When talking about important people in history, it is hard to whittle it down to a list of just a couple of people. It is also pretty hard to define whether the list of the most important people in history is going to be focused on one specific epoch or region of the world. For our intents and purposes, we've decided that the list can be refined to the important people in American history just so the list doesn't include 5,379 people.
- Abraham Lincoln You've got to have the man who presided over the attempted separation of the country as one of the important people in history. Lincoln's aversion to having a North and South United States kept the country on the path to glory as opposed to the path of becoming two third world countries.
- Henry Ford Henry Ford makes the list of important people in history thanks to his advances in the auto industry. Ford Motors was one of the leaders of the gas vehicle movement in America and changed the way people got around and traveled throughout the United States.
- Thomas Edison Like Lincoln and Ford, there really shouldn't be anyone reading this list that doesn't know exactly what Edison did. Still, his advances in science in general were enough that he is one of the leaders of American advancements. Whether talking about the electric lightbulb or the phonograph, Edison's creations have made like easier for all Americans.
- Martin Luther King Jr. It could actually be argued that Martin Luther King Jr. is the most important person in American history, let alone one of the important people in history. King's work to gain equal rights for all American citizens started the country down a path (rocky as it might have been) that has made the United States a better place than when he found it.
- James Polk While Polk's one term presidency was thoroughly unimpressive in almost all other ways, he did accomplish one feat that grew America exponentially. Polk oversaw the land grab that netted the United States Texas, California and most of the now American Southwest.
- Jackie Robinson Broke the color barrier in baseball and moved along the ending of the color barier in other sports as well. Robinson's accomplishments were incredibly important because not only was he the first black to play in Major League Baseball, but he was actually incredibly good. Civil Rights in the United States might be a completely different story if Robinson had turned out unable to handle himself.