General of the United States Army for the Union, leading them to victory and subsequently being elected 18th President of the United States, where he made great strides by working with radical republicans to restructure the union.

Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in US history, best known for his antitrust legislation and admiration for conservation, which prioritized much of America’s natural environment. He essentially defined the modern presidency, and is on Mount Rushmore.

Robert E. Lee

Lee was the commanding general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, mainly known for his knowledge and expertise on the battlefield. Though he never wanted a divided country, he chose to fight for his home state of Virginia.

Thomas Edison

Edison is likely the greatest inventor in American history, developing crucial technologies such as electricity, mass communication devices, motion picture, and sound recording, among many more. He undoubtedly had a huge impact on the modern industrialized world.

Jackie Robinson

Robinson became the first African American baseball player to play in the modern MLB, breaking the color barrier when playing first base for the Dodgers in 1947. This ended racial segregation in the league, which recognizes it as its own holiday – Jackie Robinson Day.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR was the only US president to serve a record four terms, with his last two coming during World War II, where he died in office just before its conclusion. He’s highly praised for his composure both during the war and great depression, as well as orchestrating the New Deal.

Frederick Douglass

Douglass was a renowned national abolitionist who became a massive voice for freedom after escaping Maryland himself in 1838. He was praised for his impressive writings on anti-slavery, which stunned Americans at the time to find out he himself was a slave. His autobiographies and oratories are still pivotal in education today.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower, AKA “Ike” was a former Army General during World War II turned 34th president of the United States. Though commended for his prowess on the battlefield, he struggled to combat communism and McCarthyism during his presidency, as well as falling short on civil rights.

Albert Einstein

Einstein was a theoretical physicist from Germany whose greatest contribution was the theory of relativity, paving the way for modern quantum mechanics. He also played a big role in the philosophy of science, creating notable equations like E=mc2. Due to his Jewish background, he settled in the US in 1933 to avoid the rise of Nazi Germany.

Ronald Reagan

Considered to be the father of modern conservatism, Reagan moved from respected actor to politician, first governing California before being elected the 40th US President. His supply-side economics deemed “Reaganomics,” and his other policies were praised by conservatives, but denounced by liberals, including tax cuts, deregulation, and reduced government spending.

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston was a liberal turned conservative before his time as prime minister of the United Kingdom, where he ruled during the second World War. He also unified Europe, coining the “Iron Curtain” trope to unify the continent ahead of Soviet influences of fascism. He is a revered 20th century figure who is praised as a wartime leader, but Churchill was also a famed writer.

Mahatma Gandhi

Arguably the most prominent figure in Indian history, Mohandas Gandhi (later deemed the honorable “Mahatma”) led the nonviolent political revolution against British colonialism in the early 1900s. His prevalence led to Indian independence, and sparked civil rights movements around the world.

Joseph Stalin

Salin, the infamous General Secretary of the Communist Party and later Premier of the Soviet Union, was an extremely controversial leader who seized dictatorship, but dealt heavily with famine and eradicated millions during the Great Purge in the name of his ruling communist party. While some championed his success in industrialization, his totalitarianism was fatal.

Sigmund Freud

Freud was an Austrian Neurologist who created psychoanalysis, the process of treating patient experiences by deducing them through dialogue a-la a mediator. His practices introduced the acknowledgement of things like egos, the unconscious mind, and more controversially the libido. His practices are still influential in modern psychology and humanities today.

Karl Marx

Author of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, and sociologist who largely lived in exile due to his polarizing politics. His ideologies, known as “Marxism”, dictate human evolution through class conflict, and he largely viewed capitalism as self-destructive, giving way to socialism. He’s one of the most influential humans ever thanks to his work in social and economic science.

Edgar Allan Poe

The legendary American writer and poet specialized in dark, macabre tales and was a pivotal figure in the Romanticism movement.

Thomas Jefferson

As a founding father, Jefferson served as the second vice president and third President of the US – he also was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

George Washington

Washington was the original founding father who fought for United States independence, served as the nation’s first president, and played a key role in the constitutional foundation of America.

Alexander Hamilton

Hailton was best known for being the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, creating the nation’s financial system and constructing the first national banks.

Leonardo DiVinci

Da Vinci is highly renowned as the most famous artist of all time, with works like the Mona Lisa and Last Supper being two of the most popular of all time, but the Italian was a true Renaissance man, conceptualizing dozens of inventions way ahead of his time.

William Shakespeare

By far the most appreciated playwright, Shakespeare defined drama and evolved the English language to a whole new level. His work in comedic, historical, and tragic plays defined him as a man of many genres, and his works are still the most taught in world literature today.

Christopher Columbus

The Italian explorer sailed 4 separate trips to the Americas for Spain, opening the door for European colonization in the late 1400s. His missions led to the first European contact in the Caribbean and Central and South America, but his legacy is more widely criticized now due to the lasting effects of his disregard for the indigenous communities where he traveled.


Plato is known as the quintessential Greek philosopher, who founded the world’s first institution of higher learning in Athens called The Academy. He modernized western philosophy, politics and spirituality, and was the student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle. He’s most regarded for his use of dialogue and dialectics.

Andrew Jackson

President Andrew Jackson fought for the common man and democracy, and is generally regarded as a respected president, despite controversially falling on the wrong side of history in regards to the abolitionist movement and Native American removal. As the seventh president, he was the first to survive an assassination attempt.

Napoleon Bonaparte

The mightiest figure in French history, Napoleon was a military leader who led many successful campaigns during the French Revolution. He later served as emperor and dominated European and global affairs during the early 1800s. While he’s regarded as one of the greatest military commanders ever, he’s one of the most successful and controversial people in human history.

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was the fearless Roman military leader who most famously led his army to conquer Great Britain, before returning to defeat his own Roman Leadership and take rulership for himself. He was a political strongman who ran populism based on cult of personality, but was also appreciated for his accounts of history based on his military expeditions.

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Easily one of the most revered musicians in Western classical music, Beethoven grew up in Germany and produced many of the most famous compositions still performed in orchestras today. He transcended the Classical era into the Romantic, and wrote some of his best works after falling deaf in 1814.

Isaac Newton

Sir Issac is among the most prolific scientists of all time, and the main force behind the Scientific Revolution. He practiced in mathematics, theology, physics, astronomy, and also published some of the most important science papers on classical mechanics, including the development of calculus.

Ghengis Khan

The Great Khan of the Mongol Empire founded a coalition to form the largest empire in history with hundreds of local Asian tribes, all while conquering most of Eurasia and killing millions in the process. He is considered the greatest conqueror of all time based on his brutal leadership and acquired land, but also an important figure in the development of trade along the silk road.

John Adams

John Adams was another founding father at the forefront of the American Revolution, later serving as the second president. He was a famous attorney who also served Massachusetts in the Continental Congress, and he also helped with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Notably, he was the first to occupy what is now the White House.


Aristotle was another major player in Greek philosophy, taught by the almighty Plato. His teachings spanned nearly every single field of education from the arts and sciences, to social and political philosophies, and his lexicon and methods of speech have influenced nearly everything about the way we absorb and transmit information. His teachings still lead today.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart is arguably the greatest composer ever, having innate ability and composing pieces as early as the age of 5, He moved from the Holy Roman Empire before settling in Vienna and writing his most famous works, composing over 600 before his death at the young age of 35. Much of his work in classical genres is considered the pinnacle of complex instrumental music.


Michaelangelo is one of the best known Renaissance painters, sculptures and artists of his time. He rivals fellow Italian Leonardo DVinci as one of the most respected of his era, having massive undeniable influence on Western art even today. Many of his works are amongst the most famous in the world, including the religious ones in the Sistine Chapel and Laurentian Library.

Henry Rollins

Notable punk singer, songwriter, comedian and activist Henry Rollins is best known for his time in the group Black Flag, even though their peak didn’t include him. His subsequent solo work and bombastic personality gained the punk world attention, and his more recent activism in American politics has continued his popularity as a polarizing figure.


One of the most notable figures in Native American colonial history, Pocahontas is best known for her affiliation with the Jamestown Settlement in the 1600s. She later married tobacco painter John Rolfe, and was one of the first natives to intermingle with the English in general. However, most interpretations of her in modern times have been fictionalized or proven false.